This New Year can bring many rewarding outcomes and experiences for both you and your dog; you just have to be ready for new challenges and to be able to look at things from a positive perspective. Whether you have a dog already or are thinking of getting a dog, this year may bring you many exciting new and fun adventures between you and your loyal companion.
If you already own a dog think about:
- Whether you will socialise them more this year. You can do this by taking your dog to park areas with other dogs or by organising for them to go to doggy day care.
If it is viable for you try to get a dog companion. Lots of dogs love being in the presence of other dogs.
- Decreasing their food and treats. We all love spoiling our dogs but if they are overweight or have simply been spoilt over Christmas like the rest of us, they will need to lose some weight to avoid possible health implications.
- Being more tolerable with their bad habits – actually spend some time trying to train your dog and reward when necessary.
- Every so often do something different. Maybe take them somewhere with new scents or for a ride out in the car. Fresh air and walking is extremely beneficial for the health of your dog and also for yourself.
- Training your dog more and teaching them new things. Taking your dog to an agility class will keep them stimulated, which is a must for high energy breeds.
If you are getting a dog soon:
- Decide which breed will suit your lifestyle and family the most, as they are all very different and it might not be the cutest one that fits in best.
- Be patient when your new dog arrives. Any newcomer will take a while to settle in and things will not be easy at the start as the dog gets used to their new surroundings and learns the rules.
- Spend time training your dog from the start; this will clearly set out for them what is acceptable and right and what is wrong from the beginning.
- Don’t take the decision of getting a dog lightly; dogs are for life, so you need to be able to commit to looking after the dog for their whole life.
- Consider a shelter dog. Shelter dogs have often had a tough start to life so you would be making a big difference to their lives and also shelter dogs make very rewarding pets.
- Remember mixed breeds make excellent pets too. They have such unique personalities and traits, which are sadly often overlooked by the common urge of ‘wanting to own a pedigree’.
- Make sure you are ready with all the accessories, bedding and any dog proofing that you may need in your home well before your dog arrives.
If you follow these golden rules you will find that this new year with your dog is an enjoyable one if you already own a dog as you can improve his and your relationship, health and time spent together, or if you are getting a new dog, you can start off on the right foot with appropriate planning, an ideal breed, patience and an optimistic outlook.