By Sari Reis
Do you have a cat or a dog? If so, the new year presents a brand-new opportunity to develop the quality of care you offer them.
Our animals rely on us to provide food, water, shelter, exercise, health care, companionship, play and, of course, love. Here are some suggested New Year’s resolutions to show them just how much you care.
Learn about pet nutrition specific to your animal and commit to feeding them the best possible diet you can afford.
If your cat or dog is overweight, discuss a weight-loss program with your veterinarian and then implement it.
Ensure your pet has a clean fresh bowl of water every day and that their food dishes are washed after every feeding.
Teach your dog or cat at least one new trick or behavior this year. They will love the challenge and the interaction with you.
If it has been over a year since your pet had their last wellness exam, call your veterinarian today and make an appointment. Be sure to have their teeth checked as well. If they need a professional cleaning, schedule it.
All animals need help with grooming. Whether it be regular brushing of their fur or coat, cleaning their ears, clipping their nails, brushing their teeth, or just a haircut, commit to do it regularly.
Does your dog or cat need a micro-chip or ID tags? Then get it done. To make sure your lost pet can safely make it back home, double check that your contact information on their ID is up to date.
Make a commitment to spend more quality time with your pet. Give your dog an extra walk or a longer one. Take him to the dog park if he enjoys it, or give him a chance to play at a doggie day care every once in a while. Kitties need personal attention too. Since they are primarily hunters, feed that primitive drive by playing interactive games with them where they get to chase some “prey.” A good rule of thumb for cats is 10 minutes of play in the morning and again in the evening.
If your dog has some behavior issues, resolve to hire a trainer. Fix the problem rather than ignore it all year.
Do you have a backyard your dog likes to roam around and play in? Give it an inspection and make sure it is safe. If it needs repairs, resolve to do them as soon as you can.
Is your dog left alone all day while you are at work? Consider hiring a professional dog walker. Not only will a mid-day walk give him or her a chance to relieve themselves, but it also an opportunity for them to receive some extra TLC during the day.
I know you love your pets, so why not show them that by putting some of these resolutions into practice in 2018? Wishing you and your pet the best year yet in 2018.
— Sari Reis is a Certified Humane Education Specialist and the owner of Mission Valley Pet Sitting Services. For more information, contact her at 760-644-0289 or missionvalleypetsitting.com.