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

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 Administrator. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

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Give a Pet a Forever Home for the Holidays at PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Weekend, November 15-17

The holidays remind us of the things we’re thankful for, and for those with adopted pets, their furry friends top that list. Thousands of deserving pets are waiting for you at the PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend, Nov. 15-17 at your neighborhood PetSmart® store.PSC logo

Thousands of local animal welfare groups will have adorable and adoptable pets at all 1,300 PetSmart stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. They can help you find your perfect match, whether it’s a dog, cat, puppy, kitten, mixed-breed or purebred.

Nonprofit PetSmart Charities depends on donations to offer special events like this one. A donation of just $25 helps save a pet’s life through adoption. You can donate online, by email at or via phone at 1-800-745-9460.

“We’re so thankful for the joy that an adopted pet brings to our lives, but we know that not everyone is able to adopt,” said Jan Wilkins, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. “You can celebrate saving a pet’s life with a donation that will help fund adoption events like this, which play a huge role in PetSmart Charities finding homes for more than 400,000 pets every year.”

PetSmart Charities will also reward all participating local adoption partners; each will receive $35 in adoption-reward grants for every pet adopted during the event. PetSmart, Inc., Purina® Pro Plan® and Tidy Cats® (MAXX Scoop® in Canada) are proud sponsors of National Adoption Weekend.

Lucky puppies go home fur-ever...

Lucky puppies go home fur-ever…

“We are proud to partner with PetSmart Charities to find lifelong, loving homes for thousands of pets this National Adoption Weekend,” said David Lenhardt, chief executive officer, PetSmart. “At PetSmart, we believe pets make us better people, and events such as this are the first step in creating that meaningful connection.”

How to Adopt

Visit the PetSmart Charities’ adoption center inside any PetSmart store in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17.

To find the PetSmart store nearest you, visit or call 1-877-473-8762.

Join the Conversation

Follow PetSmart Charities and PetSmart on Facebook at and Or, talk with us on Twitter at and and by following the hashtag #adoptlove.

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that saves the lives of homeless pets. More than 400,000 dogs and cats find homes each year through our adoption program in all PetSmart® stores and our sponsored adoption events. PetSmart Charities grants more money to directly help pets in need than any other animal welfare group in North America, with a focus on funding spay/neuter services that help communities solve pet overpopulation. PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization, separate from PetSmart, Inc.


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Protecting Your Pet with PetPlan; PetPlan Veterinary Awards

Posted on October 30th, 2013 in Pet Insurance

Over time, a pet really does become a member of the family. They make a house into a home, giving you love and affection when you feel down, a companion when you’re alone, and a playmate when you just want to have fun.

Once you’ve had a true family pet, a home just doesn’t feel right without one.PetPlan I

When a family member gets ill or is injured, it can cause a huge amount of heartache and worry. The ailments of a loved pet can put similar stresses on you and the rest of the family. It is often as if you are sharing their sufferings, and unlike a human being, they won’t necessarily understand your soothing words of sympathy.

Given all of that, we should be thanking our lucky stars that we have vets, people who can nurse our pets back to health and give them a new lease of life. However, we don’t always get the chance to show our gratitude.

Petplan’s 2013 Veterinary Awards gave us a chance to recognise and reward those hard-working people who help us to keep our families intact and they’ll be doing the same for 2014. These people dedicate their lives to helping the nation’s animals and deserve to hear just what a great job they’re doing. PetPlan II

Going into its 15th year, the 2014 awards are broken down into five categories:

  • Practice of the Year
  • Vet of the Year
  • Vet Nurse of the Year
  • Practice Manager of the Year
  • Practice Support Staff of the Year

To nominate for the vet awards nominations for this year, simply take a look at the Petplan website. You can nominate your local veterinary practice or a particular individual within it, backed up by any reason you might care to name with specific examples listed if possible.

The awards will be decided by a panel of judges from the veterinary world, including previous winners. Each judge will have a wealth of experience in the industry and is perfectly placed to decide which people are deserving of an award.

If your vet has made a difference to your pet and your family, let them know… Nominate today right here!

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The Ins and Outs of Pet Insurance

Posted on October 23rd, 2013 in Pet Information, Pet Insurance

Today, veterinarians can offer pets the type of high-quality care that was previously only available to humans. This care, however, comes at a cost. Just one accident or serious illness can easily result in veterinary charges ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, and the cost of care is rising each year. In fact, the American Pet Products Association estimates that Americans spent $13.67 billion on veterinary care in 2012 and will spend $14.21 billion in 2013. Due to these rapidly rising veterinary costs, many responsible owners are turning to pet health insurance to help protect their pets and their wallets. All insurance plans, however, are not the same. If you are considering buying pet insurance, such as PetPremium Pet Insurance, you need to educate yourself about coverage options, costs and claims before you choose an insurance company or plan.


Knowing exactly what is covered by your policy can prevent unpleasant surprises. Some important things to look for when comparing policies include the following:

  •       Each policy’s waiting period and definition of pre-existing problems.
  •       Whether or not hereditary, genetic and congenital conditions, such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy and luxating patellae, are covered.
  •       Coverage terms for chronic ailments.
  •       Specifically excluded procedures.
  •       Included procedures and tests.
  •       Coverage for preventative medicine.
  •       Coverage for dental issues.
  •       Ages and breeds covered.
  •       Whether or not you can choose your own doctor.
  •       Whether or not you need preauthorization for care.
  •       Requirements, such as obtaining annual wellness exams, for maintaining coverage.


Most pet insurance plans are reimbursement plans. This means that you pay your veterinarian for treating your pet, and the insurance company reimburses you for the amount covered under your plan’s terms.


Monthly Premiums

The monthly premium is the number most consumers think about when they consider the cost of an insurance plan. Your premium depends on a number of factors including the amount of coverage you require, your location, the age of your pet, whether the animal is a cat or a dog and your pet’s breed. In general, purebred pets are more expensive to insure than mixed breeds, and dogs are more expensive to insure than cats. Also, older pets are more expensive to insure than younger animals.


The deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for paying before your insurance company begins bearing the cost of your pet’s care. Some policies require you to pay your deductible for each incident while others have yearly deductibles. Companies usually charge lower monthly fees for plans with larger deductibles.


Some plans require copayments. Your copayment is the amount you pay for each visit to your veterinarian or for each claim. This payment can be a percentage of the cost of the procedure or a set fee.


Before choosing a policy, you should investigate the limits of the coverage it provides. Some policies have a maximum amount they cover per year, per incident and per illness.

Other Fees and Costs

Some plans require enrollment fees, and others charge additional fees for added benefits like wellness and dental care. Make sure you understand all required fees before deciding on a plan.


In addition to considering fees and charges, you should investigate possible discounts. By taking advantage of discounts, you may be able to afford more complete coverage for your pets.


Editor Rinske de Vos, Social Media Manager of PetPremium

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Ari Crosses the Rainbow Bridge

Dear sweet Ari crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday morning. His “people” are beside themselves with grief as all of us pet-lovers are when we lose that fur-kid we love so much; that Ari Foreverchild who we’ve invested so much in; that devoted best friend that’s been by our side for so many years.


Ari Busy BoneAri was a beautiful Golden Retriever who lived a happy life. He enjoyed taking walks or jogs with his Mom, my friend Kelly, and loved to snuggle with Dad Jeff, too.



Ari was a great watchdog. Every time he saw a squirrel I could hear him bark! I think he was quite a bit like our Benson and often barked when unnecesary – at leaves, people passing by or out in their yards, etc., which just made him all the more lovable. It will be weird to go outside in the backyard and not hear that hoarse albeit loving and familiar bark coming from Ari’s yard. It will be strange to go visit Kelly to talk fashion and pets and not hear about Ari’s latest misadventures.


Ari was living the senior-pooch life, taking only small strolls a few houses down the street, and oftentimes reclining on his new dog bed that his parents would put outside for him so he could enjoy it outside, too!


Ari was one of the sweetest of the sweet, a typical Golden if you ask me. Loyal, a best friend, a companion, someone to talk to, someone to play with, someone to tell about your day. Please say a prayer for Kelly and Jeff and send some sweet kisses up to Ari in Heaven all. I sure would appreciate it.


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