Five New Year's resolutions for pet owners

Lose weight, read more books, watch less TV: new year, new you – right? January is the time of year we make all kinds of promises to ourselves we may or may not keep. But this year, why not make a resolution to care for your pet better (and actually stick to it)? Here are just a few ideas:
Photo / Getty Images.
Photo / Getty Images.

Measure food every time
Everyone knows food is the easiest way to any animal's heart but that doesn't mean you should overfeed your pet. This year, be sure to measure your pet's food every time you feed them and only serve as much as is appropriate for their breed and age.

Go easy on the treats (but give them when they're deserved)
Treats are a great way to reward your pet and provide positive reinforcement for good behaviour - but used overzealously they can cause obesity, other health problems and bad habits. Ensure you know what's in the treats you're giving your pet (including how many calories) and administer accordingly.

Schedule a date with your vet
Going to the vet can be like going to the dentist - it needs to be done but we often put it off. This year, set reminders for yourself (use a diary or your phone) to take your pet for regular check-ups. For puppies, kittens and other baby animals, more visits to the vet may be required for vaccines, spaying and other check-ups. Keep your pet healthy and yourself happy: don't put it off any longer.

Groom regularly
Grooming is an important part of pet ownership (it can be a bonding experience too!) but, like visiting the vet, it's something many put off until it's absolutely necessary. This year, promise yourself you'll keep to a grooming schedule to ensure your pet is happy, healthy and looks great. Grooming schedules differ across breeds so, if you're unsure about what kind of routine is required for your pet, check with your vet.

Update your pet's ID
We're very lucky to live in the age of microchip technology but it's no use having them if the information stored in them is out of date. A lot can change in a year - people move house or change phone numbers - and it's important that this information is reflected in your pet's microchip. Likewise, make sure any physical ID tags have the correct information on them. You'll thank yourself later.

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