I am currently a member of the Purina Better with Pets and this post is part of my involvement. While Purina has provided me with materials and necessary resources to complete various activities, all statements and sentiments in this post are my own.
This was my first visit to the Purina Better With Pets Summit. I was not sure what to expect. Would it just be Purina tooting their own horn about how great they are? Sure, there was some horn tooting, but I also learned so much about how pets enrich the lives of people and how Purina helps make it happen in more ways than I imagined.
What is the Purina Better With Pets Summit?
This quote from the event program sums up the event goals quite well:
This summit brought together the pet community experts and leaders to explore the future of pet care, and experience how passion, innovation for nutrition, and dedication to quality and safety will help improve the health and wellbeing of pets and the people who love them. Purina believes that by connecting pets and people, we can build stronger communities and shape a better world.
Pets are Their Family Too
I could really feel the true love that the Purina leadership team has for pets. Practically every presenter in the event brochure had a picture with their pets. I learned that pets are even welcome at the Purina headquarter’s in St. Louis. I was especially touched by a presentation given by Jason Christoffersen, the Factory Manager in Allentown, PA. He grew up on a small family farm in Michigan. It shaped his love for animals and created the commitment he has to keep them safe.
— Jenn Mitchell (@comebackmomma) October 18, 2016
Purina is Making Safety a #1 Priority
The first discussion panel focused on demystifying quality and safety of pet food. Safety recalls from China still scare me to this day. It was relieving to learn that 99% of what Purina sells in the US is made in the US. Pet food is one of the most regulated products on the market. Purina is dedicated to using the highest quality ingredients. They focus on putting our pets nutritional needs first. The people at Purina research ingredients and execute far more quality and safety checks than I would have expected. They also made a strong point that the ingredients they select all have a purpose in the pet’s nutritional needs.
A Passion for Pets Can Build a Better World
Our family loves our dog. She is a special part of our lives. Have you ever stopped to think about how a passion for pets can help the lives of others? The second discussion panel spoke about connecting pets and people to build a stronger community. I was especially touched by personal stories of how Purina helped keep pets in the lives of people who might not have them.
Hospital Visits & Therapy Dogs
Robin Harris has a daughter with Spina Bifida. She has had countless surgeries and long stays at the hospital. The family member she missed most was her dog Chocolate Chip Chewbacca. The Labradoodle is her best friend. Purina helped create a pet room where patients can visit with their pets during their hospital stays.
Above, I’m hanging out with some terrific social media influencers and Winnie The Therapy Dog. She brings joy to everyone she visits!
Therapy dogs also play an important role in the health and wellbeing of patients. One doctor on the panel said he wished he could write a prescription for a therapy pet for all patients. I met a number of therapy dogs at the event. I would certainly want to cuddle with one of these cuties if I were sick or recovering in the hospital, wouldn’t you?
Allow Families of Domestic Abuse to Keep Their Pets
This was possibly the most enlightening fact I heard during the summit. A shocking 48% of domestic violence victims won’t seek help at the expense of their pets. Purina helped the Urban Resource Institute, one of the largest domestic violence shelters in New York, create a space for pets. How amazing that these families can now seek help without fear of losing their pets. We spent some time creating gift boxes so that animals brought to (URI) will have the basics they need like collars, food bowls, blankets and more. I can’t imagine having to leave my home without our sweet dog (below).
Adopt a Pet
Having a rescue dog myself, I have a passion for pet adoption. I spoke with the folks of the North Shore Animal League of America. They are an adoption center in Port Washington, NY that is helping to save hundreds of animals. They recently added a 14,000 square foot center where approximately 200 homeless cats can live in a stimulating, cage-free environment. Purina helps with efforts like these. Check out the information on the Purina site on How to Adopt a Dog.
The Impact of Good Nutrition for Pets
The final panel discussed why nutrition is important to our pets. They gave insight on nutrition having the power to not only help our pets live longer healthier lives, but also how it help treat nutrition responsive health conditions, which will give our pets longer healthier lives.
Improving Cognitive Health
I’ve seen the commercials about Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind, but I was skeptical about how it works in the “real world.” A lovely couple talked about their three dogs. Their oldest dog had slowed down quite a bit. They tried the Bright Mind product and saw significant improvement in their dog. While this is just one story, it does seem that Purina’s research in cognitive health has a promising future. They are releasing a similar product for older cats as well.
Food for Sensitive Pets
Our dog is very sensitive to products with wheat and rice. She needs a product that is grain free. We have been delighted by the addition of the Purina Beyond Grain Free line of products. It seems that Purina continues to research products that minimize sensitivities in pets.
Customize Your Pet Food
Probably the second most interesting thing I found out at the summit was that you can customize your pet food with Purina. How cool is that? Check out Just Right Pet Food for more information. I really want to try this for our dog.
I believe it’s wise to research foods for yourself to decide what is best for your pet. There are websites where you can review ingredients, recalls, etc. Based on the Better With Pets Summit, I certainly think that Purina is headed in the right direction.
The Last Word
I really enjoyed the Better With Pets Summit. I took away much more new information than I expected. Especially impressive, was the commitment Purina has toward making the pet-to-people connection as strong as possible. My dog, Panda was happy when I came home, especially with a new bag of Purina Beyond.