The start of a new year is the perfect time to create a pet wellness plan for your beloved fur babies. Very much like New Year’s resolutions can help you get your own health priorities back on your to-do list, a good plan can work for your pet as well. We thought we’d cover a few wellness goals for your pets so you can set your sights on a great year with your furry friends.
A Pet Wellness Plan Made Easy
To begin, think about what areas of your pet’s life you’d like to improve. Feedback from your veterinarian may direct these goals (for example, if your pet needs to lose a little weight). Outline the key areas of improvement and develop a simple plan for applying action to those goals. Start small and incrementally work toward that healthier and happier life you want to give your pet.
Not sure where to start? Here are some good ideas for developing a wellness plan for your dog or cat.
Suggested Pet Wellness Goals for the Year
Many people make their resolutions each year with their health at the center of what they want to improve. It makes sense that our pet’s wellness is also important, but it can be easy to relax into a normal routine and overlook some important things. We get busy with our work schedules and personal lives, but our pet’s day is all about loving us, having fun, eating tasty things, and napping. They love us and enrich our lives, so why not elevate our care for them?
From health goals to giving them a more lively daily routine, you can incorporate a few of these pet wellness suggestions by creating a detailed plan or use them as reminders of ways you can make your pet’s year a fantastic one.
Make Health Goals
Pets young and old have health needs they cannot express to you. While they may seem healthy and happy, there may be some underlying issues that need to be addressed. The best way to make sure you meet all of your pet’s wellness needs is to provide them good veterinary, dental, and comfort care. Here are a few ways to make sure you are meeting and exceeding your pet’s basic physical needs.
- Make a plan to incorporate more exercise into your pet’s routine. Exercise helps to improve your pet’s muscle tone, keep their joints limber, prevent obesity, and keep their heart healthy. Research shows that people who exercise with their pets are more likely to stick to an exercise routine for themselves as well.
- Get your dog or cat a pet wellness plan through your veterinarian. Schedule the recommended two wellness check-ups for the year, and be sure to ask your veterinarian about your pet’s dental care.
- Incorporate wellness products such as healthy treats, tasty CBD peanut butter (for dogs), or some melatonin if your pet needs a little help winding down for bed. These simple things can bring a little extra care into your pet’s life.
- Check your pets every month for lumps and bumps. Write it on the calendar or set a notification on your phone. It’s easy to pair this with their monthly flea treatment as well. Your veterinarian can advise you on what to do if you find a lump on your pet. They may ask you to take note of the size and watch it for a few weeks to see if it goes away or changes in any way. Your veterinarian may want to see your pet to make sure it isn't a sign of something more serious.
- Step up your dog or cat’s grooming. Replace worn grooming tools or schedule them for grooming with a reputable groomer. Give them a thorough brushing a few times a week to keep their coat shiny and their skin healthy. Or give your pet a gentle rubdown after their bath at home with some balm for their skin. (They will love it!)
Spruce Up Your Pet’s Living Conditions
Another way to show your pet a little extra TLC this year is to make sure they are comfortable living in your home. Dog and cat beds get worn out or become flat. Their toys can get broken, chewed, or even develop bacteria inside of them. Take a quick inventory of your pet’s favorite things to see if they need replacing.
Inspect the cat litter box (does it need to be replaced? Is it large enough for your cat?), the food and water bowls, the chews and toys (do they need tossing out?), the bedding, blankets, and grooming supplies. Check the expiration dates on any of your pet’s medications or treatments. Replace anything that has run its course for your pet and needs to go!
Quick Tip: How to Clean Your Pet’s Toys
- For plush toys: Use half water and half vinegar solution to hand-wash toys. Air dry or dry in the clothes dryer if the product is dryer-safe. (Do not use a dryer sheet for your pet toys or bedding.)
- For chew toys: Soak these in a pet-safe detergent or use half water and half vinegar solution. Scrub them clean with a cleaning scrub brush. Use a new brush so there won’t be any residual house cleaning product in the bristles. Rinse them well (including inside). Make sure to dry them hole-side down to get all of the water out of the inside. Toss any chew toys that become too worn or torn.
Make Time for Fun
No doubt, having fun with you makes your pet’s day. (Yes, even your cats!) One sure-fire way to improve your pet’s year is to commit to spending more quality time with them.
Imagine your pet spending their whole day waiting for you to get home, but then you’re too busy to spend time with them. So, they find a place nearby, curl up, and wait for your attention. They drift into a nap while you do household chores, play on your phone, or watch TV. It is easy to fall into this routine and miss the daily opportunities to bond with your pet and brighten up their day.
The most important thing in this world to your pet is YOU. Why not commit this year to grow your relationship with your pet who loves you so dearly? Capture some precious memories at a new dog park or make some time each day to play with your cat. Active play helps to keep your pet’s heart healthy (in more ways than one!), and it's also a lot of fun for you.
- Get outdoors. Hike, swim, walk, play in the yard, go on a day trip in the car – whatever your pet enjoys.
- Try something new. Teach your pet a new trick or try some new toys.
- Get a bit more social. Have fun with an obedience course, take trips to a dog park, make new pet friends, or have someone your pet loves to see come over for more visits.
- Pick one day a week to take a selfie with your pet for social media. It’s a great way to get a little silly and show your friends and family how precious your pet is to you.
- PLAY with your pet! Learn a little about how cats and dogs like to play so you can meet them where they are most happy. Some cats like chasing the laser light, while others may prefer a squeaky mouse. Some dogs love playing fetch, while others not so much. Figure out what your pet loves best and do it with them!
Whatever the Goals, Prioritize Your Pet’s Quality of Life
When we set personal goals, we hope to improve ourselves in some way, yes, but the reason behind that is a desire to improve our quality of life. The same goes for the pets we love and share our lives and homes with. Their quality of life is almost wholly dependent on what actions you take to provide and care for them.
Whatever goals you set for your pets this year, make it all about their quality of life, about the love you give them and about building your relationship with them. If you prioritize your pet’s comfort and happiness, your pet’s wellness goals will come easily. Pet wellness translates into more tail wags, more kisses, and a longer, happier life for the cats and dogs we all love so much. And our precious furry family members are worth it!
Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out our pet blog so you can stay up to date on all the latest pet news and stories.