What would your dog’s New Year resolution be?
More excitement, more splendid adventures, more games, and more time with you?
Is your dog a senior with the heart of a pup? Maybe your older dog’s resolution is to keep mind and body fit to keep age at bay, while also scheduling as much restful couch-snuggling with you as possible.
January is the perfect month for these canine resolutions of fun, fitness, learning, and quality dog-parent time. After all, this month we celebrate both National Train Your Dog Month and Walk Your Dog Month.
So here comes the big question: What resolutions will you make this New Year that include your dog?
We’ve got some ideas!
Resolve to be healthy. Celebrate Walk Your Dog Month
Walking your dog is the perfect bonding activity and being with you is your dog’s highest priority. Since being healthy and to spending time together is something you both love, why not throw on a coat and gloves and turn your dog’s necessary outdoor breaks into short walking adventures? Winter may make for chilly hikes, but dogs need exercise all through the year even if walks are short. In 2018, the Association for Pet Obesity Awareness found that an estimated 56% of dogs in the United States were obese. By making sure you and your dog both get outside every day, even during these winter months, you’ll help keep your dog in the fit-and-trim 44%.
Getting your dog out of the familiar house to explore new places and sniff new smells is great mental and emotional exercise. When we humans choose to avoid the cold and nest indoors, we have books, smart devices and streaming video to keep our brains engaged. Our canine family members need something more. Only we can open the door for them, clip on that leash, and get them out of their yard to explore!
Resolve to learn something new. Master a new skill for National Train Your Dog Month
Maybe you agree that winter walks are essential, but you’re still hoping to fulfill your dog’s New Year resolution with an activity that’s a little less chilly. If you’re searching for a cozy indoor adventure that will sharpen your dog’s mind and body, look no further than the end of their nose!
Did you know that dogs have a sense of smell that is 10,000 to 100,000 times greater than our own? We know of course that dogs are much better at sniffing things out than we are, but dogs have up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, and we have a mere 6 million. The part of a dog’s brain that is dedicated to smell is also 40 times more vast than ours.
Since your dog’s New Year resolution includes having fun, staying physically and mentally sharp and spending more time with you, this may be the perfect option: Scent work!
Scent work – also called “K9 Nose Work” – will help exercise all 300 million of those olfactory receptors. Your dog will find a brand-new way to have fun and you’ll learn something new about your dog’s fascinating natural capabilities.
Nose work stretches your dog’s mind, senses, and body. The physical part of the training is gentle (although lots of dogs get quite bouncy with enjoyment as they search), so your senior dog can enjoy smelling out a target without danger of over-exertion.
Do you want to explore this new activity? The AKC offers an easy way to try it out at home.
- You’ll need to assemble some simple items for your scent work kit, including yummy, irresistible treats (of course!), cotton swabs, a small glass jar with a lid, a lidded tin, disposable gloves, and a plastic container with holes drilled in the lid. You’ll also need to obtain some birch essential oil.
- You’ll add some of the birch oil to the cotton swabs in the glass jar (using gloves to keep the scent off your hands) carefully transfer them to the tin, and then teach your dog that when they express curiosity about the smell of the tin, those delicious treats become a splendid reward.
- Once your dog has successfully learned to connect investigating the scent with that treat reward, you’ll take additional steps to hide the scented tin in another room and bring your dog it track it down and get that mouth-watering treat.
If you and your dog find you enjoy this nose work experiment, you may want to jump paws-forward into the sport with local clubs, or take it outdoors with just the two of you when warm weather arrives. There are even scent work sport trials if you and your dog decide it’s serious fun!
At Pampered Pets USA, we’re well aware how important the sense of smell is to our canine companions, so we’ve developed our treats with delicious smells from quality ingredients. There’s a favorite flavor for every dog to sniff out. Chances are, you can imagine these scents yourself (and imagine a dog’s reaction) just by reading their names:
- Peanut Butter
- Oatmeal & Pumpkin
- Turkey & Sweet Potato
- Cheddar Cheese & Bacon
Because Pampered Pets USA treats have flavors as delectable as their scent, they are the perfect training treats for your new adventure with nose work, or for any other trick or training you and your dog explore. Our treats are made in the USA with natural, quality ingredients and never include any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, so they’ll help your dog keep that health-and-fitness resolution, too.
There’s another simple way to let you dog exercise that amazing sense of smell. Hide a few Pampered Pets USA treats around the house. Let your dog see you place them a few times, and then sneak some into hiding for your dog to smell out later. Your dog will enjoy both the search and the reward.
It’s fun to imagine what New Year resolutions our dogs might make. But there’s one promise our dogs can count on for us to make and to keep all year long:
Taking time for a little more love for them.
Each year that resolution grows bigger and better. When there’s a dog in your life, it’s never possible to love them too much.
Happy New Year, from all of us at Pampered Pets USA, to all of you.
At Pampered Pets USA, we know you consider your pet to be part of the family and want nothing but the best for them. We are here to provide you with accurate and updated information that will help you give your furry friend a healthy and happy life.