02-17-2019  9:31 am      •     
Dr. Jasmine Streeter, Veterinarian relaxes with her dog Sheba.
Dr. Jasmine Streeter, DVM
Published: 05 January 2018

For many of us, living a healthier lifestyle and getting fit is at the top of our 2018 New Year’s resolution. According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, 41 percent of Americans made a resolution for 2017, but only 9 percent were successful in achieving their goals.

This year to beat the odds, I encourage you to get a little help from one of your most loyal fans and cheerleaders: your pet.

Walking 30 minutes a day with your pet, at least three times a week, is one of the easiest habits to incorporate into a new fitness regime. Lower blood pressure, increased mental well-being, and weight loss are well-established health benefits of walking.

Some of you will prefer to immerse yourself in a forest walk (forest bathing), while others may prefer a busy downtown power stroll. 

Whatever decision you choose, enjoy each step you take together. It will be for the better.

Consider taking an active role in free play instead of throwing the ball from the lawn chair. Get a workout in by playing tug-of-war. Run some sprints as you race to capture the tennis ball or try playing tag for a total body workout. Break a sweat, wear yourself out, and then unwind with a cool glass of water.

You’ll boost immunity, increase your stamina and feel more relaxed in the long run.

Create a weekly feeding and bedtime schedule that includes you and your pet. Consistency and planning are extremely important in accomplishing goals. Create designated eating times and incorporate portion control while preparing meals to set you and your pet up for success.

There are countless measuring cups, bowls, spoons and scales available for purchase to help you feed the appropriate amount. Count treats and go for healthier options like veggies and fruits instead of foods high in carbohydrates, fats and sugars.

Make sure you and your furry ones head to bed early and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep for optimum productivity and alertness.

Meditation, prayer and reflection are great habits to include your pet in this year.

Create a reflection space in the most peaceful part of your home and encourage your pets to sit down or lie quietly with you when in this area. Having your pets calming presence may be just what you need to help you clear the clutter of the day’s thoughts and focus on what really matters.

Lastly, be confident and positive in your actions and thoughts. What you believe you achieve, and I know this year can be the year you change your life for the better. Grab some confidence from the happy panting or purring critter next to you and get going.

I believe in 2018 we can keep our resolution, I know the payout will be grand. 

I say to you, this year try it out with a leash or paw in one hand.  


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