Nearly two in five pet owners have set a New Year's resolution for their furry friend this year – with a third saying this will help them stick to the goals they have made for themselves, according to research.

The top resolutions animal lovers have made on behalf of their companions include getting more exercise, and losing weight – with 40% saying these are similar to their own 2023 objectives.

But 34% also want to work on improving their pet's behaviour, with almost a fifth (18%) aiming to get their dog to be better at walking off the lead.

Barking less, and not pulling on their lead, are other aspects of pooch behaviour owners would like their pet to improve on throughout this year.

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% of those who have set their furry friend a goal think it’s likely they will stick to their resolution, with 28% setting targets for their pet in previous years.

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

But for those looking to address their pet's behaviour, nearly a fifth (18%) put their bad habits down to needing more time to learn, while 17% said it is a behaviour common with their breed.

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

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

But when thinking about the year ahead, more than half (51%) of those polled, via OnePoll, believe their pet will help them become a better person.

Bella Von Mesterhazy, at Petplan, 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.”

TOP 20 PET RESOLUTIONS FOR 2023:

  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. Become 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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