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. This will keep you tuned into your pup and also the world around you.
Take a day to play
Your dog loves to play, and even though you’re busy, a few halfhearted games of fetch just isn’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 he’s tired. This means throw the ball every time she brings it back, and wrestle with the tug-of-war rope as long as he 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. Who knows, you just might be the one to learn a few new tricks!
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.
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.
How are you making 2017 the year of your dog?
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