There are things that are great for our pets’ health that have to be done on a repeating schedule, things like tooth brushing and administering medications. Here are some tips you may not have thought of to help you remember the task and know for sure that you have done them as prescribed.
1. Utilize technology.
Your phone is with you all the time, so if you have a calendar on your cell phone (and these apps are usually already loaded or free from the app store), set it to remind you at a time when you know you are already doing a pet related activity. If you feed your dog or cat at 7 pm and you will be in your kitchen with them, a reminder will be timely and helpful, but will only work if you force yourself to stop everything and do the reminded activity right away. Find a way to mark it as “done” also, so you will know not to repeat it.
2. Use your pet’s behavior to remind you.
If you store the toothpaste or the heartworm preventive in the container with the treats and your pet runs to them to remind you to give a treat, it will trigger your memory to do the task. That makes your pet the reminder and what a good reminder they will be if there is a treat involved. Make sure they recognize the toothpaste tube or medication container as a good thing associated with treats. Pets are great at reminding us when they want something!
3. Help yourself know when you’ve already done a task.
Repetitive tasks that are similar each time can make you think you’ve already done the task when you’re just remembering the last time. Employ the stickers on the box of your heartworm prevention to label the month you have already done so you don’t repeat it. The stickers can be used on a calendar to trigger you to remember or you can place them on the box as a note to yourself that you have completed the dose for that month. The stickers are included in the box for your convenience. When I give my dog her heartworm prevention, I stop and mark it as done in my phone, so that I do not doubt myself in the future.
4. Some pet medication manufacturers offer a free reminder service.
All you have to do is sign up and they will send you an email to remind you to give the medication each month. Go to https://www.heartgard.com/Pages/Easy-to-Give.aspx and sign up. They even have iTunes and Android apps to help make remembering easy. Do an internet search for the medication that you need to remember to see if they offer something like this.
5. Couple the health tasks with something that is fun.
If you walk your dog each day, tie the toothbrush to your leash. If you make yourself a cup of coffee each day, tape the toothbrush to the front of your coffee machine. Pet specific toothpaste (which is what you need to use or your pets and not human toothpaste!) tastes good so you can use the paste (with or without the brushing) as a reward for a desired behavior. Partnering the job with fun is good for you both.
At Applebrook Animal Hospital, we know that you want to be a great pet parent and we are here to help. We have a dedicated team and a state of the art practice. If you would like for us to remind you of things your pet, we have automated reminder systems that we can tailor just for what you need. Reach out to us and tell us what YOU need to help keep your pets happy and healthy. We are YOUR OTHER FAMILY DOCTOR!
Thank you for letting us help you show your pets how much you care!
An earlier version of this blog was originally published on https://iheartdogs.com/.