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New Year's resolution for you and your dog

With 2019 behind us, many of us have probably taken a moment to reflect on what we've accomplished and to set new goals for 2020. Every new year comes with the promise of a fresh start, and if you don't usually include your pets in your resolutions, why not ring the changes and give it a go for 2020?

#1: Protection through prevention
Keeping your dog protected from illness and disease should be a priority all year round, and the best way to do this is through preventative medicine. Check with your vet when their parasite treatments and vaccines are due and don't forget to schedule a check-up appointment to make sure that they're healthy. Dental health should also be included in your pets' regular care and establishing a tooth brushing routine can help prevent plaque accumulation and oral disease.

#2: Eat better
Proper nutrition is another box you need to tick if you want to provide your dog with the best chances to stay healthy. Your pets' diet should be tailored to their nutritional requirements, which vary with age, lifestyle and a number of other factors, so don't hesitate to discuss this with your vet if you have any questions or concerns.
This would also be a great opportunity to carry out a weight check on your dog and make sure that they're not overweight. It is not uncommon for people to put on weight during the holidays and the same is true for their four-legged best friends. If you have weight loss on your resolution's list, eating better and losing the extra weight is definitely something that you and your pet can do together.

#3: More physical activity
If you're aiming to stay active in 2020, this is something your dog's going to want in on too! Exercise and play provide dogs with physical and mental stimulation, which are essential to keep them healthy and happy.
Get creative when it's time to exercise – include some agility training in your walks or look for an alternative path to keep things fun and interesting.
And don't forget that if you want to increase fitness and endurance, you should do it gradually so that your dog can adjust to the new demands.
If the weather is bad or for some reason you can't take your dog out for as long as you wanted, keep in mind that interactive play sessions can be as stimulating as a good run outdoors. This would also be an excellent opportunity for you to teach a new skill to your dog!

#4: Keep things fun at home – environmental enrichment
Unfortunately, we'll never be able to spend as much time with our dogs as we would want, and they sometimes end up being home alone for some longer periods. To stave off boredom, which can lead to destructive or other unwanted behaviours, you can think of solutions to keep them entertained while you're away. Using a puzzle feeder, for example, will make them work for their food, prolonging the meal and providing mental stimulation.

Now that you've read this, what resolutions would you like to make in 2020 for your dog?

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Published: 06 Jan 2020

Read the previous article: Routine appointments and pets