Happy New Year to all the Mclean Community! Hope all of you had a wonderful Holiday Season with your family and friends, both human and furry in nature. So it’s now the New Year which we all know means New Year Resolutions! Here are a few I recommend for all you lovely dog owners out there. These will help with your dogs overall mental, physical health and your bond to them.
New Years Dog Resolution #1: Hug your dog less! What you ask? I know, believe me, I’m a hugger myself. The truth is however, most dogs hate hugs. Some of course, like my boy Jasper, will tolerate it with grace, but I’m sure his preference would be for me to stop. There are better ways for us to show our affections to our dogs like a nice belly rub (for those that welcome it), a good ole scratch around the ears or chest rub. Dogs are hardwired to view the act of hugging as you exerting your dominance. In most cases, they feel threatened and/or fearful. The next time you hug your dog, pay attention, and you will likely see how tense their body becomes when you hug them or that they tend to pull away. Hug them a little less this year and they will appreciate it!
New Years Dog Resolution #2: Provide Structure and Rules for your Dog! Dogs really want to know what to expect according to you, their leader! Rules make your dogs life more predictable, less confusing, and thus less stressful. And remember, dogs do not undertand exceptions to rules. Your rules must be black and white with no grey area. So perhaps refining your rules and being more consistent with them is your Resolution. Enforcing consistent boundaries with positive rewards builds trust in you as their owner/leader.
New Years Dog Resolution #3: Be more Adventurous with your Dog! Is your dog bored? Does he/she get into trouble with chewing or destroying things at home? What can you do to help? Well, aside from lots of consistent exercise, how about teaching your dog a new trick? Working the mind of your dog is just as important as exercise. Agility can be fun too, teach your dog to jump over or onto something on your walks each day. Do you allow your dog to expore with their nose every walk? Dogs see with their noses, allow them time to sniff their surroundings along the way! You will have a much happier dog!
New Years Dog Resolution #4: Brush your Dogs teeth everyday! I know, not easy, that’s why its your Resolution, you are making the commitment to make a difference! Dental Cleanings for your dog can be very expensive, especially when extractions are necessary at the same time. Now, if your dogs mouth already has a smell, you may need to see your Vet to have a professional dental done, and then start the brushing. As brushing does not reverse dental disease, it maintains the mouth where it is and helps prevent plaque and tartar build up. There are very yummy flavoured toothpastes available for your dogs liking. At Mclean Animal Hospital, we can show you how to brush if you are unsure. In fact, starting Feb 1, 2015 through to the end of March is our Dental Awareness Month(s) where you can book your free pet dental assessment with one of our Techs. They can show you the best method to keeping those teeth in good shape.
Feel free to think of your own resolutions more specific to you and your dog! Things such as increasing exercise, managing their nutrition and calories better, having them groomed or their nails trimmed more often, the list goes on and on! What’s that one thing you can do that will make a positive difference to you and your dog? Maybe there is more than one! 🙂
Thank you for reading and Happy New Year!
Written by: Allison Burgess, Clinic Manager