NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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December 14, 2012

Paw Prints: Don't forget to make a New Year's resolution for your pet too

’Tis the season for love, peace and excess. Glad tidings and gluttony pair hand-in-hand for us and for Fido and Fluffy, too.

So with the arrival of 2013 just a couple of weeks away, this is a good time to ponder a few New Year’s resolutions for you and your pet. Here are some to get you started:

1. Enlist Fido to be your personal trainer. He’ll do a better job than anyone you could hire. Once you start your routine, Fido will always remind you when it’s time to go for that daily walk. He’ll nudge you with his little wet nose, stare at you with his adorable pleading eyes and whimper sweet songs at the front door.

It’s a proven fact that people with pets are generally healthier and more fit than those without. As an added bonus, an exercised Fido will be healthier and happier, too.

2. Make sensible food choices. Discard both your brownies and your pet’s biscuits. Choose food that is balanced and nutritious for your pet. Consider his age and any medical conditions. There are endless pet food choices available, and the Internet can be overwhelming with questionable information. Narrow your choices by picking a company that has a board-certified veterinary nutritionist on staff. Also choose one that performs Association of American Feed Control Officials feeding trials. However, if the bag simply indicates the food is formulated to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles, then feeding trials were not performed and your pet would be their guinea pig.

3. Stay trim. Half of our country’s dogs and cats are overweight or obese. This affects their quality of life, and shortens the years they will be with us, too. If Fido or Fluffy is battling the bulge and you don’t know what to do, talk to your veterinary team. They can offer free advice to guide you toward low calorie foods, feeding amounts and exercise tips for both Fido and Fluffy.

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