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.
Photos courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Pet Food Institute
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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There are many emotional benefits to owning a dog, such as companionship and unconditional love, but a pet can also positively affect his or her owners’ physical health, too. Consider these five simple ways pet owners can take the best care of their dogs.
5 Ways to Help Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy
(Family Features) There are many emotional benefits to owning a dog, such as companionship and unconditional love, but a pet can also positively affect his or her owners’ physical health, too.
According to studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spending quality time with a dog can help ease stress and anxiety for the owner and can even lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. To be able to reap the health benefits of dog ownership, it’s key to ensure you’re taking proper care of your dog with quality nutrition and plenty of exercise.
Veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber offers these five simple ways pet owners can take the best care of their dogs, because when dogs are happy and healthy, their owners can be, too. To learn more about how dogs’ health is linked to their owners’, and for more tips for feeding your pet, visit IAMS.com.
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Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. When you are dealing with a puppy that responsibility increases significantly. This is because puppies need even more attention and care than older dogs do, especially in the training department. Just as with a baby, everything is new to a puppy. They must be taught everything from going to the potty to learning to sit and stay. If you are owning a puppy for the first time, the following tips should help get you started on this delightful journey.
Switching to Solid Food
When switching puppies to solid food, separate them from the mother for just a couple hours at a time and introduce and encourage them to eat solid food. Try mixing the puppy food with replacement milk inside of a blender so that you get a consistency similar to baby cereal. You can start this process when the puppy is approximately three weeks old. You want this to be a gradual transition. Over the course of a few weeks, the puppy should be able to nurse less and eat more puppy food.
Teach Simple Commands
Having your puppy follow your commands is about much more than learning cool tricks. It is essential that your dog be obedient to you because this is what shapes behavior patterns and helps to ensure the dog's safety. Here are some basic commands that your puppy should be able to follow and how you can teach them.
To get your puppy to sit, place a treat near the dog's nose and then move your hand up. This will cause the puppy to end up in a seated position. Although the pup is already seated, tell it to sit and then give praise along with the treat.
To convince your dog to come, get down on the puppy's level and gently give the leash a pull while telling your pup to come. Once the dog does, give it praise and a treat.
The ability to stay is crucial. Once your puppy has gotten the hang of sitting, start with this position. Place your open palm in front of you and tell the dog to stay. Back up a few paces, and if your pup does stay, reward it with praise and a treat.
The fastest way to potty train your puppy is with repetition and consistency. Keep on a regular feeding schedule and take the pup out 30 minutes after each feeding. Watch your puppy carefully for signs that they need to go. Breaking up their daily food into three small meals is another way to limit the amount of times they need to go outside. Finally, don’t forget to praise your puppy when they do the job outside and not on your floor.
All of these tips are definitely achievable, but they require some patience and repetition on your part. Repetition is how a dog learns, and when you add rewards to the equation, you can easily reinforce the behaviors that you desire.
Ready to take your puppy on their first outdoor adventure? We recommend this article.
Ask most dog owners and they’ll tell you that they count the bonds they share with their pets among their most treasured relationships. As it turns out, most dog owners are working to keep the love alive with a familiar approach: the notion that the fastest path to the heart is through the stomach.
Good Friends, Good Food
Dog owners dish on how food factors into pet bonding
(Family Features) Ask most dog owners and they’ll tell you that they count the bonds they share with their pets among their most treasured relationships. However, that boundless affection and loyalty isn’t a one-sided effort; dog owners are demonstrating their puppy love in numerous ways, especially when it comes to chow time.
There’s much to be said for the unique relationship people share with their dogs, according to the 2018 Pets and People Survey by Just Right by Purina. Nearly unanimously (95 percent), respondents said they view their dogs as part of their families, and more than half reported that their pet pals help them de-stress after a long workday and have comforted them after receiving bad news.
Just like any relationship, the bond with a dog requires nurturing. As it turns out, most dog owners are working to keep the love alive with a familiar approach: the notion that the fastest path to the heart is through the stomach. After all, when you view pets as family, you may as well feed them like it.
Encouraging dinner dialogue
Mealtime is an ideal opportunity to enjoy some extra interaction, from asking if your dog is hungry to talking your way through filling his or her bowl with a personalized dog food blend. In fact, 64 percent of dog owners surveyed reported asking their dog if it likes its food after serving it. There may not be a verbal response, but dogs give off plenty of signals to let you know whether or not they’re enjoying the meal.
Personalizing the experience
Making dog nutrition matter
Serving up security
If you extend some human courtesies as part of your feeding ritual, you certainly aren’t alone. For example, 73 percent of dog owners in the Just Right by Purina survey feed their dogs before they serve themselves. Not only is it a smart strategy to prevent begging at the table, it keeps your pooch from wondering when his own hunger cravings will be sated.
Celebrating special occasions
Learn more about feeding the bond with your pet at justrightpetfood.com.
Dog Food Ingredients for Unique Nutritional Needs
Your dog is unique, not only in his relationship with you, but his preferences, tastes, quirks and habits. It’s no wonder that his nutritional needs are unique to match. When you’re evaluating food options, give careful attention to the ingredients to find the right blend of nutrients for your dog:
Vitamins are responsible for a vast range of functions, including aiding in DNA synthesis, energy release from nutrients, bone development, eye function, maintenance of cell structure, blood clotting, nerve signal transmission and everything in-between.
Minerals contribute to your dog’s healthy bones and teeth, blood clotting, muscle function, nerve transmission, nutrient metabolism, cell function and more.
Fat is a source of energy that helps with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and fatty acids, as well as promoting healthy skin and coat, immune system, joints, brain and vision.
Protein is essential for building organs and tissues like tendons, muscles, skin, hair and blood; it also functions as enzymes, hormones and antibodies.
Carbohydrates are efficient sources of glucose for energy, a source of heat and can be stored as glycogen. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that aids in colon health, as well as managing weight and obesity.
All statistics and findings included in this release were pulled from a survey conducted online by Research Now SSI on behalf of Just Right by Purina among adults ages 18+ who are dog owners and have some responsibility over the well-being of their pet. A total of 1,010 responses were collected between March 26 and March 29, 2018. These online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.SOURCE:
Just Right by Purina
No matter the relationship between dog and human, these animals can improve lives in numerous ways. Consider these five ways dogs can make a positive impact on your life and those around you.
5 Ways Dogs Can Improve Lives
(Family Features) Whether playmates or protectors, the human-animal bond is often a powerful connection that goes beyond pure companionship. Dogs typically have many talents and personas – they can be man’s best friend, a canine companion during a difficult time or even a service dog helping veterans and others through daily routines. No matter the relationship between dog and human, these animals can improve lives in numerous ways.
Consider these five ways dogs can make a positive impact on your life and those around you, and find more information at bettercitiesforpets.com.
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It’s no surprise that dog owners are more likely to get out and take a walk around the neighborhood. In fact, taking a quick walk with your dog a few times each week can increase general health and may help reduce rates of obesity.
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If you’re new in town or looking for new friends, use your walks as an opportunity to meet your neighbors and engage with other dogs. Dogs can help make easy introductions to other pet owners and non-pet owners alike, and even potentially help you find your next pet-sitter.
Some animals are trained to provide therapeutic aid and wellbeing. Therapy and facility dogs help normalize environments, such as hospitals and universities, by alleviating fear and giving comfort during difficult experiences. For example, Mars Petcare’s Better Cities For Pets initiative is working to bring the healing power of pets to more children and families nationwide, including a partnership with Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to support a dedicated facility dog and staff position.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Service dogs can help veterans and others who suffer from post-traumatic stress – yet people may be unprepared to accommodate the unique needs of service dogs. To help educate people on how to interact with an individual who has a service dog, American Humane, which has helped the U.S. military and military animals for 100 years, created a wealth of resources, including these informational videos.
Photo courtesy of iStock
Making the office a pet-friendly zone has its perks. In fact, a Mars Petcare survey shows that having furry friends around the office boosts morale and lessens anxiety, giving you even more of a reason to spend all day, every day, with your pet.SOURCE:
Dogs and their owners have many things in common, but perhaps one of the biggest commonalities is that they both love to eat! When preparing meals for your four-legged family members, it’s important for the meal to be packed with flavor and nutrients, and to create a dining experience they enjoy and look forward to. Help give your pets the ultimate mealtime experience with these tips.
(BPT) - Dogs and their owners have many things in common, but perhaps one of the biggest commonalities is that they both love to eat! When preparing meals for your four-legged family members, it’s important for the meal to be packed with flavor and nutrients, and to create a dining experience they enjoy and look forward to. Help give your pets the ultimate mealtime experience with these tips:
1. Create a mealtime routine
Animals love routine. It’s important for dogs to establish a mealtime routine whether they get fed first thing in the morning, after their walk or as small meals throughout the day. By establishing a routine, your pooch will quickly catch on when it’s mealtime.
2. Purchase a puzzle bowl or toy
Does your dog eat too fast? Do you want them to make a game out of their meal? Puzzle bowls and food dispensing toys are a great way to stimulate your dog’s mind during mealtime. They allow them to slow down to truly enjoy their food, making mealtime fun! Head to your local retailer to choose the correct bowl or toy for your dog.
3. Provide your dog with a meal that gives them variety
Dogs and humans alike enjoy food with variety! That's why for nearly three decades, Kibbles ‘n Bits(R) has been making dog food with its signature combination of crunchy kibble & tender bits to bring joy to your dog’s every bite. With varieties including Bacon & Steak Flavored dry dog food and Steak & Cheese Flavored dry dog food, you will be sure to find the perfect match for your furry friend.
4. Turn mealtime into a dance party
Have you ever danced due to excitement? Well, now your dog will, too. Play a song before each mealtime to signal when it’s time for your dog to eat. This new bonding ritual will create more fun for all family members and will have your dog busting moves in anticipation in no time!
5. Make it a training opportunity
Use mealtime as an opportunity to train and reinforce wanted behaviors. Using commands like “sit” and “wait” before allowing your dog to eat helps them practice impulse control and good manners.
To learn more about Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food and what variety is right for your dog, visit https://www.kibblesnbits.com.
When it comes to keeping pets at a healthy weight, humans can contribute to both the problem and the solution. Just as people need to control the temptation to overindulge, pet owners need to control the temptation to overindulge their pets. Armed with the knowledge that extra treats and table scraps can have a negative impact on a pet’s health, it’s never too late to make some changes for the better with these tips.
Fight the Beg
Proper feeding habits can help with pet obesity
(Family Features) When it comes to keeping pets at a healthy weight, humans can contribute to both the problem and the solution. Just as people need to control the temptation to overindulge, pet owners need to control the temptation to overindulge their pets.
A survey of pet owners by Royal Canin in 2018 revealed that more than half of cat and dog owners always or often give their pets food if they beg for it, and almost a quarter of cat and dog owners sometimes overfeed their pets to keep them happy.¹
“When sad eyes plead for one more treat or constant meowing reminds you the treats are in easy reach, it’s common for pet owners to give in to the temptation and play into that begging behavior,” said Dr. Eric Mueller, veterinarian and Royal Canin spokesperson. “Unfortunately, in the long run, those quick responses can have some damaging results for a pet’s overall health.”
Estimates suggest that as many as 59 percent of dogs and 52 percent of cats worldwide are overweight1. Yet according to the survey, only a quarter of cat and dog owners describe their pets as overweight. The survey also revealed owners may not understand how much food cats and dogs need or what they should or should not eat.
The strong emotional bond between owners and their pets may be part of the issue. Many owners express affection for their pets through feeding, which can easily lead to the pet consuming more calories than it needs. In the survey, 59 percent of cat and dog owners said they feel rewarded when feeding their pets and 77 percent said their animals get excited about being fed.
However, many owners are not fully aware of the consequences of overfeeding their pets. More than 60 percent of survey respondents were unaware that overweight pets may be susceptible to diabetes and orthopedic disease. Pet owners also reported a lack of awareness in the relationship between their pets’ excessive weight and reduced quality of life, increased risk of heart disease and shorter lifespans.
Armed with the knowledge that extra treats and table scraps can have a negative impact on a pet’s health, Mueller says it’s never too late to make some changes for the better:
Talk to a veterinarian. Obesity is a medical concern. Pet owners should feel comfortable seeing their veterinarian to start a conversation about their pet’s weight. If a veterinarian identifies that there is an issue, he or she can develop a weight loss plan to help a pet reach its ideal weight and body condition, as well as discuss solutions to help control begging during the weight loss process.
Practice smart nutrition. Not surprisingly, proper nutrition is often one of the first solutions a veterinarian is likely to recommend to address a pet’s weight problem. One option your veterinarian may recommend is ROYAL CANIN VETERINARY DIET® SATIETY® SUPPORT cat and dog formulas, which provide great taste and are clinically proven to support weight loss and help reduce begging. The formulas use the highest industry standards and quality ingredients and are designed to help keep pets feeling full and satisfied between meals.
Focus on portion control. Although many varieties of pet food include recommended serving sizes on the packaging, those servings are general guidelines and don’t take into account a pet’s unique circumstances and dietary needs. A better approach when working to bring a pet’s weight down is to measure out the recommended feeding amount directed by a veterinarian.
Encourage exercise. Encourage regular physical activity. This can be anything from brief periods of play to long walks. Remember to adjust the intensity based on the individual abilities of your pet.
Maintain consistency. Changing behaviors can be challenging. Your personal motivation and commitment are critical to the success of your pet’s weight loss program. Remember that a pet is not likely to immediately understand why the treats have ceased or why mealtime looks different. Attention-seeking behaviors may even amplify for a time. Hold firm and be consistent in resisting those begging eyes and you can find the process becomes easier for both of you.
Learn more about managing your pet’s nutritional and dietary needs at RoyalCanin.com .
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images (Dogs playing with ball)
¹ Royal Canin 2018 Online Survey of Pet Owners
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