A New Year & New Ways to Improve Your Pup's Health!

Johnna Devereaux C.P.N.
December
30
,
2023

As the clock strikes midnight, the echoes of Auld Lang Syne fill the air, and glasses clink in celebration of the new year. It's a time for resolutions and a renewed focus on health and wellness, and this year, why not extend those aspirations to include your furry friend? Elevate your dog's well-being with these four effortless changes and additional professional suggestions designed to seamlessly integrate into any lifestyle.


Resolution 1: Elevate Hydration - Infuse Bowls with Vitality

Dogs, being natural predators, would have obtained most of their hydration requirements through the prey they devour. Domestic dogs miss out on this, a fact often overlooked, and sorry to pop the proverbial bubble–but a mere water bowl on the kitchen floor does not provide the inherent hydration needed during digestion. Water is a cornerstone of good health that not only supports digestion, but also provides moisture for skin and coat vitality and plays an integral role in joint lubrication. If your dog consumes dry kibble, observe how they eagerly drink water afterward—indicating their need for moisture in their diet.

Upgrade your approach by introducing water directly into your dog's food bowl. Mix water with the kibble, canned, homecooked, or raw food, and witness an almost immediate enhancement in skin and coat health. This becomes particularly crucial during winter when indoor heating can dehydrate both you and your canine companion. A good rule of thumb is to add 30% water to whatever the quantity is of food placed in the bowl. And don’t be surprised if your dog begins to drink less–this will happen as they will be hydrating more naturally, at time of feeding. 

Pro Tip: Opt for non-municipal water to avoid potential harm from fluoride additives. If you use well water, ensure it undergoes filtration.

Resolution 2: Unleash the Joy of Chewing

Chewing is an instinctual behavior for dogs that offers a myriad of benefits, from dental hygiene and mental stimulation to anxiety relief. Repetitive chewing releases happiness-inducing neurotransmitters, making it a valuable tool for beating boredom, especially on gloomy winter days. Mental focus during chewing exercises adds an extra layer of stimulation, contributing to your pet's overall well-being.

Pro Level: Safeguard your dog with natural, single-ingredient chews like bully sticks or collagen sticks. Use safety devices, like the Bow Wow Buddy, to prevent choking or possible internal obstructions.

Resolution 3: Refine Oral Care Rituals

Alarming statistics reveal that over 80% of dogs aged three and above suffer from some form of periodontal disease. Ignoring this issue can lead to tartar buildup, linked to cardiovascular disease and organ problems. Brushing your dog's teeth may seem daunting, but desensitization training can make it surprisingly easy. Choose a dog-friendly toothbrush designed for efficiency and consider incorporating a daily 20-second brush into your routine.

Pro Level: Elevate your commitment to oral care by combining brushing with regular dental check-ups for your furry friend.

Resolution 4: Energize Through Exercise & Playtime

Playtime isn't just a luxury; it's a necessity for a healthy pup. Aim for a daily minimum of 30 minutes of exercise, whether through walks, fetch, or indoor play on inclement weather days. For older or overweight dogs, break up these sessions into shorter intervals. Infuse variety into playtime with activities like hiking, neighborhood sniff sessions, or aquatic adventures.

Pro Level: Merge physical activity with mental stimulation by incorporating games that challenge your dog's cognitive abilities. Invest in sniffing toys or create scavenger hunts for maximum impact.

Embark on this new year with a rejuvenated commitment to your dog's well-being, embracing these resolutions as a path to a healthier and happier canine companion.


The points of view expressed above are those of our clinical pet nutritionist and supported by science, her education and experience. However, we recognize there may be different points of view or opinions on some aspect or even the premise of this article. Our goal at Bow Wow Labs is to provide the best, clearest, and most helpful information possible to help keep your dog happy, healthy and safe.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon or perceived as specific medical or veterinary advice.

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