Hey, all you dog lovers. It’s me, Bailey. I’m the good-looking black and tan pup in that picture up there, the one next to the title? Anyway, now that we have the introductions out of the way, I thought I would share some really valuable info with you. You know how you will be staying up really late tonight? Maybe at home with my canine cousins, maybe at a party, whatever. You know how you are trying to come up with something important to do for 2011? I think it’s called a resolution or something. Well, I have a few ideas to take into consideration. Just some stuff that would help both you and your furry companion at the same time. Let’s see if any of these ideas would fit the bill for 2011:

  • Diet – Whether are looking at people or pups, obesity is becoming a huge problem. I know my doggie aunt has a thyroid problem, but she’s also really overweight. While I’m one of those lucky dogs who can eat a ton of dog food and still maintain my trim figure, not all pups are so lucky. And, while one of my people parents has the same luck with eating and weight as me, the other  … well, doesn’t. A great way to help maintain a proper weight is to eat the right foods and stay away from the junk. Fruits and veggies are good for people. Did you know some veggies are also good for dogs, too? Think sweet potatoes – there are some really great sweet potato dog treats that are rich in nutrients. And when it comes to your dog, say no to table scraps. I actually had to look “table scraps” up in the dictionary – I guess it’s a bad word at my house. Focusing some energy on eating nutritious foods and serving single portions will go a long way in helping maintain a healthy diet.
  • Play – One of my two favorite things, playing is something that both people and dogs can enjoy. It’s especially a great thing to do together!  I know my people parents are pretty busy with work. Being part Lab, all I usually want to do is play. However, I think I’m pretty good at waiting patiently for them to be done with work so we can do something fun. If they don’t get the hint, though, I’m also really good at suggesting what we should do – a good toy in the lap or ball dropped at the feet usually does the trick. We’re playing tug of war, fetch, or wrestling around in no time. Playing gives people and pups a chance to bond, forget about stressful things, and is just plain old fun. Always remember to get some good play time in!
  • Exercise – If you decide to follow the diet idea and especially if you decide to try playing more, exercise should be a pretty easy resolution to make. Going for a walk or run is great exercise, and I also consider it a type of playing. If you have to, grab your favorite leash and “suggest” a walk yourself! Spending time with my parents, seeing new sites, and meeting new dogs – how could things get any better? Exercise can consist of walking in a neighborhood or on a bike path, running around with your pup in the dog park, or including your dog in household chores. I know I’m a really good gardener. I am especially good at disposing of those little containers flowers come in. Sometimes, I get so excited about getting one of those little containers, I forget to wait until the flowers my people parents are planting is out of it. Whoops!
  • Sleep – Probably one of the things people are most deprived of but need in order to stay healthy is sleep. I know I don’t have a problem getting in my 20 hours of zzz’s, but I don’t think all people get their 6 – 8 hours like they are supposed to. This leads to a lot of grumpiness and less time doing important things, like eating healthy, playing, or exercising! Since sleep is one of my two favorite things, I have a few spots in the house where I doze. However, my dog bed is my favorite spot. I have a pretty good way to make sure my people get the sleep they need. I curl up next to them or rest my head and paws on them and doze off myself. I’ve found they have a pretty hard time disturbing me if I’m asleep, so they end up napping, themselves. Pretty good trick, right?
  • Maintenance – Both dogs and humans need to have annual check-ups, proper dental care, regular grooming (which includes baths, fur cuts, ear cleaning, and nail clipping), and other tasks that help us maintain our health. I don’t get to go with my people parents to their human vet appointments, but I know that it’s pretty important they go. They go with me to my regular vet appointments, and while I don’t particularly care for the way my temperature is taken, I’ve been pretty healthy so far.  I get my once-a-month tasty treat that apparently has some sort of worm benefit? I watch my people parents take something they call vitamins. All of that stuff falls under the important category of maintenance. If you haven’t been very good at getting your pup or yourself checked out, make it a goal to do so this year!

So, those are my ideas. Things you can do with your pup that benefit you both. If you need some help deciding on which resolution to use, I’ve got a great idea: Think it over during a nice game of fetch. If you’re dog isn’t up to it, I am. Give me a sec, I’ll be right over with my favorite ball!

View more articles written by Kristen Sydelko.

About The Author Kristen Sydelko

Kristen is the Web Coordinator at PetSolutions. She has over 5 years of experience working in the pet care industry, with many more years of pet ownership experience! When not at PetSolutions, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family (which includes an extremely spoiled Lab mix), crafting, and trying to decide when to set her fish tank back up.

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