The ball has dropped, we’ve sang “Auld Lang Syne” and everyone has made their resolutions to kickoff 2018. Let’s face it though, come February 1 how many of you will have already discarded your resolutions and fallen back into your old habits. Well this year, let’s make a change and keep it in place! Plus by incorporating your pet into your resolution you may be more inclined to stick with them! Here are just a few common resolutions people make this time of year and how your pet can keep you on track in reaching your goals.
Resolution #1: Drop Some Pounds
Lace up those tennis shoes, grab your dog’s leash and start moving. If losing weight is on your list of resolutions for 2017, then it may be time to create a workout that incorporates your dog, too. Who wants to walk on a boring old treadmill when you can get outside and enjoy the weather with your furry friend? Already taking your dog on walks, why not extend your walk an extra 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. Find new, longer routes so that your scenery doesn’t get boring. If walking isn’t that challenging for you, try to run portions of your route with your pet. By incorporating your pet, you not only will keep yourself in shape, but your pet, too.
Resolution #2: Watch Your Mouth
Do you cuss like a sailor? Well, if swearing less is on your list this year, then it may be time to create a swear jar. However, putting your own money in a jar, which will eventually just be spent on you down the road may not be enough to keep you on the straight and narrow. This is why the money in your swear jar should not benefit you in any way. Instead, take that money and spend it on your pet. Whether it is a nice new bed or the fanciest of toys, spoiling your pet will help you stay in line because you know that money will not go back to you.
Resolution #3: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
The little stresses of life can pile up and become daunting. If your resolution is to stress less and relax more, then why not incorporate a pet into the mix. Many studies have been done on stress and pets and most have found that interacting with an animal can drastically lower your stress level in just minutes. No matter how busy you become, block off a time in your day when you can focus solely on your pets. Love on them. Play with them and relish the time you have together. This will help you keep stress at bay for both you and your pets.
Resolution #4: Reconnect with Loved Ones
Do you have a family member or friend that you have grown out of touch with? Well, pets can help make a great buffer to help you reconnect. Invite this person to go on a walk with you and your pet or invite them to your home where your pets will be present. Pets can easily help to start up small conversations and once both of you are more comfortable, you can delve a little deeper into reconnecting.
Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded in 1902, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937-268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.