The New Year is a great time for fresh starts. The calendar has switched over, and it is time to reflect and create change in our lives. When you think about your goals, do you consider getting your pets and family members involved? Here are a some New Year’s resolution ideas that include your fur-family, too.
1. Diet -
While you think about eating more salads and drinking more water, consider your dog’s diet, too. What kind of food does your dog eat? Is it a high quality food that your vet would encourage? Is it made by a company with expert quality control and transparent labeling practices? How about treats? Does your dog get a lot of table scraps or fatty, sugary people food? After checking the quality of what your dog is eating, it is also helpful to check on quantity. Instead of “eyeballing” each serving, it's important to get into the habit of measuring. Check the recommended serving size on the back of the bag to start, and make sure you are feeding your dog according to their size, age, and breed. Why not replace your scoop with a measuring cup to make sure dinner time is easy and exact every time?
2. Exercise -
An online, international survey completed by Mars Petcare in 2018 found that over half of household dogs and cats are overweight. After checking in with their diet, exercise is a very important addition to our pets’ routines. Maybe you won’t be running a 10K this summer (or hey, maybe you will), but if you need more exercise in your routine, a great place to start is taking a walk. Your dog will be glad for the added excuses to get out and about, and it will be great for both of you to get those extra steps in. Check out local dog parks and play fetch with your pet. The social outlet and chance to run is a really great way to get their heart rate up and make your pup happy.
3. Dental Hygiene -
Since our dogs and cats are sadly lacking opposable thumbs, it’s on us to keep in mind the well-being of their pearly chompers. February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and many vets offer discounts for teeth cleaning and dental check ups, which makes it an excellent time to have your furry friend's teeth checked. While it is fresh on your mind, stock up on toys and treats that are designed to help clean and strengthen your pets’ teeth while they chew. Now that we mention it, have you made plans to get your own teeth cleaned?
4. Grooming -
For dogs that need regular grooming, talk to your groomers about how often you should schedule visits and get those appointments on the calendar in advance
. Some people like to schedule their dogs’ spa days when they plan their own hair cuts or beauty treatments. If you need to get it done anyway, why not pamper yourselves?
5. Planning Ahead -
While you are looking ahead at dental hygiene appointments and groom visits, think about what else you have filling your calendar this year. If you plan your summer trip in January, you’ll have plenty of time to save up. Are you doing Thanksgiving at Nana’s or Aunt Kathy’s this year? Booking and planning vacations (and Posh Paw visits) in advance are a great way to insure you get the time slot you need and have plenty of time to prepare.
6. Be Proactive About Health -
When your furbabies come to Posh for their staycations or groom appointments, they’ll need to have current vaccination records on file. Do you know when your pet’s shots are due? General wellness visits are important, too. Like people, our pets benefit from regular check ups at the vet. Write down all health or behavioral concerns that you want to run by your vet, and ask them when you take your pet in for wellness visits. Don't wait until your fuzzy friends get sick or injured to go to the doctor. The same goes for you, as well.
7. Refreshing Routines and Curbing Bad Habits -
When life gets hectic, some of our daily routines get muddled and slack. That “fresh start” feeling we get at the beginning of the year is a great time to look at some of the habits or patterns we might want to shape up or cut out. Does your tendency to smack the snooze button in the morning cut into your pup's morning walk time? It happens to the best of us. Reflect on where things have gotten lax or how you can “oil the gears” on your daily life with your pet and make some positive changes.
8. Try New Things -
Sometimes we just need to shake things up a bit with completely new routines or fresh experiences. Make a bucket list for your year filled with things to do with your pet. Add things like: try 3 new restaurants with pet friendly patios; try a dog yoga class; attend two pet friendly festivals or events by the end of the year; take a behavior training refresher course with your pup.
9. Expanding Social Circles -
A happy side effect of trying new things can include making new friends. Does your dog have regular play buddies outside of your home pack? Do you think they’d enjoy some? Try getting to know other pet people, and you’ll never have to be embarrassed about having more dog pictures on your phone (they’re just so darn cute, right?).
10. Building Better Relationships -
Maybe you want to try agility training or a doggie support group? You could even revisit Training 101 to better communicate with your pup. Focusing on your bond with your pet by doing things with them and incorporating activities that center around them and their needs will go a long way; it will also strengthen your relationship and bolster their general happiness (as well as your own)!
11. Remember to Relax -
A great way to bond with your pet is to just chill out together. Cuddling with our pets influences the chemistry of our brain and theirs, flooding us with feel-good energy that contributes to our general sense of happiness and fulfillment. Whether your idea of relaxing is curling up on the sofa, playing catch in the back yard, or going for a run with your pup after work, including our pets in how we unwind and recharge is good for both of us.