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December Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about weight loss for pets.

Q: My cat is overweight but very active, and when I asked my vet what to do, he just recommended giving her less food, so I now feed her 2/3 of a 5-oz can (Wellness canned food) per day. She is still the same weight after I cut back (from 1 full can a day), and she is now meowing more and visibly hungry, hanging out in the kitchen all the time begging for more food. I’m worried that she’s not getting enough food, and I’m surprised she hasn’t lost any weight. What should I do to help her lose weight? She does get exercise and that doesn’t seem to affect the weight either. Could it be a thyroid issue or some other medical concern?

A: To first determine how much weight your cat needs to lose – measure her body weight or body condition.  To start a weight loss and control program an accurate body weight must be recorded.  Weigh the cat frequently.  Visual inspection/estimation of body weight is not enough because it is inaccurate and not repeatable.  I would recommend purchasing a small animal or pediatric scale to weigh your pet regularly.

Feeding one 5.5 ounce can per day of Wellness food provides about 200 kcal of energy per day (depending on recipe).  When you lowered the amount offered to 2/3 can per day, it decreases the caloric intake to 133 kcal per day.  That is 66% of the original calorie intake and will result in weight reduction.  It is a substantial decrease in amount of food offered and is expected to trigger some hunger behavior.

Recommendation:

Get an accurate body weight and body condition score during a veterinary exam; rule out any medical problems.  Then, plan on feeding the amount of calories daily to promote weight loss.  Start at offering about 66% original caloric intake—about 2/3 cans per day.  Feed at least two meals per day—no treats, plenty of water.  Maintain the elevated exercise level you describe.  Weigh the cat twice weekly; on Tuesday and Saturday and record the results in a notebook.

In this case, the diet I would recommend is Wellness® CORE® Salmon, Whitefish and Herring Canned Food Recipe because of its high protein and lower fat content.   It helps maintain lean body mass and may contribute to “that feeling of fullness.”   It has 192 calories per 5.5 ounce can— so feed about ¾ can per day. Adjust the amount fed to your cat based on actual results and desired body weight loss.


Q: My dog needs to lose 4 lbs. She is a miniature Pincher Dachshund and she weighs 14 lbs and is just beginning to have a little tummy. I only feed her 1/2 cup of kibble in the morning and 1/2 cup at night but she is not loosing weight. I cannot get her to run and chase a ball, but I do take her to the park and walk her. Maybe I should walk her more?

A: I would recommend that you decrease the amount you are feeding and increase the level of physical activity to help your dog reach an ideal body weight. Try offering 1/3 cup of dry Wellness SuperMix® Small Breed Adult Health Recipe Dry Dog Food in two meals;  with one feeding in the morning and one at night.  A total of 2/3 cups per day or 280 kcal. While feeding this diet, it is important that you offer your dog no table food or treats. You can feed some raw fruits and vegetables as a snack to mix things up a bit. To measure your dog’s progress on this weight loss plan, weigh the dog twice weekly; Tuesday and Saturday and record the results. As far as physical activity is concerned, I recommend walks of at least 30 minutes by leash.  Feel free to adjust the amount you feed based on results you are seeing, and desired weight loss.

January Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about a cat with food allergies and keeping a dog’s coat shiny.

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

A: Working with your vet you have identified a sensitivity in your cat to feeding diets that contain chicken as a primary animal protein source and a long list of grains. For long term maintenance you want to identify Wellness feline diets that avoid chicken and turkey protein sources and limit grain ingredients. The Wellness canned diets of choice would be: Wellness CORE® grain free Salmon, Whitefish, and Herring Recipe, and Complete Health Beef and Salmon Recipe canned cat food.

The Beef and Salmon Canned Recipe has salmon and beef as primary protein sources, and contains no grains. Some carbohydrate is contributed by sweet potato, flax, and vegetables. A 3 ounce can contain 107 kilocalories of energy.

CORE Salmon, Whitefish and Herring Canned Recipe is also 100% poultry and grain free. In addition to fish; potato, cranberry, flax, and chicory root extract are included at low levels.

A 5.5 ounce can contain 192 kilocalories of energy.

Q: We love Wellness products! We have a 140 lb Bullmastiff that has suffered from chronic ear infections and skin issues. Wellness CORE is the food that keeps these issues at bay. I was wondering how I could bring more sheen to his coat. Will supplementing the dry CORE with wet food help give him get a shinier coat?

A: CORE is a natural, grain free pet food that is protein focused. Wellness CORE Original Recipe dry dog food is a chicken and turkey based protein source diet with potato as a carbohydrate source; canola oil and salmon oil for fat sources; and some tomato pomace for added dietary fiber. Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food is a fish based protein diet with potato as the carbohydrate source; canola oil for a fat source, and a mix of pea fiber and tomato pomace as a source of dietary fiber. Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish, & Herring Recipe is a canned food that is fish protein based, with some sweet potato and flax, fruits and vegetables; and chicken fat and salmon oil added.

Wellness CORE Original is about 421 kilocalories per cup and Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe is about 417 kilocalories per cup; Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food is about 220 calories per 6 ounce can.

Assume you are currently feeding about 5 cups per day of Wellness CORE Original (2.5 cups in the morning and 2.5 cup in the evening); about 2100 kcal of energy per day; and you want to bring out more sheen in the coat. Some changes you may try:

Plan #1:

- Morning feeding- 2 cups Wellness CORE Original dry dog food and 1x 6 ounce can of Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food.

- Repeat same as above for afternoon feeding.

Plan #2:

- Replace half the volume (cups) of Wellness CORE Original dry dog food you are currently offering daily with an equal volume of Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food for dogs at each meal. That is 1.25 cups of each brand of dry food in the morning and 1.25 cups of each dry food in the evening. A total of 5 cups per day.

In both plan #1 and #2; we are manipulating the amounts and/or ratios of the fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3) in the total daily diet for the dog. Monitor in a diary the results you see in skin condition, body weight, and stool volume and consistency.

December Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about weight loss for pets.

Q: My cat is overweight but very active, and when I asked my vet what to do, he just recommended giving her less food, so I now feed her 2/3 of a 5-oz can (Wellness canned food) per day. She is still the same weight after I cut back (from 1 full can a day), and she is now meowing more and visibly hungry, hanging out in the kitchen all the time begging for more food. I’m worried that she’s not getting enough food, and I’m surprised she hasn’t lost any weight. What should I do to help her lose weight? She does get exercise and that doesn’t seem to affect the weight either. Could it be a thyroid issue or some other medical concern?

A: To first determine how much weight your cat needs to lose – measure her body weight or body condition. To start a weight loss and control program an accurate body weight must be recorded. Weigh the cat frequently. Visual inspection/estimation of body weight is not enough because it is inaccurate and not repeatable. I would recommend purchasing a small animal or pediatric scale to weigh your pet regularly.

Feeding one 5.5 ounce can per day of Wellness food provides about 200 kcal of energy per day (depending on recipe). When you lowered the amount offered to 2/3 can per day, it decreases the caloric intake to 133 kcal per day. That is 66% of the original calorie intake and will result in weight reduction. It is a substantial decrease in amount of food offered and is expected to trigger some hunger behavior.

Recommendation:

Get an accurate body weight and body condition score during a veterinary exam; rule out any medical problems. Then, plan on feeding the amount of calories daily to promote weight loss. Start at offering about 66% original caloric intake—about 2/3 cans per day. Feed at least two meals per day—no treats, plenty of water. Maintain the elevated exercise level you describe. Weigh the cat twice weekly; on Tuesday and Saturday and record the results in a notebook.

In this case, the diet I would recommend is Wellness® CORE® Salmon, Whitefish and Herring Canned Food Recipe because of its high protein and lower fat content. It helps maintain lean body mass and may contribute to “that feeling of fullness.” It has 192 calories per 5.5 ounce can— so feed about ¾ can per day. Adjust the amount fed to your cat based on actual results and desired body weight loss.


Q: My dog needs to lose 4 lbs. She is a miniature Pincher Dachshund and she weighs 14 lbs and is just beginning to have a little tummy. I only feed her 1/2 cup of kibble in the morning and 1/2 cup at night but she is not loosing weight. I cannot get her to run and chase a ball, but I do take her to the park and walk her. Maybe I should walk her more?

A: I would recommend that you decrease the amount you are feeding and increase the level of physical activity to help your dog reach an ideal body weight. Try offering 1/3 cup of dry Wellness SuperMix® Small Breed Adult Health Recipe Dry Dog Food in two meals; with one feeding in the morning and one at night. A total of 2/3 cups per day or 280 kcal. While feeding this diet, it is important that you offer your dog no table food or treats. You can feed some raw fruits and vegetables as a snack to mix things up a bit. To measure your dog’s progress on this weight loss plan, weigh the dog twice weekly; Tuesday and Saturday and record the results. As far as physical activity is concerned, I recommend walks of at least 30 minutes by leash. Feel free to adjust the amount you feed based on results you are seeing, and desired weight loss.

December Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about a cat with food allergies, keeping a dog’s coat shiny and feeding a dog with pancreatic issues.

Q: I am currently trying to switch my lab to Wellness® Super5Mix® Healthy Weight Recipe dry dog food because it is low in fat. He is currently being treated for pancreatic insufficiency and is on a prescription dry food with added pancreatic enzymes and probiotics. I am trying to switch to an over the counter dry dog food. Would Wellness Healthy Weight be the one to switch to? Do you have any suggestions as to what Wellness diet I should try?

A: Your vet has diagnosed your adult dog with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).

Dogs with EPI have a history of chronic small intestinal diarrhea, weight loss and failure to thrive. Pets with EPI defecate frequently (6 to 10 times per day); have stools that are typically voluminous, greasy, foul smelling and pale in color. EPI refers to a partial or complete deficiency of pancreatic enzymes and is the most common cause of maldigestion in dogs. It may occur in young dogs as a congenital disorder (pancreatic acinar cell atrophy) or may develop as a sequel to pancreatitis.

The dietary management goals for patients with EPI are: a highly digestible diet with low to moderate fat (10 to 15% as fed) and low crude fiber (less than 4% as fed).

The Wellness diet of choice for your dog’s condition is Wellness® Simple Food Solutions® dry dog food. The Simple Food Solutions family of diets consists of a choice of 3 novel animal proteins: Duck, Lamb and Salmon. All three Simple Food Solutions dry dog food formulas contain rice as a carbohydrate source; canola oil as a fat source; a small amount of tomato pomace added for gut health and stool quality- the diet crude fiber remains less than 2%. Additionally, these diets are fortified with fat and water soluble vitamins; the Simple Food Solutions diets do not contain added probiotics. I would recommend trying Wellness Simple Food Solutions Salmon & Rice Formula dry dog food initially.

Your vet would continue to recommend supplemental digestive enzymes and probiotics. Serum cobalamin (B12) levels will be monitored by your vet to assure adequate levels.

I would recommend that you feed frequent small meals; monitor your pet’s body weight, stool consistency & frequency and continue with regular veterinary evaluations.


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

A: Working with your vet you have identified a sensitivity in your cat to feeding diets that contain chicken as a primary animal protein source and a long list of grains. For long term maintenance you want to identify Wellness feline diets that avoid chicken and turkey protein sources and limit grain ingredients. The Wellness diets of choice would be: Wellness CORE® grain free Salmon, Whitefish, and Herring Recipe, and Complete Health Beef and Salmon Recipe canned cat food.

The Beef and Salmon Recipe has salmon and beef as primary protein sources, and contains no grains. Some carbohydrate is contributed by sweet potato, flax, and vegetables. A 3 ounce can contain 107 kilocalories of energy.

CORE Salmon, Whitefish and Herring Recipe is also 100% poultry and grain free. In addition to fish; potato, cranberry, flax, and chicory root extract are included at low levels.

A 5.5 ounce can contain 192 kilocalories of energy.

Q: We love Wellness products! We have a 140 lb Bullmastiff that has suffered from chronic ear infections and skin issues. Wellness CORE is the food that keeps these issues at bay. With Wellness CORE his coat does not seem as shiny. I was wondering how I could bring more sheen to his coat. Will supplementing the dry CORE with wet food help give him get a shinier coat?

A: CORE is a natural, grain free pet food that is protein focused. Wellness CORE Original Recipe dry dog food is a chicken and turkey based protein source diet with potato as a carbohydrate source; canola oil and salmon oil for fat sources; and some tomato pomace for added dietary fiber. Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food is a fish based protein diet with potato as the carbohydrate source; canola oil for a fat source, and a mix of pea fiber and tomato pomace as a source of dietary fiber. Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish, & Herring Recipe is a canned food that is fish protein based, with some sweet potato and flax, fruits and vegetables; and canola and salmon oil added.

Wellness CORE Original and Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe are both about 430 kilocalories per cup; Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food is about 220 calories per 6 ounce can.

Assume you are currently feeding about 5 cups per day of Wellness CORE Original (2.5 cups in the morning and 2.5 cup in the evening); about 2100 kcal of energy per day; and you want to bring out more sheen in the coat. Some changes you may try:

Plan #1:

- Morning feeding- 2 cups Wellness CORE Original dry dog food and 1x 6 ounce can of Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food.

- Repeat same as above for afternoon feeding.

Plan #2:

- Replace half the volume (cups) of Wellness CORE Original dry dog food you are currently offering daily with an equal volume of Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food for dogs at each meal. That is 1.25 cups of each brand of dry food in the morning and 1.25 cups of each dry food in the evening. A total of 5 cups per day.

In both plan #1 and #2; we are manipulating the amounts and/or ratios of the fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3) in the total daily diet for the dog. Monitor in a diary the results you see in skin condition, body weight, and stool volume and consistency.

October Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about the proper diet for a cat with megacolon and what to feed a Havanese to encourage a shiny coat.

Q: My cat has megacolon and my vet put him on a prescription food, but he hates it. He loves Wellness and I have been feeding him the canned chicken and turkey. He also really loves Wellness dry food, so I give him a little bit with the canned food. The vet suggested that I need a low residue food. Can you recommend a diet plan from Wellness that would suit my cats needs?

A: Megacolon is not a specific disease, rather it describes a much dilated, flabby, incompetent colon, with loss of motility.  It will result in severe constipation with a stool that is dry and hard (as water is absorbed by the colon). Cats affected with idiopathic megacolon (cause unknown) are usually adults between the ages of five and nine.  The condition is chronic and usually diagnosed after constipation has been present for some time.  This condition is common among obese cats. Chronically constipated cats often exhibit weight loss and poor body condition.

A Diet to Meet Your Cat’s Needs Should Meet the Following Six Criteria:

1. Hydration – Maintaining hydration is important for managing patients with chronic constipation.  Ensuring adequate water intake is often overlooked.  Moist foods (formulated with at least 75% water) are recommended for severe constipation.

2. Dietary fiber – Increasing dietary fiber is a great way to manage severe constipation. Foods for patients with idiopathic megacolon should have minimal crude fiber (less than 3%)

3. Digestibility – Highly digestible foods with increased nutrient density are desired to enhance nutrient uptake and reduce stool volume.

4. Diet Energy Density—About 4 kcal/g dry matter or greater; offer food amounts recommended by your veterinarian based on body condition score, and body weight.

5. Small Frequent Meals - Smaller, more frequent meals (4 to 6 per day) may aid in digestive efficiency.

6. Palatability – Select a highly palatable diet with a taste your cat will love. This will help ensure that he’ll eat enough calories to maintain a healthy body weight.

Recommended Wellness Diets:

I’d recommend feeding either of the following Wellness® Cat Cut Entrées to meet your cat’s specific needs.

1. Wellness Sliced Chicken Entrée – 3 ounce canned cat food

2. Wellness Minced Turkey Entrée – 3 ounce canned cat food

Both of these natural products meet the key nutritional factors listed above.  The diets are about 80% moisture and are quite palatable.  They are energy dense, grain-free options that are low in dietary fiber, highly digestible and contain no artificial flavors or colors, wheat, corn, soy or meat by products. Each 3 ounce can contains 87 kilocalories of energy.  Work closely with your veterinarian to determine how much to feed your cat based on his body weight and body condition score.

Q: I have a one and a half year old havanese. Her coat used to shine, but within the past six months her coat has lost its shine. She is all black and she looks a bit ashy. I brush her every other day and I feed her Wellness® Super5Mix® dry dog food only. Is there something I can do to give her coat its shine back?

A: Try a daily calorie diet plan including both canned food and dry food in equal amounts.  I’d recommend trying Wellness® Simple Food Solutions® for Dogs – this limited ingredient diet is the simplest natural option for your dog .  Each Wellness Simple Food Solutions recipe contains antioxidant vitamins, chelated zinc and copper and beneficial omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid to aid in healthy skin and a glossy coat.  No meat by products, wheat, corn, soybeans or chemical preservatives are used in production.

Recommended Dry Dog Food

Simple Food Solutions Rice and Salmon Formula; contains salmon, rice, canola oil, and tomato pomace.  (405 kilocalories per 8 ounce measuring cup.)

Recommended Canned Dog Food

Simple Solutions Salmon and Rice Formula which contains salmon, rice, and canola oil.  (471 kilocalories per 12.5 ounce can)

Assume a 12 pound Havanese will require about 250 to 300 kilocalories of energy per day. Check this estimate by measuring how much you are currently feeding.  Also, obtain a body weight and estimate a body condition score.

Estimated feeding guide:

Morning feeding =  1/3 cup of dry kibble = 135 kilocalories

Evening feeding= 1/3 (12.5 ounce) can = 157 kilocalories

Total daily intake = 292 kcal

You may need to adjust the amount you feed your Havanese based on his weight, feed more if your dog is underweight and less if your dog is overweight.

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.

May Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about choosing the right food for a dog with SARDS and a dog developing fatty nodules.

Q: We have a 10-year-old daschund that has Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS) and is also excessively hungry. We are feeding her Complete Health® Super5Mix® Just for Seniors, but it is hard to keep her satisfied and keep her weight down. Any suggestions?

A: Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS) causes loss of visual function in any breed of dog; blindness results in days to weeks. The cause is still being investigated.

Before the onset of permanent blindness, the dog may exhibit clinical signs similar to Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) increased food and water intake, urination and body weight.

When you go to the veterinary clinic for follow-up; have your vet measure the body weight and estimate the body condition score.  Then, based on examination findings, a program can be established to help control body weight.

Don’t free choice feed (leave foods out all the time); rather feed a premeditated number of calories per day in a meal fashion– two to three times per day.  This increases digestive function and satiety.

Here are 3 feed management suggestions for a 15 pound dog (desired weight) that needs about 350 kcal of energy per day:

#1  Feed 1/3 cup of Just for Senior dry kibble three times per day.   (340 kcal)

#2   Feed ½ x 6 ounce can of Senior Recipe wet food in the morning. (90 kcal)

       Feed ½ x 6 ounce can of Senior Recipe wet food at noon            (90 kcal)

       Feed ½ cup of Just for Senior dry kibble in the evening.              (175 kcal)

#3  Feed 1/3 cup of CORE® Reduced Fat kibble three times per day. (350 kcal)

Monitor your pet’s progress by measuring the body weight twice a week.  Adjust the caloric intake depending depending on the desired effect on body weight.  Encourage your dog to exercise by going for a daily walk.

Q: My lab eats Wellness® Large Breed Adult Health, is 9 years old and has begun to develop fatty nodules.  Is there a special food to prevent and reduce fatty deposits?

A: A lipoma is a benign fatty tumor commonly found subcutaneously in overweight dogs.  They should be evaluated by your veterinarian.  Many times a “watch and see plan” is adopted; you measure the lumps monthly and record the results to monitor change; then discuss findings with your vet at the next wellness exam.

Adipose (fat) tissue was historically thought of as inert storage of energy for later use.  Current research has shown an important secretory role for adipose tissue.  Adiposites (fat cells) have the ability to release high levels of chemical mediators called adipokines.  Adipokines influence appetite, energy intake and expenditure, satiety, insulin responsiveness, and inflammatory response.  In addition to interference with movement and structure, lipomas are metabolically active and can impact overall health.

There is not a special “low lipoma” diet but since your dog is probably overweight, you should discuss a weight reduction program during your veterinary appointment.  Walk your dog onto a scale at the clinic and get an accurate body weight.  With the vet’s help, learn to assign a body condition score.

Also, measure how much food and treat calories (energy) the dog eats every day.

Because weight loss is desired, decrease the current total amount of Wellness Large Breed Adult Health dry kibble and treat calories offered by 20% daily.  One 8 oz. measuring cup of Wellness Large Breed Adult Health kibble contains almost 340 kcal.  Feed small frequent meals (three daily) of measured amounts of food.  Do not free feed and use treats sparingly.

Keeping your pet active will also help achieve weight loss goals. Walking your lab regularly and encouraging active play can help your pet get fit and stay fit. Be sure to weigh your pet frequently so that you can monitor progress and continue to adjust the diet as needed.

April Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about helping a dog with digestive issues and selecting an adult food for a 1 year old puppy.

Q: We own a Biewer Terrier that weighs 3 lb. 11 oz. and is 2 1/2 years old. She has a very touchy digestive system and gets gastroenteritis on a regular basis. We feed Wellness Super5Mix® Small Breed Adult Health Recipe Dry Dog Food in the morning, and canned (Venison & Sweet Potato or Duck & Sweet Potato) in the evening. She gets a treat in the evening (Wellness Pure Rewards® Chicken & Lamb Jerky). Nothing else is fed to her, no table scraps, etc. Still she gets a terribly growling stomach which leads to diarrhea. Her stool has been checked for parasites. Due to her small size, we are always concerned about dehydration when this flairs up. Any suggestions?

A: Some dogs develop allergies, sensitivities or intolerances to commonly used dietary proteins and food additives which can result in gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. I recommend a dietary elimination trial using Wellness® Simple Food Solutions® Formula Canned Dog Food for about 8 weeks.

Wellness Simple Food Solutions Formula Dry Dog Food Recipes are designed to aid in the nutritional management of this issue with a one protein: one carbohydrate diet plan. (Compare the simplicity of the ingredient panel with any other dog food– including Wellness Super5Mix). This special natural recipe drastically limits the number of ingredients your dog is exposed to daily.

Since your dog has been exposed to duck and lamb ingredients in the past year, I would recommend Wellness Simple Food Solutions Salmon and Rice Formula Canned Dog Food for the elimination trial as the sole source of nutrition. Nothing else is to be fed. Eliminate the use of the dry diet, and the evening treat.

Feed small frequent meals –at least two to three times per day. Monitor dietary response by recordings in a journal; note days your pet experiences digestive upset as well as days with stool that is not normally well formed.

A 3.11 pound Biewer Terrier dog requires about 200 kcal of energy per day to maintain body weight. Wellness Simple Food Solutions Salmon and Rice Formula Canned Dog Food contains about 471 kcal of energy per 12.5 ounce can. In a day you should offer about 40-45% of the can. Don’t overfeed.

Remember to weigh the dog – feed less if it is gaining unwanted weight and more if losing weight.

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 Food Solutions. 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. It has enhanced levels of protein from fish (34%), moderate (14%) fat that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and increased crude fiber (7%). A cup of this food has 430 kcal of energy; two cups is usually sufficient to maintain body weight in a 35 pound dog. As a point of comparison: your current food, Wellness Super5Mix® Just for Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food, contains about 450 kcal of energy per cup.

January Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about a cat with food allergies, keeping a dog’s coat shiny and feeding a dog with pancreatic issues.

Q: I am currently trying to switch my lab to Wellness® Super5Mix® Healthy Weight Recipe dry dog food because it is low in fat. He is currently being treated for pancreatic insufficiency and is on a prescription dry food with added pancreatic enzymes and probiotics. I am trying to switch to an over the counter dry dog food. Would Wellness Healthy Weight be the one to switch to? Do you have any suggestions as to what Wellness diet I should try?

A: Your vet has diagnosed your adult dog with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).

Dogs with EPI have a history of chronic small intestinal diarrhea, weight loss and failure to thrive.  Pets with EPI defecate frequently (6 to 10 times per day);  have stools that are typically voluminous, greasy, foul smelling and pale in color.  EPI refers to a partial or complete deficiency of pancreatic enzymes and is the most common cause of maldigestion  in dogs.  It may occur in young dogs as a congenital disorder (pancreatic acinar cell atrophy) or may develop as a sequel to pancreatitis.

The dietary management goals for patients with EPI are: a highly digestible diet with low to moderate fat (10 to 15% as fed) and low crude fiber (less than 4% as fed).

The Wellness diet of choice for your dog’s condition is Wellness® Simple Food Solutions® dry dog food.  The Simple Food Solutions family of diets consists of a choice of 3 novel animal proteins:  Duck, Lamb and Salmon.  All three Simple Food Solutions dry dog food formulas contain rice as a carbohydrate source; canola oil as a fat source; a small amount of tomato pomace added for gut health and stool quality- the diet crude fiber remains less than 2%.  Additionally, these diets are fortified with fat and water soluble vitamins; the Simple Food Solutions diets do not contain added probiotics.  I would recommend trying Wellness Simple Food Solutions Salmon & Rice Formula dry dog food initially.

Your vet would continue to recommend supplemental digestive enzymes and probiotics.  Serum cobalamin (B12) levels will be monitored by your vet to assure adequate levels.

I would recommend that you feed frequent small meals; monitor your pet’s body weight, stool consistency & frequency and continue with regular veterinary evaluations.


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

A: Working with your vet you have identified a sensitivity in your cat to feeding diets that contain chicken as a  primary animal protein source and a long list of grains.  For long term maintenance you want to identify Wellness feline diets that avoid chicken and turkey protein sources and limit grain ingredients.  The Wellness diets of choice would be:  Wellness CORE® grain free Salmon, Whitefish, and Herring Recipe, and Complete Health Beef and Salmon Recipe canned cat food.

The Beef and Salmon Recipe has salmon and beef as primary protein sources, and contains no grains.  Some carbohydrate is contributed by sweet potato, flax, and vegetables.  A 3 ounce can contain 107 kilocalories of energy.

CORE Salmon, Whitefish and Herring Recipe is also 100% poultry and grain free.  In addition to fish; potato, cranberry, flax, and chicory root extract are included at low levels.

A 5.5 ounce can contain 192 kilocalories of energy.

Q: We love Wellness products! We have a 140 lb Bullmastiff that has suffered from chronic ear infections and skin issues. Wellness CORE is the food that keeps these issues at bay. With Wellness CORE his coat does not seem as shiny. I was wondering how I could bring more sheen to his coat. Will supplementing the dry CORE with wet food help give him get a shinier coat?

A: CORE is a natural, grain free pet food that is protein focused.  Wellness CORE Original Recipe dry dog food is a chicken and turkey based protein source diet with potato as a carbohydrate source; canola oil and salmon oil for fat sources; and some tomato pomace for added dietary fiber.   Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food is a fish based protein diet with potato as the carbohydrate source; canola oil for a fat source, and a mix of pea fiber and tomato pomace as a source of dietary fiber.  Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish, & Herring Recipe is a canned food that is fish protein based, with some sweet potato and flax, fruits and vegetables; and canola and salmon oil added.

Wellness CORE Original and Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe are both about 430 kilocalories per cup; Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food is about 220 calories per 6 ounce can.

Assume you are currently feeding about 5 cups per day of Wellness CORE Original (2.5 cups in the morning and 2.5 cup in the evening); about 2100 kcal of energy per day; and you want to bring out more sheen in the coat.  Some changes you may try:

Plan #1:

- Morning  feeding- 2 cups Wellness CORE Original dry dog food and 1x 6 ounce can of Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food.

- Repeat same as above for afternoon feeding.

Plan #2:

- Replace half the volume (cups) of Wellness CORE Original dry dog food you are currently offering daily with an equal volume of Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food for dogs at each meal.  That is 1.25 cups of each brand of dry food in the morning and 1.25 cups of each dry food in the evening.  A total of 5 cups per day.

In both plan #1 and #2; we are manipulating the amounts and/or ratios of the fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3) in the total daily diet for the dog.  Monitor in a diary the results you see in skin condition, body weight, and stool volume and consistency.

November Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about a dog with severe allergies and feeding two Westies to meet their individual needs.

Q: Our 3 year old Golden Retriever was suffering severe skin allergies and frequent ear infections, his Vet changed his diet for an hypoallergenic, then we switched for a high quality natural grain free formula, with both types of food the results were the same, he reduced most of his allergies. Now we’re interested in upgrading his food and trying holistic formulas. We are looking for the best, for that reason we chose Wellness. We bought the Wellness Super5Mix Lamb, Barley & Salmon Meal Recipe for Dogs, this is his first week in this transition and he is doing great! We would like to know if we selected a good choice with the Lamb formula or if the Wellness CORE might be a better solution for him.

A: Using dietary manipulation, you and your vet have reduced the skin and ear discomfort in your Golden Retriever – caused at least partially, by his food allergy or intolerance.

For long term dermatologic control for your dog with a Wellness diet, I recommend choosing from Wellness ® Simple Food Solutions® dry dog food.  Natural nutrition with simplicity is the benefit.  A single novel protein source is added to rice and a very short, yet complete, ingredient list.  The number of ingredients and possible allergens your dog is exposed to each day is decreased.

The novel protein choices are:  Salmon, Duck and Lamb.  In addition, canola oil is added for skin and coat quality and to support the epidermal skin barrier; tomato pomace is added as a fiber source.  For added nutritional support, antioxidant vitamins, beta carotene and vitamin E are added and the formulation contains chelated trace minerals (including zinc proteinate).

Remember this diet is all that is to be fed to the pet.  Offer no other foods (including human) or treats.  The Wellness Simple Food Solutions diets are available in both canned and dry forms.  Some pet owners report that kibble fed dogs with chronic skin dryness respond well when canned food is added up to ½ of the total calories offered during the day.


Q: We have two Westies…one with no problems and one with itchy skin that occasionally turns into a skin infection and requires prednisone. I realize that it could be a combination of things, but we just switched to Wellness Super5Mix Chicken Recipe dry food, to see if it will help. If it doesn’t, is there a different Wellness food I should try? I would prefer a diet that isn’t fished based. Can you respond to that and also if there is another good one, such as lamb and rice, let me know. Thanks much!

A: I recommend feeding the same diet for both dogs.   You can select from one of the natural, novel protein, non-fish based Wellness® Simple Food Solutions® FormulasRice and Duck or Rice and Lamb Formula.  Both duck protein based and lamb protein based diets come in dry kibble and canned moist form.

To decrease exposure to potentially inflammatory allergens, both are specifically formulated to be an extremely limited ingredient diet; with one novel protein and rice as the carbohydrate source; to help manage the symptoms of food allergy and intolerance.  For best results – the Simple Food Solutions diet you choose should be the sole source of nutrition for the pet.  No other pet food, pet treat, or table food.

Continue to work with your vet on controlling the other non-food related components of the skin disease.

A 15 to 17 pound Westie requires about 450 to 475 kilocalories of energy per day for maintaining weight (estimated).  An 8 ounce measuring cup of the Rice and Duck and Rice and Lamb formulas each contain about 405 calories.  A 12.5 ounce can of Lamb and Rice Formula has 520 kilocalories while a can of the Duck and Rice Formula contains 465 kilocalories.