how your dog could help you keep your new year's resolutions
A new year has come again, and whether 2017 was good or not so good for you, we reckon 2018’s going to be better. If you’ve made some new years resolutions there’s only 364 days left to get out there and achieve them. Unfortunately most resolutions barely make it past January because self-motivation alone is sometimes not enough to change bad habits. Which is why you need to get someone to help you out – someone you see regularly, someone who is ultra positive and someone you really don’t want to disappoint. Someone, in a nutshell, like your four legged best buddy.
We’ve outlined some of the most common new years resolutions below and how your dog could surprisingly help you achieve them. 2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog after all.
This is the most common new years resolution and yet, as gym owners will confirm, is probably the least achieved. Researchers at Michigan State University found that dog owners are 34% more likely to fit in 150 minutes of walking per week than non-dog owners, which, given dogs love a W-A-L-K, is perhaps unsurprising. What is more surprising though is that they found dog owners also spend more time exercising (outside of dog walking) – a massive 69% more than non dog-owners.
If you’ve ever witnessed a dog eat part of a sofa, a remote control or a cake left on the kitchen bench, you’ll know they’re not always the most inspirational of healthy eaters. However, studies have shown that dog owners typically have lower cholesterol and are 26% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, a disease often related to poor diets.
So your dog could help you eat healthier and you could help them too (hint hint).
spend more time with friends and family
This one’s easy. Many of us consider dogs as important family members (behind the kids sometimes, but often ahead of the husband) so if you want to spend more time with the people you love, don’t forget to include your pets too.
And if you’re looking to start new relationships then dogs are great matchmakers too, whether it be through an impromptu leash tangle in the park, a Meet Up with fellow dog owners or even dog-friendly dating apps.
For those of us who spend more on their dogs than they do on themselves this might seem a little counterintuitive but there are ways in which dogs can help you save.
From replacing your PT (see ‘exercise more’ above) or even therapist (see ‘look after your mental health’ below) dog ownership could save your money. You could even get more dogs in your life and more money by dog sitting, walking or grooming.
Lastly, if you’ve had expensive vet bills in 2017 switching to a healthy diet could prevent further costly trips to the vet in the future.
look after your mental health
Modern life can be stressful so its important to pay attention to your mental health as well as your physical health.
Luckily dogs have been shown to help here as well. An academic study from Miami found that pet-owners had higher levels of self-esteem and conscientiousness than non pet-owners, tended to be less lonely and less fearful, and were more extrovert and less preoccupied.
Therapy dogs in particular make a great contribution to the mental wellbeing of thousands of Australians every week.