Every new year brings a new chance to start fresh. But while you’re resolving to get slimmer, smarter, and more successful, don’t forget about your four-legged friends! To help you keep your pets happy and healthy in 2014, we’ve put together our Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions.
10. Brush & Groom:
Nobody wants a stinky pet! Resolve to brush your pet every day and check their teeth, nails and ears at least once a week. Routine care is important for your pet’s health and hygiene, and it has the added bonus of making them feel happy, pretty, and loved.
9. Get Moving:
You’re not the only one who wants to get healthy in the New Year, so why not include your pet in your fitness routine? Adult dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise twice a day—jogging, playing fetch, and swimming are all great options. Keep kitties in shape with rousing play sessions and fun furry toys.
8. Schedule a Check-Up:
You go to the doctor regularly, and your pet should, too. Yearly veterinary exams will help ensure that your pet is up-to-date on the latest vaccinations and flea/heartworm medications. It will also help avoid preventable health problems like diabetes and arthritis. If it’s been a year or more since your pet has seen the vet, make an appointment today!
7. Battle the Bulge:
Pets depend on us to regulate their nutrition and activity levels. When kept at their ideal body weight, they can live longer and avoid complications like heart disease and joint problems. So while it’s tempting to share table scraps, try your best to stick to healthy treats and a strict feeding schedule.
6. Try Something New:
From hiking to doga (yes, doga), there are tons of things you can do to have fun with Fido. Getting out of the house will give your pet new experiences, and it’ll give you both a chance to bond. There’s just no substitute for quality time with your four-legged friend.
5. IDs, Please:
All pets—even the ones who live indoors—should have an ID tag. January is a good time to make sure that all their information is up-to-date, or to invest in tags if you haven’t already. Implanted microchips are also a smart option.
4. Spay and Neuter:
Did you know that in addition to keeping pet populations in check, spaying and neutering can also benefit your pet’s health? Benefits range from behavioral issues (decreased aggression and urine-marking) to a decreased risk of certain kinds of cancer. If your pet is more than 8 weeks old, now is the time to get them spayed or neutered.
No, you don’t have to sign them up for Facebook. But you should take time to socialize your pets. Regular interaction with other animals can help release energy, curb anxiety, and improve communication skills. So whether it’s through training classes or regular trips to the dog park, socialization can help keep your pet at their mental and physical best.
2. Love, love, love!
We know it’s obvious, but New Year’s is a great time to remind everyone that animals need lots of love and attention! Life can get hectic, but it only takes a second to stop and hug your pet. They show us unconditional love, shouldn’t we do the same?
1. Give Back:
Sadly, not all animals are as fortunate as yours. If you’re ready to spread the love and help homeless animals in 2014, resolve to become an ASPCA Guardian. For just a few cents a day, you can make a huge impact on countless lives.