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The Wellness Blog

The Right Start for Your Puppy: A Complete Approach



True Wellness™ for a furry new family member begins with the right food and continues with exercise, love and regular veterinary check-ups. A complete approach is important for a pet’s long, happy and healthy life. Puppyhood is the perfect time to build a healthy foundation for many years to come. Follow these important steps to begin on your puppies road to True Wellness.

1. Veterinarian Care
We all know that pets age much faster than humans. It’s important to remember that subtle changes in behavior and/or physical appearance should not be dismissed, as they may be the first indicator of a developing health issue. It is essential that pets are scheduled for regular annual examinations by a trusted veterinarian to monitor for any changes in your pet that can be detected only by a trained professional. Your veterinarian is dedicated to providing your pet with the very best care possible and it is absolutely necessary for him to regularly examine your pet in order to maintain the highest level of care for your pet.

2. Exercise
As with humans, exercise is essential to the happy and long life of your pet. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous in order to be beneficial to your pet’s wellbeing. Regular exercise is key, so set aside a brief period of time each day dedicated to physical activity for your pet. Doing this on a regular basis also gives your pet something to look forward to each day and strengthens the bond with your pet. Reward your puppy with a healthy treat such as Wellness Just for Puppy Treats. Read the rest of this entry »

Healthful Nutrition for Large Breed Dogs

An Example of a Large Breed Dog: The American Bulldog

An Example of a Large Breed Dog: The American Bulldog

Just like large and giant breed puppies, adults also need a diet that meets their specific nutritional needs. We all know that generally the larger the breed the shorter the life span. In spite of that fact, many larger dogs are living far longer than expected. Better breeding, an increased awareness of the importance of regular exercise and the value of good nutrition have all played a significant role in extending the life of our beloved pets.

There are specific considerations that should be addressed when considering a proper diet for your large or giant breed adult pet.

1. Weight gain and joint stress are two of the major concerns associated with larger dogs.

Excessive weight is an added stress on the joints of the body and can encourage the proliferation of osteoarthritis. Once the arthritis begins, the added stress of carrying extra weight for long periods of time can make the process progress much more quickly. In addition, long term obesity has also been found to increase the risk of other serious and debilitating conditions such as diabetes, pancreatitis, heart problems, spinal problems and even skin and hair coat issues.

To help with maintaining a healthy weight, Wellness® Large Breed Adult Recipe is designed to encourage a lean body mass while providing all the necessary good calories from protein and fat that are essential for a healthy and active life style. Extra weight puts extra stress on a large frame, so it’s important for your dog to feel satiated without consuming excess calories. With moderate fat, this recipe helps control energy intake, thus allowing your dog to eat enough and still maintain a healthy weight every day. For large breed dogs, their greater size means there is more muscle to support and keep strong. That why in our Super5Mix® Large Breed Health Recipe, we use 4 quality animal protein sources for increased protein. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Tips for Healthy Pet Weight Loss

Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important factors effecting your pet’s overall health and quality of life. Overweight pets are at an increased risk of diabetes, damaged joints and ligaments, heart disease and high blood pressure, digestive orders, and breathing problems among many other potentially life threatening ailments. As a pet owner it is up to you to make sure your pet is at a healthy weight.

Here are 10 tips for healthy weight loss:

* Take your pet for a physical exam. Before embarking on a pet weight loss program, get a complete physical examination by your pet’s veterinarian. While only a small percentage of overweight pets have an underlying medical problem, it is necessary to diagnose those cases and mange them appropriately in order to have any success with the weight loss program. Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe In The Winter

As we bundle ourselves up for these winter months it is important to remember our pets too! Some special precautions need to be taken to keep your pet safe from winter conditions. Here are 10 tips to keep your pet safe during this season:

* Watch the temperature. When the temperature outside falls below 20 degrees it is best to bring pets indoors. For short haired dogs, cats and young puppies or kittens it is best to bring them indoors when the temperature falls below 40 degrees.

* Make sure your pet’s outdoor water is not frozen. Remember, water freezes at 32 degrees and a frozen bowl of water will not do your pet much good.

* Check your car for nesting pets. The warm engines of parked cars attract pets seeking refuge from the cold. Before starting your car slap the hood to scare them away. Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Blogger:A Rear View of Nutritional Intake by Dr. Edward Moser

A pet parent was overheard asking a pet shop owner whether her choice of food was making a difference in the health of her dog. How, she pondered, could she gauge the health benefits of her pooch’s intake?

Dr. Edward Moser, a consulting veterinary nutritionist to Wellness, believes there’s no better way to evaluate what goes into your pet than by inspecting what comes out. Typically, the consistency, volume, color and odor of pets’ fecal matter reveal a great deal about whether they are eating right and effectively utilizing – digesting – the food’s beneficial components. Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Blogger: Cats and Kidney Problems by Dr. Edward Moser

Dr. Edward Moser, a board certified veterinary nutritionist, weighs in on pet food nutrition.

Have an older cat with a kidney problem? Wondering what Wellness food is best for her? Dr. Moser lends his insights.

Wellness feline diets are natural diets formulated to maintain health in cats of various breeds, ages, living situations and activity levels. Once kidney disease is diagnosed, we recommend the pet owner work with their primary care veterinarian to individualize the dietary plan. Usually, much attention is given to protein, phosphorus and sodium restriction in feline chronic real failure. Of the Wellness feline diet; Indoor Health has the lowest protein (31% as fed) content, is about 0.8% phosphorus; and 0.2% sodium, and contains 465 kcal per 8 ounce cup.

Dr. Edward Moser holds diplomate status with the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, and advanced degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (where he is an adjunct assistant professor Veterinary Nutrition) and The Ohio State University.

Guest Blogger: Free-Feeding By Dr. Edward Moser

Dr. Edward Moser, a board certified veterinary nutritionist, weighs in on pet food nutrition.

Wondering if you should portion-feed your cat or just leave food out? Dr. Moser lends his insights

Free-choice feeding, sometimes referred to as “free-feeding,” typically refers to an owner making food available at all times to the cat, without time or portion constraints. If the cat chooses to eat only the amount of calories it needs per day and shows it by maintaining a lean body weight – this method is acceptable.

If an owner chooses to free-choice feed, but they notice their cat over-consumes, one way to avoid weight gain is to change their food from energy-dense diets, to high-fiber/low calorie formulas such as Healthy Weight or Indoor Health. The calories per cup would be less and cats would feel full, even though they haven’t consumed extra calories. (This is sometimes referred to as bulk-limiting.) Read the rest of this entry »

Guest Blogger: Grain-Free Nutrition by Dr. Edward Moser

Dr. Edward Moser, a board certified veterinary nutritionist, weighs in on pet food nutrition.

Considering a grain-free diet for your dog? Wondering what considerations to keep in mind when looking at nutrition profiles? Dr. Moser lends his insights.

With so much focus these days on the benefits of the grain-free recipe, it seems increasingly likely that a key consideration is being overlooked by some makers of natural foods.

Providing a diet that is free of grains and rich in meat and other protein sources is all well and good, but other nutritional elements must also be taken into consideration or the resulting diet could ultimately prove harmful to pets. Read the rest of this entry »

Pets on a Plane: Air Travel with Your Pet

One of the trickier aspects of air travel is how to get our pets from point A to point B. There are many guidelines and restrictions when it comes to pet air travel that you will need to be aware of before planning your trip.

* Unless your pet’s carrier can fit under your seat they will need to be checked as cargo.
* Pets should be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned.
* Sedating your pet is not recommended, as it may cause difficulty breathing at high altitudes.
* The travel crate must be large enough for your pet to lie down, turn around and stand comfortably.
* The door of the crate must be metal that is thick enough to prevent the animal from bending or distorting it.
* Mark the crate with the words “Live Animal” and “This Side Up” along with your name, address and phone number.
* Many airlines stop shipping pets as checked baggage during extreme hot or cold weather. However, many have special programs that allow you to ship pets as cargo during times of day when the temperature is more comfortable.
* Make your pet as comfortable as possible in the crate with a blanket or towel and toys.
* Do not feed your pet prior to air travel, as this may cause them to have an upset stomach during the flight.
* Give your pet frozen water or ice cubes that will melt slowly during the flight.
* Book a direct flight whenever possible to avoid your pet having to be handled more than necessary on the tarmac.

Keep in mind that not all airlines allow pets to travel in the cabin or as cargo. Each airline will have their own restrictions and policies regarding pet air travel. It is best to check the airline’s website for their policy regarding pet travel before booking your flight.

Bonding Between Dog and Pet Parent

Whether you have adopted a dog as a puppy or an adult, the bonding process between pet and owner is a critical one. Many new owners make the mistake of assuming this bond will form automatically, when in fact your dog needs you to take certain actions to build a lasting relationship.

To bond with your dog you will need to spend time one-on-one together where your dog has your complete focus and attention. If there are other members of the family it is important that they also spend one-on-one time with the dog. If your household has multiple dogs it is important to spend time with each on their own, whether this is an outing together for the two of you or simply a play session. This should be done on a regular basis. Read the rest of this entry »