With the start of the new year, most of us are thinking about our own resolutions for the New Year. Many of us make resolutions with the best of intentions, but we all know how that goes. Sometimes, it seems like we take better care of our pets than ourselves so making a New Year's resolution with your pet may increase the likelihood of following through. Here are a few suggestions to start you and your pet’s New Year off right:
Exercise your pet daily
Exercise is a great way to keep your pet active and healthy and help with weight control. And it helps you get those extra steps in! Resolve to taking a daily walk with your dog around the neighborhood and playing with your cat around the house. Exercise is always more fun when you do it with a friend – especially a four-legged pal!
If your pet is a little chubby, resolve to start using a standard measuring cup to consistently control calorie intake. While it’s just as much fun for you as it is for your furry friend, treats should only be given in moderation. Most vets recommend moderation with treats be less than 10% of your pet’s total daily calories
Resolve to brush your cat or dog every day. Doing so will remove excess hair helping to keep it off you and your furniture. It will also stimulate skin blood flow and distribute natural oils making a hair coat look shinier and healthier. If you are already brushing your pet’s hair regularly, try to add in brushing their teeth. Ninety percent of pets over three years of age have some degree of periodontal disease. Daily brushing can help reduce tartar and dental disease and increases overall health. Routine brushing can increase the time between necessary dental cleanings which require anesthesia and may prevent loss of your pet’s teeth as they get older.
Go back to school
If you find it difficult to carve out free time with your pet on your own, consider a more structured environment. Take or retake the training or obedience class with your pet. A refresher course for both of you will help reinforce and maintain good behavior.
Start a pet fund
As your pets get older their medical needs may increase significantly. Resolve to start a pet fund now and direct deposit money into it every month. If you start when your pet is young, you will have a nice nest egg later. You will be able to continue making good medical choices without needing to worry about financial constraints.
Get pet identification
If your pet does not have proper identification or needs updated identification because you have moved, get it now. ID tags can be made simply at many pet stores. You may also wish to consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip.
It is never too soon, and always too late, to start a pet photo album. As our pets become seniors or after they have passed, we regret not having more pictures to remember them by. Start now to create a pet photo album so you can have a lifetime of memories to look at and share.
Wishing you and your 4-legged family members a safe and Happy New Year!