The start of a new year can signal a fresh start for owners as well as pets needing a change in their routine. For example obesity in pets has become a common problem; over 50 % of pets in North America are overweight. This year, perhaps, it’s wise to go on a diet with your pet. Regardless of your goals, it’s always a good idea to improve you and your pet.  There are many goals you can choose from. We’ve listed just a few here.

Spend Some Quality Time Together

It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in life’s daily chores. However, a good New Year’s goal is to take some extra time for you and your pet. It’s easy to get distracted and to forget to take a moment to breathe. Schedule some time to snuggle and play with your furry friend, and try to stay in one or two nights to show your dog or cat how much you care about him.

Consider Fostering

You think you want a new pet. But you might not be 100 percent sure it’s right for you. Try fostering first to give pet ownership a try. Many animal shelters and rescues need loving homes to provide safe and temporary living arrangements for pets. It’s the perfect way to test the waters of pet ownership without the lifelong commitment since you are only hosting a pet while they wait for their forever home.


From walking, hiking, running or swimming, exercise is easier than ever for people to incorporate with their pet into a routine. It’s also a great way to bond and will get you both out of the house, fit and healthier than ever before. It’s always fun to meet up with some friends and socialize.

Checkup Time

Just like people, dogs need yearly check-ups with their veterinarian to make sure everything is working. You should take your pet to the vet to prevent illness. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or obesity are common in aging pets and much easier to manage when detected in the early stages of the disease process. Veterinary visits are also the perfect time to ask for advice, update your pet’s food, or get an expert opinion on any behavioral issues that may be affecting your bonding with your pet.

Brush Your Pet

Brushing your pet can help on many levels. It removes excess fur from the coat, reducing the amount you find on your clothes and furniture. It helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy. Lastly, daily grooming is a bonding activity that demonstrates to your pet how much you love them by taking care of them in a very soothing manner.

Teach Old Dogs New Tricks

Studies show that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals just like in humans. In other words, keeping your senior pet’s brain active can actually make him or her happier and healthier! A great New Year’s Resolution is to teach your pet new tricks and practicing those they already know are a great way to keep those neurons firing. Puzzles or obstacle courses force a pet to think through a task in order to be rewarded with a treat, are also an excellent way to keep a pet’s mind engaged. Be creative in the games and ticks you play.