New beginnings aren’t just for humans - they are for pets too!

As a pet parent, you’re busy trying to give your furry family members the best life possible. The New Year is a great time to pause and assess what can be improved upon, so that next year is even safer and healthier for your beloved pet!

Here are a few quick tips:

1. Slow Your Roll

To make pet resolutions that are sustainable, give yourself a break and start small.  Instead of expecting pet-parent perfection, choose a handful of more achievable goals. Try to work your way up to daily teeth brushing, for example, by starting with one extra brushing per week.  Keep it realistic and start with something you know you can easily succeed at.  With just a little focus and discipline, small mindful changes can add up!

2. Calendar It

Schedule staggered reminders on your phone throughout the year for each new mini goal.  If you decide to start the year with more visits to the dog park, when the next benchmark rolls around, you can add in another small new behavior.  Automated reminders can help us stay on track throughout the whole year.

3. Link It Up

The most successful way to add something new into your daily routine is to connect it to something you already do. If your goal is to brush your cat daily, try linking that new behavior to your morning coffee routine, for example. Don’t take that first sip until the cat is on your lap and the brush is in your hand!

4. Simple for the Win

Who says New Year’s resolutions need to be hard or complicated? Maybe your pet needs an updated ID tag or is overdue for vaccinations. Those are valid goals. Order the tag, set the appointment, and then pat yourself on the back--you’ve done a thing!

5. Maximize the Benefits

If you try to tackle a bigger resolution, make sure it’s something that will benefit both your pet and YOU, the pet parent!  After all, self-care is a big part of being a great pet parent, because our pets can sense when we’re not feeling well.  If you have a dog, adding some walks or scheduled playtime into your routine is a great example of this. Both of you will benefit from the increased exercise and fresh air, even if it’s just a quick lap around the block.

6. Schedule Love

Another mutually beneficial activity to strive for more of is… active LOVE time! Yes, really. We’re not talking about love pats as we’re walking by or quick belly rubs while we feed our pet dinner. We’re talking about dog-drooling, cat-spazzing love!

If your life is super busy, resolve to spend more time this next year bonding with your pet. Ask Siri to set a timer if you need to--we won’t judge!  Put your phone aside , sit face to face with your pet. Exchange eye contact, slobbery kisses, and uninterrupted snuggles.

If you’ve read these tips and are thinking about how to improve your pet’s life, then you’re ALREADY an amazing pet parent!

The goal is to set new intentions, implement a system, and accept progress over perfection. Our caring veterinary team understands firsthand because we’re pet parents too. We’re always here if you need us!

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