The start of the new year is almost here, and it’s time to make some resolutions. Many are contemplating the usual — more exercise, less stress, more sleep – to help make healthier choices in the coming year.
But what about helping our dogs also get started on the right paw? Loyal friend, emotional support, constant companion and a reliable source of deep belly laughs, our dogs could also benefit from some improvements to their wellness practices.
We asked professional canine experts – including veterinarians, trainers, and dog behaviorists — their suggestions to help our dogs have a happier, healthier life in the coming year.
Below are 10 New Year’s resolutions for your best friend:
1. Stay on Top of Wellness Checkups
“Check-up visits with the veterinarian are important for early disease diagnosis,” says Dr. Jennifer Granick, a board-certified small animal veterinary internist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota. While veterinarians use physical examination and/or routine testing to detect the red flags of disease before a dog has any clinical signs, she says, they also rely on owners to provide information on subtle changes in behavior that can be signs of a problem. Changes in appetite, sleep, mobility, and even personality can indicate a medical issue.