New Year’s Resolutions for You + Your Pet

New Year, new you and your pet! New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for humans. The new year is an excellent time to recharge and reevaluate goals for yourself and your furbaby. We’ve got some great ideas to work on throughout the new year!

Make Dietary Adjustments

While your pet might not need to try a fad diet, it could be time to make dietary adjustments. Cut down on treats and make it a habit to skip the table scraps. Consider incorporating more natural ingredients into their meals. Reevaluate your furbaby’s dietary needs based on their age, weight, health conditions, and activity level. As always, consult your veterinarian before making changes to your furbaby’s diet.

Exercise More

The holidays can be exhausting, and it can be difficult to keep your spirits up after the hustle and bustle of the season. Get outdoors with your furbaby! Play a game of fetch or take a long walk. Exercise benefits the body and mind in both humans and animals. Pets that do not get enough exercise can suffer from behavioral problems, including separation anxiety and/or destructive behavior. It’s important to keep active, especially during a pandemic.

Schedule Appointments

Schedule your pet’s annual exam. Plan a dental hygiene check-up. Reserve your furbaby’s grooming appointments for the year. While you’re at it, remember to update all of your furbaby’s identification and microchip information. Keeping on top of these tasks helps them seem less daunting. This can help catch any potential health issues, keep your pets safe, and keeps you organized. Most importantly, it means your pet’s health and well-being is the best it can be.

Schedule Play Dates

COVID-19 has made socializing difficult for humans and animals alike. This year, make a commitment to socialize your furbaby in a safe and positive setting while practicing social distance. Sign up for a training class – in a group or one-on-one. Dogs and cats need to experience different people, as well as different situations. Go on walks or hikes in a small group. Try out the local dog park, or schedule doggy daycamp sessions. Even a short overnight stay can help keep your furbaby well-rounded. Proper socialization helps decrease your pet’s stress levels while improving their social skills and confidence. However, if your furbaby doesn’t enjoy these situations, that’s okay. Some pets, like people, prefer to be alone. Don’t force socialization.

Learn Something New

Learn a new trick. Play more games. Teach your pet commands in a different language. Take time out of your schedule to understand your pet’s language, as well. These things strengthen the bond between you and your furbaby, while providing them with mental and physical stimulation.

Clean Up

When was the last time you washed your furbaby’s favorite blanket or toy? How about their collar, leash, or feeding bowls? Cleaning your furbaby’s belongings fights bacteria, which can cause skin irritations and gastrointestinal issues. Make a resolution to clean your pet’s bedding, leashes, and collars once a month; clean water and food bowls several times each week. Clean out your pet’s belongings as well. Toss any worn or broken toys, bedding, and bowls that could be potentially hazardous. The new year is also an excellent time to donate any new or gently used items – such as toys, bowls, bedding, and food – to your local pet shelter.

Relax and Recharge

There’s nothing wrong with a little rest and relaxation. Read your favorite book with your furbaby. Practice yoga and meditation, with or without your pets. Take a pet painting class. Or just curl up on the couch and binge-watch a few shows together. There’s no need to feel guilty or lazy – resting is a crucial part of mental health. Besides, our furbabies do it all the time. Cuddling and resting with our furbabies floods our brains – and theirs – with positive energy and endorphins.