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3 Cornerstones to a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life for your Pet

May 29, 2017 // Posted in Dogs, Healthcare, Nuttin But The Truth, Pets (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Your pets are members of the family. They are the source of some of your best memories, they are your travel companions, your confidantes and your evening snuggle partners. You love them and you want them to live the longest, healthiest and happiest life possible.

Like it is for you, achieving the healthiest, happiest life for your pet is directly tied to the cornerstones of preventive care, nutrition and exercise. To provide insight into how each of these can benefit your pet, Dr. Kurt Venator, chief veterinary officer for Purina, offers this advice:

Regular veterinary exams

Your veterinarian and his/her team are the experts when it comes to the health and well-being of your pet. Prevention is a key component of regular vet visits; the earlier a potential problem is identified, the easier it is to treat and the greater the chance of success. The physical examination, routine diagnostics, vaccinations, heartworm prevention and parasite control will help keep your pet in tip-top shape. You can also work with your veterinarian to create a tailored health plan for your pet that takes into account their age, activity level and any medical considerations.

Nutrition

In a recent Purina survey, three in five dog and cat owners (60 percent) would consult their veterinarian for food safety and quality advice, while just about half refer to their pet food companies’ websites. Furthermore, when it comes to nutrition, it is important to work with your veterinarian to select the ideal diet for your pet that is appropriate for their life stage (i.e., puppy vs. adult) and lifestyle (couch potato vs. sporting dog). It is also important to look beyond just the ingredient list and marketing claims on the bag.

The nutrients inside should also meet or exceed AAFCO, USDA and FDA standards. Many pet owners are unaware of the rigorous process that goes into ensuring quality and safety in pet food, with three in five pet owners admitting they didn’t know about the process after learning more about what goes into the pet food quality-checking process. For pet owners, it’s also important to take the time to look at the company’s manufacturing reputation, along with safety and quality standards. Ask these key questions when evaluating different pet foods:

* Who formulates the food and what are their credentials? Look for brands with nutritionists and veterinarians on staff to formulate the diets. Purina has over 500 pet experts globally, including nutritionists, veterinarians, behaviorists and immunologists who use their expertise to improve pet nutrition and care.

* What are the company’s quality and safety standards? Purina conducts more than 30,000 quality checks involving ingredients, packaging, receiving, processing and packing in a typical 24-hour production period.

* Where is the food produced? Does the company own their manufacturing facilities? At Purina, 99 percent of our food sold in the U.S. is made in our own facilities.


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Exercise and enrichment

An appropriate amount of daily exercise can help reduce the incidence of common behavioral problems in pets. This includes excessive barking, inappropriate chewing and general hyperactivity. In addition, exercise — combined with appropriate diet quality and quantity — can reduce the incidence of obesity and associated health conditions, such as osteoarthritis in dogs and diabetes in cats.

Physical exercise can take on a variety of forms, from leash walks to ball fetch to playtime at the local dog park. For those dogs with a predilection for the water, swimming can offer a fun and effective alternative. And don’t forget that mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Obedience training, food puzzle toys, chew toys and trick training — such as roll over or paw — are all beneficial for pets.

Before starting any exercise regimen with your pet, be sure to consult with your veterinarian to find answers to your questions and learn what activities would best support your pet based on their breed, age and needs.

Taking steps to improve your pet’s health today

Your pet gives you so much and you naturally want to return the favor. You can do so by following the three simple suggestions above. Do so and you and your pet will be able to live a longer, healthier, and happier life together.

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How to prepare your pet for summer fun

July 11, 2014 // Posted in Pets (Tags: , , , , , , ) |  1 Comment

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How to prepare your pet for summer fun – and beyond

(BPT) – The dark, cold days of winter are behind us, and many people are looking forward to warmer weather and outdoor activities. Dogs also appreciate their time in the sun. So, it’s important to keep in mind what you need to do to make sure your dog is ready to enjoy summer activities.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides important summertime pet care tips, including:

* Provide adequate water and shade

* Never leave your dog in the car

* Take walks and play outside during cooler hours of the day

* Avoid walking on hot pavement that can hurt your dog’s paws

* Provide regular flea and tick protection

And, if your dog isn’t on a regular schedule of heartworm preventive, now is a good time to start. Many people don’t realize that while mosquito bites are usually a minor irritation for most people, for dogs, just one mosquito bite can be life-threatening. This is because mosquitoes carry heartworm. Heartworm disease may exhibit few symptoms. When diagnosed, it is difficult and expensive to treat and, if not caught in time, can be fatal.

If you don’t live in an area with a heavy concentration of mosquitoes, or if your dog doesn’t spend a lot of time outside, you may think that your dog is not at risk. According to the American Heartworm Society (AHS), “Heartworm disease is spreading to new regions of the country each year. Stray and neglected dogs and certain wildlife such as coyotes, wolves and foxes can be carriers of heartworms. Mosquitoes blown great distances by the wind and the relocation of infected pets to previously uninfected areas all contribute to the spread of heartworm disease.” The AHS recommends year-round protection because it is “an easy thing to do and is much less expensive than treating serious, sometimes deadly, heartworm disease.” Leading veterinary organizations including the Companion Animal Parasite Council, the American Animal Hospital Association and the AVMA also support year-round protection.

For many people, however, remembering that monthly heartworm pill is easier said than done. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine agreed to revisions under which ProHeart 6, a six-month injectable heartworm preventive, may be administered. The changes were made based on a safety study encompassing 4 1/2 years’ worth of data that demonstrated that predictable safety and efficacy remained consistent as use of the injection increased. This data shows that ProHeart 6 is safe and effective for the prevention of canine heartworm disease for six full months in dogs age 6 months and older.

“Monthly heartworm medications are effective, if they are given on the proper schedule,” says John Santilli of Mayfair Animal Hospital in Cary, N.C. “Unfortunately, many of my clients have busy lives, and, while they have the best of intentions, doses are missed. Heartworm disease is a serious problem here in North Carolina. That’s one reason I rely on the six-month, injectable heartworm preventive. Not only does it give my clients the peace of mind that their dogs are protected against heartworm disease, the biannual visits allow me to make sure that those dogs are healthy in other respects, too. We can check for any dental issues, examine for tumors and help keep our canine patients in good shape for summer activities – and all year round.”

As with any medication, it’s critical to consult with your dog’s veterinarian to see if an injectable heartworm preventive is a good option to provide six months of protection to your dog and six months of peace of mind for you.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION:

ProHeart 6 should be used in healthy dogs. Do not administer to sick, debilitated, underweight dogs or dogs that have a history of weight loss. Prior to administration, ProHeart 6 certified veterinarians should continue to assess patient health through a medical history, physical examination and if deemed appropriate, diagnostic testing. Continue to use caution when administering ProHeart 6 concurrently with vaccinations. Adverse events, including anaphylaxis, have been reported following the concomitant use of ProHeart 6 and vaccines. In some cases, anaphylactic reactions have resulted in death. Use with caution in dogs with pre-existing or uncontrolled allergic disease (food allergy, atopy or flea allergy dermatitis). Dogs receiving ProHeart 6 should be tested for existing heartworms as per the product label. In people, avoid ProHeart 6 contact with eyes. If contact with the eyes occurs, rinse thoroughly with water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention immediately. ProHeart 6 is available only to veterinarians through a restricted distribution program. Only certified veterinarians and staff can administer it. For more safety information, see full Prescribing Information.