Monday, June 24, 2024

ANIMALS 101 – NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS TO HELP YOUR PETS

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YOUR PETS CAN BE HEALTHIER AND HAPPIER IN 2024 WITH SOME OR ALL OF THESE PAWSOME PET NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!

The presents are opened, the Christmas leftovers are done…….and now it’s that time of year again when we think about what we shouda-coulda-woulda done differently last year and vow to do better this year. I wish you and your pets a Pawsome 2024! May life treat you the way you treat your pets!

A new year brings new goals, renewed hope and 365 days of opportunity for you and your pet to bond, develop healthier habits and discover new ways to live a full life. Your pet can live a better tomorrow with your help.

An important first step is to avoid becoming overwhelmed thinking you need to make big changes overnight. Baby steps in the right direction are the way to go. The important thing is to make a plan and move steadily forward.

HERE ARE SOME IDEAS FOR PET-POSITIVE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION 

Three-part series re-publication: Originally published 4 January 2023

New Year's resolutions
Pet New Year’s resolutions – Image by The Paw Company

SPAY & NEUTER YOUR PETS.

This is probably our most important one. There are so many benefits to this plus you will help stop this massive overpopulation crisis we face in animal welfare. If your pet is already sterilized, thank you! Please consider sponsoring one other sterilization for someone in need this year.

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT FOR YOUR PET AND FEED THEM D A NUTRITIOUS DIET.

As with us humans, it’s all too easy for a pet’s weight to gradually creep up over time. Measuring your pet’s food accurately is the first step to take to prevent overfeeding.

The goal in offering your pet fresh food, which they can truly thrive on, is to mimic the ancestral diet of dogs and cats as closely as possible without breaking the bank. Feed your pet as much unprocessed, fresh food as you can afford.

Ask your holistic veterinarian for food recommendations appropriate for your pet’s species, age, breed and lifestyle. Feed the recommended amount, and limit treats to small goodies in limited portions. Add in some healthy items, such as bits of carrots, apples and blueberries.

If you give them bones, follow these guidelines! See some advice we shared from Dr. Karen Becker (Veterinarian and co-author of The Forever Dog) on fresh food ideas.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT ANIMAL CARE, BEHAVIOUR OR PET HEALTH EVERY WEEK.

Learn about the optimal care for your pet, and safety, meeting all their specie/breed-specific needs. Observe your pet’s body language and learn what they are trying to tell you.

Check out The Paw Company’s index post on various animal topics and follow our ANIMALS 101 series here in The Bulletin every Wednesday.

PROVIDE A LIFETIME OF TRAINING AND SOCIAL INTERACTION.

Dogs, cats and or other social animals can benefit from interaction with animals of the same species. Having a pet that is well-trained, obedient, happy, relaxed and responsive means that not only will your pet be easier to manage and safer in potentially dangerous situations, but you will also get more pleasure from your companionship as a result. Well-socialized have much less chance of winding up at an animal shelter.

Learn a new trick or address at least one of those behavioural concerns or “bad” habits of your pet. Get some professional help if you need to. Remember there is a difference between a trainer and a behaviourist. In the Secunda area contact our local trainer Jennifer.

IMPROVE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF PET FIRST AID AND CREATE A PET-EMERGENCY PLAN.

Accidents happen and the odds are that when your pets eat something they shouldn’t or get hurt, you will be home alone and it will be after veterinary hours. That’s why it’s so important for a pet parent to know how to handle an emergency and what the plan is in case of a fire, a flood, car accident, or possible evacuations. Save your veterinarian and other local vet’s emergency number on your phone. Read more on having an emergency plan.

New years resolutions
Pet New Year’s Resolutions – Image by Dr. Karen Becker

Also see how you can help animal welfare organizations here.

STRENGTHEN YOUR BOND WITH QUALITY TIME.

You have a relationship bank account with your pet. Some negative actions like frustration and intimidation equal withdrawals while positive actions like play and attention are investments or deposits. Keep a positive bank balance.

Spend more time with your pets than you did last year! This can be some one-on-one time with your dog or cat, even if just at home watching some TV and cuddling or playing or having an adventure in the outside world. Sometimes resolve to just sit with your pet and watch the world go by and always be in the moment, not on your phone when you spend quality time together.

MEET ALL THEIR NEEDS.

  • A suitable environment.
  • Appropriate diet and fresh, clean, cool, dinking water daily.
  • Companionship.
  • A chance to exhibit normal behaviour.
  • Good health and medical attention when needed.
  • Enrichment is also crucial for your pet’s well-being. This includes food, sensory, cognitive, physical habitat and social enrichment.

Read more about enrichment.

GET MORE EXERCISE & LET THEM SNIFF MORE.

It is good for both you and your pet. Get creative as exercise does not need to be boring. Play games or go for one of the 8 different walks.

Your pets didn’t have a choice when they came to stay with you and since you chose to have them, it is your responsibility to meet their every need! Next week we will continue with part 2 of this 3-part series on the pet-pawsitive New Year’s resolutions.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution for your pet?

WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER!