Pet Owners’ New Year’s Resolutions

 

Happy New Year from Family’s Pet!

We approach the new year with great anticipation as it provides an opportunity for so many changes. It is a time to dream and aspire to a greater quality of life. As you begin to brainstorm some resolutions for the new year, ‘paws’ and remember your pet. You hold the leash to his quality of life as well. Some of the resolutions you choose may be applicable to your pet, making him a great partner and motivator to keep you both on track to reaching your goals. To help get you started, look over our suggestions to see which ones can make the new year a happy one for you and your four legged friend.

1. Eat Healthier Meals. Since this is already a popular resolution on many people’s lists, why not extend it to your pet’s diet as well? Getting back to the basics, it is important to remember that dogs are carnivores. Before being domesticated and served dry kibble from ceramic dishes with cute little bones stenciled on them, they would scrounge and hunt for their food and eat their prey raw. Many pet owners are returning their pets to a raw diet which can be significantly more healthful when done properly. More on that in a future blog.

If you are not ready for the raw revolution, keep in mind that all kibble is not created equal. Choose one with meat as the first ingredient and avoid dog foods with wheat, corn, soy or other fillers that are not natural to a dog’s digestive system. These will only lead to a deterioration of health over time. Other no nos include preservatives and food colorings which can lead to hyperactivity in your pet.

2. Think Through Treats. Do not treat your dog as a garbage disposal. Even though he may really enjoy cleaning plates at the end of a meal, as a responsible pet owner, you must keep his best interest in mind. Many table scraps lead to obesity, diabetes, bad dental hygiene and a slew of other health conditions. Be especially weary of wheat, corn and other grains as well as high fat content foods which will upset digestion.
As a healthy alternative, buy or bake your own wholesome treats. Want to save time and money? Just break off some bits of meat form a rotisserie chicken or other unseasoned meat and your dog will be eating out of your hand…literally. These small bits can be used for training, rewarding, and just plain bonding with your carnivorous canine or feline. That’s not to say that they do not enjoy some herbaceous varieties. Carrots, bell peppers, apples, and broccoli are appealing to most dogs and provide a nutritional boost. Chop into pieces and feed them to your pet raw.

3. Get Movin’. Whether you walk on two legs or four, eating better and getting proper exercise go hand in hand when it comes to improving your health. A daily walk around the block with your pet each morning and evening is a great place to start. Walking improves mood, helps maintain a healthy weight, regulates digestion, and strengthens the bones and cardiovascular system. But don’t stop there! Having an active life style may mean replacing some sedentary activities with physical ones. So turn off the TV and the tablet and play some good ol’ fashion fetch with your dog. Depending on your interests you can even take him to the beach, on a hike, or to the dog park. When it is just too cold outside, consider taking your pet to an indoor training facility with obstacles to get your dog’s heart pumping. Cat’s like to move too, the key is finding the right motivation. Your cat may enjoy playing on a scratching post or tower. Try to find out what kind of toys entice your feline. Attaching a feathery bird or squeaky mouse to a string allows you to toss out the line and pull the object in slowly as you gauge your cats interest. Even the stingiest of cat’s can not resist the intoxicating lure of cat nip which is sure to loosen his mood.

Hopefully you will find it simple to implement some of these ideas into your routine in the coming year. Be sure to check back as we will be posting many more articles on tips and ideas and even recipes to help you and your pet be the best that you can be in 2015!

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