A New Leaf—Some Pet Goals for the New Year

A new year is a great time to turn over a new leaf, so whether you’re a dog, cat, or pet owner, here are some ideas for you:

Dog goals for the coming year

  1. I will not stand on the dishwasher door to “prewash” the dishes.
  2. I will not come parading out in Mom’s underwear when we have company over.
  3. I will not drink out of the toilet then lick Dad’s face.
  4. I will not “moonwalk” across the carpet to impress Mommy and Daddy’s friends.
  5. I will not run under the bed to throw up, then sit on your back when you have to lay down to clean it up.
  6. I will not hide pieces of food under Mom’s pillow.
  7. I will not dig for buried treasure in the cat box.
  8. I will understand that not every canned good contains my food.
  9. I will not hide my heartworm pill under my tongue and spit it out just when Dad thinks he’s “won.”
  10. I will not drink from Mom’s glass when she leaves the room.

Cat Goals for the coming year

  1. I will not try to beat Mom down the stairs.
  2. I will not run across Mom and Dad in the middle of the night, and again early in the morning.
  3. I will not try to bat the pen out of Mom’s hand while she is writing.
  4. I will not try to lay across the keyboard while Dad is typing.
  5. I will not run up Mom’s back while she is standing at the stove cooking—her hair is not something I have to attack.
  6. I will realize that screaming will not get the food can open any faster.
  7. I will realize that no matter how far I can reach my paw under the door, I cannot reach the handle.
  8. I will not sleep on my human baby’s head.
  9. I will remember that Mom’s squeal when I bring a lizard in the house is not one of pleasure.
  10. I will not rub my topical flea medication on Mom’s face—this will not help the problem.

Pet owner goals for the coming year

  1. I will realize my pet is indeed fat, and not just fluffy
    • It is important to measure food & count calories for your pet’s daily meals. Most weight loss requires a 25-40% drop in daily calories.
    • For dogs, you can add non starchy veggies to their diet.
    • Exercise will preserve muscle mass during weight loss & may even increase pet’s metabolic rate. Make cats work for their food by tossing a few of their kibble one by one for them to chase, or try a SlimCat interactive feeding ball.
  2. I will take a stroll
    • Dogs need to be walked daily. A tired dog equals a happy dog and a happy owner! Besides, there are so many beautiful places to walk around St. Petersburg.
    • Most breeds need at least 30-60 minutes of walking per day.
    • If you don’t have time, hire a professional dog walker.
  3. I will teach my old dog new tricks
    • Stimulating your dog’s mind and challenging him is one of the keys to fulfillment.
    • Just like humans, your dog can learn new behaviors and skills throughout their life.
    • Take a class and learn something new!
  4. I will play more
    • Play time can give more opportunities to challenge your pet, enrich their lives, and establish an even deeper bond.
    • For your cat: Try interactive play with laser pointers, feather teasers, & cat nip to encourage play.
    • Fun game with your dog: Rub the scent of a treat in various places and then hide it. It encourages them to problem solve and builds confidence too!
  5. I will not ignore bad breath
    • Dental disease affects nearly 85% of dogs and cats over 3 years of age, and has significant health consequences.
    • Ideally, you should brush your dog or cat’s teeth daily.
    • Use next month’s National Dental Month to save money and get your pet on the path to better health!
  6. I will realize the vet isn’t just for sick pets
    • Pets should visit their vet bi-annually.
    • Bringing them in for their regular exams will help catch potential health issues, some before they become a serious problem.