Happy New Year! As we welcome in 2024, it’s probably safe to assume that many of our furry patients are starting 2024 with wagging tails and happy grins. We love that endearing doggy enthusiasm! And while your canine companion may not comprehend your resolutions, he’ll still be by your side, offering support as you work towards your goals. Of course, Fido may also have his own plans for the year ahead. In this article, a local Sandwich, MA vet shares some of the things your pet might have in store for 2024.
Eat More Treats
One thing we know about our canine companions? They love food!
You can put Fido’s love of snacks to work in your favor. Treats can help you bond with your timid dog and train them. Just don’t go too crazy. Make sure you choose healthy options, such as plain, cooked meat, fish, or chicken, without skin, bones, or fat. As a rule of thumb, treats shouldn’t be more than 5 percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake. For more information on safe and unsafe treats, contact your Sandwich, MA veterinarian.
Remember to have your dog do a trick for his treat! This is actually great for Fido’s confidence. Plus, seeing a pooch doing a charming trick, like Shake or Roll Over, is always good for laughs.
Spend More Time With People
Be sure to carve out some quality time for Fido every day. Dogs only want to spend time with their favorite humans! The time we have with our dogs is extremely precious, and often passes way too quickly.
Take Time To Smell The Roses
Fido’s adorable nose is truly impressive. As you may be aware, dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans. For example, their noses contain approximately 300 million olfactory receptors, while ours only have about six million. Plus, a larger portion of Fido’s brain—about 40 percent more—is dedicated to the sense of smell than ours. Pups also have neophilia, a fascination with new scents. (This likely comes as no surprise to any dog owner).
Fido can be a great inspiration when it comes to stopping and smelling the roses. (And the sidewalk. And the grass.)
Master New Learning
Did you know that many dogs actually enjoy learning new things? Focus on Fido’s basic training first, and make sure he knows all the essential obedience commands. Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down are the five most important obedience commands. Down and Leave It are also recommended. Drop it is another good one. Work on these one at a time, until your furry student has them down.
You don’t have to stop your pet’s education once he has mastered these. You can move on to advanced commands, or show him something fun.
Keeping up with your furry pal’s training is not only a great way to help him be a Very Good Boy, but it’s also a great way for bonding and stimulation. You may score some tail wags as well! Fido looks adorably proud of himself when he is getting praised for picking up something new.
Avoid Bath Time …. At All Costs
Our feline friends are very devoted to their beauty regimens, and may spend several hours a day carefully cleaning their fur. Dogs, on the other hand, aren’t quite as enthusiastic. Fido certainly enjoys feeling fresh and clean, but he doesn’t like the process that gets him there.
One thing that may help? Bribery. Call Fido into the bathroom, and have him get into the tub. Then, give him a treat. This should be something of very high quality, such as steak. Once he’s received his reward, just let him go. Keep doing this. Your furry pal may miraculously change his mind about baths after a few rounds.
It may be helpful to take Fido to a groomer if bathtime is very challenging for you and your pup. We would likely recommend this if your pet is a senior and/or very large dog, since it can be difficult to handle and pick these guys up without making them uncomfortable. Ask your Sandwich, MA veterinarian for advice.
Have Fun Playing
It’s always heartwarming to watch dogs enjoy new toys. In fact, it’s crucial for Fido to have a variety of playthings. Toys serve multiple purposes for our furry friends! Toys stimulate and engage Fido, keep him occupied, calm him down and provide a healthy outlet to release any pent up doggy angst or energy. Playtime is also great for strengthening the bond with your dog. Finally, it can help discourage unwanted behaviors like digging or chewing.
Every dog has their own preferences, so offer Fido a mix of toys. We also recommend changing your pet’s toys regularly. This will help ensure that he always has something exciting to play with. (Pupscription boxes are an excellent option for this purpose.)
Go On Lots Of Car Rides
It’s always super cute to see Fido accompanying his human around. Dogs love going out and about with their owners. Make time for new adventures with your pet this year. There are plenty of great one-tank trips within easy driving distance of us here in Sandwich! There’s no reason you can’t take your furry pal with you. However, your pet’s safety must come first.
Always travel with your dog in a crate. Fido may love to stick his nose out the window, but this actually isn’t safe for him. He could get dust, bugs, or dirt in his eye, or even be hit by a lit cigarette. He also won’t have much protection in case of an accident.
A word to the wise: never leave your pet unattended in the car, especially when it’s hot.
Proper veterinary care is crucial here! We know, many of our patients prefer to go to the park or drive through rather than visit us. However, it’s very important to keep Fido up to date on his veterinary care. We recommend that all dogs be spayed or neutered, microchipped, and kept current on vaccinations and parasite control. Regular exams are also important. If your furry best pal is overdue, schedule that appointment with your Sandwich, MA veterinarian today.
Get The Cat Out Of My Bed
We can’t help you with this one, Fido! Kitties are very opportunistic nappers, and they usually don’t hesitate to claim comfy spots for themselves. Good luck!
Make My Humans Happy
Dogs’ unconditional devotion is truly remarkable. Fido will push himself to exhaustion, or even risk his life, for his human friends. He’ll also stay faithfully by your side no matter what life throws at you. That loyalty is truly extraordinary. Your canine pal won’t ask for much in return, either. In addition to providing great TLC, help your pooch feel loved and safe by rewarding him for good behavior. Even something as simple as petting his forehead as you walk past can make him feel loved and safe. (It’s also perfectly fine to praise Fido for being adorable.)
Our entire team at Sandwich Animal Hospital, your Sandwich, MA veterinary clinic, wish you and your families a happy new year. We look forward to providing you with top-notch care in 2024 and for many years to come.