A Mid-Year Fresh Start

D uring the holiday’s we all often take time to make resolutions and create a new plan for the upcoming New Year.  For humans we may decide for our New Year’s resolutions to be to exercise more, eat healthier, work less, spend more time with family or clean out the clutter.  Sometimes we stick to it for the first few weeks or even months but often by the time we get to June or July we’ve lost touch with our New Year’s resolutions and have no intentions of turning back.  Whatever the reason for straying from our resolutions it is never too late to evaluate your goals once more and try again!

Just as we make those resolutions why not give our pet’s the same chance to make a lifestyle change and live healthier.  Start by evaluating the life your pet’s living.  For most they have a home to live in, a loving family, and food to eat and even time to play.  But what as pet owners are we missing.  Don’t they deserve the same New Year’s resolutions as we do?

Take a few minutes to reflect on their health, how everyone’s lifestyle may have changed over the last year and decide what could we all do differently.  Even something as small as ten more minutes of play time a day, an extra-long walk or sneaking an extra treat or two. Before giving those treats we should ask ourselves how well we are actually managing our pet’s diet? In the couple of months: Have they gained any weight? Do they seem to be losing weight with or without changes in diet? How can we better manage how much they eat and is the food we are feeding them a good quality product?
Maybe it’s changing the quality of the dog food, cutting out some treats and replacing it with a non-food related toy.  If your dog has seemed to gain weight try adding in an extra walk every day or every other day.  After all, a ten minute walk can do wonders even for us after a hard day at the office.  Not only can we exercise with our dogs but we spend quality time with our pet’s giving them the love and companionship.

Cat owners may find it more difficult to find ways to exercise their cats.  Some simple ways to encourage your cat to play can be balls that jingle or a toy attached to a string.  Be sure not to leave the string laying around for them to eat when unsupervised.  This will give them something that will move thanks to your involvement and the ability to move freely in the house.  Another trick is to use a laser light where they can follow it up and down the hall or across the room, unfortunately for them they may never catch that laser light but at least it gives them something to strive for which at the same time encourages them to move around.  The Slim Ball™ is another toy available online or at local pet stores that can help give your cat the exercise needed to keep them fit and trim.  Measuring their food also is a key factor to managing weight gain and loss in your cat.

For most seeing a wagging tail, hearing a happy and excited bark or a simple purr as soon as you walk thru the door can always bring a smile to our faces.  Let’s give them the care they deserve.

Simple Steps to Managing a Healthy Diet in Your Pet:

  1. Measure food intake; use a measuring scoop each time you feed your pet.
  2. Encourage exercising and playtime.
  3. Purchase good quality dog and cat foods to ensure your pet receives the proper nutrients.
  4. Be conscious of any excessive weight gain or weight loss.
  5. Always ask your veterinarian what you can do to help keep your pet healthy and what signs to look for when your pet may not be feeling well.
  6. Enjoy every moment you spend with your cat or dog, they can help us humans live a better life too!
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New Year’s Resolutions for Pets & Their People