Q: My cat has noticeable dandruff. Is this normal, and is there anything I can do about it?
A: It is normal for your cat’s skin to slightly slough away resulting in what is commonly referred to as dandruff. Especially in cold winters, low humidity can dry the skin of an animal causing excessive flaking.
Diet can play a role in preventing dandruff. Be sure the foods you are feeding are complete and balanced, like Wellness Natural Pet Food, and contain optimum levels of the essential fats to encourage a healthy skin and hair coat.
Brushing your cat will help remove the flakes. Most cats are very particular about proper grooming and so when you see dandruff, it may be more than just the normal flaking of the cells of the skin. If your cat has excessive dandruff, it is important to have the problem checked by your veterinarian to determine the cause so an effective treatment can be developed.
Q: I have a Shar Pei mix rescue dog that is about 5 years old. She has very dry skin and a shedding problem.
A: Feeding a diet with optimum levels of Omega 3 fatty acids that are in the proper ratio with the Omega 6 fats may help to resolve the problem as they are essential for a healthy skin and hair coat.
The Shar Pei breed is known to have an increased incidence of skin problems. Many also suffer from food allergies or intolerances. If that is the problem with your pet, feeding a grain-free diet may help. Be sure to transition to the new diet slowly over at least a week’s time. When one suspects a food allergy or intolerance, one must give the new food at least two months (provided there is no negative reaction to the new diet initially), as it can take that long to rid the body of the offending allergens.
Keep in mind that there are other causes that can produce an itchy dry skin: external parasites, bacterial and fungal infections and several other common problems can cause the same symptoms and it is always advisable to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the cause, as well as the best procedure for resolving the problem.
Additionally, this could also be normal seasonal shedding. Regular brushing and mild shampoo baths will speed up the process and could help to resolve the itching.
The phrase, “you are what you eat” goes for your pets too. Feeding flaxseed for shiny coats can give your pet more than just a healthy coat.
If they eat healthy, their eyes shine bright, their coats gleam and they feel good. Yet, certain foods have added benefits. These so-called “power” foods boost your pet’s immune system, moisturize their skin and give them shiny coats. Packed with high levels of vitamins and minerals for maximum nutrition, “power” foods deliver for your pet’s health.
Flaxseed is one of those foods.
Flaxseed contains essential omega 3 fatty acids. A “good” fat, omega 3’s are great for your pet’s health inside and out. They repair and manufacture cell membranes so they stay healthy and increase the amount of oxygen coursing through your pet’s body. This increases the amount of nutrients flowing to cells.
The result? Flaxseed moisturizes the skin, reduces inflammation and can give your pet a soft and shiny coat.
It also has a nutty flavor most dogs love. You can buy ground flaxseed at some groceries or health food stores and sprinkle a tablespoon over your pet’s food daily.
Have you given your pet flaxseed for shiny coats and overall good health? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.
You might think your 10-pound terrier has a different digestion system than a 70-pound lab but the truth is, small dog digestion doesn’t differ that much from larger canines. They still have the same processing system, it’s just smaller.
All dogs are designed to bite off large chunks and eat quickly. In other words, don’t be alarmed if your pet woofs down his food, it’s part of what makes him a dog. From there, the food gets broken down in the stomach and passes through the intestines to complete digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Of course, small dogs don’t have the storage capacity of large dogs when it comes storing calories. They may need to eat frequent meals to keep their blood sugar up. A morning and evening meal may work better for the small dogs than one bigger meal.
Now that the weather’s getting warmer, it won’t be long before flea and tick season are here again.
Here are 4 Ways to Control Fleas and Ticks Naturally:
Apple cider vinegar can make a good spray too. Just mix it with water in a clean spray bottle, about ½ and ½. Then spray it on your pet daily. Pay special attention to behind the ears and the base of the tail where fleas tend to collect.
1–All Natural “Flea” Collars for dogs—rub one of the following essential oils onto a rope collar or bandana to keep fleas and ticks at bay. Eucalyptus, lavender or citronella are all scents that repel pests. You will need to do this weekly to keep it fresh and effective.
2—Supersonic – This small electronic device looks like a tag or pendant and fits on your pet’s collar. It emits a series of electronic pulses to prevent fleas and ticks from setting up camp on your furry friend. It’s safe for dogs and cats.
3—Vacuum often – If you have carpeted floors, be sure to vacuum frequently to pick up any possible flea larvae. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day and they’ll fall off your pet into the carpet and furniture where your pet sits. Frequent vacuuming can rid your house of these pests before they hatch.
4—Diatomaceous earth– You can sprinkle this powder around your yard and pet bedding to prevent fleas and ticks. It’s made of fossilized diatoms (a type of phytoplankton) and appears soft and powdery to the naked eye. However, if you look at it under a microscope, it’s actually full of sharp edges. These sharp edges provide effective natural flea prevention. Because when fleas crawl through the substance, the sharp shell edges slice their bodies. They leak water from the soft tissue and dehydrate.
Side Effects: A word of caution, the sharp edges can harm your respiratory track so wear a mask and goggles when you’re applying it to large areas like your yard or pet beds.
Let it settle without your pet around so they don’t breathe in the substance. Be aware, it’ll wash away in the rain for wait for a dry day and you’ll need to reapply it after heavy rains.
What’s your favorite method for preventing fleas and ticks? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Q: My sister seems to think that dry dog food is the best for her dog instead of wet canned food. She said dry is better because it helps clean their teeth, is this so?
A: That’s a great question. Many pet parents like to top the dry food with canned food. It can provide additional nutrition, if weight is an issue.
The best way to answer your question is to first put the question in a human perspective. We humans brush our teeth daily and even twice daily, yet we still need to have our teeth cleaned annually or even more frequently.
The point is, that no matter whether we feed all dry for or we feed some softer food, your pet will still need her teeth cleaned at some point. Feeding just dry food may slow the process but not by much.
Q: I have 2 small dogs (a Maltipoo and a terrier mix) both under 20 pounds. I have heard that I should not feed them wet food every day, but I feed them 1/2 can of wet food each day. I leave the dry out for them to eat throughout the day and I also give them some snacks each day. Is this okay? Should I change my feeding schedule at all?
A: There is no problem feeding any dog a combination of canned and dry food as you have described. Be careful to only feed enough each day to maintain a slightly lean body condition (that goes for small dogs and larger dogs as well).
Canned foods are nutritious and a great complement to dry diets. They can add variety to the diet and encourage proper nutrition in dogs that are picky eaters or having trouble maintaining adequate weight. They do contain significant calories and that should be considered when making up the daily diet.
CA and NJ are now requiring pets “buckle up” when riding in the car and other states are likely to follow in the near future. The reason is unrestrained animals pose hazards. Whether they want to climb in the driver’s lap because they’re nervous or they’re roaming all over the car pets can create a serious distraction for the driver.
Even if your dog loves to ride and always sits nicely in the back seat, your pet can be seriously hurt in an accident if they’re not restrained. Imagine getting rear-ended and your pet being hurled into the windshield.
If you don’t want to use a crate to transport your dog, you can stay safe on the road with doggie seat belts.
Here are 3 Types of Dog Seat Belts:
Many of the restraints are harnesses. You slip your dog’s front legs into the opening and it attaches at the back like a walking harness. They have clips that clip into the seat existing seat belt buckle to secure them similar to the way a person is strapped in.
These restraints have a harness with a strap that goes across your car ceiling to create a zip line. If your dog is nervous in the car, this gives him the ability to roam from window to window but he’s relegated to the back seat or back cab of an SUV.
Car Seat Lookout:
Small dogs will enjoy a car seat lookout. This seat is raised so small pets can look out the window as you cruise down the road. Some are a plush lined box for your pet while others can double as a soft-sided crate with a lid you can zip up if you need to carry your dog into the vet or onto a plane.
Have you used any of these with your pet? We’d love to hear about your experience on our Facebook Page.
Have a relative, friend or neighbor that recently welcomed a new pup into their home? What better way to show you care than with a puppy welcome basket? Chock full of good things puppies love, the new puppy parents will be surprised and delighted by your thoughtful gesture.
Here are some dog gift ideas to include:
- Puppy Kong – Kongs are great toys because they’re durable and can withstand sharp puppy teeth. When filled with peanut butter or Wellness treats they can keep him occupied for hours.
- Squeaky toys—Dogs love squeaky toys. Plus, they come in cute shapes like bagels or rolled up newspapers.
- Training pads— When a puppy has to go, he goes. Help train him with special pads designed to sop up the mess.
- Puppy toothbrush and toothpaste – Banish puppy breath by keeping a clean mouth!
- Shirt/collar/leash of parent’s favorite sports team – Imagine how delighted they’ll be when Max shares this allegiance.
- An assortment of Wellness® dog treats (of course!) including Just for Puppy Treats – great for training!
What are your favorite dog gift ideas for a puppy welcome basket? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.
Q: I have two questions. I am feeding my Golden Retriever Wellness® Complete Health® Super5Mix® Large Breed – Adult Health recipe. I give her one cup in the morning and one cup in the evening. Is this the right amount? Like most Golden Retrievers, she gains weight easily. Also, I’ve been told that rotating foods occasionally is good for them. Do you agree?
A: To determine the amount to feed a dog: get an accurate body weight on a scale (your vet will have a walk on scale), then consult the feeding guide on the package to get a suggested starting range. Start conservatively. Feed multiple meals per day if possible.
Wellness Large Breed Adult dry food contains 336 kcal per cup, so in two cups that is 672 kcal per day. If that amount maintains activity, body weight and body condition score at desired levels, then that is the right amount to feed.
Canine dietary rotation among complete and balanced diets is fine. To help avoid unwanted weight gain when switching foods, carefully keep the total daily caloric intake constant. Note that calories per cup are not the same for all foods—rather the number varies widely.
Q: I currently feed CORE® Grain-Free Ocean Formula due to my dog’s allergies. However, he is now six years old. Is it still OK to feed the same food to an older dog? At what age should I start looking at other formulas?
A: CORE® Grain-Free Ocean Formula is a great food for older dog maintenance. If the dog responds well to this food, there is no reason to switch to a senior low protein type diet.
It’s a gardener’s favorite time of year. The ground is thawing, the nurseries are coming to life and soon you’ll be digging holes for your bedding plants.
Of course, your favorite pets might like to join you in the hole digging too, or, they may simply find other means of entertainment that could be harmful.
Pesticides, cocoa mulch, even certain plants can be toxic to dogs and cats. You already know your dog will likely eat anything— or at least to try it and see if it’s tasty…. and this can be a problem.
Beware of Toxic Plants
Plant bulbs such as Daffodils are toxic if your pet digs them up and eats them. So are Azaleas and Tiger, Day, Asiatic and Easter lilies- but with these plants, your pet only has to eat a few leaves or taste the flowers to be sick. Symptoms typically include vomiting or diarrhea and can sometimes even be fatal.
Pesticides and Your Pet
If you use pesticides on your grass or garden areas, you pet can ingest those chemicals. Even if your pet doesn’t eat the grass or plants but just noses around, dog’s noses are a mucous membrane that allows many substances to flow in. Plus, pets lick their paws and if they’ve walked on treated grounds, that’s another way for them to ingest harmful chemicals.
Always read the label on a lawn treatment to learn what the possible dangers are to pets. If you have a lawn and garden company treat your lawn, be sure to learn what they’re using and their recommendations. They’ll usually tell you if it’s not safe for children and pets. There are organic pesticides that you can use instead.
Be cautious if you put traps in the yard or garden to attract slugs and other pests; often, dogs find them and eat them. They also may eat a dead rodent that was killed by poison.
It almost sounds like something straight out of Willy Wonka; “Tuck chocolate around your plants to keep them healthy.” Cocoa or chocolate mulch smells chocolaty and delicious yet it could be fatal to your pets. True to its name, chocolate mulch has theobromine in it, which is the ingredient in chocolate that is dangerous to dogs and cats. If your pets eat it, it could cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even seizures.
Make sure your garden is pet safe and keep an eye on them if they’re spending a lot of time in the yard. If they show signs of sickness, get them to the vet to ensure their safety.
Spring is here and the warmer weather is coming! This means that your pets may get Spring Fever and want to take themselves on a stroll around the neighborhood. Sometimes dogs and cats slip out of the door or the fence and before you know it, they’re gone.
No matter how your pet gets loose, you have only one wish… to bring them home safely.
A microchip in your pet can help you to be reunited with your lost dog or cat. Without a microchip, only 17% of lost pets are reunited with their families. A study at the University of Columbus found cats with microchips were 20 times more likely to return to their families and dogs were 2 and half times more likely to be reunited.
The way it works is simple: A small microchip—no bigger than a grain of rice– is inserted between your dog or cat’s shoulder blades. It’s quick, easy and no more painful that getting a vaccination. The microchip acts like a bar code.
Afterwards, if your pet gets loose, veterinarians and pet shelters can scan your pet to check for ID. If one is found, they’ll check the pet microchip databases to get your pet back home to you.
Though there isn’t a single central lost pet database, however the scanners can read microchips from a variety of brands.
The cost is typically $25-$50, plus a registration fee. In addition to a microchip, ensure your pet’s tags are up to date too. A clear name and phone number on a tag can make it easy to return a lost pet.