'Paw-ubaya': Moira Dela Torre tells pet parents to give all the love they can
Moira Dela Torre and Jason Marvin Hernandez with their dogs Caramel and Pochi
Moira Dela Torre via Instagram

'Paw-ubaya': Moira Dela Torre tells pet parents to give all the love they can

Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - March 4, 2021 - 1:04pm

MANILA, Philippines — When singer-songwriter Moira Dela Torre isn't tugging at heartstrings with her repertoire of "hugot" hits, she works as a full-time fur mommy of her Shih Tzus, Caramel and Pochi.

“They give you all they have. Give them all the love you can,” Moira advised pet parents during the recent “#RoyalBeginnings: Kickstart your puppy’s best life with Royal Canin” virtual event.

The musician shared her personal experiences of meeting and bonding with her dogs, together with her husband and fellow pet parent, Jason Marvin Hernandez.

Their family’s journey began before the gents Jason and Pochi entered the picture, with just Moira and Caramel back when they used to live with her aunt and uncle.



Moira had welcomed Caramel, who was a gift from her mom, when the dog was only two months old. Caramel was even raised by the Persian cat owned by Moira's aunt and uncle. 

“I just fell in love with her. When she turned a year old, my tito and tita had to migrate, and they left her with me, and she became my therapy dog, as I was going through mental health issues at the time,” the singer recalled.

Then Jason came along. The couple would soon get "sleepy boy" Pochi, who was chosen by Jason.



Asked why they chose to raise Shih Tzus, Moira said that she thinks the breed of toy dogs are very loving and smart, depending on how you train them.

Shih Tzus happen to be the most popular dog breed in the Philippines, based on a recent study.

Caramel was already trained by Moira's uncle and their Persian cat, so the couple's first order of business was schooling Pochi. They read up, especially since this was Jason's first actual pet and he didn't know how to train one.

“All [Jason] knew has he wanted a cuddle buddy. Ever since [Pochi] was a baby, [Jason] would hold him like this,” Moira demonstrated.

Caramel naturally got along with Pochi, going as far as taking care of him. "We would notice Caramel, we thought that she was eating Pochi’s food, but she was actually trying to push his butt towards the pad." Moira observed.



The couple already had their dogs mate and will get Caramel spayed soon.

Moira, who serves as an ambassador of pet food company Royal Canin, commended them for providing an invaluable service for their fur children.

The brand, she said, "has been a huge help in keeping them (fur babies) healthy, keeping them at a certain weight... They’re very easy, just eating on time. Their diet now is a little bit of pellets."

This helps since the dogs are "very lazy" and do not walk every day despite having parks all around.

“We kind of see where their energy is at. We gauge when they want to walk, they go to the door.”



Pet care advice

During the virtual event, dog experts also shared their wisdom with new fur parents.

Klondike Walkers Kennel's long-time breeder Meg Laudit gave tips for preparing one’s family for a newly-acquired puppy.

Here’s a simple cheat sheet based on the information she provided.

Puppy-proofing a home requires the following:

  • Keeping doors and windows closed
  • Keeping all cleaning supplies in high cabinets
  • Keeping sharp and small objects out of reach
  • Putting all medications away
  • Moving poisonous plants, herbs and spices, so dogs can’t eat them

The right gear includes bowls, a collar and leash, a crate and sleeping bags, grooming supplies, puppy or chew toys and a tag or ID or microchips.

Meanwhile, the characteristics of a trusted veterinarian include the following:

  • Advises owners on proper pet care
  • Administers immunization
  • Provides emergency response
  • Prescribes medication
  • Conducts physical labs and tests

Dr. Kitsie Torres of Royal Canin, on the other hand, focused on puppy food and nutrition.

“Puppy diet plays a good role in their health. Puppy diet provides vital nutrients for healthy growth, and these nutrients contribute to optimal digestion and health,” the health professional said.

Choosing a diet for dogs means taking their needs into account while respecting their nature.

Dogs select food based on smell rather than taste due to their highly-developed sense of smell and very few taste buds.

“If your puppy is refusing to eat, they might still be adapting to their surroundings. But always keep an eye,” Kitsie warned.

“Picky eaters are created, not born. Give them a little bit of time. If they really don’t like their food, you can change. It is important to transition them.”

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