The New Year is a time for reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future. It’s a time that many of us make resolutions to improve our lives, break old habits, or focus on new goals. Your friends at Animal Clinic of Woodruff thought we’d add to your consideration a list of resolutions that pet owners may need to make for 2018. Pick one or a few of these to help make your new year a happy and healthy one for you and your pets.
New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners
- I will get training for my misbehaving dog. So many times, dog owners dismiss their dog’s bad behavior as something they’ll work on later, or something to ignore. But after months of screaming at the dog, saying “no!” over and over, or apologizing to friends and neighbors, it’s time for dog obedience training. Dogs of any age can learn to be better behaved around people and pets, to have better manners and to listen to your commands. Make 2018 the year you sign up for training – either at a store/class or with a private trainer – so that you can spend less of the year yelling, and more of the year enjoying your four-legged family member. If you need help getting started, ACOW offers pet behavioral counseling to get to the root of the problem.
- I will help my overweight dog or cat to get healthy. Pet owners, we hate to tell you this, but if your dog or cat is overweight, it’s 100% your fault. No excuses. You are the parent, and you are therefore fully responsible for your pets’ health. If your pet is overweight – and more than half (close to 54%) of American dogs and almost 60% of American cats are overweight or obese – then it’s entirely on you to help them lose weight. Talk to the vets at Animal Clinic of Woodruff about choosing healthy food and understanding exactly how much to give. For obese pets, we can also help set up a diet program. Never give your dogs or cats human food. And for dog owners, start taking your dogs for regular long walks – which should help your health as well as your dogs’. No more ignoring your overweight pets – it’s up to you to improve their health and lifestyle with healthy food and increased exercise.
- I will ensure my pets get their annual well check and vaccinations. With our busy lives, many of us forget to see the vet once/year for our pets’ annual physicals. This means we may also miss important regular shots, like rabies and CPV (Parvo), that your pets need to stay healthy. If there’s not a vet check on your 2018 calendar, contact us today to schedule a veterinary appointment.
- I will not take on pet care that I cannot handle in the long term. We’re in the job of caring for animals – of course we understand how adorable and wonderful a new cat or dog can be. But we also understand the incredible responsibility it is to care for an animal properly. Do not make the mistake this year of getting a pet that you don’t have the resources (time, money, space) to care for for the rest of its life. Please consider your rental agreement, the money you have for food and medical care, the time you have for training and walking, and your overall living arrangement before getting a new pet.
So whether you need to take a little better care of your pets, or remind yourself not to get your college-attending niece a cat – we hope you can make a pet resolution and stick with it this year. And don’t forget the best approach to pet care in 2018 – have fun with your furry family members! Go for the walk, give extra pets, cuddle up on the couch – we’re blessed and lucky to have these wonderful animals, so enjoy them as much as you can this year.
Happy 2018 from all of us at Animal Clinic of Woodruff!