Many of us think of New Year's Resolutions the same way our dog might think of visiting the vet for a round of yearly vaccination boosters - an unpleasant ritual that results in hiding, whimpering, and way too many cookies. But they don't have to be completely unpleasant - the resolution part, anyway. Regardless of your personal feelings about exercising and eating more broccoli, having dog-themed resolutions can actually make life a little more fun.
1. More Exercise - Yes, I realize that I am beginning with an obnoxious one. "Exercise" in this case does not involve going to CrossFit and having some perfectly sculpted 20-something berate you. This just means moving around more with your dog. It could be going for a few extra walks each week. (Try them with a Freedom No-Pull Harness) Or it could mean playing a few extra games of fetch outside. Or it could mean, like in my house, a few dance parties. My dogs love it when I turn up some music and boogie. They get off the couch and jump around. Moving around for at least twenty minutes per day can only be a good thing. Both you and the pups can have fun. And the bonus is that you can tell your doctor that you are indeed exercising each day.
2. Healthy Treats Keto, Paleo, or cheesecake - eat whatever you want. But your pup can get some healthy treats. Cut up some fruit pieces, or save a few strips of non seasoned chicken for her. Or you can get her some Doggie Chicken Chips which low in calories and comprised only of chicken. Your dog loves you no matter what. Treats make her know you love her - why not make them healthy?
3. Fun Quality of Life Time Put down the phone and give your dog 100% of your attention, if only for a few minutes. Dogs can be like kids in that they know when your mind is elsewhere. Enjoy your time with them. You are their whole world. When they get belly rubs from you or a spontaneous game of fetch, you've just made their day. Your day will be greatly improved as well. Nobody will ever go to their grave wishing that they'd played Minecraft more and petted their dog less.
4. Helping Others in Need If you adopted your dog through a shelter or rescue, consider making a donation to that organization. It doesn't have to be enormous; literally any amount is appreciated. Other organizations that provide therapy dogs for trauma survivors or veterans do invaluable work for their communities. If you prefer to volunteer your time, there are many places that would love the manpower. Whether it's cleaning cages or helping to write grants, your efforts can be of tremendous service, particularly when many of these groups operate on a shoestring budget. Basically, helping other people and dogs create connections generates positive energy and good will - things we can all agree we'd like to see more of in 2020.