6 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Pet

About half the population sets a resolution each new year, and half succeed in achieving their goals. If New Year’s resolutions can help 25% of the population work toward or achieve something important to them, that becomes a powerful tool in our self-improvement arsenal. This year, consider setting a resolution for your pet’s health, or create a goal that benefits you both. Read our Animal Hospital of Parkland team’s New Year’s pet-centric resolution ideas, and choose a goal that you and your pet can work toward together.

#1: Teach your pet a new trick

Your pet can benefit from continuous learning, which prevents boredom by keeping their brain sharp and providing mental stimulation. Contrary to the popular saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks—you can also teach puppies, cats, adolescent dogs, and other animal species of all ages. This year, commit to an in-home training routine, an obedience class, or trick training competitions with your pet. You can teach you pet basic commands and advanced tricks, reinforce good behavior, or learn something totally useless but fun. Clicker training is an ideal technique that most pets thoroughly enjoy—learn more about this method here.

#2: Optimize your pet’s wellness routine

Many pet owners skip their pet’s routine preventive veterinary care appointment when their four-legged friend is a relatively healthy young adult. However, these annual visits are important for many reasons. During your pet’s annual wellness visit—or biannual for seniors—your veterinarian performs a thorough physical examination and parasite testing, and will strongly recommend diagnostics that establish your four-legged friend’s healthy blood work baseline. As your pet ages, your veterinarian may discover unsuspected health problems, such as arthritis, dental disease, or obesity, for which they can recommend treatment to improve your four-legged friend’s overall health and longevity. Your pet’s routine wellness visit also provides an opportunity to update their vaccinations, maintain an active parasite prevention program, and discuss behavioral or other concerns with your veterinary professional.

#3: Upgrade your pet’s nutrition

Around half of U.S pets are considered overweight or obese, which puts them at risk for chronic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. Overweight pets require appropriate nutrition to optimize their metabolism and ensure they receive the proper nutrients in the right proportions, rather than simply cutting back on their existing food. Other pets who benefit from individualized nutrition plans include puppies, kittens, seniors, athletic and performance dogs, and pets who have chronic disease. Ask your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s weight and health status, and recommend the best diet for them. Remember, your pet’s weight-loss plan will only succeed if you commit to feeding them the new diet and providing your four-legged friend with correct portion sizes. 

#4: Move more with your pet

Along with proper nutrition, exercise is important to help maintain your pet’s ideal weight. You don’t have to run three miles every day, but a moderate walk or ball-throwing session a few times per week can go a long way. Cats should be encouraged to play indoors with interactive toys, food puzzles, or you dangling a string overhead. Along with weight control benefits, exercise also provides mental stimulation, burns excess energy, can modulate behavior problems, and improves mood. You and your pet will benefit from a daily exercise routine.

#5: Relieve tension among household pets

If you have a multi-pet household, resource and attention competition can prevent your furry pals’ peaceful coexistence. Take some time this year to adjust your household setup if your pets’ relationship needs improving. Ensure cats have plenty of litter box location choices in areas where other pets cannot corner them, and provide each pet with their own separate food and water areas. To help your cat escape their annoying dog sibling, provide your furry feline with vertical space—cat trees and shelves—to spend time away from and above their poochie pal. In addition, if you observe household dog-on-dog competition, consult a qualified trainer before tensions rise to a dangerous level.

#6: Focus on pet brain health

To thrive, your pet needs daily mental stimulation and love, and keeping their brain sharp can help reduce dementia and senility as they age. Commit some time each day to your pet’s training, play, or exercise, which can activate their brain and deepen the bond you share with your beloved pal.

Working toward your pet’s New Year’s resolution may be beneficial for you and your family, strengthening the bond with your four-legged family member, and revealing previously uncelebrated joy in spending time together. Schedule a visit with our Animal Hospital of Parkland team to get on track with your pet’s preventive care, or contact us regarding additional ideas to formulate your four-legged friend’s best New Year’s resolution.

By |2024-02-14T23:51:17+00:00January 26th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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