It’s that time of year again. We start thinking about our goals, what we want to accomplish, and decide what our New Year’s resolutions will be. Many of us may try to start a new hobby, lose a few pounds, or spend more time with loved ones. One area of their life people often forget is their pet. Your pet is a member of your family, just like your partner or children, so remember to include them in your New Year’s resolutions.
If you want to set a New Year’s resolution this year to spend more quality time with your pet and give them the best quality of life, here are a few of our tips for how to integrate them into your resolution planning:
Get More Involved in Playtime
A great idea for a resolution is to commit to being more involved with playtime with your pet. Over time, pet owners may get lazy and expect their pet to find their own ways to have fun. But playing an active role in playtime means increased bonding with your pet and more physical activity for you. It’s a win-win!
Use Them as An Ice Breaker
If you’re trying to get more social this year, your pet can act as a great ice breaker anytime you have a new group of people over. Letting your dog or cat meet your guests is a great way to get to know them a bit better and start up conversations. Just make sure you’re aware of any pet allergies for your guests before letting them loose.
Get Your Kids Involved
There are tons of benefits from having your kids get more involved in the care of your pet this year. Studies show that children who grow up in a home with an animal are around 50% less likely to develop allergies. They also likely have stronger immune systems and a lower risk for asthma. Not only will spending time with your pets keep your kids healthier, but it will also help them develop responsibility and empathy as they learn to care for another being.
Reap The Benefits of Relaxation
If you’re trying to relax a bit this year after a stressful period, your pet can be a huge help in this goal. Spending time with your dog, cat, or other cuddly friend causes your brain to release oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle chemical.” Oxytocin can help decrease levels of cortisol which causes stress. Something as simple as petting your dog can give you a boost of oxytocin and help chill you out a bit. What a great excuse for a snuggle session!
Make New Friends
As an adult, it can be hard to meet new people and make new friends. If you’re trying to increase your social connections this year, let your pet help! Letting your dog tag along on errands, regular trips to the dog park, and other fun outings can be a great way to meet people with similar interests.
Have Some Fun
It is so easy to get caught up in the drive to be productive and get things done, but when we look back at our life, the moments of fun and happiness are what truly stand out. Having more fun is one of the best New Year’s resolutions you can set, and your pet can become your number one partner in crime. Even if you’re working hard, make sure to take breaks for a game of fetch or some fun with feathers with your furry friend. The joy it brings you will stick with you for years to come.
Keep Everyone Healthy
At the end of the day, we all want to take care of ourselves and make sure we can enjoy life to the fullest. Not only do our pets keep us active and help us maintain our physical health, but the lifetime partnership a pet brings can provide a sense of purpose and meaning that can improve mental health and self-esteem. The benefits a pet can bring to your life are truly astounding.