A Canine New Year Resolution

I really believe it’s important to include your dog in the holiday gift giving. Call me crazy, but I think your dog knows he is getting a gift, or at least what you’re opening is for him. And we all like to get presents – even dogs. In fact, I know many dogs that have learned to unwrap their own gifts. But while your kids may be impressed with how much money you spend, your dog isn’t. Your dog will be as grateful for $5 Kong toy as he will be for the Swarovski crystal. (Actually, I’d argue more grateful – crystal tiaras aren’t fun to play with, and for the wrong dog, it might be humiliating to wear.)

But there’s one gift your dog wants more than any other: You.

For your New Year’s resolution, resolve to spend more time as a companion to your companion animal.

It sounds easy. It might be easy to promise, but on January 2 real life starts again. Time is our most precious commodity. You’re driving the kids to hockey practice, you have to attend a meeting after work… As a culture, we’re busier than ever.

When you can, resolve to bring your dog with you. If it’s possible to walk to the dry cleaner or video store, take your pooch for a stroll instead of driving. It’ll be healthy for you too. Instead of always letting your dog out to the yard to do his business, resolve to take him for a walk at least once a week. Even better, try to get to the park more often.

Time spent with your dog isn’t exclusively limited to time outdoors. Instead of flipping the TV remote to another station when the commercials come on, toss a plush toy.

Resolve to spend just a few more minutes each week with your dog(s). Just a few minutes. That’s all. Here’s one truth I can promise: If you give your pet a just a little more time, you’ll benefit big time. Happy New Year!