New Year Resolutions

If you’ve sat down to make your resolutions for the New Year, you ought to include your pet as well. There are things you can do to make the coming year a good one for both you and your pet.

  • Get more exercise. This is a fairly easy one if you own a dog. Going for a walk? Take your canine friend with you! Dogs benefit from regular exercise just as much as people do. Have a cat? There are several things you can do to help exercise your kitty.  Cat fishing poles with toys on the end can get your cat up and moving, as well as balls that they can bat around. Perhaps your cat would like a new cat tree to run up and down.  Cats are harder to exercise than dogs, but it can be done.
  • Regular checkups. Just as it’s a good idea to see your doctor once a year for a physical exam, it’s a good idea for your pet to get an annual checkup as well.  The sooner a medical issue is diagnosed, the more likely it can be treated successfully. Also be sure to stay up to date on your pet’s vaccinations, heartworm tests and stool checks.
  • Flea prevention starts now.  Flea infestations tend to be seen more in the warm summer months, starting monthly flea treatments now can help prevent having a problem this summer.
  • If you’ve added a new puppy or kitten to your family this year, resolve to make sure you have them spayed or neutered when they’re six months old. You’ll be helping to prevent medical and behavioral issues that can arise in unaltered pets and also help prevent more homeless animals in the future.
  • Feed a quality diet. While the initial cost may seem to be more, high quality diets can help lead to healthier pets.  Also, you often need to feed your pet a smaller amount of food than you would if they ate a lower quality diet to get the same level of nutrition, which can make the higher quality food cheaper in the long run. Also less food eaten daily means less to clean up in the litter box or in the yard!
  • Good grooming. If you have a long haired dog or cat, resolving to make sure you keep it brushed out or taken to the groomer on a regular basis will make its life a lot easier than waiting till it’s full of mats to be cut out. If you have a bird or rabbit, make sure you keep their nails properly trimmed.
  • A clean home with room to run. Birds and small animals often spend most of their time in some type of cage. Make sure you set a regular cleaning schedule for it and if needed, perhaps this is the year that they move up to larger accommodations.
  • Good dental care. Pets need dental care just as much as people do, perhaps even more since they don’t brush every day. If your pet’s teeth need cleaned, but you’ve been putting it off, resolve to have it done this year.  Not only can poor dental hygiene cause your pet to have teeth and gum issues, bacteria from your pet’s mouth can enter its bloodstream and attack other major organs.

Resolving to make 2012 a happy and healthy year for the pets in our lives will help make our year a better one as well!

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