Pet owners use their animals to achieve their New Year's resolutions, study reveals | The Sun

NEARLY four in 10 pet owners have set a New Year's resolution for their animal companion – if only to help them achieve their own goals.

A poll of 2,000 adults who have a pet revealed their top goals for their furry friends for the year – including getting more exercise and to lose weight.

Others want them to learn a new trick and bark less, while 18 per cent are adamant on their pooch improving when walking off the lead.

It also emerged a third of owners are more likely to complete their own resolutions if they do them alongside their pets.

Bella Von Mesterhazy at Petplan, which commissioned the research, said: "After the over-indulgence of the Christmas and New Year period, we know the new year is a great time to reset and focus on some resolutions for the year ahead.

“Making resolutions for your pet, to make sure they are happy and healthy, is equally as important."

The study also found 85 per cent of those who have set their furry friend a goal think it’s likely they will stick to their resolution, with 28 per cent setting targets for their pet in previous years.

Improving physical health is the main objective for 56 per cent, while half are keen to improve their relationship with their four-legged friends.

When it comes to their pet’s behaviour, 34 per cent feel there are areas they would like to improve this year – including pulling on the lead, nervousness and excessive barking.

Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) put these bad habits down to needing more time to learn and 17 per cent said it is a behaviour common with their breed.

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Despite wanting to work on these things, 82 per cent said their pet is typically well behaved.

Touching on their own resolutions, 42 per cent of owners have set themselves one, with 69 per cent claiming they will stick to it – less than when asked the same question about their pet.

For 40 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, there is similarity between their own goal and that of their furry companion – such as more exercise and a healthier diet.

And when thinking about the year ahead, 51 per cent said their pet will help them become a better person.

Bella added: “We have lots of useful advice, guidance and training tips that can help with any resolutions you decide to set them.

“The health of the nation’s animals is at the heart of everything we do, so we’re delighted to see that this is reflected by owners too.”


1. Get more exercise

2. Lose weight

3. Keep on top of grooming

4. Learn a new command

5. Eat a healthier diet

6. Walk better off the lead

7. Bark less

8. Make new pet friends in the neighbourhood

9. Reduce separation anxiety

10. Travel more

11. To be fully house-trained

12. Get on better with other pets

13. Tackle a fear of loud noises

14. Be less nervous

15. Be more independent/ less needy

16. Be more sustainable (when it comes to toys, accessories, bedding etc.)

17. Stop scratching the furniture

18. Get on better with humans

19. Snore less

20. Sleep in their own bed

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