Resolutions for You and Your Pet

DEAR PAW’S CORNER:
As part of my usual new year’s resolution to lose weight, I also made a resolution this year for my dog “Jerry” to lose weight as well. We’re both on a diet, and we walk together. Is it unusual for an owner to make a resolution for his dog? — Carl in Brooklyn, N.Y.

DEAR CARL:
I don’t have any statistics on it, but I have a hunch that lots of owners include their pets in their new year’s resolutions. And it’s not an unwelcome idea, either — including positive changes for your pet as well as yourself can only be good. I applaud your including Jerry in your weight-loss plans, particularly in taking him with you for walks. This year, we should all resolve to spend more time with our pets. The American Kennel Club is encouraging dog owners to try new ways of training, such as training toward a goal like the AKC Canine Good Citizens Test (akc.org/events/cgc), or training for a competitive event. Cats, which seem to do well all by themselves, actually benefit from extra companionship and, especially if they’re exclusively indoor cats, often need to be prompted toward more activity. Frequent, active play times, where the cat chases a toy or plays with an object dangled in front of it, should take place daily. In fact, all pets benefit from frequent interaction with their owners, regardless of whether they’re cuddly or not (fish, I’m thinking of you). So this year, resolve to not just spend more time with your pet, but to make an active difference in your pet’s life. It will benefit both of you.

Send your questions or comments to ask@pawscorner.com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner.com. © 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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