Tips to keep your pet happy and healthy

1:17 PM, Mar 30, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Jimmy Millard from Chuck & Don's and his Bernese Mountain Dog Howie joined KARE Saturday to talk about ways to keep your pet healthy.

Millard is a food buyer at Chuck & Don's and says the key to weight management in pets is the right exercise and the right diet.

Here are some weight management tips:

  • If you can no longer feel your pet's ribs with gentle fingertip pressure, y our pet may be carrying extra weight.
  • If your pet is obese, it will have approximately 10 to 15 percent excess body weight.
  • Weight management diets are lower in fat and higher in protein and help get your pet to a healthy weight.
  • Look for food that will give your pet a well-balanced meal, such as food that incorporates fruits and vegetables.
  • Look for food that is lower in calories, higher in protein, and lower in fat.
  • Cut down on portions.
  • Many pet foods recommend serving sizes based on weight. They are a great rule of thumb, but vary based on the activity level of your pet. Your pet may require more or less food based on exercise, age, breed, and environment.
  • Feed your pet based on weight you want them to be, and not the weight they currently are.

Every pet has different needs both nutritional and dietary. You can visit your local Chuck & Don's store for an expert recommendation based on your pets personal needs. You can find the closest Chuck & Don's store at their website.

Snacking myths and facts:

  • Offer pets treats in moderation.
  • They key is to find treats that are healthy, but also are flavorful and appealing to pets.
  • Is people food bad for pets? Myth. Some pet-approved people foods include carrots, strawberries, spinach, and green beans.
  • Is it bad to give my pet table scraps? Fact. Avoid giving pets table scraps as not all food is easily digestible by all pets. In addition, many table scraps are high in fat, which are high in calories and low in nutrients.

Pet exercise and safety tips:

  • Running
    • Now that the weather is slowly warming up, get your dog outside for a while and go for a run
    • Safety Tips:
      • Bring a travel bowl or water bottle with you while exercising to keep your pup hydrated
      • Keep reflective collars and lights handy when riding at night so cars and people are aware of your dog.
      • The leash should be long enough to allow the dog to run without pulling the owner. Look at a 6 to 10 foot lead that allows for enough space, but also the ability to recall the dog if you are coming close to traffic.
  • Swimming
    • Safety Tips:
      • Pay attention to your pet's energy level when they are in the water so that they do not become too exhausted
      • For dogs that are new to the water consider using a lifejacket or canine float coats when teaching them how to swim
      • Remember that not all dogs can swim
  • Fetch
    • Playing fetch is a classic form of pet exercise, but you can mix it up by doing a fetch race and racing your dog to retrieve it. Both owner and pup will get a workout in.
    • Get your pup's daily exercise in by playing fetch in the water.


(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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