New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog

Sparky Steps - Goals and Resolutions for You and Your Dog

New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog

If you are resolving to make some changes in 2020, you can take your dog along for the ride. Whether you want to improve your eating habits, start exercising more, or pick up a new hobby, involving your dog can help you stick to your resolutions beyond the first month of the year. Here are a few New Year’s goals you and your dog can try for together.

 

Embrace an Exercise Routine

Committing to regular exercise is one the most common New Year’s resolutions. While you probably can’t bring your dog to the local gym, the two of you can try different outdoor activities to get moving more often. Take your dog for a walk in your neighborhood, or explore a neighborhood further from home. If you have a local dog-friendly bar or restaurant nearby, set that as your destination so you can treat yourself. You can also take up hiking or biking with your dog.

 

Stick to a Regular Oral Hygiene Schedule

Remembering to brush our teeth at the end of a long day is hard enough, let along remembering to brush your pup’s teeth. But, keeping those chompers clean is equally important for people and canines. Research brushless dental care options, or commit to daily tooth brushing for your dog. Tooth brushes and tooth paste designed for dogs can make the job easier, and keeping up a daily ritual will help your dog become accustomed to the process.

 

Introduce Healthy Snacks

After the rush and delicious indulgences of the holidays, many people want to settle into a healthier diet plan. If you are in the habit of allowing your dog to munch on many of your snacks, think about switching out some of those treats for healthier alternatives. Dogs can safely eat things like cantaloupe, pineapple, carrots, and certain types of berries. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a healthy option for people and pups. You get to give your dog some of the coveted people food (who can resist those begging eyes?) while sneaking in some nutrition.

 

Learn Something New

This is the year the “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” saying gets debunked. We have dogs as pets because we love their companionship. While a lot of that is cuddling up on the couch together, it can be fun to try something new. If your dog doesn’t know how to swim, try lessons at Doggy Paddle, a canine aquatic center. When the weather starts to warm up (as far away as that may seem), head to one of the city’s dog beaches. Work on training your dog for a new skill, whether practical or silly. Mental and physical stimulation help to keep your dog healthy.

 

Make New Friends

Making new friends is easier for dogs than it is for us humans, but having a dog as a wingman can certainly help. Try frequenting a new dog park to give your dog a chance to socialize. If you are interested, chat with some of the other owners there. If you are looking for more canine companionship, consider fostering a dog at home or volunteering a local shelter. Chicago has plenty of shelters (like PAWS or The Anti-Cruelty Society) and dogs in need.

 

Written by Carrie Pallardy

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