Resolutions for the New Year

Dec 30, 2017

Have a Happy new year!
Credit Ferlinka Borzoi (Deb West) [Flickr]

The end of every year gives us a chance to consider what went right or wrong in the past, and how we might do better for ourselves and our furry companions going forward.  It's a great opportunity to hit the reset button and try to make the coming year a better one for all!

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As this year comes to an end, lots of folks are looking forward to a new year, a clean slate – and they’re making those New Year’s resolutions. You know the ones – eat healthier, lose weight, exercise more.

But what about your pet? You could make a list of resolutions for your furry buddy: take it to the veterinarian at least once a year, groom it regularly, don’t let it run loose, and have it neutered or spayed if you haven’t done that already. But what resolutions do you think your pet might make for the New Year?

Your pet might resolve to eat less and get more exercise. After all, just as human obesity is on the rise in this country, so is pet obesity. I saw a sign recently that said, “if your dog is too fat, you’re not getting enough exercise.” You can help your best friend slim down by reducing the amount you feed and making sure you take your dog for a walk or play with your cat more often.

Another resolution your pet might make is not to beg so much. One of the things we inadvertently teach our pets is to annoy us by begging during mealtimes. We do that by slipping them little tidbits – it pleases us to share what we are enjoying with our best friends. It’s hard to break the habit, but resist those sad, hungry-looking eyes and don’t feed your pet while you are eating. It will make for a better companion and maybe a slimmer one, too.

For the New Year, your pet might resolve to stay off the furniture – no more lounging on the sofa, or snuggling in the bed covers. I know some owners don’t object to animals on the furniture, but others do. This is partly a matter of training and partly a matter of offering an alternative that’s comfy.

Have you noticed that all these resolutions require human participation? This year, make a new year’s resolution to be a better pet owner. Help your four-footed friend to eat healthier, exercise more and well, just be a better pet.

And if you’re a pet lover, make a spectacular new year’s resolution to visit your local animal shelter and adopt a homeless dog or cat. You can make it a great, life-changing year for both of you, when you’re speaking of pets.

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