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January 24, 2019 – The start of a new year isn’t just a good time to think about making a few resolutions for ourselves – it’s also a great time to make a few healthy habit promises to our canine friends!

Here are 10 easy tips to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy throughout the year. 

  1. Exercise Daily

Just like us, studies show that regular exercise is good for our pets. You don’t have to go to extremes – even two walks a day can improve fitness. So, grab that leash and get outside.

  1. Keep a Lid on the Treat Jar

More dogs than ever are obese or overweight. Extra body fat increases your dog’s risk of developing diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Make a plan to cut down on the treats and table scraps. One trick, take part of your dog’s daily dry food serving and put it in a treat jar – no over-the-top treating from multiple family members that way, and your dog still feels like he or she is getting a treat.

  1. Vegetables Anyone?

Eating more vegetables is healthy for dogs. Vegetables are a good source of fiber, are low-calorie treats and have been associated with a decrease in cancer risk.

  1. Schedule Annual Veterinary Visit

Routine physical examinations can help detect small problems before they become large ones. See your veterinarian once a year for your dog’s wellness check. An ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.

  1. Check for Lumps and Bumps

Give your dog a thorough once over every month. Carefully feel for any kind of lump or bump. Early detection is key to cancer prevention.

  1. Avoid Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

Even dogs suffer negative health effects from exposure.

  1. Play Every Day

Throw a ball, hide treats, or play tug of war. Your dog will appreciate the stimulation and play time will strengthen your bond. The extra exercise is a health bonus, too.

  1. Brush your Dog’s Teeth

Periodontal disease has the same negative health effects in dogs as in people. With a little training, brushing your dog’s teeth every day not only helps maintain their health but makes their breath much sweeter, too!

  1. Clip Toenails

Toenails can become ingrown or impair your dog’s ability to walk. Trimming once a month keeps toenails in tip-top shape.

  1. Lots of hugs

Our canine pals look to us to provide love, comfort and support. Letting them know how special they are can make their day – and yours, too! Hug your dog every day.

Morris Animal Foundation wants all dogs to live long, happy and healthy lives. Since 1948, we’ve invested more than $46 million in studies dedicated to solving important dog health problems, from cancer to diabetes to arthritis. But there’s still so much more we need do. 

Learn more about our current and past studies and how you can help us to improve the health of the dogs we love.