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Your Pets & a Healthy Diet


by brittboo_x

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Is your pet looking a little round, or are they becoming a little slow? Maybe their diet causes them to fall ill faster. And don't forget the picky habits of the elderly and baby generations. All of these things mean that your pet could need a healthier diet.

While it sounds like a lot of work, many owners that have switched to healthy foods find that finding healthy foods is easy. All food joints in Neopia have healthy dishes. It's just up to you to know what's healthy and what's not, and this guide is here to help.

If you want to health-ify your pets' diets, look at the steps below. For tips on elderly or baby diets, scroll past the six steps.

1. If it's green, it's good.

This rule is really simple. Foods that are green tend to be very healthy. We're talking spinach, lettuce, celery, kale, etc. Even green tea, apples, and grapes are really healthy green foods. There are less obvious green health foods to choose from, too. Enjoy a Small Spirulina Smoothie for a healthy dose of vitamins, or munch into a Mondik Root Hot Dog for lunch. All of these foods can be found in Neopia Central. Imagine how many other healthy green foods there are in the rest of Neopia!

2. It should include a fruit or a veggie.

Sure, that Hot Dog Sundae Deluxe looks appetizing, but is it really nutritious? Neopian scientists recommend having a fruit or veggie at every meal to maintain a healthy diet. It's not as hard as you'd think. Instead of eating a hot dog and French fries for your meal, try having a Mynci Vegetable Burger with a side of Organic Pineapple. Even switching up one meal a day will make it easier for your Neopet to stick to a healthier diet.

3. Sugar should NOT be the main ingredient!

This one is fairly obvious. We all know sugar is bad for our pets. That's not to say our pets cannot enjoy a piece of candy from time to time, or the ice cream cone treat once a week. It means that their normal meals should not be drowned in sugar. If your pets still want something sweet, direct them to fruits or to some healthier sweet choices, such as Purplum Buns, Chokato Topped Frozen Yogurt or Fig Muffin.

4. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Your mom has said it before, but it's true. If your pet doesn't have breakfast, their metabolism slows down. Then they'll become sluggish, and once a meal rolls around, they will be so hungry that they will choose fatty, sugary foods and overeat. If they eat breakfast, their body's metabolism will rev up and make them hungry – not starving – for lunch, where they will make a smarter decision about what to eat. Try getting your pets to enjoy organic fruit, Boiled Egg on Toast, or a Lemon Ginger Smoothie.

5. Jelly and omelettes are not adequate food staples!

We like our jelly and omelettes because it's quick, convenient, and cheap. But jelly is mostly sugar, and omelettes can be fatty with all of the other ingredients that get added in. If your pet must eat jelly, make it a fruit jelly. Avoid Chocolate Jelly, Cheese Jelly, and Fish Jelly. If your pet must eat omelette, make it a single serving of a Plain Omelette or omelette with veggies added in. Avoid the Marshmallow Omelette, Chocolate Omelette, and Meat Feast Omelette.

6. Make more trips to the Health Food Store.

This is the number one store to go to if you're still confused about what to feed your pets. All foods here are healthy, so you just have to decide what looks tasty! This is also the best spot to find a variety of organic fruits and vegetables. Plus, the shopkeeper is always around to help you make decisions and answer any questions you have.

After that is said and done, there is still the issue of making healthy choices for elderly pets. As pets age, they get crankier and their appetites change quite a lot. They like a lot of softer foods, because their teeth are bringing them more pain, and they tend to go towards foods they know are tasty, because they want to feel like a kid that can get away with eating poorly. The catch? They can't.

Bring up the topic of the diet to your elderly pet before actually buying the food. Most likely, the pet will want to accompany you on the grocery trip. While there, be sure to point out a variety of different fruits and vegetables first. Encourage wary pets to try a new fruit or veggie. It will make the diet a little more exciting. Also, find some softer foods so that they won't damage their teeth. Minestrone Soup, and other veggie soups, are great examples. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are also good choices because they won't have to chew at all!

Chances are, your elderly pet will try to refuse giving up a long-term habit they've had. It may be chocolate, candy, coffee, etc. It's important that you don't take this habit away from them (not all at once, anyway). If you do, they might reject the whole idea immediately. Instead, wean them off of their habit. Let them having it once a day instead of three times, and gradually reduce the amount of times they can have it. Or, simply replace it with something healthier. Maybe they would prefer a cup of Green Tea to their coffee after all. Maybe your pet would prefer an Organic Apple over a piece of hard candy. Who knows? Just be sure to ease them into the process, because scaring them is not the motive.

Another tricky situation is finding a healthy diet for a baby pet. There isn't a huge variety of baby food in Neopia. This is the basic list: Pea and Ham Baby Food, Beef and Veg Baby Food, Forest Fruit Baby Food, Strawberries and Cream Baby Food, Lemon Meringue Baby Food, Avocado Baby Food, Blueberry Baby Food, Chokato Baby Food, and finally, Pumpkin Baby Food.

Sure, all of these have a fruit or vegetable in the name. But are they truly healthy? The answer is no. Some of these are, but take a closer look. Ham isn't very good for a young pet. Cream is full of fat, and meringue has a lot of sugar! All of the other listed baby foods are made of 100% pure fruit and vegetables, which make them great choices, and the Beef and Veg Baby Food provides protein as well as vitamins and minerals from a serving of vegetables. Be sure to look for baby bottles too; the milk in them is fresh from Kau Kau farm.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, follow these tips to finding healthy foods for your pets. Also remember to get them outside, even to the beach, to get them some Vitamin D and exercise! Good luck!

 
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