Forget going to the gym or learning Italian. This is the year to let your dog make your New Year’s resolutions for you. After all, your pup’s lifelong endeavor is to be your loving, loyal companion. The least you can do this year is bring an extra wag or two to their world.
Besides, your dog’s resolutions will have you both feeling great, and the best part is, none involve spandex, spin classes, or low-fat butter.
Here are six New Year’s resolutions that your dog really wants you to make.
1. I Resolve To Take Quality Walks
Chances are your pup never says no to a walk, even if it’s the same old stroll up the block and back. But know that your dog craves new scents and sounds as much as you enjoy new scenery.
So mix up your weekday walks with new routes, unfamiliar trails, and uncharted side streets, and explore new neighborhoods and parks on the weekends.
Better yet, research dog-friendly hiking spots in your area and venture somewhere new once a month.
2. I Resolve To Give Less Hugs And Play More Tug
Maybe you’ve noticed that squirmy, help-let-me-out wriggle your dog does during what you consider to be a loving embrace. Unlike us primates, dogs don’t feel all too reassured and gooey inside after a nice long hug.
In fact, they’ll most likely feel trapped—it’s just a canine thing. A hearty round of tug-of-war, however, can be a huge stress reliever and a nice bit of exercise, as well.
Note: If you intend to make tug-of-war a permanent activity in your repertoire, “drop it” and “off” are important commands to know.
3. I Resolve To Introduce New Toys Into The Mix
Remember, dog toys don’t have to be store-bought new, just new to your pup—that is, something they haven’t seen before, or at least in a very long time.
So, swap toys with a few different options so that every few weeks there’s something new for Fido to chase, charge, or chew on.
4. I Resolve To Throw A Party
We’re not necessarily talking about a fancy birthday bash or a bark mitzvah, though those are fun, too. A rendez-vous with a couple of your dog’s favorite people—or at least people who adore your pooch—will do.
Play a few of your dog’s preferred games, or simply ask invitees to practice a few basic commands with them.
It’s a chance for your dog to get praised, treated, and rewarded by someone else—great for socialization and a real boon to their confidence.
5. I Resolve To Bond Outside The Home
Agility classes may just be the perfect combination of mental stimulation, physical activity, and most important, team building between you and your best friend. Most dogs and humans have a blast at these classes.
However, if weave poles and tire hoops seem too daunting, consider a Canine Good Citizen class– a program designed by the AKC and offered in cities across the country–to promote responsible ownership and well-mannered dogs.
You’ll brush up on your training techniques while your dog gets a refresher course in good behavior.
6. I Resolve To Keep My Dog Physically Fit
And truly, this is the only one that requires any willpower. We know that pleading puppy eyes are harder to resist than any French pastry or sloppy cheeseburger, especially when there’s a stash of treats at hand.
But even though it seems like your dog is harnessing the world’s entire supply of Cute Power to get you to surrender that big hunk of cheese, know that they really mean to say is this: Please do everything you can to ensure that I’m healthy, mobile, and comfortable for a long, long time.
Grated carrots and a game of fetch, here we come!
What New Year’s resolutions does your dog want you to make this year? Do you plan to make any changes for your pup? Let us know in the comments below!