Make 2023 the best year ever for your dog by making (and keeping) these New Year’s Resolutions for dog owners. Whether you have a new puppy or a white-whiskered seasoned buddy, setting an intention to give your dog the best life possible is the noblest of resolutions. From tips that will aid your dog’s health to suggestions for lifelong memories, these dog owner New Year’s resolutions are sure to make for the best year for you and your dog.
New Year’s Resolution 1: Walk Your Dog Every Day
Even if your dog has a large yard to play in, few things will keep your pup happier and healthier than a daily walk. It can be tempting on the cold, dark days to just let your dog do their duty and bring them back in, but set aside dedicated time each day for a walk. It doesn’t have to be long or far, but even ten minutes of walking and exploring will do wonders for your dog (and probably your own mental health, too).
Tips on Dog Walking
1. Change Up the Routes: Dogs love novelty, so don’t hesitate to change up your walking routes. Exploring new places can stimulate their senses and keep them excited about their daily walks.
2. Socialize Your Dog: Use your daily walk as an opportunity for your dog to meet other dogs and people. Socialization is essential for their mental and emotional well-being, and it can also help with their behavior.
3. Incorporate Training: Combine your walk with some basic training exercises. Practice commands like “sit,” “stay,” or “heel” during the walk. This not only engages their mind but also reinforces obedience.
4. Consider Longer Weekend Walks: While short daily walks are great, try to schedule longer, more adventurous walks on the weekends. These outings can provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation for your dog.
5. Weather Preparation: Don’t let cold or rainy weather deter you. Invest in suitable gear for both you and your dog, like waterproof jackets and boots. Dogs can still enjoy walks in various weather conditions.
6. Hire a Dog Walker: If your schedule makes it challenging to commit to daily walks, consider hiring a professional dog walker or enlisting the help of a trusted friend or neighbor. Ensuring your dog gets regular exercise is essential for their overall well-being.
Have the best of intentions but don’t always follow through? Set an alarm on your phone for the daily walk and stick to it like you would any other appointment. In no time, this will become the highlight of both you and your dog’s day. Remember, a daily walk is not just a resolution; it’s a commitment to your dog’s happiness and health.
New Year’s Resolution 2: Find a Doggie Daycare
It only takes a few minutes watching a dog daycare webcam to realize doggie daycare is basically the best time a social dog can ever have. From playing with other K-9 friends to splashing in pools to getting head scratches from the caring staff, doggie daycare provides all the social, emotional, and physical needs your pup has.
Tips for Finding a Doggie Daycare
1. Research Thoroughly: Not all doggie daycares are created equal. Take the time to research and visit different places until you find a boarding facility in your area. Look for ones that have a clean and safe environment, well-trained staff, and a good reputation among dog owners.
2. Ask for Recommendations: Seek recommendations from fellow dog owners, your veterinarian, or local pet communities. Personal experiences can often provide valuable insights into the best dog daycare center options. And have questions ready for staff members.
3. Trial Day: Before committing, schedule a trial day at the daycare facility. This allows your dog to get accustomed to the new environment and helps you evaluate if it’s the right fit for your pet’s needs.
4. Check Webcam Feeds: Many doggie daycares and dog boarding facilities offer webcam feeds so you can check in on your furry friend during the day. It’s a great way to ease any separation anxiety and see how much fun your dog is having.
Remember, a well-chosen doggie daycare can be a game-changer in your four-legged friends’ life, providing them with not just companionship but also mental and physical stimulation.
New Year’s Resolution 3: Better & Healthier Treats
Dogs love treats. Dog owners love giving treats. But, too many treats and your pup may need to be joining you on a New Year’s diet. Make a resolution to give your dog yummy and healthy treats they love. To do this, make sure to read the ingredients on the label for treats at the store. Or better yet, make your own from scratch using healthy dog treat recipes online. If in doubt, speak with your veterinarian for treat ideas that will be delicious and healthy for your pup. Check out K-9 Castle’s Instagram for some fun seasonal recipes.
Tips for Healthy Dog Treats
1. Portion Control: Treats are meant to be occasional rewards, not meal replacements. Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overfeeding your dog.
2. Use Treats for Training: Incorporate treats into your dog’s training routine. Reward good behavior with treats to reinforce positive habits.
3. Opt for Natural Ingredients: When selecting store-bought treats, choose options with natural and wholesome ingredients. Avoid treats that contain fillers, artificial colors, or preservatives.
4. Homemade Treats: Making treats at home allows you to control the ingredients and ensure they’re free from additives. Look for healthy dog treat recipes online and have fun baking for your furry friend.
New Year’s Resolution 4: Keep Your Pup Stylish
For some, this New Year’s resolution aligns with their own fashion goals. But keeping your pup stylish doesn’t have to mean dressing them up in silly errr…. fashionable outfits. Maintaining a regular grooming schedule may be just what your pup needs to feel their best. This includes doggie baths, nail clippings, ear cleanings, and haircuts as needed. Also, a new year can be a good time to do an inspection of all their gear, like their collar, leash, and harness, to make sure it is clean, safe, and functional.
Tips for Dog Maintenance
1. Professional Grooming: Schedule regular visits to a professional groomer who can keep your dog’s coat and nails in tip-top shape.
2. Brushing Routine: Brushing your dog’s coat at home not only keeps them looking good but also helps with shedding and prevents matting.
3. Pet Safety: Ensure that your dog’s collar, leash, and harness are in good condition and fit properly. Safety is paramount during walks and ensures happy dogs and owners.
4. Fun Accessories: Consider adding fun accessories like bowties, bandanas, or ID tags with personalized information to your dog’s attire.
New Year’s Resolution 5: Monthly Pup-Adventures
Life is short and even shorter for our furry friends. Make the most of the time you have with your pup by planning intentional regular adventures (aka pup-ventures). Whether it’s taking pet photos with Santa, checking out an awesome dog day hike, the headless horseman pumpkin challenge at K-9 Castle, the dog splash day at a local pool, a charity pet race, or a playdate with your dog’s bestie, carve out the time for you and your dog to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Tips for Creating Memories with Your Pup
1. Plan Ahead: Schedule your pup-adventures in advance to ensure you have dedicated time for fun outings.
2. Safety First: Prioritize safety during all activities. Keep your dog on a leash when necessary, ensure they are well-behaved around other animals and people, and bring essentials like water and snacks.
3. Explore New Places: Don’t be afraid to explore new places and experiences. Dogs thrive on novelty, and discovering new environments can be exhilarating for them.
4. Involve Friends: Include your friends and their dogs in your adventures for even more fun and socialization opportunities for you and your furry family member.
Be sure to follow K-9 Castle on Instagram and TikTok to get ideas for pup adventures year-round. Making the most of your time with your furry companion is a resolution that both you and your pup will cherish.