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Articles and Advice from our Pet Expert

5 New Year's Resolutions for Pet Parents

Whew! The holidays are over for another year. The gifts have been unwrapped. The tree has been put away. And the lights…well, okay, maybe they’re still up. But don’t worry. There’s always next month for that. Here’s something you shouldn’t put off, though. Making your New Year’s resolutions!

I know, I know. Resolutions get a bad rap. After all, research suggests that only eight percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals. But the resolutions I’m talking about aren’t the typical ones like losing weight, eating healthier or finding a new job.

Instead, why not vow to make 2015 a happier, healthier year for your pets? Here are five simple suggestions to get you started:

Take Control of Four-Legged Financials

According to the ASPCA, the average annual cost of owning a cat or dog ranges from $580 - $875. If, like me, you have more than one pet, that number can really start to add up! So for 2015, commit to preparing for upcoming expenses by adding a pet budget to your monthly home budget. If possible, add in a little extra each month to offset any unexpected costs.

Stay on Schedule

Routine veterinary check-ups and preventative care are essential to your pet’s health. However, our lives are so busy that it can be easy to indefinitely postpone making these appointments. Therefore, resolve to schedule Fido or Fluffy’s yearly veterinary wellness visits now. Once they’re on your schedule, you’ll be more likely to keep them.

Carve Out Cuddle Time

This might be the most fun resolution ever! Promise to set aside pet bonding time every day. The benefits of petting and playing with your pet are well documented. Just 10 minutes a day can go a long way toward strengthening the relationship with your pet. In addition, studies have shown that petting a dog or cat lowers stress, improves heart health and elevates one’s mood.

Give Back to a Furry Cause

After the holidays, the sad fact is that shelters are often overwhelmed with pet surrenders. And of course, the need doesn’t stop once the weather turns warmer. Vow to support an animal shelter or rescue that is important to you by volunteering time, supporting events, making a donation—or by adopting a pet. One simple way you can give back is by using the hashtag #pethappens with a photo of your pet now through 2/15. Each time the hashtag is used, BISSELL will donate $1 to the BISSELL Pet Foundation to give homeless pets the chance they deserve.

Ditch the Dirt

It can be difficult to keep on top of all the shedding, accidents, muddy paw prints and tracked litter. But this year, resolve to keep a squeaky clean home with specialized cleaning products from BISSELL to help with pet cleanup. These tools neutralize odors, eliminate stains and remove pet hair, making it easier than ever to keep your resolution.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and sparkling new year!

For more ways to live happier and healthier with pets, visit my website, Kristen Levine Pet Living.

Kristen Buck60x60

Written by:
Kristen Levine, pet living expert

December 29, 2014

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