Most of us start out the New Year by making resolutions -- like losing weight, saving money, spending more time with the family. As pet owners, we also should be adopting some resolutions that will improve our pets’ health and well-being.
In our busy lives, we sometimes overlook the things that our pets need most. If dogs could speak, they would ask us to make the following resolutions for 2012:
1) Give me regular exercise.
Dogs need exercise as much as we do, perhaps even more. Without a regular work-out, they will put on weight and some will develop problem behaviors – like chewing furniture or scratching walls. If you can’t take yours out for a daily walk or run, try doggy day camp – it’s a great way for your pet to get both exercise and socialization.
2) Take me to the vet.
Okay, your dog probably doesn’t like going to the vet and getting his shots. But, that annual physical is often the only way to uncover health problems. And the vaccinations and checks for heartworms and internal parasites are important to prevent serious illness.
3) Take me out to see my friends.
Dogs thrive on interaction with other dogs. If it’s too cold or rainy to head to the dog park, try a meet-up group or a training class where both you and your pet have the opportunity to spend time socializing with friends.
4) Keep me fresh and clean.
Regular grooming is essential to your pet’s good health. Brush your pet’s coat at least once a week, and shampoo and condition once a month. Be sure to trim toenails once a month (don’t forget the dew claws) to prevent foot problems. If it’s too much to tackle at home, schedule a regular appointment with a professional groomer. Your pet’s skin and coat will feel better and be healthier.
5) Spend time with me!
It’s easy to let a busy schedule get in the way. But dogs are social animals and thrive on interaction with the family pack. Give your dog just 10-15 minutes of undivided attention each day – playing, training, and even cuddling on the couch -- and you’ll notice the difference in his bond with you.
6) Keep me safe when you can’t be with me.
Much as our dogs love to be with us, taking them along isn’t always in their best interest – especially when we visit places that aren’t pet friendly. It’s not fair to leave a dog cooped up in a hotel room or alone at home when you travel. Instead, give your pet his own vacation at a quality boarding kennel where he can enjoy activities with other social dogs and TLC from pet-loving people.
What resolutions have you made for your pet for 2012? Send your ideas to DogDishEditor@bestfriends.net and we’ll share the best suggestions in this blog.