Many people like to start a new year with a clean slate, coming up with resolutions that can improve their health, relationships and life. It is widely viewed as a time to consider changing one’s routine and to set goals for the future. In many cases, New Year’s resolutions can discipline an individual to work hard at making these changes, which can then result in lasting benefits. That said, humans are not the only ones who can benefit from making, and keeping, New Year’s resolutions. Pets can also benefit from a change in their routine, especially when one considers that more than fifty percent of all household pets in the United States are classified as overweight. To that end, following are the top five New Year’s resolutions you can make, and help keep, for your pet:
1. Always measure your pet’s food. Unlike humans, few pets are able to adequately control their eating habits and walk away when they are full. And while some animals do seem to be able to walk away from a full dish after eating only a little from it, the fact is that they often return to it throughout the day and end up eating more as a result. Most pet owners simply eyeball their pet’s daily food intake, but each pet actually has an exact amount of recommended food intake for their size and weight. The recommended feeding guidelines on most pet food bags are a good starting point, but you should also consult with your pet’s veterinarian in order to determine what food intake level and frequency is best for your pet.
2. Feed your pet an age-appropriate diet. Growing pets have very different nutritional needs from adult and senior pets, and older pets may need specific nutrient additives that help to support their aging body. Your veterinarian can help you select an age-appropriate diet that will be most beneficial to your pet.
3. Undertake a new activity with your pet. Regular exercise is important to your pet’s overall health and well-being, and changing up the routine can be interesting and stimulating for both you and your pet. Pet exercise routines and activities can vary widely, from doga to hiking, running to kayaking and much, much more. These activities will also provide an opportunity for you to enjoy the outdoors while bonding with your pet.
4. Take your pet to the veterinarian. Preventative care is far less expensive, time consuming or worrisome than emergency care. Many debilitating medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis, obesity and others can be detected and resolved early on, but only if your pet is being seen by a veterinarian on a regular, at least yearly basis. Your pet’s veterinarian can also answer any and all questions you may have about your pet’s health, exercise routine, behavior, diet and much more. You may not always agree with the veterinarian’s recommendations and suggestions, but they may also provide valuable information that allow you to make wiser choices for your pet’s health and well-being.
5. Groom your pet every day. Whether your pet is large or small and long or short-haired, daily grooming can be highly beneficial in many ways. Regular brushing removes excess loose fur from their coat, which can reduce shedding on clothes and furniture. Regular brushing also helps move healthy oils from your pet’s skin to their fur, which helps to keep their coat shiny and healthy. Grooming is also a wonderful bonding activity which can be soothing and relaxing for you both.
Your pet relies upon you entirely for their every need and desire. They can benefit greatly from some healthful New Year’s resolutions, which you can aid them in setting and keeping.