The start of a new year is an exciting time, in which many people are creating goals for themselves in order to be healthier and happier. But here is a question for you: Have you ever incorporated your dog (or any kind of pet) into your new year’s resolutions?
I’m going to propose an idea for you, and that is to make your pet a part of your goals for the new year. Not only will it be enriching for your pet, but it has the potential to give you new experiences and opportunities as well. Some ideas for new year’s resolutions involving your pet could include:
- Taking some type of training class with your dog. Maybe try a fun class that is new to both of you and will teach you new skills: for instance, try a beginner agility class, or take on the challenge of Canine Good Citizen!
- Trying a new type of exercise. Take your dog on a run once a week, for example, or try rollerblading with him or her.
- Learning a new indoor game and playing it with your dog once a week. (For some ideas, check out my previous blog posts on “Find It” and Hide and Seek.)
- Teaching, say, three new tricks or commands to your dog (or cat!), or utilizing a new form of training like clicker training.
- Making playtime an integral part of your day, and, for instance, playing with your cat or dog for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening.
- You can also resolve to help homeless pets in need by volunteering your time or making a monetary donation to one of the many great animal rescue organizations across the country.
Making mindful goals with your pet in mind doesn’t have to take a lot of extra time, but even changing your routine in a small way can have a big effect on your pet’s life. If you plan to do this, or have done so in the past, feel free to comment below and share your story! No matter what, you are doing something great for your pet.