You know how it goes this time of year, everyone's starting their new year's resolutions, or maybe even abandoning them by now. Common ones include trying to get back on track with your health, trying new things, saving money, etc. But what about your four-legged family members? Have you ever thought about setting some resolutions for them? How about with them? There’s no time like the present to start How many of these can you embrace?
Resolution 1: Exercise
As with humans, our canine and feline friends also need exercise. The best part is that often you can do this together which may fulfill resolutions for both of you! Go for daily walks with your dogs, race your cat up and down the stairs until you’re both tired, visit the park more than once in a blue moon, or find a new game you can play together around the house (even if it’s just fetch). Did Santa bring them a new toy? Put it to good use.
Resolution 2: Training
Teaching your animal new tricks or commands not only helps them both mentally and physically, but it also enhances your bond. Using affection as a reward for your dog or cat (yes, cats can learn too!) as they master whatever trick you’re trying to teach them, deepens your bond with one another. So not only are you gaining some control over your pet which can give you both confidence, you are enhancing both your lives with a deeper connection.
Resolution 3: Grooming
Regularly grooming your dog or cat helps reduce some of the hair floating around the house (and on your clothes!), and it helps them maintain their healthy coats. It’s also another way for you to bond with your furbaby and show them just how much you love them by taking care of them. Daily grooming is great but even short weekly grooming sessions between you and your pet will be beneficial for you both in the long run. Plus handling them in this way can desensitize them for when they go to the professional grooming or need medical care.
Resolution 4: Vet Appointments
A healthy pet is a happy pet. Taking them for annual exams can help increase their lifespans and overall sense of happiness. Visiting the vet at least once a year can go a long way to avoiding potential life-threatening problems and even greater medical expenses. Annual vaccinations are needed to kennel your pet or to protect them from communicable diseases.
Resolution 5: Travel
Don’t you love getting out of the house for a long weekend or getaway to a new city that you’ve never explored before? So does your pet! Even if it’s just a trip to a new local park or a ride in the car to pick up dinner, our fur babies like to explore new things just like we do. Be sure that it is not harmful if they like to put their head out the window. Wind from high speeds and cold can damage their eyes and ears.
Resolution 6: Philanthropy
Do you have a dog or cat that’s especially friendly and well-behaved? Take them to a senior center and allow the residents there to get some play time with yours! This will surely be the highlight of their week (they undoubtedly miss their own furry companions). Donate or volunteer at a rescue or local shelter (check with them first to find out what they need most). Foster a dog or cat that is looking for its forever home and needs a temporary home to relax in. There are limitless ways that you and your furbaby can give back!
So what are you going to commit to trying? New year—new fur kid—new you! Tell me what you’re choosing to do and we can be accountability buddies! Send me a note or a photo when you do it!
P.S. I’m publicly committing to brushing each of the kids twice/week. They lean into me so they must love it but somehow I almost never make the time.