Top 12 Donkey New Year's Resolutions

Top 12 Donkey New Year’s Resolutions

January 2024


3500 donkeys were polled and here are their top 12 New Year's Resolutions:


January - Find a donkey friend … or two or three 

The thing your donkey wants most (even more than treats) is a donkey friend!  While a horse, mule or pony will keep your donkey company and serve some of their basic needs, a donkey wants another donkey more than anything.  Finding your donkey a friend is easy as they naturally pair up with the same sex and as close as possible to the same age, same temperament and same size as them.  They may even pair up with their same color given the chance.  This is so important, we even changed our adoption policy last year to require that an adopter has two donkeys.  


February - Get a dental exam and float if needed

Yes, really!  Donkeys need dentals just like horses and for most of the same reasons.  February is a great time to do this since they are eating more hay to help keep warm in the winter. However, they can’t effectively chew with teeth that need to be floated or with ouchy ulcers in their mouths from the sharp points on their teeth.  The AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) states that equines should get dental exams annually, and based on the thousands of donkey mouths we see every year, we couldn’t agree more.


March - Move off the grass onto a dry lot

Okay .. so we know that no donkey has ever added this to their New Year resolution list, but as the humans that care for them, it’s our responsibility to do the best thing for them.  Grass can cause your donkey to get sick from obesity related issues, cushings, thyroid disease or chronic laminitis or founder.  Before that winter grass grows back into the pre-spring pretty kelly green color, get the longears off of it on to a dry lot .. and keep them there until the grass is a normal color (3-4 weeks).  Even better, create a year round dry lot for optimal health or find other ways to minimize grazing.  


April - Get Spring Vaccines

For the bulk of the county, April is a great time to give Spring Vaccines that protect your donkeys from mosquito borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus and Encephalitis. Other vaccines that can be given at the same time include tetanus, rhino/flu and rabies. There may be other vaccines that your vet recommends based on your geographic location. If you live in the south, you may want to give vaccines earlier in the year, depending on when mosquito season starts - and you may even need to do it twice a year if you have mosquito season year round.  


May - Practice Preventative Hoof Care 

Spring showers bring May flowers … and all sorts of hoof (and other) issues. May is also national Farriers month.  Thrush, whiteline, and abscesses can be minimized with some pre-planning.  Boots, outdoor footing, indoor bedding and mucking management can all make a difference. 


June - Buy Hay for the Year

Spring hay is typically cut and baled in April, May or June depending on where you live. June is a great time to stock up and get enough hay to last you through the following June. We saw shortages throughout the country in 2023.  Don’t get caught short of hay in 2024. 


July - Do Something Fun

What can donkeys do besides look pretty in the pasture?  You can take them for a hike, go camping, show them, go to an equine park to learn obstacles and more. You might even consider them for therapy programs if your donkey has the right temperament. Summer and Fall are peak times for donkey events and a great time to learn about therapy programs. 


August - Learn Donkey 1st Aid and Emergency Care

Okay, so this one is for the humans, but your donkeys want you to be able to know what to do if they are sick, hurt or worse.  Learn to take their vitals, know what normal is and what to do if vitals are “off”.  Take an equine first aid class.  Learn what you can do until the vet arrives.. Find out who to call in a non medical emergency (like your donkey is stuck in a place he or she shouldn’t be).  Be prepared so if something goes wrong, you are ready and not panicked.


September - Make a Disaster Plan

With fire season in the Western U.S. and Hurricane season in the Eastern U.S. September is a great time to implement a disaster preparedness plan for your equine friends.  Do you have a trailer and appropriate tow vehicle? Do your donkeys know how to lead and load on a trailer? Do you have a place to take your donkeys if you have to evacuate?  Be prepared, make a detailed plan, and practice the plan so if a real emergency happens, you know what to do.


October - Prep for Winter Weather

October is a great time to make sure you have everything you might need to get your donkeys through a bad winter.  Buy blankets now, before you need them. Have a new heated water bucket ready (they only last a year, so buy new annually), make sure you have proper shelter for your worst case scenario. Do you have enough hay on hand? Do you have enough feed and other supplies to last you for 2 weeks? Imagine the worst case and plan for it so your donkeys are warm and comfy through the winter and a winter weather crisis.


November - Minimize Winter Colic and Choke

Choke and winter colic are caused by lack of water consumption - typically because the water is too cold and/or not fresh, and the donkey doesn’t want to drink it. Fresh, warm water is a great solution.  Take a bucket of warm water (5 gallons per donkey) out every morning.  Give them a chance to drink before feeding or refreshing hay.  Other options are soak hay and add water to any feed so it's like oatmeal in consistency. 


December - Practice Preventative Care and Plan Ahead 

As the large animal vet shortage continues toward crisis level, it will be more and more important to make sure your vet thinks of you as a great client and your donkeys as a fun visit.  Make your spring vaccine and wellness appointment now.  Get on the equine dentists calendar for 2024.  Schedule your farrier visits through next year (every 6-8 weeks, and keep to the schedule).  Then, start training your donkey to be a good patient, stand tied and pick up their feet.  Make it fun and reward little steps in the right direction. 

Side Bar - 

Will 2024 Have Any Surprises in store?

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned - for better or worse. Job relocations, change in marital status, health issues and more can cause a life change that means you can’t keep your adopted donkeys. 

Never fear, PVDR is always here to take the donkeys back if life gets in the way of keeping your long ear friends.  In fact, the adoption contract you signed requires that the donkey(s) come back to us.  If you find yourself in this situation, simply contact us at or at 866-366-5731 to make arrangements.