Whether you’re making a new year’s resolution to lose a few pounds or to do more charity work why not make it a family endeavor and include your furry family members? After all, you’ll be more likely to stick to your New Year’s resolution when you have a buddy to motivate you!
If your resolution is to quit smoking here are some things to remember.
Your furry family members are not immune to second hand smoke! More importantly though, pets are particularly susceptible to what’s referred to as third hand smoke. On exhalation of smoke, the cloudy plume that disappears falls onto surfaces below. This cloud leaves a cigarette scented foot print of harmful toxins on the surfaces it lands on whether it be clothes, a couch, the pet in your lap or at your feet. Cats and dogs are especially sensitive to the effects of third hand smoke because of their grooming habits. When a cat or dog goes to do their routine cleaning, they unknowingly ingest all of these toxins that have landed on them and their environment. This can often times lead to oral cancers, cancers of sinuses, and nasal cancers.
Slimming down for the New Year? Consider your four legged friend as an exercise buddy!
You know that friend who gets super excited to go to the gym?! No? Don’t have one? Well look down! That smiling furry face would love to go for a walk! No expensive gym membership or equipment needed, just some sneakers and a leash! If you’re looking to get some cardio and resistance try alternating between hiking around one of our beautiful parks and the paved trails around town.
Think your dog is too small to go for a hike? Check out what some of these little dogs can do! If they’re too old or can’t keep up consider wheeling them along in a bike trailer or bike basket. Just because they’re old doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy the fresh air and sun on their face while you get a quick work out in. They’ll no doubt be super enthusiastic when they see you in your workout gear! When you feel a lack of motivation, just remember you are your pet’s world. When you take them out for a hike or a walk around the block you’re enhancing their life with a new experience, new smells, and new sights. That’s way better then a new toy or a treat and it costs nothing!
Working on healthy eating?
If your goal is to cut out overly processed foods or extra snacks remember this will have a positive effect on your four legged friends too. If you’re munching on baby carrots or natural popcorn instead of cheese and crackers then your pup / cat is likely to get a piece of baby carrot (if you’re sharing your snacks) vs. a piece of cheese. While a tiny cube of cheese isn’t such a big deal to humans it can make quite an impact calorically on your pets! Additionally, while you’re taking an inventory of the human foods in your pantry make sure to check out the treats and chews you give your pup / cat as well. Keep an eye out for high calorie content biscuits and be mindful of the impact they have on your pet’s overall calorie intake. If you don’t know what a healthy calorie intake for your pet is have your local veterinarian calculate it for you!
Want to do more charity work?
If you want to get more involved in charity work. Consider bringing your cat or dog with you! If you have a well behaved dog or cat consider working with them as a pet therapist. You and your dog, cat, or bunny can make the world a better place while bonding together. If you don’t think your four legged friend is quite ready to volunteer as a pet therapist consider fostering another four legged friend!
Trying to get organized?!
Getting organized affects your pets as well. Don’t forget to go through their old toys and clothes (if applicable) and discard anything that looks like its seen better days. Old bones, shredded rope toys and plushies with holes can not only pose a health hazard but it can also clutter your home. Take this time to go through old blankets and bedding as well. Donate what you think may be useful to nearby shelters and discard the rest.
Clearing out space and organizing your home makes a more enjoyable environment for both you and your pet. They have a safe space to play, rest, and enjoy your company. There’s also less places to hide treats (attract bugs) and less nooks and crannies for pet dander and dust to build up. These improvements will make for a happier, healthier, pet and home.
Regardless of whatever your New Year’s resolution may be, we wish you and your pets good health, prosperity, and joy for 2017! From all of us here at the Animal Wellness Center of Athens, “Happy New Year!”.