(Written by Georgia Hatton)
January means a new year and a new start - and according to a YouGov survey, 1 in 5 adults will set a New Years Resolution this year, with the most common being to lose weight, to get fitter and to save more money.
Try as we might, many of us don’t accomplish our new year's resolutions, with the same survey finding just 28% of people in 2022 stuck to their goals. Whilst our pets don’t care much for resolutions, they are however excellent motivators, so why not set a goal you can accomplish together!
Here are our 8 New Years Resolutions for you and your dog for 2023:
- Cut out junk food
- Improve dental care
- Practise self care
- Learn something new
- Let the dogs sniff
- Be more adventurous
- Try something new
- Get involved with charity
Read the below to find out more!
- Cut out the junk food
So many of us want the new year to be the time we *finally* start to eat clean(er) - so why not check out your dog's diet as well, and make sure they too can eat less junk?
It’s all too easy to just pick up a bag from the supermarket or pet store, without really looking at the ingredients, and even if you do, many labels are unclear, or confusing. On a label, ingredients are listed in order of quantity - the ingredient that appears at the top of the list is the largest single part of the food.
The most important aspect of the label should be clarity. Each ingredient should be named, and the 3-4 most important ingredients will ideally be given with a percentage. Avoid any ambiguous ingredients - such as “meat and animal derivatives” and “cereals”. These could refer to a range of ingredients, and manufacturers often use them when the recipes for the food changes over time, or where the exact breakdown would put owners off. This is particularly important to consider when dogs have specific dietary requirements such as an intolerance to grain.
The same guidelines should apply to the treats you feed your dog - choose natural, minimally processed treats. Fortunately all of our treats are grain free, have a high meat content and contain nothing nasty!
Why not try our range of gourmet sticks? Suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes these meaty treats are a firm favourite, produced right here in the UK - so you can be sure what the label says, is what’s in them!
- Improve Dental Care
Studies have shown that 80% of dogs over 3 have some degree of dental disease. Without proper care, poor oral health can lead to pain, inflammation and infection, all with long term health implications. It has been found in a study by the RVC that some dogs, such as toy poodles, cavalier king charles spaniels, greyhounds and brachycephalic (short nosed) breeds are all more likely to develop dental disease in their lifetime - so for owners of these dogs, it is extra important to keep their teeth clean.
We brush our teeth at least daily, and the same should apply to our dogs.
Brushing your dog's teeth on a regular basis, and between brushings provide them with crunchy, firm treats to gnaw at will keep them clean, and be sure to visit your vet if you notice any signs of dental disease, such as bad breath, red gums and plaque build up.
Fish Skin Cubes are a delightful bite sized snack - and the crispy texture makes them a great addition to your dogs dental care regime!
- Practice Self Care
Self care is becoming hugely important to people of all walks of life - and the same should be said for our dogs.
Much like we like to wind down with a soak in a bath, watching a boxset or reading a book, it’s been proven that chewing is a highly relaxing activity for dogs, and not just for puppies. By providing your dog with plenty of opportunities to chew, you can help them to release their negative emotions, before you even notice them start. Antlers and Horns are especially good for this - they are very long lasting, and can be left in your dog's toy box to have a chew on whenever they feel like it.
Our Buffalo horns are currently 50% off in January sale - making it the perfect time to stock up!
- Learn something new
Dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages - no matter how old they are - can learn a new trick. Learning is a fantastic way for dogs to keep their minds sharp, encourage them to move their bodies, and provide additional enrichment on cold, winter nights when you just can’t face another dark walk. Many training clubs offer fun trick classes, and there are plenty of free “how to” videos on YouTube, and other social media platforms by positive trainers, if an organised class isn’t your thing.
Armed with a positive attitude and a pack of our training treats, you are sure to be able to teach your pet something new this year!
A dog's nose is their most powerful sense, so let them use it!
It can be too easy on our walks, especially at this time of year, when it is dark, damp and cold, to hurry your dog along from every lamppost and interesting small to keep the walk going.
Make 2023 the year you make a conscious effort to let your dog sniff more!
If standing out in the rain isn’t your thing - take it indoors. Scattering some little treats around your house, hiding them in a rolled up towel or wrapping them in newspaper for your dog to dig through are all great ways to encourage your dog to use their nose more.
For dogs just getting started with scentwork, the smellier the better when it comes to the treats. Fortunately sprats fit this bit - and fed whole are the perfect bit sized reward
- Be more adventurous
Take your dog somewhere new - whether it’s a new walk, a new coffee shop, a new holiday destination or a new country, the possibilities are endless.
Make it as big, or as small, as you want - and create memories that last a lifetime with your best friends.
Of course, we all want to immortalise these memories with pictures, so take some pate along with you. As well as keep your dog fuelled for these adventures, use it to encourage them to look at the camera and get the best pictures to remember your trips by.
- Try something new
2023 could be the year you and your dog try something new together. Dog training clubs all over the country offer positive reinforcement classes in a wide range of activities - from fast and furious flyball, to general good citizen classes, making your dogs the best companions they can be. If your dog is young and fit, and your resolution is to get fit too, have a go at canicross. A non-restrictive y shaped harness for you dog, a belt to attach your lead to and a pair of running shoes are all you need to get started.
Just like us, dogs build fitness slowly, so start with a couch to 5k type of programme.
If that isn’t your thing, why not try some new treats for your dogs? Our mixed treat boxes offer a range of treats in a single product - maybe you’ll find your dog's new favourite this year?
- Get involved with a charity
With the cost of living crisis, animal shelters need our help now more than ever.
The cost of living crisis means fewer owners are taking on pets, some are having to rehome them because they can longer afford the care, and donations aren’t as large as they once were.
If you are looking for a new pet, consider adopting. If you have the time, and space, fostering animals whilst they wait for a new home can make a big difference too. Volunteer some time at a local shelter, or donate to a pet food bank.
We donate treats to charities, thanks to a fund supported by our generous customers. If you are, or know, a charity who could benefit, please get in touch!
Let us know what your goals for 2023, and how you and your dog are going to achieve them together!