Welcome to 2021!
This time of year, many people make New Year’s resolutions for themselves, their families, and their businesses. But they often forget an important part of their lives: their pets.
If you want your pet to get happier and healthier along with you, set some goals for them, too! As you’ll see, these are easy to work into your own goals for the year so you can do them together.
1. Lose Weight
It’s estimated that over one-third of pets in the US are overweight. There are a number of health concerns that are associated with obesity in pets, so if your veterinarian recommends your pet shed a few pounds, now is the time to commit to making that happen.
Whether your pet needs to lose weight or you want to simply make sure they stay in shape, there are two parts to this equation. Let’s quickly look at them.
“You are what you eat.” This saying applies to pets as much as it does humans. Make sure you’re feeding your pets a high-quality diet to ensure they’re getting the most out of every bite. If you are looking for a new food brand, we recommend Purina, Royal Canin and Hill’s.
You also need to make sure you’re feeding the right amount, so check the food bag for feeding recommendations or ask us to do a calorie count for you to ensure you aren’t feeding too much. When determining the right amount to feed it is important to factor in treats. People are always surprised with how many calories certain treats have. Baby carrots and rice cakes are a great low calorie treat option.
As with humans, exercise is the other part of losing weight. Animals were built to roam for miles every day and work for their food so they often gain weight while sitting around at home having all of their meals served to them in dishes.
Take your dog for a walk or let them make new friends at the dog park for some great exercise.
Cats, too, can be exercised by providing climbing spaces and using a variety of cat toys to engage their hunting instincts.
2. Learn Something New
You can teach an old dog new tricks and you can teach cats tricks, too!
Teaching your pets basic commands can help keep them safe. More difficult tricks will help stimulate your pet mentally and physically. Besides that, it will strengthen your bond with them.
3. Start a New Hobby
Speaking of the human-animal bond, what better way to improve your relationship with your pets than to find something fun that you both can enjoy?
Many dogs love learning to run agility courses or competing in flyball competitions.
If active sports aren’t your thing, why not consider making your pet a YouTube or TikTok star by making fun videos with them? Just be sure your pet is enjoying this time, too.
Take a look at everything you’ve gotten for your pets over the years and consider what they are actually using and what is just taking up space in your home.
Donate old toys, beds, and pet accessories to your local shelter. This makes you feel good, gives these items a new home where they’ll be appreciated, and makes room in your home.
Another option is to start rotating your pets’ toys. Rather than get rid of all of them, put most of them away and only keep out a few at a time. Then, when they seem to lose interest in those, bring out something from storage.
5. Get Healthy
Although we already went over losing weight as part of helping your pets stay healthy, there are some other things you can do for your pet to help ensure they’re healthier than ever this year.
The only way to ensure your pets are at their healthiest is to get them checked by a veterinarian at least once a year. This is a great way to catch health issues while they are minor and gives you the chance to ask any questions you have about your pet’s health.
One thing to do while at your annual check-up is to get flea, tick, and heartworm preventative for your pet. Although many people think they only need this in the summer, we recommend keeping your pet on it all year round.
Every year we have winter days that are in the 40s and even 50s which means fleas and ticks can become active and bite your pet. We have all also had that pesky mosquito in our homes during the winter months that keeps appearing despite the cold weather. It is better for your pet’s health and more cost effective to prevent exposure then to treat infestations and disease.
Last but certainly not least, you should have your pet’s teeth cleaned on an annual basis. Because most pet owners don’t regularly brush their pets’ teeth, this is even more important than your annual dental cleaning.
Dental diseases and mouth infections can easily get into the bloodstream and cause other serious problems, so be sure to stay on top of this to maintain your pets’ health.
Now you have a few goals you can make for 2021 that will help you and your pet be happier and healthier!