Pet owners share New Year resolutions

AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine — The new year is here, and many folks are taking the time to look back on the past year and determine what to change, do better, or accomplish in 2017. For pet owners, much of this reflection applies to the lives they share with their pets. surveyed pet parents and asked them what resolutions they’ve made for 2017 relating to their pets.

Here are the top five 2017 Pet New Year’s Resolutions.

Daily Walks: Whether it’s a walk through the park, a stroll around the neighborhood or a jog along hiking trails, 37 percent of pet parents surveyed plan to get outside each day and move with their pets this year. They cited exercise, maintaining their pack leader status, and bonding as their motivation for walking their pooch more often.

Healthier Diet: Feeding their pets better quality food is very important to parents this year. They’ve been doing their research and want to do all they can to ensure their pets live a long, happy and healthy life, whether it’s gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, raw food, unprocessed food or probiotics.

More Outings: More car rides, doggie bakery visits, beach outings and family vacations are among the activities respondents said they are resolved to doing more of with their four-legged family members. Getting out and spending some quality time with their pets to make that bond even stronger is at the top of many pet owners’ lists.

Socialization: As more owners opt to take their pets on more outings, there comes the need to better socialize them. Of those polled, 19 percent are committed to helping their shy, skittish or fearful pets become more comfortable around people, other pets and in public places.

Training: A close cousin of socialization, training comes in as the fifth most popular pet resolution of 2017. A good number of pet parents plan to devote time to curb some not-so-favorable behavior. From teaching Rover not to bark at house guests or dragging their people while on walks, to training a cat to stay off kitchen counters, pet parents say they are ready to put on their pet whisperer hats.

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