No, I’m not talking about asking Fido to commit to staying out of the litter box in the New Year. We’re talking about your resolutions. You likely make resolutions this time of year to be a better you in the upcoming year. Whether we write them down or just keep them tucked away in the back of our minds, it is good to have goals. Goals become realities.
Why not include your pets in your New Year’s resolutions? Pets are the family that we choose. This year let’s consciously thank them for their loyalty, their unconditional love and the entertainment they provide us.
- Spending more time with those you love: You are likely the center of the universe according to your pets. Let’s not take our pets for granted. Skip the coffee shop or a re-run episode of Two and a Half Men. Instead, take the dog for a walk. Or, spend a few extra minutes playing with the cat. Don’t just grab the keys and go to work, stop and kiss your pet before heading out the door. Consciously appreciate your pet’s affection.
- Getting fit: If losing some weight or attaining fitness is on your list, why not take your pet for more walks? Pets get out of shape, too! Your pet may be the most consistent work out buddy you’ve ever had. The benefits are surprising. You can meet your neighbors, learn the city as you explore new walking routes, and even look better as you both get fit. A pretty friend of mine recently adopted a dog. She commented how helpful walking her new dog was to meet men.
- Being financially prudent: Brush your pet’s teeth! Seriously, this can provide significant savings on vet bills. Once pets hit middle age they tend to accumulate dental tartar. Without home dental care they typically require a dental cleaning at the vet office every year. Brushing your pet’s teeth will not only improve your pet’s health, it will save you some green and prevent Fluffy from getting dragon breath.
- Helping others: It can be difficult squeezing volunteer work into your already hectic schedule, but the mental benefits are amazing. When faced with greater issues, your own frustrations often seem miniscule. You will meet like-minded people. You can write your experiences on your resume which may advance your career. Your self-esteem may soar. Teach your children the importance of giving back to the community. Go to the local animal shelter and volunteer to walk dogs or foster kittens. Take your pet to a senior center for visitations. Be involved!
- Organizing your life: You probably have a file cabinet where you file bills and a safe deposit box where you keep important documents. Do you have medical records for each of your pets? Vets are usually happy to provide you with a copy of your pet’s most recent lab-work and chart notes. If something happens in the evening or weekend when your veterinary clinic is closed, you should have a copy to provide the ER veterinarian.
- Snacking: You know who you are. It’s not rocket science to know that giving your pet an Oreo cookie instead of a baby carrot just isn’t right. Your pet likely wants whatever it is that you are eating. If you make healthy choices for yourself, you are less likely to give inappropriate snacks to your pets.
New Year’s resolutions are all about being your best self. I hope these thoughts are helpful to you. We at American Diabetes Wholesale wish you a happy and healthy New Year.
NOTE: Consult your veterinarian to confirm that my recommendations are applicable for the health needs of your pet.