Best Friends Animal Society Offers Some Ways Pets Can Make Our New Year’s Goals Stick!

Cat walking by a person bending down doing yoga on a yoga mat
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Alina Hauptman : alinah@bestfriends.org

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Here we go again...A new year means a time for new resolutions. The good news is that there is somebody nearby who might be able to help you reach those 2023 goals: your dog or cat! Our furry friends can provide you with the necessary motivation to keep your goals for 2023 on the right track.  

Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of cats and dogs in America’s shelters by 2025, is highlighting some ways your pets can help you reach and maintain some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions:

Work Out with a Furry Fitness Buddy

Do you have an active dog? Then you also have a personal trainer!  

Walking at a vigorous pace for just 30 minutes, five times a week can provide the moderately intensive cardiovascular exercise most physicians recommend.

Some cats even like to go for walks on a leash and harness or in a stroller. If you’re unsure how your kitty would feel about it, do some research online to find the safest ways to introduce walking or strolling into your routine.  

Decrease Stress with a Downward Dog (or Cat) 

Spending quality time with your pets has been shown to lessen anxiety, lower blood pressure, and booster your immune system—health benefits many of us can use!  

How can you make the most of this all-natural stress relief? Try a fifteen-minute meditation break with your cat or dog. Sit with your pet in a quiet, comfortable place. Focus on being present, breathing deeply, and petting your dog or cat. Another option is to break out a yoga mat and do some poses with your pet, which will not only ease stress, but also provides a gentle workout.  

Eat Better

After enjoying the holidays many are looking to eat healthier. This year, swap out fatty, sweet, or salty treats and start sharing some good-for-you snacks with your pet.  

Dogs can eat raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds, as well as produce like watermelon, blackberries, cranberries, blueberries, bananas, apple slices, and baby carrots. However, steer clear of grapes and raisins, which can be toxic. Cats can get in on the fun, too. Felines are able to enjoy fish like salmon or mackerel, plain boiled chicken, and even a bit of cheese or egg.  

Just keep in mind that only 10 percent of a pet’s daily calories should come from treats. Check with your veterinarian on which foods are appropriate for your pet.  

Make New Friends (You can keep the old, too)

Get outside and meet new people with your pet! They are natural ice breakers and you’re sure to meet like-minded people who want to share stories about their own pets.

Wait...what? You don’t have a pet?

The new year is a great time to adopt or foster a new best friend! National data trends show that 2022 has been a tough year for shelters. Across the country, shelters are struggling with higher intake, while adoptions, fosters and rescues are not keeping pace. This has led to a population imbalance, with more animals in shelters staying for longer periods, causing increased strain on shelter staff and the current shelter crisis. With most U.S. shelters at or over capacity, pets are more at risk for being killed due to lack of space.

To get started, visit bestfriends.org and find a local shelter or rescue where your perfect pet is waiting.  

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 355,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,000 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit bestfriends.org