New Year’s resolutions have become almost a joke for most of us. How many of us make resolutions every year, knowing that they will be broken before the new year rolls in? Some of the most common resolutions are to eat healthier, exercise more, and save money.
Most things we do are more fun with a buddy, so here are some New Year’s resolutions for dog owners that may help you and your four-legged best friend succeed with your goals in the new year!
Since we control what our pets eat, it is generally our fault if our dogs are overweight. I love giving my dogs treats, but since my Ella is an “easy keeper”, I have to find healthier snacks for her. Luckily, she loves Charlee Bear’s Bear Crunch with only three calories per treat! If you have a pup that struggles with their weight, green beans are a wonderful choice that will make them feel full without adding calories! Often, just eating slower will help your dog feel full, so you might want to try a slow feeder to make the meals last longer.
Years ago, my veterinarian told me to put one of my Labs (I was showing her and weight was an issue) on the “green bean diet.” At each meal, I would cut back her kibble by ½ cup and give her at least a ½ cup of canned green beans. The beans are low in calories, but they made her feel full, so it was a painless way for her to “diet.” As an added benefit, she loved them, so it was a “treat!”.
Getting more exercise is a New Year’s resolution that makes many people’s list. Why not have your best friend join you? Going for walks, hikes, or visiting local parks more often is a great way for you and your dog to get more exercise while getting some fresh air and having some fun.
If you are going out for an evening stroll, the Kong HandiPOD Starter Kit has everything you need, including a flashlight! The flashlight has 100 lumen LED (and comes complete with batteries). The kit also features hand sanitizing gel and biodegradable pick-up bags. The bags are high-quality and have tie handles.
You can also help ensure your dog is more visible to others by using a reflective leash and by providing them with a reflective collar, reflective harness, or a lighted collar. Now there is no excuse for not exercising in the evening!
Get More Rest
Most of us could use more rest (which might make us more energetic for all this new exercise), and your dog would probably appreciate a new dog bed. If you’re looking for a soft and stylish premium bed, La-Z-Boy Dog Beds and are made with orthopedic and memory gel foam to give them the ultimate amount of support after a long day of training and playing.
We also have new Green Spring Plaid Pillow Beds that are made of 100% recycled GreenSpring material, have a zippered, machine washable cover, and are filled with a one-piece layered filling. So, they are comfy, eco-friendly, and easy to keep clean. Providing your pup with a comfortable and supportive bed will help them sleep soundly. This helps ensure they’ll be ready to stick with their exercise/play program!
Learn a New Skill
Maybe you’ve been thinking about going back to school or learning a new hobby as one of your New Year’s resolutions. Now is also the perfect time to teach your dog a new skill. If your dog doesn’t know “sit”, that’s a good starting point. If you have an obedience star, how about a new sport such as agility or rally obedience? One of my very favorite activities to teach is scent discrimination or “nose works.” This activity actually encourages my dog to do what she does naturally: use her nose!
Remember that when training any new behaviors, you should reward the effort and keep the training sessions short. Most dogs love learning new behaviors, but short, positive sessions are more fun for you and your dog. Always end each session with a “win”, even if it is just doing a simple behavior that your dog has done many times before. Your enthusiasm will be contagious, and your dog will look forward to the next session. If you need any help with training questions, please email or call me anytime!
See More Scenery
Keeping things exciting can help you and your dog stick to your New Year’s resolutions. If you find yourself getting tired of visiting the same local parks or trails, consider going on a pet-friendly adventure. Venturing out to a new park or hiking trails in a nearby town can be exciting for both of you. During the car ride, it’s essential to make sure your dog is traveling safely. For small dogs, a car seat is a great option, and for large dogs, a seat belt restraint will help keep them safe.
Stocking up on some travel essentials for dogs can help prepare you for your adventure. Travel bowls, waste disposal bags, and a treat pouch are just a few accessories you can bring to make sure you have everything you need to have a safe and fun outing!
For more information about traveling with pets, check out my blog 8 Handy Tips for Traveling with Pets.
Drink More Water
It is important for us to drink plenty of water, and the same is true for your pet. Always provide plenty of clean, fresh water for your dogs and cats. Did you know that as a general guideline for water consumption, a healthy dog should drink between ½ and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day? So a healthy 65-pound Labrador, for example, should drink 33 to 65 ounces of water daily.
Save More Money
As a part of our Jeffers family, you know we always try to offer you the best quality products at affordable prices. We do our best every day to help you with the “saving money” part of your New Year’s resolutions!
Happy New Year and best wishes on adopting some new, positive lifestyle changes for you and your four-legged buddy. I’d love to hear your success stories, so please call or email me anytime!
Renee Jones, CPDT-KSA, is a certified professional dog trainer, having received instruction from canine behaviorist Dr. Pamela Reid, plus nationally acclaimed trainers: Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, and Jean Donaldson, to name a few. She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She serves as a Pet Marketing and Canine Specialist for Jeffers Pet.
Renee can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-800-533-3377.
This blog is a general guideline only. It should not supersede the guidance of a licensed veterinary professional.