7 New Year’s Resolutions You and Your Pet Can Benefit From
With a new year on the horizon, it’s only natural that you want to get your resolutions in order. But as you do, make sure your list includes your pet. That’s right, goals aren’t just for people anymore – New Year’s resolutions can be for you and your faithful friend!
Whether you need to increase your physical activity or be more diligent with preventative care, we’ve got plenty of ideas to help you and your pet become healthier and happier in 2019.
1. Exercise More
Did you know that over 50% of pets in the US are classified as overweight? The New Year is a great time for you and your pet to start a new exercise routine.
Lack of exercise often results in boredom and frustration, which your pet may express with bad, destructive behavior. In addition to that, inactivity can lead to poor health. To keep that from happening, you should exercise him or her regularly.
Hiking, jogging, and swimming are just some of the exercises you and your dog can do together. For the times you’re away during the day, or if you’re unable to be physically active, consider a doggy daycare.
Signing your pet up for a program such as a doggy daycare is one way to ensure your pooch gets the daily activity they need. Doggy daycares offer benefits such as:
- Exercise (e.g. walks, treadmill time)
- Providing routine
- Relieving boredom and/or separation anxiety
- Peace of mind for the owner
Remember, an active dog is a happy and healthy dog!
2. Eat Healthier
Have you decided to start eating right for the New Year? Make sure your pet is eating only the best too!
Poor nutrition can have negative effects on your dog. The healthier the dog food, however, the better quality of life. A dog who eats a nutritious diet can reap benefits such as:
- Better skin
- Shinier coats
- Fewer digestive issues
- Stronger muscles
- More energy
- Better temperament
- Maintaining an ideal weight
One way you can affect the longevity and quality of life for your pet is by providing nutritious food with quality ingredients. Making food at home for your dog is one option. Another option, however, would be to purchase USA-made, natural or organic products. Remember the saying “you are what you eat?” Well, the same goes for your pet!
3. Visit the Doctor
It’s important for your beloved pet to have regular health check-ups just like you do. Regular visits to the veterinarian are the best way to stay ahead of potential problems your pet could face later on. Consider taking your pet to the vet for annual examinations of their teeth, heart, lungs, and overall body condition. Doing so can help keep them healthy and give you peace of mind knowing they are thriving.
4. Practice Safety
Have you done all you can to keep your pet safe at home? Animals are curious creatures and it doesn’t take much for them to get into something they shouldn’t, including toxic chemicals. Take time to assess the products used in and around your home. Are they necessary? Are you following all safety precautions on the labels? Are they stored safely where your pet can’t get to them? And remember, safety doesn’t just include chemicals. Be sure to scope out other potential hazards such as sticks, toxic flowers and plants, moldy leaves or mulch, and damaged fences that could cause your pet harm.
5. Get Pampered
Who doesn’t love a good pampering every now and then? This year, focus on taking your pet in for a good grooming. Regular grooming--bathing, nail clipping, brushing of the hair and teeth, and parasite control--is a wonderful way to keep your dog looking and feeling great. Be sure to see your veterinarian if you notice any skin or coat problems on your pet that aren’t resolved with grooming, as there could be an underlying medical condition affecting the skin, coat, or toenails.
6. Learn Something New
Training a dog can be challenging--but it’s an important step that must be taken to prepare your fur-baby for living in a human world. Some of the pressure can be taken off, however, by participating alongside your pet in classes led by a professional.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, consider attending obedience and agility classes. Classes such as these cover a variety of needs such as basic obedience, good manners, setting clear boundaries, dangerous animal avoidance, first aid, learning tricks and much more.
Attending classes together also gives you the chance to socialize with others and make new friends. This is especially important if you want to raise a dog that’s both happy and comfortable when faced with new people and surroundings.
Any class you take is a positive step toward strengthening the communication and bond you and your pet share--and learning together can be a lot of fun! The more you both learn, the more confident you’ll become--you in your pet knowledge and your pooch in his ability to navigate through the world around him.
7. Give More Love and Attention
This is probably one of the most important resolutions of all. It’s no secret that life keeps us busy--but it’s important that pet owners take time to show their pet that they care. This year, give your pet as much love and attention as you can.
Carving time out of your busy human schedule so you can focus on your pet, is a simple and effective way you can nourish the love and bond you two share. Even an extra ten minutes out of your day to spend time playing with your pet can make a huge difference in their happiness--and yours.
Originally published November 2017. Revised December 2018.