As we say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021, it’s a great time to reflect and set goals for the new year. We’re firm believers in the fact that when you set goals with a partner you’re more likely to keep them, and who better to join you than your pet! If you’re looking for a little inspiration, check out these six resolutions that are perfect to do with your cat or dog.
After ringing in the new year, time some to take a step back and reassess the eating habits for your entire family – four-legged members included. Start by monitoring what you eat for a few days and see if there are any areas that you think could be improved. For example, if you want to increase the number of fresh fruits and vegetables you consume, make a point of including them in your meals every day. The same goes for your pets – you want to make sure that they’re eating food that will help them live their best, happiest, tail-wagging lives. This means cutting out the table scraps and switching them to a more complete diet. Freshpet makes this easy, as every recipe is made with fresh, whole ingredients that are gently cooked without preservatives.
As we spend more time indoors than ever before, it’s important to keep your mind active. Fortunately, even making small changes to your routine can help with this. Try having a puzzle set up in a high traffic area of your house, so whenever you or your family members pass by they stop and find a piece or two. You could also start doing solo activities like crossword puzzles, word searches, or Sudoku when you have some downtime. An easy way to keep your pet’s mind active is by switching from normal bowls to a puzzle or toy feeder that they need to interact with to access their food. There are natural dog food products available that are suitable for both our roasted and roll recipes, so regardless of the type of Freshpet your pet eats you can make mealtime a brain-engaging activity.
Starting a fitness routine is one of the most classic New Year's resolutions but unfortunately, many people fall into the trap of trying to do too much too quickly. To create a routine you’ll stick with, start by making small changes and slowly building up until you reach your goals. This is especially important if your pet will be participating in this new routine. If you set a goal of walking or playing for an hour every day but your pet is only used to doing this for 15 minutes at a time, try adding five minutes on each day. This way, you’ll both build the endurance up slowly so by the time you reach your one-hour goal it will have been a natural progression. If you’ve set this goal because you think your pet needs to lose some weight, be sure to consult with your vet before starting any new routines. They will be able to help you come up with a plan for safely increasing their fitness and reaching their goal weight.
Another great New Year’s resolution is to get out there and try something new with your pet. Start by making a list of all of their favorite things and then brainstorm other activities that involve or are similar to them. This resolution is also great to pair with others, such as starting a new fitness routine. For example, if your dog loves walking on trails, set a goal of exploring three new trails per month in and around your area. Alternatively, if you have a cat that loves to climb, try your hand at building them their own custom cat tree so they can see the house from a new vantage point.
If one of your 2021 resolutions is to improve your oral health, why not include your pet as well. Just like you go to the dentist for an annual appointment, your pet should have their teeth checked by the veterinarian at least once a year as oral health is important to their overall health. Both cats and dogs can benefit from having their teeth brushed, but if they have never experienced it before the trick is to take it slow. Start by brushing one side of their teeth once a day and use lots of positive reinforcement, such as their favorite Freshpet treat, to make the experience a positive one. Over time, you can start to brush larger sections of their teeth until you can do the entire mouth in one go.
You know the importance of having an annual check-up with your doctor, but did you know that they’re important for pets as well? Pets, especially cats, are very good at hiding signs that they aren’t feeling well which is why you want them to undergo a wellness exam at least once a year. At these appointments, your vet will ask you questions about your pet’s diet (i.e. if they are eating healthy dog food), exercise, level of thirst, behavior, and general health. They will then perform a physical examination and give any necessary vaccinations. Depending on the answers you give and the outcome of their examination, they may make recommendations for changes to your pet’s lifestyle. If this is the case, try integrating them into other resolutions that you’ve set for the year.
We hope that these ideas inspire you and your pet to create some resolutions for 2021 that you can work towards together!