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Going Grain Free For Your Dog

Going Grain Free for Your Dog: Why and How to Transition to Grain-Free Pet Food

Grain free pet foods are becoming increasingly more popular. Do you have a pup that’s always itchy? Or maybe your cat is experiencing digestive issues? Have you recently started eliminating grains from your diet and want to have your pets to follow the same healthy lifestyle? There are many reasons why as a pet parent, you might choose to try a grain free food.

If You’re Considering Going Grain-Free:

Because grain free foods don’t contain any fillers, you’ll notice the first ingredient will be either chicken, salmon, beef or another meat, poultry or fish protein source. This is why grain free foods are higher in protein than traditional pet foods. While many pets thrive on being fed a higher-protein recipe, some pets may have digestive upset with the increase in protein. That’s why we always recommend discussing any diet changes with your veterinarian first.

And not all grain free pet foods are created equal. It’s important that a grain free food be well balanced, offering an accurate protein to fat and carbohydrates ratio. This will ensure high digestibility and optimum nutrient absorption. Wellness grain free recipes are always complete and balanced, so they’re great for everyday feeding. We also include guaranteed levels of probiotics to help further support digestive health.

A good grain free recipe should also have natural sources of essential fatty acids like flaxseeds and other fruits and veggies as grain-free carbohydrate sources.

Here are some of the benefits you may see in your pet after going grain free:

-Healthy energy levels

-Soft, smooth skin and coat

-Maintenance or improvement of lean muscle mass

-Regular, fully-formed stools

-Potential clearing of food allergy symptoms (if pet has grain sensitivity)

How to Transition

  • Look for a reputable company that includes fresh fruits and veggies in their grain free recipes. (Like Wellness!) Some of our favorite grain free ingredients include superfoods like sweet potatoes and blueberries which provide antioxidant sources.
  • Make it a gradual transition – don’t suddenly switch your pet’s food as that can cause tummy aches. Instead, feed less of one food and replace it with another – over the course of at least a week.
  • See how your pet responds. Most people find that their dog’s stools are harder and denser when they switch to a grain free food. That makes clean up easier.

Wellness has a large variety of grain free dog and cat foods and treats, including our new Wellness Complete Health Grain Free dry dog food. For protein-rich nutrition, there’s also Wellness CORE dog and cat foods.

Do you have any questions about selecting a grain free recipe for your pet? Contact our knowledgeable Consumer Affairs team who can speak with you and make a recommendation: 800.225.0904, Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm ET.

How Wellness TruFood Saved My Best Friend’s Life

We recently received a beautiful email from Ania about her dog Charlie’s struggles to find a food she could eat, and the happy-ending gave us goosebumps!

Read the whole story:

My name is Ania, I’m 21 years old and I have a dog named Charlie. I got Charlie when she was four months old right with the passing of my mother due to brain cancer in June of 2014. She is my Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and she goes everywhere I do.

A month after I got Charlie she started to get very sick. Everything she would eat she would throw up or have constant diarrhea. It got so bad to the point where she was constantly dripping blood from her behind, had dry skin, her hair would fall out, constant ear infections, and my apartment was covered in puppy pads because of her constant sickness. She didn’t even want to eat anymore. She became a bag of hair and bones and people would publicly comment that I didn’t know how to take care of her. I tried changing her food so many times with different ingredients and took her to the vet to get her tested for everything possible; heart worms, parasites, cancer, and anything we could think of. I’m a full time college student and I used up every dollar of my savings to figure out what was wrong and turned to my dad for help when I ran out of money. I was miserable thinking I had to put her down. Charlie was the reason I started leaving the house by taking her to parks and started to feel like myself again after my moms passing. She’s my best friend.

I started spending hours on the internet figuring out what could possibly be wrong with her. After repeatedly trying out new things, I figured out she couldn’t have any gluten, wheat, beef, and most by-product fillers. I then came across your Wellness TruFood brand and gave it a go. What a miracle. Within two DAYS the bleeding stopped, her stool with firming, and she wasn’t throwing up anymore. She gained all the weight she should have and she is the happiest dog I’ve ever seen. No more scratching, no more ear infections, no more sickness, and no more puppy pads. Best of all she actually likes it! Even if I just feed it to her dry. She has hair not fur and it is so soft and shiny to the touch as apposed to the dry brittle thin hair with bald spots she had. She loves every product from TruFood I give her.

Charlie herself was abused. She’s terrified of children and it wasn’t until she was a year old that she let the first person at the park pet her. Now she loves to play and run up to people and it brings me to tears knowing she’s the happiest and healthiest she’s been. She is so funny and makes me laugh everyday. I have never written a review or reached out to a company before, but I can honestly say that this food has saved my dogs life and in return improved my own. What an incredible brand with great ingredients. To whoever reads this, I just wanted to say thank you with all of my heart for saving my puppy, because she was able to recently see her second birthday and now with many more to come. I couldn’t be more grateful for the amazing team at Wellness for creating this food!

Thank you forever,

Ania and Charlie

Tame Your Cat’s Hairballs

Hairballs aren’t welcome in any home – or in your cat’s stomach. Keep them under control with Wellness’ new Natural Hairball Control dry cat recipe.

Hacku To A Hairball
Wellness Cat presents
A farewell to gross hairballs
Sendoff performance

It’s hard to put any kind of positive spin on hairballs. It can be a common occurrence or a special occasion. But as parents to our beloved kitties, we all freeze in terror when hearing the approach of an impending hairball attack. This unmistakable hack roughly translates in human speak to: “Warning! Be prepared for a wet, hairy mess that will land in your general vicinity or that of a recently cleaned carpet. Evacuate the area in 5 seconds… 4 seconds… 3 seconds… oh, too late.”

Hairballs can be a result of your cat’s regular grooming routine, but they can cause problems with her digestive health (not to mention they go with nothing in your home’s décor!). Typically, the hair your cat swallows forms into what we call a hairball and is eventually vomited up. But, on top of the grossness that hairballs come standard with, she may not be able to get rid of it through the usual methods of expulsion. If it gets too large, it can cause problems within her digestive tract, resulting in bowel obstructions or constipation. In severe cases, she may even need to go into surgery in order to have a hairball obstruction removed.

Read more on PetGuide.com. Click the link here.

Ask Wellness: August 2014

I have a 12 year old bijon who has developed bladder stones and is now on a special food Royal Canin Urinary SO.  We would love to give him treats, but have been unable to find any that would not harm him.  Can you make any suggestions?
There are many types of bladder stones and all are different and need to be addressed individually. The two most common stones are Struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) and calcium oxalate.
Struvite is usually caused by infection and so using the proper antibiotic at the correct dosage
for a sufficient time is essential. In addition the stones can be removed surgically or they can be
dissolved, in time with a special diet which you are on now. I suspect that this is your problem and a strict diet is essential. I would suggest working closely with your veterinarian to find a proper treat that won’t negatively affect the action of the diet.
The treat should encourage acidity so I would suspect a predominately meat treat would work. The Wellness Crunchy Small Breed Petite Treats are a meat based treat that may work.

Q. I have a 12 year old Bijon who has developed bladder stones and is now on a special food. We would love to give him treats, but have been unable to find any that would not harm him.  Can you make any suggestions?

There are many types of bladder stones and all are different and need to be addressed individually. The two most common stones are Struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) and calcium oxalate. Struvite is usually caused by infection and so using the proper antibiotic at the correct dosage for a sufficient time is essential. I would suggest working closely with your veterinarian to find a proper treat that won’t negatively affect the action of the diet.

The treat should encourage acidity so I would suspect a predominately meat treat would work. The Wellness Small Breed Petite Treats Crunchy Mini-Bites are a meat-based treat that may work. Again, it’s best to verify that your veterinarian feels comfortable with this option.

Ask Wellness: March 2014

Q. My standard poodle has a sensitive stomach. She often has diarrhea. I’ve had her checked for worms and she does not have them. What could this be?
A. There are some dogs that have what has been called a “sensitive stomach.” It is a very general term that can suggest that the dog seems sensitive to something in the diet or changes in the diet. This is usually expressed as intermittent vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Many times, the issue is an intolerance to an ingredient in the diet. It is not an allergy, but rather a non-immune mediated reaction to an ingredient in the diet. Allergies are to a particular protein, whereas food intolerances can be to anything in the diet.
Feeding a natural pet food with limited ingredients and a single unique protein would be a possible solution to the problem. The Wellness Simple recipes are an ideal option to try. There are four diets each containing different ingredients as well as some natural supplements such as probiotics and Omega 3 fatty acids, both of which can help to resolve digestive issues. Keep in mind that with any dog experiencing digestive issues, a very slow transition (10-14 days) to the new food is always recommended.

Q. My standard poodle has a sensitive stomach. She often has diarrhea. I’ve had her checked for worms and she does not have them. What could this be?

A. There are some dogs that have what has been called a “sensitive stomach.” It is a very general term that can suggest that the dog seems sensitive to something in the diet or changes in the diet. This is usually expressed as intermittent vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Many times, the issue is an intolerance to an ingredient in the diet. It is not an allergy, but rather a non-immune mediated reaction to an ingredient in the diet. Allergies are to a particular protein, whereas a food intolerance can be caused by anything in the diet.

Feeding a natural pet food with limited ingredients and a single unique protein would be a possible solution to the problem. The Wellness Simple formulas are an ideal option to try. There are four diets each containing different ingredients as well as some natural supplements such as probiotics and Omega 3 fatty acids, both of which can help to resolve digestive issues. Keep in mind that with any dog experiencing digestive issues, a very slow transition (10-14 days) to the new food is always recommended.