It’s the time of year when we reflect on the past 365 days, and try to do better in all aspects of life. Maybe you’re working on relationships – with your family, your friends, yourself. Consider the relationship with your pets, too. They probably aren’t too hard to please, so why not give them a little extra love in 2018? Here are some ideas to give your dog the best year ever.
JANUARY – Use those holiday gifts together. Give your dog one of the bones he got to open himself, and pull out the rope toys and balls. Play tug-of-war or hide and seek or indoor fetch. You’ll never regret some quality time with your pup.
FEBRUARY – Dole out some extra love this Valentine’s Day. Pets and scratches are classics, but try adding some eye contact. Dogs show love to their owners and pick up on their emotions by looking in their eyes.
MARCH – Get in some outdoor time during the snowiest month in Minnesota. If your dog loves fresh powder, go outside with her to enjoy it. Throw snowballs, roll around, and remind yourself and your pup how fun winter can be – even though it feels like it lasts forever!
APRIL – Get inspired by Easter egg hunts and create a treasure hunt for your dog. Hide treats and toys around the yard or house, depending on the weather, and give your dog hints along the way. It’s a fun way to stimulate your dog’s brain and fill up an afternoon with the family.
MAY – Take advantage of the warmer weather and bring your dog to a dog park. If you don’t do it often, it can feel like a chore. You have to pack up your dog in the car, probably wipe her down with a towel before she can get back in the car, and everything in between. But once you see her darting across the park and making new friends it will all be worth it.
JUNE – Make a special summery treat for your dog. Frozen treats featuring fruit are great for this time of year. This recipe is simple to make, but your dog will get lots of play time out of it.
JULY – Talk to your dog. Summertime is busy for you and your dog, so take some time out and just have a calm chat with your dog. Dogs love any attention you give them, but some low-key chit chat is a nice departure from the attention they might get from kids or strangers.
AUGUST – Teach your dog something new. Working on new tricks is great bonding time with your dog, and challenging her brain is good for her. She’ll love making you happy with her new skill, and you’ll love showing it off at summer barbeques.
SEPTEMBER – Get back into a routine. When the kids are back in school and summer chaos has started to lull, your dog will appreciate the normalcy of a schedule. Eating at the same time every day and normal walks and bathroom breaks are comforting to him.
OCTOBER – Enter the DogWatch costume contest! You’ll appreciate your pup’s cuteness in a whole new way with the perfect costume, whether you find it or make it yourself. And if you happen to win, your pup will end up with some amazing prizes.
NOVEMBER – Treat your dog to something cozy as winter approaches. A new dog bed perhaps, or a sweater for chilly walks. Start covering your dog up with a blanket when she’s sleeping. It’s an act of love that won’t go unnoticed.
DECEMBER – Bring your dog along for a special holiday tradition. The perfect example is the Christmas tree farm. Your family goes on an adventure together to create memories, and you don’t have to leave your dog behind! Many local tree farms allow dogs.