If you’re anything like me, by the time January is coming to a close, it’s a good time to gauge how I’m doing on my New Year’s Resolutions. While I was revisiting my own resolutions, I also decided to start a new tradition that you may want to join in: New Year’s resolutions for our pets!
I’ll start you out with four New Year’s resolutions that you can make for your pet, and, ironically, you may find them very close to those you used to (or still) try to keep for yourself!
• Exercise more: Your dog deserves a walk every single day, and some high-energy dogs could really use more than one a day. Walking your pet benefits your exercise goals, too! In addition, try to build some extra play time into each day. If that is simply not possible (we are all busy, after all!) consider dedicating time on the weekends to go to the dog park or somewhere else your dog thinks is fun (the lake, the beach, etc).
• Watch that diet: If your pet is overweight, there’s no time like the present to get started on a new diet plan. Consult your veterinarian for suggestions. If your pet is already at a healthy weight, continue feeding a high quality diet and high quality snacks.
• Focus on health: We all want to be as healthy as we can be, and diet and exercise are a good start. Maintain your pet’s heartworm prevention and be diligent about flea and tick control, especially in the spring when the weather starts warming up in those cold areas. Make and keep annual appointments for your pet, and talk to your veterinarian about which vaccines your pet needs. Remember that older pets really should see their doctor twice a year.
• Help others: This is a great time to set a goal to help pets other than your own. There are so many unwanted and abandoned pets in our country, and shelters are bursting at the seams. Consider fostering a pet if there’s room in your house. Some dogs just need to “buy some time” in a foster home until they find their forever homes. Pets that are presented to full shelters may be euthanized due to lack of space if they can’t find foster homes. If there isn’t room in your house for another pet, consider donating time, money or goods to a shelter. Contact your local shelter to see what they need the most.
With just a little attention (and maybe some frequent checking-in!), you can make 2012 a great year for your whole family!