2022 is here! With the new year comes a time of reflection on the year that’s passed, and goal-setting for the year to come. So why not spring into the new year with some resolutions for your pup too? Here’s our top 5 tips to make 2022 the best year yet!
2020 and 2021 put us through the ringer as COVID-19 is still around us, and it can be tempting to hide away from the world inside. A little bit of fresh air and exercise is great for both you and your dog alike, mentally and physically! Try changing up your routine with your walks. Explore somewhere new - if you usually walk around the neighbourhood, try finding a trail in a wooded area. If you usually walk with a purpose, try slowing down and let your dog’s nose lead the way. Try to take a longer walk than normal a few times a week.
Prioritize Dental Health
It can be easy to forget about things that aren’t right in front of our faces, and our dog’s dental health is no exception. Did you know that our dogs can suffer from gingivitis, plaque, and tartar just like us? It’s important to feed a diet that provides dental benefits, but diet and treats alone aren’t enough. Make sure to brush your pup’s teeth, using pet-safe toothpaste, and a piece of gauze, finger brush, or soft-bristled brush. (Always best to ask your vet for advice on what would be best for your dog.) They might suggest a cleaning which has to happen under anaesthetic. It’s not recommended to have an anaesthetic-free dental cleaning as it can be stressful for your dog, cause injury, and only tackles the surface of the tooth above the gumline. These dental cleanings can be expensive, so prevention is key to avoiding high costs down the road!
Audit Your Dog’s Diet
What we feed our dog has a huge effect on their overall health! The start of a new year is a great time to take a closer look at what goes in your pup’s bowl every day. It’s important to look at what you’re feeding, but also what quantities. Many owners eyeball the amount of food they pour into the food bowl, and can end up overfeeding. Pet obesity is a huge issue and negatively affects our dog’s health. If your dog does need to lose a few pounds, talk to your vet about weight loss strategies.
Add in Enrichment
Mental enrichment is just as important as physical exercise! A great and easy way to add in enrichment is to ditch the food bowl if you feed kibble. Instead, try placing your dog’s meal in puzzle feeders, slow feeders, or even rolling it up in a towel. You can even throw some pieces of kibble outside in the grass or snow for your dog to find. If you feed wet food, you can try a lickimat.
Put Playtime First
One of the most important things you can do with your dog is to spend time with them! Playtime is a great way to bond with your pup, so try to dedicate 10-15 mins each day to playing. You can use play for training as well, or work your daily training session into your day immediately after a play session. The great thing about play is that you can do it indoors and outdoors so it doesn’t need to be weather-dependant!
Do you have any other new year’s resolutions you’re putting in place with your pup? Let us know!
Stay healthy, stay happy, stay curious #healthygang!
Lots of love,
-The healthybud team