Health Benefits of Having A Pet

  Nothing beats the happiness of coming home to a loving four-legged companion after having a long, tough day and no one can understand this better than a pet parent A furry ball jumping on you as soon as you walk through the door can make you forget about your worries and stress, isn't it? Ah, and not just stress and worries, pets provide a myriad of other health benefits to humans. In this article, we will discuss about the health benefits of having a pet.

How Pets Can Improve Your Health

Most people are aware of the happiness and joys that pets bring into our lives, but not everyone is clear about their health benefits. Research has proved that owning a pet can work wonders for improving your physical as well as mental health.

Benefits Of Pets On Your Physical Health:

People who have pets are less likely to suffer from high blood pressure as pets help maintain the systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Pets help lower the triglyceride and cholesterol levels and hence, prevent cardiac diseases.

Having a pet can reduce the chances of strokes and heart attacks.

Pets also encourage exercise and help you stay in shape to prevent obesity, hence preventing obesity-related disorders.

People who have a pet in their house are found to have stronger immunity than those who don't have one.

Therapeutic pets help in pain management and aid in the recovery of critical patients in the hospital.

Owning a dog reduces one's risk of premature death by up to 70%.

Most people are found to make better lifestyle changes after adopting a pet.

Benefits Of Pets On Your Mental Health:

Pets keep stress, anxiety and depression at bay.

Spending time with pets can elevate dopamine and serotonin transmitters, which are known to have calming and pleasurable properties.

According to research, interaction with dogs boosts a "love hormone" called oxytocin. Oxytocin is a "feel-good" hormone responsible for social bonding, which improves our psychological wellbeing as we become more social.

Humans have the basic need for touch and a pet can fulfill this need on a daily basis. Snuggling, hugging and touching your furry friend every day can make you feel needed and wanted.

Most large dogs require a good amount of exercise, and such active dogs keep you moving, as you have to take them out for walks, exercise and strolls. These workouts substantially boost your mood.

Having a pet encourages you to have a healthy lifestyle, which helps reduce the symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder and other mental disorders.

Therapy dogs can improve the mental wellbeing of people going through cancer therapies or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Having a pet at home can ease loneliness, especially if you live alone (and oh, they can also help you get dates!).

"All kinds of pets are equally advantageous for your health."

Pets, especially dogs and cats, can help people live happier and healthier lives with their charming and loving personalities. But remember, any pet can be equally beneficial for your health. A rabbit could be an ideal pet for you if you have limited space, whereas birds can keep the environment of your house lively. Watching an aquarium full of fish can help you sharpen your concentration and lower your pulse rate, while horses, snakes, lizards and other exotic reptiles call for fancy pets.

Benefits of Pets for Senior Citizens

There is no second thought to the fact that growing older can bring along loneliness. Family and friends move out and the old-age problems start kicking in. It becomes difficult to go out often, and a sense of being cooped up in the house develops. This is when our guardian angels come to the rescue. Pets are the most reliable source of comfort and companionship and can benefit seniors in countless ways.

According to a survey, 65% of the elderly don't feel depressed and lonely when they are with pets, as they provide a great deal of companionship.

Most senior citizens are reluctant to exercise and go out for walks due to their health problems, but having a pet encourages them to take their furry companions out, which ultimately helps them stay active.

Seniors love to take care of their children and grandchildren, but time flies quickly and eventually they end up being alone. Caring for a pet can be very satisfying and can help regain that sense of nurturance.

According to research, interacting with pets can lower cortisol, a stress hormone. Low cortisol levels are found to be associated with low blood pressure and may aid in stress relief.

Elders with conditions like Alzheimer's disease or dementia are found to suffer from less anxiety outbursts and reduced agitation and behavior issues when around pets.

Which pets are the best for senior citizens?

Although the pet that matches best with a senior's personality is best for them, consider the following questions before getting a pet for an elderly person.

What is the living situation of the senior citizen? Independent or assisted living?

What are the financial conditions? Are there any financial limitations?

Is the senior active? Do their activity levels match with that of the pet?

Whatever type of pet a senior can accommodate and afford, the benefits to the owner's physical and mental well-being are numerous and far transcend any effort required to care for them. Furthermore, if you are looking for a pet for an elderly person, do not overlook senior pets, as these pets have already left their hyperactive, destructive phase behind and are much calmer and laidback, making them the best option to consider.

Benefits of Pets for Children

Like adults, children also reap many benefits from having a pet. Children who grow up in a household that owns a pet grow up more secure, active and empathetic. According to research, parents who own a pet can raise emotionally intelligent children as compared to those parents who don't have pets. Here are a few more reasons why you should bring a pet home for your child.

Kids that grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies and asthma.

Feeding and caring for a pet teaches responsibility to the kids.

Having a loyal and loving pet can make a child feel important and help them develop a positive image.

Children get emotionally attached to their pets, which helps them to build better relationships in the future.

Pets can help calm down aggressive and hyperactive children.

Kids with pets get to go out more often on a daily basis (for walks, runs). This ultimately renders many health benefits and keeps children fit.

Pets teach important life lessons to kids, including reproduction, birth, illnesses, accidents, death, and bereavement.

Having a pet at home can help children cope with separation anxiety, especially in the case of working parents.

Pets can benefit children with learning disabilities in learning how to manage tension and calm down, allowing them to better cope with the challenges of their disorder.

Kids with autism or other cognitive disabilities can do better off with pets as they communicate with non-verbal cues.

According to research, children whose mothers spent time around dogs during pregnancy are at a lower risk of developing eczema.

Which pets are the best for children?

While there are no golden rules when it comes to choosing a pet for your child, you should consider the following questions before you embark on bringing a new pet to your house.

Would you be able to spare enough time for your kid and the pet both?

What are your financial conditions?

Is your kid showing genuine interest in adopting a pet?

Pet ownership can be a chance for kids to learn responsibility, dependability, friendship, love and other valuable life lessons that are important to live a meaningful life.

Benefits of Pets for People with Disabilities

Assistance and service animals are a boon for people with disabilities. They can do much more help than you may have imagined. These service animals are extensively trained to help people with disabilities in living a better life.

Which pets are the best for people with disabilities?

Hearing Dogs

Dogs that have an acute sense of hearing can assist people who are dead or have hearing disabilities. Hearing dogs are well-trained to identify the sounds of family members, telephone rings, doorbells, smoke alarms, alarm clocks, etc. to guide their owners. They can even lead you to the source of the sounds.

Guide Animals

Guide animals are an excellent form of support for blind or partially blind people. They can navigate their handlers on their way to home or work, save them from potential hazards, and can safely help them go about their day-to-day activities.

Service Animals

Service animals can help people with autism, mental disorders, or other physical disabilities get through their routine lives. Such animals can assist them in everyday tasks like opening and closing doors or fetching medicines. They can even help their handlers by making sounds or informing others in case of emergencies like seizures or injury.

Adopting a Pet Is a Lifetime Commitment­-Check If You're Really Up For It:

After walking through all the benefits our pets can offer, one can easily get wrapped up in the idea of owning one. However, it is imperative to understand that adopting a pet is a major commitment.

If you are not someone who likes pets, merely owning one will not miraculously cure your health issues. Having a pet will only be rewarding and reassuring to those who love and appreciate animals and can invest time, money and emotions to keep their pets happy and healthy.

And, even if you are a "pet-person", it is essential to consider the responsibilities that entails. Consider the following things while you plan on adopting a pet.

Are you ready to spend enough money?

Owning a pet will cost you regular food bills, vet bills, vaccination costs, maintenance costs, licenses, grooming, pet care essentials and what not. If you have a limited income, these expenses might take a toll on you.

Can you spare adequate time and attention?

Pets require a lot of attention and care. You can't just bring one home and leave it alone In order to keep pets calm, happy and healthy, it is essential to give them ample time and attention.

Is your accommodation stable?

Do you have any plans to shift to another state or country in a year or two? Or in the next five years? Would you be able to take your pet along with you? Owning a pet is a lifetime responsibility and hence, you must consider these questions before getting a pet.

Can you manage to care for a pet on a daily basis?

As mentioned earlier, you need to spare enough time in your day-to-day life to take proper care of a pet. If you are a working professional, it will be difficult for you to look after your pet's feeding and exercise schedules. You should only own a pet if you or someone else can care for it, or unless the pet suffers from conditions such as depression or obesity.

Does its personality suit your lifestyle?

Your pet should match your personality and lifestyle. If you are an avid traveller and you spend most of your time hiking and travelling, a Chihuahua or a rabbit might not be able to accompany you. On the contrary, active and energetic dogs like Rottweiler or German shepherds won't do well if you live in a small studio apartment.

Will you deal with your pet's behavioral issues?

Every pet tends to have behavioral issues at some point in their lives, so it is crucial to consider whether you can deal with them. Your puppy may end up chewing your brand-new Gucci bag, or your cat may spoil your couch by peeing outside the litter box. Ask yourself if you can really let it go if your pet overwhelms you with his behavioral issues.

Before rushing into adoption, ask these questions to yourself. You will be ready to welcome a new furry friend into your house only when your answers are affirmative!

Not ready to own a pet yet? Here's what you can do...

If you think you are not ready to commit to this lifelong responsibility, there are still ways you can enrich your life with pets and can reap their benefits to enhance your health and happiness.

If you really want to be around pets, you can spend a day in a shelter home every week, or volunteer with the animal rescue organizations. Most rescue homes welcome such volunteers to help them take care of the rescued animals. You can also enroll in volunteer work at the animal adoption events organized by them. Or, you can ask to walk your neighbour's dog or to feed your friend's cat once in a while.

Fostering a homeless pet until it finds its permanent home is also a good alternative to keeping a pet for few days without making any major commitments. Or, you can also be open to "pet-sitting" and looking after your friend's pet when they're out of town!

Do you choose canned food or dry food? What brand? There are so many different brands, all shapes and sizes of pet food to choose from and pet owners are provided with very little information to base your decisions on (other than advertising) - it can get so confusing! Well, buckle your seatbelt depending on how much you know of the pet food industry, this could be a bumpy ride! You are about to learn seven secrets - well kept secrets - of pet food. Sit back, brace yourself, and keep reading.

Beneful says it's 'Premium Dog Food for a Happy, Healthy Dog' and sells for around $18.00 for a 31 lb. bag, Science Diet "promises" 'precisely balanced nutrition through continuous research and the highest quality food backed by your Vets endorsement' and sells for around $21.00 for only a 20 lb bag. Then there are numerous pet foods that make the very same statements - 'Premium Dog Food, Highest Quality' - that sell for $30.00 or more for a 20 lb bag. And the same holds true for cat owners...Do you choose Whiskas that states 'Everything we do is about making cats happy!' or do you choose one of those high end cat foods that make the very same claim of a happy, healthy cat but cost 3 times as much?

Now with the on-going pet food recall pet owners have questions such as 'Has this food been recalled?' or 'Is this food the next one to be recalled?'...'Is my pet safe?' Wow this is confusing! And scary too! What exactly is a pet owner to do? How about learning a few secrets! Equipped with the knowledge of a few secrets of pet food, it's not nearly as confusing.

Secret #1...

All pet foods use descriptive words like choice and premium, though few of them actually use premium or choice ingredients in their food. The 'secret' is that per the rules of the pet food industry, no pet food can make any claims or references on their label or advertising as to the quality or grade of ingredients. You see, the word 'premium' when it's related to pet food DOES NOT mean that the ingredients in the food are premium. With pet foods, premium does not (can not) describe the food nor does it (can it) describe the quality of the food. It is a marketing term and that is all. Per the pet food industries own rules and regulations, "There are no references to ingredient quality or grade" (regulation PF5 d 3). So, words like premium, or choice, or quality are just marketing or sales terms. They should not be interpreted as terms describing the quality of the food.

Now why wouldn't a pet food label be allowed to tell a prospective customer the quality of their ingredients? Doesn't a pet owner deserve to know what they are buying? This leads me to the next secret...


If I can compare 'people' food to pet food for just a second, we all know there are different qualities of people food. There is White Castle (I'm guilty here, I love the little guys!) and there is Outback Steak House (another favorite). Both restaurants serve meat and potatoes. At White Castle for under $3.00 you can get a couple of hamburgers and an order of fries. While at Outback you can get a steak and baked potato for around $16.00. Both serve beef and potato - yet you already realize that there are huge nutritional differences between a fast food hamburger and a steak...right?

The problem in the pet food industry - is that most pet owners don't think in the same terms when it comes to pet food. They don't think in terms that there are fast food types of pet foods and there are sit down restaurant more nutritious types of pet foods. In fact, several years ago a young man tried this very experiment with his own diet - eating nothing but fast food for 30 days. In just one month of eating fast food three meals a day, he gained a great deal of weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels sky-rocketed. Now, imagine your pet eating this type of food its' entire lifetime.

OK, so back to our two meals...if a chemical analysis of your meal at White Castle was compared to a chemical analysis of your meal at Outback - both would analyze with a percentage of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Regardless whether you consider a steak at Outback a higher quality of protein than the burger - it would still analyze as protein. The analysis doesn't measure quality of protein.

So here is the secret...All pet foods come with a Guaranteed Analysis stating the percentage of protein, fat, fiber and moisture in the food. The REAL secret lies in the quality of the percentages of protein, fat, and so on.

In a chemical analysis of a pet food - chicken feet would analyze as protein, although granted it provides very little nutrition. And as well, a cow that was euthanized (put to sleep) because of a disease that made it unfit for human consumption - would analyze as protein although that could be considered dangerous for consumption. Both of those things - chicken feet and a euthanized cow - are allowable ingredients and commonly used in pet food. You see the secret within the pet food industry is manufacturers have a WIDE OPEN door to where they obtain their ingredients. The only strict rule they must follow is an adult dog food must analyze with 18% protein and an adult cat food must analyze with 26% protein. Sources to acquire those particular percentages range from a 'human grade' meat, to chicken feet, to euthanized animals, to grain proteins, to even man made chemical proteins and many variations in between.

Pet food labels do not have to tell - are not allowed to tell - the sources they use to obtain that required 18% or 26% protein. And to make matters worse...quality minded pet food manufacturers - the companies that use 100% human grade ingredients - are not allowed to tell customers or potential customers that their products are quality, human grade ingredients.

So how can you know if your pet's food uses chicken feet or euthanized cows or if it contains human grade ingredients?

Secret #3...

If the words premium and choice mean basically nothing with regards to the quality of pet food, and if some pet foods use chicken feet and euthanized animals in their food - how can a pet owner know what they are getting in their pets' food?

This big secret is found in ingredient definitions. Unlike 'people' food where you can pretty much look at the food to determine the quality, pet food is far different. All 'people' food must meet particular USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines. The same is not true for pet food. Chicken feet and euthanized cows are NOT allowed in people food for obvious reasons - they have no nutritional value or they could be dangerous to consume. The same is NOT true for pet food. The only way to know if those chicken feet or euthanized cows are in your pet's food is to know what ingredients they can be used in.

The common pet food ingredient 'Meat and Bone Meal' is basically a combination of many different discarded left-overs from the human food industry. Components of 'meat and bone meal' can be anything from cow heads, stomachs, and intestines, to (horrifying but true) euthanized animals including cows, horses and dogs and cats from veterinarian offices, animal shelters, and farms. And along with those euthanized animals the pet food also contains the drug pentabarbitol that was used to euthanize the animal. 'Meat and bone meal' can also contain left-over restaurant grease, and diseased (including cancerous) meat tissues cut away from slaughtered animals. In other words, this commonly used ingredient is a mix of highly inferior and potentially dangerous left-overs from the human food industry.

The pet food ingredient 'Meat By-Product' or 'Meat By-Product Meal' is pretty much the same thing as 'meat and bone meal'. It is a highly inferior pet food ingredient containing literally who-knows-what.

Another similar ingredient to the above is 'Animal Digest'.

As to the chicken feet I mentioned earlier - this item can be found in the ingredients 'Chicken By-Product' or 'Poultry By-Product' or 'Chicken By-Product Meal' or 'Poultry By-Product Meal'. Any left-overs in the chicken or poultry division - including but not limited to chicken feet, skin including some feathers, chicken or poultry heads, and intestines are found in these ingredients. It does NOT matter as to the health of the bird - sick, healthy, dead, dying...all is included in these ingredients.

So here is what you need to do...BEFORE you purchase any pet food, flip the bag over and closely examine the list of ingredients. The above mentioned ingredients would be listed within the first five or ten ingredients. If you see ANY of those ingredients - it is my suggestion to NOT purchase that food. Remember - chicken feet and euthanized animals do analyze as protein. That is all that is required in pet food - just the correct analysis.

Another little trick some pet food manufacturers use in this category is using grains and chemical additives to grain products to boost the protein percentages. Which is exactly the cause of the pet food recall that began in March 2007 - chemical proteins. Two different chemical additives - that have NO nutritional value to pets, but that analyzed as protein - were added to a grain product (wheat gluten, corn gluten, or rice gluten) solely to provide a cheap protein. Thousands of pets died and countless others became ill because no one counted on the problem of the combination of these two chemicals would cause kidney and urinary blockage. Again, their secret is the product has to analyze as having a particular amount of protein - no one is required to provide a quality meat protein.

While you are looking at the ingredient listing - you should also take note of how many grains (corn, wheat, rice) and/or how many grain products (corn gluten, whole corn, ground corn, whole wheat, ground wheat, wheat gluten, rice, brown rice, brewers rice, soy, and on and on) are listed within the first five or so ingredients. If you find more than one grain listed in the first five ingredients - that is telling you this pet food is acquiring some of its protein from grains.

Why is protein obtained from grains important for you to know? Several reasons - first off science proves that cats and dogs alike require and thrive on a meat protein. If a pet food is obtaining protein from grain sources, the pet is not getting the meat that it needs to thrive. Second, if the grain products are a corn gluten, wheat gluten, or rice gluten you take the risk of chemicals such as melamime added to it used strictly to boost the protein analysis. By the way, melamime is one of the chemicals found to be the cause of the March 2007 pet food recall. And there is one more concern with grains - aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a deadly mold that is common to corn, wheat, and soy and it's responsible for several other pet food recalls you probably never heard about. In December 2005, Diamond Pet Food contained moldy grains that killed over 100 pets before the product was recalled - all due to aflatoxin.

It is my recommendation to avoid any pet food that contains corn, wheat, or soy in ANY variation. The risk is simply too high.

Secret #4...

I've got more suggestions for you to look for in the ingredient listings...chemical preservatives. A very well kept secret of the pet food industry is their common use of chemical preservatives. BHA/BHT are very popular chemical preservatives used in pet food and science has linked them to tumors and cancer. Another common preservative is ethoxyquin which has known risks to cancer. Ethoxyquin is ONLY allowed in human food in some spices because of the very tiny proportions. However it is allowed in much higher proportions in pet food.

If you scan the ingredient listings, you will be looking for BHA/BHT and ethoxyquin listed anywhere. Commonly BHA/BHT is used to preserve the fat in the food which usually is found higher on the list. And also look for any of these chemicals towards the end of the ingredient listing. Personally, I wouldn't touch a pet food that contained these chemical preservatives. You want a pet food that is preserved naturally - common natural preservatives are 'natural mixed tocopherols' or 'vitamin E'.

Secret #5...

The very best food to provide to your pet is a well made food using human grade ingredients. That should be simple enough...How do you find that? You already know that pet food manufacturers are NOT allowed to make any statement as to quality or grade of ingredients, the only way you can find out the grade or quality of your pets' food is to call the manufacturer and ask them.

Now, let's say you call the ABC pet food company and ask the question "Is your Premium dog food and Premium cat food made using human grade ingredients?" It could be that you get the response yes, we use human grade ingredients - when actually only a couple of ingredients are human grade. Here's the trick to asking...ask them if they are APHIS European certified.

Pet food manufacturers that are APHIS European certified assures you that ALL ingredients in their pet food are human grade. APHIS - Animal Plant Health Inspection Services - is a division of the USDA. APHIS European certification provides this pet food manufacturer with the opportunity to ship their foods/treats to Europe. When importing pet foods from the US, European countries demand that all ingredients are human grade and thus require this certification. Most pet food manufacturers that have APHIS European certification do not ship their products to Europe - they simply use this as a means to assure their customers to the higher quality of their ingredients.

Again, you WON'T see this listed on the label - it's not allowed. You must call the manufacturer and ask. Often times the representative of the pet food won't even know what you are talking about when you ask about APHIS certification - if that's the case, you can assume they are not APHIS European certified. APHIS European certification is a bonus to pet owners - it is not required or even suggested that any pet food manufacturer go through the extra steps to obtain this. This is a special effort some pet foods go through to tell their customers they REALLY CARE about the quality of their products. Personally, I would NOT buy a pet food that doesn't have it.

And by the way, if you can't reach the pet food manufacturer, or they do not return your call within a short time frame, lose their number! Any company that does not place a priority on answering customers questions - doesn't deserve your business!

Secret #6...

Minerals are a required ingredient in human diets as well as diets for our pets. Copper, Iron and Zinc are common minerals found in pet foods. Just as they are - copper, iron, and zinc are basically rocks, very difficult for anyone or any pet to utilize. Science has developed several ways to introduce minerals into the body (human and pet) for better absorption thus benefiting the individual far more. This scientific development is called chelating or proteinating and it's been around for years. Through the chelating or proteinating process minerals are absorbed about 60% better than just the minerals alone.

This secret is spotting the minerals in your pet food to see if they are chelated or proteinated. Notice the minerals on your pet food label, way down on the list of ingredients. You are looking for minerals that read 'copper proteinate' or 'chelated copper'. If you see just the mineral listed, your pet is sort of like Charlie Brown at Halloween saying 'I got a rock'. If you want your pet to have the best, chelated or proteinated minerals are part of the best foods!

Secret #7...

This secret is called 'friendly bacteria'. Although 'friendly bacteria' sounds a little scary, the reason for it lies in your pets' intestinal system. A large portion of your pets' immune system is found within the intestinal system. Keeping the immune system healthy helps to keep the animal itself healthy. This friendly bacteria is similar to what's found in yogurt, however in pet food it is introduced in a fashion so that the cooking process doesn't destroy it. Looking at the fine print on your pet food label, this time you are looking for lengthy, scientific words like Lactobacillus Acidophilus or Bifidobacterium Thermophilum. If you do NOT see these words or some very similar, that pet food is not addressing the care of your pets' immune system. And again, if you want your pet to have the best, you want 'friendly bacteria' in their food.

There are your seven very secrets to help you find the absolute healthiest and best pet food for your four-legged friend. Armed with those secrets - you now have the knowledge to find your pet the best food possible! A pet food that can extend their life and prevent early aging and disease. If you don't want to bother doing the homework involved, I urge you to subscribe to my monthly magazine Petsumer Report(TM). Through Petsumer Report(TM) I've done all the homework for you - each month I review and rate over 40 different pet foods, treats, toys, and various other pet supplies. It's the ONLY publication of its' kind providing pet owners with the information they need to know regarding their pet product purchases.

I want to share just a couple more things...

It's best to feed an adult dog or adult cat two meals a day. The nutrition they consume with two meals is better utilized than with just one meal a day. If you are currently feeding your pet one meal a day, split that same amount into two meals and feed in the AM and PM.

You should know that all canned or moist pet foods are anywhere between 70% to 85% moisture. This means that 70% to 85% of that can or pouch of food is useless nutrition - its water. Granted our pets need water, cats especially tend not to drink enough water. But since all canned or moist foods are mostly water, they do not provide adequate nutrition to be fed strictly a canned or moist diet. Use a canned or moist product to supplement your pet's diet - not as the only food.

The best pet foods are preserved naturally (secret #4) - but there is a concern with naturally preserved pet foods...freshness. Take notice of the expiration date on your pets food label - typically with naturally preserved dry pet foods (not as much of a concern with soft foods because of canning - very little need of preservatives) the expiration date is one year to 18 months from the date it was manufactured. Let's say the pet food you are considering to purchase on July 1, 2007 has a 'Best if Used by' date of January 1, 2008. This would tell you that this particular bag of pet food is already 6 months old. While it is still 'good' a fresher food - a bag that is only 2 or 3 months old - is better. Naturally preserved pet foods lose nutritional potency with time. Always try to find a very fresh bag.

If you are considering changing your pets food, ALWAYS consult with your Veterinarian first. You should always keep your veterinarian advised of any changes you make with your pet. Don't take chances. And if you do switch pet food, make the change over very slowly. I always recommend to pet owners ¼ new food to ¾ old food for 4 to 7 days, ½ to ½ for another 4 to 7 days, and so on. Switching food quickly can cause intestinal disorder! Its short term, but we don't want intestinal disorder!!!

One last thing, as you are already aware dogs and cats have a far better sense of smell than humans. Their food bowl can be a wealth of smells - both good and bad. Some times a pet will refuse to eat simply because he or she smells a previous food in their bowl. Plastic food and water bowls retain odors the worst. And surprisingly so does stainless steel bowls. The best type of food and water bowl is a ceramic one. They retain odors the least.

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." George Eliot.


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