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2017 Goals for Pets

01 Feb Ask A Vet: Pet Goals for 2017

I have a dog and a cat. People are always choosing New Year’s Resolutions for themselves. If I made 2017 Pet Goals, what would you suggest?

Dr. Lisa Johnson from Pittsfield Veterinary Clinic responds, “This is a great question and one (I think!) pet owners should think about more often. The following is what I would suggest as the Top Five Pet Goals for 2017.

  1. If you don’t have a regular veterinary clinic, pick one! It’s important your dog or cat consistently see the same doctor, technician or assistant. They will know your pet, recognizing when something is different or of concern. They will have your pet’s complete medical history on file and be able to send reminders when vaccines are due


  1. Schedule at least one annual physical exam for your dog or cat. This helps keep them in optimum health, and detect something before it becomes a health concern. This is very important for the older patients so we can detect subtle changes in weight, heart or lung sounds. It’s also a good time to check and measure any lumps or bumps that geriatric patients tend to form. Preventative medicine is the best medicine!


  1. Vaccinate. This is important for all pets, but it’s critical for the younger patients. Timing and sequence of your pet’s vaccines is very important to prevent against diseases. Rabies, distemper and Parvovirus are the most common, but the Lyme vaccine is becoming necessary. Ask your veterinarian about the necessity of any other vaccines. You may require more depending on where and what your pet has contact with! Mention if your pet goes to daycare, boarding, hiking, etc.


  1. Review their pet food! Really read the ingredients label. Always check the source of the food. Is it made out of the country with foreign ingredients? If the first ingredient is corn or a byproduct of something, shop around for something with a meat listed first. Picking items and food for your pet made in the USA with trusted ingredients can save you a trip to the vet’s. Your vet can help you decide which diet would be best suited for your dog and cat depending on age and lifestyle.


  1. Exercise! Just like people making their New Year’s Resolution to become fit, your pet also needs daily exercise! Take your dog for a walk, play fetch, join an agility dog club, something! Some cats play fetch, or you can use toys that encourage running and playing, such as laser lights. Daily exercise of at least 30 minutes is important for your pet’s physical and mental health. It may even help you keep off the winter weight!”

Happy New Year from Pittsfield Veterinary Clinic! May 2017 be filled with good health for you and your pet! For Longer Lives and Happier Pets!

About the Doctor: Dr. Lisa Johnson graduated from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. It is there that she met and married her husband, Dr. William Johnson, also a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Lisa has owned the Pittsfield Veterinary Clinic outside of Edmeston, NY since 1989.

Do you have a question for Dr. Lisa Johnson? E-mail your questions to Please title the e-mail, “Ask the Vet!”