Hello 2017! A New Year brings new possibilities and a fresh start! As the New Year rang in and I thought about my sweet lil pups, I thought about some changes and a few goals I have for my dogs. I know you all feel the same way I do about your dog…because you are here! I know that the companionship and the love that you get from them is important to you. Here are the questions I asked myself…
- How can I make my dogs happier and more content?
- How can I make my dogs feel more secure?
- How can I provide my dogs with a wonderful life?
Here are some answers for you!!
4 Easy Steps to an Amazing Year with your Dog!
#1 Nutrition is Key
Nutrition is key to keeping your dog healthy and happy. This year my goal is to add more nutritious snacks and food into Gracie and Cody’s diet. I am very leery about additives, preservatives & hidden ingredients that are placed in dog foods and snacks. I try to provide Gracie and Cody with the best that I can. We have already eliminated most of the big name snack bones and treats found in stores, replacing them with homemade dog treats, homemade apple and sweet potato chips, and fresh Meat Jerky that we purchased at our local Amish Market. We also have a local small business that makes affordable, nutritious dog treats and we purchase from her occasionally.
I honestly don’t make treats often…that is why I was so excited to find the fresh Meat Jerky at the Amish Market. I am busy, just like all of you. I have 3 teenage boys to keep up with, work full time, my own business and a home to keep running as well. Always look for YOUR best option and what is right for your lifestyle and your family. This year, my goal is to make more homemade treats for the pups, but it has to be do-able!
So I have a few “rules” on treat-making:
- The snacks must be super easy to make!
- They must only need a few ingredients!
- They can’t take much time to make!
- They must be nutritious for my puppers!
3 Important Things to Keep in Mind
- Be sure to feed your dog a high quality dog food.
- Give treats sparingly, avoiding harmful additives.
- Supplement your dog’s food with some fresh alternatives.
Want a sneak peek into what treats we will be making?
Check out our Download below!
Before changing your dog’s diet,
please consult with your veterinarian about your dog’s specific needs.
#2 Get Up and Play
Gracie loves play time! Tug-O-War is her favorite! Being blind does not slow this lil pup down! She is actually very aware of her surroundings and can find just about anything…when she wants to. Her sense of hearing is very keen and she can follow behind Cody as he runs, by listening to his steps. Cody loves to run and chase balls…and you can always find Gracie following right behind him.
Want to see Gracie in action? Need some suggestions and ideas for play time?
I will be adding some videos of our games and play time on our Facebook page.
“Like” our Fan Page here, so you don’t miss those!!
This year we will be more consistent about daily play time. Here is an awesome article on some games you can play with your dog and strengthen your bond as well:
#3 Bonding Through Training :
Simple Tricks to Teach your Dog
There are many benefits to training your dog:
- Your dog is more enjoyable to have around
- Training stimulates pleasure in your dog’s brain
- Training releases stress in your dog
- Training helps your dog to understand our communication and body language, bonding you to your dog
- Helps your dog to feel more confident and secure in public places
- Dog associates you with pleasure & having fun and also with being his pack leader
I have only consistently taught Gracie one command. SIGH. I have tried occasionally to get her to sit, but with training and all new things….consistence is key!! Fail! Gracie does know the command “watch”. That is her warning that she is getting close to hitting something or close to falling. When we say “watch”, she will stop walking, so that she doesn’t run into furniture, walk off the couch, run into things outside, etc. She does well with that command, so…It’s time to take it up a notch! My goal is to teach her 4 new commands this year. She’s a smart lil cookie and can definitely handle the challenge!
Here are the 4 commands that I plan to teach her & links for tips/instructions to teach her:
Shake Paw : http://lovable-dogs.stfi.re/?s=train+shake#aa
And the DESPERATE training goal….
Get Gracie to stop barking!!
OMG!! This dog can bark…and bark…and BARK!! It disrupts our household, to be honest! This year, I am determined to train her to stop barking so much!
Here is the technique I will be trying…. (stay tuned for our progress updates on Facebook)
#4 Time for an Adventure
We love to take Gracie with us wherever we can and whenever we can! She loves to get out of the house and take in new smells, sounds and tastes. We take her to visit family, we take her shopping with us whenever we can, we take her to run errands and everywhere we can! She loves to spend time with us and we feel the same! This year we want to find even more public places we can take Gracie for an adventure!
Here’s a list of 33 Dog-Friendly Stores :
(please note that most stores leave their dog policy up to the location’s manager…call ahead to ensure your dog is welcome in their stores)
Another list of Dog Friendly stores & restaurants:
Here’s a list of 15 Chain Restaurants & Drive Thrus that offer goodies for your Dog:
What should you do now?
Plan some things that you would like to add to your routine with your dog.
Check our Furever Gracie’s Pinterest boards for lots of new ideas!
Download our Checklist + Planner Page
to set goals and to keep you organized!
(I always get more done when I write things out!!)
Bonus EASY Dog Treat Recipes –
our recommendations + recipes we will be trying!
Download it Here!
Check it out!
Set your goals!
Have fun with your pup!!