With the arrival of a New Year, many of us decide to leave behind bad habits and establish new routines in order to develop ourselves physically, emotionally and socially – and setting specific and achievable goals can be the secret to success!
However, when you kick start your resolutions and new routine, it’s important to consider any impact that these will have on your best friend – your dog.
18 tips to help your dog adapt to new resolutions and routines
- Dogs love routine, and although most dogs can adapt, some will adapt more quickly and readily than others, so it is important to implement changes gradually and not change things overnight.
- Plan ahead if your new routine is going to impact your dog’s routine – for example, if feed times or walking times will change, try to make the changes gradually. You may need to arrange a dog walker, or someone to let them outside for a toilet break while you are out.
- Make up for any absence by spending more time with them at other times during the day when you are home.
- Perhaps one of your new resolutions involves your dog, like teaching them new tricks or improving their basic skills, like recall or walking to heal. Take time to research and find a local dog trainer to learn ways to do this; make a regular commitment so that your dog does not get confused with sporadic sessions.
- Continue to fit in training, playing, grooming or just chilling out together, even if the times have changed.
- Keep an eye on your dog’s body language so that you can spot if any changes in routine are impacting them negatively and take steps to calm and reassure them.
- Use an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser that will release appeasing pheromones to help your dog feel comforted and secure whilst these changes happen.
New resolutions to help your dog
- Perhaps you want to try a new activity with your dog to develop their skills – you will probably need to clear some more diary time! Consider:
- Learning new agility or flyball skills
- Taking time to try out doggie parkour
- Arranging more doggie playdates
- Taking longer walks and visit new places
- Always be patient and consistent when teaching your dog new skills or training. Understanding when your dog has lost interest, knowing when you need to simplify the task, or making sure your dog is in the right frame of mind for training are all important factors to bear in mind.
Do not show your frustration if your dog doesn’t respond, but be open to trying different things – different dogs respond differently to training, so what works for one dog might need a tweak to work for another.
- Spend more time maintaining their general physical and mental healthcare:
- Groom them more frequently, and regularly clip their nails and brush their teeth.
- Introduce different activity/puzzle feeders to provide additional mental stimulation.
- Or, spend more time relaxing together.
Ways your dog can help you with new resolutions
- Meeting new people: Dogs are an excellent way to meet new people, whether that is while out walking, at dog training or activity classes, or even in your local pet shop. Most people can’t resist a cute dog and having a chat at the same time.
- Spending more time outdoors: Walking your dog is the ideal opportunity for spending more time in the fresh air and keeping your step count up. Remember that a dog’s behaviour might change as they grow older, but they may still benefit from shorter and more frequent walks and their trips outdoors.
- Spend more time indoors: Spending time relaxing with your dog indoors is also good for you and great for your bond!
- Pamper time: While you are treating yourself to a manicure or facial, why not include some grooming and nail clipping for your dog. Or even a massage – the American Kennel Club explains how massaging your dog can help them with stress, anxiety and arthritic joints.
- Healthy eating: If you are in the habit of giving your dogs some treats from the table, perhaps they will also enjoy your healthy choices – crunchy lettuce (like an iceberg) are safe for dogs to eat and dogs love carrots which are, in moderation, a healthy low calorie treat for both of you.
- Switching off: Turn off your digital device while out walking with your dog and focus solely on your dog by playing their favourite game, some training or visiting friends.
- Drinking more water: Keeping hydrated is essential for both you and your dog, so every time you top up their water bowl, why not have a glass of water at the same time?
- Taking up a new hobby. Why not try:
- Photography. You can take great photos or movies with a mobile phone, and you can upload them immediately to social media, so why not learn to take some great photos of your dog – they might even become an Instagram star!
- Travel. A well planned trip with your dog can be a great experience for you both. And if it’s a flight you fancy, it is always possible to take your dog with you with some careful planning.
When you involve your dog in your New Year Resolutions and new routines, it’s important that you continue with the new changes until it becomes your new normal. This will not only help you both live a more fulfilling life, but will help your new routine to stick!
Want to sign up for our blog?
Information Notice The personal information collected is intended for Ceva Animal Health, and Ceva group companies, in order to manage your request. This information may be passed on to service providers in order to organize this management. In accordance with the Regulations on personal data you have rights of access, rectification and limitation of processing of your data. You may also, in certain limited cases, oppose the treatment, withdraw your consent and request the deletion and portability of your data. For any request relating to your personal data please go to this page.