Every year it's the same thing. You attempt to shape up, slim down, spend less, live more or quit something for good. So how about this year you resolve to do something you'll easily achieve? For all you pet people I've got just the thing: Resolve to accomplish something on your pet's behalf instead!
Interested? Consider the following five New Year's resolutions I've devised (with my patients in mind, of course):
1. Trim down. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology,
38 percent of humans made weight-related New Year's resolutions in
2012. So why not extend that to our pets this upcoming 2014? We know
that our pets are chunky and getting chunkier, so why not resolve to start trimming her down now? Not sure where to start? Ask your vet how.
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2. Get pet insurance.
If you can't afford a big vet bill in the event of an emergency, you
may be facing the unthinkable unless you put a financial solution in
place. My sister's dog, Maddie, almost died of salmon poisoning last
year, and had it not been for a $13,000 reimbursement to cover 80
percent of the cost of university-level healthcare, he'd have surely
succumbed. Who can afford that kind of expense without help? Resolve to
get your pets a policy this year!
3. Walk your dog.
If you've made resolutions to lose weight and never managed to keep
them, consider that long-term weight loss is often more easily achieved
when pet owners exercise with their pets. In his book Walk a Hound Lose a Pound,
vet surgeon Dr. Phil Zeltzman evangelizes about this concept in a way
that's truly inspirational. So this year resolve to get moving in a way
that's both fun and doable.
4. Take your cat to the vet.
It sounds pretty basic, and yet a recent study conducted by Bayer in
conjunction with the Association of Feline Practitioners found that 52
percent of owned cats did not see a veterinarian in the past year.
Annual wellness visits for cats, though universally recommended by
veterinarians to help prevent and manage serious disease, aren't
something most cat owners manage. Resolve to beat the odds and take your
cat in this year!
5. Start brushing!
I know, I know. You all hate it. But it works! You'd never think not to
brush your own teeth, and yet you'd rather hand your pet a highly
caloric, dubiously effective "tartar control" chew than whip out the
toothbrush and spend 30 seconds brushing. What's up with that? Resolve
to fix that this year!