Do you have New Year’s resolutions for your pet?

It’s a never-ending cycle, isn’t it? We reach the end of one year and look to the next, wondering at all the change and new experiences it may hold for us. Will we be healthier? Will we try to get a more positive outlook on life? Will we get a new job, a new home, new friends, or other major changes? Will we once more sign up for a gym and try to lose a little extra weight while eating better? New Year’s resolutions are a tradition countless people share, while a far smaller percentage of those who commit to such actually follow through on them. But while you may struggle to keep your resolutions, you also have control over the results of resolutions made for another member of your family: your pet!

Now, what sort of resolutions do people make for their pets? As the chart above shows, many people focus on obvious elements, such as helping their pet drop some excess weight, getting them better trained to avoid messes around the home, or eliminating bad breath and other unwelcome symptoms that may reduce their cuddliness a bit. Here are a few other pet resolution ideas you can work on as we shift from 2015 into 2016!

  1. Regular vet checkups: When was the last time you visited a vet? If you wait to take your pet in until they’re injured or showing symptoms of a nasty illness, it may take much more time and effort to help them recover. Regular checkups, shot updates, and the like are excellent preventative measures that can help your pet enjoy a longer life.
  2. Regular exercise: Finding ways to keep your pet active is critical to their overall quality of life. This can be as simple as taking your dog for a daily walk (which can help you keep to your own healthy resolutions as well!) or finding a particular toy your cat loves to frolic with for hours on end.
  3. Adoption & shelter support: This isn’t a direct resolution for your pet, but can be a boon to animals everywhere. If you give your time to shelters or adoption agencies, or work to raise funds and awareness for their operations, you are directly contributing to improving the nation’s overall pet population and could help countless dogs and cats find loving homes where they might otherwise have been abandoned, euthanized, or forced to spend the holidays alone.

As 2016 swiftly approaches, what resolutions are you making, both for yourself and for your dog or cat? How will you remain accountable to these once we get into January and beyond?

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