My esteemed fellow blogger, Jana Rade (Dawg Business: It’s Your Dog’s Health!) has written an excellent piece that is ideal for any dog lover as we think about transitioning into a new year. I think you will enjoy what Jana has written as much as I have.
Dr. Nancy Kay
Time of resolutions is here. Personally, I prefer to avoid falling into this trap, I think that the only thing New Year’s resolutions are good for is to give you something to feel bad about later.
But if you are the New Year’s resolution type, and sometimes you even succeed in keeping them, here is a New Year’s resolution suggestion for you. Walk with your dog.I know it sounds obvious. But how often do you take your dog for a walk?
Walking with your dog is as good as putting money in the bank. It will keep both you and your dog healthier and happier, and it will strengthen your bond with your dog.
I’m sure you have heard the saying: ” A tired dog is a good dog”. People run into behavioral problems with their dogs all the time. Many of these could be easily avoided by providing their dog with enough exercise, mental stimulation and quality time with their owner.
A lot of people believe that you shouldn’t have a dog (particularly larger breeds) unless you own a house with a big yard. If you live in an apartment, no dogs for you. What I am seeing though is, if anything, it is the other way around.
I think that dogs living in an apartment are often happier than the ‘house with a big yard’ dogs. Here is why. If you live in an apartment, you have no choice. You have to at least take your dog around the block to go potty. More often than not, for dogs with big yards, the yard is it. They get put into the yard to go potty and to entertain and exercise themselves. This might work if there is more than one dog—they will play together and have a good time. But what is a single dog to do? Your dog doesn’t want to be alone in the yard, he wants to go somewhere and do something. With you.
Walks mean the world to dogs. We often spend a day at a friend’s farm. Our dogs are with us all day, having a great space to roam and investigate. But even then, they still cannot wait for their walk. We take them at the beginning and at the end of the day. And even though they have been outside all day, the walks are still exciting and important to them. It is just different from just hanging out and playing.
Even the friend’s dog, who lives there and gets to use the property all the time, gets so excited to tag along. It is special time for him. It’s a ‘pack thing’.
Walking with your dog might help your dog to keep out of trouble, and it will make your bond stronger. Jasmine taught me this very early on. We walk our dogs every day, no matter what. Our dogs don’t get themselves into trouble, because they are content. They calmly hang around the house, awaiting their next walk time.
May you and your dog have the very best year ever!
A graphic designer by profession, Jana became a dog mama by design. Her first puppy, Jasmine, changed her life completely, and now everything she does revolves around her. Jasmine’s health issues led Jana to focus her blogging efforts on dog health.
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.
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