If your dog could write their own New Year's resolutions, would "becoming healthier" be among their propositions for "more treats", "more cuddling", and more "walks"? The answer is: not likely.
As pet parents, we are responsible for keeping our fur-kids in line with a healthy lifestyle that not only includes healthy eating, but also vet check-ups, and exercise. It is hard enough to manage our own wellbeing, so how do we manage our furry friend's? Read up on our tricks for a healthier year!
1. Daily Walks
Their ancestors were highly active in the wild and although our furry friends today have very different habitual needs, exercise is one that has stayed important. It is recommended that your dog gets walked multiple times a week, if not daily. Among many benefits, walking helps stimulate a dog's brain and can help keep them out of trouble at home, regulate their weight, and help with their training.
2. Solution Based Feeding
Choosing the correct diet for your furry friend is important because they will most likely be eating it for the rest of their life. You can rotate your dog's food from time to time; however, the chances are that you will stick with one option that your pup loves. Start by reading the ingredient label on your pet's food. Ask yourself, are these ingredients you would normally find in your own foods? Do you feel comfortable feeding them to your dog? What benefits will your dog receive from specific ingredients? Next, analyze the guaranteed analysis on package to make sure that the levels are correct for your dog's needs. Some additional things to look for are where the ingredients are sourced and the processes behind your pet's food. Finding a high-quality dog food is the foundation to a healthier year.
3. Yearly Vet Check-Ups
Get in routine of scheduling your pet's annual checkup when you schedule your own. This will help you remember when their checkup needs to be. Another alternative is to do their yearly check-up when they need to receive their vaccines. Since most vaccines are within a few years, keeping your yearly check-up during the same month will allow you to get two tasks done at once every once in a while. Yearly checkups are important at all life-stages to help you understand your dog's health needs as they get older.
4. Treat Portion Control
As hard as this may be, portion control is very important to keeping your pup healthy. We love to reward our dogs with what they love best, but too many treats can potentially lead to health risks down the road. Incorporate the treats your dog gets into their daily caloric intake. Pet obesity can be highly influenced by over indulging in treats or human food scraps.
5. Dental Health
By age two, 80% of dogs have some form of periodontal disease. Maintaining a dental care routine is imperative to good health. Start by brushing your dog's teeth using an enzymatic toothpaste to break down tartar. All natural water additives and sprays can also be a great way to help upkeep their dental hygiene. Within their yearly vet visits, have your vet check on their teeth to see if any extra cleaning needs to be done.
These manageable tips are easy to incorporate into your life and your fur baby will thank you! Here's to a prosperous year full of thankful licks and wagging tails!