If your New Year's resolution includes making healthier or better choices, chances are your dog could benefit from that sort of lifestyle change as well.
The American Kennel Club offers the following tips on how owners can start the year off right by resolving to do more with their dogs in 2019.
- Try a new training class. If you have a puppy, a training class is a great way to teach basic manners and socialization skills. This is a learning experience that both dog and owner can bond over as they learn to be responsible.
- Train for competitive events. Why not expose your dog to an Agility, Obedience or Rally competition? Not only are they fun, but it's a rewarding experience for all pups. You'll meet new people with a similar love for dogs and watch your pup grow into a well-behaved, even tempered, physically fit companion.
- Improve your diet and get exercise. Obesity is a major problem not only for humans but for canines, too. Make sure to take daily walks with your dog to drop any extra holiday pounds. At the same time, a healthy diet is necessary for you and your dog. Foods that have real ingredients and not ones you can't pronounce are essential.
- Socialize with your dog. Getting out and meeting other dogs and humans is a great way to bond with your dog. Bring him to a dog park or join a dog-walking club in your neighborhood. Time spent socializing with other dogs can help create positive relationships, which can help avoid altercations. Unsocialized dogs can become nervous around other animals, which can cause them to become defensive. Plus, this is a great way for you to meet new people.
- Do some community service together. Dogs make the perfect service animals to humans, whether it's visiting the sick or helping the disabled. There are many ways dog owners can put their dog's special skills to use in service to their community. Contact the volunteer director at your local hospital to find out how you can volunteer. It can even be as simple as paying a visit to a home-bound neighbor.
For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at www.akc.org.(c)2019 American Kennel Club, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.