As we step into the New Year, it's an ideal time to hit the reset button and put in place some healthy habits for both you and your dog.
Whether your goal is to eat a healthier, more balanced diet or to spend more time outdoors, the cold weather and the long dark evenings can make it hard to get new routines embedded. Read our latest blog for some great ways to get 2024 off on the right foot and make it your best year yet.
Many of us commit to embracing a healthier lifestyle with the beginning of a New Year. And the benefits of venturing outdoors, whatever the season, go beyond just physical exercise. Having some fun in the fresh air can help you develop a stronger companionship with your pooch as well as promoting mental wellness for you both. It will also provide them with good opportunities for important socialisation – and burn off some of that excess energy of course!
Another added benefit of getting outdoors is the sensory stimulation he’ll get - encountering new scents, sights, and sounds is great for getting that grey matter working and maintaining their cognitive health.
While many of us might plan to ditch the junk in our own diets after the excesses of Christmas, refocusing on your dog’s nutrition is also a really great way you can give them a positive health boost in the New Year. A properly balanced diet ensures that your dog will have the energy and vitality needed for daily activities, play, and exercise as well as helping to keep them in tip top condition.
Make sure you are giving your dog the right diet for their age and activity levels, as well as taking into account any additional needs they might have. You can speak to your vet or your local pet shop if you need some advice on what you should be feeding.
Watch Their Weight
If your dog has had some extra treats over the festive season, now’s the time to review their weight and make sure they are within a healthy range. Keeping up with regular check-ups at the vet is a good way to make sure you are keeping on top of any issues. Excess weight can put pressure on the joints and contribute to issues like diabetes and heart problems. By providing the right diet and exercise routine, you can help to keep them fighting fit.
Consider Supplementing Their Diet
Using nutritional supplements can be a good way to ensure your dog is getting everything they need. While creating well-balanced meals is essential, there might still be nutritional gaps across their weekly intake, particularly if you are feeding a homemade diet for example. They may also have additional needs depending on their age, lifestyle or their overall health.
If you think they may be lacking in some nutrients, a multivitamin may be worth considering. Raw Aid for Cats & Dogs is an advanced multivitamin & mineral supplement specifically designed to complement an 80-10-10 or homemade raw food diet. It provides 27 key daily vitamins and minerals to help maintain your pet’s health, including supporting heart health, eyesight, cognitive health and the immune system. However, if you are already feeding a complete diet make sure you check which vitamins may already be included to avoid overloading to toxic levels.
Look After His Digestive Health
The gut microbiome plays a crucial part in supporting the immune system and metabolism, as well as helping your dog to get the most out of the nutrients in his food. What you feed your dog will have an impact on the health of the microbiome, so consider adding probiotics to his diet. Yoghurt, kefir and other fermented foods can be beneficial but you will need to find what works for you both.
You can also support those important probiotics with prebiotics, like the ones found in Digestive Aid for Dogs. It’s packed with 22 active nutrients including 4 prebiotics and Verm-X – a proven herbal formulation for supporting good gut hygiene.
Schedule Annual Check-ups
Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes. Keeping on top of vet appointments for your dog is a proactive approach to keeping them at their best. This way you will be addressing issues early, and making sure they receive the care they need. Joint problems can be common, particularly amongst larger breeds and working or agility dogs. By looking after these areas early on you can help to keep them robust for the future.
Make Time Together
Spending quality time with your dog will deepen your bond and a well-loved dog is a happy dog after all. Many dogs spend a lot of time at home alone, so giving him the attention he needs and making time for walks, cuddles and play are super important for his mental health and overall happiness. Even a bit of pampering, grooming and even teeth brushing are good ways to show your love and keep on top of his health needs at the same time.