By: Brandi Lawson

New Years is one of my favorite holidays. It brings a feeling of starting fresh, and always motivates me to create new goals. This year, I’ve decided to take it a step further and make up some new year’s goals for my pets as well. I often talk in these blogs about their health being just as important as my own, so I thought this holiday would be the perfect opportunity to incorporate some new healthy habits for my dog, Albie and cat, Mulder. Here is my list of New Year’s Resolutions for my pets, tweet or comment on our social media accounts if you have some of your own!

Feeding

One of the first goals that I thought of was to regulate my pets’ feeding more strictly. I’ve fallen into the habit of pouring their food straight from the bag into their bowls without measuring on my way out of the house. I’ve actually noticed in the past couple weeks that Mulder has gained a small amount of weight, and as cute as I think his chubby cheeks are, weight gain is something I’d like to avoid as much as possible. I’ve started to be more careful about measuring their food out before I feed them by using the recommended amount from the Poof App. It takes into account their size, age and other details in order to give the recommended amount from the manufacturer. To make things easier, I’ve started measuring their portions out beforehand and keeping them in Ziploc bags, so that even if I’m rushing out of the door in the morning, I still have time to correctly feed them.

Exercise

I’m pretty good about keeping both of my pets active. I use my Poof Activity Monitor daily, and make sure they’re both getting enough exercise. However, I decided that this year that I’d like to throw some curveballs into our routine of walking, visiting the dog park down the road, and playing with their favorite toys. There’s a trail nearby that is full of curvy hills and interesting trees and plants to look at. I’ve started taking Albie there once a week (it’s a difficult hike, any more would be too much). He really enjoys exploring and greeting other dogs as they’re passing by. It was a much-needed change in our routine and it’s also a great way to bond with him.

Training

Because Albie is only a few months over a year, his behavior needs more work than Mulder, who is 3. January is also National Train Your Dog Month, so I figured this was a perfect chance to work on his “education”. We’ve signed up for classes at our local doggie daycare, and so far he is loving it! Researching and taking advantage of local dog training classes is a great way to meet playmates from around the area, as socializing your dog regularly is also important to their behavioral development. Now is the perfect time to start, since some training classes are offering discounts for National Train Your Dog Month.

Grooming

I did some research on ways to bond with cats since Mulder is not at all interested in going on our weekly hikes with us. A great tip I found is grooming daily. Using a brush (one made for pets, of course) to groom your cat or dog every day helps remove excess fur and reduces shedding. It’s also a great way to show your pet affection. As I’m sure any pet owner knows, animals often show affection by caring for, cleaning and sprucing each other up. Grooming is the best way to tap into their primal routine and show them how much you love them.