New Years Resolutions for Dogs

Did you know four out of five people who make resolutions break them by the end of January? The main reason for resolution failure is setting so many goals that trying to stick to them becomes arduous. A little trick that has worked for me (and my dog): Space your goals out to one per month! Here’s a month by month way to keep motivated and focused as presented by our Puppy Relations (PR) Manager, Dexter:

January

Wednesday, Jan. 2, was National Pet Travel Safety Day, but even in retrospect it’s a good reminder to check items related to automobile travel. Ensure your dog’s tags are up to date, double check any harnesses or travel safety belts in your vehicle, and start planning for your next trip.

dog_travel
“Are we there yet?”

February

Though February is a shorter month, it is long on love. Set a goal to keep your dog’s heart healthy by scheduling a veterinary visit for a wellness check. With that checked off the list, get to keeping Fido fit! There are cold weather and rainy day games for dogs, which can be played year-round indoors.

dog_veterinarian
“Can I have a cookie for being a good boy at the vet?”

March

National Poison Prevention Week occurs in March, so clean out those medicine cabinets, safely dispose of expired medications and treats, and ensure prying paws do not have access to cupboards or doors that house dangers behind them.

cocker_spaniel
“Keep medicines and dangerous things away from dogs!”

 

April

It’s National Pet First Aid Awareness Month! If you do not already have a “go to” home emergency kit and travel emergency kit, now’s the time to make them. Read our article on how to build your own first aid kit for dogs. An item I’ve recently added to my dog’s first aid kits is the Pet Clot single-use mesh pouch for bleeding emergencies.

Doodie_Pack
Mom has me carry first aid supplies right in my Doodie Pack!

 

May

There is a bevy of dog celebratory and awareness weeks and dates peppered throughout May, but perhaps one of the most important is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. (Speaking of teeth, you are brushing your dog’s teeth daily by now, right?) According to the ASPCA, 50 percent of all children in the United States will be bitten by a dog by the age of 12. If you have human children, teach them the dos and don’ts of approaching a dog, including when to pet a dog and how to do so.

cocker_spaniel
The only thing I bite is my favorite ball, but be careful around unfamiliar dogs.

June

Although this month celebrates National Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 22), set a goal to check your dog’s urine. I do this once a week with my dog. I use the Siemens Multistix, which tests for 10 different levels of things in my dog’s urine. If your dog battles urinary tract infections (UTIs), these strips can be a lifesaver for detecting levels such as pH and blood in urine. Collect the dog’s urine with a free catch in the morning when it is most concentrated, dip the stick in, follow the time recommendations (two minutes for most), and then compare against the colors on the bottle. Use these in conjunction with veterinary visits and to keep an eye on any levels that are cause for concern.

muddy_dog
Okay, so I’m muddy, but I’m healthy, too!

 

July

Do you have an escape plan that includes your dog if a fire were to occur in your residence? July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day. Firefighter Dayna Hilton and her fire safety dogs have made it their mission to save lives, reduce injuries, and decrease property loss from fire. Ensure you have a fire-escape route plan in place, check your smoke alarm batteries, and learn more by visiting the Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog blog.

cocker_spaniel
My mom has a fire escape plan that includes me. Do you have one in place?

August

August 26 is National Dog Day. The day was founded to celebrate shelter dogs. If your heart beats dog as mine does, take some time this month to give your dog some extra TLC (tender loving canine). Give your dog a tummy rub or pat down. Dogs are calmer, happier, and connect with us emotionally when we pet, massage, and rub them. Additionally, you’ll be aware if any concerning lumps or bumps develop.

cocker_spaniel
I don’t shuck around, it’s a day named after us doggies!

 

September

Back to school time means back to basics. Set a goal to regularly examine your dog’s paws and pads, looking for any cuts, cracks, blisters, or lacerations. Keep hair between pads groomed and nails adequately trimmed by a qualified groomer.

Keep on the ball and get the dog to the groomer!
Keep on the ball and get the dog to the groomer!

 

October

It’s Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month! But if you are unable to do so, there are many other ways to help shelter animals. When you shop at “give back” websites, companies provide money, food, and treats to shelter dogs. Also consider sponsoring a dog. I send $10 a month to a Cocker Spaniel rescue and foster group.

cocker_spaniel
Be a pumpkin, and give to a pet in need!

November

As remnant leaves scatter about the earth, ticks burrow beneath, waiting for the chance to leap onto your dog as a host. Do a flea and tick check and talk with your dog’s vet about year-round protection. I am never without a tick key on my keyring (and in my dog’s first aid kit) for those “just in case” moments.

But remember: Just because something is dubbed natural does not mean it is 100-percent safe. Always check with your vet prior to applying any product.

Fidose_of_Reality
My mom loves me a lot and takes care of me. Bug off, fleas and ticks!

 

December

Life is short, dogs live in the moment, so celebrate and set a goal to make December a time of tradition.

Dog_Santa
Ho Ho Ho, how about a home for all homeless pets, Santa?

 

What’s on your “to do” list for your dog this year? 

Comments

  1. What a great idea, taking it monthly! I don’t usually do resolutions, but this year I did, and it’s only one. I figure one I can handle.

    • I am with you, Flea – I like to do at least one – one per month that involves my dog works for me, too 😉 Happy New Year!

  2. I tried to figure out if the adorable puppy with the pumpkin was Dexter. My conclusion is he sure is adorable enough to be Dexter. I like your ideas and I will give it a try. I might get to March at least!

  3. Very cool post! It’s true that most people set very lofty goals for the New Year and that’s why most people stop going to the gym by the end of February. I’ve always been the slow and steady kind of girl so I’m getting into shape the slow way. 🙂 Niles is also getting into shape slowly!

  4. Spacing out your goals is a great idea! All too often we make a huge list and are overwhelmed by all of the changes we need to make to our lives. Thanks for the great ideas for goals to set too! 🙂

    • It helped us a lot to do goals month by month. Sometimes they change but at least we don’t feel as overwhelmed as much.

  5. Great ideas! I am printing this off for me. My one goal for all year for myself and my dogs…taking daily walks and eating healthy including my dogs. To make sure their toys and food and treats are USA made.

  6. Thank you so much for such a great list! Love all the pictures too! One of my new year’s resolutions is to spend more time playing with my dogs and going on more hikes with them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *