The start of a new year is a great time to do some reflecting on the past year and set goals for the coming year. If you (or your pet) have some bad habits that need breaking or want to try venturing out of your comfort zone, January is a great time to start fresh with New Year’s resolutions.
There’s no reason your pets can’t be included in your goals. In fact, it’s a good idea to set some resolutions that focus on your furry friend. If you’re not sure where to start, read on for some of our favorite ideas—in no particular order.
(And, if you’re not a pet owner yet, we have an easy New Year’s resolution for you: adopt a shelter dog!)
#1: Go on More Walks.
Fresh air, exercise, mental stimulation (and a mental break) all make regular walks a healthy idea for both you and your dog. Plus, they’re a great chance to spend some quality time together while practicing basic commands and working on leash training.
If you already go on multiple walks with your dog each day, try setting a goal to get creative with exercise. For example, build your own dog agility course or set aside time for a few extra games of fetch.
#2: Enroll in Pet Insurance.
If you haven’t already, now is a great time to do some research to find the best pet health insurance plan for your four-legged friend. Pet health insurance allows you to make the best, healthiest choice for your pet—not just the cheapest. Don’t wait too long to find a provider and plan, though; if a condition already exists by the time you enroll your pet in a health insurance plan, it may not be covered.
Prioritize your pup’s health with Pet Honesty’s 10-for-1 Multivitamin chews. This tasty blend of natural ingredients is full of vitamins, minerals, omegas, and probiotics to promote healthy digestion, joints, skin, and more
#3: Try New Foods.
It’s always a good idea to make sure your pet is eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. If you’re looking for an easy way to add some extra nutrients to your furry friend’s food, try some of our favorite superfoods for dogs: berries, fish, bone broth, ginger, turmeric, and more.
Pet Honesty’s Salmon & Fish Oil Pack contains sardines, mackerel, anchovies, and herrings—an easy way for Fido to get his fish fix!
#4: Try a New Activity.
Dogs are creatures of habit, meaning they love a predictable routine. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t switch things up every so often. After all, a bored dog tends to be a mischievous dog.
Keep your dog’s mind sharp with puzzle feeders or puzzle toys; try nose work or playing new games together; go on a new type of outdoor adventure, such as hiking or biking. If you’ve got a senior pooch with joint and mobility issues, it may be time to try low-impact forms of exercise such as swimming.
#5: Plan a Photo Shoot.
Speaking of fun activities… have you ever done a photo shoot with your pet? Include your pooch in your family photos, or schedule a pet-and-owner photo session for great memories that last forever. (Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to wear color-coordinated or even matching outfits with their pet?)
Not to mention, you can use those fun photos as decorations for your dog’s birthday party later this year!
#6: Clear Out Old Toys.
Out with the old, in with the new. Just as we need to de-clutter every so often, it’s also a good idea to “Marie Kondo” our pets’ toy collection… especially if they’re dirty and germ-infested. Chances are, your pet will be happy to play with some new toys!
In order to keep the novelty from wearing off, introduce toys gradually and rotate them every so often. That way, it’ll be like a brand new toy (or feel like reuniting with an old friend) every time it’s re-introduced.
#7: Study Pet First Aid.
While it’s generally best to leave medical issues to the professionals, it’s never a bad idea to have a basic understanding of pet first aid in case of emergencies.
In addition to purchasing a pet first aid kit, we also recommend preparing an emergency preparation kit for your pet, making sure to include him in your evacuation plans. You never know when disaster will strike, and you want to ensure as much safety as possible for everyone—pets included.
#8: Make New Friends.
As if making friends wasn’t already complicated enough, the pandemic has made it increasingly difficult… especially if we’ve become a bit too comfortable spending our days at home. Dogs, like humans, are social creatures; we all need our fix of friendships.
Socialize your dog (ad yourself) by exploring different settings with other people and animals. Go to the dog park, enroll in obedience classes, or get your pup a built-in playmate by adopting a second dog!
#9: Learn New Tricks.
If your pooch is already potty trained and has a grasp of basic commands, try challenging him further by teaching him new tricks.
Training sessions are great for both physical and mental stimulation. Plus, they’re a fun way to bond with your furry best friend. Whether you’re teaching him to roll over or jump through a hula-hoop, tricks are a great way to keep your dog’s mind sharp. Keep challenging him as he ages—you can definitely teach an old dog new tricks!
#10: Spend More Quality Time Together.
Even if you spend a lot of your time at home with your pup, it’s important to set aside time specifically dedicated to your dog. Playing games together, cuddling up on the couch, making homemade treats, and even grooming are all great ways to pass the time with your pooch.
Wishing you and your furry friends a happy, healthy new year from all of us at Pet Honesty!