Christmas is over and now it’s time to think about your New Years resolutions. There’s a good chance that, if you’re an American, your New Years Resolution will involve some form of diet and exercise. In fact, the number 1 resolution, year after year, is to lose weight. So today, we want to encourage you to include your furry friends in that resolution, and set some goals to improve their health and fitness in the coming year. Toward that end, we’ve assembled a few important points to consider as you resolve to improve your pet’s health in the next 12 months.
- Assess your pets’ needs. Does he need more exercise? Less junk food? More mental stimulation? Does his behavior need improvement? Does he have some annoying habits or poor manners? Does he deserve more attention than he usually gets? Answering those questions will help you determine the direction you want to take.
- Talk to your vet or a reputable trainer. Before you charge ahead in any direction, you want to be certain that you’re heading in the right direction. Before you change his diet or invest in a trainer (either physical or behavioral), be sure your efforts are going to deliver the desired results.
- Set trackable goals, then track them. Just like any New Years resolution, your pet’s resolutions need to include specific, achievable goals that can be measured and tracked. Set goals for activities, not just pounds. It’s easier to track and be accountable for activities than pounds. For example, an appropriate goal might be to give your pet 20 minutes of high-energy play every day. (That goal would not be appropriate for many pets, but it serves as an example.) It’s easier (and more effective) to track that and check it off on the calendar, rather than try to weigh him every day and determine your successes that way.
- Assign responsibilities. If several members of the family will be involved in achieving your pet’s health goals, make sure everyone knows the game plan, and knows their own role in its success.
- Ask for help if you need it! If you find you’re not able to stick to the New Years resolutions you set for your pets, get some help. Hire a dog trainer or dog walker to fill in the gaps and keep you on track. Remember that your pet relies on you to provide the care that will keep him healthy. You owe it to him to do whatever it takes to assure that the coming year is his happiest and healthiest ever!
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Be wise… Bewaggle! #PetSitter #DogTrainer #DogWalker