You’ve likely been asked about your New Year’s resolutions for the past couple of weeks, but how about incorporating your favorite being in those good intentions? This year, try dedicating time to a few of these resolutions and rest easy knowing you’ll be benefiting your dog this year and beyond.
I will learn to listen. It’s been proven that your pooch understands your body language and tone but how well do you understand his? This year, make learning your dog’s body language a priority. Figure out what his habits, interests and fears are. If your pup indicates that he’s afraid of something, listen. Don’t force him into situations that make him uncomfortable. Remember: your dog’s behavior problems could be telling you something important.
I will not feed my dog table food. Commercial dog food is formulated specifically to give your dog all the nutrients he requires. Table scraps, however, can cause serious health problems in your pet. Feeding your pooch people food is the number one behavior contributing to weight gain in most dogs, including diabetes and fatty liver. Have a heart and just say no!
I will adopt a regular exercise routine. Dogs love the thrill of chasing a ball; just don’t tell them it’s exercise! Experiment to see what really gets your pup going!
I will exercise my dog’s brain. Of course, physical exercise is important for a well-rounded, well-behaved dog. But did you know that mental exercise is even more important? When going for a walk, let his nose lead the way and let him stop and sniff as much as he wants. All the fascinating smells will engage his brain and wear him out.
I will make grooming a daily habit. Brushing your dog removes excess fur (reducing the amount you find on your clothes and furniture), helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur and keeps the coat shiny and healthy. Lastly, daily grooming is a bonding activity that show your dog just how much you love him!
I will practice good oral hygiene. Daily toothbrushing is the best way to keep tartar and plaque at bay – just be sure you are using a toothpaste specifically made for dogs. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar can also be a helpful tool in keeping teeth clean. Even with your rapt attention, regular vet cleanings are the best way to keep tarter at bay and ensure your pup’s dental health far into old age.
I will choose an appropriate diet. Your aging pooch has specific nutrient needs to ensure their bodies stay healthy and strong. Some senior pets may have lower energy requirements, but have other medical issues like arthritis or liver issues that may be helped with the appropriate diet. Choosing a diet specifically tailored to your pet’s life stage is a great way to keep them in optimal health. Check with your vet for a diet that’s right for your pet.