New Year’s Resolutions & the cutest Scottish Fold cat ever! Folded-ears munchkin kitten: pet magazine photoshoot.
Happy New Year! My Scottish Fold cat and I are determined to make 2013 a healthy, successful year.
For New Year’s, why don’t we resolve to improve our pet’s quality of life? After all, they give us so much. January 1st is the perfect chance to make positive changes: little steps that can go a long way.
With no further ado, here are “20 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners” – by Basil Farrow and his mom, La Carmina. Please share it around!
PS: this article and Basil Farrow are in the current issue of Black Cat White Dog, a pet magazine distributed all over British Columbia. Basil is also currently in the MediaBistro Galleycat Pet Parade!
1. Take your pets for regular vet checkups, even if they seem perfectly healthy. Prevention is essential: your vet can detect medical issues that you’ll overlook, saving your pets from illness and pain. Aim for a few checkups a year; one is the minimum.
2. Encourage your pets to drink more by leaving several bowls of water around the house, and refilling them at least once a day. Cats don’t like their food and water to be in the same place, and dogs may act territorial around a single bowl, so this is a quick and easy fix.
3. Take photos of your pets, and with your pets! For best results, wait until they are in a relaxed mood. Hold up a toy near the lens so they’ll look at the camera.
4. Invest in better food for your pets. Learn to check ingredients carefully: avoid chemical preservatives, by-products, corn meal, and fillers with no nutritional value. Consider safe raw foods or cooking for your pets, and catgrass to aid digestion.
5. Groom your pets well. Brush fur regularly: try soft and specialty brushes that are gentle on the skin but remove the under-layers. If your pets have eye secretions, wipe them gently. Don’t put off bathing your pets, or taking them to the groomer. Basil Farrow loves to be washed with a wet towel, and since he has folded ears, they must be cleaned gently and often! (You can see this on our YouTube channel.)
6. Increase exercise. Think of creative ways to stimulate your pets, such as by making toys out of cardboard and craft materials. Go on adventures with your dog, and try new terrains for walks and runs.
7. Fill your home with rest and play areas. In Japan, cat and dog cafes are designed for the comfort of pets. The rooms contain climbing trees, wall-mounted levels for jumping, secret hideaways, and boxes lined with towels — you can do the same.
8. Keep learning. Sign up for newsletters and stay educated about pet care. Be aware of pet food recalls and recent discoveries. Your pet may enjoy new technologies, such as playing with a tablet!
9. Try pet massage. T-touch massage helps soothe sore muscles, particularly around a dog’s harness attachment areas.
10. Look for a better litter. Natural wheat and pine litter are healthier options than gravel and chemically-treated brands.
11. Safe-proof your house, as you would for a toddler. Eliminate toxic materials, and switch to chemical-free, eco-friendly cleaning products. Learn which plants and foods are dangerous when ingested by pets.
12. Protect your pets with a micro-chip or tattoo, to prevent them from getting lost.
13. Connect with fellow pet-lovers. Join a community on the Internet (there are fantastic Facebook groups for breeds such as Scottish Folds), or a real-life meet-up group.
14. Avoid putting your pets in a kennel when you go on vacation, as this is very stressful. Make arrangements for someone to come into your home and take care of them, or have a member of the family stay behind.
15. Find the best possible veterinarian for your pets. Ask around, do research, and visit the vet. Consider a specialist who only treats your pets’ species.
16. Take care of your pets’ teeth. Get in the habit of brushing. With the help of your vet, keep track of their dental health.
17. Watch out for signs of fleas or parasites. If you think your pets are affected, take them to the vet and have them treated immediately. Have your pets regularly de-wormed as prevention.
18. Keep your older pets comfortable. Provide steps so they don’t have to jump as high, and warm spaces to relax.
19. Let your pet be the master at times. If your cat is dozing in your seat, let him stay. If your dog insists on a walk, go get your coat.
20. Do something to help other animals. This can range from a Facebook post to raise awareness, to donating time or funds, to getting the word out on a cause. Pets can’t speak out for themselves, so we should do our best for them!
Thanks for reading. Please take a second to pass along these tips to your loved ones. You can see more cute photos on Basil’s Facebook page.
Do you have any tips to add? In what ways can we take better care of our pets? Which of these suggestions will you try to implement in 2013?