Do you make New Year’s resolutions? How about making some for your pet this year? If you’re up for the challenge, start with this list and then add your own. Your four-legged companion will love you for it.
In the upcoming year, I resolve to...
Brush my dog’s teeth every day.
Yes, you heard that right, EVERY day. I regret not having brushed my dog’s teeth every day up to this point, because now we are faced with the expense of dental teeth cleaning, which can be very pricey. So, make it a priority to include dental care in your pet's routine now, and hopefully you will not find yourself shelling out the big bucks later. You can also look into enrolling in pet insurance with a wellness plan that provides reimbursement towards dental cleanings!
Make more time for my pet.
With my busy schedule I find that I can go a whole day without much interaction with Summer other than a few head pats. She is an important part of our family, and she should feel like one. So, I resolve to make more time for my pet by adding in one-on-one play with her, and taking her for brisk walks.
Try a new activity.
You know what they say about raising kids? The days are long but the years are short. The same goes for life with our animals. I want to look back on my dog’s life and know that I provided rich experiences for her. We used to take her to the lake next to our house and let her jump off the dock and swim, then we’d hike on a path around the lake. We’d bring her home, worn out and happy, ready for a bath and a long nap. Now, her old lady hips are content with a walk around the block, but I am glad we played like we did back then. So, I resolve to try something else new, as it's important to keep your senior dog socialized to feel young! And here’s something for you avid outdoorsmen: kayaking! David Bahnson, a retired orthopedic surgeon from Vermont figured out how to take his dogs on adventures with just a few tweaks of his canoe.
Incorporate more play into our day.
This one is a good one for you cat lovers. Cats are a little more difficult to exercise than dogs, and cat obesity can be a problem as well. But they won’t even know it’s exercise if you engage their natural predatory instinct and involve them in the thrill of chasing a laser.
Our dog, Summer, is a Golden Retriever, and even though she’s never been much of a retriever, she has always loved the chase. Throw the ball for her, and she’ll go get it and return only to tease you into thinking she’s going to hand it over. But the chasing part is really what she wants. It’s like a game of tag! And it’s a win-win because we’re both getting exercise!
Now this one I can honestly say we have done from the beginning. I remember when I told my then four-year old little boy that Summer’s birthday was coming up and he asked me if we were going to invite the neighbors’ dogs over for her party. Well, why not? We ended up inviting our neighbor’s kids over to celebrate! We made dog bones, ate bone shaped PB&Js, played pin the tail on a poster sized picture of Summer, and sang happy birthday. It was so much fun and Summer enjoyed being the center of attention.
Invest in health
We want our pets to live long healthy lives, but unexpected accidents and illnesses are a part of pet ownership. I want to invest in my pet's health this year by enrolling in pet insurance so I can provide the very best veterinary care as they age or come up against health conditions.
Enjoy another year together!
The best part of resolutions is that you get to decide if you keep them or not! I love making resolutions based around my pets, because I want the very best for them and always work hard to keep them throughout the year. Even if one or two aren't maintained, every bit of energy that I put into my pets helps to make our relationship stronger.