Is your dog in need of some revitalization in this new year? If you’re looking to improve your dog’s health and overall quality of life, then you’ve come to the right place. You can make 2020 your dog’s best year yet by checking these items off your list.
#1 Weigh your dog
First, you’ll want to consult your veterinarian about what your dog’s ideal healthy weight is. They can also weigh your dog and tell you how your dog might be able to achieve a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Here’s a visual reference to give you an idea of different weight stages.
#2 Measure your dog’s food
People use measuring cups at first but over time begin to free feed or eyeball it. At our Fitdog Club, we have had people tell us it’s one handful, half of a coffee cup, and all sorts of other random measurements. This is not good for your dog’s waistline.
Dog food companies often change their ingredients and portion sizes, so start off 2020 by checking the recommended feeding amount for your dog’s IDEAL weight, and measure your dog’s food. If they are overweight, this will help them shed some pounds.
#3 Play with your dog after work
Most of us get home from work and just want to settle in on the sofa. But your dog is so excited to see you (especially if they’ve been home alone all day). Give your dog 15 to 20 minutes of playtime before you turn in for the night. Fun games to play include tug of war, indoor or outdoor fetch, and cardio tricks (like spinning or jumping). Your dog will be so grateful, and it will improve your bond!
#4 Brush your dog daily & set a regular grooming routine
Whether your dog has a long or short coat, brushing helps to spread natural oils and is soothing for your pup. It also can stimulate blood flow. If your dog has a longer coat, it prevents matting. Make sure to get the right brush for your dog’s coat and skin. This can also be a positive bonding experience between dog and owner.
Additionally, you should schedule regular grooms for your dog. Grooming is the foundation of good health. Staying consistent with your grooming routine prevents matting, keeps nails at a comfortable length, and helps skin and coat to stay shiny. Most dogs need their nails trimmed every 2 to 3 weeks, bathing every 1 to 2 weeks, and hair cut every 4 to 6 weeks.
#5 Mix Up Your Dog’s Exercise Routine
If your dog gets stir-crazy after a few days at home, mix up their exercise routine with a class or excursion a few times per week! Dogs get a healthy balance of mental and physical exercise and much-needed socialization. The result is a revitalized and relaxed pup! Learn more about our classes here.
#6 Register your dog with your city
Having your dog properly licensed with your town or city is another way to find your dog if they got lost. When animal services find a dog that is registered, they immediately have updated information on you. Also, in Los Angeles, if your dog is found without tags, you can be faced with steep fines, so better safe than sorry.
#7 Re-evaluate your dog’s food
As dogs age, their food preferences and dietary needs change. Plus dogs get bored from eating the same thing. If you have a younger or more active dog, high protein diets boost energy and keep dogs satisfied longer. As dogs get older, you may want to consider switching to a low-fat diet (under 20%). Always remember to transition the food over 1 to 2 weeks depending on your dog’s sensitivities.
#8 Make your dog your exercise buddy
Dogs are the best exercise buddies because they will keep up with you, motivate you, and will never, ever judge you! Dedicating time at the gym can be difficult. However, hitting the trail, park, or bike path with your dog is both a bonding experience and great exercise!
#9 Get your dog’s teeth cleaned
The reality is that we’re all supposed to brush our dog’s teeth every day, but we don’t either because our dog won’t let us or we forget. Getting your dog’s teeth cleaned every 6 months is a start to maintaining good oral health and will help your dog’s breath smell better. If you live in Los Angeles, drop by Fitdog Club every third Tuesday for non-anesthetic teeth cleaning by Smile Specialists.
#10 Update all vaccines
Probably the least fun, but the most important item on this list is updating your dog’s vaccines. If your dog’s current vaccines last through the year, then you can breeze right past this section!
Having updated vaccines is important if you want your dog to be allowed to board, attend daycare, or play at dog parks. It keeps dogs from contracting easily transmutable diseases such as parvo or rabies. This new year, promote good health for all by vaccinating your dog!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year! Thank you for being part of our Fitdog community. We can’t wait to see you in 2020!