The New Year provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. Typically, New Years resolutions are reserved for humans but why can't we make some for our furbabies? We decided to do it, so here are 10 New Year's resolutions that can help you and your pup have a happy, healthy year ahead.
1. Exercise More
Physical exercise is so important for your dog. It keeps your pup active, relieves boredom and reduces problematic behaviors (like destructiveness and barking), maintains a healthy weight and has several health benefits (including for their heart and lungs).
2. Learn a New Skill
Why not try to teach your dog a new command or trick? Not only does it provide enrichment but it can improve behavior and teach manners. It also provides mental stimulation, which can reduce problematic behaviors. Training your dog proves that you can learn and have fun at the same time!
3. Get Pampered
When you work hard on something, you want to reward yourself. Well, your dog also works hard - to please you and be there for you. Maybe it's time to pamper your pup with some grooming and brushing. Your dog may not enjoy bath time while it's happening but they'll love feeling squeaky clean.
4. Try Something New
Life is made for adventure and new experiences. Maybe it's time to switch it up and try a new activity with your pup. Perhaps you want to try dog yoga, go on a hike together, go to a new dog park or a dog meet-up, take a little road trip or something else altogether!
5. Play More Often and Differently
Playing is a great way to add some fun to your dog's day and provide enrichment. Giving your pup a variety of toys will help prevent boredom and keep him or her busy. Life should be fun and what's more fun that some playtime?
Pro Tip: If you rotate your dog's toys, you won't have to keep buying new ones to continually pique his interest. But make sure not to rotate any special toys that your dog takes comfort in, so they're always available (e.g. if there's one he or she likes to sleep with).
6. Meet Others and Make New Friends
There's always room for more friends, especially if you're a dog. Try to meet some new people and dogs, whether it's during your neighborhood walk, going to the dog park or taking your pup to doggy day care. Not only will this expose them to new smells and experiences, but it'll promote positive socialization.
Learn more: Why Is Socialization Important For My Dog?
7. Improve Oral Hygiene
Brushing your dog's teeth may seem like a chore and easy to push aside. But it's very important to do, which makes it a good New Years resolution. Regular brushing is the best way to control tartar and plaque build-up. Dental treats and diets, as well as water additives, are also helpful in oral hygiene - but they're no replacement for brushing.
8. Change Up Your Walks
Walks are a wonderful way to get your pup his or her necessary exercise. They don't just provide your dog with physical activity though, they also provide him or her with mental stimulation. The same walk, however, becomes predictable and boring for your dog. Instead, try switching it up so he or she can experience new sights, sounds and smells.
9. Set Aside Time For Bonding
You and your dog have a special bond that's been developing since the first day you brought him or her home. And no matter how close you two are, there's always time for bonding. Set aside some special time each day or week to spend with your pup, whether you're cuddling on the couch or giving belly rubs and massages.
10. Give Back and Help Out
There are so many dogs in need around the world and New Years is the perfect time to set some goals about how to give back and help them. There are lots of ways to do this, from volunteering to donating all the way to fostering and adopting!