FLUFFY: Hi, Fido, what’s up? You’re looking happy today.

FIDO: Hey, Fluff, how are you? I was just thinking about all the great things mom and dad do to keep me that way!

FLUFFY: My mom and dad told me that it’s pretty easy to keep me healthy and happy. But they worry that not everyone knows what to do for their animals. I wish there was a way for us to get the word out.

FIDO: There is! Let’s send our ideas to Pearl and Meryl! They’ll get them into the DO YOU KNOW? column Santé D’Or now sends out every month.

FLUFFY: Great idea. Let’s do it!

…And so they did! Here are their five easy pointers for you to learn from and enjoy:

1) Serve our food and water in ceramic or stainless steel dishes, never plastic.
Here’s why:
    • Flavors and odors seep into plastic. You can’t smell or taste it, but we can, and it’s yucky!bowls
    • Some of us develop allergies to the plastic. We could end up with acne on our chins and other allergic reactions.
    • When plastic gets scratched or nicked, it starts to hold onto germs and bacteria. This can make us sick.

2) And speaking of food…make sure to feed us the food that’s best for our

age, weight and medical condition. Feeding us the right food has a significant effect on our health. Check with a vet to find out what food is recommended for us at the different stages of our lives, and whenever our medical status changes. And be sure to read the ingredients labels. Buy grain free products to prevent allergies, and please stay away from food that lists “meat by-products.” You wouldn’t believe the nasty stuff they’re allowed to include when it says that!

3) Don’t forget to get us our annual wellness checkups.
Even though we don’t need vaccinations every year, we should see our vet.


She or he can find and fix problems while they’re still small, like tooth decay or minor ear infections. This helps us stay healthy and comfortable, and may prevent bigger problems down the road.

4) Keep our weight down and our teeth clean.
Obesity and dental problems are two of the biggest obstacles to good health as we get older. A vet can show you how to clean our teeth so that we don’t even mind having it done (especially if you follow it with a tooth-friendly treat!).
5) Remember that we love – and need – to play.

Playing with you keeps us interested and alert, and gives us the exercise we need. At least a half hour a day is best, and it play

doesn’t have to be all at one time. A few 10-minute play times work just as well. When you’re not around, leave some toys out for us, especially toys that we can interact with. We love figuring out how to get a treat out of a toy!

We hope you enjoyed these tips, and that you learned something, too! We’d love to hear from you, so please send your ideas to info.santedor@gmail.com.


Meryl Schwarz, M.A., M.Ed., is an animal lover and Certified Professional Coach specializing in grief support for people grieving their beloved animals. Whether you’re grieving a terminal diagnosis, the normal aging process, a disappearance or a death, Meryl offers compassionate and caring support with the wisdom of experience. Visit her website at www.merylschwarz.com to schedule an appointment by Skype or phone.