New Year, New Resolutions, Same results.
Peter H. Eeg DVM
Poolesville Veterinary Clinic
Happy New Year and many more. Now that we have that out of the way, lets talk about the Elephant (Asian or African) in the room after New Years Day. The Resolution Sprint.
Studies have determined that making a New Year’s Resolution is 75% likely to fall by the way-side within the first 2 weeks of implementation.
It is also a fact that New Years Resolutions often drag you furry friends into the mix. This comes in the form of increased exercise, changes in diet, changes in sleep patterns, changes in people, places and things we interact on and changes in our behavior and attitudes.
Since our furry pals don’t get a say in the resolution they sometimes enjoy (but often suffer due to) but mostly be the unwilling participant in activities that dramatically change the behavior ques that they have become used to seeing from their humans.
Pets like consistent behavior from their humans and the humans their humans know and the environment around them. For these very important behavior consistencies to be altered by a New Year’s Resolution can create unwanted responses from your pet.
Resolutions are a consistent theme in Human Culture. They are entered into rapidly. There is often not enough consideration for the time, effort and changes the resolution may bring. The results are commonly at best, returning to the regular status quo or at worse stopping activities all together with a screeching thud.
Your pets fall under the weight of your good intentions and suffer changes in behavior they are used to seeing and getting from you. These changes can cause them to refuse activities, change their reaction to you, create nervousness, increase aggression, change eating habits and a host of other potential problems.
The best plan for your pets when you institute a New Year’s Resolution is to leave them the heck out of it. If increasing you exercise rate is a desire, let your pets watch you sweat. If dietary changes are your goal, don’t include your four- legged pals. If old acquaintance be forgot, make sure your pets get to say goodbye. Keeping their behavior, the same, is the game here. You change all you want, just leave your furry friends to normalcy.
If you must include your pets in your “fun” resolutions, talk to your veterinarian about the unintended effects it could have to our pet. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of crazy resolution change.
So Happy New Year and you do you!