1. I will be conscientious of my pet’s weight and not let him get too heavy. Obesity is the number one pet health issue in the United States.
Overweight dogs are more prone to joint and respiratory problems. Overweight cats can become diabetic and are more likely to have urinary and joint issues.
2. I will give my pet quality time every day. Behavior problems are common in pets and can stem from simple boredom. A game of fetch, a walk, chasing a laser pointer and just a simple belly rub can make you remember why you got a pet in the first place!
3. I will remember to keep my house safe for my pet. Toxic plants, household cleaners, medications and foods should be kept out of reach. It is amazing how creative some pets can be in getting hold of things they shouldn’t.
4. I will do something fun with my pet. For a dog, try teaching him a new trick or going for a hike on a new trail. For a kitty, get a new toy like a remote-control mouse or fishing pole feather toy.
5. I will take my pet for regular veterinary check-ups. You know that one had to make the list. Problems that are detected early can be much more successfully managed than when they are advanced.
Now to be fair, here are some resolutions to suggest for your dog:
1. I will stop drinking out of the toilet (at least within my owner’s earshot).
2. I will stop sniffing inappropriate areas of my owner’s houseguests.
3. I will stop chasing the cat (unless he starts it first).
4. I will come the first time I’m called (unless I’m following a really awesome scent).
5. I will love you unconditionally — that’s an easy one. I do that already!
And not to be left out, here’s some for your cat:
1. I will stop blaming the dog for everything I do wrong (not that I ever do anything wrong).
2. I will continue to let you live in my house in return for simple maintenance of my lifestyle — a clean litterbox and fresh food and water every day. Unless I grow opposable thumbs, in which case all bets are off.
3. I will give you fair warning when you are petting me that I am finished and want down before I bite you.
4. I will stop teasing the dog. (That one’s hard — it probably won’t last past day 2).
5. I will love you unconditionally. Even though it may not seem like it, I really do anyway.
All of us at Blairstown Animal Hospital wish you and your family a safe, happy and healthy New Year!
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