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Ask Wellness

Q. We are switching our dog from Wellness® Complete Health Healthy Weight Deboned Chicken & Peas Recipe to Wellness® Simple. Do we have to go through the normal transition of mixing both?

A. We would not want your dog to experience any digestive issues while transitioning to a new Wellness recipe. While both foods are made by Wellness in our own state-of-the-art facility, we would strongly suggest that you do transition to the new food. Some dogs will transition more quickly than others and it is easier to transition from one food to another within the same brand, but I would still suggest you do take time to switch slowly from Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight to Wellness Simple.

Keep in mind that the Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight recipe contains 340 calories per cup while the Wellness Simple recipes contain between 406 and 450 calories per cup so you will need to feed less Simple. Be sure to feed only enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. Regular exercise is also an essential component to maintaining a healthy body weight.

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!

April 2013 Ask the Vet

Q: I have two questions. I am feeding my Golden Retriever Wellness® Complete Health® Super5Mix® Large Breed – Adult Health recipe. I give her one cup in the morning and one cup in the evening. Is this the right amount?  Like most Golden Retrievers, she gains weight easily. Also, I’ve been told that rotating foods occasionally is good for them. Do you agree?

A: To determine the amount to feed a dog:  get an accurate body weight on a scale (your vet will have a walk on scale), then consult the feeding guide on the package to get a suggested starting range.  Start conservatively.  Feed multiple meals per day if possible.

Wellness Large Breed Adult dry food contains 336 kcal per cup, so in two cups that is 672 kcal per day.   If that amount maintains activity, body weight and body condition score at desired levels, then that is the right amount to feed.

Canine dietary rotation among complete and balanced diets is fine.  To help avoid unwanted weight gain when switching foods, carefully keep the total daily caloric intake constant.  Note that calories per cup are not the same for all foods—rather the number varies widely.

Q: I currently feed CORE® Grain-Free Ocean Formula due to my dog’s allergies. However, he is now six years old. Is it still OK to feed the same food to an older dog?  At what age should I start looking at other formulas?

A: CORE® Grain-Free Ocean Formula is a great food for older dog maintenance.  If the dog responds well to this food, there is no reason to switch to a senior low protein type diet.

Veggies Contribute to a Well-Balanced Diet

Did human table scraps play a role in the evolution of today’s pet dog?

A new study recently published in the journal Nature found this to be the case.

The study traces the evolution of dogs and found that as a result of hanging around early farm sites and eating human food scraps, our four legged companions are able to digest carbohydrates better than their wolf counterparts. Over time, their bodies’ developed the ability to digest carbohydrates and use them for energy.

What does this mean from a diet standpoint?

Veterinarians agree, a healthy, balanced meal is one that contains plenty of veggies -not just meat- in your dog’s diet. Veggies are excellent sources of healthy carbs and they help keep your dog’s immune system strong.

Carrots, potatoes, and real fruit like blueberries and apples provide essential vitamins and nutrients for your dog.

Check the Label

To know whether your pet is getting the right balance of nutrition, check the label. Labels are written based on weight so the first ingredient is the heaviest – and often most plentiful ingredient.  For example, protein is heavy. Wellness® Pet Food always lists real meat as the first ingredient because it’s the base of the food. Then come the fruits and veggies. We provide plenty of vitamins and nutrients so your dog is at his healthy best.

Does your dog have a favorite fruit or vegetable? Please share your answers on the Wellness Facebook page!

Walking Benefits You and Your Dog

Walking is a great way for you to get low-impact exercise. It is also good exercise for your dog. You and your pet will motivate one another to go for walks, keep the pace and go just a little further each time. Dogs are generally very enthusiastic about getting out for sight-seeing walks, and this will in turn motivate you to exercise more.

Moderate exercise, like walking, when done daily can help reduce your risk of obesity and other ailments. Getting your dog out to exercise helps to maintain your pet’s weight and keep them in good physical condition as well. Walking your dog as little as thirty minutes a day can make a difference for both you and your pet.

Taking your dog for walks also allows you and your pet time to bond over this simple activity. Whether you just stroll the neighborhood side by side, or plan expeditions to new walking trails, this interaction will become something that both you and your dog will look forward to.

Many of the other benefits of walking for both you and your pet include more energy, stress reduction and strengthened bones.

The best part about walking for exercise is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. So grab your sneakers, leash and your best dog buddy and hit the pavement!

Obesity Prevention for Pets

Keeping Pets at a Healthy Weight

Keeping a healthy weight is as important for our pets as it is for us!

If you think obesity is an epidemic that affects only people, you may be barking up the wrong tree. Pets also have to watch their weight. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 44 percent of dogs and 57 percent of cats are overweight or obese and that percentage is rising, with older animals displaying an even higher incidence of falling victim to those extra pounds. Veterinarians report overweight pets are also more likely to suffer from arthritis, heart and respiratory diseases, liver disease, skin problems, hip and joint disorders and diabetes.

“Just as for people, eating right and getting exercise are fundamental to a pet’s health and true well being,” says board-certified veterinary nutritionist Edward Moser, MS, VMD, DACVN. “Paying attention to the ingredients and amount of food that your pet consumes, along with increasing their activity levels, will help the pounds come off and stay off.”

To help fat cats and pudgy pooches slim down, Dr. Moser says owners should choose a balanced diet with ingredients that can help naturally solve this challenging health problem. Like those recipes offered by Wellness® Natural Pet Food. For those plump feline friends, Wellness Healthy Weight Dry Cat Food is just the remedy. This special lower calorie recipe is formulated to help them achieve their weight loss goals. A healthy blend of fiber satisfies hunger and guaranteed levels of glucosamine and chondroitin support overburdened hips and joints. For health striving canines, Wellness® Super5Mix® Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Dog Food is a satisfying, lower-calorie blend of ingredients that helps less active dogs maintain a healthy body weight and overweight dogs lose weight. And it satisfies dogs’ appetites with increased fiber, reduced fat and a lower calorie count.

Instituting a controlled eating plan is a step in the right direction down your pet’s path to achieving wellbeing, but increasing your pet’s activity level is sure to help too. Exercise is essential for a pet’s happy and long life. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, but regular exercise is key. Setting aside a period of time each day for your pet’s physical activity helps encourage a routine with your pet and also gives them something to look forward to. Take your dog for frequent walks and be certain your cat has room to romp. That can help them burn off excess calories. “Remember, 2 extra pounds on a small dog can be like 20 extra pounds on a person,” says Dr. Moser. “It’s important to watch your pet’s weight.”

Cats Will Crave New Wellness® Cubed, Sliced and Minced Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Wellness Natural Pet Food Introduces New Succulent Cuts with Savory Sauces for Cats

Wellness Natural Food for Pets introduces twelve new varieties of flavorful canned cat food to help pet parents make each meal special. Wellness Cubed, Sliced and Minced cat cans contain wholesome, natural ingredients, with flavors that even the pickiest cats will devour.

New Wellness Cubed, Sliced and Minced cat cans are 100% grain-free and contain no added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. For each delicious recipe, Wellness has paired succulent cuts of wholesome, all natural protein sources like chicken, turkey, salmon and tuna with delightfully savory sauces that are sure to please the palate of even the most finicky feline. The 12 tasty new varieties that will keep cats eagerly anticipating mealtime are:

From the proteins that help build muscles to the vitamins that support good health, these new recipes stay true to the Wellness belief that every ingredient serves a purpose. Each recipe is a complete and balanced meal, perfect for daily feeding. Put new Wellness cat cans on the menu to encourage hydration and help support urinary tract health, treating the needs of cats from head to tail.

“We are thrilled to introduce our new Cubed, Sliced and Minced recipes for cats,” said Laura Marseglia, Brand Manager for Wellness pet food. “These natural, flavorful canned recipes are a great way to add variety and healthy hydration to a cat’s diet. We are also mindful that some cats need or prefer a single protein source diet.  That was the primary consideration behind our creating both poultry-free and fish-free recipe options.”

Wellness Cubed, Sliced and Minced grain-free canned recipes for cats are available in 3 oz. cans. Look for them, starting June 2011, at pet specialty retailers and natural food stores nationwide.  To find an authorized Wellness retailer near you, please visit http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/store-locator.aspx.

Wellness® – This is Where True Wellness Begins.®

Wellness is a member of the WellPet portfolio of natural pet food brands, a complete line of healthy, all natural food and snacks for dogs and cats made with carefully chosen, authentic ingredients.  With Wellness, every ingredient has a purpose, to provide an ideal nutritional balance and help enrich your pet’s life.  Wellness recipes include lean meats, whole grains, fruits and veggies with no wheat, corn and soy, and no added artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.  To learn more about Wellness, available in pet specialty stores and natural food stores nationwide, visit www.wellnesspetfood.com.  Find Wellness on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wellnesspetfood) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/wellnesspetfood).

Wellness® Natural Pet Food Unleashes Big Taste for Small Dogs

This month, Wellness Natural Pet Food is proud to launch two innovative dog food recipes in its Super5Mix Small Breed line that will please small dogs with mighty souls and big nutritional needs!  Designed for the unique physical composition of small breed dogs, the new recipes adhere to Wellness’ belief that every ingredient has a purpose, thoughtfully chosen for head-to-tail nutritional benefits to support total well-being.  Complete with wholesome and natural ingredients, no wheat, corn and soy, and no added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, these new varieties will have tails wagging:

  • Small Breed Just for Puppy Recipe has guaranteed levels of DHA to support healthy brain development in puppyhood, high quality carbohydrates, proteins and fats to keep up with high-energy needs, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, vitamins and minerals to help support healthy growth, and smaller kibble size for more petite mouths and teeth.
  • Small Breed Healthy Weight Recipe features reduced fat – 26 percent less than Super5Mix Small Breed Adult Health– and lower calories to help achieve healthy weight loss.  The unique recipe, created especially for overweight dogs, includes quality proteins – like deboned turkey and salmon meal – to help maintain lean muscle mass, pea fiber to aid in naturally satisfying a dog’s appetite, guaranteed levels of L-Carnitine to help reduce overall body fat, and glucosamine and chondroitin to support hip and joint health.

The two new diets join the existing Small Breed Adult Health Recipe, which provides optimal caloric intake for healthy adult body weight and four quality animal protein sources for lean, strong muscles.  All Super5Mix Small Breed recipes feature the WellCoat® Omega 3 & 6 Mix, which allows for nourished skin and a healthy, shiny coat.

“Small breed dogs have a much different physical composition than larger breeds – like smaller digestive tracts – which creates special nutritional needs,” said Laura Marseglia, Brand Manager for Wellness.  “In addition, small breeds can have a life expectancy of up to 20 years, so it’s important that life systems stay strong.  We’re very excited to offer this full line of specially formulated, natural dog food for our small canine friends so they may lead long and happy lives.”

Wellness Super5Mix Small Breed Just for Puppy and Small Breed Healthy Weight recipes are available in 4 lb and 12 lb bags.  Look for them at pet specialty retailers and natural food stores nationwide beginning June 2011.  To find an authorized Wellness retailer near you, please visit http://wellnesspetfood.com/store-locator.aspx.

Wellness® – This is Where True Wellness Begins.®

Wellness is a member of the WellPet portfolio of natural pet food brands, a complete line of healthy, natural food and snacks for dogs and cats made with carefully chosen, authentic ingredients.  With Wellness, every ingredient has a purpose, to provide an ideal nutritional balance and help enrich your pet’s life.  Wellness recipes include lean meats, whole grains, fruits and veggies with no wheat, corn and soy, and no added artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.  To learn more about Wellness, available in pet specialty stores and natural food stores nationwide, visit www.wellnesspetfood.com.  Find Wellness on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wellnesspetfood) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/wellnesspetfood).

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.

Obesity Prevention for Pets

Keeping Pets at a Healthy Weight

Keeping a healthy weight is as important for our pets as it is for us!

If you think obesity is an epidemic that affects only people, you may be barking up the wrong tree. Pets also have to watch their weight. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 44 percent of dogs and 57 percent of cats are overweight or obese and that percentage is rising, with older animals displaying an even higher incidence of falling victim to those extra pounds. Veterinarians report overweight pets are also more likely to suffer from arthritis, heart and respiratory diseases, liver disease, skin problems, hip and joint disorders and diabetes.

“Just as for people, eating right and getting exercise are fundamental to a pet’s health and true well being,” says board-certified veterinary nutritionist Edward Moser, MS, VMD, DACVN. “Paying attention to the ingredients and amount of food that your pet consumes, along with increasing their activity levels, will help the pounds come off and stay off.”

To help fat cats and pudgy pooches slim down, Dr. Moser says owners should choose a balanced diet with ingredients that can help naturally solve this challenging health problem. Like those recipes offered by Wellness® Natural Pet Food. For those plump feline friends, Wellness Healthy Weight  Dry Cat Food is just the remedy. This special lower calorie recipe is formulated to help them achieve their weight loss goals. A healthy blend of fiber satisfies hunger and guaranteed levels of glucosamine and chondroitin support overburdened hips and joints. For health striving canines, Wellness® Healthy Weight Deboned Chicken & Peas Recipe Dry Dog Food is a satisfying, lower-calorie blend of ingredients that helps less active dogs maintain a healthy body weight and overweight dogs lose weight. And it satisfies dogs’ appetites with increased fiber, reduced fat and a lower calorie count.

Instituting a controlled eating plan is a step in the right direction down your pet’s path to achieving wellbeing, but increasing your pet’s activity level is sure to help too. Exercise is essential for a pet’s happy and long life. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, but regular exercise is key. Setting aside a period of time each day for your pet’s physical activity helps encourage a routine with your pet and also gives them something to look forward to. Take your dog for frequent walks and be certain your cat has room to romp. That can help them burn off excess calories. “Remember, 2 extra pounds on a small dog can be like 20 extra pounds on a person,” says Dr. Moser. “It’s important to watch your pet’s weight.”