Paws-itive New Year Resolutions

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By Tricia Roberts

The feasts and festivities are behind us. It’s the time of year when we resolve to do better and be better. Most resolutions usually include something about weight loss, exercise or generosity. Our furry family members are often left out of our New Year plans. With all the love and happiness they bring us, shouldn’t our pets be part of our resolutions for 2023? I think so, and if you do too, here’s a list of resolutions your pet will love.

Walk your dog daily

I’m putting this one on my list. How easy it is to simply open the back door and let the dog outside to frolic in the fenced-in back yard. But the look on your dog’s face when someone grabs a leash is priceless. Daily walks, even short ones, will help you bond and give you both a little exercise.

Measure your pet’s food

Pet obesity is one of the biggest concerns for pet health. Over 50% of household cats and dogs are overweight. Weighing your pet’s food every single time will help their waistline and keep them healthier so we can love on them longer.

Improve your dog’s training

You can, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks, so it’s never too late to train your pup to do something new. Learning is a great way for dogs to keep their minds sharp, and helping your dog learn a new trick or behavior will strengthen your bond. You can bump this one up a notch by attending training or obedience classes.

Incorporate more playtime

Play with your cat once in a while by having him or her chase a laser toy. Play a weekly game of hide and seek with your dog. Regular games and activities are fun for everyone involved.

Plan adventures

This is another one we’re hoping to do consistently in the new year. If your dog likes to hop in the car as much as ours does, you can plan monthly day trips to dog-friendly parks, beaches and trails. You’ll both sleep better after a day of driving and exploring. Top it off with a stop at Starbucks for a refreshing pup cup for your pooch.

Refresh the toy bin

The new year is a great time to clear out the clutter. That includes the toy bin. Toss the old germ-infested toys, bones and stuffies (or give them a good wash if your pet is attached) and get some fresh new toys for your pet’s collection.

Step up your dental game

Regular daily brushings (or a minimum 3 times a week) will help your dog avoid dental disease later in life. It may be tough to get started, but once brushing becomes part of the daily routing, your dog will come to expect it.