Q. We are switching our dog from Wellness® Complete Health Healthy Weight Deboned Chicken & Peas Recipe to Wellness® Simple. Do we have to go through the normal transition of mixing both?
A. We would not want your dog to experience any digestive issues while transitioning to a new Wellness recipe. While both foods are made by Wellness in our own state-of-the-art facility, we would strongly suggest that you do transition to the new food. Some dogs will transition more quickly than others and it is easier to transition from one food to another within the same brand, but I would still suggest you do take time to switch slowly from Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight to Wellness Simple.
Keep in mind that the Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight recipe contains 340 calories per cup while the Wellness Simple recipes contain between 406 and 450 calories per cup so you will need to feed less Simple. Be sure to feed only enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. Regular exercise is also an essential component to maintaining a healthy body weight.
When you rescue a dog from the shelter, you give him a second chance at life. Here are 10 ways you can get off on the right paw.
1– Talk with the shelter staff. Have them introduce you to their favorite dogs. Tell them what you’re looking for in a pet. Let them know what pets you already have and whether you have children. They’ll guide you to one that’s a good fit.
Find a dog who matches your temperament. If you enjoy lengthy hikes or other athletic endeavors, a high energy dog like a lab mix may be good for you. On the other hand, if you have small children or are looking for a dog who loves to snuggle, an older, more mellow dog may be a better option. The shelter staff can help you narrow your choices.
2- Once you’ve narrowed your choices to 2 or 3 dogs, see if you can take them each for a walk. Getting them away from the kennel environment will help many dogs relax and show you more of their personality.
3- Introduce your other family members to your candidates. This will help eliminate unpleasant surprises once you get home together.
4- If you already have a dog at home, see if you can bring your current dog in for a “meet and greet” or trade towels/blankets with each dog. The idea is each dog smells the other and begins to get accustomed to the other’s smell so they aren’t completely new to one another.
5- Once you’ve made your choice, determine where your new best friend will spend the first few days at your home. Even if your new friend is house-broken, the stress of moving and a new environment may cause him to “forget.” If you confine him to a kitchen, you’ll have easier clean up, yet, he’ll be able to adjust to family life.
6- If you plan to crate train, get the crate ready and decide where it will go in your home. When your new pet comes home, leave the crate sitting in its area with the door open and let him explore the crate on his own. You may find he enjoys being in it when he’s relaxing.
7- Aim for a calm schedule the first few weeks with your new pet. Take a few days off work if you can, and avoid planning travel right after adoption. Stick to scheduled meal times and walking times. The first few weeks are a critical adjustment time for everyone. Give yourself time.
8- Take your new friend to your veterinarian for a full checkup shortly after you bring him home. This gives you a baseline on health and temperament independent of the shelter.
9- Your new pet may benefit from doggie training classes or other forms of socializing such as dog parks. However, it’s important to discuss this with your vet and watch your pet’s temperament. Not every dog does well in these environments.
10- Make sure everyone in your family is onboard with the training plan. When everyone adheres to the schedule and uses the same commands, it’s easier for your dog to learn.
By giving a shelter dog a “forever home,” you’ll be deeply rewarded. You may find yourself the recipient of deep gratitude from your pet.
What tips do you have for a successful adoption?
Halloween offers lots of opportunity for fun with your pet. Evening strolls, decorations and costumes can all add to the fun. However, all pets aren’t the same and what’s fun for one is terrifying for another. Here are a few guidelines for Halloween fun and safety.
1-Pets in Costume – Who doesn’t love a dog (or cat) in costume? Sometimes, it’s the dog or cat. Try the angel costume on your Yorkie but if she seems stressed by it, don’t force the issue. Even if your pet seems happy to entertain you by wearing this year’s ensemble, don’t leave him or her unattended. Pets could hurt themselves trying to tear off headgear, cloaks, etc.
2-Trick or Treating with Your Dog – Does your dog love socializing with other dogs and people of all sizes? If so, you may have a prime candidate for canine trick-or-treating. Dress your pooch as a pumpkin and stroll the neighborhood looking for a bone-a-fied good time. Just make sure to keep your pet leashed and visible with a lighted harness or glow stick. Halloween can be full of surprises.
3-Keep Track of Your Pets – Halloween offers the opportunity for lots of fun and scary times. Most cats and some dogs may be happiest spending the evening behind closed doors safely removed from human trick-or-treaters. Consider your pet’s temperament.
4–Keep Pets Away From Treats – Chocolate can be deadly to dogs. So can xylitol (an ingredient in many sugar free candies and gums). As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep sugar away from your pets. Wellness brand treats like Yogurt, Apples, Bananas yogurt bars are pet-friendly and delicious!
5—Decorations—Candles, cords and paper or plastic decorations can all be harmful to your pets. Curious kittens and puppies can chew on things they shouldn’t or knock things over. If the flickering of a jack o’lantern or plastic decorations seem interesting to your pet, be especially vigilant.
Does your pet enjoy Halloween? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook page. Pictures are welcome!
Q. I was recently told that cats need wet food in their diet. I am wondering if this is true and if so why?
A. We recommend feeding at least a combination of canned and dry cat food. The most common reason cat owners take their cats to the veterinarian is for urinary issues. Many of these urinary issues arise when cats don’t get enough water in their diets. While quality cat foods like Wellness® do everything possible to reduce the chances of a cat developing urinary issues, cats may still develop them if they’re eating an exclusively dry diet.
Since canned food is 78-80% water, eating this food helps cats increase their water consumption and lower their risk of urinary issues.
If you have more than one cat, providing several water bowls and litter boxes will encourage adequate water intake. In addition, many cats love moving water. Re-circulating water fountains may also inspire your cats to drink more water. Wellness provides many wet cat food options, such as our hand-packed Signature Selects recipes.
September is National Disaster Preparedness Month and it pays to be prepared. Planning for unforeseen circumstances can give you peace of mind—not to mention, keep your family safe.
When considering disaster preparedness for your family, it’s important to include plans for your pets. Here are some suggestions:
- ID your pet. Tags get scratched or lost, and it’s easy to overlook replacing them as needed. Take a moment and review your pet’s tags. Do they need new ones? Have you moved and not replaced them with your current address? Is the information still legible? Refresh those tags either online or at the pet store. Proper ID makes it easier to be reunited if your pet gets loose. You may also want to consider microchipping your pet. A microchip implant is about the size of a grain of rice and is placed under your pet’s skin. According to the American Humane Association, “Microchipping serves as a permanent identification system that will always be with your pet. Nearly all animal shelters across the country routinely scan every animal upon intake for the presence of a microchip. Most veterinary clinics also have microchip scanners.”
- Prepare food and dishes. Putting an extra set of dishes and some food and bottled water aside in case you have to evacuate quickly will help you in frenzied moments. If you pack kibble, make sure to rotate it out every few months so it doesn’t get stale and lose its nutritional value. If you pack canned food, make sure to include a manual can opener.
- Speaking of evacuation, take your pet with you if you do leave. They are more likely to stay safe if they’re with you.
- Think through where you could evacuate. Would you go stay with family? At a hotel? A shelter? Consider your options and make sure they’re pet friendly. Many shelters don’t take pets and though more motels and hotels do these days, it’s always a good idea to check it out ahead of time.
- Make copies of your pet’s medical records. Put them in a waterproof bag or container along with a recent photo in case you’re separated.
- Stash leashes, harnesses and carriers. These can all come in handy if you need to get your pet out of the house in a hurry. If you somehow get out of your house without them, having extras tucked away in your kit can be lifesaver. If you have cats, you may want to purchase cat harnesses to use in the case of an emergency where you cannot use your carrier.
The Humane Society recommends keeping a basic disaster preparedness kit in your car if you live in a hurricane or flood prone area and in your basement if tornadoes are prevalent where you live.
What about emergencies that prevent you from getting home to your pets? For example, there’s a bad ice storm and you can’t get there at your regular time? It’s a good idea to have a trusted friend, neighbor or family member you can contact during this type of situation. They’ll need a copy of your key and need to know where you keep the pet food, etc.
If you use a pet sitting service, ask them what their policies are for emergencies.
Spending a little time now on your family’s disaster preparedness plan can give you tons of relief later if you should ever need it.
What other suggestions do you have? We’d love to hear about them on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wellnesspetfood
A. Akita’s are certainly considered a large breed, if not a giant breed, as they will easily grow to over 100 pounds as an adult. Large and giant breed puppies have significantly different nutritional needs. Their rate of growth must be controlled to prevent the risk of acquiring various developmental bone diseases. It’s important to limit their calcium levels and help them maintain lean body mass through their first year, which will reduce the risk of painful conditions.
Years ago we used to recommend large and giant breed puppy parents should only feed adult recipes as they are less caloric than most puppy foods. Today, there are specific large and giant breed puppy recipes that are lower in calories and in some cases lower in calcium.
The Wellness®Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Recipe is lower in calories and calcium and provides essential supplements like pre and probiotics which improve digestion, absorption of nutrients and immune system function. It also guarantees levels of specific Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA) which are essential for proper eye and brain development. This would be an ideal choice for your Akita puppy.
They’re happy to see you. They enjoy resting nearby and they offer communication through tail wags and rubbing against you. They’re our pets and they bring great joy and happiness to millions of households.
Although all pet owners experience the benefits of having a pet, there are specific ways that pets enrich the lives of the older population. Studies show that older people with pets are in better health and spirits than those without.
3 Ways Pets Benefit Older People
- Companionship – It’s no surprise pets provide reliable companionship. Having a friend around to snuggle provides comfort and solace for older people, whether they live alone or with a partner. When you hold and pet an animal, your body releases endorphins, or “feel good” chemicals. Regularly stimulating the release of endorphins can help reduce arthritis pain, depression and other ailments.
- Dogs encourage regular exercise – Taking a dog for a walk is a gentle form of exercise. If mobility is limited, dog owners can split the exercise into several short walks throughout the day. People who maintain consistency with their exercise benefit the most—both physically and mentally. Physically, walking helps manage conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Mentally, exercise eases anxiety, sharpens memory and inspires creativity.
- Protection—Many dogs will bark to alert their owners of potential intruders. Dogs can protect you while on a walk, and possibly even get help in the event of a critical situation such as a heart attack.
A. Dogs today are living longer than ever before, however, veterinarians still consider large breeds to be seniors at about 8 years of age, so most of that extended life will be as a senior. Your Jack Russell terrier, a small breed dog, would usually be considered a senior at 9-10 years of age.
A recipe such as Wellness® Complete Health Just for Seniors would be a good choice for your Rottie because it provides moderate protein, fewer calories and supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, omega 3 essential fatty acids, pre and probiotics and more to help slow the aging process. The Wellness® Complete Health Small Breed Senior recipe would cater to your Jack Russell terrier by providing the same age-specific vitamins & minerals as our other senior recipes while featuring a smaller kibble size.
In addition to feeding a senior diet that’s lower in calories, regularly exercising your older dogs is essential. It helps keep muscles toned, stimulates the heart and lungs and burns any additional calories to help maintain a lean body. The earlier you get your dogs started on a senior recipe, the more positive benefits you’ll notice.
It’s fun to bring home a new puppy or kitten. You can cuddle them, introduce them to family members, post pictures on Facebook and spoil them silly!
What’s not fun is when they chew something they shouldn’t—remote controls, shoes and window blinds come to mind. Puppies and kittens are naturally curious. They’ll explore the nooks and crannies that even your vacuum may not have seen lately, and they’ll learn about new things by putting them in their mouths.
So, how do you pet proof your home? Each room will require a slightly different strategy and in this post we’ll focus on your living room. It’s a good idea to take some time before your new furry family member arrives and give your home a critical eye.
5 Steps to Pet Proofing Your Living Room
1) Pick up shoes and stow them in a closet or bin. Puppies are notorious chewers, but kittens may find shoelaces irresistible too. Plus, without house training, they may find shoes to be excellent places to “mark” their territory. Yuck!
2) Remove breakables. It only takes a swish of a tail or a bat of a paw to knock your porcelain or other fragile knick-knacks off tables or mantles. Not only will you be left with shards of glass to clean up, but Mimi could step on them and get cut.
3) Pick up children’s toys. To prevent pets from potentially choking on smaller pieces, store action figures and building toys in a box with a lid when playtime is over.
4) Identify and research your houseplants. Many common plants and flowers are poisonous to pups and kittens so they could get sick from gnawing on the petals or leaves. You may want to swap any questionable plants for safe ones, or store certain plants in a room with a closed door.
5) Give your new furry friend a soft cushion or pet bed in your living room. Your pets want to be with you and they’ll appreciate a cozy place nearby to call their own.
What pet proofing tips have you’ve gained from experience? Do you have a photo of your pet lounging in his or new digs? Share them on our Facebook page!
If you plan a summer or fall road trip with your pets, you know you need to do more to ready your pet than simply toss Max or Fluffy into the backseat. It takes a little preparation.
First, you’ll want to establish that your destination is pet-friendly—there’s nothing like showing up at your hotel 7 hours later with Max in tow to be told there are no more pet friendly rooms.
Of course, you’ll also need a few other items as well. Here’s a list of travel necessities:
1—Restraint – Just as you use your seat belt when in the car, your pets should be secured. This prevents them from becoming projectiles if you are in an accident.
There are many options available today from harnesses that work similar to seat belts to traditional pet carriers. Which is best for your pet? It’ll depend on factors like your pet’s temperament and comfort level with riding in the car—and, how much space you have. If your car will be full of kids and luggage, putting Fluffy in a carrier may be your best option.
2—Food/Water/Dishes – Be sure to pack enough food for the trip and bring a water supply for your pet. You’ll need dishes too. If you make a pit stop and realize you don’t have a water bowl, it can make for a little unnecessary complexity. Collapsible travel bowls pack well.
3—Comforting Items – Even if your pets are good travelers, they will feel more content with familiar items such as their favorite toy, or an old towel or shirt that smells like home.
4—Cleaning Supplies/Alternate Carrier – Some pets are nervous travelers and may have an accident in their carrier. If this happens, you can minimize your pet’s discomfort by pulling over and cleaning out the carrier or swapping it for an alternate one.
5—Favorite Treats –Your pets already appreciate their favorite treats. They’ll be very happy that you remembered to bring them!