Canine Resolutions for the New Year

December 31, 2020

When the end of December rolls around, people look forward to parties, the infamous ball drop, and trying out the resolutions they’ve made. But what about your pooches? Can canines make New Year’s resolutions? Well, not technically— but you can make resolutions for them! And best of all, you’ll be there every step of the way to make sure they stick to their decisions.

Below, we’ve listed out some common canine resolutions, how you can easily integrate them into you and your pet’s lives, and how to make sure the changes stick.

Common Canine Resolutions

In reality, the resolutions your dog may make (or rather, that you’ll make for your dog) aren’t so different than the ones many people make for themselves. Generally, these decisions revolve around being a “better” you, whether this means being healthier, nicer, etc.

Some of the most common resolutions involve:

  • Eating/living healthier
  • Exercising more often
  • Saving more money
  • Spending more time with family/ friends
  • Having a better work/life balance

Dogs are exactly the same! They obviously can’t do all of these, especially since the bank would probably deny Fido’s application for a savings account. But many of the resolutions we make for ourselves can be just as beneficial for our pets.

We can always strive to provide a better life for our pets, and a New Year’s resolution to do just that is a great way to kick off the year. Keep reading for three great examples of resolutions your canine can make in time for January.

Eating Healthier

In general, most people could benefit from eating more veggies and drinking more water. Unfortunately, this is also often true for dogs.

Though our four-legged friends eat less fast food, that doesn’t mean that their diet is as great as it could be. To make sure they’re as healthy as possible, check out these changes and see if they would be a good fit for your household:

  • No Human Food – Dogs love table scraps, and have no problem turning on the charm to get them. But the majority of the food we eat isn’t healthy for dogs, especially if it’s processed. Going forward, try to refrain from feeding your dog off your plate.
  • Better Brand Food – Not all dog foods were created equal. Take a look at your dog’s food and make sure it’s meeting all of their needs, especially regarding protein. Check the ingredients and do some research, and decide if a brand change is in your dog’s future.
  • Healthier Snacks – No matter how much your dog gobbles up ice cream or their treats, owners know that what tastes good isn’t always what is good. For the new year, think about transitioning your pet to healthier snacks.

Keep in mind, dietary changes don’t have to be drastic or break the budget. These resolutions can be as simple as adding some boiled chicken or rice to your dog’s bowl a few times per week. Similarly, you could just keep an eye out for sales on healthy dog treats. Another popular option that won’t cost you anything is to simply stop letting your pet have scraps from your plate.

It can be hard to alter our eating habits and harder still to alter our pets,’ especially when they break out the puppy eyes. But your pet will be happier with a healthier diet, whether that means less sandwiches under the table or a switch to a higher-end dog food brand.

Exercising More Often

Pets don’t have the capacity to understand obesity and all the health risks that come with it. As such, most won’t regulate themselves when it comes to food. If it hits the ground, it’s probably going to the hound.

So if your pet is overweight or simply edging towards chubby, a resolution to exercise more benefits everyone! Here are some easy ways to accomplish this:

  • Walks Around The Block– This can be challenging depending on how long your route is, but daily walks are a simple and easily customizable way to help your pet shed pounds. It also has the added benefit of fulfilling a common human resolution, too!
  • Fetch After Work – When you get off work, take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to play with your dog. Play fetch in the yard or tug o’ war in the living room; either way, they’ll be exercising and loving life at the same time!
  • Fun With Friends – Just like taking walks, scheduling play dates for your dog offers socialization for both of you! Time flies when your pet is having fun. They’d probably won’t even notice the extra calories they’re burning between bouts of play wrestling.

Another great way to provide socialization and extra exercise is to enroll your dog in a new training course. Obedience refreshers are always useful, but more specialized courses like leash training or agility training can also be beneficial. Such courses can be especially great for high-drive or high-energy breeds.

You can also implement many of these resolutions without any added financial strain. For example, you can arrange for a play date in the backyard instead of the dog park or start teaching your dog new tricks at home with help from online tutorials.

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight and regularly exercising them are two of the easiest ways to make sure they live a long, happy life. They’ll have more energy, more fun, and more time to spend with you.

Spending Time With Family

Pets aren’t just our furry best friends, they’re also part of our family. So if your New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with those you love, make sure to include your pup.

It’s easy to forget how social animals are, especially if your pet is laid back and less demanding. But even the most chill canine loves spending time with his or her owner, and certainly wouldn’t refuse some extra cuddles! Even if your dog isn’t very tactile, they’d still probably appreciate spending more time with you.

  • Hangouts At The House – If you’re already going to be hanging out with friends or family at your house, try to incorporate your dog into those activities instead of putting them in a separate part of the house.
  • Pet-Friendly Public Spaces – If you decide to hit a restaurant or go to the beach, see if there are pet-friendly options near you. This also has the benefit of serving as easy socialization for your pup.
  • Working From Home – If you’re working from home, also known as teleworking or working virtually, try to do so in the same room as your dog. Acknowledge them regularly and take a break every once in a while to give some head scratches. (Bonus: coworkers love furry interruptions during Zoom meetings.)

If you’ve already made a resolution to exercise your dog more, then you’re also automatically spending more time with them!

Between scheduling lunch dates and drinks after work, make sure to set time aside to spend with your pets, too. They can miss you just as much as your two-legged friends and family. So whether it’s simply having them next to you on the couch during the morning news or cuddling after work in the evenings, take some time to give your pets a little extra TLC.

Making Your Resolution Stick

It’s no secret that people often expect too much of themselves when the end of the year rolls around, and as a result can’t fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. So here’s some tips on how to make sure your resolutions are realistic, and to make sure they stick around:

  • Set Realistic Goals – It’s great to want to completely revamp your (and your dog’s) life, but not completely realistic. Instead of trying to change everything, try changing one element and see if you can make the switch permanent.
  • Embrace Change – You may have set what you thought was the perfect resolution, only to learn that it works better in theory than reality. No worries! It’s a common scenario. Try changing your resolution to better suit your current capabilities.
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Fail – No matter what you and your dog’s resolutions were, it’s okay if you didn’t meet them! Sometimes, resolutions just don’t fit our current lifestyle or circumstances; other times, we struggle to maintain motivation and momentum. Either way, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break and trying again later!
  • Be Yourself – The best resolutions are the ones that will help you and your pet the most. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, or what the most popular resolutions were from last year. Be yourself and choose the changes that will be suit you.

You and your dog may be determined to completely change in time for the New Year ball drop, but remember not to bite off more than you can chew. Instead, try and set limited, realistic goals that you’ll be able to stick to.

But more than anything, remember not to get too caught up in planning your future selves or future lives. Be present in the moment, and appreciate what matters most: each other. The bond between people and their four-legged friends is one that’s already perfect.

Happy New Year!

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