2024 is nearly upon us and you might be thinking about New Year's resolutions! Instead of the usual 'new year, new me' approach, we've put together some common resolutions but given them a twist to help improve the life of you and your pet! Let's enter the new year with the goals of giving our pet's the best year of their life so far with these three simple resolutions...
Get more exercise
Everyone knows exercise is important for our health and mental wellbeing, but how many of us have fallen into the trap joining the gym in January then never actually going?! So, why not make your pet a part of your health kick? The PDSA recently found that 1.3 million dogs in the UK aren't walked every day. Taking the time to schedule in 1 or 2 walks with your dog every day can help both of you to get more exercise and achieve your fitness goals. Try exploring some new locations together and see what your dog likes best. Switching up the locations is also important to prevent your dog from getting bored. Playing at home with your dog is also a great way for you both to get in some exercise.
If you have a cat, we recommend that you schedule in some extra playtime every single day. Playing with your cat is very important for their physical and mental health, even if they seem a little lazy after the holidays! Cats are naturally active in short bursts, so scheduling a few short play sessions throughout the day is usually best. In the wild, most of a cat’s exercise comes from hunting, where they will chase and pounce so the best way to play with them is by getting them to recreate this behaviour. Be sure to switch their toys out every few days to stop them from getting bored!
Spend more time with loved ones
Over the festive period, we tend to spend more time at home and thus, more time with our pets. This is great for them whilst it lasts as they get to spend more time with their favourite person, however it can also be really difficult when everyone goes back to work and school and aren't around as much. Some dogs can even suffer from separation anxiety and experience a lot of stress. Obviously, there’s not a lot we can do to change our work routine. However, it is important to prepare your pet and be sure to consult your vet if you notice any signs of separation anxiety in your canine companion. Remember to make sure someone is there to check in on your pet, such as a sitter, so that they aren't alone for too long. You can also make sure your pet has lots of enriching toys and activities to do whilst you are away from them.
When you are at home, make sure you put time aside to spend some quality time with your pet where they can have your attention all to themselves. You could play a game or even just sit and read a book while your cat curls up on your lap! Quality time is very important so be sure to set a little extra aside for your pet, they're sure to appreciate it.
We get it, we've all over-indulged over the festive period, and your pet has probably had more treats than usual too! January is a great time to cut down on the snacking and make a healthy change to your diet - for both of you! If you're not sure what your pet should be eating, you can pop to your vet and have a chat with them about the correct diet for your cat or dog. You can also contact pet dieticians such as The Dog Nutritionist to get tailored recipes for your dog. This can be particularly helpful if your dog has ongoing health concerns or allergies. If you tend to feed your pet table scraps, make a resolution to stop as it’ll help you to better balance your pets meals and avoid overfeeding them. Plus, lots of human food isn't good for our animal companions and some can even be poisonous!