2013-08-30 / Pets

Keep your pets happy and healthy

By Warren Hughes


“We’re hoping pet owners, and potential pet owners, will look beyond the basics of spay and neuter and really start to examine what they want and expect from their pets ... and more importantly, what their pets need from them both physically and emotionally. ” —Jane Brundage, PETS, Inc. “We’re hoping pet owners, and potential pet owners, will look beyond the basics of spay and neuter and really start to examine what they want and expect from their pets ... and more importantly, what their pets need from them both physically and emotionally. ” —Jane Brundage, PETS, Inc. As cofounder and vice president of PETS, Inc., Jane Brundage says she is encouraged by the attention being given to better care of companion animals.

“ We’re hoping pet owners, and potential pet owners, will look beyond the basics of spay and neuter and really start to examine what they want and expect from their pets ... and more importantly, what their pets need from them both physically and emotionally.

“Boredom, lack of exercise and poor diets are causing such insurmountable problems that many animals that were fortunate enough to be adopted end up back in the pound or in a shelter just a few months later. These failures account for the majority of the ‘kill rate’ at local pounds,” she said.

She has knowledgeable and useful advice for happier and healthier animals including:

“When animals are nutritionally deprived ( which is often due to low-quality pet foods), they develop skin problems. They produce dander which activates allergies within the family. The doctor advises ‘get rid of the dog.’ Or the massive shedding becomes a housekeeping problem so he becomes a ‘yard dog.’ And that’s when the bonding stops. Now, he’s out there bored and lonely, so he barks, digs, becomes destructive or finds ways to escape. After a few complaints from the neighbors, and citations from animal control ... or out of concern for his safety, he’s sent away. Sometimes it’s just his enthusiasm for attention that causes him to lose his home. When lonely animals receive visitors, they often are too excited, jumping on their owners or knocking the children down. They’ve worn out the grass so they have dirty feet, and everyone knows what red clay can do to a nice outfit. Fewer and fewer visitors will venture into the yard. Eventually, the children are afraid of the dog, so he has to go.

Other issues related to low-quality processed dog foods are gas, body odor, hot spots, yeasty ears, itchy toes (no one wants to hear a dog chewing on his itchy skin when they are eating, watching TV, playing video games, or trying to sleep). Even if they are willing to pay the mounting vet bills, most people are so upset by the behavior they lose interest in having a dog. Almost never do we meet owners who had even considered the idea that the food was causing their dog’s disturbing conditions.

Just like people, when animals don’t feel well their temperament is not always pleasant. They are irritable, intolerant, and even fearful. They frequently become food aggressive and will often fight with other dogs or steal food from children and may even snap if someone comes too close to their bowls. When a dog can’t be trusted, he’s generally removed from the home.

Not everyone is able to adopt a pet or donate to a charity to help animals, but most pet owners can take a little time to ask themselves what level of satisfaction and quality of life they are giving their pets. What do they really know about the dog food they buy? Do they walk or play or sit and snuggle with their dogs frequently? Do they take them to parks or to a friend’s house to romp and play with other dogs?

The real joy of owning a dog is sometimes lost simply because we don’t take advantage of opportunities to keep our dogs healthy and emotionally satisfied.”

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