So many of us start off the new year with a resolution to eat a more healthful diet and to exercise more. This should also be a commitment extended to our pets.

According to the Detroit Free Press, we should all strive to eat better in the new year. Some dogs and cats could resolve to eat better in the new year as well.

If your dog or cat is suffering from food allergies, experiencing weight gain or transitioning into adulthood, then it's time to take a closer look at what your pet is eating. Changing pet foods can make your pet happier and healthier.

Puppies and kittens require more calories, protein and nutrients than their adult counterparts, so they should consume puppy or kitten food until they have stopped growing.

Your dog's breed determines when it's time to change foods. Small and medium sized breeds are usually considered adults around 9 months old. Larger breeds are usually ready for adult dog food between 18 months and 2 years old.  (Detroit Free Press)

Just like people, dogs and cats can develop an allergic reaction to their pet food, even if they've been eating it for a while without any issues.

If your vet determines that your pet has a food allergy or that he has food sensitivities, he or she will recommend changing your pet's food and will suggest the best way to transition your pet's diet.

Dogs and cats who have gained weight could benefit from switching to a diet pet food. These foods generally are high in protein and lower in fat and calories.

When dogs are between 6 to 10 years old, they begin to enter their senior years. As they age, they become prone to obesity, joint pain and stomach issues. Look for a dog food which is high in fiber and low in calories. (Detroit Free Press)

Older cats can benefit from a senior cat food too. Cats begin to show age related changes between 7 to 12 years of age. This can include weight gain, memory changes or even a loss of teeth. (Detroit Free Press)

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