It’s well known that when setting a New Year’s resolution, we are more likely to keep to it if we have someone to do it with. Even if you can’t find a human companion to keep you on track, your dog won’t let you down. So why not make some goals that will benefit you both this year. So as the clock reaches midnight, we’re sharing five ways to celebrate the New Year with dogs.
Whether it’s losing a few pounds, getting fit, or taking up a new hobby, your dog can keep you company, motivate you, and make sure you both have lots of fun too.
Resolution 1 daily walk
One of the joys of having a dog is the daily walk: fresh air, exercise, and a chance to explore the neighborhood. But surprisingly, one in five dog owners doesn’t take their dog for a daily stroll. Many owners believe that a run around the yard provides all the exercise that a dog needs.
However, a daily walk isn’t just about our dog’s physical needs. Not only does a regular stroll provide much-needed mental stimulation, preventing boredom, but it’s a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with your dog.
Why not vary your walks depending on how you’re both feeling. Try to mix things up with brisk walks, slow walks, sniffing walks, and even walks where you allow your dog to choose the route. Not only will this keep your dog happy, but you can ring in the New Year with a fitter you too.
Resolution 2 learn something new
Why not spend New Year’s eve planning a new trick to teach your dog. Just as we find learning something new rewarding, so do our dogs. Training your dog has enormous benefits. Brainwork tires out a dog much more efficiently than physical exercise. This not only prevents unwanted behaviors that often occur when dogs are bored. But it’s an ideal method of bonding with your dog.
What’s more, you’ll learn a lot about how smart your dog is and get to show off your training skills to your friends.
Resolution 3 join a club
Sharing activities with other people is fun. So why not celebrate the new year by finding a friendly local club where you and your dog can meet a new furry friend. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming. But play to you and your dog’s strengths. Are you both energetic and adventurous? If so, why not try agility.
Is your dog ball obsessed? Then Flyball might be the place for you. Have you got a high-energy northern breed that likes to pull? Get them involved in sledding.
If you still can’t decide, a great place to start is with Nose Work. Pets almost universally enjoy nose Work. Not only do they get to engage in inherently rewarding activity, but it can be done anywhere.
Even if you have a dog that’s not happy with social interactions, the structure of a Nose Work workshop means that your dog can still attend safely. Joining a club is a fun way to meet other like-minded people and get your dog involved in a new activity.
Resolution 4 try a new recipe.
While it’s easy to get into a rut with food, trying something new adds some excitement to mundane meals.
Well, it’s the same for our dogs. However, many dogs are content chow down on the same kibble day after day. Adding something novel keeps your pet motivated, which is especially useful when you’re teaching your dog a new trick.
So why not celebrate New Year by cooking up something new. There is no shortage of recipes for do-it-yourself dog treats. But if you’re unsure where to start, check out the simple recipes here.
While treats guarantee your dog’s interest in you, remember to take any extra calories out of your dog’s daily food allowance, or you’ll end up adding ‘lose weight’ to next year’s resolution list.
Resolution 5 ditch the bowl
While this resolution might seem to be solely for the enjoyment of your dog, you and your family will reap the benefits too. Although food is such a huge part of our dog’s day, it often only lasts for a few seconds. Whether you’ve got a dog that bolts its meals or a dog that spends some time savoring its food, ditching your usual dog bowl for an interactive food-dispensing toy or slow bowl feeder will enrich your dog’s life immensely.
Not only does working for food engage your dog’s brain, but many dogs find hunting for food exciting. Even if you haven’t got the budget to buy a new type of bowl, many interactive feeding methods don’t need additional equipment.
Simply scattering food in the backyard or the long grass will engage your dog’s natural foraging instincts. While rolling treats in an old towel will test your dog’s problem-solving capabilities.
While the aim is to provide your dog with a challenge, if it’s your dog’s first time working for food, it’s important not to make the tasks too tricky as it will only frustrate your dog and won’t be enjoyable. So what’s the benefit to you? Well, apart from watching your dog have fun, working for food is tiring.
What’s more, interactive feeding is perfect for dogs that bolt their meals. Slowing food intake helps prevent issues such as bloat, which can be deadly.
New Year with dogs
Whatever New Year’s resolution you’re making this year, why not team up with your dog and do it together? Not only are dogs great motivators. But they’re enthusiastic and always up for trying something new. Whether you’re taking on one challenge or many this coming year. Having your dog by your side is ideal for enjoying the celebration and starting the New Year.
And remember to keep your animals safe this New Year’s eve night. If your dog is afraid of loud noises, fireworks, or all the party noise, check out our New Years’ Eve tips here. From all of us at PracticalPaw, we wish you good luck and a very Happy New Year.