WJTV News Channel 12 - Expert health tips for loving dog parents

Expert health tips for loving dog parents

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(ARA) - How Americans view the family pet has evolved over the years. Today, people are not content to merely be pet owners; instead they consider themselves to be "pet parents." The joy and unconditional love that pets bring have catapulted them into the realm of true family member and people are willing to do whatever it takes to provide their pets with the best.

A recent survey commissioned by Milo's Kitchen home-style dog treats, revealed that a whopping 81 percent of Americans consider their dogs to be equal members of the family and 77 percent talk to their pups as if they are a human family member.

It is clear that the role of dog parent is constantly shifting, with each generation allowing dogs to play a larger and more prominent role in family life. Wendy Diamond, a well-known pet expert and animal rescue advocate, agrees. Here she provides some insider tips about how to give the best-quality care to canine family members:

1. Plant with care
Warm weather months call us outdoors to plant landscaping. The yard or patio is also where pet parents spend a lot of time with their pup enjoying nice weather. When planting, it is important to take care to avoid plants that are toxic for dogs. Common plants that are poisonous if ingested by a dog include the following: a variety of lilies, aloe, buckwheat, daffodil, dahlia, hydrangea and some ferns. Also, avoid using cocoa mulch because the cacao bean shells contain theobromine, which is very dangerous if consumed by dogs and other pets.

2. Clean green
Pet parents love their pets, but it's likely that most four-legged friends don't have a place setting at the dinner table. Because dogs spend a lot of time on the floor both eating and relaxing, it's beneficial to take precautions by using nontoxic cleaners. The green cleaning movement is growing and it's probable that pet parents can find many great options at local retail stores. Looking at the labels is key; many will note if they are nontoxic for pets. Another option is homemade cleaners from common household ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, salt and lemon juice.

3. "Treat" them well
There are so many treat options for dogs, it's easy for pet parents to get confused about what is both healthy and tasty. One of the easiest ways to recognize a higher quality treat is to simply look at its appearance. Look for treats that look wholesome, with no artificial colors, flavors or fillers. Find treats that look like they are made with the same quality and care as we would choose for our own meals, like Milo's Kitchen home-style dog treats that are 100 percent real jerky, sausage slices and meatballs. Pups deserve treats that live up to the high standards families set for their own well-being.

4. Bond through exercise
Just like people need exercise, both for their physical and mental health, so do dogs. This could be a great excuse for dog parents and dogs to spend time exercising together. Walking and running with pups has always been popular, but the latest dog exercise trend is to spend time at specialized dog parks, which are available in many communities. Here, leash laws are relaxed and dogs can enjoy some time simply being themselves. This might even spark pet parent friendships and encourage other dog lovers to start meeting for regular doggy play dates.

5. Don't fear the vet
Regular vet visits are important for maintaining good pet health, but too often these are dreaded by both dogs and their pet parents. Annual visits to the veterinarian provide necessary insight into pets' health and development. Regular veterinary visits also give parents the opportunity to ask questions and receive expert feedback. From advice on vitamins and medicine, to age-related physical and behavioral concerns, a vet is there to help pet parents make solid choices when it comes to their pets' well-being. Plus regular visits can help ensure dogs live long lives as active members of the family.

When dog parents love their dog like family, it is imperative to provide only the best care. These expert tips will help Fido to live a long, healthy life.

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