Happy New Year and all that jazz—now it’s time to get down to business. How can you make this year better than last? Your diet, exercise, and socialization goals are great for yourself, but don’t forget your pet! Strengthen your relationship with your pet by resolving to keep these things in mind in the coming year…

Don’t wait until you discover something particularly unsettling… Schedule your annual veterinarian visit and keep a close eye on any developing conditions. A trip to your vet is also a good time to get expert advice on any behavioral issues.

Every pet’s coat is a little different and needs to be maintained a bit differently, but make sure you’re keeping on top of your pet’s proper grooming etiquette. Talk to your vet or a professional pet groomer to make sure you have the proper brush at home that will not hurt your pet.

Check recommended feeding guidelines on your pet’s food (or ask your veterinarian) and make sure your pet is getting the adequate, consistent meal size for them—not too much, not too little.

Whether it’s taking your dog for a hike or teaching your cat how to walk on a leash, trying new activities with your pet is a great way to keep them active and enhance the bond between you two.

In addition to regular, daily exercise, make sure to encourage playtime to keep your pet’s mind active and entertained. Get your cat engaged with a laser pointer and toss your dog’s favorite toy down the hallway!

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