This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Petcurean and all opinions are my own
Two months after I got married I surprised my husband and TOLD him we were going to pick up our Shih Tzu. Little could I have known that 16 years later this little Shih Tzu would have been my one constant for so many years. My Shih Tzu Mellie, who laid beside me as I could barely lift my pregnant body (both times) from my bed, who kissed away the tears when my father passed away and who for 16 years enriched my life in ways that are hard to articulate.
Growing up with Mellie, my daughter and son both learned so much about what it meant to care for and be responsible in every sense of the word for someone outside of themselves.
They both helped me feed her, always made sure she was comfortable in her bed, took turns getting up at 6:30 am each morning to take her out before she had an accident and tried to play with her, although as she advanced in age she preferred to curl up in their laps and be petted. Caring for a senior pet helped my two kids dig deep for extra sensitivity and love and as a mother watching them made my heart swell with happiness.
Observing them and their sensitivity towards her, I’ve come to realize that our Mellie ultimately gave us so much more than we could possibly ever have given her. And that kind of unconditional love – is not something you can teach a child UNLESS they have a pet in their lives. This is why I had to bring two other furbabies into our house, a Shih Tzu named Lazer who we rescued from a wonderful group called Louie’s Legacy and who my son refers to as his brother followed by another Shih Tzu named Ikey who we rescued from Divine Intervention Animal rescue.
I remember when we first rescued Lazer and we helped him get through his sterilization surgery which did not go so smoothly. I stayed up with him for three nights changing the dressings and comforting him. He got through that and has been healthy ever since. And we don’t know his exact age the guesstimate is that he is about eight years old and we want to do everything in our power to keep him around for a long time. Keep reading for my Five Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Youthful!
1) EXERCISE! Exercise is proven to lower stress, increase endorphins, and balance mood and emotions in people and dogs alike. In addition to helping your dog maintain a healthy weight and muscle mass and keeping her cardiovascular system in shape regular exercise will keep your dog healthy, active and engaged and that all adds up to more time with your furry BFF.We give Lazer plenty of exercise by taking him out every day for long walks; we play with him and take him to the park.
2) Good Nutrition is perhaps the most important thing we do for our dogs.GO! by Petcureanis the food we are using to keep our dogs healthy. Feeding your dog the right premium food can be the solution to many issues including allergies and sensitivities. GO! by Petcurean recipes are for pets who might be fussy about their food, it supplies a grain free or higher protein diet, and for those requiring a recipe with special proteins and less additives. There are no growth hormones, by products or preservatives.
Their recipe uses the highest quality, healthiest and most flavorful ingredients available, and their producers must meet or exceed Petcurean’s very stringent health, safety and quality criteria.
It’s important to slowly transition your pet to a new food so their system has a chance to adapt to the change. The transition period should be at minimum, ten days and could take upwards of two weeks, depending on your pet’s sensitivity to change. Our dogs are loving their GO! SENSITIVITY + SHINE™ Limited Ingredient Diet Duck recipe by Petcurean.
If your pet experiences any kind of digestive upset during this time, try slowing down the process. If you want a grain free or higher protein diet, or a recipe with unique proteins, or a limited number of ingredients check out Petcurean’s GO! food finder tool to find the recipe that works best for you and your furry BFF and be sure to use the $6 coupon offered there!
3) Dental hygiene is an often-overlooked aspect of pet care. Many of us, myself included, simply forget to brush our dogs’ teeth on a regular basis. Unfortunately, poor oral hygiene can lead to plaque, gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease, a bacterial infection of the mouth that has been linked to heart disease and organ damage in dogs. It’s not hard to keep your dog’s chompers in shape. Simply brush his teeth regularly, provide safe chew toys and dental treats and have the vet check his teeth at annual visits.
4) Visit the veterinarian at least once a year. Dogs and all pets need professional healthcare to maintain their optimal level of health. Take your pup to the vet once or twice a year for checkups and vaccinations. This gives your vet an opportunity to check for signs of common health concerns and head off any problems early.Common health issue indicators include; bad breath or drooling, changes in appetite, activity levels, or sleep patterns, breathing troubles or congestion, digestive issues and others. Also talk to your vet about common illnesses and symptoms for your dog’s breed.
5) Get your dog a playmate. Lazer has never been the only dog in our house– we have always had another dog to play with him. After our first dog Mellie passed we rescued Ike. And since then Lazer and Ike do everything together; they eat, sleep and keep each other company when we are not home. Ike really keeps Lazer occupied, he is about five years younger and he initiates their play together. I do believe Ike’s constant presence is helping Lazer stay youthful by constantly encouraging him to play.
And while my Mellie girl is no longer with us I know having had her and currently Lazer and Ike living among us has enriched my kids and imparted valuable lessons onto them in a way that no other responsibilities or textbooks possibly could. A dog doesn’t care what color hair you have, if you are wearing a designer shirt or if you wear glasses or contacts. They love you the same either way. That connection between a kid and their pet creates a bonding relationship that is based on pure love and not materialism.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Petcurean.