Meet Momo – our new puppy!
I’m an animal lover through and through. I grew up surrounded by dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, even silkworms (they escaped, but that’s a story for another day.) I believe growing up with and respecting animals makes for happier, more compassionate children.
When my daughter Miyo was born, both my hubby and I were adamant she’d grow up with animals. When she turned 1 years old, we got our two cats (brothers we named Dolce & Gabbana).
For Miyo’s second birthday, we got our first German Shepherd dog and named her Lilo.
Lilo is now 13 years – pretty old for a dog of her breed, but she’s still going strong. Recently, after two years of back and forth, we decided to add another fur child to our family.
Lilo & Momo. I was a tad nervous about how Lilo would react to a puppy, but she has been incredibly patient and sweet natured with her.
Our newest bundle of fur joy arrived three weeks ago. Her name is Momo (Japanese for peach, and my daughters nickname in primary school) and she’s the cutest, naughtiest, German Shepard (obvs) pup with the most gentle, sweet disposition. She chews EVERYTHING (tables, fridge, curtains, desk, shoes, bath, stones, front gate, beauty products, swimming pool net – you get the idea) and is taking a while to get used to the cats.
I love all my animals and they run rampant in the house. The cats sleep on the bed with us. The dogs aren’t allowed on beds or couches (if it were up to me, they would be, but hubby is strict) but sleep in our bedroom. I could not imagine a home without animals. My dream would be to have a big enough property that allowed me to adopt all the old, senior dogs & cats (and those animals people don’t want) I possibly could from shelters. Senior animals are my absolute BEST!
We took Momo on her first beach outing this past Sunday. Hubby managed to snap this pic of her gazing out onto the ocean.
I feed my animals the very best quality food I can afford and really prefer Hill’s over other brands #ThisIsNotASponsoredPost. At almost R1000 for a 12 KG bag for the Joint Care j/d just for my senior German Shepherd, it’s not cheap, but they are, after all, my fur children.
I also try give them healthy treats, but, because I love them so much, I fall into the trap of spoiling them and often find myself giving my senior GSD up to 6 or 7 dog biscuits a night – it’s like she herds me into the kitchen for them! Same with my cats, after meals they get treats – a bit of chicken here, some left over sausage there, maybe a kitty biscuit before I go to bed.
I’ll be honest, pet obesity was something I’d never thought about until I got a press release from Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Now, I’m NOT in the habit of posting press releases willy nilly, but this one really resonated with me as a pet owner. It went on to explain the dangers of pet obesity, and what an issue it is in South Africa with vets saying that more than half of their patients are overweight with obesity being the number one health problem faced by pets today!
“We all like to reward our pets, but too often we think of food as the first option. Why not think a little broader and aim to provide some mental and physical attention instead. They’re almost sure to love that more than the quick unhealthy titbit that hardly touches their mouth before being gulped down,” says Dr. Guy Fyvie, Nutritional Advisor at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, South Africa.
Dr. Fyvie explains that too often pets aren’t getting the right level of exercise that would help their bodies to deal with the calorie intake they are receiving. The added problem is that most pet parents are in denial about their pet being overweight (hello, I think this is me) and don’t understand the serious health problems that this can create. Research shows that overweight pets don’t live as long as their healthy, slimmer counterparts and are at risk of developing arthritis, urinary conditions, skin problems, heart disease and cancer.
About 68% of pet owners don’t follow guidelines when deciding on portion sizes (hubby & I are guilty of this). Excess weight in pets can decrease life expectancy by up to 2.5 years!
Check the infographic below – it was a real eye-opener for me!
3 Treat tips to ensure a healthy pet:
Avoid feeding table scraps: Food from your plate is inappropriate because it’s nutritionally unbalanced and has high levels of salt and fat. It also contains far more calories than what the average dog or cat needs. For example, 28g of cheese is the equivalent to eating one hamburger for a 15kg dog in human terms and one slice of salami for a cat is the equivalent to eating one packet of chips and 28g of cheese in human terms. Feeding table scraps also promotes begging and fussy eating habits.
Don’t leave food unattended or easily accessible: Pets can adopt sneaky tactics when you’re not looking and may be even more tempted whilst on a diet to find ways of getting at the food.
Opt for healthy, low calorie snacks: These healthy snacks should not compromise weight loss if given occasionally:
- ¼ cup of carrot (my pup loves carrots)
- ¼ cup of green beans
- ¼ apple (just remove the pips & core)
- ¼ rice cake
- ½ fat free wheat cracker
- ½ medium cucumber
- 1 stalk celery
Thanks Hill’s for enlightening me and helping me be a better pet mom.