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Now that the calendar says 2021, it's time to put some action behind those new year's resolutions you made. The resolution process is mostly introspective, but sometimes it can include others, and who better to include than your pets?
Your furry friends can actually help you with some popular resolutions that people make. Here are five changes that you and your pet can make together this year.
Exercising more or losing weight is often at the top of resolution lists. Guess who enjoys walking and running? That's right, your dog. A great way to motivate yourself to exercise is to grab the leash and watch your dog's face light up as you go outside. Your dog might have more stamina than you at first, but the important thing is bonding with your pet and working toward your goal.
If you're trying to travel more in the new year, it could be fun to take your pet with you. It might require saving some more money (another common resolution), but the payoff will be worth it. Not only do you get to spend more time with your pet, but you can also learn about new places and try new things together.
This one is mostly for your pet, but it can have some benefits for you too. Helping your pet overcome their fears could also stop them from barking, hissing, and cowering during those scary moments.
Make a cozy bed or a personal tent available for them and associate that place with safety so they will feel comfortable there when they're scared.
Building upon positive reinforcement training, you can give treats to your pet before and during the scary situation so they connect a good outcome with it. However, too much cuddling or encouragement of their reaction to fear can make them believe it's okay to bark and whine. Stay strong and remain calm so your pet learns that there is nothing to fear. Talking to your veterinarian about possible medications can help if these other methods don't work.
Sometimes life takes over and your schedule may seem like it's always full. But one of the best ways to reduce stress in your life is to spend time with your pets! Try to work from home once a week if you can, wake up 30 minutes earlier to take your pet for a walk, or dedicate some time on the weekends to playing with your pet before going out with friends. Spending too much time away from home can put your dog or cat at risk of separation anxiety.
Perhaps 2020 is the year you're looking to enrich current friendships or gain new ones. Pets can help tremendously because they're a great conversation starter when you have them with you. They need socialization when they're young too, so perhaps the puppy or kitten you got during the holidays will be the encouragement you need to hit the social scene.