Pets Corner

Healthy Routines for You and Your Dog

November 2017
Posted

The fall season, with its crisp, cool air and beautiful foliage, is the perfect time to create a fresh start and establish healthy new routines for both you and your dog. Make this fall your happiest and healthiest season, with tips from Dr. Kurt Venator, chief veterinary officer at Purina on how to maximize the health benefits of the season.

• Explore the great outdoors.

Cooler temperatures make fall an ideal season for embracing outdoor activities and making sure both you and your best buddy get some extra exercise. Without the summer heat to cause risks of overheating, you can keep your dog's tail wagging with longer stretches of outdoor fun. Take a hike and enjoy the fall foliage, go for a nature walk, or visit a local dog-friendly park. Your pup will love exploring all of the new sights, smells and sounds of fall.

• Mix up your menu.

Take advantage of the abundance of fresh fall produce by trying out healthy new recipes that allow you to savor the flavors of fall. If you want to give your pup's meal a makeover, try looking for brands made with wholesome ingredients, including chicken, fruits and vegetables.

• Get ready for some football!

Nothing says fall quite like football season. When you take a break from the game during half-time, let your pup in on the fun by heading outside to toss the football. A game of fetch is a great way to burn off extra energy and help him get the exercise he needs. Using a soft foam football specifically designed for dogs will ensure you don't hurt his teeth.

• Pumpkin: the flavor of fall.

From tasty pumpkin spiced coffee to delicious pumpkin pie, pumpkin seems to be everywhere you turn during fall. 'Tis the season to dig in! And don't forget your dog when savoring fall's favorite flavor; pumpkin can also be included as a beneficial accent in certain dog food products.

• Have a healthier Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is often synonymous with overindulging, but with a few simple changes, you can enjoy the holiday without wreaking havoc on your diet. Start the day with a healthy breakfast and then head outside with your pup for a brisk walk. While you enjoy the fresh air together, you'll be burning off excess calories and giving your metabolism a boost. When it comes to the Thanksgiving meal for your pooch, avoid the temptation to feed him table scraps because many favorite Thanksgiving staples can be hazardous to your dog's health. For example, grapes, raisins and onions are all poisonous to your dog. And while many dog owners know to avoid giving chocolate to their dog, another hidden danger is xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in things like gum, mints and candy. Even in low doses, xylitol can be very harmful to your four-legged best friend. A better bet is to fill your dog's bowl with his favorite dog food to make sure he gets the right balanced nutrition he needs.

• Ramp up the tick patrol.

Despite the cooler fall temperatures, ticks and fleas are still a threat to our pets. It's important to be diligent about your dog's flea and tick protection regimen and to carefully check for ticks after being outside.

The fall season offers so many fun and healthy experiences for you and your dog to explore, so get out there and enjoy it!

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