New Year’s Resolutions List
2016 has been a challenging year for most, so let’s start 2017 off on the right paw. While you may be percolating on personal New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget the dog! Starting on January 1st, incorporate one or two from the below New Year’s resolutions list. Even better, tackle one resolution per month until all become habits. Not sure which resolution would work for your dog? Check out these suggestions. Seriously, your dog will thank you!
1. Spend More Quality Time Together
Everyone is so busy that our dogs’ emotional needs are often pushed aside. Of course, our dogs’ basic needs for food, water and shelter are met, but we need to fill our dogs’ love tank too.
Once a day, take your dog out for a 15 to 30-minute walk around the neighborhood, play a super fun game or polish up on dog training for a few minutes a day. Even better, enroll you and your dog in a super fun dog training course, such as beginner’s agility, nose work or barn hunting! Spending time together will refill your dog’s love tank and strengthen your bond.
2. Provide Daily Mental Stimulation
Most dogs are left alone all day while their pet owners are at work. Sitting home alone is boring, so spice up your dog’s day with mental stimulation. Provide meals in food puzzles, hide treats around your home and provide frozen food stuffed Kongs throughout the day. Once home from work, play a game of tug or “touch.” Hide treats in a puzzle, and applaud when your dog moves latches and levers to uncover hidden treats. Physical exercise is good, but pairing it with mental stimulation is much better!
3. Lose Those Extra Pounds
We all have extra pounds stashed somewhere on our bodies. Dogs have them too. Every dog has an ideal weight. Ask your veterinarian for your dog’s target weight goal. If your dog needs to shed a few pounds, start walking your dog daily for 10 minutes. Slowly add 1-2 extra minutes per week until dog walks last 30 minutes.
4. Aim for Daily Tooth Brushings
It’s true: Dogs need their teeth brushed daily too. Many chronic diseases are caused by tooth decay, including heart disease. Purchase a small toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs, and teach your dog that tooth brushing is fun. Tooth brushing sessions should last one minute. We all have an extra minute in our schedule, so aim for daily brushings after your dog’s evening meal.
5. Polish Up on Manners
Every dog has at least one pesky habit that drives us crazy. Maybe your dog barks outside or jumps up on guests. Some dogs pull on leash or beg during dinner. It’s a new year, so it’s time to address your dog’s pesky habit.
Carve out 2-3 minutes per day to teach your dog to do something else instead. Stick to it daily and keep dog training sessions short (1-2 minutes). Through consistency, soon this pesky dog behavior will be gone!
What are your dog’s New Year’s resolutions?