Here we are once again, another year behind us and a new one about to begin. Many people see this time of year as an opportunity to reflect, to better themselves. This often includes the traditional resolutions to lose weight, eat better, quit smoking, etc. However, it occurred to us that bettering ourselves as people should also include bettering ourselves as pet owners.
As loving and kind pet owners, we’re sure you more than provide your pet with a great life. Think of these five resolutions as more of friendly reminders.
#1 Maintain Vet Visits
In many ways, our pets aren’t all that different from us. Our four-legged friends also need regular trips to the doctor for general health and sickness prevention.
Your pet’s vet can detect things you might otherwise be missing. It’s also important to keep up on vaccinations for your animal, though it should be noted that a “one size fits all” approach may not be the best thing for your furry friend. If you have concerns, definitely speak to your vet about this.
According to PETA, the frequency of vet visits should be as follows:
- At least annually for dogs and cats under 10 years of age
- At least every six months for those 10 years and older
- Immediately if signs of illness are noted
#2 Provide Adequate Exercise
Have you noticed your dog exhibit any of the following behaviors?
- Destructive chewing, digging or scratching
- Investigative behaviors (i.e. garbage raiding)
- Hyperactivity, excitability and night-time activity
- Unruliness, knocking over furniture and jumping up on people
- Excessive predatory and social play
- Play biting and rough play
- Attention-getting behaviors like barking and whining
This indicates your pet isn’t getting enough exercise! Though every breed of dog is different, all dogs need a certain amount of exercise for a healthy, happy life. The ASPCA provides lots of detailed information on this. We also offer helpful advice on proper exercise and diet for your dog!
#3 Teach a New Trick
Teaching your dog a new trick is more than a learning experience for them, it’s a bonding experience for you both. If your dog does not possess basic obedient skills, they might not be capable of (or even interested in) learning to play dead, fetch, etc.
#4 Take (More) Time for Your Pet
According to Leslie Alderman’s book, The Book of Times: From Seconds to Centuries, a Compendium of Measures, the average amount of time a pet owner spends with their pet is 40 minutes a day. Just 40 minutes. That’s only 2% of an entire day!
Carving out more time for your pet doesn’t have to be complicated:
- Talk to them while you’re in the same room, even when preoccupied with something like chores.
- Use TV time for brushing your dog or snuggling with your cat or dog.
- Work on those tricks we talked about or spend time with them in your yard or on a walk.
- Bring them along on quick errands. Note: do not leave them in the car for long periods of time, especially in hot or cold weather.
For those times when you simply can’t be there for your pet, look to Top Tails! We’re always available to look after your furry friend.
If you’re thinking of getting a new feline friend or dog, you should consider adoption first! More than 2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year because they do not have a home and shelters are already overrun. Be a part of the solution! Whether from the SPCA or another shelter in your area, opting to adopt means saving a life.
It’s never too early or too late to make a change! It doesn’t have to be on January 1st, but at some point this year, be sure to evaluate your role as a pet owner and set new goals accordingly.
Happy New Year!