A New Year and Time for Reflecting on Good Things for Your Dog
It’s that time of year when we look at our lives and decide to make improvements. What about your best friend’s life? The furry one, we mean. Don’t you think it a good time to take a look at what you do for him or her as well as for yourself? What more can you do to make his or her life better?
Here are some ways to improve the quality of your dog’s life. You no doubt do some of these already or, maybe, all of them to some extent, but there is always room for improvement, right? And if you are shopping at GoodDog, well… then you are already taking care of good nutrition as part of improving your dog’s quality of life, so we won’t even put that on the list.
1. Take Quality Walks
Your dog is most likely always grateful for a walk, even if it’s the same old route. Did you know that your dog craves new scents and scenery? It’s true. Do your dog a favor and mix up your walks with new routes and unfamiliar trails. Consider exploring new neighborhoods and hiking trails on the weekends.
Exercise your dog at least five times a week. You don’t have to walk for hours or hike for miles for your dog to reap the benefits. Short bursts of active time can help burn off anxious energy and calories. For those cold winter days, you can play hide and seek inside or put a leash on your dog while you walk up and down the stairs with her.
2. Try a New Activity with Your Pet
If you walk your dog regularly, it not a great leap to taking a hike with your dog, and we live in the perfect area to do so, with an abundance of public lands to explore. In the winter, don’t let the snow stop you. Try snowshoeing with your dog. It will provide great exercise for you both and is a terrific antidote for cabin fever.
Do you cross-country ski? Or would you like to do so? If and when you are comfortable on your skis, consider taking your dog with you – skijoring. (Look for our next post about snowshoeing and skijoring with your dog.) And when the weather warms up there is kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding to be done with your best friend. These outdoor activities can be a great way to make your bond even stronger.
3. Incorporate (More) Playtime into Your Routine and Rotate Toys
A hearty round of tug-of-war or fetch can be great fun for your dog. Also, it’s a stress reliever and a nice bit of exercise.
When you provide a variety in your dog’s toys, it’s another way to prevent boredom.
So give your dog enough toys to keep her busy at any given time and put the rest away. (Except for that one special toy, don’t remove the favorite!) Then once a week, change them around – rotate them. An old toy will seem fresh and exciting when it hasn’t been seen for a while. Of course, when you are ready to introduce a brand new toy, our staff can help you make an excellent choice from our selection of quality toys.
4. Let Your Dog Make Friends with Other Dogs
Okay, your playtime with your dog is very important, but it’s good to let your dog play with his own kind, too, especially if he or she is an only dog. Remember dogs are pack animals and being social is part of what they are meant to be, so allow them to be that - social.
Take your dog to a dog park, or join (or create) a dog-walking group in your neighborhood. Arrange play dates for your dog with other dogs, or take your pup to a doggie daycare a time or two a week. The time spent with other pups will help your pooch build positive relationships. Dogs that are not well socialized can become nervous and uncomfortable around other dogs, and that is no fun you or your dog.
When you’re a pet parent, you want to ensure your best fur-friend kicks off the New Year right and we at GoodDog are here to help make that happen!