Home » Blog » Archive for April, 2010
The Wellness Blog

Managing Pet Allergies the Natural Way

Next to obesity, veterinarians report skin and ear-related concerns are the most prevalent conditions they see on sick-dog visits.

Allergic reactions can show up at any age, though the vast majority of cases occur between two and six years. Yet few dog owners realize that these often-painful allergy symptoms may be remedied simply with the right nutritious food. A limited ingredient diet is designed to manage allergies naturally, by removing additional proteins, carbohydrates, fillers and additives. Since its successful introduction in 2004, Wellness® Simple Food Solutions® formula has helped thousands of dogs in need find relief from allergy symptoms and broaden the scope of healing.

Simple Food Solutions is the only limited ingredient diet that features fresh meat in all of its flavors and varieties. It combines one novel animal protein source, like duck, plus one easily digestible carbohydrate source, like ground rice, with a short, yet complete list of key ingredients. Nothing extra. We are happy to share our new complete line of Simple Food Solutions. In addition to Simple Food Solutions® Rice & Duck dry formula, we offer Simple Food Solutions® Rice & Lamb and Rice & Salmon, as well as a line of cans to complement each dry formula in Lamb & Rice, Salmon & Rice and Duck & Rice varieties.

Our three flavors allow you to pick a formula best suited to your dog’s needs and Simple Food Solutions cans are perfect for a dog who prefers moist food or as a complement to your dog’s dry diet.

The limited ingredients in Simple Food Solutions® are carefully chosen for their quality, nutritional value and their ability to nourish with simplicity:

  • Ground Rice – With the bran layer removed, it is easy to digest. There are no additional carbohydrates.
  • Duck, Lamb or Salmon – These are “novel,” high quality alternatives to common proteins due to their unique amino acid profiles.
  • Canola Oil – High quality fat source is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids to help dogs maintain healthy skin and coat from the inside out.
  • Tomato Pomace – Rich in the antioxidant lycopene; an excellent dietary fiber source.
  • Vitamins & Minerals – A complete blend of everything a dog needs for daily wellbeing.

How to Help Your Food-Sensitive Pet Eat and Live Healthier

So, you think food allergies are the unique domain of humankind? Well, think again. Animals suffer from food allergy symptoms too, and there is an ever expanding list of foods and food ingredients that, given the individual in question, could be the offending agent.

In fact, next to obesity, skin and ear-related concerns are the most prevalent conditions seen by veterinarians. Allergic reactions can show up in puppies as young as five months old, or in seniors as old as 12 years of age, though the vast majority of cases occur between two and six years.

Various prepared pet food ingredients can trigger allergic or food-sensitivity reactions in dogs and cats. These include not only the expected list of chemical additives, preservatives and flavorings that offer no nutritional value, but also many commonplace menu items that are known to be healthy dietary staples for most pets. Separating the helpful ingredients from the harmful is the key to sound pet nutrition and health. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Poisonous Garden Plants to Avoid with Dogs

Enjoy Outdoor Time Safely

Enjoy Outdoor Time Safely

Spring is a great time to give your dog more exercise and fresh air, often letting them have run of the yard. However, everyday gardens can pose a serious risk to your dog’s health. The following ten garden plants are poisonous and need to be kept away from our canine friends:

  • Bulbs – Amarylis, Daffodil, Elephant Ear, Hyacinth, Iris, Tulip. The bulb is the poisonous part, so beware particularly with those dogs that like to dig.
  • Ferns – Asparagus Fern, Emerald Feather, Lace Fern, Plumosa Fern. Many of these can be grown in a hanging pot, just make sure pieces of the plant or its berries do not fall to the floor.
  • Flowering Plants – Cyclamen, Hydrangea, Kalanchoe. While the blooms are beautiful the consequences can be deadly.
  • Garden Perennials – Charming Dieffenbachia, Christmas Rose, Flamingo Plant, Foxglove, Morning Glory, Nightshade.
  • Lillies – Glory Lily. These are not only toxic to dogs, but cats as well.
  • Shrubs – Cycads, Heavenly Bamboo, Holly, Jerusalem Cherry, Oleander, Precatory Bean, Rhododendron, Sago Palm, Yucca. Shrubs are one of the deadliest garden plants.
  • Succulents – Aloe.
  • Trees – Avocado, Buddist Pine, Chinaberry, Japanese Yew, Macadamia Nut, Madagascar Dragon, Schefflera.
  • Vines – Branching Ivy, English Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy. The foliage of vines is actually more toxic than the berries.
  • Other Plants – American Bittersweet

While it is best to not have these toxic plants in your yard, at the very least they should be fenced in to keep your dog from getting to them.

Seizures – Shedding light on one of the most common and disturbing neurological disorders facing pets

By Jane Kapalczynski, DVM

Seizures are one of the most common and disturbing neurological diseases. If you have ever witnessed your pet having a seizure, it can be a frightening experience that leaves you with many unanswered questions. A seizure is a dramatic event. First, your pet may have abnormal rhythmic muscular movements that gradually subside. Salivation may occur during a seizure and usually the eyes will be wide open but unfocused. Oftentimes a period of unconsciousness occurs where your pet doesn’t respond to your voice or touch in a normal way. And finally, they may appear apprehensive, restless, and/or fearful just before a seizure occurs. Pets can also act confused, tired, and thirsty for awhile after the seizure ends. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Great Reasons to Rescue a Shelter Cat


Every year six to eight million dogs and cats enter shelters. Three to four million of them are euthanized, mainly due to overcrowding. Approximately 70% of these euthanized animals are cats. The following are ten great reasons to adopt a shelter cat: Read the rest of this entry »

10 Reasons to Consider Adding Canned Food to Your Pet’s Diet

Canned formulas for dogs have many benefits for optimal nutrition that every pet parent should consider. Here are 10 reasons to consider adding canned formulas to your dog’s diet. Read the rest of this entry »

Ask the Vet – Understanding Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Mixing Canned and Dry Food

Each issue, Dr. Edward Moser, a board certified veterinary nutritionist, answers your questions on pet food nutrition.

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

Q: I feed Wellness Super5Mix Chicken Recipe dog food. I read on the label that it has omega 3 fatty acids. What are they?

A: Omega 3 fatty acids are now considered (National Research Council-2006) essential in dog diets.  Omega 3 fatty acids are especially important for dogs at times of growth, stress and distress. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish (salmon, herring, whitefish, and menhaden), algae and certain seed oils (canola, flax). An example of a fish based diet for your dog is Wellness® CORE® Ocean dry food formula with salmon, white fish and menhaden fish. There are 3 main types of omega-3 fatty acids ingested in food and used in the body:  alpha-linolenic acid ( ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Read the rest of this entry »

How to Help Your Pet Maintain a Healthy Weight

Exercise Pets Daily

Exercise Pets Daily

Pet obesity has become a widespread epidemic for many American pets. According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, 44% of dogs and 57% of cats in the US are overweight or obese. Between 2007 and 2008 the number of overweight pets increased by approximately 1-4%.

Health Risks Associated with Obesity
Extra weight can cause profound health problems for your pet. It’s important for pet owners to realize that a dog or cat carrying a few extra pounds is equivalent to a human being 30-50 pounds overweight. According to the second annual National Pet Obesity Day Study, pet owners are increasingly aware of this issue. 71.5% of cat owners and 60% of dog owners with overweight or obese pets identified their dog or cat as having an unhealthy weight. Read the rest of this entry »

Allergies & Your Pet

Daisy enjoys her time in the garden allergy free!

Daisy enjoys her time in the garden allergy free!

Dogs and cats can develop a wide variety of allergies causing them to lick their feet, scratch incessantly and develop ear infections.

At times scratching can become so severe the pet’s skin will become red and hair will start to fall out. Sores, welts and hotspots can also develop, which may lead to a secondary skin infection.

There are various types of allergies that may affect your pet.

Food Allergies

Dogs or cats with food allergies exhibit the same symptoms as pets with other types of allergies. This includes itchy skin, ear infections and red bumps.

What Causes Food Allergies?

Dogs and cats frequently develop an allergy towards foods they have been fed for an extended period of time. Some common pet food ingredients which are sometimes responsible for allergies include wheat, soy and protein sources, among others. Read the rest of this entry »

Ask the Vet – Diabetic Cats and Weight Loss for a Yorkie

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

Each issue, Dr. Edward Moser, a board certified veterinary nutritionist, answers your questions on pet food nutrition.

Q: I have a diabetic cat that I manage with tablets (not Insulin) and a low carbohydrate diet. Would your grain free pouches or canned food suitable for her? Do you have a low carbohydrate dry food that would be suitable?

A: Feline diabetes is reported to affect one in 400 cats seen by veterinarians; usually in overweight middle aged or older cats. The traditional approach in humans, dogs, and cats has been a diet of complex carbohydrates and fiber to slow down digestion; slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream. Read the rest of this entry »