According to all the ads and retail displays (so you know it must be true), January is the official month to organize, get healthy and set personal goals for the coming year. Therefore, while you’re working hard to get your life in order, you might as well include doggie in the processs.
Here’s an easy checklist of things you might consider
- Take a look at doggie’s collection of toys and decide if there is anything that is past it’s prime and ready for retirement. Look for the torn, shredded, broken, dirty (do you really want to wash it?)… and don’t forget to look under the couch.
- And what about doggie’s personal items like that collar that no longer fits, the water dish with the crack, that scratchy brush that sends doggie in a mad rush to hide under the bed? A new year is a great time to get rid of the things you no longer use.
- As you replace items, take the time to organize things by creating accessible storage so that everyone knows where to find what they’re looking for and where to put it away.
- Dogs get bored with food just like people and it might be time to check out a new treat or meal. There are new products being introduced to the market all the time and you might be surprised to find a new flavor or a healthier version of an old favorite that can really excite your pooch.
- Is it time for an annual check-up at the vet? Are shots and tags up to date?
- Does doggie need a little grooming and perhaps a day at the spa?
- Families grow, schedules change and when it comes to responsibilities and chores, it might be a good time to reassess who-does-what-and-when in regard to pets. Are meals and walks provided at the same time everyday? What about baths and dental hygiene? Dogs (like people) work best with a schedule they can anticipate, lessening stress and anxiety.
- Exercise is another consideration. Have doggie’s exercise routines slowed down or disappeared because of colder weather and fewer daylight hours? Is it time to plan a new regimen or investigate an outside program (like maybe an awesome hiking service)? As pets get older, gain or lose weight, their needs change as well.
- Just for fun, research a new place to add to your list of favorite destinations. A new dog park, a pet friendly hotel that just opened or an off-leash property could be exactly what you and doggie need for a little R&R.
10. Have you been thinking about a new shelter dog? Have the kids been begging for a new furry friend and have you been considering adopting a new companion for your aging doggie? Now may be the time to make a decision — or at the very least, revisit the conversation.