January is a popular time to set goals for the upcoming year. Most of us set goals for ourselves, but what about our furry companions? Achieving goals is always easier with a buddy, so grab your fur-ever friend, and set some goals for the next 365 days! Not sure what kind of goals are best for you and your pet? Here are 10 ideas to get you started: 

  1. Get more exercise. Exercise is good for you and your pet. Not only does it help your pet stay active and fit, but it also helps with mental stimulation. Taking your dog for a walk introduces them to different sights, smells, and sounds than they are normally around. And you both get fresh air! It’s a win-win goal. Keep track of your walks and support Roice-Hurst with the WoofTrax app!
  1. Check in on their diet. The start of the year is a good time to check your pet’s weight. If they aren’t at a healthy weight, consider speaking with your veterinarian to see how much food they should be eating. It is important to measure your pet’s food to know how much they are eating as well. 
  1. Add more playtime. Playtime is a great way to keep your pet (and yourself) entertained. Taking time to play with your cats helps to stimulate them and keep them sharp. Playing with your dog is another way to keep their mind stimulated. Playtime can also help to build confidence and get out excess energy that may lead to behavior problems. 
  1. Visit a new place. As previously mentioned, new sights, smells, and sounds can really help to stimulate your dogs. Plus, it’s always fun to explore something new together. If you have a cat, consider teaching them to walk on a leash. The neighborhood may not be new to you, but it can be a whole new experience for them. 
  1. Schedule their yearly exam. Yearly exams are important to keep your pet healthy and happy. It’s a great time to check in with their vet about their weight, teeth, and overall health.
  1. Make sure their information is up to date. If your pet isn’t microchipped, make this the year to do it! If they do have a microchip, make sure all your contact information (phone number, address, etc) is current. Also check to make sure it’s up to date with their veterinarian. 
  1. Create an emergency pet plan. Having a plan for what to do in case of an emergency is important. Think about the following: who would care for your pets? do you have written instructions for their daily care? do you have a pet first aid kit handy? do you have emergency vet numbers written down? Taking care of this ahead of time helps you be prepared in the event you need it. 
  1. Learn cat or dog body language. Cats and dogs don’t quite communicate the same way humans do. Take some time this year to learn what their body language really means. The more you understand about your pet, the stronger your bond will be. 
  1. Teach them a new trick. Try teaching your cat to sit or high-five. Maybe your dog will be great at agility courses. Teaching your pets new tricks is fun and a great way to bond with them, and you have also learned something new to share with family and friends.
  1. Clean out the toy box. It can be hard to remember to keep up on pet toys. Take some time to clean out toys or bedding that may have been destroyed over the years. It’s also a great time to wash all of your pets bedding, bowls, toys and litter boxes.