You + Your Pet…. in the New Year

There are just a few hours left until next year…

have you made your 2013 resolution yet?

If so, did it include your pet?

We involve our pets in just about everything we do, so wouldn’t it only make sense to include them in our plans for the upcoming year? Whether your 2013 resolution is a new exercise plan, ย an effort to do more good deeds, or you’re trying to better your life as a whole, go the extra step and include your dog. Chances are, if you commit to your pet, you’ll be less likely to prematurely give up on your resolution.

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If you haven’t come up with your resolution yet, don’t worry!

Here are a couple of ideas that already include your dog!

Here, in no particular order, are 10 tips to a healthier lifestyle for our pets and animals in need from About.com.

1) Exercise
Regular exercise has the obvious health benefits, but it also is a great time to bond with our pets. A simple daily walk helps a dog learn proper manners, provides some good quality time, and does wonders for the human counterpart, too! Keeping pets at the proper body weight reduces the risk of heart and joint problems, diabetes, and a host of other poor health conditions.
What to do if Fido (or Fluffy) tips the scale

2) Health Check Up
A regular visit to your veterinarian is the best way to stay ahead of potential problems. Annual examinations of teeth, heart/lungs, and body condition overall will be less costly than waiting for a problem to develop and your pet suffering needlessly from complications of preventable problems. Having a good “baseline” of information about your pet also gives the veterinarian something to compare against and determine exactly what is wrong when something isn’t quite right with your pet.
How to prepare for a veterinary office visit

3) Good Nutrition
Like humans, pets who eat poor quality food just don’t have the health reserves than those that a good balanced diet. Poor skin, hair coat, muscle tone, and obesity problems can be a result of a poor diet. Also, pets are not humans — a diet rich in table scraps is not a healthy one, and can lead to problems such as obesity andย pancreatitis.
Nutrition information for pets

4) Good Grooming
No one wants to be around a stinky pet. Regular grooming — bathing, toe nail clips, brushing teeth and hair coat, parasite control — not only make the pet more pleasing to be around, it is much healthier for the pet! For skin and coat problems that don’t resolve with regular grooming, please see your veterinarian — there may be an underlying medical condition affecting the skin, coat, or toenails.
Good Grooming: A Matter of Life and Health
Tips and Tools for Good Dental Health

5) Safety
Keeping pets safe is something most pet owners take for granted. However, take a moment to assess the toxic chemicals used in your house and yard. Are they necessary? Are all safety precautions followed? Where are household chemicals stored? Can your pet access these items? If toxins such as rodent poisons are used, can your pet access the rodents? Think too about enclosures for pets — is the fencing secure? Can your pet get caught or hooked up on the fence, a tree, etc. and choke or be stuck out in the weather when you are away?

Pet safety tips

6) Information
Being informed is the best way to keep track of our pet’s health and well being. If possible, keep a medical log of your pet’s vet visits, medications, special needs, etc. to help keep track of your pet’s medical history. Knowing what is normal and not normal for your particular pet will assist your vet figure out what is wrong in the case of illness.

The Internet is a wealth of information, but caution is advised when seeking out a diagnosis or medical assistance via the web. Just as in real life, there is good information and bad information out there. The only way to get an answer/diagnosis is through a thorough physical examination, review of medical history, and possible lab work performed by your veterinarian.
Veterinary Q & A: Why Do Vets Do That?

7) Love and Attention
This is probably obvious, but too many pets are left outside in all kinds of weather, with very little human contact. Same goes for inside pets — those who are largely ignored for lack of time and busy human schedules. Take the time to focus on your pets and create/nourish that human-animal bond!
The Human-Animal Bond – how pets help us

8) Volunteer
There are thousands upon thousands of animals in need of help each day. This concept can be overwhelming for many people. Every little bit helps, though. Financial donations, donations of supplies or your time to a local shelter or rescue group is always appreciated, and real live animals are being helped by your generosity.
Online resources – adoption,fostering and volunteering ideas

9) Maintenance
This refers to the more “unpleasant” aspects of pet care — the litter box scooping, yard clean up, cage cleaning, and fish tank maintenance. A clean environment for our pets is a healthy one! Poor sanitation can lead to behavior problems (i.e. litter box avoidance) and health problems such as skin infections and the spread of communicable diseases.

10) Be a Voice
Speak up when you notice neglected or abused pets in your neighborhood. This isn’t pleasant, but if you can help even one animal escape a painful life, it is worth it. Shelters and rescue groups will thank you and most will accept an anonymous tip to help animals in need.
Have you ever reported a case of animal neglect or cruelty?

Please share your New Year’s Resolution below!

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5 thoughts on “You + Your Pet…. in the New Year

  1. Yes, thanks for this list, I’m so glad you liked my blog so I could find yours. Volunteering for abandoned shelter pets, donating blankets, toys and time connect pet lovers with others, forming a community and providing a safety net, saving pets lives.

    Dog and pet lovers can give one bowl of food a day by clicking on The Animal Rescue Site. It is a free and quick way to give everyday. I’ve written many posts on their good work for animal shelter pets.

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