TaylorHappy: Happy Pet, Happy Family

Hello and welcome to TaylorHappy: Happy Pet, Happy Family! Here you will find all that you need to keep your two and four legged family members happy all day, every day. Think of the things that make you happy- grooming, clothes, fun activities, and food. Your pets can benefit from all of these things too! They thrive on great toys that can be used to bond with the whole family, regular grooming practices to keep them in tip top shape, wholesome food to keep them healthy and energized, and of course the occasional tasty, healthy treats.

When it comes to nutrition, dogs are a lot like people. They are omnivores, meaning they can live healthy lives while eating a variety of food. Meats, vegetables, and grains all can be a part of a dog’s diet. But also like us, dogs need balanced, moderately-sized meals that fuel their activities, not an overindulgent diet that will expand their waistlines and put them at risk of diseases like diabetes.

Cats are carnivores, which is the most important thing to keep in mind when considering what to feed yours. They are very different from us and from dogs when it comes to nutrition, and can be very inflexible regarding food flavors, tastes and textures.

Just like humans, both dogs and cats LOVE the occasion tasty treat now and then. Here are some tips on giving your pet’s treats without the risk of expanding their waistline or causing them to become ill.

  • Know the calorie content of your pet’s food, and how many calories per day your pet should be consuming. One cup of dry food can be anywhere from 200-400 calories in a cup, and most indoor house cats only need 100 or so calories per day (outdoor, active house cats will need a bit more). Dogs calorie needs depends on their lifestyle as well. You wouldn’t feed the same amount of food to an active German Shepherd that you would to a toy poodle who resides primarily in mom’s lap, would you? At your next vet visit, ask them to calculate how many calories per day you pet should be consuming, and then adjust how many treats you give per day accordingly.
  • Stay away from human foods, particularly fatty and salty foods such as bacon, pork, lunch meats, and full fat cheeses. The fat in these foods are too rich for dogs and cats and can cause a disease known as pancreatitis, which if left untreated can be fatal. A little bit of table food here and there is ok, but stick to bland food like boiled chicken or turkey, .
  • To keep your pets calorie intake in check, portion out your pets treats at the beginning of the day, and when those treats are gone that is it for the day.
  • Treats are wonderful for training rewards for your pet! Keep in mind, however, that when you are training, you are going through a lot of treats. Instead of giving your pet the full size treat each time, break them into smaller pieces so although your pet will think they have receive 6 or 7 treats, in reality they only received 1.
  • Keep your dog or cat on a schedule. Snack before bed, after a walk, etc. Dogs and cats thrive on being on a schedule, and they will come to love and expect their pre-determined “treat time”.