The New Year is often a time for creating resolutions for ourselves, but how successful are they? We live in an age of self-gratification. We eat too much because it makes us feel better. We smoke because it helps calm us. We are too busy, so we don’t exercise. So, at New Year’s we promise ourselves we will eat healthier, exercise more, and stop smoking. Unfortunately, few of us keep those resolutions. We usually start with good intentions, but after getting into our usual routine, we give up and go back to doing what is comfortable.
But what if you make a resolution that is bigger than yourself? Have you ever thought about making a resolution that won’t only benefit you, but will also benefit your dog? Will knowing your pet will benefit help you stick to it? Instead of promising something to ourselves and then giving up shortly after we start, why don’t we promise our dogs? Isn’t it easier to stick to something if you have a partner? Even more importantly, your dog will benefit from this new lifestyle.
Whether you feed your dog raw food or kibble, make sure to look at the ingredients. Ideally, the first ingredient of a food should be either a specified meat meal, or a specified fresh meat type followed by a meal. There are many benefits to feeding your dog a higher quality food. To list a few: reduction in skin ailments and allergies; more energy; fewer digestive problems; and better overall health and quality of life.
Exercise is important for people and is just as important for your dog. Vets are seeing more and more overweight dogs. Just like humans, an overweight dog can suffer from diabetes, strain on joints and the back, and many other ailments. Make sure to give your dog plenty of exercise, both physically and mentally. Dogs need at least 10-15 minutes of physical exercise twice a day. Start walking with your dog, it will benefit both of you. If you can’t walk with your dog, at least throw the ball for them in the backyard or house. Also give your dog plenty to do to keep his or her mind busy. Training for 3-5 minutes a few times a day can do wonders. If you don’t have time for training, invest in food dispensing toys. Don’t think of this time just as exercise, think of it as a time to bond with your best friend.
I am not a smoker, but I know plenty of people who have struggled with quitting and I know it can be a very hard habit to give up. If you won’t quit for your own health, try quitting for the sake of your dog. Secondhand smoke in dogs can be very deadly. Dogs that live with smokers are more likely to develop lung and nasal cancer. Next time you light up, think about the effect that it is having on your dog. You have a choice, but your dog doesn’t.
And self-improvement is always more fun with a buddy, so enjoy this bonding time with your dog. I know they will be just as thankful for it.