The new year has arrived and many of us are thinking of making some changes to better our lives. Why not get a list going for your pets too? We want to give our pups the best lives we can, so now is the time to take an inventory of what they may need to get them there. Below are some common resolutions that are not only good goals for us humans, but for our precious pets too!
This one is usually the top of the list for most people when the new year rolls around. It can also be true for our pets. A good place to start when assessing your pet’s health is with your veterinarian. They can not only accurately weigh your pet but they can discuss what and how much you’re feeding them daily. It’s always good to do this at least once per year; as pets grow their needs can change. How much you fed your one year old pup may change once he reaches three or four. It can be a little surprising to realize they don’t need as much food as you’re actually giving them and minor adjustments go a long way toward building their health.
CHOOSE HEALTHIER FOODS
Tying in with the resolution to lose weight, we often start out the new year with the goal to eat less processed foods and go for fresh fruits and veggies. This is another good goal for your pet, especially rabbits and guinea pigs who should have a diet that doesn’t solely rely on pellets for nutrition. Dogs love fruits and veggies too. As with any dietary changes, you’ll need to double check to make sure the food is appropriate for your pet. Be extra careful not to make the mistake of feeding your pet something that can cause illness or damage their health over the long term. You’ll need to make sure you’re giving your pet a well balanced diet, so this is another conversation that you should have with your veterinarian.
GET MORE EXERCISE
In line with the first two resolutions, the best way to get fit and healthy is to get moving! It’s not always watching your diet that helps get you into shape, you need some form of daily exercise routine. The same is true of your pets. Not only do dogs benefit physically from getting up and moving, but it’s also beneficial for them mentally. Make sure your pup gets that walk in every day. You can introduce jogging, or join a reputable doggy daycare where they not only get to run but they have the opportunity to make some new friends. And of course, when you find yourself short on time or working long days, there’s always the loving staff at La Pawtite to help get your pup up and about.
SPEND MORE TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
As the busy days pass by, we find ourselves wishing at the end of the year that we had made more time to spend with the ones we love, and that goes for pets too! Pets love us and want to spend time with us. Make some time to cuddle with your pet. Tell them everyday that you love them. Make them a special dinner once in a while, something they don’t usually get. Stop and give them kisses before rushing out the door for work.
Many pets (especially dogs) like to socialize with each other. If they don’t have many doggie friends, maybe this year you could focus on getting them out more and meeting a few new faces. Check out the local dog parks and doggie daycares in your area. Ask a friend or neighbor to set up a playdate with their pups. If you’re both looking to make new friends, try looking at the many doggie groups at MeetUp.com. Pet parents get to talk to each other about a common interest and your pup gets to meet new people and dogs.
HAVE MORE FUN
Sometimes staying home and vegging out is exactly what we need to do, but too much of that can cause us to miss out on opportunities to try new things. Just as we need novelty in our lives every once in a while, so do our pets. Keep toys in good rotation or bring home a new one every so often. Try a game of fetch with a ball launcher, or use a flirt-pole for an easy game of chase. There are also tons of toys available for both cats and dogs that challenges them to find treats by solving the puzzle.
When you plan your next activity or trip, think if it’s something your pet would like to do as well. Take them hiking, go for a beach trip, or try a different park for a long weekend walk.
This can also be a good chance to try some new training activities. Maybe your inquisitive dog could use a class in nose work to follow their detection instincts, or that pup who is always jumping on everything can get some agility training in.
This is the time of year that really gets us thinking about the kind of lives we want for ourselves. Just remember that you have a furry family member that depends on you to ensure a good life for them as well. Make sure to include them in your goals for the upcoming new year!