5 Ways to Set Up Your Dog for the Happiest and Healthiest New Year

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The start of a new year feels like a clean slate when it comes to your well-being habits, whether you actually make resolutions or not. But while you're feeling motivated to hit the gym or read more books, don't leave your furry friend out of this new-beginnings mindset.


You ‌and‌ your pup deserve to have a healthy and happy 2024. If you're ready to implement new goals for your pet this new year, Shagufta Mulla, DVM says taking stock of how you approach your pet's healthcare is a great place to start.

Think of typical human resolutions — such as exercising more, improving well-being habits, and eating healthier — and modify them to fit your pup. To get more specific, check out Dr. Mulla's recommendations for five ways to set up your dog for their best year ever below.


Just don't forget to stock up on Nature's Recipe®, which offers pup-approved, high-quality dog food at reasonable prices, to fuel more wag-worthy adventures all year long.

1. Schedule a well-pet exam

Life happens — and when your dog seems healthy, a well-pet exam can fall to the bottom of your list. But, Dr. Mulla says, it's important for your pup to get checked out to catch subtle health changes you might miss. "For example, a dog whose activity has slowly declined may just be viewed as 'getting older,'" Dr. Mulla says. "But it's possible that it can be due to heart disease, arthritis, dental pain, or other medical issues that can be managed or improved to help keep your pet more comfortable. An exam is also a good time to plan on having routine lab work done to assess things like kidney health, liver function, cell counts, etc."


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2. Microchip your pup

If your pet is not yet microchipped, Dr. Mulla strongly suggests adding this to your pet's resolutions. "If your pet gets lost or otherwise separated from you, a chip can increase the chance of your pet being returned to you," she says. "More people now know to take a lost or stray dog to a veterinary hospital to be scanned for a microchip, and shelters do this routinely on all animals that come in." Even if your pet is already microchipped, now is the time to check whether the chip is registered and that your contact information is accurate.



3. Check on your dog's diet

Like your diet, your pup's nourishment must be switched up over the course of their life to make sure they're getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy. "A pet's dietary needs change over the course of their life due to age, health, and lifestyle," Dr. Mulla says. "Talk with your veterinarian about what food your pet is on to determine if they could benefit from a change." One premium dog food option to run by your vet is Nature's Recipe®, which is made with purposefully sourced, natural ingredients that your dog will love, such as their grain free salmon, sweet potato, and pumpkin recipe dog food and grain free chicken and duck recipe dog food in savory broth.


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4. Make teeth brushing a habit

You brush your teeth twice a day — so why not brush your dog's teeth, too? "Getting into a brushing routine can be challenging at first, but over the long run, better dental health contributes to overall health," Dr. Mulla says. "When tartar builds up, oral bacteria can end up in the bloodstream and affect organs like the heart. If your pet's dental health hasn't been evaluated in the past six to 12 months, make it a priority to do so." No more stinky breath in this household.


5. Cuddle more

It's no secret: Cuddling with your pup is the best. Plus, physical contact doesn't just strengthen your bond, but can help and decrease stress, Dr. Mulla says. "Physical touch is soothing and can be a great stress reliever for both pet and person," she says. "People may not view dogs as having a stressful life, but living indoors and often being alone for periods of time can range from boring to stressful, depending on the pet." More snuggles will absolutely become your favorite (and easiest) resolution of the year.


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The bottom line

"[F]or those of us who view pets as family, our well-being is intimately connected to our pet's well-being," Dr. Mulla says. By taking the time to think about what you can change to help your dog lead a better life, you're showing your pup you care (believe us, they know). Between bonding time, check-ups, and healthy eating (thanks to Nature's Recipe® ), you two will be closer than ever this year. Here's to a happy and healthy 2024!