Published on December 27th, 2013 | by Debbie Martin0
New Years Resolutions for Furry Friends
Given that New Years Resolutions are so hard to keep it seems a good idea to make them for someone else, instead of coming up with silly, unrealistic ideas and commitments that you just know that you’ll never keep. Of course, telling the love of your life that he/she needs to lose a few pounds, could maybe do with a bit of work around the eyes, or have some part of their anatomy reduced/enlarged is likely to find you with an unwanted New Year’s resolution of your own. Probably along the lines of ‘must find somewhere else to live when I get out of hospital’. Pets, however, can’t answer back and improving a furry friend’s lot in life can be a good way to trick our naturally reluctant selves into some better habits.
One of the most common resolutions at this time of year is to take up more exercise, and it’s one that normally has fallen by the wayside by the first spring blossom shows itself. However, exercise doesn’t have to mean joining a gym and one of the healthiest forms of regular exercise you can undertake is commonly known as walking. Humans have been doing this, often accompanied by the canine companions, for a very long time indeed. Our bodies are actually designed for it and respond well to this moderate-level exercise. It’s also incredibly popular with dogs, more commonly known amongst their species as ‘walkies’, and frequently interpreted as “run madly around the park chasing the plastic thing the master/mistress keeps losing”. It’s a great way to bond with a dog as it mimics their natural activities as pack animals and keeps the pounds off both of you!
Aches, Pains and Fleas
As we get older we all begin to develop a few aches, pains and the occasional case of fleas. Of course, we’re talking about the furry inhabitants of the house with the latter but, like us, our pets benefit from regular check-ups at the local ‘house of horror’ (a.k.a. the Vets). While many pets do not like visiting the Vets older animals should receive a regular check up to ensure they stay healthy and that any developing problems are spotted quickly. In the case of many animal illnesses, early diagnosis can make a real difference to the outcome. Regular visits to the ‘evil house of terror’ can have one useful side-effect, the place can become associated less with pain and terror in the animal’s eyes and this can be useful in the longer term!
Healthy eating for animals is a simple resolution to keep to – especially when you’re the one who controls the portion sizes and snacking options. Many animal health related problems can be placed firmly at the door of bad diet; obesity and a range of more serious conditions can result from over-feeding your best friends. Both dogs and cats should be fed on appropriate food and treats limited to very special occasions; check the packaging for recommended amounts, for both meals and treats, and don’t feed dogs or cats scraps of your own food (even if you’re trying to cut down yourself). If you are worried about your pet’s weight consider a trip to the Vets to get them checked over and ask for advice on correct feeding regimes for their species and size. Also remember that many foods that are fine for human consumption are poisonous to our feline and canine friends.
Healthy eating and plenty of exercise, along with quality time snuggled up on the sofa, are good for us all, even the household pets. When you make this year’s list of resolutions, don’t forget to include the four legged residents of your home!