Last year was year of the dog, but let’s be honest, every year is the year of the dog, so let’s make this year the best yet for our pups. Here are 10 New Years Resolutions for a happier and healthier dog in 2019.
#1 Weigh your dog
Like humans, we may know we need to lose a few pounds but not quite sure how many. Unfortunately, the scale doesn’t lie and often you’re faced with a harsh reality of being more overweight than you thought. You may think your dog is in decent shape, but you won’t know until you get your pup on the scale. Take a trip to the vet or pet store and get your pup on the scale.
#2 Measure your dog’s food
People use measuring cups at first but overtime begin to free feed or eye ball it. At our Fitdog Club, we have had people tell us it’s one handful, half of a coffee cup, and all sort of other random measurements. This is not good for your dog’s waistline. Dog food companies often change their ingredients and portion sizes, so start off 2019 by checking the recommended feeding amount for your dog’s IDEAL weight, and measure your dog’s food. If they are overweight, they will definitely lose some pounds.
#3 Play with your dog after work
Most of us get home from work and just want to settle in on the sofa. But your dog is so excited to see you (especially if they have been home alone all day). Give your dog 15 to 20 minutes of play time before you turn in for the night. Fun games to play include tug of war, indoor or outdoor fetch, and cardio tricks (like spinning or jumping).
#4 Brush your dog daily
Whether your dog has a long or short coat, brushing helps to spread natural oils and is soothing for your pup. It also can stimulate blood flow. If your dog has a longer coat, it prevents matting. Make sure to get the right brush for your dog’s coat and skin.
#5 Make your dog your exercise buddy
Everyone works a lot and exercising is hard to incorporate into your schedule. When you have a dog, you have to exercise them anyway, so ramp it up by jogging, biking or hiking. Both of you will benefit from the increase physical activity. Plus exercising with your dog is way more fun than going to the gym.
#6 Register your dog with your city
Having your dog properly licensed with your town or city is another way to find your dog if they got lost. When animal services finds a dog that is registered, they immediately have updated information on you. Also, in Los Angeles, if your dog is found without tags, you can be faced with steep fines, so better safe than sorry.
#7 Re-evaluate your dog’s food
As dogs age, their food preferences and dietary needs change. Plus dogs get bored from eating the same thing. If you have a younger or more active dog, high protein diets boost energy and keep dogs satisfied longer. As dogs get older, you may want to consider switching to a low fat diet (under 20%). Always remember to transition the food over 1 to 2 weeks depending on your dog’s sensitivities.
#8 Sign up for a new training class
Novelty is not just for humans. Dogs like new things too. Join a fun tricks class or learn agility. Engaging your dog’s mind will keep them happier and healthier. If you don’t have time to go with your dog, sign up for Fitdog’s classes. We pick dogs up and bring them to exciting classes when you’re busy.
#9 Get your dog’s teeth cleaned
The reality is that we’re all suppose to brush our dog’s teeth every day, but we don’t either because our dog won’t let us or we forget. Getting your dog’s teeth cleaned every 6 months is a start to maintaining good oral health and will help your dog’s breath smell better. If you live in Los Angeles, drop by Fitdog Club every third Tuesday for non-anesthetic teeth cleaning by Smile Specialists.
#10 Set a consistent grooming routine
Grooming is the foundation to good health. Staying consistent with your grooming routine prevents matting, keeps nails at a comfortable length, and helps skin and coat to stay shinny. Most dogs need their nails trimmed every 2 to 3 weeks, bathing every 1 to 2 weeks, and hair cut every 4 to 6 weeks. Don’t forget to brush your dog daily (see #4).
What are your new years resolutions for your dog? Let us know in the comments!