A New Year is upon us – a year with 365 blank pages for you to fill. Out with the old, in with the new … as the saying goes! The New Year is the perfect time for setting goals and starting afresh. And while setting goals for ourselves such as losing weight, getting more exercise or eating less processed food are all worthy ambitions, our pets are often overlooked in our New Year resolutions. And with the love and joy that they bring us every day, we believe that the health and happiness of our furry friends should be among our top priorities for the New Year ahead. There are many ways that we can improve the lives of our cats and dogs and the New Year is a great time to get started. Here are just some ideas from the HomeoPet team… Which of these resolutions will you be making for the sake of your pet? Let us know in the comments below
Resolution #1 Measure your pet’s food…. every time!
As with us humans, it’s all too easy for a pet’s weight to gradually creep up over time. An estimated 59% of Cats and 54% of Dogs in the US are classified as overweight or obese and over 60% of UK vets say obesity is the biggest pet health and welfare concern. Consequently, tackling your pet’s bulging waistline should be a number one goal for the New Year ahead, according to Tom Farrington MVB MRCVS VetMFHom – Chief Veterinary Medical Advisor for HomeoPet. Measuring your pet’s food accurately is the first step to take to prevent overfeeding. Make sure you read the instructions on your pet food carefully and accurately measure your pet’s daily allowance.
Resolution #2 Get more exercise
When it comes to health and weight control, diet is only part of this equation and in order to maintain (or lose) weight, an increase in activity is also necessary in order to meet these goals.
Resolution #3 Try a new activity
They say that one of the most important factors in successfully achieving a goal of getting more exercise is to find something you love doing. And this is also true of our pets! So why not try a new activity with your dog? From doga to hiking, bikejoring to kayaking, it’s easier than ever for you to incorporate your dog into a new exercise routine. You’ll both have great fun and achieve your goal of getting more exercise too!
Resolution #4 Incorporate more playtime
While taking your cat hiking isn’t a practical approach to upping the step count of our feline friends, incorporating more playtime definitely is! Cats love the thrill of chasing a laser toy and toys that trigger a cat’s predatory instinct are a great way to get them off the couch and engaged in a little aerobic activity. It’s great fun watching our kitties play and pounce and if you’re a dab hand with a smart phone, you could end up videoing the next YouTube sensation!
Resolution #5 Schedule a check-up with your vet
Have your veterinarian examine your pet at least once a year to make sure he or she is healthy and to help detect any potential problems early.
Resolution #6 Update your pet’s ID info
Maybe you’ve recently moved to a new house, changed your phone number or maybe your pet has lost their ID tag? Now is the time to ensure that your pet as an up to date tag and microchip information. It’s the best way to ensure a lost pet makes their way safely home.
Resolution #7 Clear out old toys
Just as we need to clear out our clutter from time to time, we sometimes need to do the exact same thing for our pets. Take a fresh look at your pet’s toy collection and stop holding on to old, tatty, and often germ-infested pet toys. Now’s the perfect time to do a good clear out and to give your pet something fun and new to play with. Out with the old, in with the new!
Resolution #8 Grooming time
Not only does grooming your pet remove excess fur from the coat and so reduce the amount you find on your clothes and furniture, it also helps to distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy. But that’s not all… the vast majority of pets love to be groomed and it’s a bonding activity that demonstrates to your pet how much you love them by taking care of them in a very soothing manner. Go on… schedule in some daily grooming time for the New Year ahead.
Resolution #9 Create a Safe, Happy Home and Garden for Your Dog
Since our pets spend most time at home or in the garden, we should do our best to build them safe, entertaining places to rest and play. Make sure all potentially harmful substances (such as cleaning products and medications) are kept in cabinets that your pet cannot easily reach and access. And why not consider introducing some pet-friendly home creations to help keep your home clean and tidy as well as introducing some fabulous hidey places and vertical territory for your pets to enjoy and explore?
Resolution #10 Seek more natural ways to support your pet’s health.
Just as is the case for us humans, a more holistic and natural approach to caring for your pets is becoming ever more beneficial in today’s modern society. ‘Integrated’ health care for pets can combine the best of conventional Veterinary medicine – including diagnostics like blood tests and x-rays, pharmaceuticals and surgery – alongside diet and nutrition, supplements, herbal and homeopathic formulas, physiotherapy and acupressure and acupuncture. All of which can contribute to us achieving our ultimate goal of improving our loyal companions’ quality of life. Why not schedule a chat with a natural health care practitioner to see how a more natural approach to your pet’s health care could benefit them this year… and for every year in the future?
With our furry friends being such an important part of our lives, the New Year is a great time to commit to making their health and well-being an even bigger priority. What will your New Year’s resolution be? Let us know in the comments below.