My dog can’t make resolutions (or keep them), so here’s what I came up with for us:
- More walks
- Cut nails every 6 weeks without fail
- Learn more about vaccines so I can make knowledgable decisions
- Fewer treats
- Teach my dog a cool trick
Dog expert Cesar Millan says that a well-exercised dog is a well-behaved dog. I’ve found this consistently; my dogs are calm, quiet and more fun when they’ve had good walks.
How many walks and how long? You’ll both benefit from two 20 minute walks a day, morning and evening, or a longer 45 minute walk once a day.
Cut nails every 6 weeks
Unless your dogs are walking on concrete or other hard surfaces, they’ll need their nails cut every 6 weeks or so. Their high protein diet keeps nails and the quick, or flesh under the nails, growing quite fast.
If nails aren’t cut often enough, both the quick and the nail gets too long and cannot be cut back to the right length all at once, since the quick will bleed profusely.
Since I hate cutting dogs’ nails (that bleeding quick!) I tend to avoid it, and so admitted long ago it’s easier and less stress for me, to take the dogs out to a local groomer I trust (PetSmart is great, no appointment needed and quite reasonable).
Learn more about vaccinations
Just some of the things you should question:
- safety – just how safe ARE the various vaccines?
- frequency – how often are vaccinations really needed?
- conflict of interest – vaccines are VERY big business, so who can we believe?
- one size fits all – no matter what size the dog, each is given the same size dose!
And when it comes to adverse reactions, dogs under 20 pounds are UP TO TEN TIMES MORE LIKELY TO HAVE A BAD REACTION TO A VACCINATION.
Popular dog treats and biscuits have a lot of calories for a tiny dog. For example, did you know that the popular treat, “Bonz” has 70 calories?. Milk-Bone biscuits for small breeds are 40 calories each. As a general rule of thumb, a very small dog (5 lbs.) needs around 400 calories a day, so these treats can really add up.
Teach your dog a new trick
Mental stimulation is important for your dog and what better way to get his mind working than by learning a fun new trick.
You can search online for “easy dog tricks” (don’t forget Youtube), pick up a training book or buy an online course on dog tricks.