Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions 2012 for Pet Parents

Each year I like to reflect on the past year and then make a list of resolutions for the new year.  This year, I thought I’d do this for pet parents so here’s my list.

  1. Spay or Neuter your pet.  There is no reason for not having a spayed or neutered pet unless you are a reputable breeder and if you’re a breeder, then I would not call the animals you breed for money your ‘pets’.  Those are your business so again, no reason to not spay or neuter a personal pet.  There are several low cost spay / neuter options in Central Florida.
  2. Train your pet. This year, teach your pet a new trick or two. Many pets enjoy mental challenges to give their brain some exercise, plus it’s good bonding time for you and your pet.  Here are a list of trainers.
  3. Slim down that fat dog or cat. Pet obesity is a growing problem that leads to many health issues down the road. These health issues can be potentially expensive and life threatening.
  4. Get your pet into a routine. If you have a new puppy or kitten, practice getting them used to regular feeding times and potty times. This will reduce the frequency of “accidents” if they know when they can expect their next visit to the “bathroom”.
  5. Kick bad habits. If your pet has separation anxiety, check out some of these tips on how to alleviate the problem. If your pet is a beggar at the dinner table, train him to wait in his bed or space until your meal is finished, and stop feeding table scraps altogether.
  6. Resolve to get out more. Take your pet on more regular walks, to the park, or just let them roam in the backyard more frequently. The new sites and smells keep them busy and are a real treat.
  7. Play more. Set aside some extra time each day to play with your pet, whether it be throwing a ball, tug-of-war, or dangling a string throughout the house. This is a great way to give them two things they love: toys and your attention.
  8. Give back to the community. Take in a foster pet for a week or volunteer at your local pet shelter to give back to homeless pets.
  9. Clean up clutter. Go through that pile of pet toys and get rid of those that your pet no longer plays with.
  10. Get your pet checked and vaccinated. Be sure your pet is up to date on the latest vaccinations, and flea and heartworm medications. Also schedule your pet’s regular checkups to ensure they are in tip-top shape!

Good luck and Happy New Year!