Dog wearing party hat.for New Year Resolution

10 New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog

With 2012 looming dangerously close, the time for making resolutions is fast approaching. If you’re bored of making clichéd resolutions however and want to try something new, then why not make a New Year’s Resolution with your dog?

Now that might sound a little strange at first, but below we’ve got 10 resolutions suitable for both you and your dog! Sharing your resolution will help to keep you motivated and interested.

So whether you fancy getting active, or getting crafty, or maybe you want to learn something new, be sure to check out these great New Year’s Resolutions!

Start Taking Longer Walks

We all know that staying active is good for you. Walking the dog is a great excuse to get out of the house, be active and keep your dog amused. It may be however, that for the past year or longer, your dog walks have been limited to the same field or route, if so why not try something new?

Try a new location, longer distances, different terrain or even different paces (time to put on those jogging shoes?) and spice up your walks!

You new walking routine will help to keep you active and keep your dog interested and healthy, but why not take things a step further and record your progress? If you have a smartphone, there are plenty of apps available which can record your speed, distance and pace – or if you don’t you can always pick up a cheap pedometer and record the number of steps you are taking. Set yourself a target and beat it!

Longer walks with your dog can help you lose weight using runkeeper
RunKeeper is available for Android and iPhone and can help track your progress

Join a Dog Walking Group

Dog walking groups add another element to keeping you motivated. The regular schedule of a dog walking group can ensure that you get up and go with your dog instead of always leaving it till ‘later’.

If you don’t have a dog walking group near you, but think you would benefit from one, why not set one up? Advertise it in papers, online or at local events or even simply put up a few flyers! Take a look at the Sheffield Dog Walking Group website if you need inspiration.

Train for a Charity ‘Fun Run’ With Your Dog

If taking longer walks, or joining a dog walking group wasn’t enough then this one is for you! Take the year to start training for a ‘Fun Run’ which are often a few miles or kilometres in distance. Start jogging with your dog on a regular occasion to build yourself up for the final event.

Both you and your dog will benefit from the extra activity and you always have the option to do something good for charity as well by getting sponsored for the final event. Consider using a site such as JustGiving if you intend to get people to sponsor you. It takes all the hassle out of collecting, can be shared easily via facebook or twitter and acts as good motivation to make sure you keep training for your target run!

Take a Dog-Friendly Holiday in a New Destination

If all the above were a bit too active for you, then why not take the occasional weekend to venture into Great Britain’s beautiful countryside? Take the time to explore some of Britain’s expansive woods and forests or rural retreats. This gives you the chance to explore, meet new people and possibly go places you might never have considered before.

Head down to your local bookstore and buy a guide to Great Britain’s countryside as it will be full of amazing locations, then why not plan to visit one place a month for the year? Why not try reading through a book such as ‘The Most Amazing Places to Visit in Britain’s Countryside to get some ideas.

Have a Go at a New Activity with Your Dog

Take a look in the local newspaper or online to find activities going on in your area such as flyball or agility trials. If there is a group near you, then this is your year to get involved! These activities give your dog a chance to use up some of their energy and maybe discover a hidden talent! It also gives you the chance to meet some new people, strengthen the bond between you and your dog and maybe even discover that you have an undiscovered talent!

Learn flyball in the new year with your dog
Image Courtesy of donjd2

Learn a Doggy Craft

If you don’t fancy something energetic, or maybe your dog is getting older and prefers a slower paced lifestyle, why not take some time to learn a new craft?

You could try knitting, leatherwork, woodwork or even baking. If you are looking for some ideas, then have a look at our Best of Etsy article which shows some of the amazing things people have crafted for their pets.

It might take a while to pick up a new craft, but if you are good at it and stick with it, then you might even be able to make some money from this resolution!

Get Dancing! Try Heelwork to Music

Ok, this probably isn’t going to appeal to many of you, but heelwork to music is a great way to have fun, strengthen the bond between you and your dog and show off! Training can be difficult but fun and the end result is truly amazing.

You might have seen some of the heelwork to music other people have done on Britain’s Got Talent and if you are in need of some inspiration, I’d recommend checking out local events or even the heelwork to music finals held at Crufts, where dogs and their owners from around the globe compete for the title of best dancer!

Learn a New Doggy Skill

There are a few skills you could try and pick up this New Year, how about learning to professionally groom your pet to save those trips to the groomer? Or what about learning how to plan a perfect nutritional diet depending on breed or size?

Skills such as these aren’t just going to benefit yourself, you can share them with your friends and potentially save you all some money!

Start Dealing with Those Behavioural Problems

Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety? Are they always barking at neighbours or other dogs? Whatever the problem is, the New Year is your chance to deal with the problem. Whilst training is believed to be easier when a pet is younger, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible as they age.

Do a bit of research in to what might be causing your pet’s problems and how they can be treated – the internet is a great place to start. Then start following the tips you find to help deal with your pet’s problems. Dealing with behavioural problems can take time, so don’t expect results in a day. Keep trying and why not share your progress with others or ask for help in online forums. You could even write in to one of the many dog magazines, if they publish your letter they will provide you with expert insight on how to deal with your pet’s problem.

Start Blogging!

If you are the creative type but don’t fancy learning a new craft, then why not put your writing skills to good use! Starting a blog is free and easy; it is also a great way to share advice, stories or anything else with the world.

You can see our guide to starting your own pet blog here

You can cover anything you like; dogs, cats, products, behaviour or training – it’s completely up to you! Again, this is a great way to help other people and if your pet is the star of your blog, the extra attention they get will strengthen the bond between you. You will also learn a lot from researching about what you write and you have the potential to meet many like-minded people, as they stumble across your blog and leave you a comment.

Your Thoughts

So will you be trying one of these resolutions instead of the clichéd ‘Join the gym’ or ‘lose weight’? If you have tried any of the above before and have any tips, why not share your advice in the comments below? If you do try one of these resolutions, be sure to let us know how you get on!

About James Watts

BSc Bioveterinary Science. Editor of PetSci. When I'm not writing, learning, discussing, or reading about animals, you know it's the weekend! Currently developing PetSci HealthTrak, the fast and easy way to monitor your pet's weight and calorie intake. HealthTrak offers a simple way to track your pet's progress, helping them achieve a healthy weight and a long, happy life.

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