The New Year is almost here, and it’s time to look ahead at what the future brings for you and your fur-family.
From eating better to playing more and making new friends, these resolutions are perfect for both you and your furry buddies — guaranteeing you’ll have a Happy New Year with cats and dogs at your side!
1. Eat Well to Feel Well
Eating a healthier diet is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions, and for good reason: when you eat better, you feel better, and that has an invigorating effect on your day-to-day life.
And the same is true of our kitties and pups! Why not start the New Year on a high note by making the switch to a balanced raw food diet that’s right for your pet? A raw and grain free diet provides many fantastic health benefits for your best furiend, greatly improving your dog or cat’s overall wellness.
And the best part about eating raw is that every little bit helps. Use toppers, treats and snacks to incorporate real, raw meat into your pet’s meals, so your buddy gets all the health-boosting effects of natural nutrition!
However you go raw, make 2022 the year you turn over a new leaf for your pet’s wellness with a healthier diet!
2. Try a New Raw Treat or Exotic Protein
You wouldn’t want to eat the exact same mac-and-cheese every single night, would you? Even if that’s your favorite meal ever, we’re willing to bet you’d still prefer something different now and then. Well, the same applies to your best furiend!
This New Year, resolve to treat your pet to the occasional new treat or protein and change up your pet’s dinnertime. Maybe your dog has never tried duck before, or you’ve been meaning to see if your kitty would like our award-winning pork or new raw treats.
You could even try making homemade pupsicles or get adventurous with exotic treats from our VE RAW BAR like Duck Heads, Pig Snouts or Bully Sticks. They’re exciting, delicious and best of all, they’re good for your pet, too!
3. Be More Active Together
Is the daily walk around the block becoming boring, for both you and your pup? If so, make 2022 the year you challenge yourself to get more active with your pet!
If your pooch is on the podgy side, increasing your exercise may even mean they drop a pound or two! Achieving a healthy weight will help your pet live a longer and happier life, and that’s just one added bonus of the other great benefits that exercise brings — like lower blood pressure, lower stress and increased confidence.
4. Play More Brain Games
For total wellness, it’s important to strengthen your pet’s mind as much as their body.
Playing brain games with your best furiend is a great way to provide mental enrichment. Many puzzle toys use tantalizing treats as a reward to keep your pup motivated — and don’t forget, cats can solve puzzles, too.
Or, if you want to get really ambitious, you can start teaching your pup the names of their toys. Keep adding on new names slowly, and by the end of the year you’ll be shocked at how many your dog is able to remember!
This New Year, commit to keeping your pet’s mind sharp — and yours, too! (Sudoku, anyone?)
5. Learn Fun New Tricks
Have you ever seen someone’s pup do a clever trick and thought, “I wish my dog knew how to do that”? Well, now’s the time! This New Year, resolve to finally master a fun new trick like ‘Army Dog Crawl’ or ‘Play Dead.’
Teaching your dog new tricks is one of the best ways to build your bond and have fun together. Remember, when training your dog, it’s important to be prepared and have the right training treats — and an abundance of patience!
Is Whiskers curious about your training sessions? Believe it or not, cats can be trained, too! You may be surprised at how easy it is to teach your kitty to give you a high five, especially with the proper motivation — like scrumptious freeze-dried minnows or ahi tuna.
6. Try Out a Dog Sport
Make 2022 the year you try something new with your pooch and step out of your comfort zone!
To begin, why not check out a canine competition in your area? There’s many more options for dog sports than most pet parents realize, from agility to obedience to barn hunt. You’re guaranteed to find the sport that suits your pup — whether they’re a runner, a jumper, a sitter or a sniffer.
Participating in canine sports is an excellent way to bond with your pup, learn a new skill, build confidence, and most importantly — have fun together!
7. Get Pet Insurance & Schedule a Vet Visit
Even if your pet is young and healthy, it’s never too early to prepare for the bumps in the road. One of your resolutions this year could be to invest in pet insurance for your best furiends — so that if a serious illness or injury ever occurs, you know there’s a plan in place to get your furmembers the help they need.
Speaking of your pet’s health — if it’s been a while since Rex or Felix last saw the vet, why not book an appointment? Many pets are currently overdue for a vet visit, and cats are overlooked for their annual physical even more often than dogs.
This can happen for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’ve been concerned about price, or your old vet retired, or you’re embarrassed at how plump your pet has become!
Resolve to bring your pets to the vet at least once this year so that their vaccinations are up to date and you know everything is working as it should. And don’t worry — vets aren’t there to judge you. They just want to do all they can to help your pet love life!
8. Commit to Better Dental Health
It’s more than a pearly white smile and minty breath: our pets’ dental health is key to their overall well-being, too.
Dental health is an often-overlooked aspect of pet health that many pet parents don’t notice until it causes problems. By then, your poor little buddy is experiencing the pain and discomfort of rotting teeth that need to be removed. Fortunately, those problems can be prevented by establishing healthy dental habits now.
With a little time and practice, you can learn how to brush your dog’s fangs or your kitty’s chompers — definitely the most effective way to maintain healthy teeth. Also, consider investing in healthy dental chews, like turkey necks, chicken necks or duck necks that your pet can gnaw on to scrape tartar off their teeth.
This year, resolve to make dental health a priority!
9. Support Your Local Animal Shelter or Rescue
If there’s one universal truth about animal rescues, it’s that they could always use a helping hand! Make 2022 the year when you volunteer your money or time to your favorite local rescue, and make a real difference in the lives of the animals in your community.
Even if you’re not in a position to set up a monthly donation, your local rescue will welcome your help in many different ways. You may be able to walk the dogs, play with the cats or assist at adoption events. Less glamorous tasks like cleaning kennels or doing laundry are also crucial to keep a rescue running.
And of course, you can always use your talents and connections to spread the word about your local rescue’s good work and help hopeful pets find forever homes!
10. Improve Your Grooming Skills
Grooming your pet isn’t all about ‘pampering.’ Regardless of whether your pet has long hair or short hair, keeping their coats and nails clean and cared for is very important to their overall health. Regular grooming keeps your best furiend feeling cleaner, happier and more comfortable!
One excellent resolution that you can set for yourself and your pet in 2022 would be to work on your at-home grooming skills! Maybe you don’t feel comfortable grooming your pet at all, or maybe you’ve been regularly brushing and trimming your pet’s coat, but you’re still intimidated by certain aspects of grooming.
Not sure how to give your dog or cat a bath (yes, cats can be bathed, too!) or how to trim your kitty or pup’s nails? Why not challenge yourself to master those skills this year? With a little patience and preparation, it can be done! Or, make it your resolution this year to prioritize overlooked spots, like the inside of your kitty or pup’s ears or the hair between their toes.
Of course, we still encourage you to take your pet in for regular grooming from a professional, but knowing how to do these skills at home gives you the confidence that you can take care of some aspects of your pet’s grooming yourself if need be — or even extend the time between appointments.
11. Have a Photoshoot With Your Pet
A photoshoot is a fantastic way to make fun memories with your pet and take pictures you’ll treasure.
This New Year, resolve to set aside a few hours for a quality photoshoot with a professional photographer who knows how to bring out the best in you and your kitty or pup — so that the love you have for each other shines through in every shot!
12. Spend More Time Outdoors
There’s an old Zen saying: “You should spend an hour in nature every day. If you’re too busy, spend two.” We think that’s pretty good advice!
And don’t forget that you can get outdoors with your kitty, too. Maybe 2022 is the year you train your cat for some fun and safe wilderness exploration!
13. Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is important for many aspects of your overall health, and that’s true for your best furiends, as well. This year, resolve to drink more water — and to help your pets do the same!
Keep clean water available in multiple places in the house at all times (and no, the toilet doesn’t count). Pets don’t want to drink bad-tasting water any more than we do, so wash and refill all water bowls regularly to keep them clean and refreshing. That means doing more than a quick rinse!
Some dogs and cats prefer a running water fountain, as your pets’ wild ancestors instinctively knew that running water is safer than still water. If your cat is drawn to the running tap or your dog is obsessed with the hose, that’s a sign you should set up a running water fountain and see if your pets drink more throughout the day as a result.
Cats are slightly more at risk of dehydration than dogs, so it’s important to know the signs. If you have many accessible water sources but your kitty still doesn’t seem to be drinking very much, and their main diet is a dry or crunchy food, consider switching things up with wet food now and again.
For example, Vital Essentials freeze-dried dinner patties can be fed dry as-is or turned into a moist pâté when you add water, giving you the ability to add moisture to your pet’s meals without changing their diet too drastically.
14. Set Aside More Time to Play!
You may think playtime is a luxury that you can only indulge in when your other work is done — but actually, playtime is serious business! Playing with your pet every day lowers your stress and your pet’s stress, strengthens your bond and puts both of you in a good mood.
Even when the weather outside is frightful, there’s lots of games you can play inside with your pets. Make your own easy DIY dog toys or cat toys and add more playtime into your daily routine with your kitty or pup this year.
Playtime is good for you and good for your pet, too — so in 2022, make playing with your pet a priority!
15. Connect With Fellow Pet Parents
Let’s face it, we could all use more animal-obsessed friends in our lives! This year, why not make it a New Year’s Resolution to socialize more with your fellow pet-crazy people?
That could mean going out to a pet-themed event in your area, striking up a conversation at the dog park or simply arranging a puppy playdate with your dog-owning friends. Or, if you look on social media, you’ll likely find information about all kinds of groups and meetups in your area for animal lovers.
Even if you don’t bring your pet with you (for example, if your homebody cat is not interested in social outings), it’s still fun to meet up with other people who understand your devotion to your fur-kids. You can swap fun stories, find out about pet events or businesses in your area, and of course — scroll through the million and one photos on your phone of your furry darling being too precious for words!
With so many different options, you’re bound to find the perfect resolution for you and your pet to make this New Year the best one ever. Improve your health and your pet’s health, strengthen your bond and have fun in 2022!