The new year is a natural time to examine your life and set some goals for the next 12 months. Instead of focusing only on yourself, consider setting some resolutions for the fur child (or children) in your life! Here are 11 ideas for New Year’s resolutions that you can set for yourself and your pet:
Maintain a healthy weight.
It’s easy to accidentally give your pet a little too much food each day, and over time this can easily add up. Plus pets are (usually) smaller than humans, so just a couple of extra pounds can actually be a significant percentage of their overall body weight. In the new year, measure out their food every time you feed them and keep an eye on their weight to make sure they’re not packing on the pounds.
Support their health naturally.
Many humans take a vitamin or supplement because it’s beneficial to their health, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your pet? For example, collagen chews for dogs can help support joint health. Check the ingredient list for your pet’s food and talk to your veterinarian to see if there are any vitamins and minerals that your pet would benefit from receiving in supplement form. Make sure to choose a type of supplement that your pet will actually eat (i.e., a chew, a paste, etc.).
Stay hydrated together.
Drinking enough water is one of the best things you can do for your health, whether you’re a human, dog, or cat. Make it a point to refresh your pet’s water bowl every day, and check on it throughout the day so you can refill it if necessary. While you’re at, get yourself a dedicated water bottle so you can stay hydrated together.
Start a pet saving account.
Having a pet is already expensive, and a sudden medical emergency can easily cost you thousands of dollars in treatment. This year, start putting aside some money every month so you can have a nest egg ready in case your pet does get sick or hurt. Some people also choose to invest in pet insurance, but you may find it more economical to simply put some savings in an account instead.
Take care of their teeth.
Just like with humans, preventive dental care is much less expensive in the long run than dealing with a dental emergency caused by years of neglect. Your vet should examine your pet’s teeth as part of their regular check-up. They can provide guidance as to whether their teeth need to be professionally cleaned. Regularly giving your pets dental chews and bully sticks for dogs in between check-ups will also promote good oral health.
Stay on top of doctor visits.
Speaking of the vet, if your pet hasn’t been in for a while, then make that the first thing on your to-do list for the new year — and schedule a check-up for yourself while you’re at it. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — and this is true for your pets as well as yourself. Purchasing pet health insurance that includes preventative care can help you absorb the cost of regular vet checkups.
Renew their training.
As your pets get older, it’s easy to slack off on training them or to just give up on anything that hasn’t stuck. This year, rededicate yourself to teaching your pet a new trick or finally working on that one skill that has eluded you so far. This will allow you all to spend more time and improve your quality of life together in the long run.
Reduce your stress.
Pets can pick up on human emotions, so it’s highly likely that your stress is also stressing out your fur child. Dogs and cats can also experience anxiety due to factors such as loud noises and sudden changes in their environments. This year, take steps to alleviate your pet’s anxiety by removing stressors and doing activities together that will help calm them down, such as playing with a beloved toy.
Some pets, especially dogs, benefit from lots of outdoor time. In the new year, resolve to spend more time outside with them, whether that’s just walking them around the neighborhood or taking them to a new dog park each week. More exercise will also help tire your pet out, which can reduce restlessness and help cut down on accidents (such as chewing) that are caused by boredom.
Do special activities together.
You do special activities, such as eating out at restaurants, with friends and family, so why not do something similar with your beloved pet? Try to think of some things that your pet might enjoy. It can be as simple as cuddling on the couch while watching TV, or something more involved like attending a doggie playgroup meetup. Having a regular “date night” with your pet will bring you closer together than ever.
Update their toy collection.
Go out with the old and in with the new as the calendar turns over. Sort through your pet’s toy collection and throw out or give away any toys they have lost interest in or that are too destroyed for them to play with anymore. Restock their collection with gifts for dogs and cats such as puzzle toys filled with rewards. These toys will keep them engaged mentally and entertain them at the same time.
If none of these resolutions resonate exactly with you, then don’t be afraid to tweak them to make them more relevant to you and your pet. After all, the best resolutions are specific and offer a concrete goal that you can strive for together. We wish you and your pets all the best in the coming year and good luck with your resolutions!