We’ve asked the dog health specialists on Rover’s Dog People Panel what New Year’s resolutions they recommend for all dogs. Here is a list of resolutions that focus on your dog’s health, and giving your dog the best chance at living a long and happy life.
1. Brush teeth daily
Everyday oral care is an important but often neglected routine for maintaining your dog’s health. This guide can prepare you for brushing your dog’s teeth- and keeping all of your fingers. Regular professional cleanings with dog-friendly toothpaste also help prevent plaque buildup that can lead to infections. Do not brush your dog’s teeth with human toothpaste. Most of the kinds of toothpaste we use contain fluoride, which is extremely toxic—and sometimes fatal—to dogs.
2. Switch to a balanced and fresh diet
Most vets advocate for raw or fresh, whole foods for our pets. Dogs that consume raw food can benefit from a shinier coat, healthier skin, improved dental health, and increased energy. If you can’t afford or don’t have the time to prepare a fresh or raw diet at home, there are some small changes that can make a big difference.
Consider switching to grain-free kibble, and adding fresh or freeze-dried fruits and veggies to your pet’s current diet (just make sure they’re safe for your dog to eat). You can also try dog food companies that deliver fresh, healthy dog food to your door like PetKind, Iron Will Raw, or Kabo.
3. More exercise!
Spend time every day playing tug-of-war, tossing a ball, or chasing each other. It’s good for you and your dog! Make a point to venture to your local walking routes and parks. You won’t be just making a healthy choice, you’ll also be making memories with your best friend. It’s fun, good exercise, and a bonding experience. Don’t have time to take your pup for a walk? Rover dog walkers are available to drop by and make sure your dog gets the exercise and attention they need to feel great all day long.
4. Bi-annual check-ups
It’s nice to know you have a second pair of eyes on your best friend. Sometimes we as pet owners won’t notice slow changes in our dog’s health over time, and so having an outsider’s perspective can be extremely valuable in identifying any changes that need attention.
Regularly scheduled vet check-ups can extend your pet’s life. Keeping vaccines and medications up to date, as well as routinely checking on your dog’s weight, skin, and dental health will identify any issues that need remedying and keep your dog in tip-top shape.
5. Regular massages and brushing
Brushing your dog regularly is not only good for skin and coat care, but it also enables bonding with your pet. Brushing prevents matting and knots in longer-haired dogs, and helps with shedding that leads to fur collecting around the home.
Giving your dog a massage can be a wonderful opportunity to connect, in addition to providing health benefits such as muscle relaxation and relief from joint pain. There are many online resources to help guide you, or you can opt to find a specialist to pamper your dog and treat any specific ailments through physical therapy.
And that’s it! What’s on your list for your dog this year?