Head of the Class Dog Training LLC 

Winchester, VA

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New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Owners

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As we raise our glasses and toast to the New Year, our fresh calendars remind us that we have a whole year of unlimited possibilities. New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be limited to losing weight or saving for retirement. Pets are a big part of our lives and should be included in our New Year’s Resolutions as well. Resolve to be a better pet parent this year. Here are some ideas for resolutions you can make this year.

  • Exercise more together – Going for long walks is beneficial for your dog’s and your health. Well-exercised dogs have less anxiety, healthier body weight and better longevity. Pencil in a few more long walks to your week and spend that time bonding and getting fit together.
  • Feed your dog better food – Talk to your vet about your dog’s current diet. Maybe it works just fine, but maybe you can incorporate fresh foods or a better brand of pet food into your dog’s diet. People aren’t the only ones who need quality foods to fuel their bodies. Your pet will enjoy better health and a longer life if he or she is eating the right food.
  • Make training goals for your pup – Maybe your dog needs more leash training. Or perhaps you’d like to work on something more advanced like a dog sport or agility training. Make training goals for your dog in the New Year. You can attend a training class that will teach you how to properly work with your dog and achieve your goals, no matter how big or small they may be.
  • Spend more time bonding – Whether you set aside 15 minutes early in the morning or at the end of the day to spend cuddling or petting your dog, you will have a better relationship because of it. It doesn’t take a lot of time to show your dog that he or she is appreciated and loved. Dogs are social creatures and thrive on love from you. Petting a dog has been shown to reduce stress for people. An extra scratch behind the ears or a cuddle on the couch can mean a world of difference for you and your dog and give you both a better quality of life.
  • Renew your dog’s toy supply – Hit the after-Christmas sales at your local pet store and pick up some new toys for your pup. Don’t toss any favorites, of course, but weed out overly chewed, dirty and worn-out dog toys and replace them with new ones. This is more sanitary for you and your pup and may renew his or her interest in playing.
  • Schedule your vet appointments – With so many things on your plate, sometimes you may forget to schedule routine check-ups for your pup. Look at when shots need to be renewed and get that appointment on your calendar now. Set a reminder for yourself so you stay on top of your dog’s health in the New Year.


For more helpful tips and information, visit our library of blog articles!

Lisa Marino, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, PMCT, has taken her varied teaching experiences and applied them to helping owners understand and train their beloved four-legged family members. She has more than four years’ experience leading group dog training classes at Best Paw Forward in Hartland, WI, and opened Head of the Class Dog Training LLC in Winchester, VA in 2012, where she conducts group classes and private lessons, as well as helps owners to modify their dogs' problem behaviors.

Lisa earned her CPDT-KA in 2012, is a 2015 graduate of the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy and is a Pat Miller Certified Trainer.

She has 4 registered therapy dogs and is a Pet Partner Therapy Team Evaluator and a member of HOPE AACR. As a former middle school teacher, she works well with families and children and does school presentations on various dog related topics.