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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

Poison Prevention Awareness Month

Attention pet owners! March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, which means that if you’ve never inspected your home or aren’t aware of the things that could be poisonous to your pet, now is the time to educate yourself! There are so many poisonous substances that can be harmful and even fatal to our pets, so it is important to know what’s in your home and also to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms that your pet may be in danger. So, in honor of Poison Prevention Awareness Month, we are offering up some tips!

photo cred: mybrownnewfies.com

photo cred: mybrownnewfies.com

Inspect!
Regular inspections are the best way to ensure that your home is free of elements that may be toxic to your pet. Let’s go room to room and talk about some things that could be harmful to your pet.

Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms when it comes to poison prevention. People often make the mistake of assuming that certain table foods are safe for their pet, but this is a dangerous way of thinking. The following foods have been shown to be potentially harmful to pets –

  • Chocolate – especially dark chocolate, coffee, caffeine
  • Raisons and grapes
  • Yeast dough
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raw or undercooked meat
  • Table salt
  • Garlic, onion and chives
  • Avocado

These are just some of the most common foods that can be hazardous to your pet. Consult with your veterinarian before sharing any table food with your pet.

Bathroom

The bathroom can be a dangerous place for your pet. Make sure you keep the following items in a place that is not accessible to your pet –

  • Human and pet medications
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Bath salts and bathing liquids

Living Room

Household plants are a popular topic when it comes to poison prevention for our pets. If you are a pet owner and you like to keep plants in and around your home, be sure that you do your research before bringing a plant into your home that could be harmful to your pet.

Here are some other miscellaneous household items that can be toxic to your pet –

  • Batteries
  • Potpourri
  • Insecticides
  • Rodenticides
  • Plant fertilizer/plant food
  • Antifreeze
  • Yarn, rubber bands, dental floss

Secure!

Make sure that potentially toxic items are out of your pet’s reach. Pets can be pretty creative about finding a way to get into things, am I right?

  • Keep human medications and pet medications in separate areas, both secure and out of reach.
  • If you have multiple pets, make sure that their medications are kept separate, in order to keep them from getting mixed up.

Learn!

Do the necessary research to educate yourself on the topics surrounding poison prevention. What items are toxic to your pet? Talk to your veterinarian to find out if there are certain foods that may be more toxic to your pet than others. Read up on household plants and make sure that you don’t keep any toxic plants inside your home. Knowledge is power!

Read!

Pay attention to the labels on the items in your home. The label will often warn you if the substance is toxic to you or your pet.

  • Before administering any medication to your pet, make sure you read and understand the directions, and follow any doctor’s orders exactly.

Know!

Do you know what the common signs and symptoms of poisoning are? This is an important part of poison prevention. If you notice that your pet is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately!

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Convulsions

If you can’t get in contact with your veterinarian, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Prepare!

It is important to be prepared in the event that any emergency arises with your pet, and that includes possible poisoning. Keep emergency resources on hand and have the number of your local veterinary emergency hospital in an accessible place, so that you can seek help immediately.

The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet

There are many benefits to having your pets spayed and neutered. While it is indeed beneficial to both you and your pet, it is also considered to be an important responsibility as a pet owner. There is a reason, or many rather, why shelters require any animal to be spayed or neutered before being adopted out of their facility. Let’s talk about some reasons as to why spaying and neutering is so beneficial to both you and your pet.

Health Benefits


Some of you may be wondering how putting your pet through surgery could possibly benefit their health. First of all, these surgical procedures are performed using the most minimally invasive techniques possible. In the case of spaying and neutering your pet, the benefits far outweigh any risk involved. Some of these benefits include:

Eliminating the risk of ovarian and testicular cancer

Reducing the risk of mammary gland tumors and/or uterine cancer, especially if done before the female’s first heat cycle

Reducing the desire to roam, which will help keep your pet safely out of the streets

Pets who have been spayed or neutered have been shown to lead longer, healthier lives

Behavioral Benefits

Spaying and neutering your pet can help to correct behavioral issues that you may be having with your pet.

Calm Aggressive Behavior – Some animals that remain intact have been known to display some aggressive behavior. This is most common among the males, and neutering has been shown to decrease aggressive behavior, as well as reduce the likelihood of dog bites.

Eliminate Desire to Spray or Mark Territory – Another common problem with male cats and dogs is their desire to spray or mark their territory. Neutering can help to eliminate this problem. No pun intended.

Keep Your Pet Out of the Street – As previously mentioned, spaying and neutering your pet can reduce your pet’s desire to roam. Female dogs and cats have a tendency to want to roam when they come into heat, resulting in the males exhausting every effort to get out and find a mate. This presents many dangers to your pet, including traffic accidents and fights with other animals.

Solution to Overpopulation

Overpopulation is a big problem facing the feline and canine communities. Spaying and neutering your pet makes you a part of the solution by –

Preventing unwanted litters of puppies and kittens

Reducing the number of stray animals roaming the streets

Reducing the number of animals being brought into shelters, ultimately helping to reduce the number of animals being euthanized each year

Free to a Good Home?

Overpopulation can also lead to more animals ending up in abusive situations. Oftentimes, when someone’s pet has an unexpected litter of puppies or kittens, they choose to rehome these animals for little to no rehoming fee. This can easily land animals in the hands of abusive owners.

Be a Part of the Solution

The mere thought of the number of stray animals that suffer from roaming the streets day after day, along with the thousands of homeless animals that sit in shelters day in and day out, is enough for us to know that we want to be a part of the solution. We want you to be a part of the solution as well. As pet owners, choosing to spay and neuter our four-legged friends is helping to reduce the number of homeless animals in our community, and we think that is a great solution to be a part of!

Now that you know more about the benefits involved in spaying and neutering your pets, put your knowledge into action. Make the appointment, improve your pet’s health, and make a difference in the lives of all animals in your community – SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS. Be a part of the solution and share your knowledge with pet owners alike.

Wellness Pet Food Survey Results

As you may remember, we sent out a survey back in November to ask about your preferences as a Wellness consumer. We want to thank everyone for their participation, as well as share some of the interesting findings with you! Check out our graphic, below, which highlights some of the trends we saw with Wellness pet parents.


Thanks again for participating!

National Walk Your Pet Month

If you’re one of the 45% of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions, chances are that weight loss and/or exercising more often is among them.

You probably already know about the health benefits of losing weight. There’s less stress on your joints, your heart, etc. But did you know that when your pet loses weight, he or she enjoys the same benefits?

According to Pet Obesity Prevention, 57.9% of American pets are overweight or obese. Even an extra two pounds on your cat (or five on dogs) is associated with greater risk for disease.

January is National Walk Your Pet Month which makes is perfect for the dogs in your life. Maybe for your cat too but most aren’t interested in walks.

And if the exercise benefits aren’t enough, dogs also enjoy mental stimulation by getting out in the neighborhood and sniffing the trees, sidewalks, fire hydrants and each other.

Walking Your Dog is Bonding Time

Walking together is a great time to focus on training your dog and strengthening the bond between you.

To get the most out of your time together, don’t walk and talk on the phone. Use this time to focus on your pet. They spend a lot of time alone already and need you. Praise them when they walk well and pay attention to you.

If your pet needs leash training, find a class, hire a dog trainer for a few sessions or watch YouTube videos on how to train your dog to walk on a leash. It’s no fun (and possibly dangerous) if your dog is doing the zoomies down the street at top speed about to pull your arm out of the socket.

If your dog already walks great on a leash, congratulations! Now you can focus on enjoying the walk and maximizing it for calorie burn:

Maximize Your Walk

You already know a slow meander isn’t going to do much for revving up the metabolism. However, if you’ve been more sedentary than active, you’ve got to start somewhere. Even a few minutes at a slow pace have more health benefits that sitting on the couch. As soon as you can though, speed up your walk, even if it’s only for a few seconds at a time.

An average is about one mile in a 20 minute period or 3 miles an hour. Are you walking that fast already?

Sometimes dogs can be tricky. They get caught up in the smells and slow your progress. This is another reason the leash training comes in handy. There’s a time to let them sniff and a time to walk. Maybe you start out slow or slow down when you get to a favorite spot. Over time, they’ll adapt to your rhythm if you train them to trot along beside you.

Of course, if you have a high energy dog, then your pet needs to run—daily—to burn off that excess energy. If you’re not a runner, then take your dog to the dog park or find a pet sitter who’ll run with your dog.

It’s hard to walk calmly on a leash when you’re filled with pent up energy.

Safety after Dark

It is January after all and it gets dark early. If your dog walking activities take place in the predawn or late afternoon/evening hours, you want to make sure you can be seen by motorists, bicyclists and other dog walkers/pedestrians.

A lighted leash and collar combination is good for the Fido in your life. You will do well to wear light colored clothes at least and better yet, a reflective vest or jacket.

What about you? How will you participate in National Dog Walking Month?

How to Keep Pets Safe at the Holidays and During the Cold Months Ahead

Dropping temperatures often means you and your pets may find yourselves indoors more than usual. The month of December can also present unique challenges for young or “new to you” pets in terms of schedule changes and holiday decorations.

With the first day of Winter approaching (Dec. 22) it’s also “Keep Pets Safe in Winter Day.” It’s a reminder to us of the hazards of the season.

You may think of the usual outdoor concerns such as making sure your pets steer clear of antifreeze and chemical de-icers – more on those in a minute – yet the indoor arena presents its own challenges.

Cords, Gift Wrapping and Tinsel – It Must Be the Holidays!

If you have older pets who have been with you through multiple holiday seasons, they may snooze through the gift wrapping and guests with barely a raised eyebrow.

On the other hand, if you have young pets, or even “new to you” pets, you’ll want to take precautions as you see how they behave.

Christmas Trees – Talk about excitement and confusion. You’re bringing a tree inside and hang it with shiny objects that swing about when batted. It smells good, it’s unusual and you’re giving it a lot of attention.

All of that makes it of interest to some pets. That interest may range from kittens batting ornaments off of it to jumping into the tree. Dogs may be delighted that you’ve brought them indoor plumbing.

Only they know what goes on in their minds.

Until you know your pet’s reactions, here are a few precautions.

  • Leave low branches empty — Don’t hang ornaments on low branches where they may tempt your furry friends to chew on them or knock them onto the floor. Delicate ornaments can break and cut your curious pets.
  • Don’t leave them unattended – Make sure your pets can’t access the tree easily when you’re not home. I’m sure you’ve heard of at least one story of a pet knocking over a Christmas tree. Or dogs who’ve chosen to forget their indoor manners – if you know what I mean.
  • Don’t use tinsel in your decorations. Animals who chew on tinsel can end up at the emergency vet. Why? Because the strands can twist around their internal organs and cause major damage. It’s not worth the risk.

Other Potential Indoor Hazards

  • Open flames from candles – keep them out of the way of wagging tails and curious kittens. It only takes a second for a disaster to occur.
  • Extension cords or electric throws/blankets – Chewing electric cords can electrocute your pet. Veterinarians say it’s quite common so please make sure your pet doesn’t have access to these.
  • Space heaters – Pets get too close and get burned. It’s also easy to knock over space heaters which can even start a fire. Use them with caution and only when you’re home.

Brrr…It’s Cold Outside

When the temperatures settle in the low ‘30’s or below, there are dangers of the elements for both humans and pets. Earlier I mentioned the dangers of antifreeze and chemical de-icers.

You may be familiar with these but in case you’re not, it’s important to realize the hazards.

  • Antifreeze is a magnet for pets. They like the taste of it and it’s poisonous. So make sure that the lids are on tight and out of reach of curious pets. It’s also important to clean up any antifreeze that may spill or leak from your car as it doesn’t take much of the stuff to trigger a reaction – especially in small animals.
  • Paw Pads take a beating. They’re exposed to the elements outside which means snow and ice crystals can lodge themselves deep in the nooks and crannies of your pet’s paws. So can chemical de-icers which you or your neighbors may use to keep your steps, driveway and sidewalk clear of ice.

The de-icers themselves are usually made of calcium chloride (a form of salt) which can burn your pet’s paws – and mouth when they lick their paws clean.

Your best protection is to use a combination of dog boots and to rinse off your dog’s legs and underbelly (if your pet has long fur) when you come in from outside. A towel, a brush and a pan of warm water (for legs/paws) will help keep your pet clean and free of harsh chemicals. It won’t, however, prevent your pet‘s paws from dryness.  For combating dry and flaky paw pads, a pet safe moisturizing balm is useful.

  • Dog Coats and sweaters benefit short haired dogs. Short haired dogs don’t have the extra fur of winter breeds to keep themselves warm so they’re at a disadvantage. Sweaters and dog coats come in all sizes. Even your Mastiff can stop shivering and stay warm in the winter with an extra layer.
  • Be Visible – The winter darkness puts you and your dog at risk when you’re walking. Use a reflective leash or winter clothes with reflective stripes to stay visible to cars, bikers and other pedestrians.

In extreme temperatures, frostbite and hypothermia can affect your pets. In such weather, your best bet is to protect paws with dog booties and keep walks short.

How will you protect your pets this winter?

The Benefits of Probiotics for Your Pet

Do you know how important your pet’s digestive health is to their overall well-being? A healthy gut prevents disease, improves digestion, aids in better nutrient absorption and boosts the immune system. So, in other words, digestive health is extremely important and that’s where probiotics come into play. What are probiotics? Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in our pets’ intestines and without the right balance of that good bacteria, your pet can experience major health issues. Let’s talk about the benefits of probiotics for your pet and how you can help to maintain that balance.

Benefits of Probiotics
So, what are the actual benefits of giving your pet food with a healthy amount of probiotics, or even adding probiotic supplements to their food?

Promote a Healthy Digestive System
Overall, a diet that is rich in probiotics will help your pet to achieve digestive balance and promote a healthy gut.

Slow and/or Eliminate Diarrhea
If your pet doesn’t already have a diet with added probiotics and they start to suffer from diarrhea, a probiotic supplement can help to treat the diarrhea. Once you start feeding your pet a probiotic-rich diet, such as Wellness TruFood, they will be less likely to suffer from digestive problems such as diarrhea.

Ease Gastrointestinal Ailments
Does your pet suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or any condition similar to it? Probiotics can help to soothe most gastrointestinal ailments that your pet may be suffering from.

Do All Pets Need a Probiotic?
Because the digestive system is so closely connected to a pet’s immune system and overall health, all pets should have some form of a probiotic as part of their diet.

Probiotic Diet vs. Probiotic Supplement
While both forms of probiotics can be beneficial to your pet, feeding your pet a probiotic diet is the most proactive way to improve their health. Generally speaking, most pet foods that include a proper amount of probiotics are also among the healthier choices of pet foods. These foods will generally have more natural ingredients and are overall better choices for your pet.

Are you ready to start feeding your pet a diet that is rich in probiotics? Any chance to improve your pet’s overall health and potentially add years to their life is a chance that’s worth taking.

Wellness TruFood Thanksgiving Twitter Chat Recap

This year, we wanted to make sure that pet parents would be ready to include their furry family members in the Thanksgiving holiday feast. To do this, we recently hosted a Twitter Chat with Wellness veterinarian, Dr. Louise, DVM. During our 1-hour-long chat, we talked about ways to include healthy superfood ingredients in your pets meals with our Wellness TruFood line for dogs and cats. Take a look at how it went!

In preparation for the Thanksgiving season, as well as the Twitter Chat, we worked on a TruFood photoshoot to capture the delicious, nutrient-rich ingredients up close. We were joined by Wellness dog, Dakota, who was not shy with digging into her holiday plate and showing us all how tasty it was. Check out these behind-the-scenes “blooper” shots!

And now, the final product:

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in our Twitter Chat, and we’d like to congratulate winner @rooneyanddesi who won a year’s supply of Wellness TruFood for participating!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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.

National Mutt Day

A hidden gem, a diamond in the rough, the four-legged prince (or princess) among thieves – the mutt has found its place in the dog world. What used to be thought of as a derogatory term, the “mutt” is now something to be celebrated. Shelters around the country harbor many of these gems – sitting undiscovered, waiting to pick their perfect human family.

The Best Kept Secret: Why You Should Rescue a Mutt

The real question to be asked is, “Why would you not rescue a mutt?” Animal shelters are known for harboring the mutts of the dog world, the diamonds in the rough.

  • No one expected that the dog in the third kennel down on the right, that looks to be the perfect mix between a Corgi and a Jack Russell Terrier, would bring life into the home of a husband and wife struggling with conception.
  • Who would have thought that the Golden Retriever and Border Collie mix with bright blue eyes, would be the missing puzzle piece of motivation for his new owner with dreams of running a marathon?
  • The Pit Bull mix that sat quietly in the corner, in the very last kennel on the left: her owners would tell you that she is the most loyal dog to ever enter their home, and that taking a chance on her was one of the greatest decisions they have ever made.

There truly is no greater love and appreciation than that of a dog who has been rescued, but their owners will inevitably begin to ask themselves the question, “Which one of us is really being rescued here?”
Rescue a mutt from your local shelter and you will officially be in on the secret. Here is a not so subtle hint: It’s both of you.

There truly is no greater love and appreciation than that of a dog who has been rescued, but their owners will inevitably begin to ask themselves the question, “Which one of us is really being rescued here?”  Rescue a mutt from your local shelter and you will officially be in on the secret. Here is a not so subtle hint: It’s both of you.

This Mutt’s For You

No matter the breed, making the decision to bring a dog into your life and home is not one to be taken lightly. There is indeed a perfect mutt for your family, but there are things that deserve your careful consideration. Lifestyle, space in your home, and breed characteristics are all things that factor into finding your ideal four-legged companion.

What does your Saturday morning look like?

  • Do you wake up, eat clean and jump on your mountain bike, or maybe pound the pavement in an early morning run? There is a Labrador and Boxer mix somewhere, dreaming of the day he can join you.
  • Do you like to curl up on the couch with your coffee and a good book, or even indulge in one of those guilty pleasure television shows? There is a Shih Tzu and Poodle mix somewhere that would love nothing more than to make a cozy spot right next to you. That’s one of the good things about dogs: they won’t tell anyone how much you love The Real Housewives.

A Happy Home

  • Larger breed dogs with a high energy level are not going to be happiest cooped up in a one bedroom apartment in the city, unless maybe you have them trained to do your Starbucks coffee run each day. . .multiple times a day.
  • On the other hand, a dog with a lower energy level will be happy with a more low-maintenance, leisurely schedule: even if that schedule consists of hours of mindless television in your one bedroom apartment.

The dog that you bring into your home should be a direct reflection of your lifestyle, and your home should appropriately accommodate his or her needs.

Breed Characteristics

Animal shelters are filled with mixed-breeds of many kinds, and the beauty of the mixed-breed dog is even better odds of finding the perfect mutt for you. Mixed-breed equals a broader gene pool, and once you discover what characteristics fit best into your life, the shelter is the right place to begin your search.

  • For example, any breed mixed with a poodle would be a good fit for someone with a mild pet dander allergy, as poodles tend to be hypo-allergenic.
  • Likewise, a dog that appears to be a mix of Labrador and Border Collie, may have the friendly disposition of the first and the whip-smart agility of the second.

No one is trying to take anything away from the purebreds of the world. However, it is time for them to scoot over and make a sunny spot for their equally adorable furry friend, the mutt, because all dogs deserve their day in the sun.