Photo of Golden Retriever dog playing in the creek.

How Your Dog Can Help You Keep Those New Years Resolutions!

by Kris Phillips

It’s that time of year again. Time to start making grand promises to ourselves about all the things we’ll do better next year! Can we be honest here? 80% of New Years Resolutions fail by February.

So what can you do? Just give up all together? Declare that you’re perfect just the way you are? Make a resolution to not make resolutions? Well, sure those are all options. Or you can come up with a good strategy to reach your goals! And your dog can help. What? You didn’t know Fido had been taking online classes to become a certified Life Coach? Ok, maybe not. But that doesn’t mean he can’t help you out on some of the most popular resolutions.

Resolution #5: Learn a New Skill/Get a Hobby. This is also a great way to make new friends & nail two resolutions at once! There are all kinds of sports available for dogs. You just have to find the one that’s right for your doggo!

  1. High energy dogs: Agility, Flyball, Frisbee, Mushing or Skijoring, Sheepdog Trials (herding), Dock diving, Lure-Coursing, Musical Canine Freestyle
  2. Low Energy dogs:  Obedience, Paddle-board, scent games, hide-and-seek.

Resolution #4: Make New Friends. Dog people are awesome! But not always the best at socializing. So use your dog as an ice-breaker.

  1. The easiest place to socialize with your dog is, of course, the local dog park! If you’ve not been before it may be best to try it out at a less busy time of day.
  2. Join a meetup group. If you’re not sure about the free-for-all of the dog park you can search for a local meetup group. They are often breed or size specific, which can help if you’re worried about your little pupper getting pounced by the big guys. Or your big guy getting too rough with a little one. For me, I have a husky who ONLY likes other huskies.
  3. If you’re dog is not the best at socializing, you’re not doomed to a life of solo walks. Find a training group or club. Often times this is the best way to get your dog over their social hurtles in a controlled environment. These groups are usually lead by a professional trainer, and may have a fee associated. But you’ll meet other dog-owners who are in the same boat and wont judge you’re less-than perfect pooch.

Resolution #3: Save Money.  If you’ve had to pay vet bills recently you may be thinking NO WAY is my dog going to help me save money!

  1. The average American spends about $2500 a year on entertainment! Forgo the expensive night out in favor of dog friendly activities. Enjoy a picnic in the park with your pup. During the summer many parks offer free concerts and productions of Shakespeare.
  2. Street fairs & festivals- Usually free to attend. And having your dog with you will help you resist the urge to buy a bunch of junk you don’t need. After all, you’ll only have one free hand.
  3. Plus, dog ownership improves your health. So right off the bat you’re saving on your own medical bills. And let’s be honest vet bills are way cheaper than doctor bills.

Resolution #2: Get healthier/ Get more exercise. Buy that puppy a whistle and a stop watch and he can be your personal trainer! No really. A study of 3.4 million people published in Scientific Reports last year showed a dramatic improvement in the life expectancy of people who live with pets, vs those who don’t, including a 33% drop in cardio vascular disease. So just having a dog gives you a leg up on the non-pet-owning population. But it gets better.

  1.  Go for longer walks. Especially in the cold months it becomes easier and easier to just take your pup out of potty breaks and forgo actual exercise. But your dog needs the mental stimulation of venturing out. Even if you have a yard, start your day out with a walk around the block. Or do it when you first get home. Even 15 minutes to start out will get you moving in the right direction.
  2. Take up running. Dogs are awesome running buddies! When I first moved to Denver 5 years ago I was not a runner. If you saw me running you should assume something was trying to kill me. But after a few months of apartment life, and the huskies destroying half the furniture out of boredom I took up jogging. I didn’t love it at first, and I still don’t totally love it. But now I run 5ks and longer obstacle course races all through the summer, and train for them through the winter.
  3. Try hiking! We’re surrounded by beautiful landscape filled with awesome trails. And with the right equipment you can hike in every season. Check out my blog for tips on nearby trails.

And the #1 most important resolution for pet parents?>>> Spend More Time With The DOG!!!

They will help you by giving you sad eyes when you get too busy to play. And a happy tail wag that shows appreciation in a way only dogs can. Whatever your goals are, everything is easier with a good friend to pat you on the back for a job well done!


Dog Years Fly By So Fast- Get my top 10 tips for better dog pictures without spending $$ on a new camera

* indicates required

Client Sessions

Dog Info - Helpful tips & tricks