New Year’s Eve Safety for Dogs
When you think of New Year’s Eve, you probably think of fun parties, noise, and libations. However, your dog’s idea of a perfect New Year’s Eve is probably snuggling with you on the couch and watching the ball fall in Times Square on the television. No matter how you decide to celebrate, it is a great time to make some resolutions for the year ahead with your dog.
New Year’s Resolution #1: Get your pooch’s weight where it belongs. In a recent study, thinner dogs lived an average of more than 2 years longer that slightly chubby ones. You want your dog with you for as many years as possible, so talk to his vet about a sensible weight loss plan.
New Year’s Resolution #2: Get vigorous exercise at least five times a week. That’s pretty easy to do with a dog, since it might mean just chasing his favorite toy around the house for 20 minutes at a time. Walking, for most dogs, is the ideal exercise.
New Year’s Resolution #3: Get an annual physical check-up for your dog. Just do it—just one appointment a year with your vet can save your best friend’s life.
New Year’s Resolution #4: Give your dog some social time with other dogs. While a fraction of dogs don’t enjoy the company of other dogs, most love to play and just hang out with other dogs. Find a play group (or start one) of other nicely behaved dogs. Your dog will love you for it.
New Year’s Resolution #5: Take as good care of yourself as you take care of your dog. Your furry friend needs for you to be healthy and long-lived, just like you want him to be. So, go get your own annual check-ups! Check with your own doctor about a diet and exercise plan. Step one might be a long, lovely walk with your favorite dog on New Year’s morning. And that may start a whole new season in your life with your dog.
Do you spell “holiday” S-T-R-E-S-S? The odds are you’re spending half of December frantically shopping, wrapping presents, baking cookies, and maybe even still decorating the house. For lots of people, the holiday season is also a time when the job requires overtime hours.
As the stress piles up, imagine what you seem like to your dog. The gentle, patient person who your animal loves has suddenly morphed into a frazzled, edgy, worried jangle of nerves. Your dog will pick up on your stress, and he may be likely to bark more, turn a deaf ear to commands, and chew.
Take a Break
Deep in your heart, you know you can accomplish more if you relax. Just 15 or 20 minutes of happy time with your pet will make all of you feel better. A simple walk can help both you and your dog deal with holiday stress. During that walk, the two of you can renew your bond. You’ll be on friendship time, not holiday time. When you come back into the house, your dog won’t care if your house isn’t picture perfect, and the break will remind you that sharing time with the creatures you love is part of what makes a house a home. If you don’t have 20 minutes at the moment, take 1 minute. Give your dog a (healthy) treat. Scratch him behind the ears. Take a mini-break, and it will do wonders for your stress levels.