By now many people have already broken the New Year’s resolutions they made for themselves at the beginning of the month. But that’s no reason they can’t make and keep New Year’s resolutions for their pets. It’s not uncommon this time of year to see that four legged friends have put on a few pounds- the result of less exercise and more goodies during the holidays. So consider the following four resolutions to get your pet back into shape and good health.
Exercise: It's good for you as well as the dog. Walking or jogging at least 30 minutes a day with your dog is a great activity, age and health permitting. For your indoor pets make an effort to get them to run around inside- chasing toys down the hall, playing tug of war with a rope or anything that gets them (and you) moving around.
Diet: There are many good, quality foods available so find one that your pet likes to eat that meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials nutritional standards.
AAFCO is a consumer protection group that establishes the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods. Not all pet food companies formulate diets that meet these standards so when you are picking out a pet food, check for a label that indicates it has been formulated to meet AAFCO standards.
If your pet suffers from a specific illness or chronic condition you may wish to consider one of the specialty diets that address those health problems. Your veterinarian can suggest an appropriate one for your pet.
Pets should not be given table scraps and if your dog has a weight problem try apples and carrots instead of more fattening treats and dental chews. All those calories add up!
Preventive care: A yearly exam by a veterinarian so vaccines can be updated and pets can be examined from head to tail can help catch minor problems before they become major health issues. It also gives pet owners an opportunity to ask questions about anything unusual they may have noticed about the animal’s health or behavior.
Learn something new: You can teach an old dog new tricks! Or a puppy or any dog for that matter. Pet’s need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. No matter their age they will be motivated to learn a new trick especially if it means getting more attention and treats. There are many websites that can show you how to teach tricks to your dog. One example is: http://www.dog-obedience-training-review.com/dog-tricks.html