The Importance of a Complete and Balanced Diet

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This past Saturday I came to the daunting realization that Brooklyn, my beautiful two year old German Sheppard, was, yet again, out of dog food. Zipping up my coat, lacing my boots, and strapping on my winter hat, I left the house to embark on what I knew would be quite a journey. I say this, because every time I buy dog food I feel compelled to peruse the pet food isle and read every bag that catches my eye. These days that includes just about every bag, with their bright colors, adorable dog pictures, and promising claims. I realized, 1 hour into my shopping adventure, that the phrase “100% Complete and Balanced” was on many of the bags. Having limited knowledge on this topic, I decided to do some research and share my findings with you.

 

A “100% Complete and Balanced” diet is one that contained nutrients from the 6 essential groups: water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Water is important in permitting the daily functions of life. It aids in temperature regulation, body tissue lubrication, and chemical reactions. It is so important that even dry foods contain water to help keep our pets hydrated! Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are all excellent sources of energy for our furry friends, as well as enable growth, repair, nutrient transport, and immune responses. And, to put it briefly, vitamins and minerals allow our four-legged children to run, jump, and play. Their jobs include hormone production and transport, digestion, bone and muscle growth, blood flow and clotting, fluid balance, and even eye sight.

 

I like to believe that Brooklyn was just as excited about my research as I was. A complete and balanced diet means a healthy Brooklyn, which makes for a happy momma. I can definitely say that my co-workers and I all fully support “100% Complete and Balanced” diets and encourage you to do the same. If you would like additional and more detailed information on the phrase, please visit https://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/HealthAndNutrition/DogNutritionBasics.aspx. Additionally, feel free to call us at 314-878-8454 for any and all of your nutritional inquires.

 

The Crazy Dog-Food lady,

Amber

Seniors and their Pets

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For some seniors, having a pet in our home can keep us active and alert. Unfortunately, however, this is not always the case; sometimes our older friends and relatives can find caring for themselves and an aging pet to be difficult. So, we here are Heritage wanted to share some tips on how to make it easier for our seniors to keep their pets at home:

  1. Clean the yard and/or litter box. Offering to remove messes will prevent our arthritic loved ones from having to forgo uncomfortable movements, in turn alleviating mental and physical stressors associated with the pet.
  2. Exercise their pet. Whether it be rough housing in the living room, going to the park, or walking around the block, exercise enables pets to release built up energy, making them more manageable for their owner.
  3. Offer to do the shopping. I know that many of the seniors in my life have withdrawn from driving during certain parts of the day. Remove the task by offering to pick up food, toys, litter, and medications for the pet.
  4. Groom their pet. By taking the pet to the groomer, or personally washing, brushing, and trimming the pet, you are eliminating unwanted odors from the house, removing irritants from the pet’s fur, and making nails skin friendly.
  5. Plan veterinarian visits. Offering to take the pet to the vet when they are sick or in need vaccines will ensure the pet’s safety and health. Additionally, it guarantees that any orders from the doctor get properly interpreted, documents, and relayed to the owner.
  6. Always be willing to lend a helping hand. This will help the owner to get through their to-do list, leaving lots of time for cuddles with their furry friend!

Just by doing a few of these simple things, we can enable our older friends and family members to enjoy their pet, as well as give them the peace of mind that their pet is getting the attention, care, and love needed to lead a happy, healthy life. And, as an added bonus, you get to grow the relationship between you and your senior!

Lynn M, Receptionist

The Importance of Pet Exercise

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It is no secret that doctors recommend that we engage in an active lifestyle. Whether it be for 15, 30, or 60 minutes a day, the consensus is the same: exercise is good. What may not be obvious, however, is that the same is true for our furry counterparts. In fact, exercise is essential for the happiness and wellbeing of all of our pets.

Dogs have been bred to work. Some were developed for hunting, some for herding, and others for protecting. While some dogs remain  loyal to their purpose, most of our pets have developed a new found loyalty to the couch. While we will forever love our “couch potatoes”, we may not always adore some of the behaviors they have developed as a result of inactivity.  For example, destructive behaviors, such as chewing, garbage diving, and knocking over furniture, excessive barking or whining, restlessness at night, and inappropriate social behaviors can all result when our dogs haven’t properly released their built up energy. The solution to these problems can be rather simple: exercise your pet.

In addition to helping resolve the above issues, exercise can help your dog in many other ways. Regular exercise is a wonderful way to help dogs lose those extra pounds, which can in turn lengthen the duration of their life. With weight lost and years gained, exercise will keep your furry friend healthy, agile, and limber. Additionally, exercise can help your pet build confidence, consequently reducing timidness or fearfulness in private and public settings. And, a day full of exercise means a night of peace and quite for you and your pet. We here at Heritage Veterinary Hospital encourage you to enjoy your pets and help them enjoy life with a bit of fun and exercise.

 

-Amber, Veterinary Technician at Heritage Veterinary Hospital

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