What Are You Feeding Your Pet These Days?

by Guest Contributor

I’m not a health nut – witness the banana s’mores I made for a playdate snack the other day – but I care about what I put in my body, and that extends to my pets, too. I worked in an animal shelter for a long time, and I was appalled to learn about all the fillers that so many pet food manufacturers use to increase the protein content and keep their foods cheap to make and process. I’ve always been careful about what I feed my animals, and I believe that goes a long way towards them living healthy and long lives.

I recently had the opportunity to try out a new brand of pet food (for us), the Natural Balance ALPHA line of cat and dog foods. They are a family-owned pet food company that makes holistic, natural pet food. The ALPHA line is grain free, which is a good thing as your carnivore dogs and cats can’t actually digest grains, so they’re just another form of filler. The ALPHA line offers two flavors for cats: trout, salmon meal, and whitefish as well as chicken, turkey meal, and duck for cats and adds a third flavor of lamb, chicken meal, and rabbit for dogs.

 I like that the ALPHA line not only is grain free but also includes pre-biotics, which aids in digestion. Whenever we change our cat food, there is inevitably a period of gastrointestinal distress for my poor cats (and my husband who gets to clean up). When we tried out the ALPHA cat food from Natural Balance, they had no issues whatsoever. That alone tells me there’s something right about this pet food.

The most telling to me, however, was the taste. I noticed that when I put out the cat food the first time, my cats kept coming back to that bowl all afternoon and evening and that it was empty by bedtime. They appeared to like it. However, I needed to do a head to head comparison. I filled up a bowl with the ALPHA cat food and placed it next to their standard cat food to see what would happen. Meow quickly walked over and sniffed the bowls. He went straight for the ALPHA cat food and has yet to touch the other bowl. I think we have an official winner.

 

 The Natural Balance ALPHA line of pet foods are sold through places like Amazon, Petco, and many others,  PLUS you can get it at most local pet stores. You can find a location near you using their store locator. This all natural pet food runs about $35 for a 12.5bag, but because it doesn’t contain the same fillers that your pets can’t digest, you can feed them less of the pet food and in my mind, there’s no question that this is healthier.

 Enter to Win

One lucky reader will win a bag of their choice (either cat or dog) of ALPHA from Natural Balance. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment  here letting us know what are some ways that you take care of your pet. This giveaway will end December 30th and the winner will be announced the following Sunday in our Around the Blogosphere post.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received several single serving samples of the ALPHA line from Natural Balance pet food for review purposes. All opinions stated here are my own.

 

Written by 5Minutes4Mom contributor Michelle who was lucky to be able to write this review, as two very happy kitties kept trying to climb on her and sit on her wrist all afternoon. You can also find her at her blog Honest & Truly! or on Twitter as @HonestAndTruly.

 

 




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{ 106 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tennille December 16, 2011 at 6:34 pm

With a newborn my poor cats are very neglected right now and are starved for attention…sometimes just finging time to pet them is hard.

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2 Selena December 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

We just lost one of our cats so we have been giving our other cat extra attention so she is not feeling so lost and missing the other cat.

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3 June December 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Our Cat’s eat Science Diet because one of them has bladder problems, and has to eat it.

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4 Martha C December 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm

We make a point of walking our two dogs at least once a day. Have to watch what we say or they get their hopes up. Can’t use leash, around the block, ready to go, bunny rabbit or walk around them.

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5 Staci A December 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

We make sure to brush our cats regularly and to give them lots of attention.

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6 Elisabeth December 17, 2011 at 5:19 am

We make sure to have “play time” with our cat every day! :)

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7 Liz V. December 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

Difficult choice, as we have both cats and dogs. They are all strays, so what they need is a lot of attention.

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8 beth December 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm

We just lost our 10 year old dog and just got a new puppy. We are really trying to use the best products for him.

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9 Chuck December 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm

We buy kinda the best stuff that we can for the 3 cat’s that we have.

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10 Crystal December 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I spend a lot of time playing with my cats!

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11 Wehaf December 17, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I brush my dog’s teeth – it extends their life!

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12 tamara childers December 17, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Being winter we make sure their water bowls dont get frozen.

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13 Angela E. December 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I all ways sure to keep up on the vet check-ups for my pet cat.

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14 Katie December 19, 2011 at 1:56 am

I had no idea what horrible food I was feeding my cats until I got puppies two years ago. After researching the best food for the pups, I changed my cats’ food immediately! I’ll only buy grain free, quality food now. The cats get play time and lots of lap time and I make sure my pups get daily walks and trips to the dog park! I’m sure when I’m not home they keep each other entertained ;)

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15 Missy December 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm

We make sure to brush her teeth.

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16 Michelle December 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm

We feed our dog organic dog food. I recently saw this at Petco and I would love to have my dog aka son try it!

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17 lisa December 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm

brushing and playing toys regularly

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18 Garrett December 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Make sure you keep up with their vet visit’s.

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19 Don December 20, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Our cat is kinda on the chunky side, so she gets a light type cat food.

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20 Nilsa December 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm

We take care of our dog by taking her on three walks each day. As city dwellers in a multi-unit building, we can’t just let her out in our yard. But, we know exercise is important. So, we stay committed to do what we can when we’re home and hire a dog walker when we’re not!

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21 Van December 22, 2011 at 11:33 am

My Mom always fed are cats the really good stuff when I was growing up.

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22 katklaw777 December 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I have three rescue kitties…Riki, Sassy and Annie. They are well brushed and played with daily!

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23 Betty C December 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm

My cat thinks she is a baby so she demands lots of cuddle time. She drapes herself over my shoulder and would stay there for hours if I could sit still that long.

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24 Michele Anne December 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Making sure my cat have a quality food and, also, good play time.

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25 jessica December 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

grooming is really important. I always have to trim my dogs nails

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26 Jemmy M. December 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm

We have both dogs and cats, so either bag would be fine. :) We give lots of love and make sure they have regular check-ups at the vet. And they do love their treats.

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27 jeff lieder December 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm

i make sure i give my 3 dogs their vitamins.

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28 Shannon B December 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I play with them a lot.

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29 Theron Willis December 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm

To combat fleas, my daughter’s two dogs are given brewer’s yeast supplements. Good tip.

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30 Susan Smith December 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm

We take them to the vet regularly to get a checkup and shots.

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31 Kelly K. December 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I pamper my pets by making sure they get enough exercise.

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32 ky2here December 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm

We take our cats for regular vet checkups

ky2here at msn dot com

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33 Shay December 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I would like for my sister to try this with her dog.

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34 Trisha Thornburgh December 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm

My dachshund, Daisy, is an older lazy dog, so I spoil her with a daily body rub.
Trisha
mahgwi21 at yahoo

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35 Diane Baum December 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I go to the dog park, brush my babies daily, take them to the vet and love them.

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36 tamatha hunter December 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm

my 3 babies were all rescued from bad situations so I spoil them absolutely rotten now.

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37 Kelly Ann T. December 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm

We take care of their teeth, give them a warm bed, lots of affection, special treats and good dog food.

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38 Cathy Truman December 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Our pets KC our cocker spaniel and Jasmine our cat and our bird Doodle, they are
spoiled rotten, They get treats and attention all the time, They get good food, toys
and they go the Vet for their checkups. KC our dog she gets walks everyday which
she loves. We really love them and show them affection.

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39 corrie December 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I brush my cats, make sure thier litter is fresh and clean. and i also take them to vet when they have any problems with diaraha and what not.
my cats are like my kids, we call them KIDDENS. lol

kadia3 at yahoo dot com

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40 K Anne December 27, 2011 at 12:34 am

Some ways I care for my dog are by walking her daily, brushing her teeth and brushing her fur.

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41 debbie December 27, 2011 at 6:00 am

I make sure to keep all of my cats indoors and safe.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

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42 Cynthia C December 27, 2011 at 6:48 am

My cat gets the best food, lap time and play time every day.

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43 Melissa P December 27, 2011 at 8:23 am

I snuggle with my dogs daily.

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44 crystle tellerday December 27, 2011 at 9:30 am

walking them everyday

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45 Lynda E December 27, 2011 at 10:40 am

My doggo gets checkups twice a year and I have her on year round heartworm meds.

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46 Suzanne K December 27, 2011 at 11:39 am

I pamper my cat by making sure I get tons of variety of flavors in her food, brushing her, making sure she gets exercise and by having a small heated bed for her in my office so she can keep me company and have a warm bed for her ‘older’ bones.

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47 katie mitchell December 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I have 5 cats and 2 dogs, I feed them all natural food, I try to rotate their foods to give them variety, 1 of my cats favorites is Natural Balance so I am sure they would love to try this food! I walk my dogs daily when weather permits, I do tricks/training with my dogs, play with my pets, groom them, bathe them, and keep them up to date on their shots and flea, tick and heartworm meds.

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48 Christine December 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I love to spend a lot of time playing with my cat.
Thanks for the chance!

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49 Jean F December 27, 2011 at 7:08 pm

We now have 4 cats/kittens, and kill them with kindness and attention

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50 Denise S December 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I take him to a groomer regularly.
lazybones344 at gmail dot com

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51 jade December 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm

We use all natural pine litter instead of chemical filled clumping litter. <3<3 our kitties so we try to go as natural as possible to meet their needs.

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52 Diane R. December 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I have 2 cats and I feed them the best foods I can get for them and give them lots of attention.

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53 Kim H. December 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I take care of my pets by trying to get the best food. I look to Consumer’s Reports. I also don’t give them ‘table scraps”.

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54 Brenda Penton December 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm

My pets are like my children. I do whatever I can to make sure they have what they need are are safe and content at all times.

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55 Dani December 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm

We try to feed our 5 animals the best food we can. For our cats, that happens to be prescription cat food due to one cat’s health issues. Whatever it takes.

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56 Petunia December 28, 2011 at 12:07 am

We feed our dogs Natural Balance. L.I.D. as we believe in not feeding them additives and fillers. They get plenty of exercise and lots of love.

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57 christina moore December 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

I have several outside stray cats that I feed, I try to get them good cat food

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58 Caryn S December 28, 2011 at 9:52 am

We make sure they get plenty of food and water and lots of exercise

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59 Karen December 28, 2011 at 10:36 am

I have one cat with health issues and one with food allergies, so I am very careful about what I feed them. Thanks for the giveaway.

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60 Skinny Fat Kid December 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm

We make sure to feed Izzy healthy, low grain food as well as make sure she gets plenty of exercise, both physical and mental!

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61 409cope December 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm

We have three cats and a dog and feed them all holistic food and treats and make sure they all are spoiled with lots of toys.

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62 syndel valle December 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I often give our farm dog baths, so that his skin doesn’t get irritated :)

farm_mommy3@yahoo dot com

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63 rebecca December 28, 2011 at 7:01 pm

we spoil our great dane :)

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64 Katharine D December 28, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I make sure my cats are well fed, get yearly vet checks and shots, and most importantly I keep them as indoor only cats.

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65 beth shepherd December 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I love to take my girl for walks
thank you
tatertot3741@gmail.com

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66 Kathryn C. December 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Yearly vet checkups and a really good brand of pet food. Keeping up with their shots is important, too. katbirdfl (at) gmail (dot) com

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67 lynn clayton December 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm

nice giveaway

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68 Lucy Schwartz December 28, 2011 at 11:41 pm

We give our kitty canned food and fresh water, comb him, clip his nails and clean his ears and give him lots of love. He is a Maine Coon cat so he is big and yet he loves to be held and rocked. We don’t spoil him! Absolutely not.

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69 Jessi Likey December 29, 2011 at 1:17 am

One way I take care of my dogs is by taking them into the vet for teeth cleanings. :)

jessilikey AT gmail DOT com

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70 Heidi December 29, 2011 at 1:25 am

I take care of my pets by getting them their routine vet checkups and providing them with the right nutrition to keep them healthy and happy!
textbookmommy at gmail dot com

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71 angie lilly December 29, 2011 at 7:50 am

I feed my pet an organic diet, do not give them table scraps or human food of any kind, keep their nails trimmed to a comfy length, play with them for exercise, make sure they get plenty of sunshine and love, and basically spoil them rotten. LOL

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72 amy deeter December 29, 2011 at 9:34 am

give her extra special baths
amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

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73 shawna December 29, 2011 at 9:44 am

We excercise them on a regular basis and make sure they have plenty of love.

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74 April Grimm December 29, 2011 at 9:51 am

Lots of love, and of course the basics food, water, and a nice cozy spot to sleep on our daughter’s bed.

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75 amanda December 29, 2011 at 10:26 am

my cats eat only grain free, natural foods. they have the best vet care in the area. they get their teeth brushed and exercise with me every day.

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76 Tracy December 29, 2011 at 11:25 am

I take care of my daughters best friend, and dog, Dravyn by regular walks to the dog park, baths, omegas, cleaning her ears regularily (she is a lab and they get itchy) just all the stuff you do for your daughters best bud :)

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77 Claire McKeon December 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

I use feline pine for my cats as well. Much healthier for them.

mosaic317 at gmail dot com

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78 BusyWorkingMama December 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Cute kitty! I have two cats and I keep them healthy by playing with them so they get some exercise.

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79 Rebecca Peters December 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm

With 3 cats We make sure each one is loved
xxbeccaannxx@gmail.com

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80 erma December 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I have five cats and feed them the best and I love them.

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81 Jessica Anderson December 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I love my two dogs and I make sure they get outside and get exercise at least four times through out the day. I love to sit and watch them play. I also make sure they get to the vet for the check-ups.

PaintedPony17@yahoo.com

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82 Therese Rooney December 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm

hairball control cat food

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83 Jennifer C December 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I care for my pets by making sure they all (mine and my foster pets) get lots of love and play time.

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84 steve stone December 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm

we feed supplements and tractor supply brand 4 health

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85 Kendra Gillilan December 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm

trying to feed the best I can and lots of loves!!!

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86 SaraLee E December 29, 2011 at 7:40 pm

I have 4 cats and 2 dogs and we like to make home made treats for them. I keep up on all vet appt.

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87 Katia December 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I play with my cats every day to keep them active.

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88 kathy pease December 29, 2011 at 8:29 pm

we feed our animals a variety of dry and moist food,treat them for fleas and ticks and we have 3 pet beds in our living room so they can always get comfy

kathypease(at)gmail(dot)com

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89 jennifer December 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I make sure that I play with my pets everyday to make sure that they get enough bonding time with me.

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90 Storm, the Psychotic Housewife December 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm

We spoil them rotten! Homemade treats, lots of toys, and plenty of lovin’.

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91 sarah t December 29, 2011 at 9:29 pm

we take our 2 labs for daily walks and yearly vet visits

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92 carol lewis December 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm

He is an inside dog, always with us and we feed him very well. I even cook him eggs.

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93 Liza December 29, 2011 at 10:37 pm

My indoor cat gets good food and play time with Da Bird. I even put food and a warm bed out for the strays.

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94 shirley pebbles December 29, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Regular walks, regular vet visits and lots of love.

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95 bonnie December 29, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I feed my cats the best foods and make sure to give them lots of interactive play time.

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96 Carla Pullum December 29, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I love spending time with my dog Seuz and bathing him and brushing his hair!
Carla
cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

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97 Jennifer L. December 30, 2011 at 7:18 am

Well, my cats get lots of love — and pine cat litter because it smells so much better than regular — which I appreciate and I’m sure they do as well.

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98 Barbara Hunt December 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

Thanks for the great contest!
bahjeep@aol.com

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99 Debbie Kennedy December 30, 2011 at 11:01 am

My kitty gets lots of love and cuddles and brushing on a daily basis. She gets healthy cat food and no table scraps.

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100 robyn paris December 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I love him, i also walk and brush him a lot. he’s oliver a dog.

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101 cassandra December 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm

i take my dogs for daily walks and give vitamins to my cats in their food! thanks for the giveaway :)
cmarquez482(at)ymail(dot)com

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102 Jackee December 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I monitor how much my cat is eating also give her plenty of play time

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103 Coriander Warren December 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Walks and watchign their food intake

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104 Toni Marie Caravello December 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I make sure they always have fresh water and dry food and feed them wet food at night. Brush the kitties once a week and snuggle with them often

FB: Toni Marie Caravello
reannenny at aol.com
Twitter: Tonic67

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105 sarita berry December 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I love to care for Bear our part German Shepard part Chow. He is the most loving dog around. To care for him some of the things I do are comb his pretty hair, bathe him, play frezbee with him and toss sticks which he brings back to me. Bear loves his family and we love him so if this dog food really is heathier we need to give it a try!

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106 Tonya Froemel December 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

We take care of our three dogs by giving them healthy food and taking them out for walks many times each day.

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