2022 is officially upon us, and what better way to welcome the New Year than with our best fur-riends? Whether you want to shed a few pounds or find a new hobby, pets can be excellent motivators. So, setting a goal that you and your dog can accomplish together might help you stick to those New Year’s resolutions (because everything is better with #dogs, of course!).
We all wish we could be the person our dog thinks we are. If you need a little inspiration to become a better version of “you” in 2022, here are 10 New Year’s resolutions that are perfect for pet parents:
- Step up your dental game
- Cut out the junk food
- Invest in self-care
- Learn something new
- Unleash your creativity
- Be more adventurous
- Become more organized
- Get involved with a charity
- Practice "health is wealth"
- Plan for the future
1. Step up your dental game
Did you know that by the age of three, over 80% of dogs will display some sign of dental disease?1 Without proper care, poor oral health can lead to pain, inflammation, and expensive teeth cleanings down the road (not to mention the stinky breath).
If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution you can do with your dog, start small with a commitment to improve your dental hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day and your dog’s teeth daily to say bye to bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.
2. Cut out the junk food
Puppy-dog eyes are kryptonite to many pet parents. It can just be so hard to resist feeding your favorite furry friend some delicious table scraps, and they’re certainly not complaining!
However, feeding your dogs human food that’s high in fat, sugar, or calories can cause obesity in pets and secondary problems like arthritis and diabetes. In addition, there are certain human foods dogs can’t eat without risk of severe adverse reaction that could even be life threatening.
Make a resolution to dial in your dog’s nutrition in 2022 — and hey, you might benefit from cutting out the junk food, too.
3. Invest in self-care
Self-care is incredibly important for our mental health and overall well-being. While cats are generally known as the self-care kings and queens, there are plenty of ways our pups can enjoy some zen time, too!
From holistic therapies like acupuncture for dogs, to soothing baths and leisurely sunset strolls, find a way to invest in self-care this upcoming year. You might be surprised to see how great you and your pet feel as a result!
4. Learn something new
Whoever said “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” didn’t know what they were saying! Armed with a few dog-training tips and the right, patient mentality, it’s totally possible to teach your senior pet new behaviors.
Learning is a fantastic way for both dogs and humans to keep their minds sharp, so try picking up a new skill for the New Year. Helping your dog learn something new will help strengthen your bond, too.
5. Unleash your creativity
Keeping pets happy during COVID-19 lockdowns requires some ingenuity. If things are feeling a little stagnant at home, make it a goal to play with your pup creatively. You could create a mini obstacle course in your home, hide objects for them to seek by scent, or introduce a pet puzzle that gets them thinking in different ways.
Getting more creative is essential for keeping both you and your pet mentally stimulated and engaged — especially during difficult times in the midst of a pandemic.
6. Be more adventurous
Take your creativity a step further this year and plan some exciting adventures to take with your pup. Some ideas might include going on a hike, visiting a national park, or taking a road trip to one of the best cities for dogs.
These adventures can be very affordable and will allow you to create cherished memories with your pet that will last a lifetime!
7. Become more organized
Getting more organized is a tried-and-true New Year’s resolution, but give it a twist this year by involving your pet. Toss out those old toys, invest in some sleek storage bins, and file all your dog’s records away in a safe place. Now is a great time to check that your pet’s microchip information is up-to-date and confirm they’re current on all vaccines that dogs need. (P.S. It’s a great time to get all your ducks in a row, too!)
8. Get involved with a charity
Though we may be past the holidays, it always feels good to give! It doesn’t have to be a monetary amount — your time and energy are very valuable gifts to many organizations in need of assistance.
You could lend a helping hand to your favorite rescue organization, volunteer at a local animal shelter, or get involved with a charity for pets. No matter where you decide to help, this New Year’s resolution for dogs will certainly warm your heart.
9. Practice "health is wealth"
Now more than ever, health is something we should always cherish and never take for granted. It can be easy to put routine care on the backburner, but it’s a critical step to preventing disease later in life. Make health a priority this year with a pet wellness plan that can offset costs such as wellness checkups and preventative therapies.
Remember that diet, exercise, and sleep are also crucial components of a healthy life for both you and your dog, so be sure to get plenty of each throughout the coming year.
10. Plan ahead for the future
New Year’s resolutions are all about looking to the future. While we should always hope and aspire for the best, it’s also important to plan for the worst. Unfortunately, no matter how careful or attentive you may be, unexpected illnesses and injuries can still occur. If anything were to happen to your four-legged friend, you’ll want to be financially prepared to give them the essential veterinary care they need to bring them back to health.
Be proactive in 2022 by enrolling in a pet insurance plan that provides a financial safety net in case you’re faced with expensive vet bills that are hard to afford. We never know what the future can hold for our dog’s health, so being prepared is the responsible thing to do for our pets and our own peace of mind.
- American Animal Hospital Association, “10 Facts You Need To Know To Protect Your Pet’s Oral (And Overall!) Health” Accessed Dec. 24, 2021.