Happy 2020! The new year is usually marked by making resolutions, and for most of us, that means getting fit. It's a positive change for us and our pets because vets estimate 50% of our four-footed friends are obese. Getting your pooch to start out strong is one thing, but how can you keep your dog's New Year's resolution to get fit? We've got five steps to success.
Set Specific Goals
If you're trying to get your dog to slim down, speak to your vet about your pet's weight and get their expert advice on what's ideal for him. Then take achievable steps to reach his goal weight and create smaller goals along the way. Do your part to motivate him: going on brisk walks for 30 minutes daily or only eating natural snacks once a day.
Stick to a Schedule
Make your dog's New Year's resolution a priority by planning and scheduling his activities. Enter them into your phone and set a reminder. An alarm will jar you both into action, and you're less likely to forget about your commitment to canine fitness. This tactic also frees you from finding the time, since you've already planned for it on your calendar.
Be Patient and Realistic
If the daily exercise gets preempted because your friend can't face the cold, even outfitted with fashionable booties, try a different form of exercise with a couch cushion indoor obstacle course. If he misses a day here and there, don't use it as an excuse to abandon the cause.
Track His Progress
How can you be sure your dog's hard work is paying off if you don't keep track of it? One way to remain positive, especially when the challenge seems overwhelming, is to see how far he's come. Past success can be a great motivator to stay on task. You can also use your Link AKC dog collar to track how much activity your dog is getting each day of the week!
Reward Each Goal Achieved
While you don't want to undermine your dog's hard work, it's important to celebrate each milestone along the way with a healthy and well-deserved treat. Pair the treat with more activity: hide the snack and encourage him to find it.
Reaching your goal is always easier with a buddy, and you have each other. Get started today by taking your furry friend for a safe, low-impact stroll around the neighborhood.
Checklist for a Healthier Dog in 2020:
- Set simple and specific goals
- Stick to a reasonable schedule
- Be patient and realistic
- Track yours and his progress
- Reward each milestone
Article last updated January 2019.