Guest Post by Kamira Gayle, Author & Creator of Impurrfectlife.com –A blog about finding joy, life inspiration and comfort after pet loss.
With 2016 coming to a close I like to think of different ways I can improve and make changes to my life and start fresh. If you are into making resolutions, here are ten pet resolutions that both you and your pet can share in 2017.
Let the pet resolutions begin.
1. Try a new adventure/activity
Try something you never tried before. You get one life. Try something out of the ordinary. Take a day trip or a road trip to a different region, help is on hand with this advice on travelling with your pet. See a historical landmark or try an outdoor adventure. You can find inspiration by visiting the library or searching 50 things to do before you die or YouTube for inspiration.
Try teaching your furry friend a new trick. Or try having them play with a new toy or try a new activity to help keep them interested and active.
2. Incorporate more downtime/playtime
It is very easy to work yourself to a tizzy and forget to have downtime. Plan time for yourself each week. Getting rest and downtime helps to recharge our batteries and keep us from burnout. Go shopping, go to the movies or just sleep in for once!
Pets get bored too. Get them out of the house. Let them roam around outside and play in the rain or snow, our tips on pet friendly winters will help. They feel most free when they are not confined indoors. They will thank you later. Of course not all our pet’s want to spend time outdoors, if you have a bored budgie or pampered parrot they may enjoy these DIY bird toys.
3. Schedule physical exam/vet visit
Take care of your health by staying on top of your annual visits to the doctor and dentist. Preventative medicine is easier and less expensive than not being proactive about your health before it’s too late. You only get one body and one life. Take steps to proactively look out for your own health. No one else will do it for you. It’s your body and your life.
Keep your pets healthy and happy by scheduling yearly vet visits to stay informed and on top of your furry friend’s health. If they are healthy and happy, that’s more time you have to share your lives together. Give them and yourself the gift of quality of life.
4. Keep up with good grooming & hygiene/spruce up your look
I’m assuming daily showers are already a part of your routine, however what you can do in the New Year is create a new look for yourself. Or spruce up your existing style. Perhaps it’s time to get that haircut or spruce up your wardrobe. Do something to vamp up your style.
Make a vow to keep on top of the daily grooming and dental hygiene of your pet. It’s a struggle sometimes to get daily grooming in for our pets. Schedule time on your planner each week to take a 20 minute session to brush your pet’s teeth and comb their coat. If this is too difficult your vet can give your pet a professional dental cleaning or you can make an appointment with a groomer to give your furry pal a professional spa experience. What a nice treat!
5. Get in more exercise
This is a tried and true classic resolution we all make. We all are not perfect, but as I’ve said in the past. You may fall off the wagon but you keep getting back up and try again. Instead of making insane goals and a rigorous schedule. Start with smaller goals. Start with 2 days a week and build up from there. Make your goal setting small as to not overwhelm yourself. Get in more exercise than you are doing now and build from there.
The same rule applies for your pets. Unlike 30 years ago, today our pets have issues of being diabetic and overweight which was unheard of decades ago. Do the same for your pets and incorporate more play and exercise time to keep them agile and active. Be mindful of the quality of their food intake as well. This leads me to the next point.
6. Practice food portion control
You can exercise all day however you can easily ruin all your effort by eating through all those burned up calories. Watch your food portions and take heed to the quality of food you eat. For instance. You could have a handful of potato chips or you could have a full large salad with veggies and low-calorie dressing; both equal to the same amount of calories. You can have larger portions of fresh whole natural unprocessed foods as opposed to a few bites of processed unhealthy options. Be smart about your food selections. Watch your salt, sugar and carb content. I can testify that reducing sugar by reading labels and making smarter choices can eliminate diabetes. Talk to your physician about an eating plan that’s right for you.
Do your best to measure your pet’s food every feeding time. Use a scoop or the same canned portion size to help manage the amount of food your dog or cat gets every time. They can gain weight just like us. When they are at a healthy weight, it provides a better quality of life free of arthritis and achy joints. Why not try making your own pet treats with these ideas inspired by The Great Birtish Bake Off.
7. Clean out old items/toys and donate
I don’t know about you but one of the things I like to do 2-3 times a year is a “spring” cleaning. When you declutter your life you feel lighter, fresher and more organized. There’s an expression “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. I like feeling my house is clean and in order. Once the cleaning is done you can focus better. Donate items to Salvation Army or another charitable organization. Let your items that go unused be a blessing and a help to someone else in need.
Do the same with your pet’s items and toys. When they no longer are interested in that blanket, wash it and donate it to a shelter. Local animal shelters are always in need of extra food, blankets, towels, toys, etc.
8. Volunteer/ Foster/Adopt
Aside from giving and donating, try doing some volunteer work. Make a difference in your community and make new connections. Are you unemployed and going crazy in the house? Are you a retired senior looking to spend some time out of the house? Do you love animals and have extra space in your home? Or perhaps, you are going through the grieving process of losing a pet and need a way to find normalcy again. Try volunteering. There are several opportunities virtual and physical to help others. You can tutor, teach people to speak English, foster pets in your home or even adopt a pet and save a life.
9. Update tags
Use the New Year to update all your contact information on your pet’s collar or tags. Make sure your correct name, address and phone number information is up to date and current. God forbid something happens and your pet is lost and there is no way to reach you due to old information on file. Be proactive.
10. Start a savings fund
Last but not least save those extra pennies or dollars and create a savings fund. In these day and times when things are more expensive and nothing is guaranteed, you need to rely on yourself to have an extra source of income or savings if and when you need it. You never know when an emergency will happen.
The same goes for your pets. For pets, create a small savings for future expenses as they get older like more frequent checkups and vet visits in their senior years. Or when the time comes, you will need to pay for final expenses. Be prepared. It’s not something you want to think about but it’s better to be prepared in advance to lessen the burden when the time comes. It will be one less thing to think about.
So those are my 10 Resolutions for You and Your Pet for 2017. I hope you find some of them helpful and insightful. I wish you all a Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year in 2017.
Do you like Kamira’s post? Check out more insight from her personal journey to finding normalcy after pet loss on her blog Impurrfectlife.
Comment and share your thoughts!