We are nearly two weeks into the new year, and it’s time to ask yourself, honestly: how are those resolutions going? Are you still staying strong, have you thrown in the towel, or do you need a little extra support to meet your goals? Look no further than your four-legged family member!

At DogWatch Hidden Fences, our team thinks that dogs make everything more fun, and that’s why we always have at least a few in the office. We’ve come up with some helpful ideas to energize your resolutions with the help of your pup.

Not only will having your canine companion by your side make resolutions a little more fun, but it can benefit them as well!

Exercise With A Smile

Owner walking dog, New Year, New Dog: How To Include Your Pup In Your 2022 Resolutions

The first week of January is the busiest time for any gym. That typically changes by the second week of January. Starting an exercise routine is a perennially popular resolution, but life can get in the way, making it difficult to stay consistent. If you are a dog owner, you can view this challenge as a way to improve both your health and the health of your pet. Bringing your dog along on your walks and runs not only helps meet their exercise needs for the day, but it keeps you motivated! It’s hard not to enjoy your active time with their happy face encouraging you to fight through those tough hills and that painful last mile.

If you prefer to exercise indoors, incorporate some fetching games into your warm-ups and cool-downs. It will help you start and end your workout on a happy note. Furthermore, by including your dog in your routine, they’ll start to expect the daily grind, giving you one more reason to stick with it. You don’t want to disappoint Max or Bella, right?

Flex Your Mind Muscles

Dog with book, New Year, New Dog: How To Include Your Pup In Your 2022 Resolutions

Who doesn’t like coming home to a warm fire, or cozy couch and curling up with their pets? While we all love these quiet moments of relaxation after a hectic day, sometimes we also crave some fun activities that challenge us to think in new ways. These activities range from reading that new novel your co-worker raved about, mastering the New York Times crossword puzzle, cracking open your favorite board game, or building that bookshelf that is still in pieces in the basement.

Unfortunately, in a world that does an excellent job of distracting us, it can be hard to find a good time for these activities. One option is to get the whole family involved, including your pets. Establish “puzzle hour”, “game night”, or “reading night,” by getting your whole family together and leaving the devices in another room. As for the dog, give them their learning activity or “brain game”. Stuff a KONG toy with her favorite snack, or place treats inside a “puzzle” toy (read about some examples here). They’ll be occupied and energized and have a nice measured break from the everyday routine – just like the rest of the family.

Homemade Goodies for All

Dog with chef hat, New Year, New Dog: How To Include Your Pup In Your 2022 Resolutions

January is also a popular time for starting a new healthy eating plan, but let’s face it, diets are no fun. While we can’t promise to make your diet more exciting, we can share our favorite way to spice up your routine and help you stick with it.

Cooking meals instead of hitting the drive-through, ordering out, or heating up a prepared meal out of the freezer, can be a great way to introduce more nutritious and balanced food into your routine. PLUS, you can get your pup in on the fun! There are plenty of great dog treat recipes out there (see our blog post for some examples), and many of them are easy enough for even the most amateur of chefs. What’s more, homemade treats are often cheaper than the store-bought varieties, and they make great gifts, too! You can even get your dog-owner-friends involved by hosting a healthy pot-luck and pet treat dinner. Soon, you may actually look forward to cooking!

Makeover Time

dog with bow in hair

A new year is a great time to try a new beauty routine, right? That could mean a new skincare routine, a big change to the same old makeup go-to’s, a new haircut or not getting a haircut, or a new beard style! Don’t you think your dog deserves a makeover, too?

Don’t worry, we aren’t advocating a radical shaved ‘do’ for your retriever or a pink dye job for your Westie. Instead, we suggest a quick “beauty check.” Is your dog’s shaggy hair in need of a quick trim? Is his coat shiny or is it looking dull? Are her nails so sharp that they rip through your tights or socks? Do his teeth look healthy, or could they use a cleaning or regular brushing? How about that breath? Take some time to check your dog, and determine if some pampering is in order. Help them look and feel the best they can – they deserve it! Also, don’t forget to keep your pup’s paws trimmed, especially if you live in a colder climate. Salt and snow can easily get trapped in this fur and cause irritation or even infection.

Clean Out Your Closet

dog in front of closet, New Year, New Dog: How To Include Your Pup In Your 2022 Resolutions

Finally, did you vow to clean up the clutter once and for all in 2022? It’s been a LONG two years with a lot of time spent at home, that could mean you’ve accumulated more than you typically do. Take a moment to go through your dog’s things, too. Check that all of the dog toys are in good condition, and discard any chipped or broken toys that your dog could accidentally digest. Go through your dog food pantry, checking for expired food. If you find any unopened food or toys in good condition that your dog does not like, consider donating them to an animal shelter, where they can be put to good use. To find a shelter near you, use Petfinder’s “Find a Shelter” feature.

Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions! We hope these tips help you stick to them and make 2022 a great year for you and your dog. Share your own tips (and resolutions) here in the comments, or via Facebook and Twitter. We can’t wait to hear from you!