It’s almost 2017, and as many of us are ruminating on the past year and its many ups and downs, thoughts inevitably turn to what we can do to make the coming year the best one yet.

Your friends at Town & Country Animal Hospital don’t have any suggestions for your personal New Year’s resolutions, but we can certainly help you with ideas for improving life for your pet. Our list of New Year’s resolutions for pet owners will get you started off on the right paw.

8 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners

  • Get more exercise – By now we all know that exercise is good for people and pets; not only does regular exercise keep our bodies running at peak performance, it improves our, and our pets’, mental and emotional health as well. Set a goal of daily exercise for you and your pet, whether that is a walk, game of fetch, laser pointer or feather chase, or other game your pet enjoys.
  • See the dentist – Good oral care is a vitally important aspect of overall health and wellness for pets and people alike. We assume you brush your teeth daily and see your dentist regularly, but does your pet? Make this the year you bring your dog or cat in for a professional dental examination and cleaning, and be sure to talk with your veterinarian about daily tooth brushing for your pet.
  • Stay well – ‘Tis the season for colds and flu, so while you’re stocking up on vitamin C for yourself, take a moment to make sure your pet’s immune system is supported as much as possible. Give us a call to find out if your pet is current on all of his or her vaccines and parasite preventives, or to make an appointment for a wellness exam.
  • Spend more time together – Humans thrive on time spent with loved ones, and pets are no different. Studies show that moments of quiet time with your pet can actually lower your blood pressure and reduce stress. Commit to clearing space in your schedule each day for play and snuggles with your four-legged family members, and you’ll both reap the benefits.
  • Do a photoshoot – Photoshoots aren’t just for people anymore! Set up your own photoshoot at home using your digital camera or smartphone, or consider hiring a pet photographer for a professional session. You won’t regret having beautiful photos of your pet to treasure for years to come.
  • Go on an adventure – New sights, smells, and people forge new pathways in the brain and expand our horizons. Bond with your pet by experiencing something new together, such as a pet-friendly day trip or overnighter, or stay closer to home by visiting a local trail, dog park, or pet supply store you’ve never been to.
  • Learn something new – You can teach old dogs and cats new tricks! Training is fun and challenging for pets and owners, and a great excuse to spend time together. Dogs in particular enjoy the exercise and mental stimulation of learning new tasks and tricks.
  • Help others – One of the best resolutions anyone can make is to help those less fortunate. Call your local shelters and rescue organizations and find out how you and your family can help pets in need. If you have room in your heart and home, consider adding to your family by adopting or fostering a homeless pet.
What are your favorite New Year’s resolutions for pet owners? Let us know on our Facebook page or other social media. Happy New Year, from your partners in pet care at Town & Country Animal Hospital!