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10 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners

Jan 25, 2017


Have you made New Year’s resolutions for yourself? Most of us make promises to eat better, exercise more, or spend more time with loved ones. These are all great goals to have for a better you, but what about our pets? They can’t make any resolutions on their own, so we encourage you to set a few for your cat or dog. 

Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions that will benefit your pet’s health and mental wellbeing. 

  1. Brush their teeth regularly 
    With Pet Dental Month coming up in February, this is a great time to start brushing your pet’s teeth. Pets should have their teeth brushed daily to prevent periodontal disease. Use only toothpaste created specifically for pets. Toothpastes made for humans can contain ingredients toxic to pets. Here are tips on how to brush your pet’s teeth. 

  2. Go on daily walks
    January is Walk Your Dog Month, which is perfect for kicking off a healthy routine of daily walking for you and your pet. More than short bursts of activity here and there, a daily routine of walking for at least 15–30 minutes has great benefits for your pet’s health. Walking time may vary based on your dog’s breed, age, and weight. Check with your veterinarian to see what is best for your dog. Walking can improve your dog’s physical health, behavior, and socialization skills. Check out our blog post on the benefits of walking your dog for more information.
  3. Spend more time together
    Our pets provide us with companionship and love. Make a resolution that we will spend more time with our pets this year. Whether that’s playtime playing fetch or just lounging together in bed, they are sure to love the extra TLC.

  4. Take care of grooming needs promptly
    Feeling fresh and clean is something we can all appreciate. Feeling grimy and unkempt can affect our mood, and our pets are the same. Let’s make a promise to our pets that we will groom them regularly to keep them feeling and looking great. This includes regular bathing, brushing and trimming fur, and cutting nails as needed.
  5. Feed your pet a healthy diet
    Quality food along with the proper amount plays a big role in the health of your pet. There is a growing problem of pet obesity in the United States. Exercise and a healthy diet can help your pet maintain an appropriate weight. Talk to your primary care veterinarian about what types and quantities of food are right for your pet.
  6. Maintain a clean and safe environment at home
    Many times our homes can contain unintentional hazards for our pets. For example, tobacco smoke, which settles onto furniture and carpets, is inhaled by our pets and adheres to their fur. This is known as third-hand smoke. Research shows that second-hand and third-hand tobacco smoke can lead to cancer in pets. Dust can also trigger allergies in pets causing itchy paws and body. Vacuuming often and investing in a purifier can create a cleaner environment. Additionally, be aware of the plants that you keep inside your home and in your yard. Some plants can be toxic to pets when ingested. You can see a list of toxic and non-toxic plants here.
  7. Make an annual wellness visit to your primary care veterinarian
    Preventative care is essential for our health, and our pets are no different. Pets are unable to tell us when they aren’t feeling 100 percent. Additionally, they age faster than humans do, making it all the more crucial they are seen by a veterinarian every year.

  8. Enroll in pet insurance or set up an emergency fund
    As pets age, they will inevitably need more medical attention. Cover your pet with pet insurance now to help you pay for veterinary bills such as surgery, medication, emergencies, and even wellness visits. Many pet insurance plans cover veterinary costs at 80%–90%. If pet insurance isn’t an option, create a separate savings account dedicated to your pet’s health needs by setting aside a few dollars every month to make sure they get the best possible care.

    For more information on pet insurance, check out our “Pet Insurance: Why you need it and what to consider” blog post.
  9. Find a new hobby/activity you both enjoy
    Embark on a new adventure with your pet. Relationships morph and grow as we age. A pet that used to be your child’s play friend can now also be a beloved companion.

    Try a new outdoor activity such as hiking or swimming. Perhaps your pet will surprise you with his or her love for water! Try out agility class together. Teach your cat how to walk on a leash. Or tap into your crafty side and learn to make cathouses out of cardboard boxes.
    You can also learn to give your dog a massage! This little pup sure looks as if he’s enjoying himself:

    Make sure to check with your primary care veterinarian to see whether a new activity will be appropriate for your pet.
  10. Create a bucket list for the year
    Create a mini bucket list for the year. Common ideas include having a formal photoshoot, visiting a dog beach, or entering a costume contest. It can even be as simple as creating a paw print mold. Have fun creating new memories!

These resolutions will strengthen the bond you have with your pet and improve health and wellness along the way. 

Category: Pet Health Tips