New Year Goals

We all have good intentions in keeping our New Year’s resolutions, but research has found that 60% of us fall short. But maybe this year can be different if we make them with our pets. Being held responsible to someone helps give us motivation to keep those resolutions. So what resolutions or goals are you looking to make this year? Here are four to consider to make this the healthiest year yet for you and your pets.

TOXIC FREE – Over the last couple years it has been brought to our attention the amount of harmful chemicals in the everyday products we’ve been using. If you’re not already using green products in your home, the new year may be the time to reduce your and your pet’s exposure to these harmful chemicals. Vinegar and baking soda are great cleaning alternatives and mostly likely will cost less than what you are using.

Along with cleaning products, what plants are toxic to your pets, as well as children? Your current and past pets may never have gotten into things, but each one is different. This is even more important when you bring a new pet or baby home. Four of the top toxic plants are: oleander, caladium, pothos and peace lilies.

SAFETY IN AN EMERGENCY – Do you have an emergency card in your wallet? Most of us no longer have land lines. So in the event of an accident, it makes it more difficult for the emergency response team to contact someone for you if you’re not able to let them know.

Is your pet microchipped? Is the information updated? Over time we move, get new phone numbers and forget to update their chip and tag information. If you travel with your pet, have a tag made with the address you’ll be staying. I also have a card in my wallet that lets people know that I have a pet at home alone with emergency numbers to call.

Do you have a quick first aid kit with everything in one place? What about in your car? Most of us panic when an emergency happens. It’s important to know exactly where the nearest 24 hour or overnight pet hospital is. Don’t just have the address, drive to it. All veterinarians have after hour numbers and will come in, but it may not be quick enough for the treatment your pet needs.

Where is their leash? I have one by each door. What if you have to get out of the house immediately and their leash is not by the door you need to exit. Will you have time to get it from the hall closet?

KEEPING HEALTHY – If there’s one resolution to make this year it is dental care, especially for your pet. Maybe you’ve been meaning to be better and floss every day. Instead of having it in the medicine cabinet, put it right with your tooth brush.

For pets, any veterinarian will tell you that over 70 percent of pets will have some level of periodontal disease by the age of two. Studies have linked periodontal disease in both humans and pets to systemic diseases of the kidneys and liver, heart disease, lung disease and diabetes complications. Their teeth are no different than ours and should be brushed daily. I understand we all don’t have that extra time with busy schedules. I don’t have a normal 8 to 5 job so making a weekly schedule is a challenge. I strive to brush their teeth every other day with dental chews in-between. But I fall off the wagon too. This is one of my big resolutions this year.

LET’S GET ACTIVE AND IN SHAPE – We all know that 90% of us have this as one of our goals for the New Year. But it’s also the first resolution that gets broken every year. This year include your pet and you just might not be part of the statistics this year. Make it fun for both of you so you don’t look at it as exercise, but play time together. Walks are great, but what about mixing it up and going on a hike, running the agility course with them or enjoying some doga (yes, dog yoga is all the rage). Even if you just run around the yard with them for a little bit, is a start for both of you.

Have a Happy, Healthy and Pawsome New Year!

Gail Mayhugh, the owner of GMJ Interior Design has been designing in Las Vegas for over 20 years. She also supports animal rescues and shelters through her non-profit,