January 6th, 2014
Starting Off 2014 on the Right Paw!
Are you thinking of making changes in your life in 2014? What about your dog? The New Year is a great time to re-evaluate what you’re doing with and for your dog so you can hopefully avoid or delay common ailments or health and behavior concerns that may affect him. If you’re looking for ideas, here are a few.
- Look at the food you’re feeding and change if necessary. If you don’t already know, learn about ingredients, what’s good or bad, what fillers are, and what the calorie count is. Then you’ll know if you need to switch to a better quality food. Buy the best quality food you can afford.
- If your dog is overweight, feed the amount recommended for the weight you want your dog to be, not the weight he currently is.
- Give your dog raw marrow bones to chew on. A vet told me years ago that chewing on marrow bones is the best way to keep your dog’s teeth clean. I’ve seen it work. Celery works well also, plus it’s very low in calories.
- Improve your dog’s exercise regimen. Most dogs need more exercise than they currently get, which is one reason why so many dogs are overweight. Jog with your dog (great for both of you), play fetch, take your dog swimming, or enroll in classes you and your dog may enjoy, such as agility.
- Engage your dog’s mind. This can happen through classes such as obedience, tricks, or agility, by teaching him new tricks or commands, or by giving him puzzle type toys, where he has to solve a problem to get a treat. You can even “hide” puzzle toys around your home while your away, giving your dog the fun and excitement of hunting for the treat.
- If you lead a busy life, consider taking your dog to a good doggie daycare, at least once or twice a week. If you would like advice on selecting a good doggie daycare, check out this Barking Dog Fitness blog post.
- Look for social opportunities for your dog if he gets along with other dogs. Dogs are social animals by nature and many like to spend time with other dogs. Dog parks, doggie daycare facilities, friends and family with dogs are all great ways to give your dog the socialization he needs.
- Finally, spend quality time together. Your dog loves you and wants to be with you. Take a walk, sit together in a park, play a game, go out to dinner (sitting outside of course), or take your dog to farmer’s markets or other outdoor events.
Make 2014 the best year ever for you and your dog. You’ll be richly rewarded with a loving, loyal, and healthy companion.