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August Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about a cat with food allergies and the benefits of feeding grain-free dog food.

Q: I have a 5 year old cat with food allergies.  She can’t tolerate a food with many grains and is allergic to chicken. Does Wellness have a type of food that she would be able to eat?

A: Based on your diagnosis of food intolerance and allergy, you want to impose the following dietary restrictions for the cat: elimination of the dietary protein source chicken, and avoidance of grains, which contribute dietary carbohydrates.

I suggest you consider the following as the Wellness diets of choice to satisfy the requirements of your desired feeding program:

A.) Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe.  It is available In 5.5 ounce cans and is 192 kcal per can (78% moisture maximum).  It has a nutritional guarantee for all life stages.

B.) Wellness Cubed Salmon Dinner.  Available in 3 ounce cans at 81 kcal per can (82% moisture max).  It has a nutritional guarantee for adult maintenance.

C.) Wellness Minced Tuna Dinner.  Available in 3 ounce cans containing 73 kcal per can (82% moisture max).  It has a nutritional guarantee for adult maintenance.

To determine feeding rates, estimate the caloric need for your adult maintenance cat at about 22 to 25 kcal per pound of body weight.  Feed measured amounts of food two or three times daily.  Feed less if your cat is overweight, and more if your cat is underweight.

Use a scale to measure body weight frequently.

Q: We have been feeding our 2 year old Maltese a grain- free formula since birth (as recommended by the breeder). Why should I feed a grain- free food for dogs?

A: Grain free feeding such as Wellness CORE means the diet has a meat protein focus.  Wellness CORE grain free dry dog food is based on the philosophy of providing nutrient rich high quality meat/fish ingredients, while eliminating traditional grain ingredients (such as corn, wheat, oats, and barley).

Advocates suggest that a grain free diet more closely mimics our pet’s ancestral diet—higher in animal protein and fat while limited in carbohydrates from grains. This type of diet is more efficiently digested and less antigenically reactive for our pets.

Supporters of feeding grain free diet to dogs also suggest that positive results are visible: improved skin and coat condition, low stool volume and a more energetic dog.  In addition, supporters suggest encountering fewer problems with food allergies and food intolerances when feeding a grain free dog food.

Grain free dog foods tend to be energy dense, containing more calories per cup (dry food) or per can than foods that contain grain.  To avoid overfeeding,  it is prudent to follow the recommended feeding guidelines initially; then based on weighing the pet weekly, adjust the food offered in two or three daily meals.  I recommend that when feeding a grain free diet, dogs are not fed free choice.

Puppy Health – Nutrition for all Breed Sizes

cute pup3Wellness 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. Balanced, complete nutrition is a perfect start for your puppy on the road to True Wellness.

Nutrition and Well-Being

All puppies need a diet that encourages an active immune system. The immunity puppies receive from the mother’s milk will not last forever. Probiotics are an essential part of the digestive immune system. Puppies need to acquire these “good bacteria” from the environment to maintain a healthy intestinal tract and help fight illness and disease. Diets like Wellness Super5Mix Just for Puppy add Probiotics after the food has cooled, making it ideal for all puppies.

Customize Your Puppy’s Diet

Wellness Just for Puppy Recipe dry dog food

Wellness Just for Puppy Recipe dry dog food

Ideally, optimum diets for all stages of life are essential for a long, happy and healthy existence. This begins with puppy hood and continues well into the senior years of your dog. An ideal diet for puppies depends on many factors, not the least of which is whether the pup is a large breed or a small breed. The nutritional needs are very different for each.

SMALL BREED PUPPIES

- Small breed puppies, such as the Jack Russell Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, and Miniature Pinscher require more calories per pound than larger breed puppies as they generally are highly active by comparison. Omega 3 fats such as Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are critical in small breed puppies for enhanced brain development, healthy skin and coat. Because small breeds are more active, they can be susceptible to low blood sugar levels. To combat low blood sugar levels, your puppy should be fed small, energy rich portions on a frequent basis. It is also important to have adequate levels of fiber in the diet to help maintain a steady blood sugar level.

Many of the smaller breeds of dogs are very active, energetic pups that require lots more calories per pound than the giant breed puppies. They also require adequate levels of fiber to help regulate absorption of glucose (sugars) from the digestive tract.

The smaller breed puppies are known to be more vulnerable to a condition known as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Proper levels of fiber in the diet ensure a slow and steady absorption of glucose rather than all at once. The risk may increase if a puppy does not eat frequently during the day.

Small Breed Puppy

Wellness Small Breed Just for Puppy Recipe dry dog food

A smaller kibble size makes it easier for the puppy to eat and encourages easy ingestion of adequate amounts of food with less effort.

However, large or small, proper brain development is essential for all puppies, so adequate amounts of the essential Omega 3 fatty acid Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are needed in the diet. These levels are guaranteed in the Wellness Small Breed Just for Puppy Recipe.


LARGE BREED PUPPIES

- Large breed puppies such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and Labrador Retrievers require a far different diet from their small breed relatives. Controlled growth is essential for large breed puppies. These breeds actually need fewer calories per pound than the small breeds. With a potential growth of up to 100 times their birth weight, a large breed puppy’s energy intake must be regulated to ensure consistent, steady growth. If weight gain is too rapid, the result is stress on the developing bones which can lead to one of several severe developmental bone disorders. A slightly lean body condition throughout the first 10 to 12 months of life helps to maintain proper development of your puppy, while reducing the potential for problems. Optimum calcium and phosphorus levels, in the proper ratio to one another, are also critical for proper growth. Supplements that reduce the stress on developing joints such as glucosamine are an ideal diet supplement for these pups. As with the small breeds, the large breeds also need optimum levels of DHA in order to enhance brain development and a healthy skin and coat. Wellness Super5Mix Large Breed Puppy Health was designed for the specific needs of large breed puppies to aid in controlled bone development and a steady, paced growth rate.

Large Breed Puppy Health Recipe dry dog food

Large Breed Puppy Health Recipe dry dog food

Pet parents of large and giant breed puppies must always keep in mind that some of these breeds have a potential growth of 100 times their birth weight. For this reason, their rate of growth must be carefully controlled.

If they grow too rapidly, large and giant breed puppies are prone to developmental bone issues. For the first 10-12 months of life, these special puppies need to be fed a diet that allows for growth but also maintains a slightly lean body condition. This ensures that the developing bones are not forced to carry excess weight, which can cause stress and possibly lead to painful developmental problems.

Optimum levels and proper ratios of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are also essential to proper development.

Nutrition for these breeds should also contain essential nutrients for proper brain development. It is imperative that large and giant breed puppies receive the proper training necessary for you to maintain control of the very strong adult dog. Without optimum brain development the task of training a larger dog becomes much more difficult. Adequate levels of DHA, an essential Omega 3 fatty acid, have been shown to enhance brain development and assure optimum potential for training. DHA levels are guaranteed in Wellness Large Breed Puppy Health Recipe.