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Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite family members, our dog Pepper. I’ve had Pepper since the day she was born! She was one of Sugar’s puppies and was born the summer between my senior year of college and my masters degree. Pepper has always been one of my running buddies. She trained with me when I did my half marathon two years ago and ran 10 miles like a champ! She’s always excited anytime I put on my sneakers or walk anywhere near her leash!
Pepper is a pretty nervous dog and isn’t very interested in other dogs or people. She’s always stuck extra close to me. But, we have been working on her anxiety more and more, taking her out in social settings and just having her out in public more. She is really starting to catch on that not everyone is scary! She has even taken a liking to the cats, which is a surprise to me and Dave considering she chases squirrels (and birds) like it’s her job.
Purina recently came out with a new product line, Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind. It’s specially formulated for adult dogs ages 7+ to help with cognitive awareness . Since I’m always talking about how healthy foods help nourish the body and how changes are occurring in Pepper as she gets older, I thought it was a no-brainer!
Did you know that:
- According to experts at Purina Pro Plan, around age seven, the glucose metabolism in a dog’s brain begins to change, which can affect memory, learning, awareness or decision making. Purina Pro Plan discovered a way to promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs 7+ through nutrition and has introduced BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ formulas.
- Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind contains enhanced botanical oils shown to promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs seven and older with visible results within 30 days.
Once I heard that Pepper could possibly increase her cognitive awareness with visible results within 30 days after eating Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind dog food, I thought we should give it a try and Pepper agreed. After all, who wouldn’t want to do everything they can to help their dog keep a quick and agile mind! The old saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but Pepper continues to defy this logic! She recently learned high five (vs. shake) and she’s learning how to roll over; for treats of course, only when there are treats involved! She’s so much like me 🙂
When we started to transition Pepper over to a new dog food, I discovered that this can be quite a process sometimes. Especially if your dog has a sensitive stomach or tends to be on the pickier side. But this transition process is well worth the effort when the goal is to help your dog stay healthy and aware.
Although these tips are specifically about transitioning Pepper over to her new dog food, these tips also hold true for most people as well. Anytime you want to have someone in the family, transition over to a healthier diet, using this strategy can make all the difference.
First, it’s important to make the family member feel involved in the process. When we decided to switch Pepper over to the new Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind, which is made for older dogs to help keep their minds in tip top shape. We decided to take Pepper with us to Petsmart to get Purina Bright Mind. We have been working with her to help her with her doggie anxiety. She loves riding in the car, so we knew that she would really enjoy this trip. I know Pepper enjoyed every moment of her shopping experience and she even let a few people at PetSmart pet her head! This was huge for Pepper and I was over the moon excited for her positive vibes from the entire trip!
Second, make the process gradual. Once we got Pepper’s food we slowly integrated the new food in with her old food. There quite a few reasons why it’s recommend to slowly mix the old food with the new food, especially when you change brands. Your dog may not tolerate the new food well. Since most dogs eat the same food everyday, a change in their food can create distress to their system, which may cause your pet to have an upset stomach if you transition food too quickly. I found out first hand from my Dad’s dogs that some pets plain refuses to touch new food. My dad’s dogs are the pickiest eaters ever and because of that he’s had to get creative when it comes to switching out dog food. He actually taught me the next tip I’m going to share with you!
Trick them with treats! My dad taught me this lesson and it works like a charm! Anytime he has to switch over his picky dogs to a new food, my dad has to be sneaky and trick his dogs into trying the new food. How does he do this, well with gravy! And it works like a charm. This way the dogs stomachs are adjusting to the new food and he can gradually add less and less gravy to the food until they are happy eating the food just the way it’s made. I used eggs, which are Pepper’s favorite food in the world! And let me tell you it’s a great trick, thanks Dad!
My last tip is to be patient! This might be the most difficult of the strategies. Sometimes Pepper won’t touch new food for a few days. She will literally eat around the new dog food. Pepper’s mom Sugar would literally move the new food out of the way with her nose. I tell you dogs are smart cookies! Pepper will do anything for a treat, and sometimes I think she knows that she can get a treat out of me if she doesn’t eat the new food right away. Sometimes I give in, but often I just practice patience!
Pepper has been loving her Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind dog food. She’s still working on her new trick, which is rolling over, but at 8 years old, I have to say I’m always suprised at how smart she is. I hope that she will still be up for a few more years as my running buddy, although for her sake and mine, I think those long 10 mile runs are going to be nice leisurely walks and we will work on teaching her some new tricks instead!
What about you?
- Do you have an adult dog?
- Do you run with your dogs?