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New Year's Resolutions

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Mindy Norton
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After the New Year's Eve celebration, New Year's Day is a great time to start over!

Today is the start of a brand new year!  If you’re like me, you can’t even remember last year’s resolutions.  So, this year, consider letting your pet be your inspiration for a few resolutions.

     One popular resolution is to exercise more.  You might begin by taking your dog for a walk.  Many of us groan at the thought of exercising, but walking your canine buddy is good for both of you.  Consider it an added benefit to having a dog!

     Resolve to drink more water.  Have you ever noticed how much water your pet drinks?  Just think about how often you have to refill the water bowl.  A ten-pound cat should drink about a cup of water every day.  A thirty-five pound dog needs about two cups per day.  (Pets who eat canned food may need less water.) So when you see your pet drinking water, go ahead and drink some water yourself.

     Resolve to stress less, play more and just relax.  Both dogs and cats love to play, so get a new toy or drag out an old one and enjoy time with your furry buddy.  Even if it’s only five minutes, it will strengthen the bond between human and animal and help to put things in perspective.  And dogs and cats are experts at relaxing!

     If your resolution is to be healthier, schedule a visit with your family doctor for yourself, and another with your veterinarian for your four-footed buddy.  It may be an annual checkup or just a wellness visit, but getting and staying healthy will mean more time you get to spend with your best friend.

     Maybe one of your resolutions is to make new friends.  Having a pet is a great way to do that.  Try sitting on a park bench with your four-footed buddy, and see how many people say hello to you or your pet.  If you don’t have a pet, then resolve to stop by your local animal shelter and adopt one.  Not only will you be saving a life, you will be making your own life better with a new best friend – a great way to start the new year, when you’re speaking of pets.

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Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.