A young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kitten
Barks & Mewsings

The Trupanion blog

New Year’s Resolutions for Dogs & Cats (Plus Pet Owners!)

By: Trupanion Staff

A gray dog sits around party décor on New Year’s.

Planning some changes for 2023? If so, you’re not alone. Over 40% of people set specific goals or “resolutions” for the New Year, from adopting healthier habits to seeing more of the world. But what about dogs and cats? Can our pets have New Year’s resolutions too?

We like to think so! Though since our furry pals can’t grab a pen and put paw to paper, we’ve decided to be helpful humans and write up a list of New Year’s resolutions just for them. Read on to see how you can help make this your pet’s best year yet!

11 New Year’s resolutions for pets

We may not know exactly what our pets have planned for the next 12 months, but we sure can take some educated guesses! Here’s a list of New Year’s resolutions for cats and dogs alike, plus tips for pet owners to make them happen.

1. Catch up on veterinary care

Most dogs and cats aren’t exactly stoked to go to the vet, but we all know that routine visits are vital for their health and wellbeing. Now’s a great time to review your pal’s health history and ensure they’re up-to-date on checkups and vaccines. If it’s been a while since their last wellness appointment or you can’t remember when they’re due for another one, go ahead and call their veterinarian to ask.

2. Try a new activity

Cats and dogs thrive on routine, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy trying new things! Engage your pal’s mind with a new activity, whether it’s navigating a homemade obstacle course, checking out a new puzzle toy, or exploring a park they’ve never been to before.

3. Shed the extra fluff

Looking to exercise more in the New Year? Consider including your dog or cat. Carrying excess weight is just as unhealthy for pets as it is for us, putting animals at increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and a wide range of other illnesses. If you’re concerned about your pet’s pounds, it’s a good idea to set up an appointment with their veterinarian to discuss what a healthy weight is for their frame and breed, and how to help them reach it safely.

4. Defeat the vacuum monster

Pets tends to fear vacuum cleaners, but it doesn’t have to be this way. To make this year less traumatic for your buddy, start exposing them to the vacuum cleaner when it’s turned off, and gradually start moving it around them while it’s off. Giving them a new toy or chew treat during this can help establish a positive association. In time, build up to running the vacuum at full volume.

For dogs and cats who really can’t stand the noise and movement, however, investing in a self-running robotic cleaner can help. These run at lower volumes and are nowhere near as big, so pets may find them less threatening.

5. Make new friends

Setting up puppy playdates and visits to the local dog park are great for dogs who enjoy socializing. Just make sure they’re current on their vaccines first, and be sure to supervise all interactions for safety.

While cats can enjoy kitty playdates, never force socialization on those who are unaccustomed to it. For cats who prefer being solo, meet their enrichment needs by playing with them more often and introducing some new toy “friends” to your home.

6. Take many naps

Snooze time is a major part of life for cats and dogs alike, and there’s little doubt your pet will want to spend a good chunk of 2023 catching up on some zzz’s. You can help by setting up plenty of clean, cozy spots around the house for your pal to curl up in.

Wondering how much sleep dogs and cats actually need? According to Health.com, dogs sleep an average of 12 hours a day while cats snooze an average of 15. Your pet’s age and breed type will also factor in to how much sleep they need day-to-day.

7. Earn all the treats

If pets could talk, they’d almost certainly say, “I’m going to get all the treats this year.” While we’d love to help them fulfill their wild dreams, it’s important to ensure they’re staying healthy. Ask their vet how many treats a day is okay for your dog or cat, and keep in mind that dietary requirements also depend on breed, age, and size.

8. Get tons of playtime

When it comes to pets, playtime is the best time! And it’s not just about fun—regular playtime provides an outlet for energy and stress. In doing so, hours of play every day also helps dogs and cats be calmer and better behaved.

Pets often engage themselves in play, but human participation means quality time for both you and your pal. Be sure to set aside time every day to play with your pet, whether it’s throwing a toy around for them, starting a game of chase, challenging them in tug o’ war, etc.

9. Stay fresh and clean

Okay, so maybe your pet thinks they smell great even when your nose tells you otherwise. But whether they appreciate it fully or not, regular grooming contributes to a pet’s overall wellness. Routine baths and combing help keep your pal’s skin and coat clear of dirt, dust, chemicals, fungus, and other things that may be detrimental to their health.

While dogs tend to receive rinses more often, cats sometimes need baths as well. If you’ve never bathed your kitty before, asking your veterinarian for some tips is a great place to start.

10. Clean out old toys

Pets can have clutter build up too! Now’s a great time to go through your pal’s possessions and toss anything that’s broken or just isn’t getting used. If something is in great condition but your pet just doesn’t have any interest, consider donating to a local animal shelter or animal welfare organization.

11. Update ID info

A pet’s ID information is one of the best tools for helping them return home when lost. If you’ve moved at all since welcoming your pal into your life, take this time to double check their identification information and ensure it is up to date. If your pet isn’t microchipped yet, consider doing so as physical tags and collars can be easily taken off.

A pet owner holds a dog and cat in their arms.

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We’re the official blog of Trupanion—chosen by veterinarians as the #1 pet insurance in America. Here you’ll find useful dog and cat care tips, interesting veterinary insights, and fun pet topics galore.

While you’re browsing our pet blog, please note that the views expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Trupanion. Our articles are reviewed by veterinarians for accuracy, but they are not a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Always consult with your own pet’s veterinarian for advice.

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