Pet parents: What are your New Year resolutions? Spend more time with friends and family? Exercise more? Eat better? Setting goals to start the year can help you focus on what matters. The same is true for your dog and some of the same resolutions you make for yourself can also be a key focus area for your four-footed best friend. Learning new tricks and trying out new activities are good resolutions that can also contribute to your dog’s happiness and health, as well as form a stronger bong between you and your furry friend. Here are 10 dog-themed New Year’s resolutions to choose from for 2019.
1. Put Safety First
Make a resolution to take the proper safety precautions for your dog this year.
Update your dog’s ID tags if needed or microchip him. Microchipping substantially increases the likelihood that you and your dog will be reunited should he ever become lost. Microchipping is a virtually painless procedure that can be performed in your vet’s office and has become quite affordable in recent years. If your dog is already microchipped, make sure the information is up to date.
Training your dog to follow the basic commands can help keep him safe as well. These include:
Stay — You may need to have your dog stay put in case of an approaching car or other danger. He needs to be able to stay when you command it and for as long as you tell him.
Drop — This command is key to preventing your dog from eating dangerous items that may cause serious health issues.
Come — If your dog gets too close to something or is in an area he doesn’t belong, teaching him to come to you on command can save you both a lot of headaches and heartache.
Down — This is an important command that not only keeps your dog from jumping on guests at the door, but also stops him from trying to jump up and reach items he shouldn’t have.
2. Eat Right
Your dog’s breed, size, and activity level should all be taken into consideration when choosing the right food. This new year, consider using a measuring cup for each meal so your dog doesn’t eat too much or too little. Adjust the feeding amount up or down as you monitor his weight over time.
Along with portion control, feeding your dog the right dog food can help keep him healthy. Bil-Jac Super Premium Dog Food is made to cater to the nutritional needs of your pet by using high-quality real chicken – and more of it – protecting essential amino acids and adding the right blend of vitamins and minerals. If your dog is overweight, consider switching to Bil-Jac Reduced Fat Formula made with 30 percent less fat than Bil-Jac Adult Select. Learn more about what makes Bil-Jac so uniquely special.
3. Don't Forget to Visit Your Vet
Regular appointments are important for assuring your dog’s continued good health. These visits will help make sure your pooch is up-to-date on his vaccinations and that the vet can help to proactively identify any potential health issues early on through regular checkups and routine testing.
4. Try a New Activity
We all get into the same old routine day after day. Spice things up a bit by going to new places and finding fun activities around town to help you and your best friend bond! Consider selecting a dog training school to teach your dog tricks, practice better behavior, or meet other puppy lovers just like you! Other fun activities include traveling, dog parks and walking.
5. Teach Your Dog a New Trick
Speaking of new tricks, take this new year to teach your dog more tricks. Mark a day on the calendar each month that you learn a new one! They only take a few training sessions to teach, and your dog will appreciate you for the attention and love. For starters, learn how to train your dog to “kiss” in five simple steps.
6. Exercise More
It’s important to take some time out of your busy schedule each day to help your dog stay happy and healthy. Take 15 minutes to get outside and go for a walk, throw a frisbee around, or play at the dog park. Not only does walking your dog daily come with a variety of health benefits for him, but it can help you exercise more too. Our best friends mean so much to us, and if they live a long, happy, and healthy life, that’s what matters most.
7. Make More Time for Play
Dogs need mental and physical stimulation daily to keep them fit and entertained. Buy a few new toys and have them on-hand for those indoor days. Try one of those treat puzzles and see just how smart your dogs are when they get their Bil-Jac Treats out.
8. Don’t Forget to Groom
Resolve to keep your dog properly groomed and clean at all times. Regular grooming contributes to your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. It can also help you notice lumps, bumps, or skin infections – catching them early can save you money on potentially more expensive treatments down the road. Here are some easy ways to make sure your pup is always fresh as a daisy and ready for cuddling:
Brush your dog’s hair thoroughly every day. Not only does this release important oils from his skin to keep his coat healthy, it also promotes good circulation.
Feeding your dog Bil-Jac can also provide extra skin and coat support.
Check for fleas, ticks and other pests
Bathe your dog regularly to keep his coat clean and shiny.
Check ears for any signs of infection or wax buildup. Use a tissue to gently remove any debris in his ears. Just don’t put anything inside the ear! Keep his nails trimmed. Be careful not to clip them too short and cut into the quick, which can cause bleeding. A good guide is to cut only the lighter colored or white part of the nail, as you would your own.
Check your pup’s teeth and gums daily for signs of trouble. Dental issues can cause bad breath, trouble eating, and even serious health issues. Keep an eye out for signs of broken teeth, bad breath, and bleeding or discolored gums that can signal dental issues. You can do this when you brush his teeth using a special canine toothbrush and toothpaste. Giving your pooch dental chews and bones can also help keep plaque and bacteria at bay.
If you’re not able or comfortable performing these tasks – or if your dog is too skittish to let you do it – keep regular appointments with a professional groomer. They know how to get the job done. Your dog and you will both appreciate it!
9. Arrange More Puppy Play Dates
Does your dog have a special friend he loves to see and play with occasionally? Set up a few play dates with a dog friend! This could be a great indoor idea if the weather is still not cooperating, as long as you have room for your pup and his friend to romp around the house. Be sure to have plenty of toys to play with and Bil-Jac treats available for good dog behavior.
10. Join the Best Friends Club
Want to have a doggone good year? Following these tips can help make for a long life and a healthy, happy dog. To help you achieve your dog New Year resolutions, sign up for the Best Friends Club. Each month you’ll receive our exclusive email newsletter filled with dog care tips, information on nutrition, training tips, members-only discounts, inspiring stories, fun facts, and more. Resolve to make this year the best one yet for you and best friend.