Cats Can Help Owners Keep Resolutions

Experts offer tips for pet owners on starting the new year off right.

Posted: Jan. 2, 2009, 3 a.m. EST

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Cat playing with toy
Making time to play with your cat and keep her active is a great way to help her maintain her weight.
Pet owners who are planning to make New Year’s resolutions might want to enlist the help of their dog or cat to help stick to those goals.

Lorraine Corriveau, a wellness veterinarian at Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, said that as people draw up a list of resolutions for 2009, it’s a good idea to keep pets in mind as well. One way to do so is by making time to exercise and play with them more often. 

According to the American Kennel Club, resolutions are things that can be shared with a pet. For example, to follow a healthy diet, pets and their owners are advised to stop eating too many calories.

In addition, the AKC recommends that pet owners set regular meal times, cut back on meal portions, and keep track of the amount of calories consumed by pets and pet owners.  

Resolving to help others by volunteering also can be done with the help of a dog or cat. Corriveau said pet owners can donate time, effort or resources to a local animal-welfare organization.

To start the new year off right, Corriveau offered the following tips:

  • Spay or neuter your pets, adding more years to their lives and improving their behavior.
  • Provide them with age-appropriate health care.
  • Give them a diet suited to their age and medical condition. Pets kept at their ideal body weight live longer. Look for foods designed for different stages of life and medical conditions.
  • Give them medicines regularly to prevent heartworm and fleas.
  • Groom them at home, especially the minor grooming procedures, because it causes less stress.
  • If your pet is especially social, patient and people-oriented, consider certifying it as a therapy animal. Studies show that pets increase a person’s life span, help speed recovery in case of young and old patients, and are a good moral booster to people in various psychiatric and medical programs.
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Reader Comments

pat    mariden, CT

1/3/2009 9:03:04 PM

you have to be careful on the toys you use

Julie    Lewiston, ME

1/3/2009 5:20:13 PM

when getting your pets to play, be careful with toys with strings. My cat ate a string on a toy once and he was very lucky and was okay but that is dangerous.

JoJo    Cedar Falls, IA

1/3/2009 3:47:27 PM

Good advice!

Sharon    Louisville, KY

1/3/2009 1:19:01 PM

Great tips. Happy new year everyone.

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