Top New Year’s resolutions for a healthier, happier pet

(BPT) – Millions of Americans vow to improve their health as part of their New Year’s resolutions. When you ponder how to get healthy, don’t forget about the furry family member cuddled up on your lap. The new year is a great time to make goals to keep you and your pets as happy and healthy as possible.

“Estimates show half of America’s pets are overweight,” says Dr. Ellen I. Lowery, Director of U.S. Veterinary and Professional Affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. “Proper nutrition, adequate exercise and the watchful eye of a caring pet parent can help to correct this problem. The start of the year is a great time to kick off a healthy pet routine.”

Dr. Lowery offers three simple New Year’s resolutions for pets that will keep your furry family members healthy in 2016 and beyond:

1. Keep current wellness appointments
Life gets busy and it’s easy to forget or put off annual veterinary wellness checkups for pets. However, when you scale age, missing one yearly appointment for humans is comparable to missing five for a pet. Annual appointments help veterinarians proactively keep pets healthy, plus it’s easy to stay current with critical vaccinations. Schedule an appointment today, and to keep on track in the future, schedule the next visit before you leave the clinic so it’s already on your calendar.

2. Balance your pet’s diet
Did you know that proper food changes with a pet’s age, weight and activity level? Consult your veterinarian to find the right pet food for your pet to ensure they are getting the right mix of vital nutrients plus the appropriate amount of food. A pet food selector can be found at to help you find the right food for your dog or cat.

3. Stay winter fit
It’s cold outside and all you want to do is curl up with your pet and relax in front of the TV. Yet doing something active will make you and your pet feel a lot healthier. Take short, daily walks outdoors or visit a dog park to break up winter monotony. Add excitement inside your home by practicing new tricks and playing games with your pet. Make treat time physically and mentally stimulating by playing hide and seek with treats so your pet has to exert a little bit of energy before getting something extra.

“The healthy goals you set for yourself are typically the same ones you should set for your pets,” says Dr. Lowery. “Regular exercise, proper nutrition and annual checkups are simple steps that can profoundly impact your pet’s health in the new year to help them live happier, healthier and longer.”

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