Does Your Pet Need a Limited Ingredient Diet for Tummy or Allergy Issues?

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Limited Ingredient Diets for Pets

Just like people, pets can have allergies, food sensitivities and tummy troubles. Once you’ve seen your veterinarian to rule out other medical conditions or health problems, he or she may suggest you try a special diet. For Daisy, this took some trial and error but we eventually figured out that a grain-free pet food was best for her and saw a huge improvement in her skin rashes and digestion.

Every dog and cat is different, and if going grain-free isn’t enough to see results, you might consider one of single source protein, single source carbohydrate formulas, L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets available from our blog sponsor and Daisy’s food provider, Natural Balance Pet Foods.

Limited ingredient diets minimize the number of ingredients that pets are exposed to, which can be helpful for pet parents looking for simple formulas with simple ingredients.

Natural Balance LID Limited Ingredient Diets foods provide unique alternatives for pets, including:

  • True limited ingredient formulas, with single-sources of animal protein and limited carbohydrate sources
  • The most extensive selection of unique proteins including venison, bison, and wagyu beef
  • Puppy and Large Breed Bites formulas are also available just for our tiniest and biggest best friends too!
  • Complete lines of limited ingredient offerings for both cats and dogs, including dry and canned formulas and treats

How should you go about trying a limited ingredient diet for you pet?

Do a food trial on a limited ingredient diet for at least 10-12 weeks, using a novel protein and carbohydrate source that your dog or cat has not had before. No other treats or food items should be fed during this time period. [Learn more about Limited Ingredient Diets for Pets]

Pet Food Safety Program

In addition to paving the way for limited ingredient diets, Natural Balance has also been a long-time leader in pet food safety. Every production run of Natural Balance pet food is tested before distribution so that you can “Buy With Confidence”.

Not only do they test all products in their state-of-the art in-house laboratory for nine known contaminants before they reach store, but pet parents can also find the Best By Date on your Natural Balance product and read your product’s actual test results on their website.

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Did You Know? Facts About TRICARE Dental #MetLifeTDP #IC #ad

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did you know about tricare dental

TRICARE Info 2016

This is my third year as an ambassador for the MetLife TRICARE Dental Program, and it’s been such a pleasure getting to help educate military families about their benefits. Military moms and dads know it takes a LOT to keep the home front running smoothly. That’s why I love being able to share what I’ve learned, to help you save time and money. Last month I gave you some Children’s Dental Health Tips & Reminders. And back in January, I put together a 2016 Program Update.

In a nutshell, MetLife TRICARE Dental provides dental benefits to spouses and children of Active Duty personnel and National Guard and Reserve members and their families. It’s a convenient and cost effective way for families to have continuous dental coverage from the large network of dental providers worldwide.

In doing research for my TRICARE posts, I’ve learned a lot more facts and details about the program that I didn’t know. So this month, I’ve rounded up a list of some things you might not know…but should!

Did You Know?
  • Families enrolled in MetLife TRICARE Dental Program have access to over 250,000 dental locations, making it one of the largest civilian dental networks around. It’s great to know that wherever you go, you’ll be able to find dentists that participate in the program.
  • There are no annual deductibles or co-payments, and premiums are competitively priced. There are low or no cost-shares on many dental services including diagnostic and preventative. It’s reassuring to know that there won’t be a lot of unexpected expenses when it comes to keeping up with your family’s dental health needs.
  • The program has an Accidental Annual Maximum of $1,200 per beneficiary per plan year. This is in addition to and separate from the $1,300 plan annual maximum per beneficiary per plan year. Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s always good to know you have the additional injury coverage.
  • TRICARE Dental Program will coordinate with another supplemental dental insurance carrier.
  • Your family is not automatically enrolled. Even though you and your family may already have TRICARE medical, dental coverage requires a separate enrollment. There are four easy ways to enroll:
    1. Online at www.tricare.mil/bwe
    2. Call 1-855-638-8371 CONUS, 1-855-638-8372 OCONUS, or 1-855-638-8373 TDD/TTY
    3. Fax a completed Enrollment Authorization document (found on www.tricare.mil/tdp) to 1-855-763-1337
    4. Mail a completed Enrollment Authorization document to: MetLife TRICARE Dental Program, P.O. Box 14185 Lexington, KY 40512.

Want to know even more about the program coverage and benefits? The MetLife TDP Facebook Page is a great resource. They post a different fact or trivia question just about every day, so it’s fun to stop by a learn something new each time you visit!

You can also find the program on Twitter and at their website: www.metlife.com/tricare.

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FREE Pet Charm + Protect Your Dog or Cat From Secondhand Smoke #FinishIT

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Free Pet Collar Charm

Did you know that dogs and cats are twice as likely to get cancer if their pet parent smokes? To help raise awareness and educate pet owners, Petco is giving away FREE Pet Collar Charms. Just stop by your local Petco store and pick one up while supplies last.

second hand smoke and pets

We hope that if you smoke, you’ll consider quitting. It’s healthier for you, your family members and the fur kids. Both Woof Woof Papa and I quit smoking several years ago and I know how difficult it is, but it’s SO worth it! If you’ve tried before, try again…it often takes several attempts before it sticks, but don’t quit quitting!

Pets don’t have control over their exposure to harmful toxins, so pet parents must be responsible. Petco has put together some tips on how to help protect your pet from the effects of second hand smoke.

Wash or change your pet’s bedding regularly. If you smoke in the home or around your pet’s things, wash or change those things frequently. This includes your pet’s beds, leashes, collars, dishes, clothing, toys—even your own furnishings, carpets, floors and clothing—anything that can collect tobacco residue left behind after smoking and become harmful to your pet.

Take your pet to a veterinarian for regular wellness checks. Just like regular check-ups with a doctor are important for us, regular visits to your veterinarian are the best way to stay on top of your pet’s overall health and wellness. A full veterinary evaluation at least twice a year—or more often if specific health concerns arise—can also identify signs or symptoms of health issues, including pet cancer, sooner rather than later.

Groom or bathe your pet regularly. Just like your own clothing and hair, your pet’s fur is another place where tobacco residue can build up over time and be inhaled or ingested by your petparticularly those who groom themselves by licking. Regularly grooming or bathing can help reduce the presence of harmful toxins. Petco recommends bathing or grooming every 6-8 weeks, but if you smoke, your pet may benefit from greater frequency. Between grooms and baths, or immediately after smoking near your pet, you can use a wet cloth or pet wipe to quickly clean the surface of your pet’s fur.

Dispose of cigarette butts properly—don’t let your pets eat them. This should be a no-brainer, but cigarette butts, ashes or any other leftover tobacco products can be harmful to your pet if chewed, licked or swallowed. If you or anyone else smokes around your pet, be sure to properly dispose of the remnants so they’re not accessible. Never leave ashtrays within your pet’s reach and be on the lookout for stray cigarette butts improperly disposed of by others, especially when walking outside with dogs.

Don’t smoke around your pet or better yet, quit smoking! To more significantly reduce your pet’s exposure to harmful carcinogens found in secondhand and thirdhand smoke, don’t smoke near your pet, around their things, or in their home environments at all. If you must, smoke outside and wash your hands and face—even change your clothes if you can—before handling or touching your pet after smoking. This won’t eliminate your pet’s exposure altogether, but it can reduce the amount of smoke or tobacco residue they take into their bodies. Cut back if you can. Quitting is ideal.

Want to learn more and get involved? Visit thetruth.com for quizzes, facts, videos and events near you!

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Children’s Dental Health Month Tips and Reminders #MetLifeTDP #IC #ad

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TriCare Dental KidsTRICARE Info 2016

We’ve already told you that February is Pet Dental Health Month, but did you know that it’s also Children’s Dental Health Month, too? We’ve teamed up with the MetLife TRICARE Dental Program to remind all the military moms and dads about the important dental benefits available to dependent children and spouses of Active Duty service members and Reservists. Not a military member but know someone who is? Be sure to share this info so they don’t miss out!

Your Family’s MetLife TRICARE Dental Program Benefits Include:

  • Two cleanings and two exams per year at no cost, w/ network dentist
  • Orthodontic coverage for children up to 21 (23 if a full time student)
  • Two topical fluoride applications per consecutive 12-month period
  • + more at www.metlife.com/tricare

One of the included benefit to ask your network dentist about is dental sealants for kids. Sealants on permanent molars for children though the age of 18 are covered under the MetLife TRICARE Dental Program with a 20% cost share. A dental sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) to prevent cavities.

Both parents and the kiddos will be happy to know that applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure, making the process short and easy! Research shows that dental sealants help prevent cavities on teeth with pits and grooves, so it’s recommended that dental sealants be placed on the permanent molar teeth of children shortly after the molars erupt. First around age 6, with the second set of permanent molars appearing around age 12.

Another concern parents may want to discuss with the dentist is tooth grinding. No one knows exactly why children grind their teeth but stress, improperly aligned teeth, and even dehydration can be factors. Ask your dentist to monitor your child’s teeth if he or she grinds their teeth. No intervention is usually required with preschool-age children, but older children may need temporary crowns or other methods, such as a night guard, to prevent the grinding.

For Additional Info and Resources visit:

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MetLife TRICARE Dental Program Update for 2016 #MetLifeTDP #IC #ad

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tricare-dental-snoopy-2016
TRICARE Info 2016

I know first hand that military family life can get hectic and that there’s lots to juggle to keep it all together. When it comes to keeping your family finances organized, the New Year is a great opportunity to take a moment and check to see that you are on top of any changes to insurance premiums including health, dental and car insurance. It’s important we stay in the know about our rates so there aren’t any surprises down the road.

That’s why I’m working with MetLife TRICARE Dental Program to make you aware that there will be changes to the monthly premiums effective February 1, 2016. Premiums vary based on the sponsor’s military status and type of enrollment.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and take a few minutes to sit down and check your monthly premiums to see if they’ve changed. Also please take the time to help spread the word by sharing this with any military moms and dads you know! The chart below offers at at-a-glance summary:

TRICARE Dental Premiums 2016

[Read more…]

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