New Year's Resolutions are for the Dogs

New Year's dogWhere did 2012 go?! I feel like this year flew by...

And with New Year's quickly approaching, you know what that means -- New Year's resolutions. I don't typically make any resolutions but I thought it'd be fun to think about some resolutions for dogs and their owners.

Pet Insurance
Perhaps the New Year is a good time to consider or look into pet insurance? In my case, Gadget was already 7 or so years old and had been diagnosed with diabetes before pet insurance really became available. If it had been an option when I got her, I would have definitely considered it, and it will be something I research closely for our next dog.

Different insurance companies and policies offer different coverages obviously, but they range from pet insurancereimbursement for behaviorial issues, tooth removal, accidents, emergencies, and major illnesses such as cancer. Depending on the company and the policy, you could gain peace of mind by insuring your pet for as little as $10 a month. Start by talking to your regular veterinarian to see what your options are, or start by doing research online. Many companies also offer online quotes.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight (for your dog!)
I think it would be safe to say that 90% of New Year's resolutions involve weight loss. The weight loss I am referring to now, however, is for dogs. Canine obesity is one of the fastest growing health issues in dogs today. As with people, all that extra weight can lead to a variety of diseases and other complications. In the most recent study, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that 53% of adult dogs and 55% of cats are classified as overweight or obese. That means that in 2012, 88.4 million pets were overweight in the USA.

All that extra weight and pressure on their joints can lead to osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, kidney problems and overall a shorter life expectancy.

Restricting your dog's diet can be challenging at first (mostly because of the guilt you may feel) but it truly is in your dog's best interest. Check out our previous blog on Dieting for Dogs for some tips to help you get started, and just stick with it! And as always, consult your regular veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's lifestyle.

canine good citizenCanine Good Citizen Designation
Perhaps you've been considering signing your dog up for some training. Have you considered registering for an AKC Canine Good Citizen class? This certification is widely regarded as the highest standard for the test of good dog behavior and some homeowner's insurance policies even offer discounts if your dog is in possession of this title.

For more information on AKC Canine Good Citizen classes, contact your local Petco Dog Trainer or visit the AKC website.

Do you have any other suggestions for New Year's resolutions for dogs and their humans? Leave them in our comment section!