Advice from the Experts

Readers offer New Year's resolutions on pet care

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Here are some 2013 New Year's resolutions from near and far, posted by fans on my Facebook page:

"My resolution is for my heart and mind to follow the Serenity Prayer in my pet rescue efforts: 'God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.'" -- Veronica Ahn, Seoul, South Korea

"My resolution is to exercise more with my dogs, which will help all of us get in better shape." -- Dr. Sharon Eisen, Brookfield, CT

"I haven't made any New Year's resolutions for my cats, but my cats have apparently resolved on my behalf that I'll start getting up to feed them a half-hour earlier." -- Gwen Cooper, New York, NY

"Continue to manage a balance between keeping my 16-year-old cat's weight up and my 2-year-old cat's weight down." -- Portia Cisco Stewart, Lenexa, KS

"I resolve to keep my cat feeling loved and appreciated even as we welcome baby No. 2 into the house." -- Dr. Elliott Garber, Sicily, Italy

"To make a difference in the life of a pet every day and to help educate families about the importance of wellness care." -- Joanne Light, Las Vegas, NV

"I resolve to strengthen my mind so that our abused and scared Labrador girl feels safe with me when among strangers. I resolve to keep training our Lab boy to make cutting his nails OK. And I resolve to take our older cat to the vet for regular checkups. She never shows pain until one of her remaining seven lives is at risk." -- Narhalie Schnathalie, Graz, Austria

"Pilot's resolution is to stop stealing and shredding full toilet paper rolls, and Jabber's is to stop staring at me at 5:45 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings." -- Carolyn Giannopolus, Chicago, IL

"My resolution is to try to be just a little less stupid and dull-witted than my kitty, Lisabelle, knows that I am, and to try to be more attentive and a better learner as she tries to teach/train me." -- Sharon Smith, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

"More structured interactive playtime with our cats, Peanut and Samantha." Angela Howard, Amarillo, Texas

"I resolve to let my pets know that they're as important to me as I am to them." -- Ed Eisendrath, Chicago, IL

"I resolve to help my aging shepherd adjust to old age by finding new, slower things for him to take joy in. We'll adjust together and make sure it's wonderful." -- Cynthia Kurtz, Mt. Hood, OR

"I resolve to continue to find ways to make professional grooming more positive for pets." -- Louise Kerr, Macksville, New South Wales, Australia

"I hope that my three cats will get along better in the New Year. I lost my 10-year-old female cat to cancer in April, 2007. I was reluctant to get another cat, but did so at the urging of good friends, only to lose her to feline infectious peritonitis two months later. She became the official poster kitten/logo for SOCKFIP, which raises money for FIP research at UC Davis Veterinary School of Medicine. -- Claudia Sanchez, Santa Rosa, CA

"I'm looking for new activities that my cats and I can do together to have fun, and promise to set aside more time to do them together. They deserve it!" -- Tiffany Bierer, Nashville, TN

"I resolve to attend more closely to my 7-year-old German shepherd's dental care, even if it means he hates me." -- Ellen Szalinski, Chicago, IL

"I use a Sonic Care (toothbrush), Oravet, Greenies and rawhide and my 12-year-old Italian Greyhound has never needed a dental procedure and has no plaque or tartar. IGs are prone to bad teeth and every one of my dog's littermates had numerous teeth removed. Let people know they can do the same thing. Not only does home dental care save me money, but it also safeguards my dog's life, both by keeping her from going under anesthesia (Greyhounds are especially sensitive to anesthesia) and keeping nasty germs out of her bloodstream. I encourage people to get over their discomfort and take care of their dogs' teeth!" -- Kelle (cq) Straw, Atlanta, GA

"I'm going to follow through this year by donating a set amount each month to a humane society." -- Maureen Finn Rowan, Palatine, IL

"Train our blue-and-gold macaw to accept the rest of the family (not just my son) as members of the flock, and to curb his habit of lunging at people and biting." -- Lauren Darr, Chicago, IL

"Walk more, eat less." -- Laurie Aumann, Berwyn, IL

Steve Dale welcomes questions/comments from readers. Although he can't answer all of them individually, he'll answer those of general interest in his column Send e-mail to PETWORLD(at)STEVE DALE.TV. Include your name, city and state. Steve's website is; he also hosts the nationally syndicated "Steve Dale's Pet World" and "The Pet Minute." He's also a contributing editor to USA Weekend.