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Guest Column | New Year’s resolutions to make 2023 the best year for animals

By Tisheena Talk

Happy 2023! We as humans may or may not be good at keeping our New Year’s resolutions, but this year, let’s look to some goals that can help save the lives of pets in our community and make this the best year for the animals ever in our care.

One of the most valuable things you can do for your pets is to have them spayed or neutered to prevent them from having more puppies and kittens. Shelters across the country are over capacity, including those in our local communities. Hence, every spayed or neutered animal helps reduce the number of animals that need care. Upcoming spay/neuter and vaccine clinics and information about local veterinarians are listed here: https://bestfriends.org/navajo-nation

If you have friends, family, or neighbors who need help transporting pets to the veterinarian or spay/neuter clinics, you could volunteer to help get the pets where they need to go. Neighbors helping neighbors can make a big difference when transportation is a problem. You can also find out if people need pet food or supplies and either donate them if you’re able or find out if any local animal organizations have this type of support for pet owners. Many resources are available to help keep pets in their homes and out of shelters.

You can also make this the year to spend more time with your pets. Taking dogs for walks and giving them playtime helps to keep them happy and healthy and keeps them socialized around other people. Dogs are social animals who thrive on attention and affection and need to interact with their people. Many dogs also enjoy playtime and the company of other dogs. Cats need playtime and affection as well, so taking time to make them feel loved is important to their well-being.

For pets who spend a lot of time outdoors in cold weather, please ensure they have a warm, dry place away from the cold and wet. A proper doghouse is important when rain, driving snow, and moisture can get inside your dog’s space and cause dangerous exposure to the cold. An insulated, airtight doghouse raised off the ground at least a few inches and equipped with a door flap to keep out drafts is vital to keeping them safe.

The house should be big enough for the dog to enter, turn around and lie down but small enough to retain their body heat. Ensure the doghouse always has dry bedding, such as straw, that is changed out regularly.

If you have towels, blankets, or sheets you no longer need, you can donate them to your local shelter. It’s also a good idea to check in with them to see if there are other ways that you can help – if you have time or goods that you may be able to share.

There may be other specific items, like cleaning supplies, that they would welcome as donations. Some shelters need volunteers or foster homes, so if you’re in a place where you can help, please reach out to see how you can get involved.

We can work together to make 2023 a great year for our dogs and cats.

Please visit Best Friends Animal Society at bestfriends.org/navajo-nation for more pet care information.


 

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