Now that Christmas has finally come and gone and we enjoyed ringing in the New Year, everything is beginning to get back to normal in most homes. The decorations are coming down and the last of the festive food has been eaten, and whether you thought up any New Year’s resolutions on New Year’s eve itself or not, it’s not too late to make a few more, with the wellness and quality and life of your dog in mind.
For many people, lofty, ambitious and far-reaching resolutions made over the festive season prove hard to achieve when we’re back to the day-to-day grind, and so the key to making resolutions that you can stick to is to ensure that they are achievable, and that you know how you plan to achieve them as well!
In this article, we will share five smart New Year’s resolutions that all dog owners should consider making, and seeing through to the very end! Read on to learn more.
It is a simple fact that the majority of dogs in the UK are actually overweight to some extent, ranging from carrying a couple of extra pounds to being dangerously obese to the point that it can have a direct and negative impact on their health.
Many dog owners too cannot actually recognise the healthy weight parameters for their own dog, partly because we are so used to seeing overweight dogs everywhere, to the point that it is easy to think that a dog that is fit and at the optimum weight is too slender!
Find out the appropriate weight range for your dog, and concentrate on how you can help them to slim down to reach it gradually over the course of the coming year, starting with monitoring and restricting the amount of treats and snacks your dog eats.
It can be hard to say no to a begging dog, but allowing your dog too many treats is doing them a disservice in the long run, so be strict and say no when necessary!
All dogs should see the vet at least once a year, for their annual vaccination boosters and a general health check. This gives your vet a chance to check your dog over and let you know if there are any problems or changes that should be made, and forms an important part of your preventative healthcare regime for your dog.
Taking your dog along to the vet for a short appointment dedicated to simply checking them out and monitoring and recording any changes is a great idea, especially if your dog is getting older. You may also wish to ask your vet to take a blood sample to check for any age-related changes, and to keep as a record for the future in case of other changes as your dog reaches old age.
Vets and other professionals will always tell you that brushing your dog’s teeth and taking care of their teeth and gums is one of the best things that you can do in terms of preventative healthcare for your dog, to avoid serious problems such as sore, inflamed gums or broken, rotting teeth and the build-up of plaque and tartar.
However, few dog owners are as conscientious as they should be about doing this, even though it only takes a few minutes at a time a couple of times a week.
If your dog is young and their teeth are in good condition, this is the ideal time to start-but it is never too late, so make one of your resolutions to start brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, to keep them in good condition well into your dog’s old age.
Most dogs love going for walks and will generally be more than happy to stay out longer than their owners, but some dogs can be rather reluctant about going too far, especially in bad weather. Whether your dog falls into the former category or the latter, just extending their walks by five minutes each time can help to get your dog into shape, improve their endurance, and help them to stay fit and healthy.
Even just a few minutes throwing a ball for your dog and letting them do the running around can make a big difference!
Finally, if you have some Christmas money or vouchers burning a hole in your pocket, use some of it to invest in something for your dog that will pay dividends in the long term.
A few suggestions might be an orthopaedic dog bed, investing in pet insurance or upgrading your dog to a premium food, but there are virtually as many ideas as there are dogs and owners out there, so have a think about what might benefit your own dog, and go ahead!