I have always been a supporter of Purina. I trust their products and food, and I adore the people behind the company name. They truly appreciate pet parents and the fact that we want what’s best for our animals. I was able to spend some time with some of the friendly faces behind the Pro Plan name in May 2014 at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. The event made me love the company even more and I’ve continued to endorse it (by my own choice) ever since!
This year I had the opportunity to be a part of the Purina Better With Pets Summit in Brooklyn, NY. I was SO thrilled because, in my eyes, Purina is at the top of the “food chain” when it comes to pet companies. At the day long summit, Purina focused on exploring the best ideas for bringing people and pets closer together. It’s a dog mom’s dream!
Purina’s Better With Pets Summit brings together the brightest minds in pet science and culture to share how big, innovative ideas are improving the emotional wellness of pets and the people who love them.
Let’s face it – my generation (the Millenials) are having more pets than children. Also during this time, the Baby Boomer’s kids have all grown up, so they are getting pets as well. With this phenomenon comes advantages for dogs and cats all over. Pet parents like myself are really investigating how we can create the ideal life for our pets in terms of physical and emotional wellness. We all want to feed our dogs and cats a healthy, delicious food and keep their minds working so they don’t get bored or stressed. Purina is helping pet parents do this.
This year’s Purina Better With Pets Summit put a spotlight on the emotional wellness of pets and the people who love them. We got to listen to panels of experts discuss how our pets can help US to be healthy and how we can help them in return. As an animal rights advocate, it warms my heart when I hear experts educating others on good treatment of animals. Instead of leaving dogs chained up in a backyard or basement, we are integrating them into our families. Dogs and cats have mental and physical needs, just as humans do. Purina is exploring ideas for how we can support their needs.
My favorite panel discussion was “Stress, Our Pets and Us.” It featured Ragen McGowan, Heather Lewis and Tony Buffington. They talked about what causes our pets to be stressed and how it affects them. Another focus was how pet parents can manage stressors to enhance our pet’s well-being. Here are a few important notes I took from this panel:
- Cats like routine and things unchanged.
- Dog runs are not good. They encourage repetitive behavior, which in turn causes stress and boredom.
- Music and pastel colors are very calming for cats and dogs.
- Lighting makes a difference for animals’ stress. Avoid fluorescent lighting because it has non-spectrum peaks that can cause stress.
- Food puzzles are a great way to keep your dog’s mind working. They are one of the best enrichment tools.
I already knew about some of the points made in the discussion, but I learned a lot. Purina is working with experts to educate everyone on such important topics. Pet parents can spread the word and teach people what we learn. Our pets are living longer lives because we continue to improve the ways we reinforce a healthy lifestyle.
I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation by Dr. Arleigh Reynolds. He is currently the senior research scientist at Purina but he’s so much more than that. Dr. Reynolds has dedicated his life to studying the athleticism of dogs. He moved to Alaska to pursue his passion and during that time grew The Frank Attla Youth Program. It’s a phenomenal program and this video will bring happy tears to your eyes!
As part of the summit, Purina donated $50,000 to The Frank Attla Youth Program! One more reason to love the company! You can also get involved to help this amazing cause.
In my next blog post, learn more about ways we can give our furry friends a more lively existence! Join in on the conversation with #BetterWithPets!