Happy New Year! It’s probably safe to say that many of our canine patients are bounding into 2024 with tails wagging, happy grins, and that charming doggy enthusiasm we all love so much. Of course, if you try to explain your New Year’s Resolutions to Fido, he will probably just tilt his head and give you that adorable confused expression dogs do. However, even if your pooch doesn’t understand what you’re saying, he’ll be right there beside you, cheering you on as you strive to meet your goals. Of course, your pet may also have a few things on his own agenda. A local vet lists some of them in this article from Armitage Animal Clinic, your Newmarket, ON animal clinic.
Smell All The Roses
Fido’s cute nose is truly remarkable. As you probably know, dogs’ sense of smell is much keener than ours is. For instance, our canine pals’ noses contain about 300 million olfactory receptors. Ours, in comparison, only have about six millions. Additionally, a larger portion of Fido’s brain—roughly 40 percent more— is devoted to smell than ours is. Man’s Best Friend also has something called neophilia, which means that he is obsessed with new odors.(This of course isn’t exactly a shock to anyone who has a dog.)
It’s important for dog owners to realize this, because it really sheds light on how stimulation dogs get from smelling things. Fido can be a great inspiration when it comes to making time for stopping and smelling the roses. (And the sidewalk. And the grass.)
Carve time out for taking your pet to new places this year. There are plenty of great one-tank trips within easy driving distance.
Learn New Tricks
Did you know that many dogs actually enjoy learning new things? You’ll want to start with Fido’s basic petucation first, and make sure he knows the most important obedience commands. The five key ones are Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. Down and Leave It are also recommended. Drop it is another good one.
That said, there’s no reason to end your pet’s education once he has mastered these. You can move on to advanced commands, or show him something fun. Classic dog tricks, like Beg or Roll Over, will never stop being adorable, but there are also lots of fun lesser-known ones
Keeping up with your furry pal’s training is a great way to not only help him be a Very Good Boy, but it’s also great for bonding and stimulation. You may score some tail wags as well! If you pay attention, you may notice that your pet looks adorably proud of himself when he is getting praised for picking up something new.
Be A Good Boy
One thing that is really remarkable about our canine companions is their devotion. Fido will push himself to exhaustion, or even risk his life, for his humans. That dedication is truly extraordinary, especially given how unconditional it is.
Make sure that your canine pal feels loved and safe, and reward him for behaving properly. Even something little, like petting his forehead as you walk past, can help your pooch feel loved and safe, and keep that cute tail going.
Score More Treats
If there is one thing we know about our canine companions, it’s that they really love food. (We can’t blame you, buddy: we love snacks, too.)
Treats are also wonderful for bonding, particularly with timid dogs, and make great training aids. Just don’t go too crazy. You’ll want to stick with healthy options, such as plain, cooked meat, fish, or chicken, without the skin, bones, or fat. As a rule of thumb, treats should only make up about 5 percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake. Ask your Newmarket, ON vet for more information.
Don’t forget to have your dog do a trick for his treat! This is actually great for Fido’s confidence.
Spend More Time With The Human
If dogs had one goal, this would be it. All Fido really wants is to spend time with his favorite humans. Carve out some quality time for your canine pal every day. The time we have with our canine companions is truly precious, and often passes much too quickly.
Dog Goal: Avoid Baths
This is one area where cats and dogs have very different opinions. Fluffy is very devoted to her beauty regimen, and may spend several hours a day carefully cleaning her fur. Fido, however, isn’t quite as enthusiastic. He definitely enjoys feeling fresh and clean, but isn’t a fan of the process.
One thing that may help here is to, well, bribe your dog. Call Fido into the bathroom, and have him get into the tub. Then, give him a treat. This should be something very high quality, such as a piece of steak. Once you’ve given your pet his reward, just let him go.
After a few rounds of this, your furry pal may have a miraculous change of heart about baths.
If bathtime is really trying for you and your pooch, consider taking Fido to a groomer. Your vet may also recommend this if your pet is a senior and/or a very large dog, as it can be harder to handle and pick Fido up without making him uncomfortable. Ask your Newmarket, ON for advice.
Play With A New Toy
It’s always super cute seeing dogs playing with brand new toys. It’s actually very important for Fido to have lots of playthings. Toys serve several purposes for our canine pals. They keep Fido enriched and entertained, occupy him, soothe him, and give him a healthy way to burn off any angst or excess energy he has. They’re also great for bonding, and can go a long way towards curbing undesired behavior, such as digging and chewing. Dogs all have their own tastes here, so provide a variety. It’s also good to change Fido’s toys out regularly, so he can always have something fresh and new. (Note: pupscription boxes are great for this.)
Go For Lots Of Car Rides
Dogs are great travel buddies! It’s so cute how happy Fido always is to accompany his humans places. There’s no reason you can’t take your furry pal out and about with you. However, you’ll need to put your pet’s safety first.
First and foremost: always travel with your canine pal in a crate. Your dog may enjoy sticking his nose out the window, but this just isn’t safe for him. He could get dust, bugs, or dirt in his eye, or even get hit by a lit cigarette. Plus, he just won’t be well protected in case of an accident.
Another note on safety? Never leave your pet in the car unattended, especially when it’s hot out.
Get Great Marks From My Vet
We know, most of our patients would rather go to the park or drive through than visit us. However, Fido will be much healthier—and therefore more comfortable—with proper veterinary care. We recommend that all dogs be spayed or neutered, microchipped, and kept current on vaccines and parasite control. It’s also important for your furry friend to get examined regularly. If your pooch is overdue, schedule that appointment with your Newmarket, ON veterinary clinic today.
Get My Bed Back From The Cat
Sorry, buddy: we can’t help you with this one! Cats are very opportunistic nappers, and usually aren’t too shy about claiming comfy spots for themselves. Good luck, Fido!All of us here at Armitage Animal Clinic, your Newmarket, ON animal clinic, wish you and your families a wonderful new year. We are looking forward to providing top notch care in 2024 and for many years to come.