Resolution #1: Prevention
None of us like going to the doctor’s, not even the dog. However, going to the vet’s for regularly scheduled check-ups can prevent large vet bills later. According to Steven May, author and pet expert, young dogs should have yearly check-ups, while older dogs should go to the vet at least twice a year. This is one resolution that could save you money.
Resolution #2: Volunteer
Do something good for your community and spend time with your dog at the same time! Whether you volunteer as a therapy team, pick up trash at the local dog park, or read to kids at the library, you and your dog can bond while helping others. Check your local community center or online to find programs near you.
Resolution #3: Play ‘n’ Train
Joan Hunter, creator of Out of the Box Dog Training Game, reminds us all that dogs need to play to keep boredom at bay. She mentions that even 10-15 minutes a day can be enough to keep your dog happy, while teaching him manners in the process. She recommends teaching things like sit, down, and eye contact in short segments each day rather than long sessions. This will keep your dog from being overwhelmed or losing interest.
Resolution #4: Exercise
If your dog is looking a bit pudgy after one too many treats from your house guests, get him in shape by giving him plenty of outdoor time. Bobbie Lyons, owner of Pawsitive Performance, suggests that taking your dog even on short outings like getting the mail, a trip to the ATM, or to the store with a short walk around the parking lot, does a lot to stimulate the mind and help exercise your overweight canine.
Tell us what you and your dog have planned for 2012!