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Why You Should Keep a Dog Journal for Their Health & Yours: 9 Good Reasons

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on June 25, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman writing on notebook with her dog on bed

Why You Should Keep a Dog Journal for Their Health & Yours: 9 Good Reasons

We pay attention to a lot of things when it comes to our canine companions. After all, they are like our children. We need to keep up on their health and overall well-being. If you’re the kind of person who likes to write or just organizes things better this way, you might want to consider starting a doggy journal.

You can keep track of all sorts of things in the journal, depending on your preferences and individual situations. In this article, we’re going to discuss a few ways keeping a journal can be helpful to you and your vet!

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The 9 Reasons You Should Keep a Dog Journal

1. Logging Memories

Our dogs are not with us nearly long enough. Even the longest of lifespans can’t possibly fill the hole they leave in our hearts when they’re gone. You can snap photos of your dog all day long, but that merely captures a second.

If you keep a journal, you can log all of the wonderful memories they give you so you can look back and reflect on them later. Plus, this gives you a real-life account of your dog’s personality and special quirks.

Woman hand writing down in small white memo notebook for take a note
Image Credit: antstang, Shutterstock

2. Logging Bathroom Habits

Whether you’re just starting the training process or you have a seasoned professional on your hands, logging bathroom habits is still a good idea. You don’t have to get too detailed, but you can annotate any changes in your dog’s bowel movements.

For example, if the stool was looser or a different color than normal, you can make a note of it in your journal. You can also keep track of any changes they might have to their diet so you can see if it affects their gastrointestinal system.

If you keep track of your dog’s bathroom habits, you might be able to get ahead of any developing illness. It might also help you during the puppy potty training phase to know when your puppy is due for a bathroom break according to their own schedule.

3. Logging Behaviors

Logging your dog’s behaviors can help you define all sorts of things. First of all, if you’re just starting out with your dog, you can get a really firm understanding of their play style. Some dogs are very active, others are stimulated by specific activities. No dog is the same!

This can also be a great way to determine if your dog is having any abnormal personality changes. For example, if your dog is normally very playful and peppy but lately, they’ve been a little lethargic and moody, it might signal an underlying problem.

Or let’s just say you have held off on getting your dog fixed, but your female is now displaying signs she might be in heat. This might be your cue that it’s time to make an appointment.

Young woman with her pet golden retriever dog relaxing together
Image Credit: Olimpik, Shutterstock

4. Logging Growth

Our puppies grow pretty quickly! But how do you know if your dog is growing too fast or too slow? While not many people might worry about this, it’s a good thing to keep track of if you’ve had any concerns.

Plus, it’s a good idea just to know how quickly your dog is growing and whether it raises any concerns with your vet. Why does it matter if a puppy grows too fast or too slow? If a puppy grows too slowly, it can be due to not getting the correct nutrients.

Also, dogs that were the runt of the litter might have a slower initial growth but finish growing quicker than their siblings. If the puppy is growing too fast, it might cause problems with their joints and bones.

Feeding large breeds too quickly can often result in rapid growth which can lead to a lot of problems later in life. So, keeping track of your dogs is a pretty good idea!

5. Logging Weight

Even after they’re done officially growing, journaling is a great way to track their weight. After all, once our dogs get fixed, it’s quite easy for them to pack on the pounds. To make sure that you’re doing your part as a pet owner to keep your dog properly exercised and eating the correct portions, keep track of their weight!

That way, if you guys need to increase your exercise or cut back on kibble, you can. If you are doing all of the right things, but you’re still noticing increases or decreases in weight that seem unexpected, take them to see a vet.

These fluctuations can sometimes be normally expected. Other times, it could point to an underlying health issue that requires medication, treatment, or evaluation.

woman writing at home with her dog
Image Credit: Lazy_Bear, Shutterstock

6. Logging Training Progress

If you are training your puppy at home, this is a great way to track their progress. You can write down the dates, how long you train, and what your puppy learned. This will give you a great record of what you and your dog have accomplished so far.

It can also be great on those days when you’re feeling discouraged or feel like your dog is regressing. You can also get creative on future plans to keep a schedule. It’s a great way to set goals for your pup and monitor the situation.

7. Logging Medication Distribution

If your dog must be on any supplements or medications, a journal can be a very good way to track dosages and remember to give the next dose. This can also help your vet keep track of any adverse side effects or possible recommendations in the changes of dosage over time.

Also, this helps to prevent you from double dosing your dog or forgetting to give them their medicine altogether. For some pet parents, remembering medication distribution can be very difficult if not impossible.

Luckily, if you have a journal, you won’t have to rely on just your brain power to remember whether you gave your animal what they need to stay healthy.

woman sitting on the floor with golden retriever dog while writing
Image Credit: eva_blanco, Shutterstock

8. Pet Sitter Directions

If you frequently have a pet sitter look after your pooch, you should have a little logging book that the two of you can share. You can write down any instructions or changes you feel is necessary for them to know.

You can put down any instructions you would like for them to follow and create a very straightforward pathway to excellent care. You won’t have to worry about 100 text messages or annoying phone calls trying to get you to explain things you could easily write down.

It can also allow the pet sitter to write down what they do when they come so you can keep a record.

9. Scrapbooking and Other Fun Activities

If you’re a person who just loves keeping track of everything and making new memories, you might want to consider other avenues of creativity as well.

Not only can you create a journal that has a log of what your dog does, memories you have, and other information, you can also try to make scrapbooks, visual journals, and other artsy forms of expression to celebrate the life of your dog. It can be such a fun thing to have for the moment and ultimately memorable thing to have long term.

Scrapbooking and journaling can also be a great form of stress relief. So, not only can you keep track of your dog’s mental and physical health, but it can benefit your mental health as well.

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These are just a few simple ways that you can utilize journaling for pets. It really can come in handy for a variety of things and you don’t have to use it for one sole purpose.

If you love to write or you are just a better-organized person when you write things down, keeping a doggy journal might very well help you in your life, in addition to helping you keep track of your dog’s health.

Featured Image Credit: My July, Shutterstock

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