Mumsnet and Pedigree have asked us to record our nutrition journey with our pet.

My husband attended the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition this week to find out more about Pedigree products for dogs. He had a tour of the facilities followed by some talks and had the opportunity to ask questions.

We have a pet Beagle named Stan and we are keen to ensure he is looked after well. Over the next few weeks, we will be trying out a range of Pedigree products and reporting back our findings on the blog.

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I asked my husband about his day.

What were your overall impressions of the event and day in general?

“The centre surprised me in that although it is a science based facility, it is very friendly and open. It is animal and people friendly. The first principle seems to be that we do testing in laboratories before trying out on dogs. The accommodation and good ratio of handlers to dogs was pleasing to see. It was clear that feeding, grooming, exercise, socialisation and health needs are well looked after. I highly approved of the reward based methods of training.”

What did you learn about dog nutrition and behaviour?

I was aware that Pedigree was a premium brand of dog food. I learned that intensive research is carried out to ensure that the dog’s needs are met.

An example is how they take dog stomach cells and test different ingredients on the cells to see whether they inflame to make sure it isn’t going to cause an adverse reaction in a dog. Waltham recently found out that puppies need a higher level of Vitamin A in their diet and they shared it across the industry. Pedigree aim for 85% of their food to be digested and 15% to come out as waste and they can track that easily.

I was very interested in learning about oral health of dogs. Dry food is useful here because it is abrasive. However, throwing stones and sticks for dogs can damage the dog’s teeth so care needs to be taken.

Pedigree are able to test different things on different bacteria found on the dog’s teeth to see whether they will help reduce gum disease.

What interested you most about the event?

“I was impressed with the scientific research carried out. I was very interested to hear about the specific ingredients that go into dog food.”

I hadn’t realised how research goes on before the dog food is put in Stan’s bowl. Pedigree have a lot of vets working with them and specialist nutritionists. I find this very reassuring.

It was also great to hear that Sandra McCune had talked about dogs and children. Instinctively, I have always believed that dogs add to family life. It was good to hear that research backs this up. Different studies have shown that children’s mental and physical wellbeing is enhanced by having pets like dogs. Of course, I was delighted to hear the presence of dogs can improve learning too especially as we home educate and Stan likes to get involved.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have
volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not been paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. We will be compensated for assisting with filming.

Do you get confused by health headlines?

Let’s face it! Most of us take on the healthy living journey trying to incorporate exercise and to lose weight amongst a huge pile of other tasks and challenges.

We reduce fat and salt only to be told sugar is our real enemy. We went for the burn and now are told a good walk is doing us as much good.

I am no expert but I think loving your body and listening to it works well whatever the headlines are saying. Also, I always question who might be funding the “research” that fuels the headlines.

Information is good but all too often busy mums can find that headlines just tell them they are doing things wrong again and sometimes at a time when their self-esteem is at a low ebb anyway.

We are all in this together with the Blogging to Jogging linky. I love reading your posts and learning that so many of us struggle with the same issues. Let’s keep on inspiring one another on our healthy living journeys.

The Rules

Blog about healthy living in a way that you see fit. It might be some exercise you did, a healthy food choice, a lifestyle change or a recipe. It is important to link back to this post so that we can all inspire one another as we move forwards positively.

Striking Mum
Generate your button code

Very simply, please comment on at least two other posts and more if you’d like to and grab the badge for your own post, linking one post per week. Tweet me (@kateonthinice) once you’ve linked and please use the #BloggingToJogging tag so that I can find your posts easily to RT them and you can also use the Twitter hashtag on Instagram if you have any relevant photos. Please also link back to this post!

I am so looking forward to reading your talks of health, fitness and well-being. I promise to comment on each post and to promote via my social media networks.

Please display the #bloggingtojogging badge on your post and it would also be cool if we can start engaging on Twitter and Facebook about our healthy living using #bloggingtojogging.

What’s your take on health headlines? Do they help or hinder us?

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Celebrity moms are always in the news and some of us aspire to be more like them.

Mums are individuals so some will want to follow a certain style icon whilst others will be inspired by celebrity moms who campaign for good causes. Do you admire a particular celebrity mom.

With Mothering Sunday just a few days away, I wanted to let you know about fun quiz from My Voucher Codes.

Looking at the photographs of moms on the quiz, I spotted Katie Holmes who is of course desperate to be just like me, her namesake. Are you most like Madonna, Victoria Beckham or the Duchess of Cambridge?

Are you super-organised or more laid back when it comes to parenting?

What would be the perfect Mother’s Day gift for you?

My result was Jennifer Garner which means I offer a strong and independent role model for my children. If anything I wish this was far more the case but moms have to work with what we have available to us.

I do have a strong work ethic and encourage my children to work hard to pursue dreams that matter to them.

Apparently I try to shield my children from the big bad world. I am very protective and I guess I home educate to keep my younger children away from bullying so that is probably spot on.

Enough about me. Take a few minutes to find out which celebrity mom you are like? You can discover your perfect gift just in time to whisper in someone’s ear just in time for Mothers’ Day.

Is it time to rest?

Today is 29th February and social media is telling us we have an extra day. I wonder what most mums have done with that day. My guess is that most will not have taken it as a day of rest. I imagine mums across the world doing their usual mix of juggling a whole heap of stuff – parenting, work, friends, partners, caring, commuting, running a business and housework.

I am on happy pills to treat depression. They keep me on a cheerful and happy keel. I am thankful for them.

One of the most important things they do is to ensure I rest when I need to. My body simply slips into a nap when it needs one. It might last 20 minutes or 2 hours.

I have an unproven theory that half the reason so many mums struggle with mental health issues is that they are frankly knackered. It makes absolute sense to me that sleep deprivation built up over the years of waking babies, poorly toddlers and gaming teens is bound to take a toll of the poor mums. Add in that in so many families mums still take on the bulk of the housework possibly combined with volunteering, caring for elderly relatives, being self-employed or keeping a job down and it is clear most of us need a day of rest.

People who know me say I am difficult when I am tired. So when I am on my happy pills, I get enforced rest and everyone is a winner.

So I cherish my magic moments which mean I sleep and am restored to my best.

3 Little Buttons

InfaCare Baby Bath and Night Time Baby Bath are formulated especially for baby’s skin and I have a lovely giveaway of

InfaCare Baby Bath (750ml) and InfaCare Night Time Bath (750ml)

InfaCare Sample

Both are ultra-mild and pH balanced with masses of long-lasting bubbles, making them very popular with parents and little ones!

A baby’s skin is ten times more delicate than adult skin so these bath products are formulated to be as natural and gentle as possible.

Recommended by hospital midwives and healthcare professionals, the bubble baths have been clinically tested and developed to promote natural levels of acidity and alkalinity in skin and hair. Reassuringly, each is designed to prevent irritation, and mums say it helps with allergies.

Recently launched, Night Time Baby Bath is fast becoming a favourite with mums across the country; with up to 70% describing it as ‘ideal’ for their bedtime routine. You don’t need to use much of either the ‘Infacare Baby Bath’ or the ‘ Infacare Night Time Baby Bath’ to produce masses of long-lasting bubbles, perfect for little ones to have fun with and the gentle, powdery fragrance helps to relax, easing tots first into bed and then off to sleep.

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