Your pet’s nutrition is crucial. Read about pet nutrition, what pet food & pet treats are good, what’s bad & what you need to know to make good decisions about your pet’s health & nutrition. The Pet Nutrition section has resources for further information about pet nutrition & diet, and will also include product reviews.Search pet product for further reviews.
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Archive for the ‘Pet Nutrition’ Category

Balanced Nutrition is Key to a Healthy Pet Diet

Posted on November 27th, 2013

Have you heard the phrase “a little will do a little good; a lot will do a lot of good?Hills Image 1 Post 5

Has this phrase ever been true for you? What about your pet?

It’s scary to think about what would happen if we didn’t get enough of a basic need for life such as water, or if we got too much of a basic need for life such as sodium. That’s why I’m going to talk with you about why “balance” is the ideal approach to a nutritious diet.

The best approach to just about everything in life is “balance” – work/life balance, and a balanced diet. Nutrients are essential to health for us and for our pets. We can control our diet choices, but our pets rely on us to choose for them.

So, what is precisely balanced nutrition and why is it so important?

Let’s look at key nutrients that your pet’s body needs to maintain good health and energy. Those nutrients are protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sounds, reasonable, right? But, what if any one of these nutrients is too high or too low (a little will do a little good; a lot will do a lot of good)?

Protein is a vital nutrient that helps support lean muscle tissue for adult pets. For growing puppies and kittens, protein nourishes growing muscle tissue. If a pet’s diet is too low in protein this could lead to poor growth. If a pet’s diet is too high in protein, this could increase the workload of the liver and kidneys to get rid of excess nitrogen. That’s because your pet’s body will only absorb a certain amount of protein – everything in excess must be processed by the liver and kidneys. You can see how over time this extra work could affect these organs.

Fats are very beneficial in your pet’s diet. Fats – in the appropriate levels – are excellent for healthy skin. Fats nourish the skin and make it soft. What’s more- fats help with a luxurious coat and contribute to shiny fur! We know what happens with too much fat: weight gain. But what if there isn’t enough fat? Potential for a dull, dry and flaky coat.Hills Image 2 Post 5

Vitamins and minerals are also essential in your pet’s diet. Vitamins support the immune system; minerals help puppies and kittens grow strong muscles and healthy teeth. If the vitamins levels are deficient, your pet could experience fatigue or weakness. If the vitamin levels are too high, this could lead to organ stress. If the minerals are too high, your pet could be at risk for bladder stones.

Fiber, we all love fiber! It’s great for healthy digestion, but if your pet’s diet is too low your pet could experience loose stools. Not good! How about too much fiber? Your pet could experience gas! Equally NOT GOOD!

So the moral to the story is “balance.” Each of these nutrients is critical to survival. For optimal health, choose a food for your pet that provides proven, perfectly balanced nutrition.

Balance is the reason that we choose to feed Franklin and Ramsey Hills® Ideal Balance™ Dog Food. It is chockfull of vital vitamins and equally crucial nutrients in perfectly proportioned amounts. Plus, the boys gobble it up like it’s going out of style.

If you want to know if you are feeding your cat or dog a healthy, properly balanced diet, check out the following pages:

-          Check here to see if your dog’s food contains properly balanced nutrition and see how to make a change if it doesn’t. You can also check this handy comparison tool for dog food.

-          Check here to see if your cat’s food contains properly balanced nutrition and see how to make a change if it doesn’t. You can also check this handy comparison tool for cat food.

 Important Takeaway Points:

-          Balanced nutrition is key to good health

-          Nutrient excess can lead to certain health conditions

-          Nutrient deficiency can also lead to certain health conditions

-          Good nutrition isn’t just about ingredients – it’s about the right balance of nutrients

-          As ingredient quality increases, so does a pet’s ability to absorb and use the nutrients for optimum health

 

 

All opinions in this article are those of the author. Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Pet Food Ingredients & Sourcing Important Points to Ponder as Pet Parent

Posted on November 2nd, 2013

As a pet parent, I’m always looking out for what’s best for my pet – the right toys, the right amount of playtime, the right bed, the perfect treat, etc. But when it came to finding the right natural pet food, I used to get a little overwhelmed to be honest. Not only are the aisles full of brands – all claiming to be the “best, ” – but I knew I needed to be extra cautious about what our dogs and cats get because of all of those recalls I’d read about. I wanted to feed her a natural pet food made by a company I could trust: a company whose products are manufactured right here in the USA and a company who cares about the safety and quality of their own pets’ food just as much as I do.Hills Ideal Balance Product Layout

I started doing some research to ease my confusion over finding the “right” food and my concern with the recalls and quality of ingredients from some pet food companies. I wanted to feed Franklin and Ramsey the Bassets (and Max, Tater Tot and Sasha, the kittehs) a natural food with high-quality ingredients like real meat, fruits and vegetables. I’d seen a commercial about a new natural pet food from Hill’s Pet Nutrition called Hill’s® Ideal Balance™, so I decided to check it out.

There was a lot of helpful information on the Hill’s website, plus the site was intriguing to say the very least. It let me compare Ideal Balance against other natural pet foods and even recommended the right food for my fur-baby boys and girls. Through my research, I learned that even in natural foods, it is important not to have too much or too little of key nutrients and that Hill’s Ideal Balance delivers natural ingredients in perfect balance for a pet’s overall health. I was also pleased to see that Ideal Balance dry, wet and treats have no corn, wheat or soy and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Plus you can choose from these amazing recipes:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult dog food

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult dog food

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult cat food

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult cat food

Because high-quality ingredients and safety were also of the utmost importance and continued to be top-of-mind, I continued to look into Hill’s, and I learned that all of Hill’s dry foods are manufactured locally, right here at home in the USA in their very own facilities.

dog and Ideal BalanceI was happy to find that Hill’s carefully chooses high-quality ingredients, most of which are sourced from the U.S., with all meat and poultry coming from USDA-inspected facilities.

*Ingredients sourced outside of the U.S. are monitored just as strictly as those from the U.S., and Hill’s has zero tolerance for Salmonella. In fact, they conduct more than 60 quality checks on every batch of food, every ingredient can be tracked by batch or ingredient, within 24 hours, and more than 1000 Salmonella tests are conducted every month.

Sasha, Tater Tot and Maxwell have been eating Ideal Balance natural cat food for a few months now, and as a pet parent, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. They all look fantastic and come running at mealtime! I don’t have to worry that what I’m feeding her might be unsafe to boot!

My conclusion? Well, there may not be a “best” pet food for everyone, but with Hill’s® Ideal Balance™, we sure have discovered the best one for our fur-family.

Ideal Balance has received tons of praise and great reviews; and the pet parents who feed it to their fur-babies say that their pets love the taste (even picky eaters). Check out these reviews on Facebook!

Points to Take Away from This Post:

  1. Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ is a choice natural pet food that provides perfectly balanced nutrition, guaranteed.

    Maxxy inhales his Ideal Balance nightly...

    Maxxy inhales his Ideal Balance nightly…

  2. Ideal Balance has no corn, wheat or soy.
  3. Ideal Balance is made with natural ingredients you can see right on the bag.
  4. Hill’s Pet Nutrition conducts more than 60 quality checks on every batch of food (I have been there and witnessed this thorough testing); every ingredient can be tracked by batch or ingredient, within 24 hours, and over 1,000 Salmonella tests are conducted in the facility every month.
  5. All Hill’s dry products are made in Hill’s-owned and –operated facilities – Made in the U.S.A.
  6. Hill’s has a standard that’s pretty strict = ZERO TOLERANCE SALMONELLA!

Check out the Ideal Balance website for great information about finding the right Ideal Balance food for your pet, compare for yourself how Ideal Balance stacks up against the competition, and be sure to take advantage of the “Try Me Free” rebate!

 

Author has been compensated for completion of this article and all opinions therein are those honest opinions and experiences of the ThoughtsFurPaws.com Administrator. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™: Pet Nutrition Doesn’t Have to be Complicated… it’s Natural Now!

Posted on October 18th, 2013

Hill’s® Pet Nutrition is big on helping your fur-babies stay healthy, as is evidenced by their numerous formulas made specifically for certain medical conditions, and now, by their nutrient-based Ideal Balance™ recipe, which is chock-full of veggies, meat and all the other good stuff your cat or dog needs to lead a life emphasized by balanced nutrition.

Since our cats started eating Hill’s Ideal Balance (Poached Salmon wet food recipe) they seem to show more energy (for sure), and have harder stools and more frequent urination. They have also been more tolerant of each other in the household (behaviorally I mean, i.e., sometimes Sasha doesn’t get along well with the two younger guys {Tate and Max} because she’s 13 and they are 3 and they chase her all over the place all the time). The chase sessions have nearly ceased in recent weeks.

We think this is all due to the fact that proper nutrition = happy kittehs. Balanced natural meals = full bellies & fewer behavioral issues.Hills kitty w IB

But we do wonder, and we often hear this from our furball-owning friends, “Is Natural Enough?”

Is Natural Enough?

In the desire to feed our pets natural foods, we first look at the ingredients. While ingredients are important, it’s what is IN the ingredients that matters. Really, ingredients are vehicles for nutrients.

Here’s what I mean. Ingredients are chicken, vegetables, fruits, etc. Nutrients are what your pet’s body absorbs from those ingredients. And as ingredient quality increases, so does a pet’s ability to absorb and use the nutrients from those ingredients. No single ingredient makes a food better or worse. Too much of one nutrient (like protein) or too little of another (like phosphorus) can be harmful to a pet’s health. A pet food is a sum of its parts.

IB badge logoSo, the goal is to make a pet food with quality ingredients that deliver nutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals balanced in the right proportions to provide optimal nutrition for your pet.

The interesting thing about this whole topic is the idea that feeding your pet what they would eat in the wild is better for them. Dogs and cats need protein in their diet to meet their requirements for essential amino acids. The amino acid requirement for cats is higher than for dogs. However, once those requirements are met, additional protein beyond what the pet can use for energy is excreted.

A dog’s or cat’s energy requirements can also be equally met by carbohydrates. Using carbohydrates rather than protein to meet energy requirements has the benefit of controlling the level of minerals or other nutrients to avoid excessive levels that are not optimal for a pet’s health.

Therefore, a diet with a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals from a variety of sources is ideal.

Comparing the food of dogs and cats in the wild to that fed to our pets misses the main point that optimum food in the wild is that which allows maximum reproduction as fast as possible.

So… the question is: Are there any natural dog or cat foods out there that have the ingredients you want PLUS the nutrients in the right balance?

Well, there may be others, but the new Hill’s® Ideal Balance® line of pet foods, as I mentioned before, is one that has surely caught my attention. In these foods, what you will find are natural ingredients that you want to feed your pet with 100% balanced nutrition. What makes me feel good about recommending this food is that Ideal Balance is a true natural pet food crafted by pet nutritionists who know how to perfectly balance natural ingredients for better health for your dog and cat.

See for yourself in this video featuring Hill’s Pet Nutritionist Kathy Gross, who chooses to feed Hill’s Ideal Balance to her own pets: dog video or cat video. Check out the Ideal Balance website for great information about finding the right Ideal Balance food for your pet, compare for yourself how Ideal Balance stacks up against the competition, and be sure to take advantage of the Try Me Free rebate!

Be sure to check out the following Ideal Balance formulas; click on them for more information.

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult dog food

 

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult dog food

 

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult cat food

 

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult cat food

 

The key takeaways here?

-          Balanced nutrition is the key to good pet health.

-          Nutrient excess can lead to certain pet health conditions

-          Nutrient deficiency can lead to certain pet health conditions.

-          Good nutrition isn’t just about ingredients – it’s about the right balance of nutrients.

-          “Creating a natural pet food is one thing. Creating a perfectly balanced one to Hill’s high standards is quite another.” – Kathy Gross, Hill’s Pet Nutritionist

-          Natural ingredients do not guarantee optimum nutrition, precisely balanced nutrients does.

-          Hill’s Ideal Balance is 100% balanced nutrition for your pets guaranteed or your money back.

 

*Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article. All opinions in this article are honest and belong solely to J.L. Smith, the Administrator and Author.

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Is Purr-fectly Pleasing: Gift Basket GIVEAWAY Announcement!

Posted on October 1st, 2013

Maxwell Endorses Purr-fectly Pleasing & Palatable Ideal Balance™ -ThoughtsFurPaws.com Offers FREE IDEAL BALANCE™ GIFT BASKET GIVEAWAY!

Imagine the sun starting to peek through the bedroom window. You’re fast asleep enjoying dreams of your cat purring and kneading, purring and kneading – no wait! Your cat IS purring and kneading, telling you, “Hey! It’s time for my breakfast!” This is Max EVERY morning…

Didn’t we grow up learning that breakfast is the most important meal of the day???

Well kittehs need breakfast too! Whether you’re getting ready for work or staying around the house for the day, it’s still breakfast time for your cat. Why not start the morning by serving your cat a nice, tasty dish of wet cat food? Measure her food and place in her dish, stir slightly, and serve! Your cat will rub your ankles and warm your toes!

Since cats are grazers by nature, you’ll want to leave a dish of her dry food for her so she can nibble throughout the day. You know the routine: nibble, bathe, sleep – nibble, bathe, sleep. Ah—the life of a cat…

If you’re at home during the day, you’re no doubt busy with activities, however kitty is constantly asking for attention. (I know Maxwell comes over and walks all over my laptop if I don’t pay enough attention to him while I’m writing… MOL.) Giving your cat treats throughout the day is sure to make her feel special, and you don’t feel guilty when you get busy.

Now, it is dusk, you’re walking through the door from work or winding up your day at home and it’s supper time! Your cat greets you, and often “talking” meow, meow, meow….”hello, it’s great to see you. I’m hungry!”

Sound familiar?Hills Ideal Balance Product Layout

Your kitty is not just saying she’s hungry for food; she’s hungry for your attention. Treat time! Have her treats in a convenient place so you can pat her on the head, hand her a tasty treat and all will be right in the world again.

Now it’s supper time. Mmmm, more of the wet food is a great appetizer! As you’re spooning her food, she’s smelling the aroma and twining through your feet purring anxiously. Refill her dry food dish for the evening nibbles and to help satisfy her hunger throughout the night.

Offering your cat complete and nutritious meals every day eases your mind and satisfies your cat.

Our friends at Hill’s® had you and your cat in mind when they created their line of cat foods. In the Hill’s tradition, making food that is nutritious is a core philosophy; quality (and safety first) is above all else. Hence, you will have peace of mind when feeding any Hill’s food and treats to your cat.

What’s more, feeding Ideal Balance™ brands of wet, dry and treats assures that your cat is getting complementary natural nutrition. Often times when pet food brands are mixed, it can throw off the perfect balance of natural nutrition that Ideal Balance so carefully provides. Plus, all Ideal Balance wet, dry and treats are made with NO corn, wheat or soy and NO artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Maxwell IBIdeal Balance is the trifecta of natural nutrition for your cat!

Here’s a great meal line up for your cat, or you can choose which Ideal Balance food you think your cat will love most!

Breakfast:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Roasted Turkey Recipe – Gourmet taste of turkey in a soft, smooth texture is a great way to start the day.

http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-feline-turkey-canned.html

Daytime Nibbles:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free Natural Chicken and Potato Recipe dry food- Delicious ingredients like chicken (the first ingredient), green peas, apples, cranberries, carrots & broccoli will make your cat happy while providing the nutrition that she needs.

http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-feline-adult-grain-free-chicken-and-potato-dry.html

Treats:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crunchy Naturals with Real Tuna – yummy, natural treats that are healthy too! Go ahead, give your cat these treats – we all love to be treated special!

http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-feline-crunchy-natural-w-tuna-treats.html

Supper:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Slow-Cooked Chicken Recipe – Food made with natural ingredients like real chicken and brown rice, carrots and greens in a delicious sauce says “comfort food” and “love”.

http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-feline-chicken-canned.html

Evening Nibbles:

Set out more of her Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free Natural Chicken and Potato Recipe dry food to keep kitty satisfied until the morning light. These are my suggestions but be creative with your meal offerings using all of the foods and treats from Ideal Balance. Here is a link to the entire menu!

http://www.hillspet.com/products/product-search-results.html?brand=Ideal+Balance&species=cat&condition=&x=17&y=4

NOW FOR THE FREE GIFT BASKET GIVEAWAY!!!

Twenty (20) lucky winners will receive a Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Gift Basket that includes the following (I will be choosing 10 dog winners and 10 cat winners):

IDEAL BALANCE DOG-THEMED BASKET:dog and Ideal Balance

  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult – 3.5 lb bag
  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ wet food – 6 cans
  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Treats – 2 bags variety
  • Dog bowl
  • Blanket

IDEAL BALANCE CAT-THEMED BASKET:

  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult – 2 lb bag
  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ wet food variety pack – 6 cans case
  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crunchy Naturals with Real Tuna
  • Cat bowl
  • Place mat

***TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY, please leave me a comment telling me why you think you should get a FREE GIFT BASKET of Hill’s Ideal Balance products. Please be specific and tell me what kind of pets you have and how many. Entries will be taken until Friday, October 12 at 6 pm EST. Winners will be notified via email so please leave your real email.***

 

* Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Announcing Hill’s® Ideal Balance, New Natural Pet Food from the Famous Food Formulators at Hill’s

Posted on September 13th, 2013

If you’ve been shopping at any pet food store recently, you might have seen something brand-spanking-new from my furball-loving friends at Hill’s Pet Nutrition…

So what is it? Well, the silhouette of a dog or cat against a burst of daybreak sunlight on the bag of this newest pet food is pretty hard to miss. In fact, this new pet food is so different from other natural products and even the company’s other pet food brands, you might not have realized it was from the expert pet nutritionists at Hill’s.IB badge logo

I’m talking about Hill’s® Ideal Balance™, the new, natural pet food recipes for dogs and cats.

There are plenty of natural pet foods on the market, but there’s something that sets this one apart – the natural ingredients in Ideal Balance provide perfectly balanced nutrition for your pet.

Early on – in the discovery and creation process, Hill’s sought substantial consumer input in order to understand exactly what pet parents wanted in a natural pet food. Ingredients like fresh fruits, veggies, and meat-based proteins were on the tops of all the lists, while ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy ranked lower. Hill’s listened to those consumers who stressed that they wanted more from their pet food than the same ingredients other brands offered — they wanted those ingredients in the correct proportions.

Taking this feedback into consideration, the experienced and animal-loving pet nutritionists at Hill’s created a recipe with a careful selection of high-quality, natural ingredients. They aimed to create pet food recipes with optimal levels of over 50 nutrients that actually taste good.

And I can aver that the pickiest cats in the world, Maxwell and Tater Tot, have given Ideal Balance 4-paws-up in the taste department. These guys devour this dry food like it’s going out of production or something….

Ideal Balance™ was formulated with not too much and not too little of the key ingredients that help promote your pet’s best health –key ingredients that actual consumers said they wanted.

Hill’s Ideal Balance provides perfectly balanced natural nutrition, guaranteed.

With 100% balanced nutrition guaranteed, your pet will love it, and will in turn love you for assessing and meeting his or her needs.

Once Hill’s had developed this breakthrough natural pet food, the next challenge became marketing it…

IB logoHow do you introduce a pet food that’s like nothing else on the market?

Hill’s, hence, took on the challenge of completely revitalizing the Ideal Balance packaging and in-store advertisements. Packaging research – also conducted with pet parents who purchase natural foods — demonstrated that the new Hill’s Ideal Balance is effective in communicating the main message of natural, balanced nutrition. It outperformed other natural brands in:

- standing out on the shelf

- looking unique

- being viewed as a high-quality product

The next step was to introduce the new Hill’s Ideal Balance to a national audience of pet parents. To highlight the natural blend of balanced nutrition in Ideal Balance, Hill’s flew to Warsaw, Poland, where, with the help of a skilled production and animation team, they created commercials set in a hyper-realistic world of balanced nutrition for cats and dogs. In separate commercials, we follow a dog and a cat as they discover the world of Ideal Balance. Along the way, they journey through the balanced elements that make up Ideal Balance: perfect proportions of what pets need to be healthy – not too much, not too little.

Hill’s has changed the “blueprint” for pet food marketing by creating something that feels interactive and textured. The commercials blend real, natural elements like grass and gravel with stylized landscape animations. Combined, the two layers work seamlessly with live-action footage of pets, putting the animal in the Ideal Balance world that showcases the food’s true potential. Much like the reinvention of Ideal Balance pet foods from the ground up, Hill’s managed to successfully reimagine how to communicate with consumers and give them what they want. Here’s a Behind the Scenes video that gives you a look into how the TV commercial was created. In fact, research measuring advertising effectiveness shows that the Ideal Balance TV advertising creates strong stopping power and engagement with consumers.Maxwell IB

Now that the food is on store shelves (Ideal Balance is currently available in the “Naturals” aisle in most pet food stores), it’s received TONS of positive reviews from pet parents.

“The dogs loved the food! And after talking to my vet about making the switch it was a no brainer” – Kristin, dog owner

“Our dog loves this so much we use kibbles for treats!” — Anne Marie, dog owner

“Our cats LOVED the food. I have never seen them devour something so quickly. I was very impressed with this product.” — Maya, cat owner

“My cat loves it! And the ingredient list makes me feel great feeding it to her. Good stuff.” — Cassandra, cat owner

Now that you know a little more about what went in to making this amazing new, natural pet food – go out and get some for your own family, and see the difference natural ingredients perfectly balanced can make! Hill’s website offers all sorts of information on the products, including where you can purchase them, online or in your neighborhood – and you can even try it free with the rebate offer!

If you’ve had an experience with Hill’s Ideal Balance, please share it in the comments section below.

If you’d like to be entered into a FREE GIVEAWAY for a bag of Hill’s Ideal Balance, please come back and visit the blog in approximately ten days for a giveaway announcement post.

And remember, stay tuned for more details and information on how Hill’s formulated Ideal Balance, consumer-tested it, and brought it to market.

 

Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article. Opinions in this article are completely my own – based on my own experiences.