New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for humans! Your dog can also benefit from setting healthy goals for the new year.

Here are a few tips for starting the year off on the right paw.

  • Always measure your dog’s food. More than 50% of pets in the US are overweight and obesity in pets can lead to serious health issues. Check the recommended feeding guidelines on your dog’s food bag, or check with your vet for more help on figuring out how many calories your dog actually needs.
  • Introduce your dog to a new activity. It’s easier than ever for humans to incorporate their dogs into their exercise routine—hiking,”doga” (dog yoga), kayaking and jogging are just a few ideas! You’ll both benefit from being out in the fresh air getting exercise—it’s a win-win!
  • Schedule a vet visit. Annual examinations are essential and a great way to stay on top of your dog’s health. Many health conditions are much easier to manage and treat when they’re detected early, and when the vet sees your dog on a regular basis, he’ll be more aware of anything out of the ordinary.
  • Make grooming your dog a regular habit. Some dogs require less maintenance than others, but all dogs will benefit from regular grooming. Brushing removes excess fur from the coat and helps distribute oils which keep the coat shiny and healthy. As a bonus, it’s also a bonding activity and helps show your dog that you love him.
  • Make good dental hygiene a priority. Routine dental care can help keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy, and can help prevent painful and costly problems in the future. Brush his teeth regularly with dog toothpaste, provide dental chews, and schedule regular cleanings with the vet.
  • Keeping your dog’s brain active can make it healthier! Studies have shown that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. Teach your dog some new tricks, and regularly practice the ones he already knows. There are also a variety of interactive toys and puzzles that are engaging and offer treat rewards when solved.
  • Keep your dog’s ID info up to date. If any of your contact information has changed recently, make sure to update your pet’s tags and microchip. It’s the best way to ensure a lost dog makes its way home again.