Dog Photography by Dogma Pet Portraits
In 2017, JustFoodForDogs will embark on the 6th year of our mission to improve the quality and length of life of as many Pets as possible, through a proven, balanced, whole food diet. As we renew our resolution, it occurred to us that this is also a great time to set goals for our four-legged family members. They deserve a better life too, and on that note, they deserve New Year’s resolutions.
Here are our top five New Year’s resolutions for Pets in 2017:
1) Make our Pets as healthy they can be – 2017 is the year to ditch the processed food and treats. This means, get rid of the kibble and cans, and feed-grade treats.
The fundamentals of nutrition are universal. Just as whole foods made with real meats, fruits, and vegetables are healthy for us, and processed foods should be limited or avoided – the exact same dynamic now exists in pet food. In fact, it’s a more significant distinction in pet food. Traditional pet food is made with the highly processed feed-grade ingredients, scraps from the human food chain deemed unsuitable for people to eat. Virtually all of the ingredients used to make traditional kibble and cans are not allowed in human food. Some people will mix kibble or canned food into our recipes, but there is absolutely no need to do this, and it is likely harming your dog’s health. We’ve had several reports of pets that had health problems that didn’t clear up until they got off the kibble 100%.
If you’ve taken the first step with JFFD by mixing in our food, it’s time to make the full leap in 2017 and see the full health effects of feeding our recipes. Your dog will thank you for the more life, more years, and more love they will experience as a result.
2) 2017 is the year to get our Pets to their ideal body conditions.
50% of Pets in America are overweight, and just like with us being so predisposed them to a number of diseases. Due to the variation in breeds and sizes, we really don’t go by an “ideal weight” when we look at weight management in Pets. Instead, we go by ideal body condition. The rule of thumb for a healthy body condition is to be able to feel your dog’s ribs without necessarily being able to see them. If your dog has extra padding, and you cannot feel the ribs, then he’s likely overweight. Vets will also look at other markers like whether they can feel the bones of the spine and also whether they can visualize a “waist” when looking down on your dog from above. For a more specific body condition score, ask your vet to score your dog. Body condition score scales are either out of 5 or 9. Ideal body condition scores are either 3 out of 5, or 4 and 5 out of 9. Using a body condition score, your vet can determine your dog’s ideal body weight.
JFFD Fish and Sweet Potato is clinically shown for weight loss at a major university. It is low calorie, but the portion size is large, so it doesn’t feel like a diet. Dogs usually love this recipe, so it feels like you are giving your dog a treat while he loses weight. The key is to feed him to his ideal body weight.
3) Make the resolution to have 2017 be the year that your Pets enjoy life to the fullest with increased activity.
More life, more years, more love isn’t just our tag line, it is our deepest rooted belief that our Pets deserve the healthiest and happiest life we can give them, because they give us so much love and dedication in return. Just like with our own lives, exercise and activity are key elements of an enriching life for our Pets. What is your dog’s favorite thing to do that he does not get to do on a weekly basis? Whatever it is, make it a weekly habit in 2017. It helps if this activity is a source of exercise.
For example, if your dog loves to go to the dog park and loves to run and play with other dogs while he’s there, but you haven’t been taking him often – 2017 is the year to make this a weekly routine.
4) Like us, our Pets are social animals too! Make 2017 the year we all spend more time with other four-legged loved ones.
Dogs are pack animals; they love to hang out in groups. Socialization is good for them on several levels, as it promotes healthy behavior. If you have friends and family that have dogs, make it a plan to get together at least once a month for your dogs to play in groups. Always form groups with dogs that are friendly to other dogs, and always supervise any visits with new introductions. Most of the time, a group of dogs will play fair and they’ll figure out their own social patterns pretty quickly. If any dog is showing fearful patterns: hiding, holding their tail between their legs, or growling – then that dog may not be ready for group play. You can have that dog observe these sessions (on a leash and from a distance) and over time, he may join in when he’s ready.
5) 2017 is the year to experience something new
Our dogs have a shorter life than we do and their time to enjoy new experiences is limited; make 2017 the year they experience something they’ve never experienced before! All the above New Years Resolutions vary in frequency; some are daily, weekly, and monthly ways you can make your Pets healthier and happier. For the fifth resolution, we recommend making it a goal to do something big and new in 2017. Maybe your dog has never been to Big Bear or a national park. Maybe he hasn’t walked on the Redondo Beach Pier or stayed at a pet-friendly hotel in a new city with you. Whatever is a “new” experience to him, make it a resolution to do it in 2017.
In fact, we believe this is one resolution that you can easily turn into a yearly tradition. One new experience a year can mean 15 or so truly memorable trips with your best friend and the perfect way to show them more love.
Blog post written by:
Dr. Oscar E Chavez BVetMed MRCVS MBA
Chief Medical Officer