High-Paw-Worthy New Year Resolutions for Pet Owners
By Lena Hart, Marketing & Event Planning Manager, Suncoast Humane Society
New Year resolutions are only as good as one’s commitment to reorganizing life in a realistic manner that produces results. When it comes to resolutions for pet owners, there are plenty of those that not only benefit our four-legged friends, but also their two-legged caretakers.
- Get out there. Schedule play dates. Go to new places. You’ll get the benefits of exercising and socializing together, strengthening your bond by experiencing new things, all of which decreases stress levels for both of you. It also improves your pet’s social skills, instills confidence, and promotes their good behavior in various situations.
- Update important information and get organized for the new year. Check your pet’s microchip to make sure your contact information is current. Suncoast Humane Society offers low-cost microchipping if your pet is not currently microchipped. If you don’t already have an emergency kit for your pet, put one together. If you already have one, double check expiration dates, restock supplies, update with a current photo of your pet, and one of you with your pet. Make sure all documents are in order and current, like vaccinations and registration records. Being ready early in the year makes for a less stressful time when action is needed.
- Check your pet’s diet. Does it need an adjustment? Is your pet getting the proper nutrients? Are they eating too much or maybe not enough? There are many benefits to adjusting your pet’s diet, including but not limited to keeping your pet healthier for longer, keeping their digestive system on track, providing nutrients for a healthy coat, and more. If you’ve been putting off annual check-ups, schedule an appointment. Sometimes pets have underlying health issues that aren’t easily noticeable and are not fixable with just a healthy diet.
- Spring clean your pet’s stuff. Wash the beds, blankets, crates, leads, collars, and toys. Double check the expiration dates of your pet’s food and treats, inspecting for freshness. Top it all off with a bath for your pet. To make bathing more enjoyable for cat owners, pet/cat wipes are available at pet stores. Being aware of what type of brush they might prefer, grooming can be very much enjoyable for all pets. When pets feel they are being well taken care of, a stronger human-animal bond is formed and they show more affection and even good manners to please their humans.
- Teach your pet a new trick or create a new routine with your pet, like varying the route for their daily walk. You’ll be surprised at how excited your pet will be to learn something new together. Look into dog obedience classes and challenge yourself to stick to them. Suncoast Humane Society offers dog training classes starting on January 9 that teach good manners for small and big dogs, and improve agility. Class size is limited and reservations can be made now by calling Suncoast Humane Society.
These resolutions are important, yet practical. A whole new year of opportunities is ahead, so why not take advantage of making the most of it? For more information about Suncoast Humane Society’s services, such as the Preventive Health Care Clinic and dog training classes, please call 941-474-7884 or visit www.humane.org.