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10 New Year Resolutions for Your Dog

By: Alex Lieber

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The impending arrival of the New Year brings the inevitable resolutions: Trim your girth, be nicer toward your in-laws, spend more time with the family. We're all familiar with the promises we make to improve ourselves in the coming year.

As you make this ironclad list (you mean it this time – really!), have you wondered what resolutions your pet may be thinking of? Your dog also vows to improve himself (and he means it this time – really!). We conducted a survey of the resolutions pets may want to make for the coming year and found some surprises. Here are the top 10 New Year's Resolutions from the dog's perspective.

(Just don't say anything if he falls a little short of the goal. You keep his secrets and he'll keep yours.)

Resolution #1: I will eat less and exercise more.

Too many nights on the couch, too many dog biscuits and too little time running around the local dog park has made me a little, well, fluffier. I don't think the old "I'm-just-big-boned" excuse will work anymore. I resolve to bug my owner to take me out to the doggy park several times a week.

Resolution #2: I will beg less

I've got begging down to a fine art – he's puddy in my paws – but it sure is demeaning. I promise to reserve the begging for worthwhile things, like going out to the park and T-bone steak.

Resolution #3: I will recognize the difference between furniture and fire hydrants.

I promise not to treat the furniture and walls the way I do fire hydrants. It drives my owners batty and has no lasting benefit for me (they clear away the scent almost as fast as I can "deposit" it.)

Resolution #4: I'll stay out of the cat's litter box.

I vow to resist the urge to snoop around the cat's private lavatory – even though it's a lot of fun and really makes her go nuts.

Resolution #5: I won't bite the vet anymore.

I'll remember that the vets and their staff are just trying to help in their own, inscrutable way, although they really know how to push my buttons with those needles!

Resolution #6: I won't steal food as much.

I won't go out of my way to steal food, although all bets are off if they make it really easy for me.

Resolution #7: I'll introduce myself in more appropriate ways.

In other words, I'll focus above the waist when introducing myself to humans. Somehow, I get the feeling my normal greeting methods invade their private space.

Resolution #8: I'll do better "holding it" until morning.

When nature calls, I'll steel my resolve to wait for my normal morning walk, unless special considerations apply. I'll decide what those special considerations are.

Resolution #9: I'll bark at the mailman less.

Even though it works to put him in his place, I'll try not to exercise my authority over him and other delivery people, although my self-esteem does get a boost when they retreat.

Resolution #10: I'll tolerate those homemade bandannas more.

My owner has gone to a lot of trouble to make these things, so I'll just put up with the way they feel and the taunts of the other dogs.

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