Was your New Year’s resolution about fitness? Here’s a suggestion. Get your doggie on board, and double the benefits. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more faithful workout buddy than Fido.

Dogs at a healthy weight live two years longer than dogs that carry a few extra pounds. For the love of your furry sweetie, take a look at these five easy ways to help your pet be more hale and hearty:

1. Love beyond measure? Free feeding can add up to more calories than your dog needs.
Feeding your dog a measured amount at regular intervals is better for her digestive system and helps you keep better tabs on just how much she’s eating.
2. Take time to monitor your dog’s weight from time to time. You can check with us to find out what your dog’s healthy weight should be during an annual check-up.
3. What’s in your bowl? Talk to us about your dog’s nutritional needs. We can recommend the best option for a diet specific to your dog’s age or health condition.
4. Shake it up. Exercising the same way every day serves the purpose – but can be boring.
Change the walk itself – drive to a different trail or vary your route around your neighborhood. Meet friends with their dogs at a local park or dog park and watch them all roll and tumble.
5. Treat me right. Treats are great motivators for learning – just don’t overdo a good thing. Choose commercial ones with natural ingredients. Or prepare your own treats by offering small pieces of chicken or beef.

Taking steps to improve your pet’s fitness levels can start a ripple effect of new habits for your whole family. Let us know what’s working well for your family. We love to hear your success stories.