Good Nutrition, Exercise Are Keys to a Pet’s Long, Healthy Life

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(Family Features) Pet parents do everything they can to ensure their dogs and cats are around as long as possible. Experts now know that, much like humans, pets need a healthy diet and plenty of exercise to help them live a long and happy life. Learn what food components are the most important to your pet’s health and simple ways to keep them healthy and active.

Good nutrition is key

There are many factors involved when it comes to choosing a pet food for your dog or cat. Keep in mind if your pets aren’t digesting the ingredients properly, nutrition is not being absorbed. Get maximum nutrition from every bite by purchasing a natural, high quality food with a digestive health support system, such as Holistic Select Natural Pet Food. Ingredients to look for include:

  • Probiotics – or good bacteria – help keep your pet’s immune system healthy. Holistic Select contains live probiotics that are added to the food after it has been cooked and cooled. This process assures maximum survival of the probiotics, so that your pet reaps the full benefits of their food.
  • Prebiotics stimulate the growth and maintenance of good bacteria, like probiotics, in your pet’s digestive tract.
  • Fiber plays an important role in human digestive health, and it also plays an integral role in your pet’s digestive health. Look for foods with fiber-rich ingredients, such as oatmeal, flaxseed, pumpkin and papaya to promote digestive regularity.
  • Digestive enzymes help your pet’s body break down proteins, fiber and carbohydrates. This ensures your pet is getting the nutrients from their food, while reducing stress on their organs. This is especially crucial for aging pets.

Get pets moving every day

Dogs and cats used to have to work for a living. Many were bred to be mousers, hunters, herders or protectors. Most pets today have a much more sedentary lifestyle. They spend their days lying around, waiting for their human companions to come home and are rewarded for their patience with a big bowl of food. However, regular exercise supports healthy circulation of both nutrients and waste and is essential for a pet to have a happy and long life.

Experts recommend cat owners plan a daily play session. Toys that mimic the actions of their natural prey – birds, mice or bugs – should get them up and moving. Dogs need to be walked for 20 to 30 minutes each day, while larger breeds often need much more. At your next veterinarian visit, ask if your pooch is healthy enough for an exercise program and ask for recommendations based on breed.

Adequate exercise is an important step toward good health. It’s also a great way to reduce such unwanted behaviors as chewing, digging, scratching or whining.

To learn more about the importance of digestive health for your pet, visit

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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