Beautiful young couple holding Beagle Puppy and celebrating the New Year.

7 New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog

New Year’s resolutions are better with the right support—learn how you and your doggo can make 2022 the best year yet!

Every year, New Year’s rolls around (not in the fun doggo way) and takes us by surprise. We often find ourselves reflecting on the year behind us and looking to the future to decide what might be in store. Each new year is an opportunity for us to improve our lives, but whoever said that we should be doing this alone?

Young Woman holding her Jack Rusell Terrier, enjoying New Year night on a city street.
Bringing in the New Year together!

Our doggos are strong, independent, and vibrant beings who also deserve to benefit from what the new year can bring. Though they might have different goals, you might be surprised to find just how much your favorite pup can benefit from entering the New Year with a brand new focus. In this article, we will explore resolutions for you and your canine that will help you to live better lives in 2022!

Resolutions for the Humans

Group of friends toasting and celebrating the New Year.
Love, laughter and friends is what life is all about.

Humans have a lot of nifty ways to improve their lives, and you will find that there is no lack of options when it comes to self-improvement in the New Year. Of course, there are some resolutions to keep that can help you to live a happier life and be a better pawrent during the months ahead. Let’s explore what some of these options can offer.

Spend More Time with your Doggo

Dog mom caressing her dog gently and spending more time together.
Make extra time for your doggo.

Our pets are living creatures that deserve the very best that we can offer them, and few things make a doggo happier than a little extra time spent with their favorite humans. Placing more of a focus on spending time with your doggo is a wonderful way to improve your relationship with your pet—but that’s not all!

Taking the time to bond with your dog is a wonderful investment to make, for both of you. Your dog will flourish with the extra attention, and it can help you to build a stronger and more stable relationship. Simply spending more time with your pet can help you to uncover more about them, and to learn how to treat them better. You might be surprised by how much knowledge comes with simple bonding time.

In addition to being beneficial for your dog, spending time with your pup can help you to live a happier life too. Pets are commonly associated with better mental health, and this can have wonderful long-term benefits for you and your fur baby. Understanding just how powerful these bonding activities can be is a great way to improve your lives together.

Great Bonding Activities Include:

  • Going on walks
  • Spending time watching TV
  • Playtime with your pup’s favorite toys
  • Hiking trips
  • Visits to the dog park

Be More Active with Your Pet

Man wearing a gray hoodie and hiking through the snow with his Rottweiler.
Hiking with my bestie.

Living an active lifestyle is a very important decision that we all have to make in our own time, and it can come with countless benefits. Being active can help us to improve our physical and mental health, and it is something that can be done very well with your beloved pup because it benefits both of you.

Active living is associated with a variety of health and mental health benefits, and it can also be quite a bit of fun. Making a commitment to be more active with your pet is a wonderful choice to make that can positively improve the lives of everyone in your household, as long as you know the best steps to take.

To successfully be more active with your pet, it can be great to start by talking with the experts. Before ever engaging in a new level of activity, it helps to discuss it with medical professionals for both you and your dog depending on your general health. Having this baseline can help you to make good decisions that will benefit both you and your pup.

Common Activity Options Include:

  • Waling (start small and increase with time)
  • Hiking
  • Agility training
  • Camping
  • Visiting National Parks

Become an Educated Pawrent

Beautiful black couple sitting on the sofa with their Dachschund, researching dogs on the computer.
Let's find out more about our lil pup.

As we get older, we should all take the time to focus on a future that is filled with good knowledge to guide our decisions. Chances are that what you know about pet ownership has changed a lot throughout the years of owning pets. Every pet is different, and there is always more that we can learn. Making a commitment to this kind of learning can have really positive impacts on you and your pet. It can be a lot of fun too!

Educating yourself as a pawrent can look different for each of us. It often means placing more of a focus on the health and safety of our doggos—what risks might be out there, dangerous foods, health concerns, etc. Of course, sometimes it means learning more about what stimulates dogs mentally, or how certain decisions can impact them emotionally.

There are so many different ways to gain an education as a pawrent. It means actively listening to your doggo’s vet, but it can also be something as simple as reading a blog post on how to keep your pup’s paws safe in winter. A little effort can go a long way here.

Common Education Options Include:

  • Reading more about your dog’s breed or background
  • Exploring emotional and mental health for pets
  • Taking more of an interest in your pet’s physical health
  • Learning how to raise a happier and healthier pet

Do More of What Makes You Happy

Adorable husband and pregnant wife, hanging at home with their Husky.
Okay guys...selfie time 😆

Happiness is something that often lies behind our other resolutions. We tell ourselves if we can just do XYZ, it will make us happier—but what if we just commit to being happier instead? Doing more of what makes us happy can be a positive improvement for our own lives, and for our pets too.

It is fairly simple to understand why doing more of what makes us happy can improve things for us. Most of us want to be able to live happier lives, and doing what we love can make that possible. It is a great way to improve mental health and to live a more fulfilling life. This can change who we are and how we operate, and that is good news for our pets too.

Most pawrents know that pets tend to be very aware when we are unhappy. They can feel our stress, anxiety, and sorrow—and they react to this. When we choose to lead happier lives, we remove a stressor from our pets as well. When we are happy, they are happy, and this can lead to so many positive improvements over time.

Ways to Be Happier:

  • Embrace your passions
  • Get more exercise
  • Spend more time in the sun (with protection, of course!)
  • Bond with loved ones
  • Seek career advancements
  • Practice self-care

Resolutions for the Doggos

Jack Russell Terrier hugging Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, surronded by beautiful New Year's decorations.
Whatever resolutions we decide, let's do them together!

Though most pawrents would argue that their pets are pawsitively perfect, we know that there is more to the story. Sometimes, we find ourselves wishing for a reality where the world was as good as our Good Boys and Girls. But, as precious as our pups might be, there is still plenty of room for them to improve their lives as well. Let’s learn more about what can help our doggos to live better and healthier lives.

Learn New Tricks

Adorable puppy tangled up in Christmas lights, laying on the hardwood floor.
Ugh...kiddos don't try this at home!

HEven old dogs can learn new tricks, and we won’t hear otherwise. Whether you have a brand new puppy that is 100% baby or you are living with a seasoned doggo that has seen it all, there is always room to learn some new tricks—and every doggo should.

Learning new tricks is an important focus for dogs, and it circles back to the idea that a lot of pups require more mental stimulation than they are getting on a given day. Bored pups can end up being destructive, but it is also all-around terrible for their mental health. Dogs require stimulation to live happy and fulfilling lives just like we do, and tricks are a great place to start.

As a pawrent, it is easy to get caught up in the cuteness factor when our doggos learn a new trick. We think of it as performative and adorable, but in reality, it is a really impressive development. Dogs that are learning new tricks are actively stimulating their minds and learning more about the world. This makes them stronger, gives them a sense of purpose, and helps them to burn some much-needed energy.

Exciting Doggo Tricks Include:

  • Put away your toys
  • Play fetch
  • Heel
  • Hide and Seek
  • Agility training
  • Play deade

Improve Your Health

Young woman smiling and holding her adorable dog, enjoying winter outdoors.
An active life equals a healthy life.

Doggos are some of the sweetest and most pure beings on the planet, and that can make us want to give them everything that they ask for and more, but this isn’t always a good thing for our pets. Improving pet health should be a core focus for every doggo, and while they might need a little guidance from their favorite pawrent, it is still important to help them focus on it as they get older.

There are several ways to improve doggy health, and a lot of them will be a team effort. Pet obesity is a surprisingly high risk for pets in the United States, and vets are getting more and more worried about it. This can lead pets to live shorter lives, and it can also cause them quite a bit of pain down the line. Getting more exercise and eating a better diet can help doggos to live their best lives for years to come.

Most doggos don’t have control over their diets, and that is why enlisting their pawrents is so important. Pawrents should place a core focus on helping their doggos to eat better. This means a few things. First, it means finding a good brand of dog food that has good nutrients instead of fillers. Some pawrents even make their doggos their very own meals too! Of course, the brand of kibble that a doggo eats is only the first consideration. Doggos can also benefit from a more controlled intake of treats (and healthier treats!) and a lack of table scraps.

Ways to Improve Doggo Health:

  • Regular exercise
  • High-quality food brands
  • More whole foods
  • Healthier treats
  • More intellectual stimulation
  • Regular vet visits

Make New Friends

Two dogs wearing brigt red knitted sweaters, sitting together outdoors in the snow.
Do you come here often?

Every doggo knows that life is better with friends, and 2022 is a wonderful year to make more of them. Socialization is just as important for doggos as it is for humans, and dogs can create long and lasting bonds with one another that allow them to live better lives.

Whether you have a quiet pup who just needs a single BFF to take a good nap with or your doggo is the life of the party, having your dog around other doggy friends is often a great thing to offer them. Being able to play, lay, sniff, or walk together can help doggos to live lives that are comfortable and fun—just like ours!

While this is a great New Year’s resolution for a lot of pets of all ages, that isn’t always the case. Plenty of pets benefit from new friends, but not all pups do. If you have a pet that doesn’t like other animals or is known to be particularly fearful, it might be best to choose a different resolution. Respecting your pet’s comfort levels is always more important.

Ways to Make New Doggo Friends:

  • Meet up at the dog park
  • Join Facebook groups
  • Ask friends
  • Talk with family
  • Ask coworkers

The Takeaway

Beautiful young couple holding Beagle Puppy and celebrating the New Year.
Just being together is enough. Happy 2022!

New Year’s resolutions offer us a wonderful opportunity to improve our lives for the better, and we can improve our pups’ lives in the process. Whether you choose to place a bigger focus on trying to bond with your dog, or you are still trying to figure out how to make (and keep) New Year’s resolutions, any effort that you put into improving will go a long way. Before setting new year goals, remember to take the time to reflect on your year and any areas for improvement. New Year’s 2022 is officially here, and this is your opportunity to make the year all your own. Feel free to get creative, and always remember to have fun!

Until, next time. Thanks for reading!

About the author: Gabrielle is the loving pawrent to adorable pups Willow and Dilla. Growing up surrounded by dogs, she always dreamt of having her own. Willow and Dilla came into her life and changed everything. Now, she's crazy about pampered pooches, and her perfect day involves dancing with her husband, dressing up her furbabies, and cuddling them to sleep. For Gabrielle, life is all about spreading love and joy with her adorable canine companions by her side.