“New year, new me!” Many of us recite this saying to ourselves every New Year in hopes of self-improvement, but we often forget to include our furry friends in our resolutions. This New Year, aim to make a few resolutions that that will improve the relationship between you and your dog. Instead of the tired old mantra, this year think: “New year, new us!” Here are some New Year’s resolutions to make together, as well as practical ways to help you stick to them.
Make Time for Playtime
Dogs can get irritable and destructive if they’re left idle for too long. If this sounds like your dog, then you might want to take a look in the mirror and assess whether your lifestyle is contributing to your dog’s bad behavior. Your dog may be craving your attention, but not getting enough of it. Making time for physical play gives your pup exercise, mental stimulation and a healthy release of otherwise dangerous energy. Therefore, it’s imperative for you as your dog’s parent to give him an appropriate amount of attention; depending on the breed, this amount may be more or less. If you’re not spending enough time playing with your pup because of a busy schedule, you may want to enroll him into a doggy daycare, or have a dog sitter or walker look after him while you are away.
Stay Active and Well
Health is just as much a canine issue as it is a human one, so this year, resolve to be your dog’s best workout partner. Whether it’s a simple walk around the block or a run on the beach, there are plenty of ways to get exercise that both you and your pup will enjoy. Start with a small goal just outside of your comfort level, then turn it into a routine that you can follow realistically. Don’t forget about a healthy diet—just as it’s important for you to limit your own fat and sugar intake, you should also resist giving your pup too many treats. Saying “no” to those pleading eyes may be more challenging than resisting your own cravings, but it will be worth it in the long run to see a healthy pup who has the energy to play with you for years to come.
Visit the Vet
When’s the last time your dog went in for a checkup? Regular veterinary visits shouldn’t be viewed as a hassle, but rather, as an opportunity to ask questions, gain insight, and prevent health problems in the future. Getting a professional’s advice will give you peace of mind and help you understand your dog better. So don’t delay this necessary maintenance any longer; schedule an appointment with your vet before the next ball drops.
Learn Something New
Old or young, any dog can benefit from learning a new trick or two. Challenging your dog with new tricks is not only a fun bonding experience for the two of you, but it’s also great mental exercise for a dog of any age, keeping your pup’s brain sharp and high functioning. New tricks are also good for obedience training, since your dog will have practice obeying your commands. Plus, he’ll love the reward he gets at the end! By teaching your pup something new this year, he’ll get adequate mental stimulation, while you get another way to impress your friends and show off your clever canine.
This list of resolutions is a good start for reinvigorating your relationship with your furry friend. What New Year’s resolutions are you making with your dog this year? Comment below!