As you begin the New Year working on your personal resolutions, consider your dog’s wellbeing, too. Yes, you are as excited to see your dog after work as he or she is to see you, and you go for walks, and you make routine visits to the vet, and you’ve got a standing appointment with the groomer.
When was the last time you evaluated your routine with your dog? Now is the perfect time to take stock of your dog’s mental and physical health while you’re checking up on your own.
Start with nutrition. Read up on the food that you’re feeding your best friend and make sure it’s the best that you can provide. It’s a good idea to book an appointment with your vet and just talk about nutrition – it’s easy to run out of time to talk about it in depth during annual appointments. Evaluate whether you’re feeding your dog properly according to their level of activity, health needs, and stage of life. If your dog has arthritis, skin or coat conditions, or they’ve graduated from adult dog to senior dog, your Mojo might benefit from a change in diet. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before modifying your dog’s diet to get all the details, and when you notice physical and mental changes in your dog.
Naturally, next, we want to bring up exercise. It’s so easy to get into a routine and unintentionally stuck in a rut. Your dog relies on physical exercise to work their mind as much as their body. A bored dog is a mischievous dog! And more exercise is great for your mind and body, too. Scope out new trails to walk on, or even just walk on the opposite of the street along your usual route to discover new smells. Try an early morning walk, it might even help you get a jumpstart on your workday! Check out agility courses, or just play in the backyard spontaneously. Indoors, you can play hide and seek with a favourite toy, and practice new training commands. As with any new exercise, keep a keen eye out for stress, strain, or injury. It sounds like a lot of work, but all of this time together strengthens the bond between you and your dog, which you will both appreciate. For those days when you know you have to be out the door right after dinner to get to soccer practice or ballet class, consider treating your dog to a day at dog daycare to ensure they get the exercise they need.
And we want to highlight training for a moment. It’s not just something to engage in on a snow day. Review training and learn new commands anytime! This is particularly useful as your human kids get older, or if an in-law moves in. Practice training with distraction all year long to help make summer fun combat anxiety when the snow melts.
New Approach Canine has training classes available for every dog, and the first class is free! Sign up to learn something brand new, to break bad habits, or practice your current command repertoire. Call us today at (519) 208-5559 to find out how we can help you and your dog with your resolutions.