Dog Mom Life

My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions to My Dog

With a new year comes new resolutions and the hope to improve upon yourself. I am a bad dog mom at times. Many days I tell Zeus to go lay back down on his bed because I don’t want to get up in the morning or I skip the weekend dog park trip even though I know that he needs to let out some pent up energy. Next year, I plan to do better at these things and a handful of others. If you are anything like me, and want to be a better mom to your pet – check out some of the New Year’s resolution ideas I have come up with for 2017.


One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is improving upon your fitness. People aren’t the only ones who need to get proper exercise – our dogs need it too! Make a resolution to take more time to make sure your dog has gotten enough exercise.

Example Resolutions: 

  • Daily Dog Walks or Runs: Commit to a run or a long walk everyday. Set the alarm clock a little earlier or do it first thing when you come home.
  • Daily Fetch: If you dog is ball driven, often a game of fetch can be a good workout. Take a 20 minutes out of your day to throw the ball for your pup.
  • Weekend Dog Park Trips: Spend an hour at the dog park on Saturday or Sunday. Your pet will love to run around off-leash and play with the other dogs at the park.



Training a dog is not easy, and sometimes it can be downright frustrating. This year, commit to taking the time to train your dog. Maybe you need to improve upon things (jumping, barking, chewing etc.), maybe you want to learn something new, or maybe you have no training at all and need the basics (leash pulling, sit, stay, lay down, etc.) – whatever stage you are at with your dog, there is usually always room for improvement. I know that one of my resolutions will be to work with Zeus on jumping. We taught him how to “jump up” and give a hug, and it has backfired on us.

Example Resolutions: 

  • Sign up for a training course: If we didn’t take our dog to basic obedience classes, he would be a handful. I highly recommend taking a training course (either in a group setting or one-on-one) if you are looking to improve.
  • Use YouTube: YouTube is an EXCELLENT resource for finding out how to do things, like train a dog. Check out the millions of videos they have to offer and you are sure to find the help you need.
  • Add it to your calendar: A lot of New Year’s resolutions fall through because people forget to so them. I like to add things to my calendar so I have a reminder.



The ability for a dog to behave in a calm manner around new animals, new people and new places comes with heavy socialization. The more your dog experiences, the more likely they are going to be able to handle new situations.

Example Resolutions: 

  • Doggy Play Dates: Set up doggy play dates with friends. If you are in need of dog friends check out the BarkHappy mobile app – here you can find dogs in your area to play with.
  • Visit Dog Parks: A great place to socialize your dog is a dog park. Lots of dogs of different shapes and sizes along with lots of new people make this a trip full of new experiences.
  • Bring Your Dog Somewhere New: Take them downtown on busy streets, for a hike in the wilderness, over to a new friends house, bring them to a beach and have them see the water.



I know that I slack in this area. Zeus has short hair, and I often forget that he needs to have regular baths too. I also DREAD nail trimming. It terrifies me. One of my resolutions this year will include marking my calendar to remind myself when my dog is due for a bath or a nail trim.

Example Resolutions: 

  • Schedule grooming appointments in advance: Instead of waiting for Fluffy to look like a mop, schedule her next grooming visit when you are there.
  • Set reminders for nail clipping and ear cleaning: I am terrible at remembering to clip my dog’s nails or clean his ears. If you are like me, it helps to set a reminder for yourself so you don’t forget this important upkeep.



Being healthy is another common resolution for people. Making sure your dog is healthy should always be a priority. If you’ve been slacking lately, it’s ok! Just add it to your list of resolutions.

Example Resolutions: 

  • Bringing to vet for check up: Is your dog up-to-date on shots? When was the last time they had a checkup? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
  • Upgrading the dog food: What are you feeding your dog? Make sure you are providing them a high quality dog food that is giving them all of the nutrients they need. If you are questioning what type of food is right for your dog, consult with your veterinarian.
  • Measure the Dog Food: If your dog is over weight, make sure you are measuring out his or her portion sizes to avoid giving extra food.
  • Stay on Top of Heart Worm, Flea/Tick Prevention: Mark it on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone.




Example Resolutions: 

  • Adoption: If you are considering bringing a new dog into your life in 2017, consider adopting instead of going through a breeder or pet store. There are so many dogs out there that are waiting at shelters and humane societies who need homes.
  • Fostering: Have you tried out fostering before? Help out dogs for a short period of time while they search for their forever homes.
  • Donate to a local rescue or shelter: If you are like me and know you don’t have the time commitment to invest in another dog this next year, donate to a local rescue or animal shelter instead. You’ll still be giving back in some way!



This is something we can all probably work on. With social media updating every second and so many options on Netflix, you can become consumed with things to do and forget your dog hasn’t gotten that quality time in ages. Make a point to set aside time with your dog this year.

Example Resolutions: 

  • Put down the phone/tablet/computer
  • DVR your show and watch it later
  • Less Netflix



When was the last time you updated your dog’s I.D. tag? Have you moved or gotten a new cell phone number? Make sure your dog’s tag is up to date in case that time were to come where they end up lost and away from home.


Here’s to hoping that you and I can become better pet parents in 2017! Wishing you all the best of luck.



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21 Comment

  1. Reply
    Cathy Keisha
    01/03/2017 at 7:43 pm

    Some of these apply to cats too. Many like myself aren’t leash trained but we need daily exercise so we don’t get far and it also helps with digestion. CK needs to spend more time playing with me and seeing that I do my running and jumping around the condo. Vet visits are very important also. She also needs to get away from the computer and focus on me.

    1. Reply
      01/03/2017 at 7:55 pm

      It can be hard to make the time (and the computer can somehow make hours go by in the blink of an eye)! My goal for this week is to call the vet and schedule an appointment for my dog to get in and get up-to-date on shots.

    2. Reply
      01/03/2017 at 9:02 pm

      I was applying each of these to my cat as I read! My cat is not leash trained (yet) but we get him outside with a pet stroller and these resolutions are absolutely applicable.

    3. Reply
      03/12/2017 at 6:59 am

      We need more ingsthis like this in this thread.

  2. Reply
    Jeanne Melanson
    01/03/2017 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas for the new year.( While I was reading, it made me think of my grandson — put down the laptop / stop watching movies, etc.) It seems like your resolutions for your dog will benefit you as well, and that’s perfect. I wish you all the very best in the new year. Peace

  3. Reply
    01/03/2017 at 9:07 pm

    I loved these resolutions and think every pet owner needs to make AT LEAST one pet-related resolution each year! Being a pet-owner is hard work and requires tons of love, patience, attention, etc., by committing yourself to improving at least one thing each year, you are improving their quality of life and happiness significantly without having to drastically change yourself. More pet owners need this mindset!

    Thank you for a great post!

  4. Great list and I like that you included actionable items. I prefer “goals” to “resolutions” but I certainly need to improve my game when it comes to exercise. Sure, I take my little dogs on long hikes but that’s only once a week at best. It’s the daily walks that they’re lacking… and I’m lacking.

    1. Reply
      01/03/2017 at 9:46 pm

      Setting my alarm to wake up 30 minutes earlier and walking my dog would make him so much happier. That is a big one I could definitely work on too!!

  5. These are all great new year’s resolutions for every dog mom! I mean, let’s be honest: our dogs deserve the best we can give them! Thanks for sharing, and happy new year!

  6. Reply
    Rebecca at MattieDog
    01/04/2017 at 3:55 am

    These are all great resolutions – we particularly like that your included considering adding another pup to your family! Dogs (animals in general) add so much to our lives, the least we can do is commit to being good to them – thank you for this great piece!

    1. Reply
      03/12/2017 at 7:02 am

      Wow, this is in every respcet what I needed to know.

  7. Reply
    01/05/2017 at 2:16 pm

    These are great resolutions. I am scared of trimming Henrietta’s nails because they are black so I am grateful they do them when I take her for grooming which I do regularly. The cats suffer from my fear of not trimming nails so I need to resolve to get better at that. Training is definitely a resolution for our puppy Murray as he is kind of reactive and doesn’t do well in new situations with new people. Great thoughts here.

    1. Reply
      01/05/2017 at 9:08 pm

      I make Zeus’ dog dad trim his nails whenever I can. It terrifies me! His nails are multi-colored (some you can tell where to cut, but others are dark brown and I have no idea where to trim it at).

    2. Reply
      03/12/2017 at 6:49 am

      Kudos to you! I hadn’t thhugot of that!

  8. Reply
    01/05/2017 at 4:35 pm

    My wee man …. he is already the first priority in all things in my life. I spend hours with him a day, we hike, travel internationally, cuddle, do indoor agility training in the winter… if I can’t be with him I have his daycare and “nannies”. I make his food from scratch at every meal … you could say I am obsessed with making sure he has everything to be the most well balanced, happy healthy pup possible. So reading your list I was like yep yep yep – oh yeah that’s a good suggestion but we do that ….and then you inspired me there is ONE thing I have never managed to do. trick training. he’s super well behaved and knows commands (sit, stay, come etc)…. but I have never been able to teach him things like beg, roll over and such … so maybe that is the thing we should add to the list!

    1. Reply
      01/05/2017 at 9:07 pm

      It sounds like you have a lucky little pup! He’s got someone wonderful to take care of him.
      I slack on teaching my boy new tricks too – it isn’t easy!

  9. Reply
    Tenacious Little Terrier
    01/05/2017 at 10:49 pm

    We’re going to spend (more) time on training this year. Both behavioral and tricks. We do just about everything on the list already! Except for getting another one.

  10. Reply
    01/06/2017 at 4:40 pm

    These are awesome resolutions! I have some of the same goals, especially the exercise one. My dogs actually love it when I watch TV (which I hardly ever do) because it means cuddle time too.

    1. Reply
      01/06/2017 at 5:51 pm

      That is a good point! Cuddle time/TV time mix – two things done at once!

  11. Reply
    01/07/2017 at 4:24 pm

    These are great resolutions. I especially relate to the training. Especially, with my Ontario weather meaning it is too cold some days to venture out for a walk. Mental stimulation is equally important, and on these days we spend more time training. Having recently rescued another dog, we have been working with him, and I love that it is an opportunity to remind the other two of some of the basics.

  12. Reply
    01/09/2017 at 10:07 pm

    I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions, but this year I did. Some for me, and some for my dogs. Hopefully we are all successfully in achieving our goals for 2017!

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