As 2020 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on this past year and see what we did well and what we wish we did differently. It’s also a great time to make some awesome New Year’s Resolutions as a dog mom for 2021!
Even though it’s November, I like to do all of my new year planning ahead of time so I can start practicing good habits immediately.
That way when the new year rolls around I’ll pretty much have the new habits I want set in place, starting off the new year strong!
Though many dog moms (myself included) are amazing at being dog moms, I believe there is always room for improvement.
So this year I’ve listed 10 new resolutions any dog mom can work on!
The first new Year’s resolution I want to work on next year is practicing gratitude.
I already do this in some form, but next year I plan on blocking off a section of time each day to work on it.
I’ve found it easiest to take some time each morning to make a list of 3 things I’m grateful for, as well as 2 people that I am grateful for, and when I reached out to them last.
By actually writing these things down I have found that I connect with these people more and time doesn’t seem to slip away as fast between conversations.
Don’t worry. For this exercise you can count your dog as a person! 😉
Though I already write down the things I am grateful for, I tend to struggle finding time to do it, even though it only takes a few minutes.
So next year I plan on keeping a notebook on my nightstand and will spend the first 10 minutes of each day practicing gratitude.
This is a great way to start a productive morning routine, and it puts you in a grateful mindset, giving you a great mental start for the rest of the day.
Be More Attentive
This is also something that I worked on this year, but want to get even better next year.
People these days are having a harder time being present and attentive for those they love. This is especially true when it comes to your dog!
Though it may seem easier to skip a walk on a cold day and scroll through Tik Tok, you are missing precious bonding time with your dog.
Life goes by faster than we think and for dogs it goes by even faster. When we’re all old and grey we think back to the memories spent with loved ones.
But those moments that we are supposed to be making memories with are stolen by other meaningless distractions.
We don’t even absorb half the information we get from our phones, but I guarantee you’ll appreciate the memory of going on an epic hike with your dog, or even just playing on the couch with them.
And when they’re old and grey, you can think back to all the memories you had with them, instead of regretting all the time you spent on your phone or Netflix binging.
Take More Adventures
Another important New Year’s resolution I have for next year is to go on more adventures with my dogs.
Taking your dog into new environments is great training and a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog.
Before we had Archie, my husband and I took Cali on a roadtrip with us from New York to Texas.
As we made stops along the way Cali experienced more than 10 different states through the whole trip, seeing new sights and smelling new smells.
When we got to Texas we found out that it’s a super dog-friendly state (unlike New York). I even got to take Cali out drinking with us because many bars and clubs down there allow dogs!
This is something we never would’ve experienced if we decided to leave her with a babysitter at home.
But adventures don’t always have to be so big. Going for a car ride to the beach or on a new hiking trail are just as fun for your dog as cross country road tripping!
Pay More Attention to Grooming
Though I do make my dogs grooming a priority, I have learned over the years that giving your dog the occasional bath and nail trim is not all there is to grooming.
And when your dogs have over 10k followers on Instagram, people will tell you if your dog looks improperly groomed.
If you have a dog with longer fur your grooming schedule will be different. But for my two pitbulls, my new year’s resolution grooming schedule is as follows:
Fur Brushing: Every Week
Teeth Brushing: Every Week
Paw & Nose Moisturising: Every 2 Weeks Unless Super Dry
Bath: Every 3 Weeks
Nail Trim: Every 4 Weeks
My least favorite parts of dog grooming are definitely teeth brushing and nail trimming.
In this house, both of these activities result in lots of head whipping, jerking around, and escape routes. You would think a bull got loose from his stable when we tell Archie it’s time to brush his teeth.
Luckily, to make these two tasks easier I found two amazon products from Amazon.
For nail trimming, I switched from a regular clipper to this Casfuy Electric Nail Grinder (affiliate link).
I noticed with the regular clipper Cali’s nails would split open and would always hurt her because the pressure of the clipper pressed on the nerves in her nails.
This nail grinder slowly turns your dog’s nails into dust and lets you smooth out the nail at the end so they don’t break.
It has a stone file that doesn’t get dull (at least for a few years) and it’s also super quiet which is great for the dogs who run from noisy appliances.
As for the teeth brushing, I was originally using human toothbrushes for my dogs, but they would get so mad that their teeth were being brushed that they would bite the toothbrush in half.
I got this 360 Dog Toothbrush from Amazon (affiliate link) that fits right over your finger.
Since my dogs know to never bite my fingers, this tool is perfect for getting between teeth and brushing your dog’s tongue.
Now, grooming is a fun process, and my dogs are fresher than ever before!
Did you know that your dog food might not be giving your dog everything they need?
Since Cali was a puppy, she’s always had yeast and stomach issues.
Even after changing food multiple times she would still get a horrible yeast infection at the same time every month.
Since I’m not a huge fan of antibiotics (which cause yeast anyway) I decided to check Amazon for a solution.
I found these Probiotics by Zesty Paws (affiliate link) that work great! They come as tasty chewables, so you can plop a few into your dog’s food bowl and they’ll eat it right up!
These probiotics helped both Cali’s yeast issues as well as her stomach issues. No more throwing up stomach bile each morning!
After I found the probiotic I did even more research. After listening to podcast episode #118 from Wear Wag Repeat, I looked into adding more supplements to my dog’s diet.
I found these 5 in 1 Chewable Supplements by Zesty Paws (affiliate link) and boy are the reviews right!
Cali just turned 5 and has already been showing signs of joint and back pain. In about a week of taking these supplements she’s throwing herself around the yard like a puppy again.
These core element supplements focus on joint health, gut and skin health, and overall immunity.
Even if your dog is a puppy, I believe the sooner you give your dogs supplements the better chance they have at a long, healthy life. So you should definitely add this to your list of new year’s resolutions.
Focusing on Each Dogs Needs
Before my husband got me Archie for Christmas last year, Cali was the only dog in the house.
Cali and I had a very set routine to our day and she loved being the center of attention.
Fast forward to December 2019, and Cali’s whole world changed when we brought a little orange fur ball into the house.
As Archie started getting older, I realized that each dog had very different personalities as well as different needs.
Cali is a loner, likes to shred toys to pieces and needs her daily walk. Archie doesn’t shred toys at all but instead is a tug of war enthusiast.
Archie also doesn’t really care for walks but loves playing with other dogs. But since Cali is a reactive dog, she can’t really play with other dogs.
Luckily, Cali likes to sleep in with my husband on the weekends and Archie is up early with me. This is when we get to sneak out of the house and spend a few hours at the dog park socializing.
We usually get back before anyone else is up, so Cali doesn’t think she missed out on anything.
I make up time with Cali by taking her on solo walks with me, going on car rides for puppuccinos, and other fun activities.
I realized that if I wanted both of my dogs to be happy, I couldn’t treat them the exact same way.
So this New Years resolution is figuring out how to most efficiently take care of both their needs.
Have a Play Sesh Everyday
If you’re a dog mom like me, this can be easier said than done.
Life gets the best of us sometimes and by the time we get home after a crazy day, the last thing we want to do is run around the backyard playing fetch.
But guess what? That dog that you love with all your heart has been waiting for you, their favorite human, all day. And for a dog, all day can seem like forever.
The least you can do is take 15 mins out of each day to toss a ball around the yard with your 4 legged bestie!
Keep the Dog Smell Out of the House
You may not notice it in your own home, but have you ever walked into someone’s house for the first time and got hit with “dog smell”? It’s not pleasant.
Don’t blame the owners too much, as fighting dog smell is a constant battle many dog owners have, and it’s hard to keep up with sometimes!
The winter can get especially stinky because smells are trapped indoors.
Luckily, I wrote a whole article on how to naturally get the dog smell out of anything in your house, so be sure to check that out and have a fresh house in the new year!
Make More Homemade Dog Treats
Did you know that store bought dog treats often contain dyes and preservatives?
I didn’t know until I looked at the back of the package after Cali kept getting sick.
That day I causally googled how to make dog treats at home, and from that day on I never looked back!
My dogs now only eat treats that I make at home. And this should be a new year’s resolution for every dog mom next year!
Not only is it better for them, but it’s also super fun making treats and having your dogs be the taste testers.
I now know everything that goes into the treats, and I can make pretty much whatever kind of dog treat I’m in the mood for.
My dog’s favorite treats that I make have to be the organic pumpkin peanut butter treats. They loved them so much that I actually just listed them on Etsy, so your dog can enjoy them too!
Never Stop Learning
My last New Year’s resolution for dog moms is to never stop learning.
This can mean teaching your dog a new trick, or researching different topics in the pet industry.
By starting this blog I have unintentionally forced myself to learn about new things everyday!
Learning new things keeps the brain sharp in both humans and dogs. Neither of you are ever too old to learn a new trick!
What New Year’s resolutions do you have as a dog mom? What will you pick from this list? Let me know in the comments!