Your New Year resolutions might be ready, but have you thought about including your pets in your goals for the coming year? Your New Year resolutions with your dog might differ a little from your New Year resolutions with your cat, but you can easily include your pets in this time-honored tradition.
Explore a few of the ideas for New Year’s pet resolutions below, or create your own resolutions that fit into your lifestyle and your pet’s preferences. The coming year is full of opportunities to live a fuller life, so make the most of them with your animal companion.
Train Your Pet to Perform Tricks
Training an animal can be an enriching experience for owners and pets alike. Proper training strengthens your relationship with your pet and encourages better behavior, and it’s simply fun to learn new tricks together!
Here are a few tricks to teach your pet in the New Year:
- The Paw Shake – Train your pet to “shake hands” on command.
- Paws Up or Pose – Teach your pet to place its front paws on short objects for photos.
- Jump Over – Instruct your pet to jump over obstacles on demand.
- Low Crawl – Train your pet to perform the “commando crawl” toward you.
- Sit Pretty – Teach your pet to sit on their haunches with their paws in the air.
Pet owners can easily use treats to capture the attention of their pets and encourage them to repeat behaviors. Break the treat into small pieces and offer a bit to the pet each time it performs the desired behavior. Once the pet gets the idea, add a verbal cue, and slowly exchange treats for verbal praise.
Be Active with Your Pet
Physical activity helps pets and their owners stay healthier and happier. Try committing yourself to take long walks with your pet regularly. Three times a week or more is a good goal. If you already do this, you can explore new routes to take, such as pet-friendly hiking trails.
You can also try increasing your playtime with your pet. Grab a new toy or two that will encourage playful and engaging stimulation that helps you bond more fully with your animal companion. Things like stuffed animals and challenging chew toys are excellent ways to start.
Professional Pet Photography Sessions
Pets can grow all too quickly, so pet owners should capture precious memories each year. While modern phones might be capable of grabbing quick shots, a professional pet photographer can help pet owners create and capture truly unforgettable moments.
These sessions can be far easier to accomplish if you have trained your pet to sit, stay, or perform tricks and poses. Professional photographers and portrait painters can elevate these behaviors with adorable props, costumes, or accessories.
Improve Your Pet’s Diet
A healthy diet and appropriate serving sizes aren’t just for humans. Pets can gain weight from overeating and lack of activity, too. Help keep your pet healthy by measuring the amount of food given at every meal, and keep treats to the minimum recommendation.
If you are using treats to train your pets, try breaking them into smaller pieces so each treat lasts longer. Once your pet is familiar with the trick, exchange those treats for verbal praise or playtime to maintain a positive association with the behavior.
Improve Bonding Through Grooming
Pets often love the grooming experience because it feels relaxing and soothing. Pet owners can also appreciate grooming because it helps reduce loose fur that gets on clothes, furniture, and floors.
Take a few minutes each day with your pet to indulge in brushing its fur with a pet-friendly brush. Your pet will feel more loved, and you’ll get to see your pet’s adorable, happy face as it relaxes and bonds with you.
Try New Pet-Friendly Experiences
Pet-friendly yoga, swimming, flying disc, and other similar activities can be fun for pet owners and their four-legged companions. You might try taking a new course with your pet to strengthen your bond while having fun. Activities, courses, or classes pet owners can participate in might include:
- Agility and obstacle courses
- Obedience classes
- Pet park visits
- Volunteer services
These are fantastic options to challenge yourself and your pet to explore new activities and socialize with other pet-loving families. Have fun with your pet and learn new skills or contribute to your community with this resolution for the New Year.
Increase Pet Safety
Modern pet safety isn’t just about keeping chemicals and medications out of reach. Pet owners can use tech-based tools like microchips and updated ID tags to keep their pets safer.
Remember to update your pet’s ID when your address, phone number, or other contact information changes. This proactive action prevents potential mix-ups with pet rescuers, like bringing a lost pet to the wrong home or calling the wrong number.
Aim for Better Dental Health
Ask your pet’s veterinarian about how to keep canine and feline teeth strong, clean, and healthy. They may recommend adding special enzymatic chews and regular dental cleaning to your pet care routine.
Schedule Regular Checkups
Maintaining regular checkups for your pets with veterinarians helps to monitor pets for potential health risks. Every pet should see a vet at least once a year, much like pet owners need to check in with their human doctors annually.
It is also essential to maintain pet vaccinations and ask for scheduled blood tests for your animal companions to prevent things like:
- Parvo or parvovirus
- Kennel cough
- Lepto or leptospirosis
Regular veterinary care can test for, prevent, and treat these conditions and more. Keep your pets healthy by committing to annual checkups and following the instructions of your professional care providers.
Are you looking for a reliable veterinary clinic in Texas? Call Penny Paws Animal Clinic at our locations in Arlington, Richland Hills, Grand Prairie, or Fort Worth today.