There are lots of jokes that circulate at this time of year about a dog’s resolutions for the new year (e.g., kitty-box crunchies are not junk food, etc.). But what about your resolutions for your role as a Doggy Mom or Doggy Dad?
Here are my suggestions for new year resolutions:
1. Resolve to feed your dog the highest quality dog food you can afford. Not sure what to feed or even if you are feeding the right amount? That’s where a nutritional assessment comes in. People like me are trained in reading the labels of your existing dog food and with some information about your dog’s condition and lifestyle, we can tell you a lot about whether you are feeding the right amount and make un-biased suggestions about your core dog food.
In my case, I’m not affiliated with any veterinary practice or brand of dog food (many professionals take their nutrition training from a programme offered by dog food manufacturer – ask about this when selecting a provider for nutritional advice!)
2. Exercise more – for your dog and yourself! Exercise is important mental and physical stimulation for both you and your dog. Discover new walks, link up with walking partners and doggy buddies for more variety, and manage your exercise according to the temperatures of the day (your dog doesn’t have the heat regulation system that you do in the summer; and their paw pads can be irritated by road salt and ice during the winter).
3. Groom your dog – regularly. If you don’t know what to do, then take your dog to a professional groomer and get advice on maintenance that you can do at home. It breaks my heart to hear about veterinary nurses and groomers that have to work on severely matted dogs because their owner has neglected their grooming responsibilities.
4. Make time for your dog. I signed off last month’s newsletter to my Canine Catering customers saying “remember that the best thing you give your dog this holiday season is your time.” It goes for the rest of the year, too. Your dog is a social animal and needs your love and attention throughout the year.
5. Keep a watchful eye on your dog’s health, ensuring they are not overweight (or underweight) and that they receive regular veterinary care. (For a dog to be accepted into my dog massage and rehabilitation practice, the owner must certify for me that their dog is under regular veterinary care.)
6. Have fun together – play time is essential. Dog walks are not the only stimulation for your dog. Choose an activity that suits both you your dog. It could be agility or obedience training, rally-o, fetch, cross-country skiing, hiking/tramping, or the use of interactive dog toys.
I wish you and your dog a wonderful 2012. Contact me through this blog or my website for information on any topic I cover in this blog.