New Year's Resolutions for Pet Owners

New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for January 1st—my philosophy is that new resolutions can be made any time of the year. As they say, there’s no better time than the present! And while it’s true you can start a new habit whenever you feel like it, I will admit that there’s a special sense of renewal in the New Year that makes it feel like there’s no possible way that you’ll forget about your resolutions come March (even if evidence from years past would suggest otherwise). If you’re still on your New Year’s high and looking for more resolutions, here are some to add to your list that involve your furry friend—I bet fido has never been included in your resolutions before. Some of these suggestions are just for fun and some are more practical resolutions that you really should add to your list, so there’s something for everyone.


Update your Dog or Cat’s Information

If you’re like a lot of people, being more organized is probably on your list of New Year’s resolutions. All but the most Type A’s of us could probably benefit from better organization in our lives (myself included!). One area to include in your organization is your pet’s info. It’s something that most people don’t think of, but something that is essential. If your dog is microchipped, make sure that his microchip registration is up to date. In the dreaded scenario that your dog or cat makes an escape in the new year, you wouldn’t want the kind stranger who picks him up to bring him back to your old house that you moved out of years ago. And this goes without saying that if your dog or cat is not already microchipped, make 2021 the year that you get this done. Microchips are the surefire way to make sure that your furry friend will always be able to find his way back to you. Collars and tags can be taken off or fall off of your pet if he gets lost, so you want to make sure your pet has a form of identification that is impossible to be separated from him.


Give Your Pet’s Supplies a Deep Cleaning

When was the last time you washed your pet’s bedding? The last time you really scrubbed his food and water bowls? If it’s been a while, consider making this one of your New Year’s resolutions (and make sure to regularly keep up with it, too!). Anything that is fabric can be washed—think toys, collars, leashes, bedding, blankets, rugs & towels—and anything that is a hard surface can be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Just make sure that you completely wash off any cleaning products so your dog isn’t getting cleaning product residue in his food bowl.


Get More Exercise

Possibly the most common New Year’s resolution is exercising more—make sure you actually stick to this goal by including your dog or cat! If you’re having trouble getting off the couch come February to do that daily run that you swore you would actually follow through with this year, don’t think of it as doing exercise for yourself. Even if you don’t want to go for a walk, your dog needs exercise (and unlike you, he can’t leave the house on his own and needs you to take him out for walks). This mentality is more likely to get you up and out of the house, and the bonus for creating this resolution is that you’ll be sticking to your resolution, too! After all, who can say no to a super cute, furry workout buddy who is always ready for a walk the minute you say the word. And if you have a cat? They can go on walks, too! Try making it a goal to leash-train your cat to let him safely explore the outdoors. And if leash training would definitely leave you covered in scratches, you can try a cat stroller—less training and still a great way for you and your cat to get outside and explore nature together!


Learn a New Trick

If you want a fun resolution, make it a goal to teach your pet a new trick in the new year! If your pet is a fast learner, you could set a goal for more new tricks to be learned. No dog is untrainable and teaching your dog a new trick is a great way to bond with your dog and give him some mental exercise. And don’t think that you can’t make this resolution with your pet cat! Even cats can learn simple tricks (it might take a bit more work, but it just makes the reward that much sweeter). Bonus points: teach your pet commands in a new language. If you wanted to learn a new language in 2021, this is a great excuse to keep up with that resolution, too.


Improve Your Pet’s Health

If your goal is to improve your overall health in 2021, consider including your furry friend, too. This will look different for every pet and can include any one or combination of the following: setting up an annual vet check-up, changing your pet’s diet, learning pet first-aid in case of an accident when you can’t get to the vet right away, exercising more, brushing teeth/grooming more often, etc. There are many possibilities for this resolution, and you definitely don’t have to start all at once (that’s a sure way to set yourself up for failure). Instead choose 1 or 2 to really lock in this year in order to get your dog or cat feeling his absolute best!


Make a Bucket List for Your Pet (And Start Checking it Off)

If your dog or cat had a bucket list, what do you think they would put on it? This one can be full of some fun and aspirational activities as well as more practical ones. And there’s no better time than the present to start checking them off! Do you think your city-dwelling dog would enjoy a hike in the woods? Your land-locked friend a trip to see the ocean? Your snuggly cat a homemade treat made by mom or dad? Whatever you think your pet would enjoy, put it on the list, and see how many you can check off by the end of the year. This is especially a great activity if your pet is getting older and you want to make sure that his time here on earth is as fun and fulfilling as possible. And by the time you’re done with the bucket list, you’ll have memories with your dog or cat that are sure to last a lifetime!


Cheers to 2021 and actually following through on our resolutions this year! Let us know in the comments what your New Year’s resolutions are and what you want to make sure you do with your pet this year.