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Pet New Year’s Resolutions

According to Wikipedia New Year’s resolutions are common on both sides of the globe, where a person “resolves to continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life at the start of a new year.” And for our pets, this includes the lives they take part in with us. The following are pet New Year’s resolutions.

Pet New Year’s Resolutions: Dogs

  • More walks
person walking dogs on leashes in countryside
Photo by Blue Bird on

Walking your dog is especially important if you live in an apartment or a house that doesn’t have a big backyard; because your pooch needs exercise to stay healthy.

  • Healthier eating and habits
Aussie playing with red and white pet puzzle feeder

With pet food recalls from time to time, it might be difficult to know what to feed your best friend. But there are so many dog food brands out there; and you can even make your own!

Furthermore, if your pet is on the heavier side, you can talk to your vet about ways to help slim down your friend. Or you can get puzzle feeders to make it more of a challenge.

  • Dental care
brown short coated dog wearing pink hair cap
Photo by Anna Shvets on

Since problems can be caused by mouth issues or cause other problems, the AVMA suggests your veterinarian check your dog’s teeth and gums once yearly for any problems. Also, it’s good to keep their mouths healthy.

  • Obedience training
crop man training dog
Photo by Zen Chung on

Taking your dog to obedience training is beneficial for many reasons. Not only is it good for your pooch, by teaching him/her basic commands. But it also teaches you more about your dog. And it gets you involved in your community, meeting other people with their pets. Additionally, it helps to avoid possible conflict between your dog and other animals by socializing your pet.

  • Protect your pooch
variety of tropical plants by picture window and on long wooden bench

Protecting your dog involves all of the above and more. Like keeping toxic substances, such as cleaning supplies and plants, out of their reach. In addition, keep their IDs up-to-date and get them micro-chipped, if you haven’t done so already.

  • Have an adventure
person with dog at the beach
Photo by Huy Phan on

Take your dog on an adventure, whether it’s to the dog park or to a national park, they’re sure to enjoy it. And it’ll be great exercise and togetherness for both of you.

Pet New Year’s Resolutions: Cats

  • Play more
calico cat under a bed playing with a fuzzy ball

Set aside time to play with your cat, even if it’s only 5-10 minutes a day. Cats also need to exercise, because otherwise they’ll get bored. Play stimulates their hunter instincts and relieves boredom. Plus, it helps prevent health problems related to obesity.

  • Teach tricks

People who don’t have cats might not be aware that they can in fact learn tricks. And New Year’s would be the perfect time to teach your furball a new one. They can do almost anything a dog can do: fetch, sit, come on command, etc.

calico cat crouching by scratching post

I personally have witnessed this behavior, so I’m not just repeating what I’ve heard or read. My newest cat tries to emulate the dog; she wants to do whatever Sophie gets to do. So if Sophie plays catch, Poppy wants to play catch, or her version of it. Unfortunately all of my attempts to video this have failed, so I’ll just have to keep trying. But in the meantime, just take my word for it.

tortoiseshell cat trying to drink out of a fountain outside

Having an indoor cat makes it really easy for them to become overweight. Especially if you’re busy with work and family. Though, if left unchecked, your cat is at risk for diabetes, liver problems, and joint pain.

Wet cat food is typically better for your feline friend, because dry food contains more carbs than anything. However, I know from experience that not all cats will eat wet food. So you can mix the two, and make sure you’re providing small meals for your cat throughout the day, just like what would occur naturally if they hunted. Also make sure there is plenty of fresh, clean water, like a fountain, since cats prefer running water.

  • Visit the vet
person in blue scrub shirt holding orange tabby cat
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

If you have an indoor cat, they will need to be seen for their annual vaccines. Even if they never step foot outside. However, if your feline friend uses the revolving door, they may need to see the vet more frequently. And don’t forget spaying and neutering your cat, if that remains to be done.

  • Enrich their environment
cat scratching post and plastic play spaces

What is an enriched environment? Well, a territory that’s enriched is one in which your furball feels safe, confident, and has happy experiences in. But by the same token, one that is not enriched is one where your cat feels scared, tense, and has unhappy experiences in.

So how can you better your cat’s home and world if they already seem pretty happy? For one, you can spend more time playing with them, get puzzle feeders and toys to engage them, and scratching posts, etc.

New Year’s Resolutions: Chickens

big chicken coop

We all know it’s important to keep the chicken coop clean. Although sometimes we just get busy, things happen. It was the holidays, and time got away from us. But now we have to commit to staying on a schedule.

  • Keep the run dry
person with chickens in covered yard outside
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

As much as is possible, keep the run dry to prevent parasites and chicken illnesses. Alternate putting down sand and straw, and changing it out when it gets wet.

  • Try a different or organic feed
brown chicken pecking at ground and one brown chicken eating out of a red coffee canister
Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Maybe this coming year you could try going organic with your birds, if you don’t already. Ask your local co-op what they would recommend for your particular flock.

  • Add variety
4 black newborn chicks in incubator with a variety of eggs

Start the new year by adding ducks to your flock; they make a great next step to owning backyard birds. Or, if your yard permits, increase the size of your flock with some chicks in the spring. Better yet, incubate some fertilized eggs: duck, chicken, or both!

  • Do an inspection
person holding a mixed black easter egger rooster

This is similar to cleaning the coop; we think we know what’s going on with our backyard birds, but sometimes sickness or a predator can get one of them. Thus it’s important to do an inventory and inspection in the backyard, coop, run and on the birds themselves.

Now I’ll share some resolutions from the animals’ points of view.

New Year’s Resolutions from our Dog’s POV:

I will …

  • eat more of all of my favorite things this year
  • sniff more butts
  • play more and more and more
  • go outside every chance I get! And I will
  • try really hard not to eat things I’m not supposed to. I promise, I’ll really try.
Australian Shepherd on her back in submission

New Year’s Resolutions from our Cat’s POV:

I will …

  • sleep more
  • eat more
  • play fuzzball more
  • destroy the hand. And I will
  • destroy the dog. But I like to play with the dog. No! Destroy her!
calico cat and Aussie play together
No cats or dogs were harmed in the capturing of this photo. This is Poppy and Sophie.

New Year’s Resolutions from one of our Chicken’s POV:

I will …

  • eat the veggies from the garden
  • eat whatever I find; in fact, finders keepers
  • not die; I will survive
  • dust bathe more. And I will
  • lay more eggs. Because I can’t help it, it’s what I do.
3 different types of chickens in a raised garden bed in the country

I hope you, your family, and your feathered and/or furry friends have a prosperous and peaceful New Year! If you enjoyed this post, please like, share, comment, and please don’t forget to follow!