10 Things I Learned At The 4th Annual Purina #BetterWithPets Summit [ad] #LetsLiveBig

10 Things I Learned At The 4th Annual Purina #BetterWithPets Summit [ad] #LetsLiveBig

I am currently a member of Purina Better with Pets and this post is part of my involvement. While Purina has provided me with materials and necessary resources to complete various activities, all statements and sentiment in Cheap Is The New Classy are my own.

On Monday I got to fly to New York City for the 4th Annual Purina Better With Pets Summit. This trip came with a lot of firsts for me. The Summit was held at the Brooklyn Expo Center and I spent the night before at the brand new William Vale, also in Brooklyn. I got to meet some of the cutest dogs ever and I also met several bloggers in real life that I have been following for years on social media. And I got to learn all kinds of fascinating things about Nestlé Purina, a brand I have trusted to take care of my dogs, Puppy Mister and Daisy Baby, for years.

Excited to be in New York for the @purina #BetterWithPets Summit. 🙂

A photo posted by Dawn McAlexander (@thenewclassy) on

At the Purina Better With Pets Summit, we heard from experts in the pet industry about the future of pet food, how ingredients are researched and all about quality and safety standards. We also learned about philanthropic and/or research endeavors by Purina and the companies they have partnered with like St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Petfinder, Mayo Clinic, North Shore Animal League of America and the Urban Research Institute. I can’t possibly share with you everything that I learned at the Summit as it was just so much, but I will share with you the things that really stood out to me.

Things I Learned At The Purina #BetterWithPets Summit

1. Heart Disease Is Not Just A Human Condition – Ok, so I knew that pets could suffer from heart disease but I had no idea how many do.

“1 in 10 cats has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.” Lisa M. Freeman – Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

That is a staggering statistic for any cat lover to read, but things can be done to combat heart disease in your pet. It starts with proper nutrition. As your cat ages, it’s nutritional needs change. You can learn more about how to properly meet your cat’s nutritional requirements here.

10 Things I Learned At The 4th Annual Purina #BetterWithPets Summit [ad] #LetsLiveBig

2. Proper Dog Food Can Support Cognitive Health In Your Senior Dog – Puppy Mister is almost 11 years old and Daisy Baby is almost 9 years old. Wow, time flies! I learned at the Purina Better With Pets Summit that restlessness at night and “accidents” can be things that appear in senior dogs due to the aging process and related cognitive impairments. Purina makes dog food especially targeted to combat these issues: Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+. Though we have not seen these issues in Daisy Baby, we are starting to see them in Puppy Mister. We currently feed our dogs a different Purina formula but we will probably be switching to Bright Mind very soon.

3. People Often Don’t Seek Help With Domestic Violence Situations For A Variety Of Reasons – Most people assume that people who don’t seek help when they are being abused by their partner do so out of fear for themselves, monetary reasons, etc. However, almost half of domestic violence victims who don’t seek help choose not to for fear of leaving their pets behind.

The Urban Research Institute and Purina have partnered to try to change that statistic. There are now locations that can house domestic violence victims along with all of their family members – including their furry friends. This is truly ground breaking. I used to work in mental health and I have never heard of a domestic violence shelter taking pets before. I really hope that this is something that will spread across the country.

4. Hospitals Have Therapy Dogs – St Louis Children’s Hospital and Purina have teamed up to provide therapy dogs to children undergoing surgeries and other in-patient procedures. The hospital currently has 20 therapy dogs. I know that when I am sick, my dogs make me feel better so I imagine the children love seeing the little fur babies in what is otherwise a pretty scary time in their lives. Aside from the pets “on staff,” children can also reunite with their own pets at the hospital. Learn more about the Purina Family Pet Center here.

10 Things I Learned At The 4th Annual Purina #BetterWithPets Summit [ad] #LetsLiveBig

5. Purina Products Are Made In The USA – We have all heard about the risks of feeding our dogs food made in other countries. Currently, 99% of Purina products that are sold in the USA are also made in the USA. These foods are also formulated specifically with optimal animal health in mind, by leading animal experts and scientists with years of experience in the field.

6. Purina Is Family – Someone just celebrated their 50th year with the company at the Allentown, PA, plant. There are also several others who have been there 30+ years. Could you imagine working somewhere 50 years? Wow! I just couldn’t imagine staying somewhere that long unless I really loved the company and what it stood for and, perhaps most importantly, I felt I was treated well.

7. Pets Are Not Forgotten During Disasters – It’s awesome to help people during natural disasters, but our furry friends need help, too.

8. Purina Is On Snapchat – Snapchat is a social media platform that I am just starting to learn about how to use, so it’s nice to see that I can learn along with Purina. Be sure to follow them on Snapchat with the handle purinapetcare for awesome pet stuff!

9. You Can Customize Your Dog Food – Did you know that your dog can have their own special blend of food? With Purina Just Right, you can choose exactly what goes in your dog food. That way you can tailor your dog’s food especially to his or her tastes and nutritional needs. You can also name the food after your fur baby!

10. Flying Is Definitely The Way To Travel – Although it was not my first time in NYC {that was last year}, it was my first time flying, and it was also my first time going somewhere that far away for one day and coming back the next. I am still amazed at how fast we got there! It took 14 hours {with stops} for me to drive there last year as compared to the 1 hour and 10 minutes it took to fly back this year. Wow! I really hope that I get the chance to fly again really soon.

Some Very Cool Bloggers That I Met – Check Them Out If You Haven’t

I apologize in advance as I am sure that I will leave someone out. There were just so many awesome people at the Purina Better With Pets Summit!

Kimberly Conover DickersonSaving More Than Me
Beeb AshcroftMom Start
Summer Len DavisDirty Floor Diaries {I actually met her once before but only in passing so I consider this the first “meeting.”}
Amanda YantosDog Mom Days
Jenna WoodMomma Told Me {the cute little white fluff above in the sling is hers…awwwww….}
Lori PaceA Day In Motherhood
Brett MartinThis Mama Loves
Pam WattenbergerSimply Southern Mom
Jennifer S. MitchellComeback Momma

Also, be sure to check out Winnie the Therapy Dog on Instagram. Cute, cute, cute!

10 Things I Learned At The 4th Annual Purina #BetterWithPets Summit [ad] #LetsLiveBig

Check out the rest of my pictures from the Summit on Flickr.

How Do Pets Help You Live Big?

Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share on social media using #LetsLiveBig.

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About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for EatPlayRock.com, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. We had a ‘reading dog’ at school. Reluctant readers could read with her to encourage them and she responded based on cues. Great idea.

  2. Aw, all these dogs are adorable!

    And I so prefer to fly than drive!

  3. Wendy Pence says:

    Purina cat and dog food has been my brand of choice for my furbabys for years. My veterinarian says it’s one of the best you can feed your animals without moving up to the really expensive pet foods. I love Purina!

  4. So glad you had a great time in NYC and at the expo. MY good friend has a therapy dog for her daughter to detect oncoming seizures. It is amazing what dogs can do. It sounds like Purina is a wonderful company to work for.

  5. I had no idead about that DV fact, actually shared it on twitter. It’s so sad. I feel super strongly about the topic, even do multiple service type events on a yearly basis.

  6. Elizabeth O. says:

    There are so much things that our pets do for us! It’s nice to give them a comfortable life because they deserve it. This sounds like an awesome event and they teach pet owners how to further care for their pets!

  7. Purina makes awesome pet products! It really sounds like you had a great time at the Summit. Meeting other bloggers is always fun!

  8. Purina is awesome product, I’ve tried it in my puppies and they’re loves it. I’m glad that you are part of them.

  9. Kalyn Cruz says:

    I’m pretty sure this would be great for my sister’s puppy, she would love it for sure.

  10. Sounds like such a great event. I love my pets, I have no clue what I would do without them.

  11. Teresa Kunberger says:

    Purina is a brand I trust! I would love to attend an event like this!

  12. It was great to meet you too. Excellent round up of what you learned at the event. I found it quite fascinating as well.

  13. Dog are angels sent by GOD. This is what I think because they never allow you to be sad even if you want to be. Really nice post.

  14. Our last dog was a rescue and so loved going to see people who couldn’t get out. Great post with a ton of great information. Thanks for sharing

  15. Looks like this summit is so informative. I didn’t knew about heart disease in pets. And lovely pictures too.

  16. Thank you for this post. As a pet lover, I am very conscious on what to feed for my dogs. I’ll check this out 🙂

  17. So fun that you got to fly there. I did know that domestic violence fact, but only because I just read it recently. The pics here are awesome. 🙂

  18. Love the purina brand! My cat loves their dry food! Great post!

  19. Great facts!
    It’s amazing how similar some of our pet’s ailments are to our own. I’ve had rats and ferrets as an owner, typically animals that people neglect because they have the wrong impression of them. I think education is really important when it comes to animal care.

  20. This is such great information. I have a friend who’s dog has heart disease. Until he came down with it, I had no idea it could happen to dogs.

  21. It sounds like you learned a lot at this summit. It was such an educational experience. I never knew dogs got heart disease, too. I will share this post with a friend who has two dogs.

  22. What an amazing event to get to attend!!! I love learning about new pet treatments and of course what is best for them as well.

  23. We have a Purina factory here in Denver! It doesn’t smell so great, but what factory does haha. Those puppy pics are all too cute!!

  24. This seems like this was a really cool event. I honestly didn’t know that Purina was made in the US, I try my best to make sure that my pets eat food that has not been inported.

  25. Pam Wattenbarger says:

    I love their work with the Urban Resource Institute. I think it’s great that they are helping victims of domestic violence leave with their pets.

  26. There is so much to learn, love that you were able to go to the annual Purina Better with Pets summit, looks like you were able to learn so much! And those look like some happy doggies!

  27. Oh my gosh, those are some very cute pups! I have fed my dog Purina for a while and she loves it.

  28. Wow you learned a ton and so did I! This is fabulous. I love purina, and my pets. I live big with my pets because they are like my babies. Bring me so much joy and love! they truly are a blessing!

  29. How awesome would that be to be able to go to a pet summit? My girl loves her Purina food and I would love to go to a summit and learn more about it!!

  30. My Sadie makes me so happy…her unconditional love is the best! Every time I come home, whether it’s been an hour or 3 hours, she’s always super happy to see me (and I am her!).

  31. Bonnie @wemake7 says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time. That’s really neat too that you met some other bloggers at the event.

  32. That would be a great event for me and my dogs to attend to. Sounds like you had so much fun, thanks for sharing with us your experience.

  33. Looks like you had a great time at the EXPO! I have never been to PET EXPO, sounds fun!

  34. Oh what a lovely event, I do not have pets but my sister in law does and she speaks highly about Purina and their products