Don’t forget your furry friends when making New Year’s resolutions. Start the year off right with these dog health tips to make this is your pet’s healthiest year yet.

Maintain a healthy diet.

Adhering to a well-balanced diet is the first step to ensure your dog eats healthy this year. A great way to do this by taking the Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge with your dog to see the difference good food can make in how he looks and feels. In addition to complete and balanced food, you also need to make sure your pup is eating the right amount of food for his body. Pay attention to feeding guidelines on dog food labels and dish out the right amount according to your dog’s size and age. It’s also important to consider treats, which should make up no more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily food intake. Be sure to factor in those treat calories when you determine how much food to serve your dog.

Get moving.

Exercise is critical to keeping your dog healthy and at an ideal weight. Your dog’s energy level and age will help you determine just how much exercise he needs. The best place to start for any dog is with a daily walk, which will benefit both of you. For something a little more adventurous and strenuous, resolve to try weekly hikes on a dog-friendly trail. If you’re already a runner and your dog is fit enough, you can even enlist him as your jogging partner. Be sure to check with your veterinarian to see what types of exercise are appropriate for your pet.

Schedule plenty of play time.

A great New Year’s resolution may be to get a minimum amount of quality play time in each day. Playing fetch isn’t just about getting some energy out, although it definitely can be fun exercise. When you toss a ball around in the backyard, you are also spending some quality time with your dog, which helps strengthen your relationship, and keeps both you and your pet happy.

Start socializing.

Spending time around other dogs and people is great way to socialize your pup, especially when he’s young. Visit your local dog park, attend training classes, go for walks on dog-friendly trails or beaches, or pull up a seat at an animal-friendly cafe. The more your dog interacts with other animals at an early age, the better he will get along with others as he grows older.

Keep up appearances.

Keeping your dog’s coat and teeth clean isn’t just about good looks. Healthy fur helps prevent itching and dry skin, while clean teeth can minimize the risk of developing periodontal disease. Brush your dog’s fur and teeth regularly and consider adding Purina® DentaLife™ Daily Oral Care Treats to your routine to help clean hard-to-reach teeth and reduce tartar buildup. For more care tips, visit a professional groomer and a veterinarian.

Focus on preventative care.

One of the simplest dog health tips is to make sure your dog gets preventative health care. Don’t limit your veterinarian visits to sick care only. Take your dog for an annual checkup, just like you do with your own doctor. Besides checking your dog’s vitals and health, this is the perfect time to address any questions you may have about your dog’s diet and physical activity.

Focusing on these simple dog health tips in the New Year can help ensure a long, happy life for your pet.

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