7 Things to Consider when Choosing the Right Food for Your Furry Friend

Your pet’s diet is one of the biggest factors of their health. Is your pet on the right track to a long and healthy lifestyle? Ask yourself these seven questions when grabbing your pet’s kibble off of the shelf:

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What stage of life is your pet currently in?

Your pet will have different dietary needs in each stage of life; from puppy or kitten, to adult and senior. A puppy or kitten, for example, needs food that will help them grow big and strong, while a senior might require food with more protein for extra energy, or a formula for bone health, so they can stay active and happy in their growing age.

What’s your pet’s size?

Larger breeds can benefit from extra protein and nutrients for muscle and bone health, while smaller ones have a totally different set of dietary needs. Choosing a food specific to the size of your pet can ensure that they’re getting exactly the nutrients they need to live a long, healthy life.

Is your pet lazy or active?

Are you and your pet gearing up for your next big hike? Make sure you are feeding them food for fuel! For our active pups out there, a “high octane” diet, such as the Precise Naturals Endurance Formula with extra calories and protein will give them the energy their need for your adventures. Less active pets won’t need extra calories or energy stores, so the proper food for their age and size will provide them will all the energy they need.

How’s your pet’s weight?

Be cognoscente of your pet’s shape. If your pet is over or under weight, then you might need to make a change in how much and what they you are feeding them. If your feline is beginning to resemble Garfield, you may want to try Precise Naturals Weight Management Formula with all the essential nutrients and none of the extra calories. For pets who can’t keep on weight, look for high-fat or high-calorie foods, even try foods for active breeds.

How’s their current health?

If your pet has special health conditions, such as diabetes, kidney or bladder issues, or digestive issues, then choose formulas with modifications to support they specific needs. Some pets have issues digesting grains, grain free food is not only great for tummy troubles, but they are also rich in nutritious proteins and fats. Might we recommend our Precise Naturals Grain Free formulas with multiple meat bases to choose from?

How about that AAFCO Statement?

The Association of American Feed Control Officials have set guidelines and standards that pet foods must meet in order to be considered ‘complete and balanced.’  Check your pet’s food label for an AAFCO Statement to ensure what you are feeding your furry friend is meeting these basic requirements.

What are the ingredients?

When deciding between pet food formulas check out the ingredients. Ingredients, by law, must be listed by weight, so look for meats and protein-rich ingredients to be at the beginning of the list – typically the top three items listed. Meats, fish, and eggs are easy for pets to digest and have a high biological value, so the more the merrier!

Remember, making a sudden change to your furry friend’s diet could have negative effects on their digestive system. It is better to slowly introduce the new food over the course of a week or so. Feed them a mix of the new food and the old food, adding more new food than old food every few days, until your pet is happily enjoying their new, nutritious formula.

“Bone” appetit!

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The Dog Owner’s Hiking Cheat Sheet-10 Tips for Hitting the Trails

Summer is here, and that means the hiking trails will be busy. Hiking is great for the views, the exercise, and the companionship of your furry friend! It’s the perfect activity for nice weekend in the summer-just make sure you’re prepared.

The Precise Team has put together 10 tips to keep your furry friend happy during your summer trek:

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Picking the Right Trail

Choosing the right hike for you and your pup is the first step to a great experience; make sure the trail you choose to hike is pet friendly, and be mindful of the difficulty of the trail. Also, be sure to take special notice of any specific obstacles a particular trail could present, such as large drops, a lot of stairs, jagged rocks, or a surface that may become too hot for your pup’s paws. Check out hikewithyourdog.com for places a list of pup-friendly trails in your state.

Pre-Hike Checklist

Before you leave make sure your pup is up to date on all of their shots, heartworm, flea, and tick prevention medication. Also, make sure you have their ID tags, license, and a leash.

Proper Conditioning

It Is important to ensure that your furry friend is in proper shape for the hike you’re planning. In other words, a dog’s first hike should not be nine miles, straight up the side of a mountain on the hottest day of the summer. Use walks around the neighborhood or start with short hikes for practice; increase difficulty over time to ensure both you and your pup are prepared for the long distances.

Plenty of Water

Keeping your dog hydrated it a must! If you are thirsty that probably means they are too! Make sure you make frequent stops to allow them time to rest and rehydrate. You should bring water specifically for your dog, as it is potentially dangerous to allow them to drink form a stream, pond or standing water. Bringing a portable water bowl along for your journey will help keep your pet nice and hydrated on your journey.

Safety First

As you are hiking, watch where your dog is stepping. Make sure to avoid areas that have any poisonous plants or berries they should not eat. Keep them from dangerous run-ins with wildlife, and snakes that may be hiding in the brush. Also, try to avoid routes with excess jagged rocks or rough terrain to keep their paw pads from getting cut, or equip your pup with boots to protect their pads.

Etiquette

It is advised that you keep your dog on a leash while hiking, it’s much safer for your pup, and more considerate to others on the trail. Be mindful that not everyone loves dogs, even friendly ones, so be sure you can keep control of your dog around other hikers and other dogs.

Food and Rest

You shouldn’t feed your furry friend a full meal right before a hike. Give your dog a portion of its usual serving, and keep them energized throughout the hike with treats and snacks, like our Healthy Habits®. Also be mindful of the temperature that day, when you stop for water or food, give them a little break and try to find a spot in the shade. Signs of overexertion include drooling, weakness, panting or bright red gums.

Pet Waste

Dog owners need to leave the trails as they found them. Remember you and your pup are representing all hikers with dogs, and leaving waste can leave a bad impression to everyone else hiking that trail. Make sure you bring bags to pick up your pet’s mess!

First Aid Kit

It’s a great idea to carry a basic first aid kit with you in case something should happen. A solid but simple kit should include tweezers, disinfectant, bandages and bandage tape.

After the Hike

After your fun day on the trails be sure to check your dog for fleas, ticks, cut paw pads, and other injuries.

With these 10 tips under your belt, you and your pet’s hike will be one for the books!

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We Can Be Pet Heroes, Just for One Day

Did you know that approximately 7.6 million animals enter 13,600 animal shelters in the U.S. each year? Unfortunately, many of these furry friends often face years of poor living conditions, inconsistent care, and limited playtime. Even more upsetting, many of these pets are put down. For every 100 dogs that enter an animal shelter, 31 are euthanized; for every 100 cats, 41 are euthanized.

In 2001, these statistics started a movement in New York—Just One Day. Precise has one of the most fruitful Adoption Kit programs in the industry, and wanted to use this week’s blog post to give you a background on this life-changing movement.

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Tompkins County, NY was the first No-Kill Community in the country. On June 11, 2001, the county and its shelter, the SPCA, dedicated itself to not putting down any adoptable sheltered animals. Tompkins County SPCA has had a near 90% live release rate since.

Following Tompkins County’s success, Just One Day became an initiative that states, “We can be a No Kill Nation for Just One Day.” The movement promotes the notion that if shelters can go just one day without killing animals to clear up space, they can make it two days. And if they can make it two days, they can make it for years—as longs as they take it one day at a time.

At the first Just One Day in 2012, almost 800 shelters participated and saved nearly 9,000 animals. Just last year, several shelters had hundreds of animals adopted and many others had long lines before they even opened for the day.

Just One Day predicts that tomorrow’s event will save more than 10,000 animals. The organization is even giving prizes to shelters that have the most animals adopted to promote the cause.

Interested in learning more? Read the pledge and ask your local shelter to join the commitment to not kill for Just One Day: http://www.justoneday.ws/#!i-pledge/c10zo. A furry friend is waiting to find their forever home, let’s give them a chance.

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Seven Hurricane Safety Tips for Your Pet

It’s June, and you know what that means—summer sun, days outside with your furry friend, and…hurricane season. But instead of worrying about these severe summer storms, prepare for them! These seven tips will help to get you and your pets get ready for the possibility of a hurricane.

Hurricane Season

  1. Make sure your pet’s ID and shot records are up to date

Check to make sure your pets’ tags have your correct address and cell phone number, in case you need to evacuate your house, and move to a more secure location. Make sure you have documentation of your pets’ recent shot record, as many pet shelters will not admit pets without a rabies shot.

  1. Make a pet emergency kit

Be sure to include food, water, fist aid supplies and waste cleanup supplies for your pet. Keep a leash, ID collar, rabies tag and your pets’ medications inside. Instead of scrambling to pack everything up in a panic, you’ll already have the necessities ready to go.

  1. Have a kennel or cage on hand

This will help transport your furry friend if they’re confused or frightened. A kennel will also help if the shelter you’re bringing them to requires a solid carrier, or if there are many pets at the shelter during an emergency.

  1. Bring your pet with you

Unless you’re out of town, it’s always better to bring your pet with you. If your area is evacuated, you may not be allowed to return home, even if your pet is there.

  1. Keep a picture of your pet with you, or on your phone

In case you lose track of your pet, and they don’t have a microchip, you can track them down more easily with a current photo.

  1. Stay calm

This is probably the most important tip. Pets can sense your demeanor, and they can tell if you’re upset. No matter what you do, keeping your composure is one of the best ways to ensure that your pet will be comfortable and cooperative in your evacuation.

By following these seven tips, preparing for hurricane season will be a little less stressful. Have any questions? Leave us a note in the comment box below! We’re happy to help.

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