Looking to get the new year started off right? Why not take on a resolution with your dog! It’s a great way to switch it up, and hey, you even have a built-in accountability buddy.
There are lots of ways you can incorporate your dog into your new year goals – whether they’re health and fitness related or you want to focus on finding adventure, I know Fido’s down to join in.
Read on for some fun ideas of New Year’s resolutions to make with your dog!
1. Get your exercise in
Starting an exercise routine is one of the most common and cliché New Year’s resolutions out there, but I know a number of you have this on your list! Why not make it fresh and include your dog in your new found commitment to exercise?
Instead of a daily routine you do in the living room while Fido sleeps on the couch, incorporate your dog into your exercise commitment. It’s possible for many dogs to become running companions, and it actually works really well if you’re both just starting out. Couch to 5K type programs are the perfect way for you both to get into running.
While jogging and power walking are definitely the most popular and often accessible ways to exercise with your dog, you could also try for daily hikes, obstacle courses, and games of keep away.
2. Put dental hygiene on your radar
Canine dental hygiene is one of those things that falls by the wayside all too often. In fact, this is the item that’s going on MY New Year’s resolution list this year. It’s usually not until there’s a major dental issue that most dog owner’s give any thought to brushing their dog’s teeth.
The thing is, just like humans, dogs can develop gingivitis and periodontitis that leads to mouth pain and bone loss. And, like with most things, prevention is key!
When it comes to cleaning your dog’s teeth, you actually don’t have to brush every day. Most experts recommend 3-4 times per month. Surely we can commit to that, right? Dog toothbrushes that go over your finger make the job a lot easier.
If brushing feels impossible, check out the article: 7 Ways to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth without Brushing Them for some inspiration!
3. Help your dog get to a healthier weight
Has your dog put on a little more weight than they should have? Sadly, it’s usually the humans that are to blame. If your dog is more than 5% above their recommended weight, they may be considered overweight.
The easiest way to tell is by looking at our dog from above and from the side. You should be able to see a clear definition of their waist and their belly should be higher up than their chest.
If this isn’t the case, your dog can probably stand to lose a few pounds––and now is the perfect time to commit to a weight loss program.
While exercise and activity are important, it’s really all in how much you’re feeding them. Cut out the treats and table scraps and start feeding your dog the right amount at each meal.
Invest in a good measuring cup so that you can feed them the right amount. When you use a measuring cup that is too large, or just eyeball it, it’s easy to accidentally overfeed your dog. Most vets suggest cutting your dog’s daily food intake by 25-33% in order to promote healthy weight loss (source)
You can find more info and tips on how to help your dog lose weight, and get started on this resolution right away!
4. Make socialization a regular thing
Giving your dog the chance to regularly see and socialize with other dogs is an important part of pet ownership. This is an activity that many owners are very good about when their dog is a puppy, but it kind of takes a back seat as they get older.
The thing is, older dogs benefit from socialization just as much as puppies! Seeing other dogs is one of the best sources of mental stimulation, especially for very social and active breeds.
What’s more, regular doggie playdates keeps your dog’s social skills sharp. They maintain their ability to play and won’t inadvertently become aggressive or overly dominant towards other dogs.
Add doggie socialization to your calendar each week for a New Year’s resolution and you’ll both be better off for it! It’s a great way for you and your dog to bond, it provides your dog with much needed mental and physical stimulation, and it gets you outside and chatting with new people, too.
Before you head to the dog park, read this article about Dog Park Etiquette.
5. Try new things together
Going out to new places or trying a new hobby is a great resolution to take on with your dog! It’s another thing on the list that will benefit both of you mentally and physically.
Make it a goal to go to one new place to walk every week. Some ideas include state parks, local conservation areas, beaches, recreation areas, new-to-you neighborhoods, rail trails, dog parks, or even town centers.
Whatever you choose, just switch it up, keep things fresh, and explore new areas together!
6. Start a new hobby
You can take on an indoor hobby with your dog too you know! Why not try your hand at cooking for your dog, or baking some delicious people food dog treats?
You can also regularly play some indoor dog games together, or get back to training basics. All dogs benefit from regularly practicing base commands as a way of stimulation their brains.
And the more regularly you do basic training, the more fun you can have learning new party tricks together 😊
Get the year started off right
So what do you think? Do any of the ideas on this list have you motivated and ready to go? What might you add to list? Let’s keep the ideas rolling down in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
Happy New Year from all of us at Monster K9!