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    8 New Year’s Resolution Tips to Keep Your Dog Fit 

    • 4 min read

    It’s a new year and a new you, but you’re not the only one who’s ready to get started on those New Year’s resolutions—your dog can join in on the fun, too! 

    Start off strong this year with these eight New Year’s resolution tips you can do with your dog.

    1. Eat a Healthy Diet

    If your dog needs to shed a little holiday weight, one way you can help control portion size is by using an interactive treat finder. These toys are great for dogs who quickly eat their food from a regular food bowl. Since studies show that it can take the brain longer to register that it’s full, extending the time it takes for your dog to eat may help your pet feel full from less food. Just put small portions of food inside a dispenser to prevent your dog from chomping away at his food bowl.

    2. Go on Walks

    Sometimes, starting small is best for setting new goals. You’re likely already taking your dog on walks for potty breaks. VCA Animal Hospitals recommends sticking to a regular routine of at least 30 minutesof exercise per day. 

    Keep in mind that all dogs are unique, and if your dog is older or has a health condition that affects her ability to go on long walks, then you might need to speak to the vet about adjusting the length of the walks or dividing it into a 15-minute morning and evening walk. Likewise, different dogs have different energy levels and may need more than 30 minutes of walking a day.

    3. Play Outdoors

    While you’re out on a walk with your furry companion, stopping at a park for some playtime fun is a great way to fight those winter blues. There are many ways that you can play outdoors with your dog. 

    A few ideas include:

    • Playing fetch
    • Throwing a ball or a flyer disc
    • Playing at a dog park
    • Swimming
    • Or even creating an agility course!

    Whichever options you choose, make sure your dog is hydrated, in the right clothing for winter, and able to keep up with any new toys to prevent injury.

    Dogs playing in the snow

    4. Switch Up the Indoor Toys 

    On days when it’s too cold for your dog to play outdoors, make use of your indoor space with engaging indoor dog toys. Crinkly snuggle buddies can encourage your dog to play indoors with tempting sounds and soft textures. Licking mats and other types of puzzle toys are also great for keeping your dog stimulated when it’s just too cold to go outside and run around.

    5. Ditch the Old Toys

    Speaking of toys, now is the perfect time to clean old toys and inspect them to make sure that they’re still in good shape. Discard any toys that are torn, showing signs of wear, or missing pieces. For toys that your dog has only lightly played with, check with local nonprofits to see if they accept donations. 

    Some companies, like West Paw, have recycling programs for their dog toys, where you send the old toy to the company for them to recycle and make new products out of the material. Read more about How to Get Rid of Old Dog Toys.

    6. Have More Play Dates

    We all have moments when we’re too busy to see friends and family. For your dog, socializing is just as important as having a healthy lifestyle. So why not have a doggy play date at the local dog park? If your best friend or a family member has a dog, you can also set up a playdate at the house and let the dogs play and run around in the backyard. 

    If this is the first time your dog is playing with another dog, always supervise the interactions to make sure they’re a good fit!

    7. Sign Up for a Training Class

    Even the cutest dog isn’t so adorable when she’s getting into the toilet, stealing socks, or jumping on guests. From hyper puppies to stubborn older dogs, it’s never too late to teach a dog a new trick or improve behaviors you don’t like. If you’re hoping to work on your dog’s discipline, consider signing your dog up for a training class to encourage your dog to follow commands and behave.

    If you’re more hands-on and would rather DIY your dog’s training, you can also train your dog at home using a tug-of-war toy or treat dispenser toy as a reward system for good behavior.

    8. Schedule Your Dog’s Check-up

    Now is a great time to make sure you’re on top of your dog’s health. Your veterinarian should see your dog once a year for his annual exam. Yearly exams are key to preventing illnesses like canine cancer and other issues that your dog may silently be suffering from. You’ll also want to make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date and the information on your dog’s ID tag is current. 

    The Bottom Line

    You don’t have to go through your New Year’s resolutions alone this year. Instead, include your dog by incorporating a few of these resolutions into your doggo’s daily lifestyle. You’ll both end up starting the year off strong and making the most out of 2022!

     

    Until next time--