Next: Dog New Year's Resolutions
HOW YOU CAN HELP
As with humans, support will help your pets keep their resolutions. Do your part to not tempt your best friend to do bad things, whether that means keeping the toilet lid down or changing the litter box more often. "Find ways to steer your animals toward appropriate behavior," says Melissa Shyan-Norwalt, PhD, an animal behaviorist and the owner of Companion Animal Problem Solvers in the Cincinnati region. If the dog chews on your couch or the cat scratches it, spray it with an odor your pet won't like--and also place bones, chew toys, or vertical and horizontal scratching posts nearby.
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Reinforce the behavior when she does well, and don't reward actions you don't want repeated: When you scold a jumping dog or a howling cat, he simply interprets your chatter as positive attention.