To start 2011 off on the right paw, we’ve put together our top pet-related New Year’s resolutions. Plus, after the jump: our favorite resolutions from our Facebook friends.
- Get active with your pet!
Obesity is just as harmful to pets as it is to people. If you’ve resolved to lose weight — and who hasn’t? — include your pet in your plan. Resolve
to walk the dog at least a mile every day, or play with the cat for at least 30 minutes every day. You’ll have more fun that way, and you’ll both benefit. (Learn more about dog obesity here.)
- Teach your pet a new trick
Whether your pet has some bad habits to break or you just want to impress your friends, training will keep her mind and body active and be a bonding experience for both of you — and yes, that’s true for cats as well as dogs. Check out our cat-training videos and our dog-training videos, plus: 20 Uses for Dog Tricks.
- Make arrangements for your pets in your will
Too many pets end up in shelters because people assume they will outlive their best friends, or that their kids will take care of their pets. There are several companies that will help you set up a pet trust. For more information check out Providing for Your Pet After You’re Gone.
- Register your pet’s microchip
No matter how responsible you are, any pet can become lost. And your pet is much more likely to come home to you if the contact information associated with his microchip is up-to-date. Registering your pet’s chip with HomeAgain gives him unlimited contact-info updates for life, plus many other protections (including unlimited access to the ASPCA’s Poison Control hotline — normally $65 a call — for less than $20 a year).
- Get pet insurance!
Too often, we don’t think about pet insurance until our pet becomes ill. Sign up now (our partner, PetFirst, is offering coverage to Petfinder visitors for just $5 for the first month) and be prepared for an unexpected illness or accident.
- Walk the dogs or pet the cats at a shelter on one lunch hour per month
Even a small commitment of your time can make a big difference to shelter pets. Find more ways to help animals here.
After the jump: our favorite resolutions from our Facebook friends.
Last week we asked our Facebook friends for pet-related New Year’s resolutions. Here are some of our favorites (including some from Petfinder staff).
- Get fit together
“My pup and I are going to lose weight together. He really needs to lose five pounds and I need to lose 10 pounds. Better if we do it together — morning runs and walks.”
— Stefany T.
- Advocate for small-animal adoption
“I have goals for the new year to do more for animal rescue, especially bunnies, guinea pigs and chinchillas.”
- Help shelters
“My resolution is to spend more time with my dog, help out at local shelters and start a fundraiser at my school for the MSPCA.”
— Maddie G.
- Enrich your pet’s environment
“I resolve to give my cat some environmental enrichment — a nice scratching post, a birdfeeder outside the window for her to watch, and some good homemade cat toys.”
— Emily F., Petfinder.com executive producer
- Teach your pet new tricks
“I am starting my parrots on clicker training. They love learning new things and it keeps their minds active.”
— Just Jabbabird
- Become your pet’s Top Chef
“Test out new recipes for baking my own dog treats until I become a beloved pet pastry chef (at least in the eyes of my dog, Chloe).”
–Jamie C., Petfinder.com business relations manager
- Go for daily walks
“Walking my best little buddy every day. (I found her on Petfinder!)”
— LeAnne H.
- Stop babying your pet (in front of your kids, at least)
“I suspect that I should not treat Tucker (dog) like he was my baby (human) when in the presence of some of my actual grown children and other friends. Although they are very tolerant, I think the attention validates their geezer image of me.”
–Mike B., Petfiinder.com founding father
- Meet a long-term goal
“To achieve crate training!”
— Meredith R.
- Clean and groom your pet more often
“My resolution is to vacuum the house every day until I see an improvement in the fur epidemic that has taken over my home. Also for my Golden Retriever to go to the groomer every month or have me brush her every two days. Who knows if I can do all that … the New Year will tell.”
— Marie P.
- Get outside with your dog
“Mine is to hike with the dog more. It is good for both of us, but he just loves it. It’s working: I’ve spent almost two hours hiking trails with him since Sunday. (I was lazy on Saturday.)”
— Sharon P., Petfinder.com shelter outreach coordinator
- Adopt a pet!
“I’m getting a shelter dog to replace my kitty that died this past October. From her death comes something good!”
— Maynel D.
Of course, your pets had some resolutions of their own: Jennifer C. says her cat’s resolution is “to stop hogging my bed”; Doris L.’s pets “have all (all six) promised to shed less in 2011”; and Lynn B. swears “Luna is going to be nice to the vet.”
Does your pet have a New Year’s resolution? Tell us below!
From our friends: