Pet owners have set New Year’s resolutions for their animals – like getting more exercise

Others want them to learn a new trick and bark less, while 18 percent 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 pet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

For 40 percent of those polled, via OnePoll, there is a 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, more than half (51 percent) 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.”

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