24 tips for happy and healthy pets in 2024
Happy New Year! We hope you and your pets enjoyed the festive season and didn’t put on too many pounds overindulging. Now January is here, it’s time to take down the decorations and some of us may be making some resolutions or holiday plans as we look past the gloomy weather at what 2024 may have in store for us and our animals. Here to inspire you, as always, this week we are kicking off the year with a bumper blog with 24 tips for happy and healthy pets in 2024.
Yoga dog photo by Cottonbro studio on Pexels
6 New Year’s Resolutions to help your pet live longer and feel healthier
As we step into the new year, it's not only an opportunity for us to set resolutions for ourselves but also a chance to consider the wellbeing of our beloved pets. Here are six resolutions to increase their chances of living a longer and healthier life:
- Regular veterinary check-ups
Don’t wait until they get sick, if your pet is getting older then - just like us – they need regular health check-ups. Schedule a visit to the vet for a comprehensive examination. Early detection of health issues can significantly contribute to your pet's overall wellbeing.
- Balanced nutrition
Evaluate your pet's diet and make sure it's well-balanced. Consult your veterinarian to ensure your pet is getting the right nutrients in the proper amounts. A healthy diet plays a crucial role in preventing obesity and promoting longevity. Sometimes it’s worth paying a few pounds extra for healthier food that supports their health and prevents problems down the line.
- Daily exercise routine
Exercise is essential for your pet's physical and mental health. Create a daily exercise routine that suits your pet's breed and age. Whether it's a brisk walk, playtime in the backyard, or interactive indoor games, keeping your pet active is key to a healthy lifestyle. Cats need some play time too so try engaging them with a favourite toy or as often as possible.
- Dental care
Don't overlook your pet's dental health. Poor oral hygiene can lead to various health issues. Make a resolution to brush your pet's teeth regularly and provide dental treats or toys to promote good oral health.
- Weight management
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for your pet's overall health. If your pet is overweight, work with your vet to develop a weight loss plan. This will help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improves your pet's quality of life.
- Mental stimulation
Enrich your pet's environment with mental stimulation. Offer puzzle toys, such as a Kong or a lickimat for dogs and rotate their toys regularly, and engage in interactive play. Mental stimulation is as important as physical exercise and contributes to a happier, healthier pet.
Happy dog photo by Alexander Mass on Pexels
6 New Year’s Resolutions to help your pet feel happier
A happy pet is a healthy pet. Consider these resolutions to ensure your pet’s happiness throughout the year:
- Quality time together
Spend quality time with your pet. Whether it's snuggling on the sofa, playing fetch, or going for a walk, the bond you share is essential for your pet's emotional wellbeing – and will improve your happiness too!
- New toys and enrichment activities
Treat your pet to new toys and enrichment activities. Introduce variety to keep them mentally engaged and entertained. Rotate toys regularly to prevent boredom and ensure a constant source of excitement.
- Positive reinforcement training
Invest time in positive reinforcement training. This not only strengthens the bond between you and your pet but also provides mental stimulation. Teach them new tricks or reinforce good behaviour with treats and praise.
- Comfortable living space
Create a comfortable and safe living space for your pet. Ensure they have a cosy bed, access to clean water, and a designated area for meals. Stress-free environments contribute to your pet's overall happiness.
- Socialisation opportunities
Expose your pet to new experiences and if you have a dog, socialisation opportunities. Whether it's meeting other pets at a park or attending pet-friendly events, social interactions enhance your pet's emotional wellbeing.
- Regular grooming sessions
Grooming is not only essential for your pet's physical health but also for their emotional wellbeing. Regular grooming sessions, including brushing and nail trimming, provide a positive bonding experience and contribute to a happy, healthy pet.
Kitten photo by Elina Sazonova on Pexels
6 Ways to keep Your pet entertained indoors during bad weather
When the weather takes a turn for the worse, keeping your pet entertained indoors becomes a priority. Here are six creative ways to ensure your pets stay engaged and active:
- Indoor obstacle course
Set up a mini obstacle course using household items. Encourage your pet to navigate through tunnels made of blankets, jump over cushions, and weave through makeshift poles. It's a fun and interactive way to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
- Puzzle feeders
Invest in puzzle feeders or create DIY versions by hiding treats inside toys. This not only provides mental stimulation but also rewards your pet's problem-solving skills.
- Hide and seek
Play a game of hide and seek with your pet. Hide treats or their favourite toys in different areas of the house and let them use their senses to find them. It adds an element of excitement and mental stimulation.
- Indoor fetch
If you have a bit of space, play a game of indoor fetch. Use soft toys to prevent breakages and create a safe environment for a game of catch.
- Interactive games
Explore interactive games designed for pets. From electronic laser pointers to motion-activated toys, these can keep your pet entertained while providing a healthy outlet for their energy.
- DIY sensory bins
Create sensory bins filled with pet-safe items like shredded paper, cotton balls, or safe fabrics. Let your pet explore these textures for a sensory-rich experience. It's a simple yet effective way to engage their senses.
Remember to tailor these activities to your pet's preferences and physical capabilities. With a bit of creativity and dedication, you can make sure your pet stays happy and entertained, even when the weather keeps you indoors.
Beach dog photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels
6 Tips for Booking a Holiday with Your Pet
January is a good time to start planning a holiday – are you going to take your pets along too? Travelling with pets requires careful consideration to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for both of you. Here are six tips to help you plan a pet-friendly holiday:
- Research pet-friendly accommodations
Before booking accommodation, research and choose pet-friendly hotels, holiday rentals, or pet-friendly areas. Look for places that not only accept pets but also provide amenities such as pet beds, food bowls, and nearby green spaces for walks.
- Verify pet policies and fees
Contact the accommodation directly to confirm their pet policies, restrictions, and any additional fees. Some places may have weight restrictions, breed limitations, or specific rules, so it's crucial to have a clear understanding of what is expected when traveling with your pet. Depending on where you are travelling to, you may also need a passport for your pet which needs a lot of planning in advance. Find more information here.
- Plan pet-friendly activities
Consider destinations and activities that cater to both you and your pet. Look for parks, trails, and attractions that welcome pets. Research local pet-friendly cafes or restaurants where you can enjoy meals together. Planning pet-friendly activities ensures your pet remains happy and engaged throughout the trip.
- Schedule a vet check-up
Visit your veterinarian for a pre-travel health check-up. Ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations, is in good health, and discuss any potential travel concerns. Obtain a copy of your pet's medical records, just in case you need them during your journey.
- Prepare a pet travel kit
Pack a dedicated travel kit for your pet. Include essentials such as food, water bowls, a leash, waste bags, medications, and any comfort items your pet may need. Having a well-prepared kit ensures you have everything necessary for your pet's wellbeing while on the road.
- Practice pet-friendly etiquette
Whether you're traveling by car, plane, or other means, practice pet-friendly etiquette. Respect the comfort of fellow travellers and follow any specific guidelines provided by the transportation service. Keep your pet calm and secure during the journey and be mindful of their needs throughout the trip.
Sunset dog photo by Cottonbro studio on Pexels
That’s the end of our mega-round up for this week. If you have any further tips on how to have a healthy and happy 2024 with your pet, or some exciting pet travel plans, we’d love to hear about them. Let us know in the comments section below!
Main photo by Sam Lion on Pexels