Make 2013 the best year ever for you and your dog by including him in your resolutions. It’s never too late to instill new, healthy habits for you and your dog. As you are considering your list of New Year’s resolutions make sure you think of Fido and include some new healthy habits that will not only benefit him but you as well!
Just about everyone has “exercise more” on their list of New Year’s resolutions, but don’t forget about your dog. Get into shape by taking regular jogs and bring Fido along as well, or incorporate him into recreational sports as well. Don’t want to jog? No problem! Taking long walks with your dog has tremendous health benefits for you and for him. Don’t leave your dog home anymore while you ride your bike, let your dog come along and enjoy the pleasure of a safe bike ride with you! The Walky Dog or (Walky Dog) is a dog bicycle leash that attaches easily to your bike’s frame. Running your dog while you ride a bike is a great option for dogs that are unfazed by other people and dogs when passing them. If any of these tasks seems daunting to you due to your dog’s leash pulling bad habits, nip that in the bud through a private one-on-one session with one of our professional dog trainers. If you have never tried out It’s A Dog’s World, now is the time to do so! New clients get a FREE 1 hour Dog Training Lesson!
Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
Who said, “old dogs can’t learn new tricks”? Well, that is completely untrue! Spice up your dog’s routine by adding new obedience commands. If your dog already knows heel, sit, down, stay, and come; try teaching back up, stand-stay, leave it, watch, touch, stays with you out of sight, not to touch food from strangers (poison proofing), down in motion, down in a recall, and more. The majority of these commands are taught in our Intermediate and Canine Good Citizen class. Also, stay tuned for upcoming newsletters and blogs where we will give you step-by-step instructions on these commands. Or get really fancy by teaching tricks like spin, high five, roll over, play dead, speak, crawl, sit up, stand up on back legs, or even picking up objects. Teaching new tricks will stimulate your dog’s brain and make him sharper, focused, and better behaved.
If you have a new dog or one that just won’t behave, then sign up for one of our Basic Obedience Classes. We have group, private lessons at our location, private lessons in your home, or board & train options to choose from. Going through training with your dog will not only give you bonding time, but it will give you a new, well-behaved dog!
Playing games with your dog is really good for your relationship and practicing obedience skills. Here are some fun games to try with your dog:
1. Find the Treat. Put your dog in a down stay. Then place treats in a variety of hiding places. Your dog has to stay in a down stay while you do this. Then give your dog it’s release word and let your dog run around finding the treats.
2. Hide and Seek. There are two versions to play hide and seek with your dog. Beginner Version: Have someone hold your dog or wait until your dog is distracted. Sneek away and hide. Then, call your dog. When your dog finds you give him a delicious treat! This is a great way to work on “stay out of sight” (Advanced Version) and Come command. Advanced version: Place your dog in a sit stay or down stay. Then hide. When you are ready, call your dog. This version is great for the dog that knows “stay out of sight” which we teach in our Intermediate Group Class. Both versions can be played inside the home as well.
Another great way to fight boredom is by giving your dog a great variety of toys to choose from to play with you or while you are gone from home. Check out our article on “Toys For Bored Dogs”.
If one of your resolutions is to eat healthier, make sure your pet is too. Consult with your veterinarian on the best diet for your dog.
Just as its important for us to get yearly physicals, the same goes for Fido. Regular checkups keep your pet healthy and give you peace of mind. Not only are vaccines important, but heartworm prevention is critical in keeping a healthy pet.
Rub-A-Dub…Scrub That Dog!
Everyone knows how important it is to take time out of their busy schedules to pamper and take care of themselves. The same goes for your dog. Humans need to get their hair trimmed and cut every 4-6 weeks, well Fido needs the same. In fact, a typical haircut and grooming costs less for Fido than a typical women’s haircut and color. Plus, Fido gets a paw-dicure (nails trimmed), ear cleaning, teeth brushing, and expressed anal glands! A good spa grooming goes a long way, especially this time of year when your dog is shedding a winter coat and has dry skin. Vinjon’s Kennel offers a special service called “Furminator” to de-fur your dog of that winter coat. They also offer special hot oil treatments for dry, flaky, itchy skin.
Add to your list of things to accomplish this year giving back to your favorite dog charity. Find local rescue organizations and adoption centers to see how you might be able to help out. Volunteering just one Saturday a month would be an amazing help to those organizations. Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside loves their volunteers! They usually need help walking dogs, cuddling with cats, answering phones, filing, or donations of newspaper, towels, etc. If you can’t do once a month, make a point to help at least once this year. You may be surprised how awesome you feel when you give back!
Make 2013 the best year ever, not only for you but for your best four-legged friend as well!