2022 New Year’s Resolutions – Again!

Out with the old and in with the new! Are you ready? This year let’s focus on healthy pet resolutions (they will help humans too). Most of us are ready for renewed hope in 2022! Of course, for us people, just having a pet in our home is a great start since we know many of the health benefits. Studies show that pets lower our blood pressure, make us happier, and keep us moving. Let’s build on that!

A healthy weight is as important for your pet as for us. Leaner is healthier. So let’s measure our pet’s food every time we feed them. It’s easy to eyeball the amount and pour it into their bowl, but that often leads to a slow weight gain creep. Also, check your buddy’s food to be sure it’s healthy. The first ingredient should be meat. As they age, they will most likely need a diet change: fewer calories and perhaps not as much protein.

Be sure you have a first aid kit in your home (for pets and people); check it this month to be sure it’s well-stocked. There are a lot of websites that sell complete first aid kits or have a checklist of what to include; this is a good place to start. We suggest adding an index card with your vet’s phone number, the number of your local ER vet, and the phone number for poison control.

Add some pet-friendly touches to your home if you don’t already have them. Maybe it’s a cat tree/condo for Fluffy or a second litter box. Fido might enjoy a new or second bed, and you can play some calming music or white noise at bedtime for him (or when you go out). Both Fluffy and Fido would love a new toy, especially if you play with them for a few minutes each day.

If you don’t take your pets to the vet at least once a year (more often for pups and seniors), let’s start this year. Going to the vet is expensive, but catching a medical problem early is almost always less costly than waiting, and preventative care is often a lifesaver.

Get outside and have fun more often. Daily activity is not only healthier for you and your pet, but the lack of it is often the root of certain behavior problems in both cats and dogs. Go to the park and toss a frisbee for your dog. Teach the cat to walk on a leash and take her out for a stroll in your yard. Try taking a long walk once a month with your dog and add more frequent playtimes with the cat. Even if your dog is well trained, a new class might be fun. Consider agility, lure coursing, swimming, obedience, or a Canine Good Citizen class. Teach your kitty a new trick, and don’t forget to use treats! We’re happy to help you with this plan should you need it!

Finally, this year let’s start brushing our best friend’s teeth.

These are easy, no-stress habits that don’t take much to incorporate into your schedule and will grow the bond you have with your pet. Jot down your goals and put them on the refrigerator, so you don’t forget! Happy 2022!