As you’re reflecting on the 12 months behind you and anticipating a happier, healthier year ahead, it’s the perfect time to resolve to make it an even better year for your dog, too!
Here are 6 New Years resolutions that will improve not only your year ahead, but your dog’s upcoming year, too.
1. “I will get more exercise.”
It’s probably the most common resolution ever made (and, sadly, the most commonly forgotten halfway into February). This is one resolution that will absolutely benefit both your dog’s health and the bond you share.
There are so many ways to increase your own exercise that include your furriest family member. Resolve to take a walk every single day. Take your dog hiking. Go for a swim together. Set up a backyard agility course and run it with your dog.
2. “I will eat healthier.”
If you’re like many pet parents, you can’t resist those sad puppy dog eyes, staring up at you while you snack. A lot of us give in and share a bite or two of our food with our dogs – and that’s ok! But, when we’re making bad choices, we’re subjecting our dogs to high fat, low nutrition food, too.
In the coming year, resolve to make better choices at mealtimes. Swap out those potato chips for kale chips, replace the cheese sticks with carrot sticks. As your own health improves over the next 12 months, you’ll see an improvement in your dog’s health, too.
3. “I will try new things.”
If the last year has felt endlessly routine, plan in the upcoming year to try new things! While you’re at it – plan some new things that your dog can join in on!
Have you ever taken a road-trip with your dog? This year, why not clip on the safety harness, strap on the Doggles, and hit the open road! There are plenty of new things to try that can easily (and safely!) include your dog—camping, hiking, even taking a fun dog training class or teaching your dog a new trick.
4. “I will take better care of myself.”
Because so many of us spend our time, energy, and resources on other responsibilities, the most very basic need of all – to take care of ourselves – often winds up on the back burner. Don’t forget in the upcoming year to put your own needs first every now and then.
Treat yourself and your body more kindly. Reduce stress. Stop smoking. Cut out fried foods. Drink more water. Take a night off to cuddle with your furkids on the couch. People who take care of themselves lead happier, healthier lives. And, when you’re happier and healthier, your dog will be, too.
5. “I will spend more time with loved ones.”
It’s sometimes hard to find extra time—there’s only so many hours in a day, right? This coming year, take a look at where your time is spent and who it’s spent with. If the people that are eating up all your extra hours aren’t loved ones, people (or pets) that make you happy or somehow improve your quality of life, it’s time for a change. Instead, spend time with loved ones as often as you can. Your dog will most certainly enjoy every minute she gets to spend with you, her most favorite person in the world.
6. “I will do more good deeds.”
Set aside some time and energy in the New Year to do a few good deeds. If you’re an animal lover, consider volunteering to walk, bathe, or train animals at your local shelter. Offer to walk an elderly neighbor’s dog. Foster a pup in need. Donate items to your favorite rescue group (Here are 5 great ways to help your local shelter when you can’t adopt!). If you buy a new toy for your dog, pick up a duplicate and donate it to a shelter.
While you’ll be directly improving the lives of other dogs with these good deeds, your own dog’s life will improve when his own mom or dad is happier, more confident, and feels good about how they’re helping others.
If nothing else, resolve to simply be the person your dog thinks you are. Cheers to a happier and healthier New Year!
Have you made a New Year’s resolution that includes improving your dog’s upcoming year? Tell us about it in a comment below.