Easy Resolutions for You and Your Pets

On New Year’s Day, people all over the country celebrate with resolutions to become better people than they were the previous year. We believe we can set a course for self-improvement with new goals. And those resolutions are generally broken because they require more change than we can fit into our busy lives.

So why don’t you make a list of resolutions to add every couple of months? Once you’ve mastered one, add another! And in these goals, or dreams with deadlines, include your pet(s). You both will benefit from the changes below!

  1. Brush your pets regularly.

In the winter, pets have heavier fur, and some dogs have a thick undercoat. Brushing reduces mats. In the warmer months, help your pets lose the extra coat to be a little cooler. Take the time to brush your pets. Not only will the pet benefit from the attention, but studies reveal that stroking a pet can reduce a human’s blood pressure. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3236382 Petting a dog can reduce stress in the dog and you and releases in humans a relaxation hormone and reduces levels of a stress hormone. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/6-ways-pets-improve-your-health

If your pet doesn’t enjoy being brushed or pet, this might be a good resolution to work into slowly. Both dogs and cats benefit from brushing as much as humans. (https://fluffsofluv.com/five-reasons-to-brush-your-cat/)

  1. Walk with your pets.

Walking your pet provides exercise for you both and can introduce you to other pet lovers. Some owners put their cats in harnesses and walk them on a leash. If you find your walks to be more work than pleasure, read this post https://fluffsofluv.com/dog-walking-101/.

  1. Play

Humans benefit from play. Fun, laughter, and play are all healthy for physical and mental health. Play is natural for animals and humans. As adults, we forget the joy and benefits of play, and we live the consequences. So play and laugh! Throw a Frisbee, roll a ball, wrestle with your dog or tease your cat with a string. If you’re out of ideas, simply search fun with your cat (or dog) or playing with your dog (or cat). Arden Moore wrote “Happy Cat, Happy You”, which has fun and easy ways to entice your cat to play and exercise.

Other healthy results can also be derived from owning pets! Take a look at this site for additional benefits. http://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-pets-improve-your-health

Consider your pets’ health, as well as your own, and consider adding these resolutions throughout the year.

  1. Brush your pets’ teeth.  

Ideally, you should brush your dogs’ and cats’ teeth daily. So with that in mind, find a soft toothbrush and pet toothpaste. (Human toothpaste can upset the pet’s stomach.) Start by brushing in the back of the mouth while working each time toward the front. You might also find helpful using a tasty treat in between brushings, such as tuna. Be sure to put it on a toothbrush so they pet gets a nice surprise from letting you brush its teeth! 

  1. Clean your pets’ ears.

Use a non-irritating ear cleaner and gauze to clean the ears of your dogs and cats every couple of weeks, or as necessary. If you see ear wax build-up or the animal scratches or swats at its ears, the ears might need to be cleaned. Do not pour hydrogen peroxide or alcohol in your pets’ ears, and DO NOT use cotton swabs.

  1. Perform regular checks on your pets’ eyes, ears, nose, and nails.

Daily is not too often to look into your pets’ eyes for discolor or discharge and ears for wax and irritation, as well as ticks. Check the nose to be sure it is moist and not cracked from dryness.  Check nails to be sure they are short and neither split, curling nor growing back into the toe pad. Toe nail issues can cause pain and lameness. Check between the toes for ticks and debris, such as rock salt from driveways. And check their skin and coats. Look for lumps, bumps, mats, fleas, ticks, sores, discharge or dirt. 

Address any issues you find immediately! Keep a record of your checks and note any changes so that you can help your pet’s veterinarian make educated decisions about your furry family member’s health.

Pursue these useful resolutions as small, manageable goals and watch your life improve!

By Beth Crosby