With the bulk of the holidays behind us, it’s now the time we reflect on the past year and look to make improvements for the year ahead. Deciding on a New Year’s Resolution or two, can be a tricky one. Luckily for you Loop readers, we have three of the most common resolutions and ways that they will not only help you, but your pets as well.
Easily the most common resolution, losing weight and getting fit can be a tough one to follow through with. But, for those with dogs, it should be e-a-s-y. Under very few circumstances will your dog protest to an extra walk or a longer one; and fortunately, the best way to inject exercise into your life is to integrate it with your current, everyday routine. Seeing as your pup already requires you to leave the house a few times a day, it’s easy to get creative with how it can also benefit you. Consider clipping weights to your wrists or ankles, picking up the pace, or adding an extra five minutes to each outing.
After a short while, you will see changes physically and in your energy level. Better yet, you’ll see changes in your dog, too! The more exercise they get, the more their behaviour will improve and generally, the calmer they’ll be in the house. Many dogs who are destructive when left alone are actually under stimulated and do so because they are bored. With extra activities, your dog will burn that energy and be more at ease throughout the day. Not to mention, the exercise help them lose any excess weight, too.
Another way to start the year off on the right foot is to get organized. Again, the best way to get yourself organized for the new year is to start out small and what better place to begin than with your pets! Take inventory of your pets’ belongings: toys, collars, leashes, treats, beds, blankets… all of it! While doing this, inspect each item for wear and tear. If something doesn’t look useable anymore, make sure you get rid of it. Frayed collars or leashes can be a safety hazard, as well as chewed up or torn apart blankets and toys. Treats should also be checked for expiry dates. If you find that some items are still usable, but you don’t need them anymore, consider donating them to a local shelter or rescue organization. Many will be happy to accept donations of gently used items that they can repurpose for the animals in their care.
Once you have that in order, look to organizing the paperwork. Most domestic animals require annual vaccines and physical exams by a vet, and it’s important for us to keep on top of it. For the forgetful type, you can even call your vet to pre-book appointments in order to get a reminder call when your pet is due for a visit.
Finally, check that your pets’ identification is accurate. This includes city/town licenses, i.d. tags and microchips; in the event that your pet is lost, these forms of ID are only as useful as the information on them. Confirm that your name, address and telephone numbers are the right ones and you’ll keep your pet safer.
Though coming up with a New Year’s Resolution can be a daunting task, it really doesn’t have to be. By changing a few simple elements to your daily routine you and your pet can benefit and start 2013 off on the right paw forward.