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Waggy New Year: 4 New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog

A new year is everyone’s chance to start fresh. Use these tips to revitalize the connection between you and your dog this new year.
A dog sniffing the face of its smiling owner

Dog New Year’s Resolutions

A new year is everyone’s chance to have a big do-over—a chance to start fresh. When starting this new chapter, why not focus on your friendships, specifically the friendship between you and your dog? When you’ve loved someone (furry or human) for a long time, sometimes it’s easy to take them for granted. Use these tips to revitalize the connection between you and your dog this new year.

Walk like your dog

Sure, you’ve taken your dog for a walk before—but have you ever paid attention to what she’s like when you’re out together? While you’re walking, worrying about deadlines and what you’re going to have for dinner, your pooch is checking out every sight, sound and (sometimes) taste she comes into contact with. Try and stay present during the next walk and look closely at everything your dog is looking at.

Take a day to play

Your dog loves to play, and even though you’re busy, a few halfhearted games of fetch just aren’t going to cut it. This year take one day a week (or even just an hour or two) to play with your dog until she’s tired. This means throw the ball every time she brings it back, and wrestle with the tug-of-war rope as long as she wants. Your pup will thank you for the extra attention.

Try something new

The best way to bond with anyone, human or dog, is to have new experiences with each other. Try a new hiking trail with your dog. Take him to a doggy yoga class. Eat at a restaurant in your city that welcomes pets. You could also go the practical route and train your dog to stay still and calm for teeth brushings and nail trims. Who knows, you might even learn a few new tricks along the way!

Give back

Volunteering to help others is a great way to connect with your dog and give back to the community. Look into training your dog as a comfort animal that can visit children in the hospital or elderly people in convalescent homes. Or, if your dog is friendly, just taking him to visit someone in your life who could use extra love is a good way for the both of you to help out. You could also consider donating old items like collars, harnesses or crates your dog has outgrown to a local animal rescue or shelter. Just make sure they’re all in working order and good condition first!

Each year you get to have a dog as a friend is a good year. Here’s to health, happiness, sloppy kisses and wagging tails this year.