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The Wellness Blog

Ask Wellness June 2013

Q: My cat has noticeable dandruff. Is this normal and is there anything I can do about it?

A: It is normal for your cat’s skin to slightly slough away resulting in what is commonly referred to as dandruff. Especially in cold winters, low humidity can dry the skin of an animal causing excessive flaking.

Diet can play a role in preventing dandruff. Be sure the foods you are feeding are complete and balanced, like Wellness Natural Pet Food, and contain optimum levels of the essential fats to encourage a healthy skin and coat.

Brushing your cat will help remove the flakes. Most cats are very particular about proper grooming and so when you see dandruff, it may be more than just the normal flaking of the cells of the skin. If your cat has excessive dandruff, it is important to have the problem checked by your veterinarian to determine the cause so an effective treatment can be developed.

Q: I have a Shar Pei mix rescue dog about 5 years old. She has very dry skin and a severe shedding problem.

A: Feeding a diet with optimum levels of Omega 3 fatty acids that are in the proper ratio with the Omega 6 fats may help to resolve the problem as they are essential for a healthy skin and coat.

The Shar Pei breed is known to have an increased incidence of skin problems. Many also suffer from food allergies or intolerances. If that is the problem with your pet, feeding a grain-free diet may help. Be sure to transition to the new diet slowly over at least a week’s time. When one suspects a food allergy or intolerance, one must give the new food at least two months (provided there is no negative reaction to the new diet initially), as it can take that long to rid the body of the offending allergens.

Keep in mind that there are other causes that can produce an itchy dry skin: external parasites, bacterial and fungal infections and several other common problems can cause the same symptoms and it is always advisable to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the cause, as well as the best procedure for resolving the problem.

Additionally, this could also be normal seasonal shedding. Regular brushing and mild shampoo baths will speed up the process and could help to resolve the itching.

Feed Your Pets Flaxseed for Shiny Coats

The phrase, “you are what you eat” goes for your pets too. Feeding flaxseed for shiny coats can give your pet more than just a healthy coat.

If they eat healthy, their eyes shine bright, their coats gleam and they feel good. Yet, certain foods have added benefits. These so-called “power” foods boost your pet’s immune system, moisturize their skin and help give them shiny coats. Packed with high levels of vitamins and minerals for maximum nutrition, “power” foods deliver for your pet’s health.

Flaxseed is one of those foods.

Flaxseed contains essential omega 3 fatty acids. A “good” fat, omega 3’s are great for your pet’s health inside and out. They repair and manufacture cell membranes so they stay healthy and increase the amount of oxygen coursing through your pet’s body. This increases the amount of nutrients flowing to cells.

The result? Flaxseed moisturizes the skin, reduces inflammation and can give your pet a soft and shiny coat. It also has a nutty flavor most dogs love. Feeding your pet a natural food containing flaxseed will allow you to provide all of these benefits and more.

Try our Wellness Complete Health Dry Recipes for Dogs or our Wellness Complete Health Dry Recipes for Cats.

Have you given your pet flaxseed for shiny coats and overall good health? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.

Does Small Dog Digestion Differ from that of a Large Dog?

You might think your 10-pound terrier has a different digestion system than a 70-pound lab but the truth is, small dog digestion doesn’t differ that much from larger canines.  They still have the same processing system, it’s just smaller.

All dogs are designed to bite off large chunks and eat quickly. In other words, don’t be alarmed if your pet gulps down his food, it’s part of what makes him a dog.  From there, the food gets broken down in the stomach and passes through the intestines to complete digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Of course, small dogs don’t have the storage capacity of large dogs when it comes storing calories.  They may need to eat frequent meals to keep their blood sugar up.  A morning and evening meal may work better for the small dogs than one bigger meal.

Slow-feed bowls are available for those dogs who continuously eat too fast. These bowls containers dividers in the bowl, which then forces your dog to eat around them, slowing down the process.

Wellness offers a full line of food and treats for small breed dogs which you can browse, here. From healthy weight maintenance, to skin & coat support and smaller kibble sizes, there’s sure to be a dry recipe that’s just right for your petite pup! Pair it with some delicious Petite Treats soft or crunchy mini bites, available in four tasty varieties!