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Health Essentials for a Happy Pet

11/03/2014 03:44AM ● By Family Features
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With wagging tails and bright eyes, pets offer up a wealth of benefits to their owners. Keeping your four-legged friends active, energetic and at their best begins with providing essential nutrients, which can quickly result in changes you can see.

Visible differences
Introducing  a nutritionally complete diet that provides essential nutrients can  bring about a visible difference in your dog’s behavior in as little as a week, while overall changes may be more apparent after 28 days on the new food. Some signs to watch for include:

  • Energy (day 7+): An optimal blend of ingredients provides the energy your dog needs. One telltale sign of ample energy is that your dog is active and eager when you see him during the day. He may also show interest in playing longer and demonstrate greater enjoyment with your activities.
  • Digestibility (day 14+): High digestibility means your dog's body is able to use a large percentage of his food, maximizing the absorption of nutrients though his digestive system. That means he may produce less solid waste – in other words, he may have smaller, firmer stools.
  • Skin and Coat (day 21+): At the three-week mark, your dog's coat and skin may be showing the benefits of the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. A shiny, healthy coat; smooth and elastic skin; and hair that is glossy and rich in color, are all signs your dog is getting the support he needs in his food.
  • Bright eyes (day 21+): When a dog gets the vitamins he needs to help support eye health, his eyes look bright and are, for the most part, clear of discharge, with clean lashes and eyelids.
  • Dental health (day 28+): After 28 days, your dog should show signs of good dental health. Healthy teeth look mostly white or off-white; healthy gums that range in color from black to pink with a clean, smooth surface; and fresher, better-smelling breath.

Balanced and complete
The foundation of a complete and balanced diet is providing the right proportions of nutrients from seven required groups including water, protein, fat, carbohydrate, minerals, vitamins and energy. You can help support your dog’s overall health by providing fresh, clean water and choosing a pet food that has an optimal balance of nutrients for their age.  One brand of pet food formulas, Purina ONE SMARTBLEND, was carefully developed by nutritionists and food scientists to provide 100 percent complete and balanced nutrition for each life stage. These dry dog food formulas offer benefits like meat, poultry or fish as the first ingredient along with other high quality protein sources to help support strong muscles including a healthy heart.  They also provide levels of vitamins E and A which help promote bright eyes, a window to your dog’s health. These formulas also provide essential omega-6 fatty acids including linoleic acid, along with other vitamins and minerals to help give your dog a shiny coat and healthy skin. Wholesome sources of carbohydrate and fat help provide the healthy energy to fuel your dog’s activities with you.

Promoting good nutrition everywhere
To demonstrate the visible difference great nutrition can make in the lives of pets, Purina ONE looked to a dog-friendly community to kick-off the Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge. To see what happened when dog owners from Asheville, North Carolina switched to the brand’s formula for 28 days and hear personal stories and experiences on video, visit

Sponsored by Purina ONE