The new year brings tremendous opportunity and a fresh start for both you and your pet. If health and wellness goals topped your list of resolutions, consider including your dog or cat in that quest for a healthier, happier you. After all, researchers have found that pet owners worldwide are significantly happier than their pet-free neighbors, 22 percent happier in fact. What better way to say “thank you” to our furry friends than by working to improve their lives?
Here are five easy ways you can make positive changes for both you and your pet this year.
We know a healthy diet can help people regulate their weight, fend off illness and just plain feel better overall. So it shouldn’t be surprising the same holds true for your pet. The options for pet food and treats seem endless, but cats and dogs have specific nutritional and diet requirements when it comes to how much protein, fat, carbohydrates, and calories they need each day. Talking with your veterinarian can help you hone in on the food that best meets your pet’s individual needs.
Get More Exercise
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, improve your flexibility, or just stay healthy, moving your body has plenty of benefits. Pets reap many of those same benefits. Plus, daily exercise is also key when it comes to fighting boredom, which is often at the center of many behavioral problems in dogs and cats. Add an extra walk, or add a few minutes to your usual route. You can play games indoors or invest in stimulating toys. So long as you’re moving and having fun, the options are endless so get creative!
Do Frequent Wellness Checks
From dental exams to annual physicals, regular check-ins with a doctor can go a long way in achieving and maintaining a person’s health goals. In the same way, preventative care for your pet is a great way to monitor their health and identify any potential problems early, when they may be easier to treat. Some breeds are more at risk for certain health problems so it’s best to chat with your veterinarian about crafting a wellness program specific to your pet’s breed, age, lifestyle, and overall health. It’s also important to do monthly checks around your home/property for pet poisons/hazards.
Update your pet’s info
Now is a great time to look over your pet’s identification to make sure it’s up to date. If they don’t already have an ID tag, you can make them easily at most pet stores. You can also look into a more permanent form of identification with a microchip. Either way, having the address and phone number current is the best way to make sure your pet makes it back home, should they ever get lost.
Create a Financial Plan
Financial goals are common come January 1 of a new year and part of achieving and maintaining those goals centers around a household budget. If you haven’t already, consider starting a pet savings account or budget line item to help plan for and offset the cost of pet care. From emergencies and medical procedures to food, toys, and other supplies, having designated funds set aside can help assure you’re prepared to meet your pet’s wants and needs.
Lost Our Home Pet Rescue is the only non-profit, no-kill pet rescue based in Tempe, AZ. Their mission is to provide compassionate services to pets and pet parents in crisis. Visit lostourhome.org for more information.