The new year is here. And with that comes reflection on the past year and the chance to make changes for a healthier, happier future. Many pet parents include their dogs and cats in resolutions, and for good reason: usually lifestyle changes will affect them, or they need some improvements too.
What are some ways to include the pets in your resolutions? If your pet has health conditions or behavioral issues, you’ve already written the list. Here’s how to make 2017 great for you and your pet.
Not just humans set out to lose weight! Obesity is on the rise in both cats and dogs which can lead to heart disease, joint problems, and diabetes, so slimming down can be imperative for furry friends too. The good news is getting your pet healthy means you, too, will most likely get healthier (and more mindful of good health as a whole), so everyone in the family can benefit.
Start with your pet’s food. Try brands that use whole ingredients instead of fillers. Research what’s best for your cat or dog if they need to lose weight, and ration out treats. Stop feeding your pet human food. While some vegetables are great, fatty human foods can encourage weight gain or lead to further problems.
Then add in some exercise. Make a pledge to take those longer walks. Your dog will love the extra attention and getting moving is a great way to commit to heart health. If you’re a cat parent, playtime serves as great exercise for kitties, and scratching posts and cat trees really engage their strength.
Got a reckless, loveable pup who just won’t behave? You’ve probably started thinking about obedience school, whether he’s a new puppy, rescue, or even an old dog in need of a refresher. Signing up for local dog training classes will not only get you out of the house, training in a classroom setting helps to socialize your dog (and essentially trains you as well).
If your resolution is to teach your dog new tricks and take them on new adventures, going over the basics in obedience class can help tremendously. You could even find out that your dog is adept at agility or coursework. In addition to burning off that extra energy, imparting behavioral skills and enforcing your leadership can keep a dog safe if you take her on hikes or camping, or even just crossing a busy street.
TAKE SOME TIME TO ENJOY YOUR PETS
Whether it’s more jaunts to the dog park or more time petting and playing, we’re taking a cue from the mindfulness movement and enjoying the moment with our dogs and cats. And they’ll love it too. Set aside time at least once a week to dedicate yourself to your one-and-only furry family. Not only do they help us get healthy (physically and mentally!), they’re always there for us. Returning the favor is pretty easy.
You could consider getting a new pet too – there are plenty of pups and kitties out there that need loving forever homes, and what a great way to kick off a new year than to save a life from a shelter. If you’re a first-time pet parent, you’ll be shocked at how pets enhance your life – from having less stress overall to the companionship of a grateful furry friend. It could be the most heartwarming resolution yet.
BE PREPARED FOR THE UNEXPECTED
Don’t forget the pet insurance. Not only can you save up to 90% on vet bills with a Healthy Paws pet insurance policy, you also can say “yes” to the most cutting-edge vet treatments out there, giving your pet a better chance of living healthier, longer. Pet insurance can help protect your wallet while you protect your pets. Find out more by visiting our pages for dogs and cats, and start by getting a free quote.
If you are already a Healthy Paws pet parent with a happy story to tell, we’d love to hear it! Send your pet’s story along with photos of your four-legged family member to firstname.lastname@example.org