Momma Told Me: Living Bigger Lives With Pets + The Purina Better With Pets Summit

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Living Bigger Lives With Pets + The Purina Better With Pets Summit

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BetterWithPets #LetsLiveBig #CollectiveBias
The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD

Momma Told Me: We may make their world's bigger, but they make our lives grander.

If you've been wondering where we've been, well, the answer's all over, really. Most recently we drove 14 hours up the Pacific Coast, and 14 hours back down, just to hop on a plane to New York after a quick visit with Momma. I say 'we' because Nora travels well- Truffles the Tuxie, not so much. In fact, travel is always less stressful WITH my pets than without. I'm the sort of pet parent who has to Face Time with her pets when she's apart for more than 12 hours. But travel's not the only thing made better with pets...
Recently Nestlé Purina invited Nora The Morkie and I to Brooklyn, NY for their annual Better With Pets Summit. To be entirely honest, they invited Truffles, too, but I didn't think she was quite ready for the glitz and glam of a big city experience. I mean, just look at that view from our room at The William Vale- breathtaking, right? For those who have never been to urban New York, it's a different pace of life with buildings that disappear into the clouds and a constant ambient outside atmosphere that literally buzzes with it's own life. There are million dollar waterfront views, a feast of architecture and art (physical and performing), and nearly any type of food you could possibly want for delivery 24/7. It's the perfect example of 'living big.'
Our stay wasn't intended to be long- just a taste of New York living before we really got down to business. After riding 7 hours in a carrier under an airplane seat Nora was happy to soak up the afternoon sun on the down comforter as I pondered what to wear to the evening welcome reception. As cool, calm, and collected as I come off online you may recall I have a bit of intense anxiety in public social situations. Having Nora by my side truly helped me relax and feel like myself during the entire trip.
The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
Of course, being a little nervous didn't sway me from my classic loud and unique style- I'd picked up a 'hidden paw prints' Carly 3 months back just for this event and I daresay I was the loudest person in attendance at the welcome reception that night. A good pet parent can't forget about all of her fur-kids, so, of course, I finished the look with an ode to Truffles- hand painted tuxedo cat flats!
The William Vale Hotel- The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD

I wish I could say someone appreciated my 'fashion' but it's hard to be even a moment of focus when you're rubbing shoulders with some of the most inspiring innovators in pet-human relations and welfare. And did I mention that Nora got to share sidewalk with Pet-Celebs like Turbo Roo and Winnie the Therapy Dog? Of course I'd be lying if I said we didn't get our fair share of attention- having this maltese-yorkie cutie on your arm all night is the perfect ice breaker!
The William Vale Hotel- The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
Speaking of the comfort pets bring in stressful times- One of the very first people I bumped into was a volunteer from a local URI NYC project. URI, the Urban Resource Institute, provides a  comprehensive shelter and care program for families displaced by domestic violence. Can you imagine having to leave your memories and home behind simply in search of a safe place to lay your head at night? Now imagine having to leave your pet behind because the only safe place you have to go doesn't allow pets.

URI NYC, in partnership with Purina, has actually helped create one of a kind urban facilities that are not only pet friendly (fur, paws, or scales) but pet safe for victims of domestic violence. And safe doesn't just mean for the pet, but private, clean, maintained, sheltered areas in the middle of a sprawling urban city, where pets can be walked and recreate without fear of compromising the owner's location or identity. Because pets are part of the family, and a family should never have to be broken up as a compromise for safety.
The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
The evening's reception left Nora and I with a lot of food for thought. I could hardly sleep that night in anticipation of the following day's events. So I rose before the sun to pack up and head over to the Brooklyn Convention Center- while Nora imagined she was a Celebri-dog and slept in.
Celebrity Dog Preston- The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
The day's events opened with a breakfast reception, though Nora and I found ourselves too fascinated by the interactive screen exhibits and fellow attendees to actually sit down and eat. And let's talk about those attendees really quick- we were rubbing elbows with everyone from Purina executives and Insta-famous pet parents to philanthropic innovators and quite literally the father of modern veterinary medicine. It could have been quite intimidating, but in truth it really only served to amplify the day's message of how we live bigger alongside our pets.
The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
What does that mean, exactly? It's much larger than the simple concept that having a pet makes life more awesome- true as it might be, this year's summit hoped to inspire a diverse community of animal lovers to truly challenge what it means to Live Big with pets.

As the second panel of the day, How A Passion For Pets Builds A Better World illuminated- we, as a society benefit from the human-pet bond in immeasurable ways we don't always detect until that connection is removed or forbidden. In a heartwarming presentation we took a sneak peek inside the St. Louis Children's Hospital where an innovative pet-to-pateint program has been unveiled. This one of a kind program goes beyond the typical 'animal patient therapy' to actually unite patients with their own beloved pets, in a safe, regulated environment for the day. This was followed by insight from Brent Bauer, Research Director of Integrative Medicine and Health Programs (Mayo Clinic), who shared a vision where someday '15 minutes with a cat might actually be a written prescription."
The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
There's no doubt Purina is doing big things to support the people-pet bond nationwide- but their passion stems from much more than philanthropy- as Allentown Purina Factory Manager Jason Christofersen shared, "Pets are more than animals, they're family," alongside photos of his own family, which includes a senior Labrador.

And 'living big' correlates directly with the day's final panel, The Science of Innovative Nutrition For Pets, which introduced a new term to me, therapeutic nutrition. The concept elaborated that what one feeds their pets can directly impact the pet's current physical and mental capacity beyond basic energy and weight. Did you know that their are prescription based Purina formulations designed to treat conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes in cats? In fact, that particular formulation has had success in curing Type 2 Feline Diabetes! Even more exciting, the brand's Pro Plan Bright Mind dog food formulation to help enhance the lifestyle of Senior dogs, has inspired a soon to be released feline formulation for cats 7+ that has, in studies, extended the life expectancy of cats by up to a year!
The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
Yes, there certainly was a lot of amazing innovation to inspire bigger lives with pets, but some of the furrier attendees needed to stretch their paws- Just outside the convention center there was a socializing spot where Nora was happy to make some new friends and lap up the afternoon sun on the unusually hot New York Fall afternoon.
Of course we've talked a bit about some of the canine celebrities, but not every pet present was famous, or a dog. Many of the feline attendees hung out on loungers, and in carriers, as their owners soaked up all the inspiration and knowledge of the day's event. A few very special feline attendees offered their services to frazzled humans, in the exclusive Puppy and Kitten Therapy Booth.
The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
That's right, this event had it's own puppy and kitten hangout- a clear cube where attendees could recharge fora  few minutes while bonding with energetic, heartwarming, puppies and kittens. It would be hard to argue that this wasn't the highlight of the event- I wish I could say all the amazing vendors, sponsors, and speakers, stole the show- but this booth was a constant attraction. Just look at that face as an influencer holds a kitten while learning all about the emotional health benefits of animal-humna therapy!
As the day progressed more and more of the attendees mingled- people from every walks of life, with a passion for every breed and animal. Winnie The Therapy Dog was caught snoozing as the third panel wrapped- or maybe she was just inspiring us all to 'chill.' I, personally, took some of the down time as an opportunity to talk with some oft he attending professionals about pet behavior research and nutrition.
Attendees prepare welcome boxes for URI residents- The annual Nestle Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in Brooklyn, NY aimed to inspire through nutritional reserach, a puppy kitten therapy booth, and philanthropic initiatives. AD
The Purina Better With Pets Summit wrapped with a chance to give back as the entire summit gathered to prepare welcome care packages for URI residents with pets. One-by-one boxes were filled with bowls, collars, blankets and food to help an uprooted family acclimate to their new home. A finishing touch? A hand-written note of well wishes from us, the Better With Pets attendees, signed with love. It was a truly moving experience to be a part of and really summed up the day's theme of "Lets live big."

While I think the day was more about pampering and networking for Nora, I walked away thinking about how I could help inspire my own networks to live bigger with pets. Nora's much too hyper to be a hospital therapy dog- but we do have a local women's shelter I've volunteered at in the past. I'm definitely going to meet with the director and see if we can brainstorm a foster program for pets of women and families in transitional housing. I really felt Purina's work with URI is going to make a huge impact on both the lives of pets and owners going through some really hard times.

Are you inspired too? Share, on social media, how your pet inspires you to live big with the hashtag #LetsliveBig and follow the brand on Twitter and Instagram @Purina!

What Daughter Says: Living big is easy with pets beside us!

18 comments:

  1. I would've loved to gone to that. We just got a new puppy and she just loves everybody. It looks like it was a really fun time and you learn so much. If I was invited to this I would've totally gone even though I live really far from New York.

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  2. We can't have dogs or cats because of my son's asthma, but we were able to get pet budgies, and it did wonders for our family. It's true, life is better with pets. I love these stinking birds, and I love the taming process it takes to become part of the family. For the birds, not me. I'm already part of the family.

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  3. I would have been all over those cats in the therapy room. I love how much you learned with Purina's conference!

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  4. This sounds like a wonderful events. Pets do so much to make life better for people it is great to have a way to make life better for them.

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  5. Can I just say how amazing your photographs are? You took me on such a pet journey that now I want a puppy of my own. Seems like a wonderful event you got to attend!

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  6. What a wonderful event this must have been. And how great was it that your pets were invited too. Purina does so much for communities.

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  7. What a cute pup event! I love your bright yellow nails and shoes too!

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  8. Sounds like an awesome event. I have cats myself, and this would have been fun for them! I would have loved to go here!

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  9. What an amazing event! I cannot begin to tell you how much I love my pets! And seeing all these photos of all these pets makes me so happy!

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  10. As a rescue dog lover and volunteer this event looks incredible and I wish I would have attended! It would have been so sweet to meet you and your furbaby and to get a chance to learn about all the wonderful innovations in the pet arena! Love purina!

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  11. ohhhh your dog is so adorable. We don't have any pets right now, but I am sure it won't stay that way for long. Sounds like a great event with lots of good information for those who love their furry friends.

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  12. Your dog is so cute! Looks like you had a blast at this event!

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  13. I'm a dog and a cat lover. So glad to see there are so many other animal-loving humans around.

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  14. Your dog is adorable! So cute! Glad to see there are initiatives like this to bring people who love animals together!

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  15. omg i love this post. you captured some amazing moments and the doggies are super cute. also that jean vest that pup is wearing is toooo cute.

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  16. This event looked like so much fun. We have two dogs so this post totally hit home for me! Your photos are amazing.

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  17. It was so nice to meet you in person Jenna! Nora is an absolute doll! <3

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  18. What a fun event for pet owners and their pets!

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