2020 was a challenge to say the least. And, although we now find ourselves in another lockdown, we’re determined to make 2021 more paw-sitive. So, we’re looking ahead to what we hope will be a happier and healthier year, planning our list of fun activities to do with our dogs. Paws at the ready, here’s our checklist for 2021 that we hope you’ll take part in too.
Mix up your usual walkies and make it your mission to explore somewhere new and local each month. Whether you set out for a long walk in the morning, or you fit in quick walks before and after your daily jobs, it is the perfect time to take some time for you and your four-legged friend. Your walks with your dog are the perfect time to pop your phone in your pocket, and take in all the beautiful sights that nature has to offer, all whilst spending time with your best friend. Remember to wrap up warm, take some supplies with you and stick to the latest Covid guidance, which at the moment in lockdown says for us to ‘stay local’.
2. Leave a greener eco-pawprint
It feels good to give back, and you’re sure to brighten the year by taking actions to protect our planet. From sustainable swaps to supporting eco-friendly brands and those taking recycling efforts to the next level, there are several things you can do to reduce your eco-pawprint.
The popularity of eco-friendly dog poo bags and sustainable toys for your four-legged friends are on the rise. Did you know that our packaging is made from FSC certified cardboard – from sustainable forests and fully recyclable, even our cans are recyclable too!
So, buying Butcher’s for your four-legged friend not only naturally nourishes them but it’s also a paw-sitive step to being kinder to our planet; a natural choice for those of us who have ‘be more green’ on our New Year’s Resolutions list.
Find out more about Butcher’s Sustainability Pledge here.
3. Take a Summer howl-iday
Dreaming of getting away with your dog this Summer? (Or any time this year for that matter!) When it’s safe to do so, there are a number of pawsome pet-friendly hotels, B&Bs and rental cottages across the UK that are ready to welcome you and your four-legged friend.
Recharge and put your paws up or head out exploring on long walks with plenty of rest stops; whatever type of holiday you’re hankering for, we’re certain that you deserve a break and something to look forward to.
We recommend planning your walking routes and activities ahead when visiting a new area. Keep a lookout for recommended dog-friendly pubs and restaurants so you can rest tired legs and enjoy some refreshments mid-walk. Looking for staycation ideas? Head to Canine Cottages to find a range of pet-friendly holiday homes.
4. Learn a new trick (or two!)
When you find yourself with time on your hands (or paws), there’s nothing more satisfying than perfecting a new trick. Start by learning something simple like ‘sit’ or ‘paw’, and make sure to have some of our tasty treats to hand as a reward to reinforce the great behaviour!
Once you’ve mastered your first tricks, it’s time to level up to more complex tasks like ‘spin’ and ‘rollover’. We love seeing your dogs mastering new moves and have previously shared some tips for teaching new tricks here.
5. Take a new paw-trait
Time is precious and your dog grows so quickly. Capture and relive meaningful memories by taking new portraits and framing your favourite photos of your four-legged friend. Your new expeditions are sure to make beautiful backdrops for new photos, but if you’re feeling more creative, you could always sketch or paint a picture of your dog playing with their most-loved toy or snoozing in their favourite spot at home.
So, whether you’re dabbling in drawing, perfecting your photography or want to show off a new piece of art, be sure to share them with us on social media so we can see.
6. Upgrade their threads
A sure-fire way to make your dog feel fabulous is with a new collar, lead or coat. Especially after many long, muddy winter walks! We’re so pleased to see an increasing number of brands designing beautiful accessories in sustainable and eco-friendly materials, so your dog can look great while helping our planet. The fit of a new collar and coat are also likely to put a spring in their step, making walkies all the more enjoyable.
Our friends at Project Blu have plenty of eco-friendly pet products made from ocean-bound plastic for our four-legged friends to enjoy, so the fabulous feeling can continue at home. From snuggly new beds to luxurious blankets, help your dog to catch some more zzzs and rest their weary paws after a long day of fun and games.
7. Plan pawsome playtimes
If we get bored being in the same space for too long, chances are our four-legged friends will feel it too. Treating them to a new selection of sustainable and eco-friendly toys can keep things interesting, especially puzzles that encourage them to figure out how to free their treats. We also love these classic eco-friendly and sustainable toys from BecoPets.
But if your dog is likely to roll their eyes at a new chew toy, 2021 could be the year to go big, investing in tunnels and training equipment for your garden. While they won’t always be an overnight success, the physical exercise and fun of large new outdoor accessories will likely keep them entertained for hours. Thanks to the increase of virtual classes, there’s also the option to officially train them for agility victory. Who knows, you could find yourself entering a virtual dog competition later this year!
8. Find magic in small moments
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life, and with things still looking a little unpredictable, we’re committed to soaking in the magic of the small moments with our dogs. From early morning wake-ups to seeing the sunrise on walks, sofa snuggles or simply laughing at their unique quirks, a change in perspective can turn a normal day into a special adventure with our loyal companion.
We plan on making more time to show our dogs how much we love them this year, thanking them for being there for us when we need them most with our naturally meaty treats. All made with natural, top-quality ingredients, we have 3 recipes for you to choose from. Each has a specific functional benefit to help keep dogs fit and healthy, so, you can choose the paw-fect reward for good behaviour or show them some extra love.
9. Support your local dog shelter or food bank
Supporting dogs in their time of need can be extremely rewarding. Most shelters gladly accept donations of unwanted beds, blankets or toys that are still in good condition, so it’s worth considering if there’s anything you could pass along or buy new for them. While food is also generally always needed, it’s best to check with the shelter first in case their dogs are used to a particular type of food. Food banks are also grateful for donations, it means they can help more families with four-legged friends too.
We’re proud to have donated over 1 million meals to dogs in need with your support of our #NourishEveryDog campaign. A good diet can help dogs to get back to full health, feel more like themselves and set them up for a long and healthy life. If you’re able to support your local shelter in any way, it’s truly a great thing to do.
Let’s make this year one to remember for all the right reasons, spending even more time with our families and four-legged friends, staying safe and being kinder to ourselves. Don’t forget to tag us in your photos on social media if you try some of our favourite activities that we’ve mentioned above – you may even get featured on our profiles!
Here’s to a happy 2021!
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