Another new year is rolling around — and I can already hear the echo of groans coming from disgruntled people dreading the beginning-of-the-year diet and exercise seesaw.
Instead of stressing yourself out over a list of resolutions, consider making a list to benefit your pet. It will take the pressure off, and there are some positives hidden in these resolutions that will benefit you.
Here’s a list of New Year’s resolutions to start 2016 off right with your furry friends.
1. Tackle the Toxins
You may have read about toxic foods, plants or other dangers that can cause serious harm to your pet. Even knowing this information, have you taken a tour of your home and moved or discarded toxins to keep your pet safe?
- Check for mold.
- Make sure smokers go outside.
- Tuck in or tape up loose cords or wires.
- Look around for any other hazards.
- Don’t forget about your pet’s food — sign up now to be notified of pet food recalls.
2. Make an Annual Date With Your Vet
If you’ve been putting off the annual checkup and vaccinations, do yourself — and your pet — a favor by making sure your pet’s health is a top priority.
3. Get More Exercise
Make an effort to take your dog on more walks or play in the backyard. Get some new toys or make use of existing ones to put a spring back in your kitty’s step. Splurge for that new hamster wheel or sock tunnel for your ferret.
Keeping your pet active also keeps your pet healthy. Keep clean water available at all times and consider your pet’s coat or temperature limits when exercising.
Looking for a way for you and your dog to get healthy together?
Check out the FitBark 2 (affiliate link), the highest-rated dog health monitor in the market. It’s a small, colorful device that you attach to your dog’s collar.
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Learn why everyone is thrilled about the FitBark 2 here (affiliate link).
4. Help Get the Word Out
Whether it’s advocating for spay/neuter, stopping puppy mills, ending breed-specific legislation or asking friends and family not to buy angora because of the harm it does to rabbits, go ahead and share information about topics that are important to you.
You’d be surprised by how many people have never heard of a puppy mill or think angora sweaters are made from plants. Spread awareness and help animals at the same time.
5. Move the Meds
Ingesting human medications is typically the No. 1 reason for calls to animal poison centers. Although you may already know medicines such as aspirin or antidepressants are toxic to your pet, have you reviewed where the medicines are kept? Consider your bathroom, kitchen and even a purse.
It takes only a second for a dog to grab a bottle from an open purse or bag, and before you turn around you have an emergency on your hands. Keep those meds up high and away from animals (and children).
Also, if you fill your pet’s medications at a human pharmacy, check what you are given before you leave to ensure it matches the vet’s prescription.
6. Keep Your Pet’s Stuff Clean
- Do you scoop the backyard poop only when the neighbors call the sewer department?
- Do you let the litter box fill up for a few days before cleaning it out?
- Do you clean out the cages for your ferrets, guinea pigs, sugar gliders or birds weekly?
Resolve to be more diligent about cleaning your pet’s spaces. By the time spring cleaning comes around, you’ll already be ahead of the curve.
7. Don’t Forget About Grooming
Book a grooming appointment or go all out at home to pamper your pets. They will smell better and appreciate the attention — not to mention regular grooming helps keep them healthy. Try to work the pampering into a monthly routine instead of a random occurrence.
Take your pup on little surprise trips this year to nearby national parks for a hike or just to a simple (but effective) public water fountain, as seen in this video:
8. Invite a New Friend Over
If your pet is friendly or curious about having other animals around, consider a play session with friends or neighbors and their pet. If you are considering a permanent playmate for your pet, check with local shelters and rescues.
Fostering is a good opportunity to ease shelter space and see if the animal would be a good fit with your existing pet.
9. Keep the Pests Away
Do you forget to give your pet monthly flea and tick preventive or heartworm medicine? Consider making this resolution a priority. Just 1 mosquito can start a heartworm infection, and cats and ferrets are more severely affected because of their size.
10. Make a Bucket List
If you want your dog to see the ocean, he’s not going to drive himself. Consider the things you want to do with your pet. Perhaps it means a drive to a monument or the beach, or to visit relatives. Need some help getting started? Check out our list of 99 amazing activities.