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Welcoming the New Year with resolutions for both you and your pets

As we step into a brand-new year, many of us will set new year resolutions to make positive changes in our lives. Why should this be any different for our family pets? Making resolutions for yourself and your pets can create healthy and happy habits and goals for the future. So, why not start the year with resolutions that cater to both you and your beloved pets?

At Animal Ark Veterinary Centre, we are here to help you discover the significance of including your pet's needs in your resolutions and how these changes can boost your pet's mental and physical wellbeing.

Meeting your pet's needs in your New Year goals

1. Work on managing their weight together

Just as you might have a fitness goal for yourself, your pet can also benefit from a healthy lifestyle! If your pet is carrying a few extra pounds or needs more exercise, consider making a New Year's Resolution to manage their weight. If you’re struggling with managing your pet’s weight or would like advice on how to best support your pet’s weight goals, we are here to help! Here at Animal Ark, our team are always on hand to discuss your pet’s health needs in 2024 and beyond!

Regular exercise, balanced nutrition and portion control can make a substantial difference in any pet’s life. What's more, these activities can become wonderful bonding experiences that can bring your whole family together.

2. Embark on new adventures with your dog

For your next New Year’s resolution, let's make 2024 a year of exploration and adventure for you and your dog! Plan dog-friendly outings, whether you fancy a hike in the woods, a fun trip to the dog park or a weekend getaway. Whether you plan your pet into your trips, or plan trips solely for the enjoyment of your pet, they will be grateful that they’re being more involved in your life. Discovering new places together can be incredibly rewarding and deepen the bond you share.

Going on holiday? Learn more about pet travel advice and animal health certificates. 

3. Set aside more playtime for your pet

No matter what species, breed or age group, your pets need mental and physical stimulation to stay content, healthy and happy. Include a New Year’s resolution to engage in more interactive activities with your family pets. You could consider puzzle toys, cat wand toys, obedience training and extra playtime to keep their minds active and their boredom at bay. Cats prefer lots of short interactions when it comes to playtime, rather than long periods of interaction. Your resolution could be to spend 10 minutes in the morning playing with your pets before you go to work.

Mental stimulation can be just as rewarding as a long run is for many pets. So, why not take your usual route to the park backwards on occasion, to keep your pet stimulated? Your resolution could be to take a toy for training and play on your next walk together.

4. Promote socialisation for dogs

You could also consider setting a resolution to encourage more socialisation for your dog. This could involve arranging playdates with other dog owners, joining training classes or visiting pet-friendly events. Socialising can enhance their confidence, help with anxiety and make them more comfortable in various situations. By fostering socialisation, your dog will grow more confident and well-adjusted, which contributes to their overall wellbeing.

Top tip for bringing your dog to the vet:

Dog training leads are invaluable for pet owners, especially when visiting the vets. These long leads, typically made of lightweight and durable materials, allow for greater control over your dog in various situations. When visiting the vet, where there may be unfamiliar smells, sounds, or other animals, a training lead can help ensure your dog's safety and prevent them from getting into stressful or potentially dangerous situations.

Training leads are useful for maintaining a safe distance from other animals and patients in the waiting room, preventing any unexpected interactions that could lead to stress or aggression. They also help you guide your dog into the examination room or onto the scale with ease. In emergency situations, a well-trained dog on a lead can be quickly and safely managed, reducing the risk of accidents or injuries.

Overall, using a training lead at the vet's enhances the safety, control and comfort of both your dog and the people and animals around you, making the visit a smoother and less stressful experience for everyone involved.

5. Integrate them into your daily life

Another New Year’s resolution for your pet could be to incorporate them into your own daily routines. Whether that is something as simple working from home with your pet as your loyal co-worker, or just sharing quality time while you relax with a good book. Some examples of dog-friendly experiences include visiting dog-friendly cafes or pubs when catching up with friends or family. Including them more in your daily life can forge an unbreakable connection.

Should you set New Year’s resolutions for your pet?

Setting New Year’s resolutions or goals for your pet can be a rewarding experience for all of the family.

Your pet's wellbeing is closely linked to the care and attention you provide. Weight management, exercise, and mental stimulation are all vital for a happy and healthy pet. An active pet is less prone to obesity-related health problems and generally leads to a more content life. Similarly, caring for your pet's mental health is just as crucial as their physical wellbeing. Mental stimulation can ease anxiety and depression in pets, leading to a happier and less stressed companion.

Additionally, engaging your dog in your daily life and taking them on adventures helps create a stronger bond for all the family. The quality time you share not only enhances your relationship but also offers a sense of security and comfort to your pet.

The perks aren't just for your pets either! As a pet owner, more exercise, outdoor activities and quality time with your pet can positively impact your own physical and mental health. Walking your dog, for instance, can keep you active and reduce your own stress levels. Not to mention that resolving to include your pet in your New Year’s resolutions sets you apart and showcases your dedication to their happiness. It's a unique and heartfelt way to start the New Year, fostering kindness and a sense of selflessness in your behaviour, thinking, and actions in 2024.

Book an appointment today 

Start their New Year right at Animal Ark in Ilford with our preventative healthcare plan!

Whatever goal you want to set for your pet, get them back on track with their routine care with Pet Health for Life. Our annual plan takes care of all your pet’s preventative care needs to make caring for your pet easier and simple.

Find out more about Pet Health for Life Plan here