Anyone who has ever given up something for Lent knows how challenging it can be: we often choose to forego something we are used to, or love, because it may not be very good for us.
While giving up something that can be harmful is a good thing, it isn't the only route to take. Lent is all about making positive changes in our lives, and that doesn't necessarily mean giving something up. If chocolate is just too tough to go without- trust us, we know!- then try out some of these pet-friendly Lent resolutions:
1. Pay More Attention to Your Pet
We've all been there: you're trying to do your taxes or finish up some work at home, and your puppy runs up with his favorite tennis ball. He clearly wants to play, but you're exhausted and just want to finish what you're doing so you can relax on the couch.
Instead of thinking, "I knew I shouldn't have taught him to play fetch" or "Maybe it's time to retire that darn ball", remember that your dogs have a lot of pent-up energy- especially puppies- and a healthy pup needs an outlet for it.
It will only take 15 minutes for a quick game of fetch or a walk around the block, and your pup will thank you for it! Slot in some playtime to your schedule every day to keep you and your dog active and healthy. Plus, if you leave the little guy to find some fun on his own, you might end up with this...
2. Go On More Adventures
Your dog will always be happy to take your standard walk around the block, but try breaking up the routine a bit. Go on adventures! Taking your pup on a hike, camping trip, or even fishing is a great source of mental and physical stimulation.
If you do end up in the great outdoors with your pet, be sure to bring plenty of food and water for both of you. And keep him or her close at hand! Leashes and a watchful eye are surefire ways to prevent a Homeward Bound-type situation.
3. Buy Healthier Treats
Ok, I'm guilty of it too- all my dog needs to do to get some of the fried chicken on my plate is stare up at me with those big, glassy, hopeful eyes. I mean, she's adorable. How can you resist that?
But human food in large amounts can be very harmful to your pups, leading to stomach problems or worse- especially if they get into any of these harmful foods.
Solution: look for treats that not only taste great, but provide healthy benefits to boot, such as Greenies Dental Treats. Click here for a few other suggestions your pet may love.
After all, aren't the best things in life those that we love and are good for us?
4. Work on Obedience Training
A little training goes a long way. Most of us have at least house-trained our pets, but consider going a step further: taking your dog to obedience training classes.
Obedience training provides several excellent benefits besides the obvious "sit, roll over, shake!" tricks. For one, taking the extra time to work with your dogs will help you bond even more. You'll understand them better- what their needs are, how they communicate, etc- and best of all, you'll be able to take them places you felt you probably shouldn't before they were trained!
5. Pay Your Vet a Visit
Regular check-ups at the vet are important to keeping your pets happy and healthy. But with everything going on our lives, sometimes it's tough to make time for a visit, especially if they seem healthy.
Make time to take your furry friends for a check-up this Lent! A regular visit can not only help you detect any underlying problems you may not have noticed, but it will go a long way toward preventing future health problems, too.
One visit to the vet per year isn't an undue burden on you as owner, and the benefits will keep your pet on track to living a long, happy, healthy life.
Happy Lent, everybody! And good luck!