4 New Year's Resolutions All Cat and Dog Owners Should Make

Have you stuck to your New Year's resolutions yet? Maybe you're hoping to eat better, hit the gym more frequently or make a point to unplug from your phone more often. But what about your pets? Have you made any New Year's resolutions regarding your cat or dog?

If not, never fear its not too late to late to start — we've got four goals you'll want to add to your resolutions with your pet.

1. Establish a daily grooming routine.

Not every dog or cat needs a thorough brushing every single day (although some do!), but setting aside time to either brush your pet or just give him/her a full-body rub down has numerous positive effects. For one thing, cats and dogs with fur that mats or sheds heavily can benefit greatly from having loose fur removed on a regular basis. And, as a bonus, you'll see fewer balls of fur blowing across the lounge room, too.

But grooming isn't all about the fur — it's also about being familiar with any changes to your pet's body. The sooner you notice any new lumps, bumps or areas that seem painful, the sooner you'll be able to have your vet check things out — and if action needs to be taken, early detection and treatment can sometimes mean a better prognosis. You'll also want to look at your pet's feet, eyes and ears to watch for any changes there as well.

2. Stay on track with preventive care.

Whether we're talking about annual/monthly vet visits or monthly flea, tick and heartworm prevention, it's your responsibility as a good pet owner to stay up to date on the preventive care that helps keep your pet healthy. It's not like your pets are going to remind you — they can't read a calendar! But you sure can. And with the ease of setting reminders in multiple places in all kinds of ways (paper calendar, email reminders, pop-up reminders on your phone), there's really no excuse to miss an appointment or a dose. Remember, it might feel like a bit of an investment at the time, but staying up to date on preventive care can save you money down the line.

3. Clean your pet's bowls, toys and bedding.

While we're discussing things that should be done regularly, let's talk about cleaning. (It's not just for spring time, you know.) Your pet's food and water dishes should be washed weekly, either in the dishwasher (if the bowls are dishwasher-safe) or by hand using hot, soapy water. Bedding and covers should be washed and cleaned weekly and crates and carriers that are frequently used should also be cleaned weekly using pet-safe cleaning products.

Dog Bed requires cleaning and washing weekly

4. Carve out time to play.

Play is important, not just for kittens and puppies, but also for adult dogs and cats. You might be thinking that the weather is turning slightly colder (at least in some areas) means you need to put playing with your pup on hold, but that's not true — there are plenty of ways to interact with and encourage activity for your dog (or cat) without ever opening the front door!

And it's not only your furry friend who will benefit from these New Year's resolutions. Strengthening the bond you share with your pet is good for you, too.

These are just 4 very simple goals that all pet owners should strive for this year...