- Resolve to take quality walks: Chances are, your pup never says no to a walk, even if it’s the same old stroll up the block and back. But know that your dog craves new scents and sounds as much as you enjoy new scenery. So mix up your weekday walks with new routes, unfamiliar trails, and uncharted side streets and explore new neighborhoods and parks on the weekends. Better yet, research dog-friendly hiking spots in your area and venture somewhere new once a month.
- Resolve to give less hugs, play more tug: Maybe you’ve noticed that squirmy, help-let-me-out wriggle your dog does during what you consider to be a loving embrace. Unlike primates, dogs don’t feel reassured and gooey inside after a nice long hug. In fact, most likely they feel trapped – it’s just a canine thing. A hearty round of tug however, played appropriately, can be a huge stress reliever and a nice bit of exercise as well. Note: If you intend to make tug a permanent activity in your repertoire, “drop it” and “off” are important commands to know.
- Resolve to regularly introduce “new” toys into the mix: Remember, they don’t have to be store-bought new, just new to your pup – that is, something he hasn’t seen before (or at least in a very long time). So, swap toys with your dog-owning friends and neighbors so that every few weeks there’s something new for Fido to chase, charge, or chew on.
For more resolutions, visit www.dogtime.com.