Guest Blog by Molli Carlson at MakeSpace
The Chinese zodiac designates 2018 as the Year of the Dog.
And while that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with resolutions per se, we’re taking it as a sign that 2018 is a good time to plan for positive changes. Changes you can make with your favorite, four-legged furball.
Year of the dog (and owner), here you come. Here are eight easy, wag-worthy ideas for New Year’s resolutions that are equal parts dog- and human-friendly. Courtesy of our fellow dog- loving friends at MakeSpace, which offers storage in Brooklyn, the rest of New York City, Chicago, DC, and Los Angeles --- with pickup and delivery.
#1 Turn playtime into workout time for the both of you
The same goes for your pooch. Dogs are born workers, meaning they need to fulfill their naturally active tendencies for optimum wellness. And with approximately half of the dogs in the US being overweight, there’s no time like the present for both of you to get fit.
So how can you combine your own fitness goals with your pup’s?
If your dog is the type of breed that is suited for running, such as huskies and greyhounds, the answer is easy. But if your dog (or you) isn’t the running type, you can still stay/get fit together.
Dr. Sophia Yin shows Pet Health Network how to turn playtime into exercise for you and your dog. The four-part routine combines fetch and sit-down training with healthy cardio movements.
Other Fido-fun fitness options?
#2 Make it your mission to get organized
via IHeart Organizing
Clutter may not have as much of a mental impact on your pooch as it does on you, but it’s a nuisance nevertheless. If getting organized tops your resolution list for the new year, you’ll have to factor in your furry friend’s toys, too.
Make getting organized as simple as possible. Keep playtime goods in spots that are easily accessible, so they’re easier to put away. Jen from IHeart Organizing keeps her Weimaraner’s toys in a labeled wire basket. They’re so easy to store and access that even the Weimaraner digs them out.
If your pup already has a feeding area, why not make it a sweetly organized spot with all his necessities?
Top it off with a rug or mat beneath the feeding bowls to make cleanup time easier.
And BHG shows how to make grooming a breeze: Keep all the products you need in one easy-to-carry basket.
#3 Give to those in need
Once you’ve finished organizing for you and your dog, chances are you have toys and goods left over. Instead of chucking them, why not get strategic with your donations?
If you have leftover puppy kibble that your dog no longer eats, call the local shelter and ask if they’ll accept any unopened bags.
Crates, toys, and leashes in good condition may also be accepted.
Your (human) blankets could be a welcome treat, too. If they’re past their comfort prime for human users, see if the local shelter needs them.
Even if you don’t have any dog-decluttered goods to donate, you can always send much-needed items, like paper towels and newspapers, to shelters.
#4 Go on an adventure together
You’ve always said Lola Labradoodle is the Thelma to your Louise. Make good on your word by embarking on an adventurous road trip.
When you’re packing your bags, you can even keep things like kibble, treats, and toys in a roll-up toiletry bag for your dog.
If a big-ish adventure isn’t in the cards, you can still have fun locally. Try hiking a new path together, or visiting a new dog-friendly restaurant.
#5 Volunteer together
If your dog has the temperament and you have the time, why not volunteer together?
There are a couple different ways you can make a wag-worthy impact on your community. If your dog is friendly enough to be a therapy dog, you can enroll in training together.
Pet Partner makes it their mission to educate “both ends of the leash” with intensive courses for you and your copilot. The American Kennel Club also has instructions on getting your dog certified as a therapy dog.
Here’s another big way to improve a life:
Foster a furry friend in your home.
If you don’t have the time or resources for full-time fostering, consider volunteering at an animal shelter one weekend.
Even if you don’t have much time, you can still make a difference. Take a suggestion from Mother Nature Network and have your dog donate blood because animals need blood transfusions, too. Find a pet blood bank near you.
#6 Treat yo’selves
You work hard, and so does your pup. Make it a 2018 goal to treat yourselves accordingly.
One way to do so? With subscription boxes.
There’s plenty of options for humans, whether you’re into makeup, wine, or the fine art of mustache grooming.
For your canine BFF, there’s PupJoy. Each box is custom tailored based on specifications like size, toy, or treat preferences, and frequency of delivery.
Plus, with built-in donations to the BISSELL Pet Foundation, you can rest easy pampering your pooch while knowing you’re doing good at the same time.
#7 Get annual checkups
Annual physical exams are important for your dog. Your favorite furball might have small issues that he/she can’t tell you. But a veterinarian can.
The same goes for your own health, too. Visiting your doctor is an important step in your resolution to be healthier.
#8 Spend more time together
You already know your dog warms your heart. But did you know she could also be making it stronger, too?
Hanging out with your dog probably ranks high on your list of favorite activities. So make it a point this year to prioritize those times, which will benefit you both. And make keeping your New Year’s resolutions all the easier.