Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Pet

New Year’s Resolutions Aren’t Just for People

The start of a new year can signal a fresh start for your pets who may need a change in their routine. For example, with over 50 percent of pets in the U.S. classified as overweight, there’s no better time for owners to commit to a new, healthy food and exercise regimen for their dogs. Need more ideas? Here are ten resolutions to make this year your pet’s healthiest year yet!

Measure Your Pet’s Food – Every Time!

measure your pet's food

Many of us are guilty of just “eyeballing” the dog’s or cat’s kibble and pour that into a bowl. This usually results in overfeeding and weight gain — especially as your pet gets older. It’s important to use an 8-ounce measuring cup to ensure your dog isn’t taking in more calories than they need. The recommended feeding guidelines on the bag are good place to start to figure out how much food your pet really needs. Older pets and those who have been fixed usually have lower energy needs than young, intact animals.

Choose an Age-Appropriate Food

Growing dogs have very specific nutrient requirements to ensure their bodies grow healthy and strong. For example, some senior dogs may have lower energy requirements, but have other medical issues like degenerative joint disease that may be helped with the appropriate food. Choosing a food specifically tailored to your dog’s life stage is a great way to keep them in optimal health.

Try a New Activity with Your Dog

Play fetch with your pet

From doga to hiking, skijoring to kayaking, it’s easier than ever for people to incorporate their dog into a new exercise routine. It’s a great way to bond, it’ll get you both out of the house, and both owner and dog will reap the rewards of a healthy physical activity. Meet-up groups are a great way to find like-minded dog owners to join you in your exercise, too!

Incorporate (More) Playtime into Your Routine

Fun playtime with your cat

Cats love the thrill of chasing a laser toy; just don’t tell them it’s exercise! Toys that trigger a cat’s predatory instinct are a great way to get them off the couch and engaged in a little aerobic activity. Experiment to see what really gets your cat going. Lasers, catnip toys, crinkly balls and climbable cat trees are perennial feline favorites. Even a cardboard box (or a Santa hat) can become a cat cave that satisfies a cat’s desire for a hiding place.

For the complete Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for your pet, visit Top 10 New Year’s Resolution on petMD!