Written by: Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA
Please note, I received compensation in exchange for this blog post. – Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA
It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Do you want to be more active? Devote more time to family and friends? Well, why not include your family dog in your New Year goals too? I’ve compiled a list of 7 great goals for 2023. Make plans to reach 1, 2, 3 or all 7 of these with your pup. You and your dog will love them!
- Visit at least one new city or state park, beach, or fun area each month. Be adventurous and commit to taking your dog to a new place at least once a month. It doesn’t have to be a long trip — even 30-60 minutes in a new location can help tire out your new pup and provide some fun new experiences for both of you.
- Walk with your dog at least 4 times per week. It’s no secret that dogs of all ages love getting outdoors and going for a walk. Even if you have a big fenced-in backyard, your dog will benefit from going for a walk around the neighborhood. Commit to taking a walk with your dog at least 4 times a week. Vary the length and even the route you walk to keep it interesting for both of you. You can even drive to a new neighborhood to change things up a bit!
- Teach your dog at least 5 new tricks in 2023. Nothing helps build a strong relationship with your dog better than a bit of training. Teaching new tricks is fun for both of you! If you haven’t taught any tricks to your pup, then start with some easy ones such as spin, shake, roll over, or back up. There are lots of videos, apps, and books that can help you. Be sure to show off your new tricks to all your friends too!
- Sign up for at least one dog training class together. It’s always good to learn something new, right? Well, the same is true for dogs. Maybe you want a refresher class on some basic household manners. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to try a new sport with your dog (barn hunt, dock diving, and rally obedience to name a few). Why not find a local trainer and give it a try!
- Strive for Peak Nutrition. (Ok…this can work for both you and your pet). Make sure you are feeding your dog healthy snacks and biologically appropriate nutrition. ORIJEN® Freeze Dried Treats are great supplemental treats for when you want to give your dog a reward. But don’t forget you can also take a portion of your dog’s daily ration of kibble and use that to reward them during the day so they don’t overeat.
- Get an annual check-up. Take your dog to see your veterinarian at least once a year. This gives you a chance to get a baseline on all your pet’s bloodwork, check vital statistics, as well as review all the necessary vaccinations. Just like with people, early intervention is key to treating illness in our pets.
- Find (or invent) a new indoor game to play with your pup. Not everything has to be done away from the house. Commit to finding a fun indoor game for your pup. Maybe you can try hide and seek, find the treats hidden in a bedroom, or get a fun new puzzle toy for your dog. This is a great way to tire them out on rainy days too.
- And bonus…if you have a puppy. Commit to getting your puppy housetrained in 3 months by providing constant supervision, a consistent schedule, and using a safe enclosure when your dog isn’t being supervised.
Overall, this year is all about helping your dog live their best life by ensuring they get peak nutrition and plenty of interesting activities and exercise to really thrive. Have a wonderful new year!
Robin Bennett is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). To learn more about her, visit her at www.TheDogGurus.com