Happy New Year! At the start of a new year, many people are thinking about their goals for the coming year, and focusing on the things they want to accomplish. This is a perfect time for reflecting and revisiting personal priorities. Whether you’re planning to finish school, get back in shape, master a new craft, or just spend more time with loved ones, it’s safe to say that your pet will be right there with you as you strive to meet your goals. As it turns out, pets can help in many ways, aside from simply offering moral support. Your furry best friend can also be a great source of inspiration! Read on as a local Fayetteville, NC vet lists some great personal goals inspired by our animal companions.

Get More Sleep

One thing all of our patients have in common is a love of naps. Cats spend about three quarters of their lives sleeping. Most kitties spend between 12 and 18 hours a day snoozing, with kittens and seniors clocking the most shuteye. Some of our feline pals can sleep up to 20 hours a day! Dogs aren’t quite that tired, but Fido is no slouch in this area, either: dogs sleep about 12 to 14 hours. 

While you probably don’t need quite that much nap time, it is important to get enough rest. Poor sleep can cause a whole slew of health problems, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity,  heart attack, increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, and weakened immunity. There are also serious psychological risks, such as anxiety, depression, paranoia, and impulsive behavior. Make sure you’re getting good rest! 

Make Time For Fun

Things can get pretty crazy in the modern world: many of us are juggling jobs, social lives, raising children, school, and other activities and obligations. After a busy day or week, you may just want to kick back and enjoy some quiet time. There’s nothing wrong with that! However, it’s also important to carve out time for doing the things you love. For cats, that may mean watching the birds in the yard or chasing a bottle cap down the hall. For dogs, that might entail going for walks in the park, playing Fetch with the humans, or having fun with a new toy. As for you? Pick up a new hobby, or go back to an old one you haven’t had time for. Life is short, so live it to the fullest! 

Spend Time With Loved Ones

Pets actually have some pretty important lessons to teach us about life. One of the most crucial ones? Prioritize carving out quality time with the people who matter most. Time flies, and it somehow has a way of moving even faster as we age. Make time for your loved ones. (That of course includes pets.)  

Explore New Things

One of the best things about dogs is the fact that they are always so willing to go new places with us. Our feline buddies can also be rather adventurous, though most do tend to stick somewhat close to home. (Note: we always recommend keeping kitties indoors, for safety reasons.)

Indulge your canine buddy’s taste for adventure! Take Fido on some one-tank trips this year, and visit some new parks and trails. As for Fluffy, well, if your cat is an adventurous type, you can try walking her on a leash. Otherwise, just bring her pieces of furniture to explore. (And boxes. Lots and lots of boxes.) Remember to try new places yourself, too.

Look Your Best

Fido doesn’t really care too much what he looks like, but he does enjoy feeling fresh and clean. Your pup’s exact grooming needs will depend on the type of coat he has, so ask your Fayetteville, NC vet for recommendations. However, all pooches need brushing and bathing, as well as claw trims and dental care. As for Fluffy, most cats are pretty good about keeping their coats in good shape. Your furry little diva may spend hours a day grooming herself. You don’t have to go that far, but it is important to look neat and well-groomed. Put your best foot forward! 

Be Yourself

Pets have a special way of carving out spaces for themselves in our hearts. Part of this is no doubt because they are adorable, loyal, and affectionate. However, there’s also a lot to be said for how unique and personable they are. Our furry buddies’ personalities reveal themselves in all sorts of fun and entertaining ways, all of which brighten up our lives, days, and hours and just keep us laughing.

Eat Well

That old adage about how you are what you eat is still very true today. Good nutrition is the foundation of your health and well-being! That applies to both people and pets. 

Make sure that both you and your furry companion are eating wholesome, nourishing food. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional snack … just don’t go overboard. 

Keep in mind that your pet’s nutritional needs will change over time. Your pet may also benefit from herbal supplements. Be sure to check with your Fayetteville, NC vet regularly about what to feed your little (or not so little) buddy.

Show Your Love

Pets provide us with unconditional love, unwavering loyalty, and endless cuddles and affection. They don’t really ask for much, either. All Fido and Fluffy really want is for someone to love them and care for them! Pay attention to your pet every day. Even small things, like petting your dog or cat’s head as you walk by, can make a big difference. 

This applies to our human friends and family members as well. Stay connected with the people that matter, even if it’s just a quick check-in on social media.

Follow Your Instincts

Fido and Fluffy don’t process information the same way we do. They rely much more on their ears and noses, and are also very much driven by instinctive behaviors. This manifests in all sorts of ways: from kitties’ scratching habits to dogs’ habits of marking their territories. However, they are very, very perceptive. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that many of you have stories about how your furry friend immediately disliked someone, and how that person later turned out to be a jerk. Listen to your gut feelings, especially when making major decisions.

Stay Active

Staying fit is just as important to Fluffy and Fido as it is to us. Of course, cats tend to prefer catching Z’s to catching that little red dot, especially as they grow older. Keep your kitty active by providing lots of toys and taking time to play with her every day. 

Our canine pals also need daily exercise. Fido can be a great workout buddy. Taking your furry pal to explore a new trail can be a great way for both of you to get in shape! However, your dog’s workout regimen should be customized based on his age, health, size, and breed. Ask your vet for specific advice on this. Some pooches need a lot of activity, while others only require a walk around the block. It’s also important to understand that strenuous activities, like hiking and jumping, aren’t right for every dog. 

Enjoy The Little Things

Pets have a special way of reminding us of some of life’s most important lessons. Perhaps one of the most crucial ones to remember to stop and take in the small moments. Fido always stops to smell the roses. (He also stops to smell the grass, trees, and flowers, but that’s another topic.) This is a great lesson for all of us to carry forward into the new year. 

As for our feline friends, they also appreciate the little things. As far as Fluffy’s concerned, some of the best things in life are boxes, sunbeams, and paper grocery bags. Make an effort to savor those small moments and the little things that fill them.

All of us here at Academy Pet Hospital, your Fayetteville, NC animal hospital, wish you a wonderful new year. We look forward to providing you and your pet with excellent care in 2024 and for many years to come.