The new year offers a fresh start to develop good habits—and here at the ASPCA, we think it's only appropriate to focus on the four-legged members of the family. What can you do, pet parents, to make this year a great one for your furry pals? What about a resolution to brush your cat every week or a promise to extend your pooch's play time? Whatever you choose, resolutions aimed at making your pets happier and healthier can add years to their lives, fun to their days and much joy to your home. Check out our most popular pet resolutions for 2011!
You go to the doctor regularly—and so should your pet. This year, give your veterinarian the chance to notice any developing illnesses and the opportunity to take care of them right away. If it's been a year or more since your pet has seen a vet, make that appointment today!
Protect Their Pearly Whites
Does your pet have morning breath—all day long? Your cat or dog may need dental care. Pledge to check your pet's teeth and gums at least once a week, and ask your vet to show you how you can prevent dental disease by brushing regularly.
Shake It Up!
We all could use a bit more movement in our lives—make a resolution to shake it up with your pets! Healthy adult dogs need at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day—jogging, swimming and playing at the dog park are all great options. Get kitty fit with rousing play sessions of chase and fetch with furry toys, small balls or toy mice.
Battle the Bulge
Pets depend on us to regulate their nutrition and activity levels. It's important to follow strict feeding guidelines, since overweight pets face increased health risks. This year, vow to lay off those table scraps and consider switching to a well-balanced, high-quality pet food.
Poison-Proof Your Home
With various dangers lurking in corners and cabinets, the home can be a minefield of poisons for our pets. Don't leave it up to Fido or Fluffy to keep themselves safe. Resolve to make your home a safe place for your pets.
Keep 'em close to your heart by outfitting all of your animal companions—even indoor-only pets—with an ID tag. Implanted microchips are also a smart option, but keep in mind that microchips are only as good as the information provided to the chip's company, so keep your contact info up-to-date!
For more information about keeping your furry pals happy and healthy in 2011, please visit the ASPCA's complete guide to pet care.