What Can I Do for My Dog this Year?

It’s a new year, which means it’s time for resolutions for both family and your dog. Mix and match these resolution ideas for the best results this year, or add all 12 to your routine and care time for your dog.

January: National Train Your Dog Month

Sponsored by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, National Train Your Dog Month occurs every January to help promote the importance of dogs’ training and socialization. All dogs can use some form of training, even if it’s just to encourage fun and bonding between dog and pet parent.

Keep in mind–training does not mean teaching your dog tricks. Training a dog means helping correct an undesired behavior, promoting harmony between pet parent and dog, and/or teaching your dog to be an excellent canine citizen.

February: National Pet Dental Health Month

There’s no time like the present to start a daily tooth and gum care regimen for dogs. The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. An astounding 80% of dogs have dental issues by the time they are three years old. Establish a dental care routine by vowing to brush your dog’s teeth as you would your own.

March: National Pet Poison Prevention Week

Poison Prevention Week takes place during the third week in March every year. In addition to household items and stale treats, keep dogs away from anything with artificial sweeteners. For example, Xylitol is a substance found in many sugar-free things, and it is lethal to pets. Take a check of your house and surroundings, and be sure to pooch-proof it from poisons.

April: National Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Now is the time to refill your pet’s first aid kit or to establish one. Try keeping a first aid kit for your dog in the car and one in the house since you never know where or when an accident may occur. The American Red Cross has specific recommendations for what you should keep in this pet first aid kit, or you can buy one with items already included. 

May: National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day

Get those disaster plans in place! Ensure you know where you and your dog will go in the event of a natural (or otherwise) disaster. From hurricane planning to flood evacuation, have a plan of escape, a point of destination, and all supplies in place should you need to escape urgently. Never leave a dog behind.

June: Take Your Dog to Work Day

If you cannot take your dog to work for National Take Your Dog to Work Day celebrate by taking a special day off and making it dog bonding time. Each year, celebrate on the Friday following Father’s Day, show your dog what mom or dad does for a living, and let the fur fly.

July: Independence Day

Keep dogs calm and safe from harm by practicing firework and outdoor safety in advance of the 4th of July celebrations. Dogs will often bolt when they are startled. Ensure dogs cannot escape from your abode by securing doors, locking any outdoor gates, and restricting access to areas like windows, which dogs may jump through when frightened.  Snuggle Puppies are great for soothing young puppies while Thundershirts are also great for relieving anxiety in dogs.

August: National Dog Day

The dog days of summer come to life when August 26 rolls around. Resolve to celebrate your dog’s life on National Dog Day by ensuring his or her excellent health. Preventative care and wellness check-ups at the vet with routine blood work and fecal and urine screening are crucial.

September: World Rabies Day 

Rabies is a deadly yet very preventable disease. Ensure your dog is current on the proper vaccination and discuss any questions with your veterinarian.

National Dog Week

Taking place over the fourth week of September, National Dog Week is a celebration of activities, fundraising events, adoption drives and volunteer assistance programs that get the whole community involved.

October: National Pet Obesity Awareness Day 

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has dubbed October 13 National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Dogs should not be overweight or obese; their joints, organs, and every fiber of their being are affected by extra weight. Any pet weight loss program should be carefully constructed and designed for a gradual but healthy weight decline. Seek veterinary advice.

November: Pet Cancer Awareness Month 

Screening your dog for lumps and bumps before they progress is crucial to stopping the

spread of cancer. Frequently something caught early on can be treated and/or removed before further complications arise. Take the time to check your dog and report any unusual findings or behavior changes to your dog’s veterinarian.

December: National Mutt Day

National Mutt Day is celebrated on December 2. Whether you have a mutt or a pedigree dog, this is an excellent time to give back, especially with the holidays approaching. Donate to a favorite dog charity, give back with some time to a shelter, or consider fostering a dog in need.

Article written by Author: Carol Bryant

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