New Year – New Resolutions
The New Year is a great time to take a fresh look at our lives and make the decision to change things for the better. Including your dog in your New Year's resolutions could make them more fun and perhaps easier to keep!
1. Getting Fit With Your Dog
The most common New Year's resolution of all is to get more exercise. Rather than paying out large monthly sums to a gym you may never use, why not have fun exercising with your dog?!
You could try exploring a new park or local woodland as you enjoy taking long, regular walks. If you and your dog are up to it, you could even try running together. Spending time together in a common activity will help strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
2. Healthy Eating
The next most common resolution, along with more exercise, is healthy eating. You can include your dog in this by looking at what they eat, making sure they are eating the right food, in the right quantities.
Speak to your vet or vet nurse to help you choose a high-quality food for your dog. Weigh out your dog's daily requirement, remember the guide on the side of the packet is only a guide, it is best to look at your individual pet to know how much food they require.
If you want to give your dog an occasional treat, choose healthy snacks, such as those you will find in your monthly Protect My Pet box!
3. New Activity
Try something new. There are lots of doggy inclusive activities you can try, such as flyball or agility classes. If your dog prefers less strenuous activity there are many local dog walking clubs, where you can meet some fellow dog lovers, whilst your dog has an opportunity to socialise.
For those who really like a challenge, there is the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Muddy Dog Challenge.
4. Self Acceptance
Learn from your dog and enjoy life to the max. Your dog does not care if you are looking a little worse for wear after the Christmas festivities. Take a leaf out your dog's book and accept yourself as you are.
5. Learn a New Skill
You may decide to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill in the New Year. Why not do the same for your pet and include daily toothbrushing in their routine? It will take time and perseverance from both you and your dog, however the benefits could be great, possibly reducing the need for dental treatment under anaesthetic as your dog gets older.
Look out for next month's blog to learn more about dental care for your dog.
6. Regular Flea and Worm Treatment
Resolving to keep your pet parasite free is now made much easier with Protect My Pet. If you haven't signed your dog (or cat!) up yet, be sure to subscribe this month to start the year as you mean to go on. We'll deliver your dog's flea and worming treatments direct to your door just when they're due, when it arrives in the post it's time to dose!
If you're already part of our pack, don't forget to tell your friends about your Protect My Pet subscription to help them start the year with their pet's health taken care of. With our Recommend a Friend programme, you'll receive a free box every time you refer someone, click here for more information.
7. Health Care
Many people resolve to taking a more proactive approach to their health in the New Year. Regular health checks are just as important for your dog. If your pet is young, fit and healthy, an annual examination by your vet, such as during a vaccination visit may be sufficient. If your vet has any concerns they will recommend more frequent checks, such as for older pets, those with heart murmurs, dental disease or needing weight mangement. It is always worth attending these clinics to help prevent problems from arising or to get treatment started as soon as it is required.
If your vet examines your dog regularly, it will be easier to spot any changes that may indicate a health problem, such as a new heart murmur or a drop in bodyweight or condition.
Taking care of your appearance may be part of your New Year's resolutions, for you this might mean buying a new wardrobe or getting a new hairstyle. Taking the time to regularly groom your dog will give you some quiet time to bond whilst keeping their coat healthy through the distribution of their natural oils and removal of dead skin and hair. Grooming your pet will also give you an opportunity to examine your pet for lumps, bumps, wounds or parasites such as ticks.
9. Plan for the Future
The New Year is a good time to prepare for the future, as your dog gets older they are more likely to need veterinary care for illness. Consider what is best for your circumstances, either you can arrange a pet insurance policy, or set up a regular savings account for potential veterinary care bills. We always hope we will not need to use these accounts but by being prepared and having funds available, it may offer more healthcare options and be one less worry during what can be a stressful time.
If your dog isn't part of our pack yet, sign up to Protect My Pet today to keep your pet protected the easy way. Delivery is free and there is no contract so you can cancel at any time.
Written by Lindsay Rose MA VetMB CertAVP CertVBM MRCVS.