I will take care of your health.
Make sure your dog gets a checkup, microchip, full vaccinations, plus monthly care for heartworm, fleas, and ticks. Don’t forget teeth and gums, and to make sure that his coat, nails and foot pads are well kept. It is recommended to keep a pet emergency kit with hydrogen peroxide, styptic or cornstarch, vet tape, gauze and scissors, eye wash and antibacterial ointment. Also, have collar tags updated to make sure they can be read clearly. Include major medical needs on the tag. Other suggestions include getting pet health insurance, or a savings account for pet emergencies.
I will feed you properly.
It is recommended that we watch his weight, pay attention to ingredients, and provide more holistic nutrients and supplements. Give him sparkling, fresh, clean water, and occasional thrills with new foods that may be unusual, such as grilled fish. Try home pet recipes, such as peanut butter dog biscuits.
We will go for more walks.
We are encouraged to get our pets more involved in exercise and socializing. Go for walks or play dates with friends, learn a new command in obedience classes, or join a pet club. Dogs are pack animals. He wants to do things together.
I will play with you more.
Playing fetch with a tennis ball, or enjoy short burst activities in the backyard. Take your dog on day trips or vacations. He would love nothing better than to scale mountains or frolic on the beach with you.
I will pay more attention to your physical needs.
We are encouraged to bathe and groom our dog personally. It also gives us a chance to detect possible physical problems early. Grooming is a bonding event, as is cuddling, or even an evening on the couch together watching TV. Always find opportunities to praise him. He lives for it.
I will make your home safe.
There are so many components to look at, from inedible things they can swallow such as batteries, to chocolate, candy and human toothpaste (which often has xylitol), plus poisons and insecticides indoors and in the yard, or the danger of being in close proximity to a street or burning fireplace or fire pit. Always keep eyes open to things that could possibly hurt your pet. He’s watching out for you, too.
I will treat you as a family member.
Your dog is an intelligent being with feelings and desires. Try to understand his language as he strives to know yours. When you are wrong, apologize. He will understand your tone of voice and your actions. When we lose a family member, we need to recognize that he grieves, too, and needs to be comforted. Treat him with love and compassion. When he is old, still take him for joyrides and other things he loves to do, just do them more slowly, with patience. Never give him up just because he becomes inconvenient.
I will help another.
Some online New Year’s lists had very special resolutions. Consider getting your dog a permanent companion from the local shelter. If not, make a resolution to help at least one more animal by donating to shelters or rescue groups. If you can, enroll your dog in courses or something special such as visiting the elderly. Find out what he enjoys and give him more opportunities to do it, such as running a race together, hiking or swimming, or even going for a ride.
I will never take you for granted. Every day I will tell you that I love you.
Heron’s Crossing provides end-of-life care for pets in the Metro Atlanta area. In-home appointments with compassionate vets are available. If you’d prefer a home-like setting away from your home, our Decatur office is also available by appointment.