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New Year's resolutions usually revolve around getting into shape, eating better and improving spending habits.  While these are all admirable goals, they are self-centered. If your family is anything like mine, pets are family members and deserve consideration as such.  So why not include some resolutions for 2011 to benefit the furrier family members?

dog heart

1. Take more walks.  This will kill two birds: you can check two resolutions off your list, exercise for you and Fido.  Quality walks are key; dogs are tuned into every sound and scent around them, so change up where you trek, days of the week and time of day to keep the trails fresher for both you and your dog.

2. Play, play, play.  Dogs love attention, but not in the form of hugs and kisses.  Playing fetch is a timeless traditional game for man and his dog, but tug-of-war can be a sort of therapeutic experience for dogs that helps them release excess energy while getting some personal attention from their Number 1.

3. Doggy-play dates.  Domesticated dogs are social creatures, loving both man and canine friends, so bring them all together!  Parties centering around friends and their dogs are easy and fairly inexpensive to host.  Instead of making it a traditional potluck, have party guests bring fun dog treats and toys.  

4. Doggy fitness.  It may (or may not) surprise you to learn that obesity is as much a pet-issue as it is for people.  This year, resolve to keep your pet's diet full of nutritious treats, right portion-size and regular meals.  Treat your dog like you do yourself, so you both can live long and prosper.


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