As we look back on 2018, we can reflect on what worked and what didn’t when it comes to life with our furry friends. One thing is for sure: we can always do better! Here are 8 ways to be a better dog owner in 2019.
Limit Screen Time
Everyone’s addicted to their phone. It’s hard not to be addicted when it’s full of magical things like news feeds and Instagram stories saturated with dog pictures. But you’ve got the real thing right in front of you at home! So put down the phone and cuddle your dog. Too much screen time takes attention away from the ones that matter most. Your dog and your thumbs will thank you.
Pick Up That Poop
One of the best things about Manhattan is trash cans on every corner. You never have to hold dog poop for more than half a block. But venturing off the island comes with the panic-stricken realization that trash cans are scarce and you might have to hold on to that warm poop bag for much longer than you’d like. Too bad! Always pick up your dog’s poop and carry poop bags. There’s no excuse for leaving steaming piles of turd nuggets in public or your own back yard. They’re gross to look at, unpleasant to smell, and even worse to step in. Pick up that poop people!
Spend More Time Outside
Studies have proven time and time again that time spent outdoors is good for us. It boosts levels of serotonin in the brain, lowers stress levels, and improves attention and memory. Take time to unplug and head outside. Breathe in the fresh air, clear your head, and soak in that Vitamin D. Your dog will enjoy it too, and if they’re old or can’t keep up, invest in a k9 Sport Sack or dog stroller.
Don’t just sleep with your dog because your dog wants to be in the big bed. Sleep with your dog because science says it’s good for you! A study by researchers from Canisius College discovered that women who sleep with dogs were more likely to have a restful night. According to the study, “dogs who slept in the owner’s bed…were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security.” The study also found that women who slept with their dogs went to bed earlier and woke up earlier.
The only downside is the extra fur on your sheets, but it will force you to change them more often (glass half full!).
Have More Adventures
Incorporating your dog into more of your life will make both of you happier. Keep things exciting by planning new adventures! You’ll enjoy a change of scenery, new smells, and have time to bond. Don’t have time to fly off to an exotic island? Keep it local. Adventures come in all shapes and sizes, whether it be going on a hike, visiting a new dog park, or taking a weekend getaway.
We’re only a few days into the New Year and there’s already been a dog food recall. Sigh. You are what you eat, and the same goes for our dogs. It’s important to pay attention to what we’re feeding them. Healthy dogs have more energy, fewer vet visits, and live longer. Get rid of the kibble and invest in healthier options.
Be More Patient
In this day and age, it’s easy to lose patience. We have everything at our fingertips with just the click of a button. But dogs operate on their own time. Remember to have patience, and to relax, take deep breaths, and slow down. If you’re stressed or frustrated, your dog will sense it. They won’t respond well to negative emotions.
Learn a New Trick
Old dogs can learn new tricks. They’re able to focus more than puppies, and giving their brain a work out will be good for them. Plus, teaching your dog a new trick gives you both an opportunity to bond. Take 10 minutes a day to practice tricks and learn new ones. It’s fun, and beneficial!