We always set New Year's Resolutions for ourselves, but how often do we do it for our dogs? Or rather, for us to be better dog owners? This is Bark City's top 10 Resolutions for Dog Owners:
- Weight Management-- Obesity in dogs can trigger a whole slew of health problems. Diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease are just a few. You should be able to feel your dog's ribs, but not see them. If you see them, Fido may be too skinny. One way to keep your dog's weight under control is to minimize the human table scraps and keep them on a healthy dog food. Read labels and opt for a higher quality dog food that is easily metabolized by your dog. One website that I use regularly is The Dog Food Advisor . This website has extensively researched a multitude of dog foods and rates them based on ingredients and health.
- Grooming -- Keep up on matted fur, parasites, dental hygiene, toenails, ear infections and hot spots. All of these (and more!) can lead to health problems and more vet bills if not kept under control. A regular washing of bedding is also a must.
- Good Manners-- Bad habits in dogs can lead to safety issues for you, others and your dog (or other dogs!). Food aggression, Toy hoarding, leash pulling, aggressive fence running/barking at walkers are just a few common bad habits. Please be conscientious.
- Play!! -- Bonding with your dog is a must! Make time in your busy day to work on training, play tug-o-war and other mentally stimulating games.
- Organize -- Microchip your dog, have adequate ID on your dog's collar, keep all vet records easily accessible and keep your dog license up to date.
- Regular Walks -- Let's face it, it's important to slow down and take a break from our busy lives to just walk around and notice our surroundings. Walking your dog can be very stress relieving for you and your dog.
- Keep up on your vaccinations and heartworm medication. 'nuff said.
- Help Others-- Consider donating time and/or money to your local animal shelter.
- Start a pet savings fund -- Set aside a small portion of each paycheck for a pet savings fund. All those pennies may eventually save the day when a big emergency pops up.
- Learn Canine Body Language -- Dogs don't communicate the way humans communicate. We speak different languages. Please don't attribute human emotions onto your pets. This leads to behavior problems and a lot of frustration that can be easily avoided. Dog's are wonderful animals that deserve to be understood in the language nature gave them.
We at Bark City hope your New Year brings you joy, slobber and lots of wagging tails!!