Six Summer Activities for You and Your Pet

The warm weather brings many opportunities to spend time with your pet outdoors. If you notice your four-legged friend gazing out of the window more often, they may be longing for more time in the sunshine. Your pet may want longer walks and more time to play outside — so the Precise team conjured up a list of perfect summertime activities for you and your furry friend!

#1. Lake or Beach Day

Taking your pet along for a day trip to the lake or beach is the perfect getaway for you both! Whether they enjoy swimming or digging in the sand, most dogs are thrilled for the chance to be around water. Wading along the shoreline is a great chance for them to stay cool while they play! For the more relaxed animal, walking along the dock or snoozing by the bay window are also fun ways for your pet to enjoy themselves.

#2. Yoga

Why not practice your cat pose or downward-dog alongside your animal? Most pets become curious when they notice their owner joining them on the floor to stretch. Your cat may decide to keep you company on the yoga mat or your dog may decide to lick your face while you plank. This is a fun way to bond with your pet while also keeping yourself healthy. What’s great about yoga is you can practice it inside or outside, and your animals will enjoy making it a bit more challenging for you by walking around your legs as they watch you hold the poses!

#3. Hiking

Exploring the wilderness— or even your local greenway trail— is an awesome way to spend time outside with your pet. What animal doesn’t crave adventure and lots of new smells? Dogs in particular love the chance to sniff their way along the forest trails as you hike alongside them. For the adventurous feline, they may choose to climb on top of your backpack as you make your trek.

#4. Bring Your Furry Friend to the Farmer’s Market

Summer is the perfect time to shop at your local farmer’s market. While you pick up that pint of fresh strawberries, why not bring your furry friend along for your stroll through the produce stalls? Most farmer’s markets are outside and animal-friendly — no need to drop your pet off at home before grabbing those groceries! Your sweet pet may have the opportunity to meet other animals out with their owners for the day and will surely enjoy the chance to see all the hustle and bustle of the market.

#5. Pet Picnic

After stocking up on tasty groceries from the farmer’s market, go ahead and have a picnic with your pet at the local park! If staying closer to home would be more comfortable for your pet, there’s no rule against having a picnic in your own backyard either. Spread out a picnic blanket and pack your basket with a nice lunch for yourself as well as water and snacks, like our Healthy Habits® Treats, or other goodies for your four-legged friend.

#6. Reading in the Sunshine

Nothing says relaxation like curling up with a good book either under a tree, in a patio chair or on a couch by the window. Reading is also a good way to unwind after a picnic with your pet. Wherever you decide to pour through your summer reading, your pet will probably be close by to enjoy your company as well as the sunshine. Some leisurely time in the sun is the ultimate way for both you and your pet to relax after lunch. Your fur-baby may just decide to take a sun-nap and fall asleep while you’re reading — hello cute pic opportunity!

While enjoying the summer day with your pet, remember to always have food and water on hand in case they become fatigued or crave a snack. Precise Naturals pet food for your dog or cat is a great option to keep your animal happy, healthy and satisfied. We wish you and your pet a great summer filled with lots of adventure!

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Binge-Watch these Seven Movies on Netflix with your Pet

When the long summer days get a bit too hot or the rain starts pouring down, it’s time to settle in on the couch and have a Netlix day with your pet! These seven titles are sure to be a hit during you and your furry friend’s quality time together:

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Hachi

Bring on the water works! This heartwarming tale of a pup’s undying love for its owner will have everyone in happy tears. Keep the tissues close for this one, it will remind you how much you love your furry companion and how they love you. Cuddling is strongly advised.

A Cat in Paris

This hand-drawn animation is a true work of art. It’s a fascinating tale about a cat leading two lives (as opposed to nine). The story features suspense, drama, love and laughter. The film was even nominated for Best Animated Feature in 2012, and it is sure to be a winner for you and your pet!

Airbud

Cuteness overload! This talented retriever is that star of his own series of movies, until his pups grab the spotlight all on their own. Netflix features four of the classic Airbud movies. Want some sports to gear up for the Olympics? Check out, Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud Spikes Back, or Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, and of course Air Buddies. Are you really missing the snow on a sweltering day? Check out Snow Buddies. With all the Airbud choices these movies alone could keep you entertained for an entire day indoors.

Scooby-Doo

As a childhood staple, you know Scooby and the gang drum up a lot of trouble and even more laughs. This hungry and lovable animated pup stole your heart back in the day and is here to do it again. Netflix has two seasons of the cartoon version and the live-action film available to watch. There is certainly enough Scooby Snacks here for a day full of mystery that will have you seeking adventure with your own furry friend.

Beginners

This movie has both laughter and drama, and lots of love. After his father passes away, Oliver takes his Dad’s pup, Arthur, and forms that special bond every pet owner cherishes. Again with the water works!

Garfield

Everyone’s favorite big orange cat! With that huge appetite, big belly and adorable antics, what’s not to love? Netflix offers three options, two seasons of the Garfield Show, two Volumes of Garfield and Friends, and the movie Garfield’s Fun Fest. Yes, please.

Charlotte’s Web

A farm-filled touching story with a great message. We all remember this iconic story from our childhood, so why not reawaken the nostalgia? It’s perfect for nuzzling on the couch with your furry friend!

So, grab a big bowl of popcorn for yourself and some Healthy Habits Treats and let the snuggling and binge watching begin!

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Quality Time: Digestibility studies

Mike Compton is vice president of operations at Precise’s parent company, Texas Farm Products Company, and is responsible for the operations, quality assurance and nutritional content of our pet food. Each month on the blog, he shares how we keep our pet food safe and healthy. Read past Quality Time blog posts here.

In our previous Quality Time posts, we discussed developing formulas and mentioned conducting a series of tests, including digestibility studies. When we develop new formulas, we want them to taste good, but also want to make sure they are healthy for your pet’s digestive system.

Digestibility studies are important because they allow us to understand how the animals are utilizing the nutrients in the food.

The process is simple. We feed several animals for a specific period of time and then begin collecting the feces. We then test the feces to determine what nutrients were digested and what nutrients were not.

If the results of this and additional tests meet our high standards, we move the formula into full-scale production and introduce the product to our Precise fans!

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Quality Time: Palatability tests

Mike Compton is vice president of operations at Precise’s parent company, Texas Farm Products Company, and is responsible for the operations, quality assurance and nutritional content of our pet food. Each month on the blog, he shares how we keep our pet food safe and healthy. Read past Quality Time blog posts here.

In our previous Quality Time post, we discussed developing formulas and mentioned conducting palatability tests. When we develop new formulas, we want to make sure they are not only healthy, but taste delicious too!

Palatability tests are run against competitive products to measure how tasty and appetizing a new formula is. The new formula is shipped to a palatability-testing lab that is contracted to offer these types of services.

To test the palatability, the animals are presented with two bowls. The bowls are presented at the same time with product A in one bowl and product B in the other. The observer makes note of the first choice the animal makes. After about 15 minutes, the bowls are removed and weighed to determine what food was not consumed.

On the second day of testing, the bowls hold the same products, but their position is swapped due to a possible left-right bias. Observers make note of the first choice preference and weigh the food, just as before. They continue this process for a third day. Afterward, they enter values in a computer and do statistical analysis to determine which was preferred over a three-day period of time.

After we receive the statistical information, we use it along with other test results, such as digestibility tests, to decide if the formula meets our high-standards and will satisfy and nourish our Precise pets.

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Quality Time: Developing formulas

Mike Compton is vice president of operations at Precise’s parent company, Texas Farm Products Company, and is responsible for the operations, quality assurance and nutritional content of our pet food. Each month on the blog, he shares how we keep our pet food safe and healthy. Read past Quality Time blog posts here.

Here at Precise, everyone knows pet food like the back of their hands. That’s why ideas for developing or improving formulas usually originate with the folks in the field. After identifying a need for a particular product or segment of the pet population, we research the nutritional requirements and profiles of the ingredients used to put the formula together.

After the preliminary research is complete, we bring the materials to our quality assurance lab where we actually create the initial formula on a computer. The computer program produces a nutrient profile based on ingredients we have to work with. If there is a unique ingredient that we don’t normally have, we order a small amount of that ingredient for a test run to make sure that everything we need to create the formula lies within the capabilities of the plant.

Once we have our initial run and are successful, we conduct a series of tests – one for palatability and another for digestibility. Once these are successful, our new formulas are ready for happy pet consumption!

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Quality Time: Ingredient sourcing

 

Mike Compton is vice president of operations at Precise’s parent company, Texas Farm Products Company, and is responsible for the operations, quality assurance and nutritional content of our pet food. Each month on the blog, he shares how we keep our pet food safe and healthy. Read past Quality Time blog posts here.

Curious about where ingredients found in Precise pet food are sourced? We’re happy to explain.

All of our products are naturally preserved and come from trusted distributors. Our chicken products (meal, chicken fat, chicken flavor) all originate from birds that are raised with the same standards and practices as those raised for human consumption.

Many ingredients (vegetables and fruits) found in Precise Holistic Complete also come from the same sources that stock your local grocery store. Additionally, the grains used are purchased based on specific USDA standards. When they are received, we check them very closely to make sure they meet our standards before we even unload them from the truck!

Our chicken products come from Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma, while our lamb meal is from New Zealand.  Our duck products come from Italy. Our fresh-caught salmon in Precise Holistic Complete is imported from Norway. Additionally, the grains and botanicals we use are both of U.S. origin.

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Quality Time: What the new FDA regulations mean for Precise

Mike Compton is vice president of operations at Precise’s parent company, Texas Farm Products Company, and is responsible for the operations, quality assurance and nutritional content of our pet food. Each month on the blog, he shares how we keep our pet food safe and healthy. Read past Quality Time blog posts here.

Not surprisingly, the Food and Safety Modernization Act affects the pet food industry as well as the overall food production system. Fortunately for us, we’re happy to say the changes are minimal. We already had many of the new requirements in place, so we’re able to quickly adapt to meet new standards.

The new law requires that pet manufacturers have a Hazardous Assessment of Critical Control Points (HACCP) program in place. HACCP is a process that analyzes potential hazards. For example, when we receive a shipment of grains, they must meet our required standards. We test the grains, and as long as it fits our criteria, we continue with our process. If they do not fit our standard, it is in our plan to send them back.

Additionally, companies must solidify Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). This means that for every part of the production process, the company must have written step-by-step instructions on how to complete specific jobs, how to operate equipment and how the equipment should be maintained.

At Precise, we already had both the HACCP and GMP programs in place due to our American Institute of Baking certification, so we’re ahead of the curve.

In the end, the new regulations are going to put the pet food industry even more under the jurisdiction of the FDA, meaning more inspections. We are proud to say that the pet food industry is on its way to looking more and more like the food producing industry, which means more safe, high quality foods for your pets!

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Quality Time: Chicken fat

Mike Compton is vice president of operations at Precise’s parent company, Texas Farm Products Company, and is responsible for the operations, quality assurance and nutritional content of our pet food. Each month on the blog, he shares how we keep our pet food safe and healthy. Read past Quality Time blog posts here.

After sharing information on our salmonella testing, new packaging machines and shift tests, I’m back this month with an overview of our chicken fat tests.

Chicken fat has essential fatty acid levels to improve your pet’s skin and coat. Chicken fat is also a healthy source of energy.

Here’s a photo of a chicken fat sample:

To prevent rancidity, we perform these quality checks on our chicken fat samples:

  • Free fatty acids
  • Peroxides
  • Percentage of fines
  • Color
  • Temperature
  • Odor

Here is a photo of the the free fatty acid test being done:

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Quality Time: An Introduction

Sitting outside of our on-site Quality Assurance Laboratory in Nacogdoches, Texas, there’s a single park bench similar to the one you’ll find at the bottom of our website, precisepet.com:

It doesn’t get a lot of use, since we take food safety and quality very serious here at Precise and are always busy in the lab. We have a team of people working to make sure our food is safe for our customers’ pets, and quality pet food begins with quality ingredients.

As vice-president of operations for Texas Farm Products, the parent company of Precise Pet, I am responsible for the operations, quality assurance and nutritional content of our pet food. I’ve been with Texas Farm Products for more than 30 years. I began working at here part-time in high school, loading feed onto customer trucks as orders were received.

After attending college, I returned as laboratory supervisor and became VP of operations in 2005. I currently serve on the regulatory affairs committee of the Pet Food Institute and the nutrition council of the American Feed Industry Association.

Here on The Dish, I’m going to introduce you to the stringent safety measures we take to make our food the best. I look forward to sharing with you about our commitment to quality and nutrition.

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Superior rating from the American Institute of Baking

As you get to know us here on The Dish, you’ll find that safety and quality are two very important things to us when it comes to our pet food. So much so, in fact, that we were awarded a Superior rating for our pet food manufacturing plant from the American Institute of Baking (AIB). We were pretty proud of our accomplishment, and even took a minute to snap a photo with the Precise team:

Read below for the full release we sent out in June 2010, and also check out this recent interview Tails Magazine did with Mike Compton, our vice president of operations. We’re excited to have Mike contributing to The Dish in the future, as he is the expert on our quality measures. Look for “Quality Time with Mike” posts coming soon.

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