new year means a new you—but what about your dog? Each January millions of
Americans hit the gym, stay away from the fridge, and frequent the produce
aisle of their local supermarket all with hopes of improving their
health. Unfortunately, many of us overlook our canine companions as we
set off down a path to healthy living. This year, take your resolutions to the
dogs and bring your canine companion along for the ride, run or walk to a
#1 Check in for a Checkup
an exam with your doctor and your dog’s vet is a great way to begin and then maintain
your path to a happy and healthy life.
With the assistance of a physician you will be able to evaluate specific
needs and become aware of any potential problems.
A visit with your respective medical professional can also help you create
or modify diet and exercise plans to fit your needs as well as those of your
problems remembering to attend your scheduled appointment? Consider scheduling both appointments for the same day or during the same week. For an added reminder, find out if your doctor or vet offers courtesy calls the day before or the week of an appointment.
#2 Walk, Jog, Run or Play
many, the work day often means one of limited activity for both owner and pet.
Get the heart pumping, burn calories and strengthen muscles with a daily 15 – 30
minute walk, jog or run with your dog. Before you hit the pavement evaluate your
dog’s needs as well as your own to establish a workout regimen that works best.
Small or older dogs may fair better on a steady walk while larger breeds or
work dogs may need a longer run or jog.
If you're on your feet all day, a simple
game of fetch can be a great way to keep your dog moving while you take a break. If you have the energy but can’t get outside, incorporate your
dog into some pet friendly exercise moves. For a quick leg workout grab your dog’s favorite toy and start
squatting. As you bend your knees, bring the toy to your dog’s eye level. As you
straighten your legs, raise the toy above your head to get your dog jumping.
#3 Introduce Healthy Foods into Your Daily Diet
consider this to be a journey, then the food you eat helps pave the way. Today, its
commonplace to see terms like organic,
all natural and whole grain describing the food we eat. These can be positive
additions to any diet and the same can be true for your dog. Replace high
calorie or over processed foods with healthier options that include fruits,
vegetables, and lean proteins.
Selecting healthy food options for you can be as
easy as taking a walk down the produce aisle; however, it may not seem as
simple when it comes to your pet. The good news is that some of those things
are also terrific additions to your dog’s diet and can be found in quality dog foods
currently available to pet owners. Start by checking the ingredients before you
buy and consider all natural and organic dog food brands. As always, discuss any major dietary changes with your vet.
#4 Drink Plenty of Fluids
When the sun is beating down on a hot summer day, filling up on H2O is a common practice; however, more often than not that sentiment is lost in the cooler months. Hot or cold, sunny or cloudy,
your body needs an adequate amount of water and of course the same is true for your
dog. Keep the water dish full and be
sure to bring along extra water on your daily walk or run.
It's often recommended that humans consume at
least 8 glasses of fluid a day, but what about your pets? The amount of water your pet needs on a daily
basis can vary based on size, activity level, age or even breed. Regularly supply and replenish water as
needed to avoid dehydration. Take
hydration one step further with automatic waterers or pet water fountains that
keep water fresh, flowing and appealing to dogs and cats alike.
#5 Take Your Vitamins
no secret that vitamins, in the right amount, can do the body good. Your dog may also experience benefits from select vitamins. Vitamins and supplements can improve your
pet’s skin and coat, aid in muscle and joint function and in some cases, improve
cognition. This is particularly true for aging dogs that may experience mobility
problems due to arthritis or muscle and joint pain.
Determining which, if any, vitamins and
supplements your dog needs can be tricky. Make the best decisions for your pet
by discussing dog vitamins and supplements with your vet.