New Year’s resolutions can be hard to stick to on your own, which is why it helps to have someone to keep you on track. The ideal candidate will be by your side even in your weakest moments, as you reach for the cookie jar or swap your tennis shoes for slippers. Here are our favorite New Year’s resolutions for dogs and their owners, along with a few tips to ensure you both enjoy a happier, healthier and safer 2022.
Posted by Erin Ballinger
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The best way to ensure you and your pooch remain together to tackle her New Year’s resolutions is to get her microchipped. Thousands of dogs who are lost, stolen or separated are reunited with their owners every day because of this handy technology that can’t fall off like a traditional collar. Even if your pup already has one, learning how it works should be top priority this January. First, contact your local veterinarian to see if they have a universal scanner. This will tell you your pup’s microchip number, which you can look up here to find out the manufacturer. Proceed to the company’s registry to discover the chip’s contact information and update if necessary.
If the scanner doesn’t pick up the microchip, it may be time to implant another one. Fido doesn’t need to worry, it’s a quick, relatively painless and cost-effective procedure, especially with our Deal of the Week to kickstart the new year. In addition to registering with the chip manufacturer, it’s a good idea to add your pet’s microchip information to The Found Registry, the world’s first free microchip registry that makes it easier for people who find your pup to find you.
Be Sure to Insure
Health insurance is a fact of life for Americans. But what about pet insurance for your furry family members? Pet owners want what’s best for their best friends, and protection in case of accidents, illnesses or diseases should be top of the list. Whether your best friend is a puppy or a senior dog who's been lighting up your life for a decade, there are numerous options to keep both your wallet and pooch safe in case of emergency. Depending on premiums, Fido’s needs and coverage options, plans can range from $10 to $100 a month. If you can find a place for pet insurance in your budget, it could help you save big if the worst happens.
A simple way to help your pup eat healthier is to ensure that you are feeding them the correct amount of food for their size. Many pet parents overfeed their dogs, which results in unhealthy weight gain. You also can keep Fido’s weight under control by switching to low-calorie treats and limiting the number of treats your dog gets each day.
If you’re thinking about switching to a more balanced diet yourself, stock the pantry for your pup, too. Just like humans, dogs who eat a variety of different foods tend to be healthier. Add small amounts of steamed broccoli, carrots or green beans to both of your meals, and replace the occasional treat for Fido with a sliver of apple or the last bite of your banana.
Increasing your dog’s activity levels will improve his overall health and happiness. Even if it’s just an extra stroll around the block, Fido will benefit from the exercise. There might even be ways to work out with your canine that you never even thought of. You can also get both of your heart rates up by speed walking while window-shopping at a cool pet-friendly mall, exploring a new city during a dog-friendly walking tour, or taking a scenic hike to view a majestic waterfall.
See More of the World
There are so many places to explore, whether it’s hiking in a dog-friendly national park, sleeping under the stars at a pet-friendly campground, spending a cozy weekend in a quaint small town, touring a drive-through safari, or taking an epic road trip with Fido.
If you’re not ready for a long trip, plan a staycation in your hometown instead. Once you and your pooch is comfortable traveling, BringFido has tips for flying with your dog, and airline pet policies to help you plan a trip to a far-off destination!
Chow Down at a Restaurant
More and more restaurants understand that four-legged foodies are just as deserving of a good meal as their human counterparts, and they’ve answered the call by catering to hungry hounds. These 13 dog-friendly eateries serve gourmet meals for your canine connoisseur to enjoy by your side, while these nine dining destinations even have dog parks attached! Or, make Fido's tongue wag on a culinary trip down a pet-friendly BBQ trail. Hotels also have gotten in on the action with doggy room service menus, so Fido can enjoy breakfast in bed with you.
Learn Some New Tricks
Spend time teaching your dog a few new tricks. Take Fido back to school at one of these unique training courses. You could even take your pooch to surf school, where he’ll learn to ride the waves like a pro! Your best friend will appreciate the one-on-one attention, and the bond you share will be strengthened. If your pup has behavioral issues, make 2022 the year that you take him to a certified dog trainer to address them.
Make Friends at the Dog Park
Socialization is important for dogs and humans alike. Taking your pooch to the dog park not only gives him the chance to make new friends, but you’ll meet lots of people who you'll have one big thing in common with: the love of dogs. A trip to the dog park also helps with Fido’s fitness goals, giving him the chance to stretch his legs off-leash and burn off any excess energy. If your pup is shy, do a lap around the perimeter of the park on the outer edge of the fence before going inside, so he can assess the situation and (hopefully) get more comfortable. This year, resolve to visit one of these 10 epic dog parks, or catch a football game and play fetch with Fido at the only NFL stadium with a dog park.
Keep Those Canines Clean
Flossing every day is a great resolution, but you’re not the only one in the household who needs to reassess their dental habits. Get started on a new dental routine early this year so you can enjoy an eskimo kiss with your best friend without dreaded doggy breath. If your pup’s just getting started on his journey to better breath, Bark Bright is a sparkling subscription service for dogs. Each delivery contains a month’s supply of dental sticks and a tube of triple enzymatic dental gel. Find out more about how to take care of your dog’s teeth here.
See the Ocean
Make 2022 the year that Fido gets to put his paws in the ocean and tail in the sand. Plan a vacay at a dog-friendly oceanfront hotel or take a trip to a seaside town where pooches are allowed on the beach. May we suggest these dog beaches on the east, west and Gulf coasts? Before you go, check out our tips for a dog-friendly beach vacation.
Run a Race
You’re never too far from a neighborhood mutt strut or 5K that you can run with your dog. It doesn’t take much training to make it to the finish line, and it's a great way to have fun and exercise with your pooch. Check out our events section to find a race near you or register for one of these nine unique pet-friendly races.
Spend More Time Together
It might not be a resolution per se, but our pets always want to spend more time with us. Treat yourself AND your pup to the gift of a new year filled with exciting new experiences together. The “pawsibilities” are almost endless. From playing a round of golf with Fido followed by a pint on the patio at a beer garden, to taking a dog-friendly day cruise, activities are more fun when you can enjoy them with your best friend.