Pets are the ultimate lifestyle gurus for humans and may be more effective at motivating people to achieve their healthy living goals than celebrity workout videos, wellbeing blogs and social media fitness experts, according to Blue Cross.

Eighty-six per cent of the changes Britons want to make this January mirror the way that dogs, cats, horses and other furries naturally live their lives. Indeed, pets only drink water, exercise every day, live in the moment, sleep well and - with responsible owners - they usually eat a healthy diet.  This makes them beacons of healthy living and the perfect inspiration for humans looking to give their lifestyle an overhaul!

The majority of pet owners need no convincing of this argument, with almost two thirds (63 per cent) of those surveyed by Blue Cross agreeing that their pets would inspire them to achieve their healthy living ambitions, while three quarters (76 per cent) think they would stand a better chance of sticking to their New Year’s resolutions if they followed their pets as their role models.

Is your pet inspiring your New Year goals? Join the conversation online with #LiveLikeAPet

How pets can inspire humans to achieve their New Year goals

Dogs: 52 per cent of Britons want to be more active as their path to better living. Dogs naturally enjoy exercise and are active and inquisitive, they love to be outside and they certainly make the most out of playtime, making them the ultimate role models for those humans resolved to getting more exercise. What’s more, over a third (38 per cent) of those surveyed vowed to have a more positive outlook and attitude for 2018 and beyond, 32 per cent vowed to enjoy the little things more and 30per cent are determined to learn a new skill. All of these are traits dogs have in plentiful supply.

Cats: For the Britons resolved to relaxing (36 per cent) and sleeping more (30 per cent), living in the moment (27 per cent) and getting more ‘me-time’ (16 per cent), cats are the perfect lifestyle role models. No matter how busy a cat’s daily schedule they will always find time to groom themselves, and they are the best at finding plenty of time for sleep. They also love to explore which expands their minds. It sounds like a pretty nice life, so when practicing mindfulness why not take a page out of a cat’s book to find more time for you next year.

All four-legged friends: Whether it’s dogs, cats, rabbits or horses, all pets are world-class at spending quality time with loved ones, showing affection to others and making them laugh and feel happy. These were all traits that Britons resolved to do more in 2018 (20 per cent, 24 per cent and 48 per cent respectively), proving that yet again it’s our fun-loving furries we should be turning to for lifestyle motivation.

Karly Smith, Blue Cross Animal Behaviorist, says: “We hope that showcasing the amazing effect that animals have on people’s lives, and the role they play as every day motivators will encourage Brits to look to their pets for inspiration when it comes to sticking to their resolutions in the new year. However, for our pets to act as role models, people need to play their role and be responsible pet owners to ensure animals of all shapes and sizes live healthy and happy lives.”

Responsible owners will ensure pets can live their naturally healthy lifestyles. With this in mind, Blue Cross has provided five top tips on being a responsible pet owner to get the most out of your pet and allow it to be the ultimate lifestyle role model for you:

Blue Cross top tips

Meet the inspiration

Dog Rudi: keeping up with health and fitness

Sarah Henson says her Blue Cross pet dog Rudi has motivated her to get outside more: “Rudi is a daily inspiration to us. He loves to be out and about and has boundless energy – especially when playing his favourite game of fetch. He really motivates us to get more exercise and his joy is really infectious. Rudi has been the best thing to ever happen to us and has absolutely made us healthier and happier.”

Cat Sasha: ensuring a positive mind

Kitten Sasha makes the most of each day by seizing the opportunity to live in the moment by finding fun in every day household items!

Cat Bluey: committed to self-improvement

Bluey LOVES to keep looking good. Watch the video to hear him tell you so himself!

Dog Dusty: helping others

Gorgeous Blue Cross rescue pet Dusty has brought joy back into his owner Julie's life after was left heartbroken when her husband passed away from cancer. “It’s two years since we lost Dave and I honestly think if I hadn’t found Dusty… I was struggling. I do still go to counselling and I feel that I’m still here because of Dusty,” Julie confides. “I love my two girls to bits and I love my grandchildren, but it’s not the same when they don’t live with you and you only see them certain times, and then they go home. I am very lonely; I was married for 30 years and we had a fantastic relationship, and I miss him dreadfully.

“I just feel that Dusty has helped me massively to still be here. He’s just my best friend and I love him to pieces; I don’t know what I’d do without him, I really don’t.”

— Page last updated 4/01/2018