It is common to make new year’s resolutions for yourself every year. Most of us promise to lead a healthier life, read one book a month, start reading newspapers or join a Yoga class. The aim of making these goals is to lead a better life. As a pet parent, why not make a few goals for your pet, too, for the betterment of its health?
Here are a few new year’s resolutions you can make for your dog so that it can have the best year ahead.
1. Shed the Extra Pounds:
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The overall well-being of a dog largely depends on its weight. However, pet parents struggle with it mostly, and most dogs become overweight by the time they reach the age of two. Dogs are food motivated, which makes it easy for them to gain weight. We all wish our pets live long and happy lives, which means our pets should be healthy, and their weight needs to be kept under check.
You should stay mindful of what you are feeding the dog. Avoid treats for a while and stick to only their food. You can go on a weight management plan for the dog, which needs to be consulted with the vet. Do not go on a drastic regimen, and keep it sensible for the dog.
2. Brush the Dog Regularly:
Keeping your dog’s coat healthy is essential for its health. Especially if you own dogs with longer hair, such as doodles or retrievers. Keeping the coat healthy by brushing it regularly and bathing the dog frequently is essential to ensure that the fur does not get tangled and matted. There are different grooming tools available in the market. Choose one that suits the coat type. For example, the de-shedding brush is great for long-haired dogs but do not use it on a short-haired dog as it may damage its skin. Instead, use a rubber brush on a short-haired dog; that is much more effective.
3. Exercise at Least Five Times Per Week:
Another way to lose weight or maintain it is by building an exercise regimen for the dog. Apart from the usual walks, take the dog out for a jogging session, or you can make the dog run while you cycle along with it. This not just helps your dog lose, but they will enjoy this session. You can plan hikes with your pet which is enjoyable for both. Take the dog to a swimming pool nearby, which will help you lose the extra pound.
4. Plan Play Date:
Just like you like to meet new friends and socialize, your dog also likes the same. Your dog needs to be social to be able to enjoy a play date. A great way of making new friends is to step into the local dog park. You can meet pet parents who are willing to organize such play dates with your dog. This also helps as you get a free day for yourself, and so does the other dog owner.
5. Schedule an Annual Physical:
Just like humans, dogs should be checked manually to ensure their overall health is ok. As dogs cannot speak about their discomforts, only such tests will conclude if they have any issues. Veterinary visits to the dog for a full body checkup should be done to ensure they are physically ok. They examine the dog’s skin, eyes, ears, teeth, and more. A blood test is also done to ensure all parameters are ok. Also, get the annual vaccinations done timely to ensure the safety of the dog and others surrounding the dog.
6. Teach the Dog Something New:
We all want to grow every day by learning new things. It’s not just us humans who can grow in life; your pet can, too, if you are willing to put in the time. Dogs are intelligent, and if you are determined to teach them new things, they do learn it when you teach them patiently.
Teaching them the basic commands is mandatory and should be done within the first year. You can also teach them some advanced training drills to keep them engaged. This will help the dogs with their mental activity, and they will not get bored soon. Do not forget to reward the dog after each session, for them to look forward to a new session the next day.
7. Step up Your Dental Game:
As dogs grow older, they start displaying signs of dental disease. Without proper oral care, it can lead to oral issues such as inflammation and pain, and you will end up spending on expensive teeth cleaning down the road.
You can easily avoid that by committing to brushing your dog’s teeth at least twice a week. There are also dental chews available that help maintains the dog’s oral hygiene.
8. Cut Out On the Junk Food:
It is tough to resist those puppy eyes when it asks for extra cheese or treats. You need to be firm to ensure your dog’s health. It can be tough to say no, but you have to do it anyway for the well-being of the pet. Overeating leads to obesity, which can cause other illnesses. Never feed your dog any human food, even if they beg for it. Even cut out on dog treats, which contain high calories. If you feed your dog treats throughout the day, reduce their meal quantities to balance the calories.
Whether you are making a new year’s resolution for your dog or yourself, you do not have to really wait to begin the work. You may fail some days, and it is ok. The important part is to restart afresh every time you fail and never give up. Working towards the goal regularly is a great idea, but sometimes you will find hurdles that will stop you from doing so. Instead of giving in, just think about your dog’s welfare and keep pushing until you reach the goal.