Pets bring so much joy to individuals and families, and often we see them as more than just animals – they are furry, four-legged family members, like this guy:



Last night, we talked about exceptional pet care with a great group of women, led by Amanda Larson of Coping with Frugality (mom of Turk, the dog pictured above, and Hank the cat). She was joined by co-hosts Alea of Premeditated Leftovers, Courtney of Joy of Momma Joyner, and Shell of Not Quite Susie Homemaker.


The group’s pets ranged from cats and dogs to horses and even a bearded dragon.


Feeding Your Pets


Amanda of Coping with Frugality kicked off the chat with a topic that’s been in the news since the death of 39-pound cat Meow, who was recently introduced to the world on the TODAY Show. “I am very passionate about feeding my pets natural and organic foods! What do you feed your pets?” she asked.


“My parents’ dog is diabetic. And he has bad allergies. SO he gets a good dog food, but he also gets meat, cheese, green beans, etc. added to his food. He’s a PICKY eater, so they have to try different things all the time to get him to eat,” replied Courtney of Joy of Momma Joyner.


“I actually have a ‘pet food’ garden for our animals that like veggies where I grow their favorite organic fruits and vegetables,” said Alea of Premeditated Leftovers, whose pets include horses and guinea pigs.


“My dog loves home cooking! We make him his own birthday cake every year too,” added Amanda of Coping with Frugality. “I googled a recipe and it was pretty bland to my tastes but he loved it – it was flour, eggs, peanut butter, maybe some honey.”



Playing with Pets


Play and exercise, just like a healthy diet, are as important for pets as they are for children.


“We play A LOT outside,” said Courtney of Joy of Momma Joyner. “Big Sis (my 21 month old) LOVES to be outside. So we play ball and chase a lot. We also talk to them all the time. as if they completely understand everything we say!”


“Our horses love music and dance to the beat of the song,” added Alea of Premeditated Leftovers, sharing this photo of her daughter playing the violin for their horse.



Choosing a Vet


When pets get sick and need immediate or long-term care, you want to be able to turn to a vet you trust.


“I always talk to friends/family/etc and look for referrals,” said Amanda of Coping with Frugality. “It is also important to find someone that can actually be reached after hours in case of emergencies!”


“I will not go back if they don’t listen to me or act like they know better than me,” added Shell of Not Quite Susie Homemaker. “Of course, they’re the vet, so they DO know more, but their concern should be telling me what I don’t know, not showing off what they do.”


Training Pets


Keeping your pets happy and healthy doesn’t mean they should be able to run you ragged with misbehavior.  Just like kids, pets should have boundaries.


“We didn’t do official training. We just trained them like we wanted them to behave. We first taught them that WE were in charge! Then we taught them the basics… Sit, Lay Down, Stay, No, Come,” said Courtney of Joy of Momma Joyner.


“My dog knows a few tricks that I taught her when she was a pup,” said Shell of Not Quite Susie Homemaker. “As far as advice on how to train … I just told Bella to do the actions over & over and luckily she picked them up eventually.”


Tell us about your pets in the comments!