Easy Ways to be a Better Pup Parent in 2022
New year or not, we’re all constantly keeping our ears and eyes open for new tips and little adjustments we can make to ensure our pets are as healthy and happy as possible. We spoke to some Holi Hound parents, as well as our trainer friend, Tess Marty, to round up three simple and easy things you can do.
- Let your pup sniff more on walks.
It’s easy to assume that a quickly-moving, detour-free, long walk is the golden standard when it comes to tiring out your pup. But if a tired, satisfied dog is your goal at the end of a walk, one crucial element is missing: sniffing! There is a happy medium between the overstimulation of the dog park and a brisk, distraction-free, traffic-lead walk, and that’s a walk with plenty of pit-stops for smells. “On a slower-paced walk when he’s given time to stop and sniff, your dog is getting much, much greater mental enrichment than he would on a fast-paced heeled walk,” says Tess Marty, New York City-based accredited trainer and AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. This means that a shorter, “sniffy” walk will even help with problematic behaviors, such as separation anxiety destruction.
Allowing dogs the opportunity to sniff at their discretion on walks also gives them freedom and confidence, as it is one of the few opportunities your dog has to decide on what they’d like to investigate and for how long.
- Swap out the junk food.
There’s no better time than the New Year to rid your kitchen of those boxes of dog treats with ingredients you can’t pronounce, and replace them with single-ingredient foods. Single-ingredient treats, like ours, mean that nutritional value is preserved, tastier options are available, they’re allergy-prone-pup-friendly, and there are no harmful additives.
“My favorite treats to use during training sessions are the Holi freeze-dried raw rabbit treats because of their small size and nutritional value,” says Tess, who recently completed 10 training sessions with the new puppy of one of our Holi team members. “Believe it or not, I also love to use the Holi puppy kibble in lieu of training treats with young puppies, because it doesn’t interfere with them getting used to their new diet or overload them with calories.”
- Manicure time.
New year, new nails… We know that trimming your dog’s nails is one of those necessary evils it becomes easy to avoid, especially when your dog is particularly averse to it. But it’s important! If you can’t do it yourself, take him to the vet, groomer, or your local self-service wash, which will usually have staff to help you. “When your dog’s nails get too long, you run the risk of them losing traction while walking or running, which can result in injury,” warns Tess. “If you’re in the city and walking across areas with grates, this becomes especially dangerous as their nails can get jammed or stuck. In general, when a dog tries to grip the ground underneath them with nails that haven’t been properly maintained, they are putting stress on their nails and nailbeds, which, again, can result in injury.”
Tess recommends the Dremel for at-home nail trimming.