Healthy New Year Habits for Your Pets

New Pet Owners  •   Pam Karkow  •   Dec 12, 2019

You know the drill. The New Year is upon us so naturally, we’re looking for that fresh start. We’re turning over the page to a new year (and a new decade!) as we usher in the year 2020. Where does your mind take you? Are you thinking this is the year you’re going to lose five pounds? Get more sleep? Meal prep on the weekends?

Yeah...how did that work out in 2019?

We’re here to talk habits, instead of resolutions. Practices instead of vows. We’re here to let you in on a little secret. Resolutions don’t work unless you commit to them. And we like committing to creating new habits much better than flimsy resolutions we have no intention of keeping anyway!

So, here are the healthy habits you should commit to for your pet’s sake in the new year…

Shed Extra Pounds

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reports that 56% of dogs in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese. It can be easy to get lazy, and not pay attention to the amount of food and treats your dog is consuming. It can be impossible to know how many family members have shared their last bite of toast with the dog! Those calories add up quickly, so be sure to measure your pet’s food, limit the number of treats you give throughout the day, and institute a “no feeding from the table” policy. 

Exercise Daily

Exercising your pet does not have to be a long walk every day, but some kind of movement that gets his blood pumping and heart rate up. This could be anything from a game of fetch with your dog to laser tag with your kitten. Exercise is good for your pet’s heart and for his mind. Fresh air and mental stimulation will also help your pet sleep better. Check out our post, Holiday Toys For Pets for toys that will encourage movement in even the laziest of pets.

Schedule an Annual Wellness Check

It’s no secret that the best way to manage illness is early detection. When you commit to a yearly vet check-up, your pet’s doctor gets to know your pet’s “normal” and can diagnose problems early, which leads to a better outcome. Vet visits consist of a physical exam to check your dog’s skin, eyes, ears, and teeth. Depending on your dog’s age and medical history, he may be due for vaccinations as well. PetPartners wellness coverage includes reimbursement for annual visits, vaccinations/titers and more! 

Make Time for Socializing

This probably pertains more to dogs than cats, but many cats do enjoy hanging with a buddy as well. Take your dog to a dog park, invite a four-legged friend (and his owner) over and let the dogs race around the backyard together. If you have a puppy, it is important to start early with the socialization. Check out our post, How to Socialize Your Dog for more ideas.

Learn Something New

Start by teaching some essential cues. Once your dog has mastered basic commands, try some new tricks like roll over and shake. The keys to teaching your dog tricks are consistency and rewards. Teaching your dog new tricks is great for bonding, plus your friends and family will be wowed by your dog’s intelligence when he shows off for them! For cats, try building a catio or investing in a new climbing tree. Changing things up for your pets keeps life interesting and stimulates their minds in the process!

Invest in Your Pet’s Health

If you don’t already have pet insurance for your cat or dog, now is a great time to look into it! Pet insurance can help save you money on unexpected veterinary bills for accidents and illnesses, as well as on annual preventative care such as flea/tick prevention and your annual wellness check. Investing in your pet’s health while they’re feeling great can help you to afford quality veterinary treatments in the future. Get a quote today!

Ring in the New Year!

Are you ready to cultivate some habits for the new year? Get out that pad and pencil and jot down the healthy pet habits you’re committed to keeping in 2020. You and your pet will be ready to take on a new decade together with these in mind!

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