Happy New Year everyone!
As 2017 comes to a close, we all typically reflect back on the year gone by and look forward to the coming year. Traditionally, we think of all the ways we could be better next year. But as a pet owner, I’ve been wondering about resolutions that could benefit my cats and dogs too. Having given this some thought, I have come up with 7 possible New Year’s resolutions for pet owners that will make both you and your pet healthier and happier in 2018.
Everybody wants to look good! Grooming your dog or cat is a great way to keep them looking healthy and handsome. Regular brushing will help keep their skin and coat in good condition and is also a rewarding bonding activity. Your pet will love the attention from you. Some breeds may also require professional grooming, but in between ‘grooms’ and for other breeds there is plenty you can do yourself.
Take a look at our lovely grooming products for dogs and cats. From brushes, to shampoo to delicious fragranced spritzes, there is something for everyone!
2. Nice Gnashers!
Dental care is one of the most important and most neglected forms of preventative health care for your pets. Dental problems are the most diagnosed health problem for dogs aged over 3 years. Poor dental health care can result in gum disease, abscesses and even organ damage due to bacteria in the bloodstream. Not to mention death breath!
If you aren’t already on the case, maybe make 2018 the year to freshen up your pet’s mouth. There are a range of products available from enzyme liquid you add to their drinking water, to toothbrushes and meat flavoured toothpaste. We have recently adopted an older gentleman dog who has really bad dental issues which will cost quite a bit of money to fix. So a bit of investment and effort upfront could save your pet pain and illness and save you money.
3. Shed some extra pounds
This must be one of the most common of New Year’s Resolutions! So why not include your pet? I’m sure most of us are guilty of feeding our pets extra tid-bits, especially over the festive season. And we all know there are two ways to lose that weight – diet and exercise! This could be one of the most mutually beneficial New Year’s resolutions for pet owners.
If your dog or cat is looking a little on the chubby side, there are some steps you can take to adapt their diet. Most pet food makers set out portion guidelines and a really simple way to make sure you are not over-feeding is to measure out your pet’s food.
If you are giving your pets treats, then you should reduce their food accordingly. The Kennel Club recommends that treats are never more than 15% of a dog’s overall calorie intake.
Always balance food and treats with an active lifestyle. If you are looking for some delicious, healthy treats, check out my homemade dog treat blog post. Or, if you prefer to buy, Barks & Squeaks has some delicious, high-quality treats that your pet will love!
Balance your pet’s diet with exercise and you will benefit too! Resolve to take your dog on longer or more frequent walks in 2018. You will both burn more calories and your pet will love you for it! Or, if you are a runner and your dog is reasonably fit and healthy you could consider taking your dog with you on your runs.
Toys and games can be a great way to get you and your pet to be more active. Playing fetch with dog or cat toys is fun and will get your and your pet’s heart rate up and will burn extra calories. Barks & Squeaks has a great range of toys for dogs and cats. If this is your resolution, why not treat your pet to a new toy?
4. Teach your pet new tricks
Training provides mental stimulation for your pet and helps enhance your bond with them. If you are looking for inspiration, here is an article on tricks for your dogs and here is one on tricks for your cat . Barks & Squeaks range of dog treats are perfect for training. Just remember not to overfeed your pet!
5. Plan some special outings with your pet
Make 2018 the year you do something special with your pet. It could be an extra long hike, a camping trip or a fun day out. The All About Dogs shows and Paws in the Park are brilliant days out for you and your dog. Check out our handy dog-walking bag. It is perfect for when you are out and about with your dog.
6. Commit to spending more time with your pet regularly
Your pet loves spending time with you. You are the centre of their universe! And while we all adore our pets, most of us have other demands on our time such as work, social and family commitments. Why not resolve in 2018 to spend more of your time with your pet?
You could either spend a bit more time at home (and possibly save yourself money and calories by avoiding a visit to the pub!). Or, bring your dog along with you! A few workplaces are becoming more pet-friendly, although this is relatively unusual. However, there are plenty of dog-friendly pubs and restaurants. Have a look at this dog-friendly pub and B&B guide and include your dog in your lunch/evening plans! You may also find this portable dog mat useful – my boys love theirs!
7. Give Something Back
If you don’t have a pet, or if you want to something for other animals as well as your own, maybe make your 2018 resolution to give something back to pet charities. Have a read of my last blog post for 6 ways you can support animal charities with either your time or your money.
Happy New Year!
I hope these ideas for New Year’s resolutions for pet owners has inspired you! Whatever you decide on for your resolutions, I hope 2018 is a good year for you, your pets and the rest of your family. Have a fun night tonight and see you next year!