5 New Years Resolutions For You AND Your Pet!
2013 has arrived! The world didn’t come to an end, Obama is still president and Grumpy Cat memes get more & more fabulous every single day. Folks usually set themselves up for failure by making unrealistic and eventually confidence-crushing resolutions. Rather than just getting a gym membership when you’d rather suck tacks than run on a treadmill like so many philosophical hamsters before you, or drink diet shakes that make you want to gag for the sole purpose of losing a pound or two at the expense of your happiness & sanity, why not be a little different this year? How about making some resolutions that benefit both you AND your pet? Here are 5 realistic & feasible suggestions for you and your pet to create some positive change in your lives and get this year off to a healthy and happy start:
1. You drink less, your cats drink more!
Here’s an interesting tidbit for you – cats and dogs express thirst differently. It’s a physiological thing with cats – they have to “think” to drink, as opposed to dogs and humans who feel “thirsty” and then are inclined to drink…we’re talking water here, not whiskey. Where you can work with your cat is that you cut down on the Jack Daniels while kitty takes in more water. How? You: put the darn bottle down and grab a glass of H2O. For your cat: get a water fountain. The water fountain is kind of like a Victoria Secret bra…it makes something flat and sometimes lop-sided more robust and a heck of a lot more appealing. Cats are smart creatures and as you know, are notorious for being quite finicky. First of all, it’s fresh water that is continuously moving, and some may even argue that the kitties are stimulated by the sound of a running stream. This worked for our 4 cats, so hopefully this can work for yours. We noticed the difference in their urine tests since getting the fountain; even though they are older cats, their kidneys are in great shape. As your cat ages, the more you want to encourage them to drink to keep them hydrated.
2. Exercise: 10 mins/day for cats, 30 mins/day for dogs!
Cat Owners: the good news is you can sit on your butt and let the cats do all the work! The Cat Dancer is super cheap and for some reason cats absolutely LOVE it! Playing will get your cat’s heart rate up, get their joints lubricated and use their hunting instincts thus keeping them intellectually stimulated!
Dog Owners: take a walk with your dog…not just a quick pee while you’re on your iPhone, but allow yourself to enjoy a brisk walk! Being frank, life is busy enough. When you opened your heart and home to your dog, you opened the door to making them a part of the family. Regardless of the weather, enjoy a good 30 minutes a day walking your dog. If you’re THAT busy, look at it like this: if Madonna can set aside 2 hours a day for yoga, you can set aside 30 minutes for your dog! You’ll both benefit from the fresh air, chances are you will lower your stress levels, and this will result in you and your dog not only being healthier, but happier.
3. Diet: Re-evaluate!
Diet is a tricky one…and can be very controversial topic amongst pet owners. Even in our circle of pet-loving friends, the question is ongoing: what’s the best diet for a pet? Some say dry food, some swear by wet food, others firmly endorse raw food, others say “screw it” and just feed their pets people food like they did in the “Little House on the Prairie” days. What we will say is this: just like no two human diets are the same, no two pet diets are the same. ASK A TRUSTED PROFESSIONAL. Perhaps you can book an appointment with a Nutritionist or a Naturopathic Doctor to see what diet is best for your body composition (you may be surprised by how detailed it can get…and how much it can make a difference to not only how you look, but result in a huge boost to your energy levels!). After you’ve seen to yourself, make an appointment with your Veterinarian. Let them know your preferences and your concerns and see what health changes you can make in 2013 that will enable your pet to improve their digestive health.
4. Dental Health: cleanliness is next to DOGliness!
My mama used to say that if you ever want to know how clean a person is, look at their teeth. It didn’t matter if their teeth were crooked, fang-like or looked like psychedelic piano keys, if they were CLEAN, that person was CLEAN. Since my Mama knows everything, I pass that wisdom onto you.
Regarding your pet, if they’re young, pick up a brush kit and get them used to having their teeth brushed. If they’re older, don’t subject them to invasive prodding at that stage of their life. There is quite a selection of dental chew toys for dogs, and dental treats for cats. There are also liquids you can add to your pet’s water to promote dental health, and although there is alot of selection out there, the top of our list is AquaDent. Made by Virbac (the leading producer of dental products for Veterinarians), their products have gone through extensive research and efficacy trials. If it gets the thumbs up from our Vets, it gets the thumbs up from us.
5. LOVE: too much is never enough!
It’s been studied by doctors, universities & even the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention: the love of a pet does WONDERS for your health. Just some of the benefits include decreasing stress, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, eases pain, prevents strokes and improves your mood! Why not spend a few minutes every day enjoying a little bit of pet therapy? Cuddling on the couch, dancing around your living room to Cyndi Lauper while your pet has no other choice than to participate, or just telling your pet about how your day went. To some folks that may seem a bit nuts, but honestly, don’t knock it til you try it! Pets are the best listeners out there…talk to them about work, vent about someone who ticked you off, share something great that happened…it’s amazing how releasing it can be. Why not give it a try? It’s a new year, see it as a new opportunity!
If you have any other resolution suggestions that we can try along with our pets, please share them in the Comments section below. From the petEnVogue family to yours, we wish you a very HAPPY 2013!