It's official. Another year has passed and it's time to make those New Year resolutions again. If you are like the millions of other Americans, losing weight is on the top of your list. In 2011, let your four-legged friend help you with your goals. Here are three great reasons why your dog is the perfect work-out partner.

1) They WANT to work out with you!

I don't know about you, but there have been plenty of times when I have slept through my alarm or have just been too tired to workout. With dogs - they almost always want to go for a walk or run! My pup can be sleeping like a rock but the second she hears her leash jingle - she is up and ready to roll!

2) They are flexible!

Workout partners generally have a schedule to adhere to; work, family, school, you name it. With a dog, they are always on your schedule. Whether you are a morning or night person, I'm pretty sure their schedule is open. Also, you don't have to have a gym membership to workout with your pup. A bike, rollerblades, or even just your tennis shoes are more than enough! My husband loves to go rollerblading with our mix-breed, she could pull and pull forever! For me, I like to take her on leisurely walks around the neighborhood. Either way, she's game.

Thank Dog Bootcamp in Northern California has a great program to help people and their pets stay in shape. With both certified dog trainers and personal trainers on staff, they help obedience train your dog while you get your workout on!  Brilliant! AND if you don't have a dog, you can borrow one of theirs!

3) By working out, you are keeping them healthy too!

Just like humans, obesity in dogs is a huge health risk. Between 25-40% of the canine population is considered obese or overweight; one study even found that number to be 83%! What many don't realize is that excess weight can also lead to diabetes, heart problems and joint issues (among a number of other things) for dogs. Overweight dogs also tend to live shorter lives.

Dogs need healthy diets and daily exercise to stay in top shape just like people. Treats are always welcome - just in moderation. If your dog is a little on the lazy side - you can help them with their New Year resolution too!