No, we’re not talking about Cat-rina resolving to find sunnier nap spots in 2002, or Dogzilla resolving to teach his human to fetch this year. We do have some suggestions for pet owners’ resolutions for the New Year.
This year, I resolve to:
- Have my pets spayed or neutered if they have not already had this surgery. They will have less chance of developing cancers in reproductive organs, have nicer personalities and behavior, be less likely to mark territory or to wander, and won’t contribute to pet overpopulation.
- Take my animals in to a veterinarian for a yearly examination, and keep vaccinations up to date. This includes a rabies vaccination for my cats even if they do not go outdoors.
- Feed my animals good quality food in appropriate amounts. I will not feed them people food.
- Take my dogs to behavior training classes and use what we learn there consistently. Trained dogs are in their natural subordinate position to you, the alpha male or female. And I resolve to use good training techniques with my birds or cats, too. Better-behaved animals make your life easier, make your home more welcoming to guests, and your pets more welcome in your family’s and friends’ homes. They are far less likely to end up in a shelter.
- Keep my animals properly groomed – including brushing and clipping when appropriate. Brushing cats daily reduces the incidence of hairballs. Brushing both dogs and cats cuts down on hair that shows up on furniture and clothing. Clipping keeps long-haired dogs more comfortable in summer.
- Give my pets daily attention and exercise. We will both benefit.
- Remember that my pet is not a human being. Its digestive system is not meant to handle human food. Pets crave routine – variety is not the spice of life for animals. They respond to simple commands, not long logical explanations.