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The Wellness Blog

October 2012 Ask the Vet

Q: My one year old border collie/husky mix is on Wellness Super5Mix Just for Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food. When should I feed him adult Wellness and what would be good for him?

A: Now is a good time to switch from a Wellness puppy diet to a Wellness diet directed at the maintenance of an adult dog. Most veterinarians recommend switching when the puppy reaches about 80% of anticipated adult body weight or at 1 year of age.

Within the Wellness line of natural dog foods you have choices; Complete Health Super5Mix, CORE Grain Free, and Simple Limited Ingredient Diet. Canned and dry foods are available for all of these recommended Wellness dry dog food recipes. Remember each dog is an individual and response to diet will vary from dog to dog. Try different products and monitor the response; coat and skin softness and sheen, activity level, the presence of a small amount of firm stool, etc.

Score your dog on weight and body condition monthly to evaluate the amount of food you are offering. If the dog is too thin—feed more; too fat—feed less. In addition overfeeding can result in soft stools. Remember– when a dog is neutered, there is a decrease in the daily energy needs of individuals by as much as 25%–you will need to feed less.

Feed adults at least two meals per day— don’t free choice feed.

A great diet to try on your dog would be Wellness CORE® Ocean Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food.

Q: My cat seems to have trouble chewing and sometimes drops her food out of her mouth? Should I be concerned?

A: I would recommend making an appointment with your veterinarian for a complete physical exam with emphasis on the head, neck and oral area. Trouble chewing may be a warning sign of dental disease or enlarged lymph nodes. Be sure to check your pet’s teeth frequently and look out for warning signs such as bad breath and bleeding gums. Talk to your vet about dental health for your cats as a preventive measure to help ward off future dental issues.

Keeping Your Pet Safe This Halloween

Halloween is a fun time filled with witches and ghosts. The holiday can be festive and enjoyable for your pet as well. However, you do need to take some necessary precautions to keep your pet safe on Halloween. The following are some tips to ensure it is a happy and safe holiday for both you and your pet:

• No treats for your pet. While it may be tempting to share your Halloween loot with a beloved pet, the candy may actually be very harmful. Many candies contain an artificial sweetener, xylitol, which can cause serious medical problems if eaten by pets. And, of course chocolate is very dangerous for dogs and cats. Instead purchase a special treat designed specifically for animals so that your pet can enjoy the holiday right along with you.

• Ingesting decorative plants can cause your pet to have an upset stomach. While non-toxic, pumpkins and the decorative corn that we often use for the holiday can cause stomach irritation when nibbled by pets.

• Costumes only for willing pets. Let’s face it, the pet costumes are difficult to resist. However, dressing your pet in costume can be a disaster and a struggle. For those pets that are resistant to wear a costume, don’t push the issue and you and your pet will both have an enjoyable holiday. If you do to choose to go the pet costume route and the pet is compliant, make sure the costume does not restrict the animal’s movement. Pet costumes also should not restrict hearing, seeing or the ability to vocalize. Also, ensure that the costume has no dangling parts that your pet could get caught on, leading to injury.

• The ongoing line of trick-or-treaters can become too much for even the most docile pet, as stranger after stranger comes to the door. This can be frightening and induce stress in your pet, so consider putting your pet in a separate room, away from the door.

Following these simple tips will keep your pet safe and happy this Halloween.