How to Make 2018 the Best Year Ever
Somehow, in the blink of an eye, January is over. I’m not sure about you, but I’m considering January my free trial of 2018 and am ready to give those resolutions another go tomorrow! Who’s with me? Haha. Here are some “good” ideas to make 2018 the best year ever for you and your pup.
I know this one is right at the top of most of our lists. We know that self-care is the key to feeling our best. It’s just a matter of harnessing that spark of motivation we need to get ourselves into gear! It’s easier for our dogs because we make decisions for them. Our enviable pups not only have the luxury of carefree days, but they even have built-in nutritionists and personal trainers in us. What a life! I do suppose they pay us in unconditional love.
To make sure your dog is feeling good in 2018:
Evaluate the nutrition they’re receiving
With so many options and opinions on dog food out there, sometimes it’s hard to know if you’ve chosen correctly. We know you want your dog to live the longest, healthiest life possible and proper nutrition is a key factor in making that desire a reality. At Cold Nose Lodge, we carry high quality foods that we stand behind. When you visit our boutique rest assured that any food or treat you buy will offer your best friend an ideal, balanced diet, free of fillers and artificial ingredients. From the perfect option for puppy’s first dry food to raw dog food in our freezer, we have a large range of options for all budgets. Our staff is more than happy to help you find the right option for your dog. Already feeding your dog a food that you’re satisfied with? Just take a moment to peek at the label. Here’s a link to one of our previous blog posts that includes a breakdown to help you decipher the label and evaluate the quality of the food you are feeding your friend: blog post on dog food labeling
Check their intake
Once you’re satisfied with the quality of the food you’re feeding your dog, don’t forget to take a moment to evaluate the quantity you’re feeding. Believe it or not, more than half of dogs in the United States are obese. Is your dog one of them? If your dog has a few pounds to lose, they are not alone. This is a real threat to your dog’s wellbeing and is especially upsetting when you’ve worked hard to pick out a healthy food for them. Remember, overfeeding healthy food is unhealthy. You’re in control of your dog’s intake. You got this! The first thing you need to do is assess your dog’s body condition. This will help you determine whether or not you should adjust the amount of food/treats your dog is ingesting. Here is a link to a post about the effects of canine obesity and how to assess your dog’s body condition: blog post on canine obesity
Consider their output
Just like humans, dogs operate on a calories is vs calories out basis. This means that body condition isn’t only controlled by how much fuel your dogs take in, but also by how much energy they expend. Aside from their Basal Metabolic Rate (how many calories they burn doing nothing, but resting), your dog’s output is determined by how much they move around, and by something that a good portion of us aren’t a huge fan of, but that dogs love. Can you guess what that is? Exercise!
Exercise does so much good for a dog’s body and mind. For older dogs or dogs who have found themselves a little out of shape, with time, it provides relief as they’re able to breeze through the day with more strength and less demand on their joints. A very important benefit of exercise for all dogs is the mental stimulation it provides. Unlike us, dogs are not motivated to exercise by the promise of looking and feeling good. They’re motivated by the opportunity to participate in something fun or exciting. This is why we exercise them by taking them on walks, to doggy daycare, or squeezing in an intense game of fetch. Not having an outlet for this mental and physical energy is the cause behind so many behavioral problems we see. To get your dog moving, increase the length of your walks and playtime, or really tire them out with a day of romping around at doggy daycare. Up for some exercise with your dog? Plan some hiking trips around the Valley in 2018! Here is a post on our favorite spots: blog post on hiking around the Valley.
Aside from helping them shed some extra pounds, and making sure they’re getting proper nutrition for their best coat ever, below are some dog hygiene tasks to make a priority in 2018. Stop into the Lodge for the supplies you need to take care of these important tasks at home or schedule a grooming appointment with us by calling (610) 965-3647. Here is a list of our services and prices: grooming services and prices.
To make sure your dog is looking good in 2018:
Keep their ears clean and cool
Take a look in your dog’s ears. It’s normal for the outer ear to collect dirt over time. Cleaning ears is a task that we, as owners, need to keep up with to prevent infection. The easiest way to clean a dog’s ears is with an earwash and cotton ball. Make sure to only wipe the outer ear and do not stick anything into your dog’s ear canal. If you’re seeing build up far down into the ear, the ear is warm and/or inflamed, or there is a foul odor coming from the ear, your dog may have an infection. Your vet can provide you with the medicine needed to treat the infection before you start on your resolution to keep up with your dog’s ear hygiene.
Practice oral hygiene
Just like with humans, the plaque and tartar on dog’s teeth can lead to infection and diseases (not only in the mouth!). February is National Pet Dental Health Month and our next blog post will highlight in more detail the importance of dog oral hygiene. Regular brushing of your dog’s teeth only takes a moment. In fact, we sell enzymatic gel that simply needs to be administered into your dog’s mouth which only takes a few seconds. Keeping your dog’s mouth clean will not only prevent painful conditions that are expensive to treat, it will eliminate the need to put your dog under anesthesia for a dental, and will control bad breath.
Keep nails trimmed
Save your floors and your dog’s joints by making sure your dog’s nails are regularly trimmed. Letting your dog’s nails grow long is painful for them and can lead to cracked and broken nails that are prone to infection. If you haven’t kept up with nail trimming or adopted a dog who already had long nails, the kwik, or blood vessel, in the nail may be extended. This means that although the nails are long, they are unable to be trimmed down much or they will bleed. At the Lodge, we can come up with a gameplan for you to push the kwik back gradually to shorten your dog’s nails. Give us a call at (610) 965-3647 to schedule a trim. We also sell nail trimmers if you’re interested in trimming your dog’s nails yourself.
Freshen your dog’s coat with a bath
Now that your dog’s ears, nails, and teeth are fresh and clean, why not give them a bath to refresh their coat and make it shine? Occasional bathing helps to remove dirt, debris, and dead hair that build up on your dog over time. When Spring arrives, consider a d-mat/deshedding treatment with a blow dry and brush out. This will help your dog quickly drop the hair they don’t need in the warmer months, rather than gradually shed it over weeks or months at home. From oatmeal to coat brightening baths, blueberry facials to anal gland expression, Cold Nose Lodge offers a variety of services to get your buddy looking their best. Nail trims and ear cleaning are free with every bath. You can check out our services here: grooming services and prices.
There are so many expenses in dog rescue–food, vaccinations, parasite control, examinations and medical treatment, spaying and neutering, transportation, collars and leashes. The list could go on and on. Adoption fees help to cover some of the costs, but the wonderful rescues who save the lives of dogs in need rely on donations to survive.
Donating online is easier than ever, it’s just a click away. At Cold Nose Lodge, we foster dogs through two rescues. They are both wonderful candidates for donation. You can read about our foster dogs here: a day in the life of a Cold Nose Lodge foster dog
You can donate to Brindle Buddies & Friends through Paypal here or by sending a donation to:
Brindle Buddies & Friends
P.O. Box 37
Kutztown, PA 19530
You can donate to SOS Beagle Rescue through Paypal here or by sending a donation to
SOS Beagle Rescue
814 Judith Lane
Atco, NJ 08004
Donations don’t have to be monetary. Combat clutter by going through your dog’s belongings and donating items you no longer use. Some ideas are those outgrown collars and leashes, toys that they weren’t interested in, bowls, grooming supplies, and pet beds you no longer need. Are you a master couponer? Stretch your donation by scoring some deals on pet food, kitty litter, or cleaning supplies and donating your haul to a rescue. You can also make a huge impact by donating your time to a rescue through volunteering. You can help dogs who are patiently waiting for their forever homes have a sanitary place to rest, some of the love and attention they’ve been pining for, and even a breath of fresh air and exercise on a walk. If you’re able, consider being the ultimate volunteer through fostering! In providing a home for a dog until they find their forever family, you won’t only be giving the space and attention your foster dog so desperately needed, but you’ll be making room for another dog to be rescued. Fostering is also a great way to feel out if you’re ready to adopt a dog. If you are considering adding a furry friend to your family, can you guess what I’m going to suggest?
Do good in 2018 by adopting a dog. If you’re looking for a puppy there is absolutely no shortage of adorable babies in need of a home. If you need a dog who is proven to be good with children, other pets, or has a specific personality, whether that means a lazy cuddler or an energetic pal ready for the next adventure, consider adopting an adult dog. You’ll know for sure that you’ve found the perfect match for your family and although puppies are adorable, remember, the puppy phase is short and destructive.
Whether you want to set your new addition up for success, strengthen your bond and communication with your old friend, or commit to finally kicking those bad habits to the curb, working on training your dog is a great resolution for 2018.
Find 15 minutes per day to train
Training doesn’t have to be a colossal commitment. Can you spend 15 minutes per day on training with your dog? If you start today, by the end of the year, you will log over 80 hours of training!!! You can read about other misconceptions about dog training here: blog post on dog training myths
Seek help with training if you need it
Cold Nose Lodge offers a variety of of dog training services. We believe dog training should be based on a relationship of trust, not fear. For that reason, we use positive reinforcement, redirection, and luring to train dogs at the Lodge. The use of physical corrections and other aversive training methods like choke chains and prong collars are prohibited in our training programs. You can absolutely trust us to show you techniques that will strengthen the bond you have with your dog. We will never teach a method that will hurt your relationship with your dog. At the Lodge, we offer:
- Classes that span all ages and levels, including:
- Puppy Kindergarten
- Elementary School
- Middle School
- Canine Good Citizen
- Rally Obedience for Fun
- & more. See full list and details here: Cold Nose Lodge dog training classes
- Private dog training programs, including:
- Basic Obedience Training Day School
- Basic Obedience Training Boarding School
- Puppy Head Start
- Puppy Potty Training Assistance Program
- Reactive Dog Private Training Lessons
- Dog Training Refreshers
- You can see full details and pricing here: Cold Nose Lodge private dog training
Here’s to a 2018 being a fantastic year for you and your dog. Call Cold Nose Lodge at (610) 965-3647 to schedule an appointment for dog training, luxury dog boarding, dog daycare, or dog grooming. You are also free to schedule a future appointment in person when you stop into our boutique during our regular business hours. We hope to see you soon!