As 2019 comes to an end, many of us are thinking about our New Year’s resolutions for 2020. Among the most popular commitments we make every year are dieting, exercising and saving money, but why not focus on improving our dog’s lives as well? Here are our favorite New Year’s resolutions for canines, along with a few tips to help them stay on the right track for a happier and healthier 2020.
Posted by Erin Ballinger
1. Eat Healthier
A simple way to help your pup eat healthier is to ensure that you are feeding them the correct amount of food for their size. Many pet parents overfeed their dogs, which results in unhealthy weight gain. You also can keep Fido’s weight under control by switching to low-calorie treats and limiting the number of treats your dog gets each day.
2. Get Active
Increasing your dog’s activity levels will improve his overall health and happiness. Even if it’s just an extra stroll around the block, Fido will benefit from the exercise. There might even be ways to work on your canine’s fitness that you never even thought of, like learning to SUP with your pup, extreme mountain biking or Canicross running. Get both of your heart rates up by speed walking while window-shopping at a cool pet-friendly mall, exploring a new city during a dog-friendly walking tour or taking a scenic hike to view a majestic waterfall. Check out BringFido’s app for Apple and Android for a list of dog parks and trails near you.
3. See More of the World
Make 2020 the year that you take your pet on a trip to somewhere new. There are so many places to explore, whether it’s hiking in a dog-friendly national park, sleeping under the stars at a pet-friendly campground, spending a cozy weekend in a quaint small town, escaping to a tropical pet-friendly paradise, staying at an all-inclusive resort, or taking an epic road trip with Fido. If you’re not sure how your pup will do traveling, plan a staycation in your hometown visiting pet-friendly places. And once your pooch is comfortable traveling, BringFido has tips for flying with your dog and airline pet policies to help you plan a trip to a far-off destination!
4. Chow Down at a Restaurant
Keep a healthy balance and also introduce a new experience when you treat your pooch to a cheat meal out at a dog-friendly restaurant. Many eateries realize that four-legged foodies are just as deserving of a good dinner as their human counterparts, and they’ve answered the call by creating specialized dog menus for hungry hounds. These 13 extraordinarily dog-friendly restaurants serve gourmet meals for your canine connoisseur to enjoy by your side, and these seven dining destinations even have dog parks attached! Hotels also have gotten in on the action and are offering doggy room service menus for pampered pooches, so Fido can enjoy breakfast in bed during your next pet-friendly vacation.
5. Learn Some New Tricks
Spend time teaching your dog a few new tricks. Take Fido back to school at one of these seven unique training courses. You could even take your pooch to surf school where he’ll learn to ride the waves like a pro! Your best friend will appreciate the one-on-one attention, and the bond you share will be strengthened. If your pup is having behavioral issues, make 2020 the year that you take him to a certified dog trainer to address them.
6. Make Friends at the Dog Park
Socialization is important for dogs. Taking your pooch to the dog park not only gives him the chance to make new friends but also stretch his legs off-leash and burn off any excess energy. If your pup is shy, do a lap around the perimeter of the park on the outer edge of the fence before going inside, so he can assess the situation and (hopefully) get more comfortable. This year, resolve to visit one of these 10 epic dog parks, or catch a football game and play fetch with Fido at the only NFL stadium with a dog park.
7. Keep Those Canines Clean
Oral hygiene is an important and often ignored factor in your dog’s overall well-being. Did you know that periodontal disease is the most common clinical ailment found in adult dogs according to the AKC Canine Health Foundation? Start brushing your pup’s teeth regularly to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease, a painful condition that causes tooth and bone loss and infection. Don’t use human toothpaste, which may contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can be deadly to your dog. Instead, use a specially formulated toothpaste made just for pooches. With flavors like London Broil and Peanut, your pup will be begging for his next cleaning. You also can improve your canine’s oral health with annual trips to the veterinarian and by giving him dental chew toys.
8. See the Ocean
Make 2020 the year that Fido gets to put his paws in the ocean and tail in the sand. Plan a vacay at a dog-friendly oceanfront hotel or take a trip to a seaside town where pooches are allowed on the beach. May we suggest these beaches on the east, west and Gulf coasts? Before you go, check out our tips for a dog-friendly beach vacation.
9. Run a Race
You’re never too far from a neighborhood mutt strut or 5K that you can run with your dog. It doesn’t take much training to make it to the finish line, and it's a great way to have fun and exercise with your pooch. Check out our events section to find a race near you or register for one of these nine unique pet-friendly races.
10. Spend More Time Together
It might not be a resolution per se, but our pets always want to spend more time with us. Treat yourself AND your pup to the gift of a new year filled with exciting new experiences together. The “pawsibilities” are almost endless. From playing a round of golf with Fido followed by a pint on the patio at a beer garden, to taking a dog-friendly day cruise, activities are more fun when you can enjoy them with your best friend.
Did we leave your dog’s New Year’s resolution off our list? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
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