Pets and People

Pet Resolutions for the New Year

posted: 01/01/12
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Pets resolve to be slimmer, smarter, better and brighter too.
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With humans making new resolutions every 12 months to be slimmer, smarter, better and brighter, is it any wonder their beloved pets are following the trend? Pets may not realize that most human New Year's resolutions fade before Valentine's Day -- but then, most pets wouldn't boldly announce intentions to zip-line across the Grand Canyon or Botox their foreheads. Our furry friends prefer different choices. What are pets resolving for the New Year?

 

 

 

 

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Eat bite-sized portions and skip some treats.
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With an ever-expanding variety of foods to scarf down, dogs, cats and even small pets are learning to eat smarter. They're resolving to love bite-size portions and skip some treats. For this resolution to really work, a switch to natural foods may help tubby tabbies and hefty hounds. These packages promise better nutrition -- but be careful of friends, family and neighbors who aren't so calorie-conscious -- treats and table scraps are hard for pets to deny!

 

 

 

 

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More walks for dogs and mice-chasing dreams for cats.
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What's a diet without exercise? This is the year that dogs resolve to go for more walks. Cats, on the other hand, dream of chasing mice, the only exercise they cherish. The idea of feline aerobics earns a big hiss, so cats resolve to get fit fast by combining their favorite fantasy with a creative cardio workout. Like professional athletes, cats will visualize their goal -- by imagining themselves chasing that elusive mouse, felines will mentally exercise while napping. Twitch those whiskers and burn off that kibble! If you can dream it, you can tighten that tummy.

 

 

 

 

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No more furry fashion faux paws.
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A sleek new body deserves to be shown off, but only in the most flattering way. Dogs and cats resolve to rebel against pet fashion faux pas, encouraging owners toward better wardrobe options for Fido and Fluffy. What works: rain gear for wet-weather walks, and warm fleecy gear for snowflake protection. What won't: everything else. No pink legwarmers for furry legs. No plush purple hats covering silken ears. Cats resolve not to wear Halloween costumes -- they don't think it's cute to see Tiger dressed like Winnie the Pooh. And those fake reindeer antlers must go -- back to the reindeer!

 

 

 

 

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There's always room for more fun.
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Pets who are disciplined about their diet and exercise deserve to offset the routine. Resolving to find fun equals new ways to play with existing toys or everyday objects. An old record player becomes a mini-carousel for hamsters. Cats know that purses, even new ones with price tags attached, are purr-fect refuges for quick naps, and what's a better hideout than inside a pillowcase, scrunched atop the pillow? No worry if you can't go outdoors to play Frisbee -- chew toys can be lobbed across a living room for a freestyle game of canine catch.

 

 

 

 

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Staying off the furniture? This one will take lots of will power.
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The one resolution all humans will applaud is a pet peace accord with the furniture. No more clawing, chewing, shedding on, destroying or holding hostage any couch, chair, bed or table. No using the lamps for an obstacle course; no more turning tablecloths into tents. It may be time to befriend the noisy vacuum cleaner, and keeping a tail's length distance from anything "antique" will qualify for pet sainthood. At last, it's safe to buy a new sofa, even one with pale mauve fabric! Can this resolution last? This resolution might be the four-legged equivalent to humans giving up carbs: admirable, healthy and tough to embrace.

 

 

 

 

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Keeping the squeaky toys and catnip mice better organized.
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Freshening up the home is among one of the top human resolutions, so why shouldn't pets declutter, too? Out with the ratty remnants of shredded stuffed toys, stringy towels made soft by pounds of cat hair, and hidden caches of rubber bones. Catalogue the new holiday gift toys, and then skillfully file them in unexpected spots, like the newly organized clothes closet, or those cheerful plastic bins filled with unidentified human junk. Here's to hoping your pet will remember to store it there when they're done playing with it, too!

 

 

 

 

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There's always time for a good nap.
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That new bedding, a brand-new and wonderfully plush cat tree, a neat, clear space with a sunny spot to stretch out in -- it's all good for the pets' favorite resolution, relaxing. For any animal, being "on" every minute and trying to please people is a fulltime job. Those "awwww"-inspiring antics take a lot out of any critter. But the cuteness muscles need rest to refresh. The next year has been declared the unofficial Year of the Nap. Cats routinely prefer 18 hours of shuteye -- so they might strive for 19. Dogs will aim for randomly scheduled shorter naps, ideally achieving a perfectly balanced lifestyle of rest-play-rest.

 

 

 

 

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Increasing the pet population in loving homes.
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Every pet with a home wishes every other companion animal the same. Pets everywhere are on a mission to remind humans that if one pet is rewarding, another would increase the affection dividends. Not to mention that each new pet increases the base of pet power in a household. Pointing humans toward photos of sad-eyed shelter pets is as easy as the paw-click of a computer mouse, or a page clawed from a magazine and left in a strategic spot. Like the dinner table. It's all part of an animal kingdom plot, as pets anticipate outnumbering their pet parents and taking control of -- well, everything.

 

 

 

 

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Lobbying for more pet holidays.
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In 2011, pets everywhere will lobby to make Take Your Dog to Work Day a national holiday. For a bigger spotlight on the joys of pet ownership, pets will also push to add more pet-friendly holidays to the calendar. Preferably one or more a month, these will encourage businesses, schools and even politicians to incorporate pet-friendly thinking into their lives. Besides permanent three-day weekend Adopt-a-Thons at all animal shelters, other proposed holidays include: Parakeets for Peace in the Office Day, Fish Out of Water Park Vacation Week, Small Dog Discount Shopping Day, Hamsters for a Happier Commute Day, and the all-time feline favorite, International Catnap Day.

 

 

 

 

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More family time.
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Every pet wants to be the center of the family circle. This year, they resolve to increase that family time with enforced lap occupation, sticking like glue to human legs and spreading love (and fur) in every room. This should encourage more activities that revolve around pets. Car-loving dogs will accompany you on more than just boring supermarket runs. Small pets will chirp, sing, whistle and provide an endless, animal-friendly soundtrack for meals and TV watching. All photos will include your pets, whose constant presence fetches all those human smiles for the camera.

 

 

 

 

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