Love me, Love my dog

February is always considered the month of “love.”  I use this month to reflect on what I appreciate about my pets. And to remember that in order to love other people, I need to love myself first.

I love that Rusty and I have started therapy visits at a nursing home on a regular basis and that he is maturing into a wonderful, stable, calm dog.

I love that Ginger, even though she is aging, still enjoys being outdoors, going for car rides and playing with puzzle toys.

One of my friends made a post about loving herself so she was going to give up a bad habit this month and create a good habit. This is a great idea for your dog too. February is the shortest month so think of a habit your dog does that you want to break and work on creating a new behavior in its place. You can also do this personally as well!

Then think of something you want to do with your dog (a small goal, an obedience command, going to a new place, etc) and make the effort to reach your goal.

It takes 21 days to create a new habit, so you have an extra 7 days to put something new in place and get rid of an annoying habit. Let’s do this together!

I love both of my dogs, but I also have rules and structure in place for them. Those rules can help you catch something that might be wrong.  For example, I feed my dogs twice a day. That way I can monitor how much they eat and make sure they are eating.

Last week I noticed that Ginger wasn’t eating. Both of my dogs are healthy eaters. Luckily, I had a vet appointment already scheduled and it was a good thing I went in since we discovered she had a urinary tract infection. The week she took the antibiotics I had to put some freeze-dried chicken breast on her dog food in order for her to want to eat it. And I had to get creative with her antibiotic. After 1 day of hiding a pill in something, she was wise. So, we used cheese, sandwich meat, cream cheese, peanut butter and bread, canned dog food and a pill pocket.

After a week of antibiotics, she is back to normal. She is 12 so she has slowed down, sleeps more and has some hearing and vision loss but we still play fetch, play nose work games, and go for car rides. I am enjoying and appreciating every day that I have with her.

Personally, I am going to try to drink more water and stop eating late at night. This is hard for me since I am usually up late but if I do need to snack, I want to make better choices – fruit, nuts, veggies, protein, etc.

I want to work on teaching Rusty to stop barking at the neighbors when they are outdoors and get his canine partners number from the AKC. That way we will have what we need to register for Rally and/or Obedience trials later this year.

I just want to keep Ginger as healthy as possible and monitor her for any changes that may require vet care. I may add in some supplements to help with arthritis and inflammation and continue to do things with her 1-1 so we get our special time together.

How are you going to love yourself and your pets this month?