5 resolutions for you and your pet in 2016

By Dr. Parker T. Barker

Happy New Year everyone. I hope both you and your pets had a great, and safe, holiday season. Mine was terrific I must say. Mom took me and my sister, Peanut, to play at the beach because the weather was so nice. It is amazing to see how much sand a dog can bring into a house. Mom complains that it is “everywhere” but honestly, the house doesn’t look any different to me with or without the sand. Just sayin’…

An interesting article was emailed to me from friends at TripsWithPets.com. TripsWithPets.com is the pet friendly travel guide that provides online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada plus lots of tips and tricks to make travelling with your pets a piece of cake. We use it all the time.

TripsWithPets.com surveyed pet parents and asked them what resolutions they have made for 2016 relating to their pets. I hadn’t ever thought about it before but it seems like a good idea to me to access where you and Fluffy are and where you want to be at the end of the year. Here are the top 5 resolutions they heard about:

1 – Healthier Diet: Feeding their pets better quality food is at the top of pet parents list this year! They’ve been doing their research and want to do all they can to ensure their furry friends live a long, happy and healthy life. Whether it’s gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, raw food, unprocessed food, or probiotics – pet parents are planning on it in 2016!

2 – Daily Walks: Whether it’s a walk through the park, a stroll around the neighborhood or a jog along hiking trails, 26% of pet parent’s surveyed plan to get outside each day and get some exercise with their pets this year. Parents sited getting exercise as their main goal, maintaining their “pack leader” status, and bonding as their motivation for exercising their pooch more often.

3 – More Outings: More car rides, doggie bakery visits, beach outings, and family vacations, are among the activities that respondents said they are resolved to doing more of with their four-legged family members. Getting out and spending some quality time with their pets to make that bond even stronger is at the top of many pet parents’ minds this year! Sounds good to me. Especially those trips to the doggie bakery. Yum!

4 – Socialization: As more pet parents opt to take their pets on more outings, there comes the need to better socialize them. Fifteen percent of pet parents polled are committed to helping their shy, skittish, or fearful pet become more comfortable around people, other pets, and in public places.

5 – Training: A close cousin of socialization, training, comes in as the fifth most popular pet resolution of 2016. We all can’t have the perfectly mannered pet but a good number of pet parents plan to devote the time to curb some not-so-favorable behavior. From teaching Rover not to bark at house guests and drag you while on walks to practicing better recall (getting your dog to come when called) and training your cat to stay off kitchen counters…pet parents are ready to put their pet whisperer hat on!

So there you have it. Some interesting ideas to weave into your own personal resolutions for this year. I have one resolution too. I promise not to bark as much as I did last year. Particularly in the car which makes my Mom nutz. I guess I can live without telling that snotty little neighbor dog who the boss really is. He knows already anyway when he walks along his fence and smells I have been there – a lot…

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