Nothing resonates more at this time of year than New Year resolutions. A time when we dig deep into our souls and try to convince ourselves that resolutions will produce a better us. However, about seven days into the New Year, reality or lack of commitment kicks in and the resolutions get shelved for another year. At this point I apologize to those people who live by such resolutions and do actually carry through on their promises to themselves.
It is no surprise that two resolutions that recur every year are losing weight and getting more exercise. The great thing is both of these resolutions often apply to our dogs as well as us. The fact is there are more overweight, or obese, dogs than there should be so why not combine your personal goals with those of your furry friend? By this I am not implying that you should start taking your dog to the local gym with you but more taking advantage of the great outdoors. This last summer my wife and I did more hiking in the mountains than we had done before. Finn was a permanent fixture with us and boy did he have fun, discovering new smells and getting more exercise than he usually got at the local dog park, all in fresh, clean air. His snoring on the way home gave witness to a good, physically beneficial day all round!
As for weight loss, it is a good idea to discuss your dog’s weight with your veterinary clinic on a regular basis. Not only do they have knowledge of what weight your dog should be for his/ her breed and size but they can offer advice on a weight loss (or gain) program which reflects the health record of your dog and any allergies that may exist. Not for a second am I suggesting you start eating dog food, but maybe putting your dog on a diet may inspire you to shed some pounds as well by reviewing the quantity and quality of food you are currently consuming.
Not all resolutions have to be daunting. Dogs teach us, for example, that sleep is important and they will have no qualms falling asleep at any time of the day or night if the mood takes them. Taking a nap at work may not be the brightest thing to do but, when the opportunity arises in the right environment, take advantage of it and grab some zzz’s if that’s what your body is demanding. I hope that all of you needing extra sleep can fall asleep as quickly as dogs seem able to.
One resolution that should be on my personal list is “more hydration”. We are fortunate to live in a part of the world where, if you’re thirsty, you simply turn on a tap. However, it is often too easy to forget to drink enough: I am referring to water here not Baileys or red wine! In the same way that we must ensure our dogs have access to clean drinking water at all times, make a mental note to yourself to keep well hydrated.
If you’re reading this article, you made it through 2020! This last year has been more challenging than we could have imagined when January 1st 2020 kicked in so I wish you all a happy, prosperous and healthy 2021!