Four Resolutions For Dogs In The New Year

Every December, many people sit down and think through ways that they can improve their life in the new year -- run a marathon, watch less TV, call friends on the weekend, etc. This year, we think a new section should be added -- doggy resolutions! Setting goals for your pooch and working towards them together can be a rewarding experience for humans and dogs alike. Below, we’ve put together four resolutions that will benefit your dog all year long. We also provided tips on how to stay committed throughout the year -- we all know that most resolutions fall through the cracks after January! 

Dog Resolution #1: Regular Teeth Brushing 

Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t begin brushing their dog’s teeth until it’s too late -- tartar has accumulated, their breath could knock you out, and the vet has warned that if you don’t start brushing your dog’s teeth, they will need dental work. Thankfully, brushing your dog’s teeth a few times a week can prevent (or delay) all of the above! By making it a part of your routine now, together you can push off those costly dental appointments and enjoy fresh breath!

How to make it part of your routine: 

Your dog may resist the toothbrush at first -- it’s normal! Start by letting them smell the toothbrush and toothpaste, then work in increments. Brush their teeth for a few seconds, followed by a reward. Each time thereafter, increase the amount of time that you brush until you’re finally able to get all of the teeth thoroughly. By then, your pooch should be comfortable with the process and will understand that a treat always follows! 

Dog Resolution #2: Make More Time For Playdates 

Dogs are social animals and thrive around other dogs, just as many people thrive off being surrounded by community! Your dog will be happier both mentally and physically if given time to socialize with other dogs every now and then. 

Dogs eating treats

How to make it part of your routine: 

One of the more obvious ways to give your dog social interactions is to take them to the nearest dog park. However, some dogs may be intimidated by larger groups of dogs and may prefer more relaxed settings. If so, other options include backyard playdates with your friends’ dogs or taking a walk with another dog owner. For dogs who love it all, mix it up throughout the week for whatever works best for your schedule! To make it a normal routine, take a note of how often you’d like to socialize your dog, then make sure it’s in your calendar in advance so you don’t forget! 

Dog Resolution #3: Teach A New Trick Each Month 

Mental stimulation is critical for all dogs -- without it, your dog could get bored and develop unwanted behaviors. After teaching basic commands, such as sit, stay, and come, work on ones that will be a showstopper for friends and family once quarantine has ended! A few ideas to get you started include playing dead, sitting pretty, roll over, or crawl.

How to make it part of your routine: 

One of the biggest misconceptions about teaching dogs new tricks is that you need buckets of time to do so. In our experience, carving out 10-15 minutes a day is all you need to reinforce old tricks and teach new ones! After that amount of time, your dog will likely be mentally stimulated and ready for a nap. Take a note if your dog is starting to lose interest and get frustrated; in which case, it may be time to quit for the day. Plus, keeping training sessions short makes it more feasible to maintain in the long run! 

Dog Resolution #4: Maintain A Healthy Weight 

In our most recent blog, we talked about common myths surrounding pet weight, including the fact that 51% of dogs in 2019 were classified as overweight. Start the new year off right by getting your dog plenty of exercise and replacing junky treats with nutritious snacks! 

How to make it part of your routine:

Dogs need at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, which can be taken in the form of a walk, fetch, playtime, or a swim. You may be surprised at how beneficial a 30 minute walk or outdoor break can be for you, too! To replace their junky treats, start by looking at what’s in the pantry -- toss out anything that has ingredients you can’t pronounce. Want more insight into how to read a pet food label? Read our blog on how. Then, once you’ve tossed out all of the scary treats, replace them with healthy options -- such as fresh carrots or natural pumpkin. We’d also recommend keeping a bag of their favorite Portland Pet Food Company treats on hand, too! Healthy and made without any preservatives or additives, it’s an easy snack that you can feel good about. 

Setting and achieving dog resolutions can be a fun experience for the whole family! Just remember, it’s up to you to help them reach their goals! 

At Portland Pet Food Company, we care about the health and wellbeing of all dogs -- that’s why we make nutritious dog treats and human-grade dog food toppers. Ready to save? Subscribe for 25% off your first order, then 10% off all future orders of delicious, human-grade dog meals and treats!