3, 2, 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
It’s that time of year again: time to commit to personal growth, life-changing goals, and all the “New Year, New you’s you can think of. I LOVE New Year’s, it’s a blank slate and anything is possible. And I love making resolutions.
But I know lots of people struggle with keeping resolutions, so why not commit to including your pup in all your lifestyle makeover magic? Here are some great resolutions you can set and enjoy with your pets, and a few you where they may even hold you accountable!
Add fruits and veggies to both of your foods! Fruits like apples and mangoes are a great snack to enjoy together and to round out a meal. You can also easily add pumpkin to their food (did you know a pumpkin is a fruit? I didn’t!) just make sure if you buy canned pumpkin that it’s 100% pumpkin with no added sugars or flavorings that may not be safe. You can also enjoy the more savory side by whipping up a veggie tray with broccoli, carrots, and celery — just leave out the ranch! Cucumbers are an excellent snack for pups on super-strict diets as well.
Craving a sweet treat? Treat yo’self and yo’dog with sweeter fruits that shouldn’t be fed regularly but are great for curbing cravings: cantaloupe, bananas, strawberries, and mangoes are great options but should be moderated because of their sugar content. Watermelon is my personal favorite (and Violet’s as you can see!).
Adding these fruits and veggies to your shopping list will instantly make your diet healthier and give you a partner you can enjoy the change with! Next time you grab a snack, hold yourself accountable and grab foods that are also great for your dog to eat. Mix them into your dog’s regular kibble and bon appetit! Healthy meals you both love.
Bringing in More Green
Did you know that I’m a Michigan Master Gardener? Yep, 100% plant geek here. So you know I’m going to suggest adding some greenery to your life with pet-safe houseplants! Houseplants are great for so many things: creating a routine, breathing new life into a space, creating peaceful spaces, and maybe even giving your dog or cat a jungle-like space to explore and get in touch with their wild ancestors (before curling back up on their Tempurpedic beds after a hand-served meal). Plus they just make me happy.
Always discourage bad habits like chewing and digging because they are harmful to your plants and the inside of your home! And while the plants you bring into your home may be “pet-safe”, there’s still a chance that ingestion could cause digestive upset, allergies, and other unpleasant issues.
FYI – if you buy your plants at Meijer or home improvement stores they will show up as groceries or home supplies on your credit card. Follow me for more marital tips!!
Here’s a list of a few great houseplants that your pets can enjoy (with their eyes – no chewing up leaves or digging in dirt, please!)
- Snake Plants (Sensevieria) are unique-looking and supre easy to care for.
- Spider Plants love to hang and throw their long legs over the side of the pot. I hate spiders but I love spider plants. They come in a few different varieties, too. Leave the babies attached or cut them off to start new plants.
- Calatheas come in tons of varieties and enjoy humidity. Their patterns can’t be beat.
- Ponytail Palms are spunky and may be fun to swat at. My cats love chewing on these, and the plant doesn’t seem to mind.
- Polka Dot Plants, because who wouldn’t love something with that name?
- Several varieties of ferns, like Boston, Bird’s Nest, Staghorn, and a few others do great with low light and varied humidity. Then put them outside in the summer and enjoy them on your patio.
Get Out of the House and Exercise More
Going walking? There’s an app for that! Fitpotato lets you challenge your friends to win weekly prizes and has an option specifically for walking your dog! If one of your resolutions involves giving back, CharityMiles lets you rack up cash that goes straight to a charity of your choice. There are so many great options to make your walks that much more productive!
Join a local agility club – Sportsmen’s Dog Training Club is in the Warren neighborhood. Trust me, you’ll have so much fun racing your dog around courses you’ll forget you’re even exercising.
Check out Long Snout’s farm walks if you’d like to work on leash behavior with your pup in a new location filled with delicious scents for the pups.
Become regulars at your local park and play some frisbee, jog on the outdoor track, bike through one of our gorgeous state park trails, or slow down and enjoy the scenery while you walk the nature trails. Visit different parks around the city and see if you find any hidden gems you and your dog can enjoy together!
Not a walker or a jogger? Michigan has lots of beautiful dog-friendly beaches where you and your pup can get in some swimming miles together! Check out my advice on dog-friendly beaches here.
Learn some new tricks together like spins, jumps, rolls, and side-steps, then see if you can put it all together into a little dance routine! If you need to keep sugar levels down, blueberries make an excellent treat – they’re very catchable and aren’t high in sugar at all.
If manners in public have been keeping you down, consider some behavior classes at a local spot like Canine to Five.
Most Importantly, Have Fun!
At the end of the day, New Years resolutions are all about changing your life and improving yourself for the sake of being happier and more fulfilled. So when you look down at your furry friend and see them smiling back at you, just know you’re already on the right track no matter how you choose to improve together!
Good luck in 2023, friends! It’s going to be a great one.