Barking in the New Year

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In the spirit of hope for a positive and prosperous New Year, it’s not uncommon for humans to make resolutions for themselves; in fact, according to www.statisticbrain.com 45% of people make New Year’s resolutions on a regular basis. But have you ever considered making resolutions for your pets?


More than half of all New Year’s resolutions are aimed at improving a person’s health and fitness, and it may be the same for your pet. According to Banfield Pet Hospitals, obesity is the #2 most common diagnosis for companion animals and obesity has a significant link to the rapid rise of Type 2 diabetes in the pet population. Helping your pet stay fit can greatly improve their quality of life.

For best results, be sure to follow the feeding guidelines on your pet’s food and use a measuring cup or scale to ensure accuracy.
Be conscientious of how many treats you offer, and investigate lower-calorie options if necessary. Many pet stores now offer a variety of specialty diets and treats to help you achieve this goal.
Take longer or more frequent walks with your dog or play fetch as often as you can. If your dog is significantly arthritic or otherwise has trouble walking, explore opportunities to swim your dog or enroll in a pet physical therapy program that utilizes underwater treadmills for low-impact exercise.
Encourage your felines to jump, climb, and chase by providing them with different play structures and cat trees, and tempting them with exciting toys. Even little changes can have a big impact on your pet’s health over time.

If you have any questions on helping your pet lose weight or concerns about improving their fitness, be sure to talk to your veterinarian.

Another popular resolution is to spend more time with the people (and pets!) who matter to you. We all get busy and bogged-down with day-to-day routines, but spontaneity is the spice of life! Find creative ways to include your furry friends in your activities.

Invite friends with compatible animals over for play dates, or meet up at animal-friendly venues such as a dog parks or restaurants that offer a menu for the pups.
At home, take little breaks from your routine to initiate play or even just relax with your pet. Petting an animal has been proven to lower your blood pressure and slow breathing, which is just as good for you as it is for them.

Whatever your resolutions for you and your pet may be, www.statisticsbrain.com says that, “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” Don’t be afraid to write your resolutions down, even if that just means scheduling a block of time once a week to do something positive with your animal.

“It is amazing how much love and laughter [our pets] bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” ― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog

Happy New Year, friends!


About the Author
Samantha Grant is a life-long animal lover. She has been a horse trainer, PATH, INT. certified therapeutic horseback riding instructor, animal nutritionist, and writer. Samantha, or “Sam” to her friends enjoys spending her free time playing with her animals, working around the ranch, and reading.