Give Your Pets the Gift of Health!
This holiday season our minds are often focused on gifts, gifts, gifts. Our mailboxes and inboxes are jam-packed with sale ads and gift ideas for those we love. I love this time of year! I love to give gifts and see the excitement on the faces of those opening a gift I’ve given them.
Well, our furry family members (no I’m not talking about your overly hairy uncle Mike!) can’t make a list of things they want this Christmas, but we know what is best for them and it’s our job to make sure they have all they need.
Here are three important “gifts” you can be sure to give your pups and cats this year…
Fido doesn’t get to stroll down the aisle of a grocery store picking out the chicken, beef or fish he craves. He relies on you to get the best, most nutritious food for him. This time of year is a great opportunity to take an inventory of what is in your pet’s food and treats.
Grab your pet’s food bag and look at the label. Here are some things you do want to see listed:
Named meat meal (chicken meal, beef meal, lamb meal etc…), healthy carbohydrate source (whole brown or white rice, lentils, pearled barley, oats , potato (preferably sweet potato), millet), prebiotics (chicory root etc…), probiotics, good quality vitamin and mineral complex (zinpro or chelated), plenty of fruits and veggies.
If health is the gift you would like to give your pets, food with any of the following ingredients is undermining your intentions. Make sure your pet’s food doesn’t have any of these harmful ingredients:
Unspecified meat or meal, by-product (in any form), Corn (in any form) , Soybean (in any form), Wheat (in any form), Soy (in any form) Brewers Rice, Feeding Oat Meal, Grain Fermentation Solulables, Maltodextrins & Fermentation Solubles, Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Non- Specified Animal Fat, Tallow, Vegetable Oil, Cellulose, Corn Bran, Corn Cellulose, Oat Hulls, Peanut Hulls, Rice Hulls, Animal Digest, Flavor, Glandular Meal, BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, Propyl Gallate, Sugar, Sorbitol, Fructose, Corn Syrup, Cane Molasses.
The good news is that keeping your pets healthy, happy and out of trouble with daily exercise is a lot of fun and provides many benefits, including: helping reduce or eliminate the common behavior problems such as digging, excessive barking, chewing and hyperactivity. Helps to keep pets healthy, agile and limber. Helps to reduce digestive problems and constipation. Helps timid or fearful dogs build confidence and trust. Helps pets feel sleepy, rather than restless, at bedtime or when you’re relaxing. Helps to keep pets’ weight under control.
If you’re like me you run out of ideas of how to exercise your dog after you’ve gone for a walk! But fear not! There are lots of fun unique ways to get your best friend active.
Try entering them in sports. Flyball, competitive tracking, agility classes are just a few to try. Don’t forget the old favorite…a game of fetch with a stick or favorite ball. A chuck-it is a must have for the “faster than a speeding bullet” dog in your life. Take your buddy to the dog park, make a play date, or drop him off at one of the doggy daycares for a day of rough and tumble play. For cats try a kitty condo, new fun toy, or have them chase a laser light. Be sure to check back in January for Smartypaws boredom busting DIY enrichment activities and exercises for pups!
There are lots of ways to get our pets active and keep them healthy. As Michael Jordan would say…Just do it!
3) Holistic Care
From herbs to essential oils, aromatherapy and homeopathic remedies there are a ton of at home things you can do to keep your four-legged friends healthy and prevent disease. Not only do these approaches work with your pet’s natural ability to heal and stay healthy, but they also help avoid the effects of harmful chemicals. Since many of these products are unregulated, do your research and gather information from reputable sources on proper usage.
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