I originally wrote this post in December 2011:

Call it New Year’s Resolutions or a To Do List. Either way, as you look to the New Year, what changes or habits do you want to adopt for your pets? In this Pet Passions column, I review topics from this past year, with an eye to the New Year.

Fun with your pet

Winter or summer, there are lots of ways to enjoy your pet’s company. In January, I provided indoor and outdoor ideas for safely having fun with your cat and dog. There is a wealth of activities for you to enjoy, even for those who hate winter. I provided some ideas in both January and June columns. Let me know if you have favorites I’ve missed.

They are what they eat

This is the time of year we all think about losing weight and eating healthier. Are you thinking the same for your pet? The topic of pet diets can be overwhelming. I boiled down the issue in a three-part series in February, March and April, discussing what our pets’ nutritional needs really are, how to decipher pet food labels, and considerations for alternative diets. Feed your pets the best diet you can afford. Being informed helps you make good decisions.

Health and safety

Your pets’ health and safety is a concern every month of the year. I covered winter safety in January, summer safety in June, pet insurance in August, and year-end holiday safety in October. In addition to what I’ve covered in these columns, please be sure your pets are current on their wellness exams and vaccinations with your veterinarian. There is no substitute for preventative healthcare.

Behavioral problems

Most of our pets have some behavioral quirk we’d like to change, right? What’s that “most wanted improvement” you would like to see in your pet? There’s no time like the present to address it. In May, I dealt with summer noise phobias that so many dogs suffer from. In November, it was the topic of cat litter box problems. Regardless of the behavioral challenge – jumping on visitors, mouthiness, aggression, fear of people, house soiling, separation anxiety, destructiveness, or some other issue – it can be improved or resolved completely. Addressing the issue directly will bring relief for you and your pet. Seek a qualified professional to help.

Adopting another pet

Have you decided that you are ready to bring another pet into your life? Another dog or cat can be twice the amount of work and expense – AND twice the amount of love. If you are ready for the commitment, please prepare wisely and take the time to do it right. In July, I covered the topic of introducing cats and dogs. In September, I addressed adding an additional dog to your home. Regardless of what pairing you will make, planning ahead is your best strategy. You have one chance to make a good impression, so start off the new household dynamic right. Are you worried about getting it right? Call a qualified professional to help.

Happy New Year!

I can’t imagine a day without my dogs and cats in my life, and I expect readers of this column feel the same. I’d like to be sure I address topics that are important to you in the New Year. Please let me know what you would like to see covered. I wish all the best to you and your pets for the New Year.

Resources at your fingertips

Geauga County Maple Leaf subscribers can access Pet Passions columns: http://pdf.geaugamapleleaf.com/PDFEdition.php

Subscribe to the Geauga County Maple Leaf for access: http://access.geaugamapleleaf.com/user_direct.php

Cold Nose Companions website where Pet Passions columns are found: http://coldnosecompanions.com/cold_nose_companions_in_the_news

Cold Nose Companions Facebook page where Pet Passions postings are found on the Notes page: http://www.facebook.com/ColdNoseCompanions


Carol Peter is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and owner of Cold Nose Companions, LLC Dog Training. She offers private in-home training for people and their dogs throughout Geauga County. Carol focuses on resolving problem behaviors and teaching good household manners using positive reinforcement training and behavior modification methods. She can be reached at carol@coldnosecompanions.com.

©2011, Carol Peter, Cold Nose Companions, LLC