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Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dogs and Cats

Orange, yellow and red leaves line the streets and the Halloween costumes are put away for another year. You know what that means! It’s only a few short weeks until Thanksgiving!

And while you check your guest list and count your serving utensils, don’t forget about your pets.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful tradition of food and family, but for your four-legged family members, it can present hazards. While Great Aunt Mabel preps her famous sweet potato casserole, Max and Fluffy can get into the trash behind her back and get dangerously sick.

Think of the traditional Thanksgiving foods, there’s fatty turkey trimmings – hello upset tummy! There’s cranberry sauce (loaded with sugar), dressing with onions, and other foods that can turn your Thanksgiving into an evening at the emergency vet.

Top Thanksgiving Hazards for Pets

1-      Fatty foods – Turkey skin is fatty. If you or a well-meaning guest give your dog turkey skin, your dog could develop a painful condition known as pancreatitis. It doesn’t take much either. Some dogs have sickened and even died from ingesting a small amount.

Other foods that are dangerous are onions, raisins, grapes and chocolate. So, don’t feed your pets dressing or chocolate pie either.

If you have guests who may be inclined to “share” with your four legged friends, please encourage them otherwise. Instead, allow your pet to join in the fun with some healthy pet treats like Wellness Kittles with Turkey & Cranberries for cats or Wellness CORE Marrow Roasts Savory Turkey Recipe for dogs.

2-      Trash – Whether it’s a tempting turkey carcass or a pile of “scraps,” the lure of the garbage may be too much for even the best-behaved pets to handle. It’s a good idea to exercise your “pet management” skills by either keeping your pets safely out of food prep areas or keeping the trash well out of reach – probably behind a cupboard door.

3-      Decorations – Lighted candles, crepe paper, and other decorations can prove hazardous to your pet’s health if they’re of the mind to chew on anything available or haven’t yet learned about fire. Keep an eye on them when they’re around and be alert for any unusual behavior.

4-      Be Aware of Poisoning Symptoms – Gastro intestinal upsets like vomiting or diarrhea are common symptoms of poisoning. This can occur when your pet has ingested things like chocolate, raisins, onions and other foods their bodies aren’t equipped to digest.

From toxicity to severe gastro-intestinal problems to blockages caused by splintered bones, the Thanksgiving table is rife with potential pet hazards.

If you suspect your pet ate something he or she shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control hotline immediately. 888-426-4435.

While food is a big part of pet hazards at Thanksgiving, crowds and traveling are two other considerations.

Crowds – Like people, some pets are fine with crowds while others would prefer the safety of a quiet place away from the noise. You know your pets the best. If they’re used to having the run of the house, you might choose to allow that but if they seem stressed or nervous around visiting toddlers, then you can escort them (your pets) to peace and quiet.

Road Tripping – If a road trip to Grandma’s is in your future, make sure your pets have secure kennels to ride in. Roaming pets can lead to distracted driving which can lead to traffic accidents.  Flying has its own rules of course and they vary by airline so you’ll want to check with them.

Now that you know these top Thanksgiving pet safety tips, exercise a little precaution when it comes to your pets and let your biggest concern be a perfectly cooked turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Isn’t Every Day National Cat Day?

If your cat is anything like ours, every day is cat day at your house. Five am? It’s time for canned food, aka, “tuna time”. Sunny day? “Please open the door so I can lounge on the deck.” There’s no doubt our cats are spoiled and we enjoy spoiling them.

To keep your whiskered-friends happy and healthy on this special day and every day in between, we recommend treating them with a tasty, nutritious snack like Wellness Kittles. Kittles are under 2 calories each, are grain-free and have addicting tastes. You can even pick up one of three scrumptious new flavors–Duck & Cranberries, Turkey & Cranberries or Whitefish & Cranberries!

You might be wondering how National Cat Day started. Since 2005, Founder and cat-vocate Colleen Paige has championed the causes of all cats and designated Oct. 29 as the official day of “All Things Cat,” otherwise known as National Cat Day. Not only is it another excuse to treat your cats, but it’s also an opportunity to help shelter cats find their fur-ever homes. And one of the trendiest new ways to promote cat adoption involves socializing with adoptable cats in a cozy environment– a cat café!

For the Cat Obsessed, There is the Cat Café

In essence, these are coffee shops where the felines roam. They’ll cozy up to you as you sip a hot beverage. Originally popular across Taiwan and Japan, the first cat café opened August 2014 in Montreal. Since then, they’ve spread across Canada and the United States.

Many of these cafés partner with pet shelters who bring in friendly kitties to play and cuddle with patrons. They offer another avenue to adoption, one where you can get a sense of the cats’ personalities that can be hard to see when they’re caged at the shelter. Take Green Street Animal Rescue in Philadelphia, Le Chat Café, where for $12 you can spend a blissful hour visiting with the resident felines.  Since opening in March 2016, Le Chat Café has helped 19 kitties find their forever homes.

There are cat cafés in Boston, NYC, San Francisco and even Charleston, SC and some of them offer yoga classes, children’s story time and other special events.

If you’re not near a cat café and aren’t able to adopt a cat right now, you can still get a kitty fix. Most pet shelters are in need of volunteers and a quick phone call can score you the opportunity to come in and clean cages, brush kitties and otherwise lend a hand.

This National Cat Day, help spread the word about adoptable cats so that one day, they can all live healthily and happily in their forever homes!

It’s National Dog Day

After all, “Every Dog Will Have His Day” and this year, it’s August 26. National Dog Day is an opportunity to celebrate dogs of all types. Of course, we think every day is an opportunity to celebrate our canine friends so this just makes it extra special.

6 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day

1—Yappy Hour – August 26 is a Friday and a summer Friday afternoon seems perfect for a Yappy Hour either at your home or an area restaurant. If your pooch is the social type, you can invite a couple of dog loving pals to meet you at a nearby pet-friendly patio for appetizers and a drink.

2—Doggie Massage – Everyone loves a massage. Why not give your dog one. Start around the shoulders and gently massage in circular motions, then move down to the hips. This is especially good if your dog is feeling stiff joints due to arthritis. Like people massage, there is a bit of an art to it and some veterinarians and pet stores offer dog massage trainings on occasion.

3—Hike – Find a nearby trail and go for a hike. Your pet will love the opportunity to experience the new scents in the woods. Just be sure to keep Fido leashed so he doesn’t run rampant and check him carefully for ticks afterwards.

4— Bath – Time –Your dog may not love being bathed, but everyone feels better clean. When was the last time your dog went to the groomer? If it’s been awhile, why not book an appointment? Your dog will feel great when he comes back.

5- Post a Picture of your Dog on Social Media – You probably don’t need an excuse to do this but share your cute pup photos and add #NationalDogDay so everyone who searches the hashtag can see yours.

6- Donate to Shelters – Toys, food, money, time, even old towels/blankets can help. Many animal shelters need some or all of these. So, if you have the opportunity, please contact your local shelter and see how you can help.

National Dog Day is a chance to not only shower our own pets with love but also remember those less fortunate who are still waiting in the shelters for their forever homes. You can share their pictures in your social media feeds to encourage adoption.

Happy National Dog Day 2016!

International Cat Day Celebrates Kitties Everywhere

You’ve probably heard of the slight obsession the Ancient Egyptians had with cats.  Historians are unclear exactly when the feline adoration began but there is evidence of a part woman/part cat Egyptian goddess named Bastet that dates to ancient times and there are plenty of cat statues. They even mummified their cats in order to preserve them for the afterlife.

One possibility why the Egyptians revered cats so much may be because they saw cats as protectors. As predators, cats routinely killed scorpions and other dangerous creatures who lived in the hot Egyptian climate.

Today’s Housecat

Over the years, cats have taken on a different role. In today’s United States, cats hold a position of prominence as a leading popular pet with approximately 30-37% of Americans sharing a home with at least one cat. Of course, like many pets, they’re adored by their families.

While our cats may take care of an occasional mouse that infiltrates our homes, it’s likely they spend far more time lounging in a ray of sunshine coming in through your window.  This is fine because they have other jobs to do in modern society – like lower your blood pressure.

Multiple studies show stroking a pet can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers say it’s a combination of factors including having something to care for and taking the time enjoy a little break in the day to appreciate your cat’s silly antics. All of which disrupts stress signals to your brain and that’s a good thing when it comes to your heart health.

You can thank your cat for his health benefits this August 8, International Cat Day.

How can you roll out the red carpet for your favorite kitty (or kitties?) We recommend special treats (of course) and taking time to pet your favorite feline. Catnip, a few rounds of chase the laser pointer or bat the feather  — can do both of you good. You’ll laugh which is a great stress reliever and your cat will get some exercise. You can also help your kitty shed extra fur by gently brushing your cat to collect those loose hairs (and keep them from being left all over your house.)  Grooming your cat, along with feeding an approved Natural Hairball Control recipe will ensure your kitty stays happy and healthy year-round.

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How will you celebrate International Cat Day?

3 Ways to Celebrate DOGust!

What is DOGust you might ask? If you’ve ever shared your life with a rescue pup, you know you’re not aware of their true birthday.  Sure, you can choose a date at random or use your adoption date as your rescue’s special day. Either options are fine, after all, your pup isn’t likely to have strong opinion either way.

But now there’s another option. The North Shore Animal League  – the oldest no-kill shelter in the country, declared Aug 1 as DOGust, the universal birthday of shelter dogs everywhere. Which means, if your rescue doesn’t have a birthday already, why not choose August 1?

Happy Birthday!

To celebrate, they’re having a great big party on August 1st at their Port Washington, NY headquarters and plenty of adoptions specials. Of course, you can also celebrate wherever you are.

3 Ways to Celebrate DOGust

1—Adoption – Adopting a new pup is the ultimate celebration, but we know that’s not always possible. So in lieu of adopting, you can donate money and/or share available pets via your social media feeds. You may be able to help someone ELSE find the furry love of his or her life!

2—Pawty – You can choose to host a doggie birthday party with your dog loving friends in a fenced in yard. Since it is August and hot across most of the country, water games are appropriate. Kiddie pools filled with cool water, sprinklers and some DIY frozen treats will help ensure the pups don’t get too hot! Play dates are great for sending everyone home with tired and happy dogs.

Pool Pawty

3—Share — Share your pet rescue photos on Facebook and Instagram. If you use the hashtag #DOGust, The North Shore Animal League will be sure to see them and will share via social media.

DOGust comes but once a year, how will you celebrate?

Take Your Dog To Work Day 2016

The brainchild of Pet Sitters International, Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWD) is an annual celebration of our dogs and their social natures. As you probably know, dogs are pack animals. Leaving them at home alone for long periods of time every day is against their natures.

And while growing evidence points to the fact that pup friendly offices are healthier workplaces,  not every office has embraced this point of view. That’s why Take Your Dog to Work Day is great way to try it out. Plus, you’ll get to meet your co-workers’ four-legged friends– and that’s always fun!

7 Ways to Prepare Your Office for a Puptastic Day!

1—Make Sure Everyone is On Board – If Take Your Dog to Work Day is YOUR idea, pitch it to your team/boss and make sure everyone embraces the idea. This is NOT the time for surprises.

Once you’ve all agreed, it’s a good idea to put together a few guidelines for participants.

For example, it’s not a good time to bring untrained or aggressive dogs to the office (is there ever a good time?) You’ll also want to get a sense of how many dogs may come to work on June 24 and set expectations, will they roam free? Be leashed near your desk? What makes the most sense for both your office and the individual dogs?

2—Offer Distractions – Bring something for your dog to chew on. Non-squeaky toys and dog treats will give your dog a sense of a reward and occupy his mind. If your dog likes to sit in his crate or on a dog bed, bring those along. It will help your dog feel more “at home.” Plus, if your dog has a crate and you need to run out for a meeting, you can simply close the door.

3– Plan a Walk — Is there a nearby park or walking trails where you can walk your dogs? Plan to team up with a co-worker or two for lunchtime dog walk. You and your dog need the fresh air!

In fact, studies show that people who take a short walk at lunch are more productive in the afternoon! It’s something about the fresh air and sunshine.

4— Come Early – If your dog has never been to your office before (or if it’s been awhile), she’ll need time to sniff the surroundings before she can settle down. She’ll probably also want to greet the other dogs.  Allow everyone time to get acquainted before you get settled into your day.

5– Water – Bring a bowl for water and make sure your pet has plenty of it.

6—Clean up Supplies – It’s not uncommon for even the best trained dogs to have “accidents” in unfamiliar surroundings. Prepare yourself for clean ups and have extra supplies on hand.

7—Have a Plan “B” – If your dog just isn’t gelling with the vibe – for whatever reason – be prepared to take him or her home. Office life isn’t for everyone.

Take Your Dog to Work Day can be a fun way to bond with your co-workers (and your dog.) But every dog isn’t cut out for a day at the office.  Know your pooch. Consider if yours is well-mannered enough to spend with you at work and if so, go for it!

How Will You Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend With Your Pet?

As you know, Memorial Day is the annual salute to U.S. soldiers (both human and canine) and a traditional summer kickoff for outdoor fun. With 99 days of summer ahead of us, grab the sunscreen and your pet and let’s make a plan!

Here Are 3 Ideas For A Dog-Loving Good Time This Memorial Day:

1—Stay Cool – Keep your pets cool. In many parts of the country, the weather is hitting summer time temps of 90 degrees or more. Keep your pets cool by offering them a kiddie pool full of water, ice cubes to munch or a bandanna dipped in icy water before wrapped around their neck.

These and a shady patch in a backyard will help keep your pets cool while they enjoy the festivities.

If you’re planning to attend one of the many Memorial Day parades with your pet, make sure you take plenty of clean, cool water and a bowl for your dog to drink out of. You don’t want your dog getting dehydrated.

2—Don’t Feed Them From Your Plate – Please remind your guests NOT to feed your pets. Yes, dogs can make great beggars. But if you have half a dozen people feeding bits of this and that to your pet all day, you’re likely to have a sick dog on your hands later. Not fun!

Instead, let your guests’ lavish pets on your dog, not food.

If you’re traveling with your pet, you can take along some special treats for your furry friends. Wellness brand dog and cat treats come in flavors ranging from salmon to lamb and apples and they’re far better for your pet than random handouts.

3- Remember Safety – if you’re boating over Memorial Day weekend with your dog, it’s a good idea to put a doggie life jacket on him, whether or not your dog can swim. That way, if something happens, your dog stays safe.

You’ll also want to have a special place for your dog to hide during fireworks time. Unlike humans, pooches don’t embrace the fireworks. In fact, some are downright terrified. You probably know if yours is one of those dogs who’d rather hide under the bed and quiver than see the fireworks. If so, do you have a crate or special room for your dog to go when the fireworks start?

Whether you’re traveling or staying home this Memorial Day weekend, there’s plenty of opportunity for fun. What will you do?

3 Easy DIY Pet Accessories with Wellness Natural Pet Food Packaging

Are you an eco-minded pet parent? Get creative this Earth Month with one of these fun and easy DIY pet accessories, brought to you exclusively by recycling leader, TerraCycle! If crafting isn’t your thing, you can still do your part to support the environment.

As the first US-based pet food brand to partner with TerraCycle, Wellness pet parents can recycle their pets favorite Wellness recipes for free, including our Wellness Complete Health dry recipes, Wellness CORE dry recipes and Wellness TruFood dry recipes for  both dogs and cats. Sign up here to get started, and you’ll begin accumulating points for all you recycle–points that can be used to support your favorite non-profits!

Easy DIY Pet Accessories

Wellness Dog Cape

What You’ll Need

Wellpet Dog Food Bag
clear packing tape
¼” flat elastic
Tools:
ruler
scissors
pen
Instructions:
1. Start with a clean pet food bag, and cut the edges off.
2. Use your rule to draw a trapezoid that is 6” wide at the bottom, 4” wide at the top, and 7.5” tall.
3. Fold over the narrow end, about .75”
4. Use a length of tape to keep the fold closed.
5. Cut a 17.5” strip of elastic.
6. Loop it through the fold on the cape.
7. Tie and adjust accordingly so it fits your pet!
Design Tip: Cut the bottom in a funky pattern!  Try a zig-zag or wavy shape!
Endling line:  Super dogs super upcycle!
  • Wellpet Dog Food Bag
  • clear packing tape
  • ¼” flat elastic

Tools:

  • ruler
  • scissors
  • pen

Instructions:

1. Start with a clean pet food bag, and cut the edges off.

2. Use your ruler to draw a trapezoid that is 6” wide at the bottom, 4” wide at the top, and 7.5” tall.

3. Fold over the narrow end, about .75”

4. Use a length of tape to keep the fold closed.

5. Cut a 17.5” strip of elastic.

6. Loop it through the fold on the cape.

7. Tie and adjust accordingly so it fits your pet!

Design Tip: Cut the bottom in a funky pattern!  Try a zig-zag or wavy shape! Super dogs super upcycle!

Collapsible Pet Water Bowl

Materials:

  • Wellness Pet Food Bag
  • 4 velcro tabs
  • clear tape

Tools:

  • ruler
  • pen or marker
  • scissor

Instructions:

1. Start with a clean pet food bag. Flatten out the package and measure the width. Measure and mark lines on both ends to make the length of the wrapper the same size as the width. A 10” square or smaller will probably work best. Cut along your marked lines.

2. Mark a border 2” from the edge along each side of the square. Fold and crease firmly along this line. Unfold and flatten it.

3. Fold up two sides at one corner of the square. Make a diagonal crease from the corner to the folded border creating an upright triangle. Repeat this for all corners, then unfold them.

4. Take the Velcro tabs, unfasten them, and stick each one on either side of the corner of the square, one per triangle. Make sure that they will line up when fastened.

5. Fold up the bowl at the corners and press the hook and loop fasteners together. You are ready to dish up your pet’s favorite snack in your new bowl!

Pet Treat Holder

Materials:

  • empty dog food bag
  • ruler
  • washable marker

Tools:

  • scissors
  • tape

1 self-adhesive Velcro® fastener

Instructions:

1. Start with a clean, empty dog food bag. Cut a square that is 7 ½ inches on each side. Centered inside the square, draw a smaller square that is

3 inches on each side. This smaller square will be 2 ¼ inches from all edges.

2. On the top edge of the smaller square, draw a semicircle that hits the top of the large square and starts and ends at opposite corners of the small square. Repeat for the other three sides. Cut around these lines.

Pro tip: To give your treat pouch dimension, make an extra ¼ inch fold at the base of each semicircle.

3. Along the lines of the small square, fold all four semicircles towards the center.

Your piece should fold up to the size of the small square. Tape the bottom flap and two side flaps in place.

4. Attach one side of the self-adhesive Velcro® fastener on the inside of the top flap. Then, fold down the flap so the other side of the self-adhesive Velcro® fastener attaches to the outside of the bottom flap. Let the Velcro® fastener stick where it naturally landed after you folded the top flap down.

Fill your new treat pouch with your favorite treats for your favorite pet!

National Pet Day

Since 2006, April 11th has been celebrated as National Pet Day. This day was brought about to highlight the unconditional love that pets bring to our lives and also to encourage and raise awareness for animal adoption. There are so many animals around the world who are sitting in shelters, waiting to be given a second chance at life and these same animals have the potential to bring so much light and love into the lives of their owners – anyone who has adopted a shelter animal doesn’t need a national day of observance to know that the love of a pet should be celebrated.

Ways to Celebrate National Pet Day
So, how can you celebrate this national holiday? Well, your pet would probably be happy with just an extra belly rub, but we’ve got some other ideas that your pet (or future pet) is sure to love!

  1. Throw in an extra daily walk – Going on daily walks is most likely one of your dog’s (or cat’s) favorite activities, so why not throw in an extra one or maybe even just make today’s longer than usual? Your pet is sure to appreciate it!
  2. Did someone say “treat?” – We don’t know a pet in the world that doesn’t wiggle in excitement when you reach for the treat jar! Surprise your pet with some new tasty treats today.
  3. Plan a play date – This is a great idea for the dog in your life. Dogs love a good romp in the yard with a fellow furry friend and it’s also great exercise! Your dog will be pleasantly surprised when Rosco shows up at the front door. “Mom, you shouldn’t have!”
  4. Volunteer at a local animal shelter – Do you know how happy you can make a shelter animal just by simply showing up and giving them some love and attention? Bonus points if you call ahead and find out what the current needs are for that shelter – a warm bed goes a long way for an animal.
  5. Stock up on new toys – Has your dog or cat been playing with the same toys for as long as you can remember? Today is a great day to pick up some new toys for your pet – complete with some quality play time!
  6. Schedule a professional photo session – As we all know, our pets won’t be by our side forever and having professional photos taken is a great way to capture your pet’s personality. These photos will forever be a special keepsake.
  7. Spread the love on social media – One way to inspire others to consider pet adoption is simply to share your story of adoption on social media. A great example of this comes from Alaqua Animal Refuge, an animal shelter located in Florida. Find out how you can join in on the #everyoneneedsabuddy campaign!
  8. Take a trip to the dog park – Trips to the park are probably what dog dreams are made of, so National Dog Day is the perfect day to make your dog’s dreams come true. And this also is a great way for your dog to get the exercise that he needs.
  9. Try something new with your pet – Maybe you’ve always wanted to train your cat to walk on a leash – that’s actually a thing! Or maybe you’ve always wanted to teach your dog to play Frisbee. Whatever it is, today is a great day to learn something new with your pet and strengthen your bond.
  10. Adopt a pet – Bringing a new pet into your home is a decision not to be taken lightly, but if you are in a place where you feel ready for a new pet, why not do it on National Pet Day? It’s always a good day to save an animal’s life and we can assure you they’ll return the favor – every single day.

Happy National Pet Day, everyone! We hope that you and your pet enjoy this day together. Spread the love for your pet and help us to raise awareness about animal adoption!

Wellness Donates Over 8,000 Meals to Pets of the Homeless

Everyone needs some help once in a while. This holiday season, we teamed up with PawPack and Feeding Pets of the Homeless to donate over 8,000 cans of pet food to 13 different homeless shelters across America. PawPack captured the donation in this moving video:

Pets of the Homeless is the only national animal organization focused completely on feeding and providing emergency veterinary care to pets of the homeless. Learn more here.