Forget watching tv or “having” to go to the gym. Twenty-twelve is the year to let your dog make your resolutions for you! After all, your pup’s life-long endeavor is to be your loving pet and loyal companion – the least you can do this year is bring an extra wag or two to his world. Besides, his resolutions will have you both feeling great, and the best part is, diet, weights, spin classes or aerobics aren’t necessary.

1. I resolve to take quality walks.

Chances are, your dog never says no to a walk, even if it’s the same old stroll up the block and back. But know that your dog craves new scents and sounds as much as you enjoy new scenery. So mix up your weekday walks with new routes, unfamiliar trails, and explore new neighborhoods and parks on the weekends. Better yet, research dog-friendly parks in your area and venture somewhere new once a month.

2. I resolve to give less hugs, play more tug.

Maybe you’ve noticed that squirmy, help-let-me-out wriggle your dog does during what you consider to be a loving embrace. Unlike us humans, dogs don’t feel all reassured and gooey inside after a nice long hug. In fact, most likely they feel trapped – it’s just a canine thing. A hearty round of tug however, played appropriately, can be a huge stress reliever and a nice bit of exercise as well. Note: If you intend to make tug a permanent activity in your game, make sure your dog knows the commands: drop it & off.

3. I resolve to regularly introduce “new” toys into the mix.

Remember to swap toys so your dog has something new to chase, chew on or tug.

4. I resolve to throw a party.

We’re not (necessarily) talking about a fancy birthday party or holidays – though those are fun too. A playdate with a couple of his favorite people – or at least people who adore him – will do. Play a few of his favorite games simply ask invitees to practice a couple basic commands with him. It’s a chance for your dog to get praised, treated & rewarded by someone else – great for socialization and a real boost to his confidence.

5. I resolve to bond outside the home.

Obedience Classes may just be the perfect combination of mental stimulation & physical activity and most important, building a relationship between you and your best friend. Dogs and humans both have a blast! You’ll brush up on your training techniques and your dog gets a refresher course in good behavior. If your dog likes a challenge try an Agility Class.

6. I resolve to keep my dog physically fit.

And truly, this is the only one that requires any willpower.  We know that pleading puppy eyes are hard to resist but when you sneak in table scraps remember it’s so much better to give your pet an organic/natural treat.  Remember your pet depends on you to ensure that it’s  healthy, mobile, and comfortable for a long, long time.

A pocket of treats and a fun game will make a happy dog!

Wishing everyone a Healthy & Happy New Year 2012!

XOXO & Woofs,                                                                                                                                                                                                  Christine & Myko

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