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Saturday, January 10, 2015

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Do With Your Dog

Affordable Pet HealthCare Insurance - Your Pets Deserve it

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Do With Your Dog

December 31st, 2014 by Taylor Malowney

           Pet Parenting

They say if you make New Year’s Resolutions with a partner, you’re more likely to stick to them. In 2015, who’s a better pal than man’s (and woman’s!) best friend? Humans and canines could use some of the same advice, especially regarding diet and exercise. This year, test these New Year’s Resolutions with your pooch by your side.

A little disclaimer here – if your pet has any medical conditions or previous illnesses or injuries, consult your veterinarian before drastically changing their lifestyle! You could accidentally aggravate a preexisting condition, so better safe than sorry.

1. Eat better.

Dieting is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions – and also one of the more frequently broken or ignored. Although there are fad diets and an internet full of advice for humans and pets, there’s no secret to eating healthier. 

Pet parents should eat whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Limit your intake of refined sugars, trans and saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. If you can believe it, the guidelines are even simpler for healthy dog food - life stage appropriate and with the seal of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). 

Portion sizes are also important; just like humans, a dog’s healthy helping depends on age, height and activity level. Read pet food labels for recommendations specific to puppy, adult or senior dogs and small, medium or large pets. If you’re having trouble determining a healthy portion for your pet, talk to your vet! 

2. Exercise more.

Getting your body moving sounds way more daunting than it actually is. While the total exercise recommendations for humans is 150 minutes per week, you can accomplish that in the less-scary-sounding 21 minutes daily. Dogs can benefit from roughly 30 minutes of exercise everyday. 

Keep in mind that dogs under 18 months should not run or jog, as their bones haven’t fully developed. Older animals may have osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia or other joint conditions that could be aggravated; get your pooch a checkup to be safe.

3. Get health insurance!

If you’ve seen the news lately, we’re in the midst of a human healthcare revolution. Luckily, health insurance is a little simpler for pets. Compare pet insurance policies and find the one that’s best for you – hopefully it’s Healthy Paws! Pet insurance can save your bacon if your pet gets injured – vet care is costly and (usually) unexpected. 

4. Enjoy the great outdoors.

Explore nature with your pet this year! Whether you’re adventuring or relaxing, get some fresh air. Image via Commercial Creative Commons on Flickr.

Let your pet heed the call of the wild! Whether it’s long walks on the beach or hiking a hill, both you and your dog can benefit from spending a little quality time with Mother Nature. Throw a frisbee or a ball, take your pooch paddleboarding or doggypaddling – the possibilities are literally endless. 

Pay attention to the weather with your pet, though. In summer, bring along water and make sure Fido gets plenty of shade. Exercising your pet in winter requires paw protection, outerwear, and close supervision for symptoms of frostbite, hypothermia and other common cold weather conditions.

5. Learn a new trick or two.

It’s a myth that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick, and this applies to humans, too! Take up a hobby with your pooch – running or cooking could kill two birds here – and explore your own interests as well. If you’re crafty, make a doghouse or some pawsworthy knitwear.

Teach your pooch a new trick, too! There are tons of dog trick videos floating around on YouTube, as well as plenty of books, classes and more. Have on hand some tasty treats, a ton of time, and some patience; in no time Fido will be doing backflips.

Does your pet have health insurance?  Healthy Paws Pet Insurance provides coverage  with no limits on claims.

If your pet needs treatment for any accident or illness and it's not a pre-existing condition, you're covered.  It's that simple