new years resolutions for petsWith the holidays behind us, many people are looking ahead with anticipation to 2018. Do you hear that noise? It’s the collective sound of pencils hitting paper as people all over the world make their new year’s resolutions. But don’t make your list all about you – what about a few new year’s resolutions for pets?

Whether you need to get back on track with preventive care or provide more daily exercise, we’ve got plenty of ideas to help your pet become happier and healthier in 2018.

Ideas for New Year’s Resolutions for Pets

Get moving. You probably have a fitness goal on your 2018 list, and it’s just as important to remember our pets when it comes to regular exercise. It’s not too difficult to get our pets moving. Whether it’s hiking, swimming, or a game of laser pointer tag with your cat, it’s essential to make activity a daily part of your pet’s routine.

Learn something new. The old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is absolutely false! Teaching your pet – cat or dog – a new game or trick is a great way to improve their mental and physical wellbeing. Try “fetch,” “sit,” or “come” with your cat. For dogs, teach them to shake, speak, and put away their toys. The possibilities are endless!

Do something positive for others. Start the year off right with a good deed for others and consider volunteering with a therapy animal team. If your pet has the right temperament and general health for this kind of work, you can make a big impact by visiting nursing homes, hospitals, and schools.

Discover a new hobby. There are so many ways to have fun with your pet. Many activities for dogs are readily available (think flyball, lure coursing, and herding clubs). For cats, building a catio or teaching them to walk on a leash could be a great way to get them out and about.

Enrich their environment. Enriching your cat’s environment is as easy as adding a cat tree, food puzzle, or catio. For your dog, think food dispensing toys hidden in different spots around the home. These enrichment ideas help stimulate natural behaviors and keep boredom at bay.

Establish a daily grooming routine. While it’s true that cats do most of their own grooming, it’s important to brush your pet – whether a cat or a dog – on a regular basis. A thorough once-over and brushing not only helps keep the coat clean and free of mats, it also keeps hairballs off your living room floor! Daily grooming serves another purpose, as well – it helps you become acquainted with your pet’s body. This makes it easier and quicker to identify any unknown lumps or bumps. Not to mention, daily grooming is a great way to bond with your pet!

Make new friends. Socialization is so important for puppies and kittens, but it can be just as important for older pets, as well. To help your older dog socialize, consider visiting a local dog park or scheduling a playdate with (friendly) neighborhood dogs. You might even meet a new friend yourself!

Go to the doctor. Such an important resolution for both people and pets, scheduling an annual exam might be the best way to keep your companion healthy and happy all year long. Staying on top of your pet’s preventive care can help stop illness from progressing and save your pet discomfort and distress – and it can save you money in the long run.

We hope some of these new year’s resolutions for pets resonate with you. If you have questions or would like more ideas for how to achieve a healthier and happier 2018, just give us a call. At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, we’re always here to help, and we look forward to seeing you soon!