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New Year’s Resolutions You Can Share with Your Pet

New Year’s Resolutions You Can Share with Your Pet

It’s that time of year again when everyone is looking back on the past year and setting goals for an even better year going forward. Some love New Year’s Resolutions and some don’t. If you plan to make some resolutions this year, why not include your pet in the action? Here are some ideas for resolutions that you and your pet can both benefit from together.
Making Healthy Food Choices/Losing Weight

Yes, we know, ugh. It’s such a common resolution for us humans, and one that can be difficult to stick with. In the case of your pet, they don’t get much say in the food they are eating and how much they get. Just as humans benefit from a natural, whole-food-based diet, your pet can benefit from the incorporation of species-appropriate fresh whole foods as well. Perhaps you want to treat your hedgehog to some mealworms or your frog to a batch of crickets with extra vitamins powdered on. Maybe your rabbit or guinea pig could benefit from some additional fresh vegetables or your dog from some fresh raw food or appropriate fruits and veggies. Be sure to do your research and check with your vet before feeding new foods to your pet, but fresh foods can be a healthy addition to their diets.

Very important in making healthy food choices is appropriate portion sizes. Many people eyeball their pet’s food and/or provide a heaping cup instead of a carefully measured one. This can add up to an awful lot of extra calories. According to a survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, in 2017, an estimated 60% of cats and 56% of dogs were overweight or obese. Not only does this make them more prone to diseases such as heart failure, kidney failure and diabetes, it also makes them far more prone to injury, particularly in dogs who may be out of shape and then become active in bursts and cause themselves injury. Be sure you are feeding your pet the correct amount of the appropriate food to prevent them becoming a statistic.

Exercising More

Another favorite human resolution is to exercise more this new year. This is also an area where your pet may benefit. As a bonus for dog owners, you can exercise together making it more fun for both of you! As is true for humans, it’s a good idea to have your pet checked out by a vet before they begin increasing their regular exercise. Its also important to build up the amount of exercise they do gradually. If your dog has never run before, you shouldn’t just take them on a multi-mile jog, at the least they will be incredibly sore and at the most they could become seriously injured.

Nonetheless, many of our pets would benefit from being more active. Interactive toys can be a great way to encourage your cats to run, chase, climb and play. Bunnies will also often be interested in playing with you with toys. Dogs of course can play with puzzles and interactive toys as well as venturing out with you for walks, hikes, and when it gets warmer again, swims. Many dog sports also provide exercise for your dog such as agility, nose work, and flyball.

Learning Something New

Did you know that nearly any type of pet can be trained to varying degrees? If an animal likes to eat, it is likely that you can use positive reinforcement principals to teach it new things. And if you haven’t done any training with your pet before, then you are learning as well in the process!If you have a small animal at home, try searching YouTube for videos on how to teach them fun tricks. We have seen bunnies running obstacle courses, rats playing basketball, cats playing soccer and sitting pretty, and dogs performing any number of feats. Birds are also excellent at learning via positive reinforcement.

Providing your pet with learning opportunities is not only fun, it enriches their lives and helps them feel satisfied. It can help improve the overall behavior of some pets to have more opportunities to problem solve and use their brains! Try teaching your pet something new today.

Better Oral Hygiene

As yes, flossing daily. This is a thing many people struggle to keep up, despite it being so simple. When was the last time you brushed your dog’s teeth? Your cats? Provided your small animal a new chew toy to gnaw on? Our pets need oral care just like we do, whether it’s a wood block for a rabbit to wear its teeth on or a cuttlebone to condition your parakeet’s beak. Dogs and cats ought to have their teeth brushed daily. Doing so can prevent the need for office procedures involving anesthesia which involve both risk and potentially high costs.

There are also dental treats that you can provide your pets to help keep their teeth and gums healthy. If this is an area you haven’t given much attention with your pet, this might be the perfect resolution for you.

Here at Pet World we’d like to wish you a very happy New Year and look forward to seeing you throughout 2019. Consider including your pet in your New Year’s Resolution this year. Who knows they might just help you achieve your goal!

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