How Your Pet Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

We want to change—eat better, exercise more, reduce stress, etc. etc.

This year, we resolve to make those changes…but they don’t always come to fruition. Instead, try something a little different: Get your pet involved.

Have you ever noticed how sometimes you treat your dog or cat better than you do yourself? Share some of that willpower you demonstrate for your pet’s health and happiness, and you might just find yourself making some improvements.

Eat Better

You want to eat healthier, homemade food. If you’re already feeding your pet a high-quality diet, there’s a good chance you’re already adding some real human food to his meals. Make it a meal for two (or more for a larger family). For example, cook up a lean turkey casserole or other recipe for yourself, adding some of the unseasoned lean turkey to your pet’s food. If you are not feeding your pet a higher quality diet yet, here’s your chance.

Exercise More

No matter what his size or breed, your dog needs exercise. This is the perfect excuse for you to keep on a regular fitness routine. So instead of throwing the ball for your dog in your backyard, take him on a hiking adventure or walk along the dog beach. Even a walk around the block or nearby park is exercise and will benefit you both. Just remember to be consistent—a 20-minute walk or jog every day is better than none at all.

Reduce Stress

This is an easy one. Pets can help reduce stress. So next time you’re sitting around the house worrying about finances or an upcoming project, stop and pet or play with your pet. Your pet is there for you no matter what, so take advantage of his mental health services. And if you’re one of those lucky people who can take your pet to work, do it. The whole office will appreciate it.

More Nature, Less Tech

As we are increasingly more dependent on our gadgets and devices, many of us yearn for a little more nature in our lives. Once again, our pets can help motivate us. Find a dog-friendly camping area, and spend the weekend with your pet (and friends), without phones, tablets, or TVs. If you can’t spare an entire weekend, a couple of hours at a dog-friendly hiking trail will also do. Remember, consistency is key.

Learn New Things

So you want to learn something new as a New Year’s resolution? Your dog or cat can help. Teach your pet a new trick. Both of you can learn something new together—which not only helps both your minds but encourages bonding time.

Quit Smoking

Second-hand smoke isn’t just bad for people, it’s bad for our pets. Plus, the residue left on your hair, hands, clothes, carpet, etc. can be harmful to your pet as well. Consider how close in contact they are with carpeting and your home’s fabrics, as well as you. Also consider how often they groom themselves and how much of these toxins they may be ingesting. Your pet’s health may be just the motivation you need to quit smoking for the new year.

New Year’s resolutions can be a challenge for everyone. But our pets may be able to help this time around.

Meet the Author: Jessica Peralta

Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.

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