Are you going to set new year resolutions for you and your dog? Goals aren’t just for humans; the beginning of a new year can also indicate a new start for dogs that need a change in their routine. For instance, with over 50% of pets nationwide categorized as overweight, this is the best time pet parents can make a fresh start to committing to a new food and exercise routine for their dogs.
Need further ideas? Below are 9 New Year resolutions for you and your dog!
1. Always Measure Your Dog’s Food
Many dog parents only measure their dog’s food with their eye, resulting in excessive feeding and weight gain. Using an 8-ounce measuring cup is important to ensure your dog is not taking in more calories than they actually need. You can follow the recommended feeding guideline on the package to figure out how much food your dog really needs. Older dogs and dogs that have been spayed or neutered have lower energy needs than young ones.
2. Choose An Age-Appropriate Food
Choosing a food precisely tailored to meet your dog’s age and health requirements is an excellent way to keep them healthy. Growing dogs have specific nutrient requirements for healthy and strong bodies. For instance, even though senior dogs have lower energy requirements, they may have other issues such as degenerative joint diseases that may require eating suitable foods.
3. Try A New Activity With Your Dog
From yoga to hiking, kayaking to skijoring, it is advisable for people to include their dog in a new exercise routine in the coming year. It is a wonderful way to bond with your furry friend; it will get you both out of the house and physically fit. Meet-up groups are also a great way to discover like-minded dog parents to exercise with.
4. Make A Date With Your Veterinarian
Yearly medical examinations by the vet is a major part of good preventive care. Medical conditions such as arthritis, obesity, or diabetes common in aging pets are easier managed when detected early. An annual vet visit is also the ideal time to seek an expert opinion on behavioral issues affecting your pet.
5. Groom Your Pet Daily
Brushing your dog serves various purposes such as removing excess fur, circulating oil from skin to fur, and maintaining a shiny and healthy coat. Lastly, daily grooming is a way to show love to your pooch in a soothing way.
6. Practice Great Oral Hygiene Habits With Your Dog
As part of your New Year resolution to practice a good oral hygiene habit with your dog, ensure you use toothpaste specifically meant for dogs. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar are also helpful in keeping their teeth clean. Regular cleaning by a licensed veterinarian is the best way to keep those pearly whites in tip-top shape long into their senior years. If you would like to make your own doggy toothpaste, check out this article for #DIY Dog Toothpaste by Christina of TheLazyPitBull.com.
7. Teach An Old Dog A New Trick
According to research, mental stimulation helps reduce cognitive degeneration in aging animals. Keeping your older dog’s brain active can actually make him/her healthier! Teaching your dog new tricks and practicing the already known ones are an excellent way to keep their neurons intact. Puzzle toys are also an excellent way to keep a dog’s mind engaged as it forces a dog to think through a task so as to be rewarded with a treat.
8. Update Your Pet ID Info
A lot can change in a year; people change houses, phone numbers, but forget to update their dog’s ID tags. Don’t wait till your dog is lost. If your contact information changed last year, don’t wait to update the microchip and tag information on your furred friend in the New Year! It is the perfect way to make sure a lost dog makes his/her way home safely.
9. Consider Adopting A Dog
You think you want a new dog, but you are not 100% sure it’s right for you? Try fostering one from a local shelter before committing to adopting a dog. Many animal rescues and shelters need loving foster homes to provide a safe haven for pets. It’s the perfect way to dog ownership as the dogs are usually home trained and set already. If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can find out more information here about fostering dogs with L.A. Animal Services. In the new year, make room for a shelter dog and let yours be their forever home.
If one of your goals is helping your dog lose weight, you may find these articles useful on Five Benefits Of Walking Your Dog Daily and How To Keep Your Dog Excited About His Daily Walk.
What will your new year resolutions be for you and your dog?