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February is National Pet Dental Month- Dental Care Tips for Pets

Cats and dogs can be particularly prone to dental disease because they often do not have their teeth cleaned as frequently as their humans do. Dental check-ups should be a part of your pet’s regular health screenings. Brushing your pet’s teeth is something you can do at home to maintain their oral health.
Next time you’re at the vet, be sure to discuss the condition of your pet’s mouth. Your vet will explain whether getting a professional dental cleaning is recommended. Regular at-home brushing is recommended for cats and dogs in order to prevent plaque build-up. Plaque can lead to gum disease and, on rare occasions, problems that can spread through the body.
If your pets aren’t used to having their teeth brushed, it may take a while for them to warm up to the idea, but with the right tools and a little patience, you can feel better about your pet’s dental health.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
Pet Toothbrush– Pet toothbrushes have smaller bristles and a smaller head. Some of them fit on your finger too. This can make it easier for you to control the movement. If your pet has a smaller mouth or sensitive teeth, even a cotton ball with pet toothpaste applied to it will do the trick.
Toothpaste – It’s necessary to use special pet toothpaste for your cat or dog. Human toothpaste can be dangerous for pets and make them sick. Plus, pet toothpaste is flavored to appeal to animals, and it’s meant to be swallowed.
Patience— Your pet will need to adjust to the idea of having your fingers and/or toothbrush in his or her mouth. At first, you might spend a few minutes every day with a soft cloth rubbing his or her teeth. This can help remove plaque too.
The Process:
Approach your pet when he’s relaxed. Sit with him in a quiet location and speak in a soothing voice. Next, put the toothbrush to his mouth and gently move it around. It’s ok if you only brush one or two teeth the first few times.
Try again tomorrow. Your pet will eventually get used to it and will be more relaxed.
It’s not necessary to brush your pet’s teeth for as long as you would your own. Usually a few seconds is enough to apply the toothpaste which will stick to the surface of the teeth, helping to dissolve plaque, and preventing future build-up.
Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the best way of preventing tooth decay.
What about you? We’d love to hear your stories about brushing your pet’s teeth on our Facebook page!

Cats and dogs can be particularly prone to dental disease because they often do not have their teeth cleaned as frequently as their humans do. Dental check-ups should be a part of your pet’s regular health screenings. Brushing your pet’s teeth is something you can do at home to maintain their oral health.

Next time you’re at the vet, be sure to discuss the condition of your pet’s mouth. Your vet will explain whether getting a professional dental cleaning is recommended. Regular at-home brushing is recommended for cats and dogs in order to prevent plaque build-up. Plaque can lead to gum disease and, on rare occasions, problems that can spread through the body.

If your pets aren’t used to having their teeth brushed, it may take a while for them to warm up to the idea, but with the right tools and a little patience, you can feel better about your pet’s dental health.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Pet Toothbrush– Pet toothbrushes have smaller bristles and a smaller head. Some of them fit on your finger too. This can make it easier for you to control the movement. If your pet has a smaller mouth or sensitive teeth, even a cotton ball with pet toothpaste applied to it will do the trick.

Toothpaste – It’s necessary to use special pet toothpaste for your cat or dog. Human toothpaste can be dangerous for pets and make them sick. Plus, pet toothpaste is flavored to appeal to animals, and it’s meant to be swallowed.

Patience— Your pet will need to adjust to the idea of having your fingers and/or toothbrush in his or her mouth. At first, you might spend a few minutes every day with a soft cloth rubbing his or her teeth. This can help remove plaque too.

The Process:

Approach your pet when he’s relaxed. Sit with him in a quiet location and speak in a soothing voice. Next, put the toothbrush to his mouth and gently move it around. It’s ok if you only brush one or two teeth the first few times.

Try again tomorrow. Your pet will eventually get used to it and will be more relaxed.

It’s not necessary to brush your pet’s teeth for as long as you would your own. Usually a few seconds is enough to apply the toothpaste which will stick to the surface of the teeth, helping to dissolve plaque, and preventing future build-up.

Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the best way of preventing tooth decay.

What about you? We’d love to hear your stories about brushing your pet’s teeth on our Facebook page!

Ask Wellness July 2013

Q: My dog has what appears to be a severe allergy; I have heard that it could stem from grain ingredients in his food. I have tried a small amount of grain-free food and he has responded well. I am soon going to deplete the food I have and am wondering if Wellness has grain-free dry foods.

A: Wellness offers several dry grain-free canine diets. They are CORE® Original Formula, CORE® Reduced Fat Formula, CORE® Ocean Formula, CORE® Small Breed Formula, and CORE® Puppy Formula. The sources of protein for CORE Original formula are Turkey and Chicken; for Reduced Fat Formula are Turkey, Chicken, and Whitefish; and for Ocean Formula are Whitefish, Herring Meal, Salmon Meal, and Menhaden fish Meal. CORE canine grain-free diets are also available in moist form (12.5 ounce cans). We now also offer two grain-free recipes of our Simple Limited Ingredient Diet. You could try the Simple Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Formula or the Simple Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Formula. With any severe skin condition, in addition to undertaking a dietary trial, your vet should be consulted to rule out atopy (environmental allergies), fleas, ringworm, demodex, scabies, secondary yeast and bacterial overgrowth or other underlying medical conditions.

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.

4 Ways to Control Fleas and Ticks Naturally

Now that the weather’s getting warmer, it won’t be long before flea and tick season are here again.

Here are 4 Ways to Control Fleas and Ticks Naturally:

Apple cider vinegar can make a good spray too. Just mix it with water in a clean spray bottle, about ½ and ½. Then spray it on your pet daily. Pay special attention to behind the ears and the base of the tail where fleas tend to collect.

1–All Natural “Flea” Collars for dogs—rub one of the following essential oils onto a rope collar or bandana to keep fleas and ticks at bay.  Eucalyptus, lavender or citronella are all scents that repel pests.  You will need to do this weekly to keep it fresh and effective.

2—Supersonic –  This small electronic device looks like a tag or pendant and fits on your pet’s collar.  It emits a series of electronic pulses to prevent fleas and ticks from setting up camp on your furry friend.  It’s safe for dogs and cats.

3—Vacuum often – If you have carpeted floors, be sure to vacuum frequently to pick up any possible flea larvae.  Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day and they’ll fall off your pet into the carpet and furniture where your pet sits.  Frequent vacuuming can rid your house of these pests before they hatch.

4—Diatomaceous earth–  You can sprinkle this powder around your yard and pet bedding to prevent fleas and ticks.  It’s made of fossilized diatoms (a type of phytoplankton) and appears soft and powdery to the naked eye.  However, if you look at it under a microscope, it’s actually full of sharp edges. These sharp edges provide effective natural flea prevention. Because when fleas crawl through the substance, the sharp shell edges slice their bodies. They leak water from the soft tissue and dehydrate.

Side Effects: A word of caution, the sharp edges can harm your respiratory track so wear a mask and goggles when you’re applying it to large areas like your yard or pet beds.

Let it settle without your pet around so they don’t breathe in the substance.  Be aware, it’ll wash away in the rain for wait for a dry day and you’ll need to reapply it after heavy rains.

What’s your favorite method for preventing fleas and ticks?  We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Pet Dental Hygiene

Regular pet dental care can keep your pet healthy inside and out.  While you might take your pet to the vet for a full cleaning once or twice a year, your pet’s mouth needs regular brushing to stay healthy.

A Healthy Mouth Leads to a Healthy Body

Gingivitis and gum disease can lead to painful, swollen gums and tooth loss. If left untreated, holistic veterinarians believe this can result in kidney and other organ problems in your pet.

Super stinky breath is an indication your pet’s teeth need attention.  Also watch for yellow or brown teeth.

Brush ‘Em Good

It’s essential to brush your pet’s teeth.   Brushing gets under the gum line and cleans off bacteria.

If you haven’t already, get yourself a pet toothbrush (they have smaller bristles and a smaller head).

And, arm yourself with some pet toothpaste.  There are beef and chicken flavors to entice your pet.  (Don’t use people stuff here—your pets can swallow the toothpaste and toothpaste for people can upset their tummies.)   There are beef and chicken flavored toothpaste to entice your pet.

Don’t expect to do a great brushing all at once. If your pet isn’t used to you rubbing her teeth, you may have to work up to it. You can start with your finger or a soft cloth to get her used to it.

Try it for a few minutes each day.  Your pet will gradually be more comfortable with the experience and you’ll enjoy a pooch or kitty with fresher breath and gleaming teeth!

Does your pet have a winning smile? If so, enter the Wellness Hollywood Smile contest on the Wellness Facebook Page for a chance to win a Wellness goodie basket!

Do You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

Regular dog dental care can keep your pet healthy inside and out.  While you might take your pet to the vet for the full cleaning once or twice a year, your pet’s mouth needs regular brushing to stay healthy.

A Healthy Mouth Leads to a Healthy Body

Gingivitis and gum disease can lead to painful, swollen gums and tooth loss.  Left untreated, holistic veterinarians believe they can result in kidney and other organ problems in your pet.

Super stinky breath is an indication your pet’s teeth need attention.  So are yellow or brown teeth. Yuck!

Brush ‘Em Good

It’s essential to brush your dog’s teeth.   Brushing gets under the gum line and cleans bacteria off your pet’s teeth.

If you haven’t already, get yourself a pet toothbrush (they have smaller bristles and a smaller head).

And, arm yourself with some pet toothpaste. (don’t use people stuff here—your pets will swallow the toothpaste and people kind can upset their tummies.)   There are beef and chicken flavored toothpaste to entice your pet.

Don’t expect to do a great tooth brushing all at once. If your pet isn’t used to you rubbing her teeth, you may have to work up to it. You can start with your finger or a soft cloth to get her used to it.

Try it for a few minutes each day.  Your pet will gradually be more comfortable with the experience and you’ll enjoy a pooch with fresher breath and gleaming teeth!

Does your pet have a winning smile? If so, enter our contest on the Wellness Facebook Page for a chance to win a Wellness goodie basket!

How to Clean (and prevent) Icy Paws

Has this ever happened to you? Your dogs are happily romping in the snow–but on the way home, they begin to limp.

What happened? If you were near sidewalks or driveways, they may have stepped on salt or ice melting chemicals, which are irritating to sensitive paw pads. It’s also possible they have ice crystals lodged within their paw.

The solution? Wash your dog’s paws!

If your dog won’t let you clean out his paw, then you’ll have to settle for soaking them.

    • You could put him in the bathtub and fill it up with enough warm water to cover his feet.
    • You could also keep an old pan by the door (or a cookie sheet with raised edges on the sides), fill it with warm water and have your dog step in it when he comes in.

      These methods will help melt ice crystals and clean off rock salt used to melt ice. Rock salt can dry out your pet’s paw pads.

      An alternative to salt and chemical ice melters is sand or gravel.  They won’t melt the ice but will give you some traction and won’t irritate sensitive paw pads.

      Best way to prevent salty paws altogether?  Use booties or a wax like Musher’s Secret.  What solutions have you found?  We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook Page.

      Bonding Between Dog and Pet Parent

      Whether you have adopted a dog as a puppy or an adult, the bonding process between pet and owner is a critical one. Many new owners make the mistake of assuming this bond will form automatically, when in fact your dog needs you to take certain actions to build a lasting relationship.

      To bond with your dog you will need to spend time one-on-one together where your dog has your complete focus and attention. If there are other members of the family it is important that they also spend one-on-one time with the dog. If your household has multiple dogs it is important to spend time with each on their own, whether this is an outing together for the two of you or simply a play session. This should be done on a regular basis. Read the rest of this entry »

      Managing Pet Allergies in Your Home

      Pet allergies no longer mean that you have to give up your love for animals. Thousands of allergy sufferers are even able to have pets in their home. There are some simple tricks you can do to make sure you and your pets can cohabitate comfortably.

      If you suspect that you have pet allergies the first thing you will want to do is visit an allergist. Most allergists will work with you to control your pet allergies through antihistamine treatment, allergy shots and other holistic programs.

      The key in managing your allergies will be to remove as many allergens from the air as possible. You should use HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters in your home, particularly in the bedroom. Keep the humidity in your house low which will help to minimize dust mites. Remove carpeting wherever possible, particularly in the bedroom and sitting areas. Carpet will collect pet hair and other allergens further exacerbating the condition. Read the rest of this entry »