Resolutions to make with/for your pets...
1. Eat Healthy/Get Fit. It seems to be the most common resolution, to eat better, and exercise more. Big changes in a short amount of time are not only difficult to maintain, but make us feel like horrible failures as we sit in front of the TV during the cold winter months, watching movie marathons on Lifetime, and eating cold pizza. Small changes over time will be the easiest to stick to, and garner the biggest rewards in the long run. Avoid feelings of deprivation; try to add something to your routine rather than take away-vow to drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, move a little more, and even sleep a little more. If nothing else, your dog will thank you for a quick run around the block before dinner!
2. Learn Something New. Some people say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I’m sure that Fido wouldn’t agree. Take up a new hobby, or better yet, teach Fido some new tricks! From basic obedience skills like “sit” and “stay”, to fun party tricks like “roll over”, “play dead”, and “fetch”, your pooch will enjoy the extra time together, all while making your relationship stronger and healthier.
3. Manage Stress/Spend More Time with Family and Friends. Some would argue that these two just don’t go together, but the whole idea is that sometimes less is more. We are always on the go, and it can be easy to forget the simple pleasures of slowing down, and spending some quality time with our loved ones. Statistics show that petting a dog or cat can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. So why not offer your pet some extra belly rubs, all while reducing your own stress levels.
4. Volunteer to Help Others. Lending a helping hand, in whatever way possible, is a benefit to everyone. The recipient of your good deeds will appreciate your efforts, you will have feel better having helped, and hopefully, others will follow your lead when the opportunity arises. Find unique ways to share the love you have for your pets with others-go visiting together at nursing homes, find a pet-less neighbor who might enjoy a play date or a walk with your pet. Even college kids miss the companionship of their pets they left at home-and may enjoy the occasional pet sitting job. In addition to helping your fellow man, consider volunteering at a local shelter, rescue organization, or local dog park. Even if you can’t adopt a pet, your help is needed to walk/socialize the animals, clean their environments, or donate food or monies for their care. So remember to pay it forward!
5. Have Regular Check-ups. We have all been accustomed, if not totally obedient, to the required annual check ups. As we grow older, they seem to be more numerous and frequent, but their intention is to ensure our health and well-being by catching any abnormalities at an early stage, and treating them, as well as continuing any good routines or practices that have allowed us to maintain our health so far. Remember, our pets are aging at an accelerated pace, and need these same considerations, to prolong and improve their health as they age. Consider a regular exam for your pet as a valuable gift for both of you.