Written by Niki Tudge ©

We all know that many of us set New Year’s Resolutions and as the year progresses they begin to fade. This leaves us feeling frustrated, first we have not accomplished what we set out to do and then we feel like a 'loser' as we have failed our own expectations.
I don't know about your but in our home I always put other things as a priority before myself, 'they say as women we tend to do this". Anyway this year I thought it would be fun to develop some New Year’s Resolutions for my pets as I never let them down. So I now know if all else fails with my other resolutions I will at least have accomplished some.
Here are my top5 New Year’s Resolutions for you to accomplish with your Dog. They are not in order of priority, just the way they came out when I began to think about it.

1. Enhance Your Canine-Human Relationship

Make it a priority to enhance the relationship you have with your dog. Teach it a new trick; make it your aim to play with your dog for a few minutes each day, if you have more than one dog give each one a few special moments. “The DogSmith's MTR training eBook is a fantastic resource for all families who are looking to build and maintain basic manners, skills and most of all bonds! This easy to use step by step guide is beautifully designed in a way that invites success for both owner and dog. Once you have this in your hands you will know exactly what you need and how to begin teaching your dog in a fun and rewarding way” (Jennifer Shryock B.A. CDBC - Creator of Dogs & Storks) you can Download the free e-book at The DogSmith website

2. Teach Your Dog To Walk Nicely.

Let’s take the ‘choke’ out of training a ‘walk nicely behavior’ and replace it with clear concise instructions that builds your dog’s behavior repertoire, sets your dog up for success and rewards them when they get it right. This is a far more pleasant situation for both owner and dog. In addition to it being an ineffective training method, there are real health concerns when a dog’s head is jerked around. Find a dog trainer who uses Force-Free methods and does not instruct classes using choke chains or other aversive methods.

3. Select The Best Pet Care for Your Dog

Be very selective when choosing pet care professionals to partake in your dog’s life. Whether it is your dog walker, pet sitter, dog trainer or veterinary professional you should assemble your pet care team based on the values you choose for your dog’s wellbeing. Choose professionals that have a holistic approach to your pets care; they consider your pet’s mental, physical, environmental and nutritional wellbeing. Search for pet care providers that abide to an important set of guiding principles and business ethics.

4. Get Your Annual Veterinarian Examination.
Many pet owners underestimate the importance of an annual physical exam because their pet seems healthy. Annual exams provide an opportunity to prevent diseases, detect them early, or even avoid them altogether. Many diseases and ailments such as heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes are not often evident in early stages. Your veterinarian can conduct a comprehensive exam that includes a lab analysis, heart check, and dental exam to ensure top physical shape and optimum health for years to come.

5. Become a More Responsible Pet Dog Owner.
I believe owning a dog is a privilege not a right. It should be a privilege to own one and a responsibility to care for it. So in 2012 enroll your dog into a ‘Canine Good Citizen™ program. Started in 1989, the CGC™ Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. Not only will your dog learn some really nice manners and be awarded a certificate but you will also have to sign ‘The Owners Pledge which details your role in the partnership.

Niki Tudge – DogSmith Founder. www.DogSmith.com Phone 1.888.Dog-Smith (364-7648)