Category Archives: pet care

Give your pet a healthy hug!

This post and FitBit giveaway is sponsored by Purina. As always, 4 The Love Of Animals only shares information we feel our readers would enjoy.

More than half of all dogs and cats in the United States are considered to be overweight or obese (according to the Pet Obesity Prevention Association). Many pet owners don’t realize their pet is over weight though, which is why we want to share these tips and the healthy hug with you.

Give your pet a healthy hug.

Just like with people, our pets can benefit and maintain a healthy weight with a low calorie, low fat diet fed at the right amount, combined with adopting some healthy habits. Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets has given us some great tips:

Tips for a Healthy Life with Your Dog

You love your dog. And if he’s getting a little pudgy, you may even think it looks cute. But the fact is, Purina research proves how important it is to keep your dog lean. Experts are continuing to learn just how big a difference proper feeding and keeping dogs at ideal body condition can make over a pet’s lifetime.

A groundbreaking 14-year study by Purina researchers showed that feeding dogs to an ideal body condition* throughout their lives can significantly extend a dog’s healthy years – by an average of 1.8 years for dogs in the study. And although the dogs in the study generally developed the same chronic conditions as they aged, the need for treatment of those conditions was delayed by an average of approximately two years for the lean-fed dogs.

The Purina Life Span Study revealed the important role ideal body condition plays in your dog’s health. Now it’s up to you to introduce your dog to a healthier lifestyle. Follow these tips to help extend your dog’s healthy years.

CHECK FOR OBESITY
How do you know if your dog is overweight? Start with a Healthy Hug! A simple rib check is a great way to determine if your dog has a weight issue—and it’s a great excuse to give him an extra hug today. Consult your veterinarian about whether a weight management program is right for your dog.

FOLLOW A NUTRITION PLAN
You and your veterinarian can create a nutrition plan that feeds your dog to his ideal body condition. Refer to the feeding guidelines on your package and adjust feeding amounts as necessary based on your dog’s activity level and body condition change.

MEASURE EACH SERVING
Don’t just fill up your dog’s bowl at each feeding. Follow the feeding guidelines on the back of Purina packages to give your dog the proper-size serving for his ideal body condition.

LIMIT TREATS
Shower your dog with love and attention instead of too many high-calorie treats, especially table scraps. Be mindful of the quality and quantity of treats you feed each day—calories add up quickly.

GET MOVING
Daily exercise is one of the keys to your dog’s health. Just 20 minutes of walking or playing fetch each day can help keep your dog fit. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before changing your dog’s exercise routine

Eating Healthy
Even if your dog is overweight, there’s still time to implement a safe, effective weight loss program with Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management® Canine Formulas. These specialized formulas contain a high level of protein to help your adult dog lose fat while maintaining lean muscle mass.

Visit www.fightingpetobesity.com for more information.

*Lean or ideal body condition refers to the evaluation of body physique in pets as an indicator of their overall health and well-being, generally falling into three categories: too heavy, ideal and too thin.

The great thing is that these tips can help your cat as well. Of course if you have any questions concerning your pet’s health, always visit your veterinarian.

We want to help you get in shape with your pet by giving one lucky reader a FitBit Flex! I have one and just love it. It’s so nice to be able to track my steps and see where I could be moving more (trust me, as a blogger I need that motivation). It tracks sleep, and much more as well. This giveaway will be open to those in the USA. Please enter via the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Like the Purina Veterinary Exchange Facebook page for more great tips. You can also follow them on Twitter at @PurinaVet.

Posted in cats, dogs, pet care | 38 Comments

Setting up an aquarium is as easy as 1-2-3 with API fishcare! #APIfish

API logoThis post is sponsored by MARS Fishcare and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about API Perfect Start but 4 the Love of Animals only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. MARS Fishcare is not responsible for the content of this article.

I have always loved fish, and have long dreamed of the day when I would have a gigantic tank! You know, like the kind you see in Las Vegas. Well, this might not be a giant freshwater fish tank, but it’s a nice addition to our home. It’s so fun to have a fish again. Do you have fish? API is having a giveaway so be sure to enter for an API aquarium.

We picked out a smaller tank because we knew we wanted to get a betta. The API® 1.5 gallon starter kit was just what we needed.

API fish care at Petsmart

The kit comes with a filter, a light, and several chemicals to help get your tank set up properly. I loved how easy it was to set up too. I really like how nicely the filter system is integrated into the tank. It really helps keep things quiet, and simple to maintain.

Found just the right spot! Now to set it up.
Found just the right spot! Now to set it up.

Like I mentioned, we picked a smaller kit, because we were getting a smaller fish, but they do have larger sizes too! Our kit came with API PERFECT START™ which is 3 envelopes that are clearly marked for each day of use. Day 1 for setting up the aquarium, Day 14 and Day 28 after the aquarium set up. I loved that the system made it simple to get set up quickly. No guess work here! And if you ever do have a question, API is very responsive on their Facebook Page .

Ready and waiting for our new betta!
Ready and waiting for our new betta!

API® Perfect Start™ is also recommended by the aquarium experts at PetSmart. They offer a wide range of products to help you care for your fish.

I do recommend picking up a bottle of dechlorinator when you buy your tank, as you will always need this on hand for water changes. API also has a very helpful website where you can research all of their products to make sure you have what you need for your freshwater fish tank. When you are ready to purchase, be sure to find your local store with the store locator. API is even on Instagram.

We took two trips to Petsmart because I prefer to set the tank up and have it running for 24 hours before adding fish. I was pretty excited when we went back and picked out our betta, as you can see, he has gorgeous colors!

Betta half moon
Our new betta!

He still needs a name actually, we have been hearing some fun suggestions but haven’t settled quiet yet. What do you think we should call him?

Update: We have a name! Our fish is named Sakana, which is Japanese for fish.

Posted in BlogPaws, our pets, pet care, reviews | 4 Comments

How to Ensure Your Dog Has a Healthy Diet

Dog eating grass

Dogs are reliant on their owners for all of their needs. Their basic needs consist of shelter from the elements, regular exercise and a nutritionally balanced diet. Sounds easy, but many new dog owners often struggle to get the diet and exercise regime of their dogs correct. Here we are going to look at how to ensure your dog gets a healthy, balanced diet that meets his or her needs.
Ensure diet matches life stage

As with babies, the nutritional needs of puppies differ from that of adults. Certain nutrients such as DHA, an omega 3 found in fish, can help to develop the cognitive skills of your puppy encouraging them to learn and making them more trainable. Making sure your puppy gets the right nutrients can also improve their physical health, with Vitamin E being shown to support their developing immune system.

Meat
Dogs ancestors were natural carnivores and, although they can survive on vegetable proteins, the make-up of their digestive system and teeth suggests that a diet consisting purely of meat proteins will ensure healthy growth, giving them the best chance of reaching the full potential of their breed. This is due to the fact that animal proteins are more complete in amino acids than vegetable proteins. When it comes to feeding your dog meat, you need to be careful about the source—raw, pristine meat is perfect in the right quantity but in most cases, the meat available in the supermarket is far from pristine and is often old, treated and has the risk of salmonella and other nasty bacteria that are just as harmful to your dog as they are to you. A premium, complete dog food that exclusively contains animal proteins may be the best option as it will provide the high quality meat that your dog requires.

The right diet can affect many aspects of your dog’s health

Providing your dog with the right diet throughout their life can not only help your dog to live longer, but it can drastically improve their quality of life. Creating a diet with the right balance of proteins, fats, omegas, fibres, vitamins and minerals will not only encourage the growth of lean muscles and strong bones, but also the healthy growth of skin and a substantial coat. Correct diet promotes healthy digestion and a strong immune system helping your dog to live a pain-free life.

Balancing it all
Getting the right balance right for any dog can be difficult, especially as introducing new foods can cause stomach upsets. Dog food brand Eukanuba recently found that the right diet, together with appropriate care, can stave off ill health to such a degree that there’s a notable change in lifespan by breed:

If you’re considering switching your dog’s food to be complete, healthy and balanced, just go gently. Many veterinarians recommend a seven-day swap, meaning that over the course of a week, you gradually add some new food to the old food, increasing the ratio of new food until on the seventh day, you’re serving only the new food to your dog. That way, their stomachs can adjust and you won’t have a sad pup on your hands.

Posted in cats, dogs, guest post, pet care | 1 Comment