8 Pet Behavior New Year’s Resolutions

As we flip the calendars to a new year, you’re probably taking stock of changes you want to make over the next 12 months. What if your pet could do the same? Would he resolve to make this year one free of begging, whining and piddling on the carpet? Read on to find eight New Year’s Resolutions that your dog or cat could make for a better-behaved 2013 and ways to help them achieve their goals.

I won’t beg for people food. Sometimes it’s easy to understand why your dog wants to dine on your dinner – after all, she does nosh on the same kibble day in, day out, but that doesn’t make it okay. Want to curb the urge to beg for food? You’re part of the problem. Stop sharing and enticing your dog to want more of your delicious meals and learn to put your leftovers away promptly.

New Years DogI will come when you call me. Whether it’s when you’re enjoying off-leash time with your pooch at the park or when you want your dog to get out of the kid’s room, life is easier if your pet comes when he is called. If this is a trouble area for your dog, watch our video on teaching your dog to come when called.

I’ll stop scratching the furniture. You’d think your cat would thank you for not declawing her by resisting the urge to destroy your sofa. No such luck? This year, help your feline shape up with our cat scratching prevention tips from the ASPCA’s Dr. Katherine Miller.

I won’t drink from the toilet. Does it drive you nuts when your find your dog’s nose dipping into the toilet bowl, or even your entire cat lurking inside? One easy way to help your pet break the habit of lapping up toilet water is to keep the bathroom door closed, and better yet, the toilet closed, too.

I’ll stop jumping on your friends. Big or small, jumping on people is bad behavior for dogs and one that can turn your guests off the second they enter your home. Help your dog understand that jumping isn’t fun by asking him to sit when you enter the home. Don’t give him any affection until he does so. Alternately, you could turn your back on your dog when he jumps, and then turn around and give him a treat the second he stops.

I won’t climb on your bookshelves. Climbing is a cat skill that helps them hunt in the wild, but in your home, it often ends in destruction. Give your feline plenty of safe climbing options like cat trees and natural bark. Then, make off-limits places less attractive to your cat by setting up booby traps that will fall and startle her if she ventures where you wish she wouldn’t.

I won’t dig any new holes in the backyard. Constantly discovering new holes in the backyard? Help your dog ditch the digging urge by revamping your garden to be more dog-friendly, adding elevated sections or rock rather than tempting dirt and grass.

I’ll quit nipping at your ankles. Some cats partake in ankle biting because they’re bored. Felines have a natural instinct to hunt in the wild, so if at home the only thing they seem to be hunting for is your toes, give them some more playtime and exercise to tire them out.