Monday, June 08, 2015

Your Lifestyle Affects Your Pet's Health Too #WhatsYourPetsLifestyle

My first dog was a beautiful Golden Retriever, named Pogo. My dad brought her home to my Mom as a Christmas gift in 1969. She was a 10 month old puppy, and my Mom was 9 months pregnant with me. Maybe not the best timing, but it meant that Pogo and I grew up together, and she was ever so protective of me and my brother.

Pogo was an outdoor dog. We lived on 7 acres, and she roamed it all. (So did my brother and I, even as preschoolers.) She had a doghouse where she slept at night, and she ate her meals at the front step of our home. She was an active, playful, rural dog, raised on fresh air and sunshine.

These days I have a whole heck of a lot less land to call my own, and dogs just aren't allowed to roam freely in the city. Maxi is lucky to have a big, fenced back yard in which to play, but most of her exercise is on a leash. When she is outside on her walks or for play, she is affected by the same air pollutants as we humans are. Our place is just off a major six-lane roadway, and about a kilometre south of a major highway, so we definitely breathe our fair share of nasty air. Our walks involve lots of interactions with other people and dogs, and a fair share of traffic. Her favourite days are when we visit the dog park for off-leash fun with other pups.

This description helps to define Maxi's particular lifestyle as that of an "urban dog." Royal Canin defines the urban dog as "those who frequently visit parks or public spaces, are exposed to crowds, walk near car and foot traffic and go to the bathroom on busy sidewalks or in parks." This lifestyle exposes dogs to many sources of pollutants and stressors, and because of this, Royal Canin has created a new line of dog food specifically designed to meet this lifestyle's particular dietary needs.

Royal Canin Urban Life is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory OMEGA-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), which help support health against pollution. It also contains an Advanced Adaptogen, which naturally helps dogs adapt to highly stimulating environments and can ease a dog's anxiety. We switched over to this formula just over a month ago, and I have noticed some changes.

First off, I have to share Maxi's opinion of the food - she LOVES it. I don't know what is in it for flavour, but apparently it tastes great. The kibble is big and crunchy in her large dog variety, and she dives right in. Royal Canin did tell us that they have enhanced the food with natural flavours and aromas to appeal to dogs. Personally, I did notice the aroma right off, and it took some getting used to - it's not bad, just strong and "different" than what I'm used to in kibble.

beagle eating kibbleMeanwhile, I have noticed a change in her coat, which is now super silky and soft. We were told to watch for changes in her stool, but I haven't seen a huge difference there, although there may be a bit less than before. A big behavioural change I've seen is that she is much more relaxed when we are out walking. She has always been an eager girl on the leash and pulled constantly. Now she relaxes relatively quickly and seems less "urgent" about our excursions. Could this be a result of the Advanced Adaptogen? That's been the only change in her diet or environment, so it's the likely source.


In addition to the Urban Life, Royal Canin has also developed an Indoor Life formulation, for dogs who spend their time primarily in the dry, indoor air, with little physical activity. Which one is right for your dog? Take a quick quiz on their website to find out - #WhatsYourPetsLifestyle


Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Royal Canin. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.





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