Doggone New Year’s Resolutions
As another year begins, many of us resolve to improve ourselves or contribute more to our community. Why leave Fido out of the fun? Many common New Year’s resolutions we make for ourselves – eat right, exercise, more quality time together, make great goals for your dog, too. Committing to healthy goals for the new year can improve your dog’s physical health, help them behave better and strengthen your bond. Get some inspiration with these easy and fun New Year’s resolutions for a happier, healthier 2022.
Many American pets today are obese. Whether from lack of exercise or too many treats, dogs that gain too much weight suffer from more health problems. Not only does excess weight lead to more joint and back pain, but your energetic puppy may become lethargic and moody. This year, resolve to measure your dog’s food at every meal and stick to healthy treats in small amounts. Speak with a veterinarian to learn the proper measurements for your dog – and limit the table scraps.
Learn New Tricks (or Refresh Basic Training)
A new year means a fresh start. Use this change in mindset to resolve to have a better trained dog. Maybe your dog never really learned commands, or you haven’t been enforcing them. Despite how the saying goes, old dogs can learn new tricks! Consistency is key. Remember to use the same commands, reward and never scold, and have fun with it!
The dog training professionals at Happy Hound in Oakland, California, will work with your pup, no matter their age, breed or (lack of) experience. Check out our various dog training programs, from puppies to those with behavioral issues, Happy Hound offers dog training courses that last from 4 hours to 28 days.
Get More Exercise
We have all made the resolution to exercise more, so why not make a pact with your pet? Resolve to take a walk every day, maybe building up to jog or longer runs. Depending on your dog’s breed and health, you can just go around the block or embark on a hike. Rainy and cold out? Grab a favorite toy and play fetch, hide ’n seek, or whatever game gets your dog moving and off the couch. Even better if you also get a little winded!
Make Time for Playtime
Resolutions don’t have to be all work and no play. In fact, resolve to play more! Dogs are social animals and get many benefits from playdates or visits to the dog park. Commit to set up a time to play with your favorite neighbor or friend or spend some time at the local dog park. Your pup will get more exercise, burn off some pent-up energy and even make some friends. Be conscious of your dog’s temperament; not all pups like other dogs. In that case, make time for their favorite people or activity.
Keep Up with Their Health
Going to the vet is probably not your dog’s idea of a good time, but regular checkups will keep your pet happier and healthier in the long run. If you don’t visit the vet at least once a year, resolve to get your dog’s yearly exam and vaccines. Even better, invest some time to learn the basics of doggie health care. You will learn the early signs of illness or pain and be better prepared in an emergency.
Preventative care is essential to help your dog live a long life, including brushing their teeth regularly, taking baths, trimming nails and getting groomed. The Happy Hound Bark & Howl Day Spa offers everything from bathing and nail trims to ear cleaning, teeth brushing and grooming services.
Try a Detox
A tidy home is a happy home. Resolve to keep harmful cleaning products and chemicals away from your dog’s nose and paws, as well as small household items that may be chewed on or swallowed. Your dog will stay out of harm’s way, and you will find fewer treasures destroyed. While you are cleaning up, consider some pet-friendly additions like a new dog bed or a special area for your pooch to claim as their own. Pick up old, dirty toys and surprise your pup with some new toys. It’s a new year, go ahead and try something different!
Even if you don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, it is always a good idea to aim for healthy eating, plenty of exercise and regular checkups for your dog. Dog training and learning new tricks not only gives them confidence (and a way to get more treats) but will be helpful for you when it comes time to board your dog or bring them around other people or pets. Make 2022 the year of the dog, one that is happy, healthy and set up for success.