The presents are opened, the dinner is eaten–and now it’s time to start thinking about those New Year’s resolutions. It’s that time of year again when we think about what we coulda/shoulda/woulda done differently this year and vow to do better next year.
My efforts are usually (make that almost always) less than stellar. My personal resolutions have ranged from becoming fluent in Spanish (sadly I’m still just able to order, shop, and ask directions to the restroom) to keeping the office neat (don’t ask). I haven’t decided what my resolutions for the new year will be but I’m thinking…not only about resolutions for myself but also for the dogs.
- I’m going to continue with Barli’s training. I’m planning to next enroll Barli in a Canine Good Citizen training class at The Dog Alliance (where he just completed his first class). I’ve heard that if he can pass the CGC test then the test to be a nursing home therapy dog will be easy.
- I’m going to take more strenuous dog walks. A lot of our property is very steep; usually I stick to our trails or our road for our twice-daily walks and avoid the steepest hikes. I’m going to try to start taking a more strenuous walk (make that climb) at least every other day so the dogs will get a better workout (and me, too!)
- We’re going to plan a mini day trip every week. I like to do a full day trip each week with the dogs, but that’s not always possible. On weeks when we can’t spare a full day, we’re going to plan a mini day trip: breakfast out with the dogs or a trip to a local park we’ve never before visited. I just downloaded a map to all the parks and pockets parks in town so we can start discovering new places for dog walks.
- I’m going to stop making Tiki wear silly hats for photos. I don’t really mean that…Tiki just made me say it 🙂
Ideas from Other Dog Lovers
Halo, Purely for Pets once surveyed more than 1,000 pet parents to find out their New Year’s Resolutions for their dogs. The results are really fascinating:
- 88.7% of pet parents plan to help their pets get more exercise. Here’s how:
- 62.4% – more walks
- 68.3% – play with them more
- 30.3% – find a new game to play
- 2.9% – take a Doga class
- 1.9% – get into extreme sports
- 20.2% – go to the dog park more often
- 15.8% – run my cat up and down stairs
- 45.9% plan to help their pets lose weight in 2012. Here’s how:
- 44.8% – feed better quality food
- 35.1% – feed less food
- 34% – give fewer treats
- 33% – give more nutritious treats
- 68.7% – get more exercise
- 10.9% – plan a program with their vet
- 48.1% plan to teach their pets new tricks this coming year
- 69.4% plan to feed their pets higher quality food
- 86.8% plan to groom their pets more regularly. Here’s how:
- 68.1% will trim nails more regularly
- 52.7% plan to bathe their pets more regularly
- 80.3% are going to brush their pets more regularly
- 35.5% will start giving their pets supplements for their coat and skin
- 50.1% plan to brush their pet’s teeth more often
- 33.2% are going to start using natural grooming products
- 94.1% plan to help pets in need. Here’s how:
And some other great ideas from those surveyed:
- Take them to the beach
- Hand making toys and cushions for them
- More rides in the car
- Buy a new scratching post
- Visit hospitals and retirement homes to make people happy
- Make sure he drinks more water
- Build new cat tress
- Bring them with me more places
- Open her own savings account for vet emergencies
But the number one response to the survey is one that’s my favorite:
- Pet parents would like to spend more time with their pets and love them even more than they did last year!
Dr. Oz’s Recommendations for New Year’s Resolution for Your Dog
One year I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” (I found out he’s a big pet lover), and asked him about making your dog part of your New Year’s resolutions.
According to Dr. Oz:
“Pets are one of the best excuses to get the physical activity that so many Americans fall down on the job on. We’ve done a bunch of great shows with Marty Becker who I’m sure you know, who has been a real force for change in how we think about programming for health in America, because he can make almost anything come back to pets. He’s on target with so many of his commentaries…whether it’s understanding the health of your pet so you can understand your own health, whether you want to put your pet on a diet – because you know people who are heavy often have heavy pets. The same criteria that you use to get the pet to lose a little bit of that extra fat around the bones of their rib cage are the things that you need to do to lose that fat around your waist size.
And most importantly, besides focusing on what the pet’s eating, as you focus on what you’re eating, being able to get the pet outside to do the physical activity, whether it’s just simple walking or something more stressful than that, depending on what the pet wants and what you can tolerate.
It becomes a wonderful New Year’s resolution, that you’re going to do yourself. You’re personally going to walk them outside, get them outside early in the morning when the sun is so important in setting our circadian rhythms.”
And, as all dog walkers know, that great dog walk sets the stage for a great day!
Looking for More New Year’s Resolutions Ideas?
Buckle Up: Resolve to take the time to safely secure your dog in the car on ALL car trips, regardless of the length of the journey. Regardless of the method you choose–harness, crate or carrier, resolve to use it EVERY time, even for those short errands near home. (Remember: most accidents occur near home!) Not only will you be keeping your dog safer, but you’ll also be creating a routine and we all know how much our dogs love routines and thrive with them.
Be Active Every Day: Resolve to walk your dog or engage in another activity every day (not just potty walks!), regardless of the weather or how busy your day becomes.
Travel with My Dog Whenever Possible: Taking your dog on trips whenever you can makes travel more fun for your dog–and for you!
Measure Your Dog’s Food: Resolve to measure your dog’s food at each and every meal, even when traveling. Pet obesity is a serious problem; it’s all too easy to overfeed your dog if you’re just eyeballing the amount you’re feeding.
Train Daily: Resolve to make training part of your everyday routine with your dog. It’s fun for both you and your dog!
Plan for Joy: Resolve to start each day as your dog does: with joy…
Stop Now and Then: Resolve to stop and make time to smell the flowers…
Don’t Be Afraid to Look Silly! Resolve to show your joy…even if you might look a little silly doing it…
Help Homeless Pets: Resolve to do more to help homeless pets…
Just Watch the World Go By: Resolve to just sit with your dog and watch the world go by now and then…
And Resolution Ideas from Our Readers
We once asked for your resolutions for your dog. If you’re having trouble deciding on a resolution for your four-legged friend, have a look at these reader ideas:
Having lost a precious member of our family, our dear four year old Rottweiler who suffered from lupus my New Year’s resolution is to cherish every single second with our senior citizen Labrador and our new eight month old English Mastiff puppy. Not one day will go by that I won’t stop to cuddle and praise them as often as I can…I will never leave the house without telling them I love them and how good they are. You never know how long…or how short…a time you have with these marvelous beings and to forget how special they are, even for a day is a mistake. So that’s my resolution–simple enough…and a joy to fulfill, unlike those silly ‘lose weight’ resolutions I’ve made in the past! 🙂 — carriekinz
My dog resolves to walk my owner at least twice a day. — Kia
To roll in twice as much goose poo in the new year and smell as bad as I can for my mum!! I love you mum, but No more bubble baths for me in the new year!!! –Kirsty
I promise to do better about letting Mom know when I have to go out so I don’t wind up having an accident in the house! — Debs
I’m going to compete in my first agility competition! — Tex
Eat Healthier — LL
To help mom out in the kitchen. Mom makes a mess when she cooks so I’m volunteering to help clean up any messes that mom makes.– cstironkat
Goliath: to trim off 3-5 pounds. Cleo: less whining for attention. Sampson: learn to like little boys more– alitach
To stay out of the trash and to only eat food and treats mom and dad give to me. –cstironkat
i will not pee on my master’s bed–Theresa
To be the cutest hoochie mamma there is — Tammi
To get us both thinner; we are fat –Heidi
To go for a walk EVERY day (I usually just let my dogs go out in the backyard but realize they need the exercise just as much as I do!) –Rhonda
Same resolution as mine. My dogs all need to lose weight. So on the Vet’s orders, less treats and more exercise. I want them around for a long time. –nanpatste
To go to training school – allinadaze
Brush my dogs hair every day. –Pintu
I , Lake Johnson known affectionately as the Pump & Dumper…resolve to make “Friends” with rain storms. I will try real hard to remember that I won’t melt if rain touches me and to do my business on the inside of the pet door just isn’t the right thing to do.It’s just as easy to pump & dump, as my parents say, on the outside of the pet door even if it is raining…even if I fear I might float away… — Lake Johnson
My name is Little Mingo and my mom has big plans for me in 2010. I promise to NOT miss the piddle pad. Butt OVER the piddle pad. Butt OVER the piddle pad 🙂 — Kate & Little Mingo
Give a bath to my dogs every 2 weeks– Pintu
Take him for a walk every day in the morning. — Pintu
Teena says she is going to keep her diabetes under control this year by eating right and taking her medication. — JeansandTs
I wish for Big Daddy to be healthy and if possible more honorable. I promise to take you on longer walks to that you are able to breathe the fresh air along with meeting new friends. In addition to that to make more yummy biscuits for our business with your name on it. — Lauren
Start training for the Canine Good Citizen title with Haiku, my 2 year old Cavalier King Charles. — Beth
My dog’s new year’s resolution is to make her bladder stronger. When she gets too excited she piddles. — savanah
I hope we can get our baby to greet every dog with a smile instead of a growl. It’s a new behavior so we hope that this new year we can curb it! — Rinky
To learn the tricks that we have been trying to teach her for a couple of years. Finally. — Manda
One new trick per month! — Danika
To take my maser for a walk at least every other day. I will also try not to beg for so many doggie treats and maybe I can lose a few pounds. — sambo 59
My pup will stop lounging on the couch, eating beef jerky bon bons, and watching animal planet all day — ange222
to take better care of myself and my beautiful shep who is my world we need to walk BIG TIME as we are BIG!!! — HS
More exercise –LH
To take him and me on walks over the river and through the woods to lose weight for both our sake’s mentally and physically — HS
I resolve not to dress up my little girl in frilly outfits no matter how cute they are (she HATES it) — Pekemama
Sophie’s resolution: To get into the trash more often when no one’s looking….and then blame it on the cat. — Sara
Do you have a New Year’s resolution for your dog?