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New Year’s Resolutions

Some estimate that between 40 and 50 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and a mere 46 percent of “resolution-ers” succeed. Did you make a resolution this year? Now that we’re seven weeks in, how’s it going?

What about our pets? Goals for animals are just as attainable as human goals, and you get to work together with your pet! PedMD gives us some New Year’s resolutions for your pet this year (and for you)!

  1. Consider fostering an animal – If you’re thinking of getting a new pet, but you’re not sure if it’s the right move, try fostering. Many area shelters and rescues are looking for loving homes for their animals. It’s a great way to test the waters of pet ownership without the lifelong commitment.

  2. Update your pet’s ID info – Has your address changed? Phone number? These are items that must be up-to-date on your pet’s collar. And what about a microchip? It’s the best way to ensure lost pets make it home.

  3. Try out some new tricks – Sure, you trained your dog when he was just a pup, but have you taught him any new tricks in the last few years? Studies show that mental stimulation is a great way to reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. By teaching an old dog a new trick, you’re working out their brain and keeping him alert and engaged.

  4. Practice oral hygiene – Don’t let the fear overcome you! Daily tooth brushing is an excellent way to keep tartar and plaque away. Ask your veterinarian for their opinion on oral hygiene and the best way to keep up with those pearly whites.

  5. Get grooming – You keep up with your mane on a daily basis, right? Don’t forget about your pet! It’s recommended to groom your animal on a daily basis—this removes excess fur from the coat (keeping your home cleaner), and it distributes oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat healthy.

  6. Make a date with the vet – Annual examinations are the key to pet health. They are also a great time to ask your vet for advice, update your pet’s food or get an expert opinion.

  7. Add more playtime to your routine – Does your cat love laser toys, catnip or feathers? While it’s easy to remember to schedule playtime with your favorite canine, don’t forget about the felines! Toys and activities that trigger a cat’s predatory instinct are a great way to get them off the couch and moving!

  8. Try a new activity with your pet – It’s easier than ever for people to incorporate their pet into a new exercise routine. Have you tried hiking or kayaking? Or even “doga?” Reap the rewards of a healthy physical activity with your pet while you have a little fun. Don’t forget, meet-up groups are a great way to find like-minded pet owners to join you in your exercise!

  9. Choose an age-appropriate diet – Young pets and senior pets have different needs in their nutrition. A senior pet may have low energy requirements or other medical issues, and young pets need specific nutrients to keep growing healthy.

  10. Always measure your pet’s food – It is just as important for animals to practice portion control as it is for humans. If you’re just “eyeballing” your pet’s daily food intake, you might be overfeeding and promoting weight gain. Use a measuring cup to ensure your pet is getting the exact amount it needs each day.

Have you tried other New Year’s resolutions with your pet? We’d love to hear about them! Tweet us at @Virbac_US. Happy New Year!