Get the Dish on Proper Nutrition for New Pets
(Family Features) As families continue to cope with changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are taking advantage of more time at home by welcoming a new puppy or kitten to their households.
One possible reason for animal lovers looking to expand their households is the mental and physical health benefits from the human-animal bond. A library of studies shared by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute found pet ownership can provide a variety of benefits, including lowering blood pressure, reducing feelings of loneliness or stress and helping manage depression.
However, before welcoming a new pet, even seasoned pet owners may benefit from a refresher on proper care, especially when it comes to feeding and nutrition. Dogs and cats have unique nutritional requirements, which means their pet food recipes must be carefully formulated. Puppies and kittens need more of certain important nutrients such as protein, fat and key minerals to grow into healthy, strong adult animals.
If you’ve welcomed a new pet to the family, or plan to soon, learn how you can care for his or her special nutritional needs with this advice from the Pet Food Institute.
Identifying Life Stages
Your veterinarian can help determine an appropriate time to transition your pet to adult food; usually when it is nearly full-grown. For kittens, that may be around 10-12 months. For puppies, the timing can vary depending on size with larger breeds taking up to two years to fully mature.
Understanding Food Labels
Keeping Pets at a Healthy Weight
Treats can be useful tools to help reinforce good behavior, keep pets occupied, aid in training or show love. However, they should be fed in moderation, accounting for no more than 10% of a pet’s caloric intake. Pet food is formulated to provide dozens of essential nutrients that dogs and cats need in their diets, so avoid using treats in place of regular meals. Also know that sharing table scraps adds calories and many common human foods can be dangerous for animals.
Providing your pet with the right nutrition early in life can help ensure proper growth and long-term well-being. Find more advice to ensure your four-legged family member is getting the necessary nutrition at petfoodinstitute.org.
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Pet Food Institute
5 Ways to Give Your Furry Friend a Little Extra Love
(Family Features) Pets have a unique ability to make their owners’ lives happier, offering unconditional love, companionship and even health benefits.
In fact, studies supported by the Waltham Petcare Science Institute and National Institutes of Health have shown pet ownership can positively impact physical and emotional well-being, in addition to building social relationships and connections among communities.
Because pets can have such a positive impact on owners’ well-being, it’s important to periodically take a step back and show appreciation for all they offer. Consider these tips and tricks to thank your pets for the joy they add to your life.
Give Your Pet Something to Call His Own
Train with Treats
Pencil Your Furry Friends into Your Schedule
Practice Daily Well-Being
Give a Gift
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4 Tips for Keeping Your Pet's Coat Healthy
(Family Features) Dogs and cats come in many shapes and sizes, and can have a range of different coats, from short-haired to long and smooth to curly or wire-haired.
While every pet is unique in looks and personality, a main responsibility for all pet parents is to make sure their furry friends are in good health. A pet’s coat is an indicator of overall health, so keeping a close eye on your pet’s snuggle-worthy appearance is one way to continually gauge the well-being of your dog or cat.
Consider these four tips to help keep your dog or cat’s coat healthy to ensure he looks and feels his best. For more details on bringing out your pet’s unique best, visit IAMS.com.
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How to Welcome a New Puppy to the Family
Introducing a new puppy to your household can bring many rewards. However, getting the hang of things can take some time, especially for first-time pet owners.
In fact, it takes the average pet owner almost four months to get into the flow with a new four-legged family member, according to a survey by Royal Canin. Eight in 10 respondents said the first year of pet ownership is the most important, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The survey found 64% believe the first year is also the most difficult and deciding how to train a new pet was cited as the most important decision pet parents have to make.“Bringing a puppy home is a hugely rewarding experience for pet owners, but it's also a time of huge challenges and steep learning curves,” said Dr. Jill Cline, pet nutritionist and site director of Royal Canin's Pet Health and Nutrition Center. “In addition to helping your puppy adjust to its new home, you can support your puppy’s health now and always with a nutritionally complete diet tailored to its specific needs.”
Make welcoming a new puppy a rewarding experience for the whole family with these tips.
Your puppy may be feeling stressed by new sights, sounds, smells and the separation from its mother. Manage the noise and activity to avoid adding to this stress.
As soon as you get home, take your puppy to your yard or outside area so it can go to the bathroom. Use positive verbal reinforcement when the job is done.
Once indoors, block off a safe area and let your puppy sniff and explore on its own time. Getting acquainted with a new place takes time and lots of exploring. Some puppies can be overwhelmed by too much human contact, so allow your puppy to come to you.
Puppies like to know what to expect. Plan your routine for feeding, potty trips, exercise and grooming so you can get started on day one. If you know what routine your puppy had before adoption, it’s best to continue for consistency until your puppy is settled.
Any sudden dietary changes can cause stress or digestive problems, so for the first week or two, give your puppy the same food as its previous owner, following the feeding recommendations on the package. Nutrition tailored to specific developmental needs can help fragile, young puppies grow into strong, healthy dogs. It’s important to select a high-quality food based on age and expected adult size.
Your puppy’s eating spot should be away from where you and any other pets eat. Allow your puppy to eat in peace to prevent it from feeling nervous or protective.
Puppies tire easily and need as much as 18-20 hours of sleep per day for healthy development. A crate near where you sleep lets your puppy see and smell you but keeps it from wandering off. Put something that carries your scent in your puppy’s bed along with a blanket to snuggle into.
Remember to schedule regular veterinarian visits and gradually introduce your puppy to new experiences like sounds, car travel, walks and other animals. It’s also important to begin behavior training right away to develop good habits from the start.
If you’re interested in getting a new puppy, before making a decision on which breed best suits your family and lifestyle, you can see all 196 registered breeds during the 2021 AKC National Championship. Find more advice for welcoming a new puppy into your home at RoyalCanin.com/puppies.
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