The new year is here. When the calendar flips over to January, we’re often looking for ways to be sure it can be our best year ever for both ourselves and our whole family. Our whole family includes our dogs. Have you ever thought about what your dog might resolve to do in the new year? Like most of us, your dogs would likely resolve to be healthier this year. To help your dogs have a healthy 2018, we’ve put together four resolutions to put into place.
Start with a High-Quality Diet & Manage Weight Gain
The food you feed your dogs is the daily foundation for their overall health. It should come as no surprise that your dog’s diet is one of the most important resolutions for a healthy, happy canine in 2018. Bil-Jac delivers a high-quality diet and uses 25 lbs. of fresh chicken to make a 30 lb. bag of Bil-Jac Adult Select. We don’t know of any other dog food that uses that much fresh chicken!
Is your dog overweight? According to the Association for Pet Obesity, 53% of dogs are tipping the scale with excess pounds. Check to see if your dog is a healthy weight here: https://thedogblog.bil-jac.com/blog/top-signs-your-dog-is-overweight. Be sure to measure your dogs’ food daily. Feeding guidelines on the bag are just that -- feed a little less food each day if your dog is gaining weight. They might just be less active and have a slower metabolism. Be sure to cut out the people food – it often adds calories when they are not needed.
Regular Checkups for Good Health
Annual checkups will provide your pup with a head-to-tail examination. An annual check for heartworms is standard, while precautions like vaccines and booster shots can help protect your dog from common illnesses.
As a pet parent, you want to do all you can to help your dogs be active and healthy. Many veterinarians can also help you be proactive by doing some yearly or bi-annual blood tests to see how your dog is doing. Many offices can even schedule next year’s annual checkup before you leave so you won’t forget to schedule next year!
Exercise the Body and Mind
Exercise isn't only for people. Regular physical exercise is crucial for maintaining overall health, muscle mass and cardiovascular health. It’s important that your dogs get in a brisk walk and some regular activity to help them have a good quality of life.
Providing regular exercise for your dog can help maintain strong bones, and improve metabolism. One of the biggest risk factors for dogs is obesity, which can cause breathing problems, skin and coat issues, arthritis, and mobility concerns. Exercise can not only avoid excessive weight gain, but also help reverse obesity.
Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Dogs that are bored or not properly mentally stimulated can develop behavioral problems over time. Some great exercises for mental stimulation include basic obedience training, toys and puzzles that reward with treats, and taking your dog to stimulating environments like hikes and dog parks.
His Smile is Worth It
Neglecting your dog’s grin doesn’t just result in bad dog breath, it can negatively impact a dog’s overall health. According to PetMD, because a dog’s mouth is “warm, moist, and has significant nutrients present for organisms to grow on, the oral cavity of dogs is a perfect incubator for all kinds of bacteria.” So what exactly could happen? “The adverse effects of periodontal disease are due in part…to the toxins the bacteria secrete and the damage these toxins cause to delicate kidney, cardiac, and brain tissue,” says Jan Bellows, DVM (PetMD).
Taking some simple steps at home can dramatically improve your dog’s oral care:
- Brushing using specially-formulated toothpaste for dogs is the most effective means to a dog’s oral health, according to the American Veterinary Dental College
- Anti-Tartar chews can be helpful in decreasing dental disease
- Chew toys can even be beneficial in the long-run if used consistently
By implementing these 4 healthy resolutions, you can help your dogs have a fantastic 2018 and beyond.