6 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

by | Updated: January 3rd, 2017 | Read time: 3 minutes

Your resolutions for the New Year might range from losing weight to learning a new language to spending less money. Open a new savings account or learn to speak Italian, but also consider adding a few a pet-centric goals to your list. Your fur-babies might be the focus of your world, but there are always ways to improve the quality of their lives. This year, resolve to be the best pet-parent you can be. Dog on Leash Waiting for Owner to Take Him for a Walk | Vitacost.com/blog

1. Feed good food

Is your fur-family eating the best food out there? Feed your pets top-quality kibble or wet food to keep them healthy and happy. If you’ve ever wanted to start cooking for your dog and cat or transition them to a raw diet, this is the time to start. To prevent overfeeding, always measure food when serving your pets. When it comes to treats, your pets deserve premium goodies that aren’t packed with unhealthy fillers. Making your own dog treats is also a good way to know exactly what ingredients your pooch is consuming.

2. Groom regularly

Whether your dog is small enough to fit in the sink or so large she must be washed outside, bathe your dog regularly with a gentle shampoo that will leave her coat soft and clean. Don’t forget your canine’s canines! Dental care is an important, and often overlooked, aspect of grooming. Plus, dogs are not exactly known for having minty fresh breath. Chances are, your pup’s breath could benefit from proper teeth brushing.

3. Spend more time with your pets

Life gets busy; it’s an inevitable fact of our modern, fast-paced world. We’re all trying to keep up with hectic schedules, and it’s often our pets that suffer the most. We begin to shorten our dogs’ walks or skip them entirely, avoid playtime and sometimes leave them at home alone all day long. This year, resolve to spend more time with your pets. Stay in a few nights a week, and make cuddling, brushing and playing daily priorities.

4. Exercise more

Losing weight, dieting and exercising are probably already on your list of resolutions, but it’s important for your pets, too. It’s estimated that over 50% of pets are overweight, so making sure your fur-baby exercises regularly has never been more important. Every day, take your dog on a 20-minute walk and visit the dog park, beach or woods on a weekly basis. Don’t forget playtime! Play tug of war and fetch with your pup and let your cat chase a feather wand.

5. Try new activities

Pets respond well to schedules and routines, but occasionally, it’s good to switch things up. Introduce a new type of toy or take a trip to an unfamiliar location. Make play dates for you pup or join a dog-walking group. When the weather’s right, take Fido hiking or jogging. Bring your dog on car trips—dog love riding along with you! If you’ve got a vacation coming up, visit a dog-friendly location or resort.

6. Get checkups

Your dog may dislike seeing a doctor, but regular checkups can help detect health issues that may be hiding below the surface. If your dog has recently developed any strange physical ailments, tell your vet! Going to the vet also allows you to restock on any medications or supplements your pet may need, like heartworm preventative or glucosamine.