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Ask Wellness Fall 2013

Q. I have a 5 month old Akita puppy and need a recommendation on what to feed. What would you feed a 5-month-old, 65-pound Akita pup?Akita-Inu-Puppy

A. Akita’s are certainly considered a large breed, if not a giant breed, as they will easily grow to over 100 pounds as an adult. Large and giant breed puppies have significantly different nutritional needs. Their rate of growth must be controlled to prevent the risk of acquiring various developmental bone diseases. It’s important to limit their calcium levels and help them maintain lean body mass through their first year, which will reduce the risk of painful conditions.

Years ago we used to recommend large and giant breed puppy parents should only feed adult recipes as they are less caloric than most puppy foods. Today, there are specific large and giant breed puppy recipes that are lower in calories and in some cases lower in calcium.

The Wellness®Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Recipe is lower in calories and calcium and provides essential supplements like pre and probiotics which improve digestion, absorption of nutrients and immune system function. It also guarantees levels of specific Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA) which are essential for proper eye and brain development. This would be an ideal choice for your Akita puppy.

5 Must Have Travel Accessories for Dogs and Cats

If you plan a summer or fall road trip with your pets, you know you need to do more to ready your pet than simply toss Max or Fluffy into the backseat. It takes a little preparation.

First, you’ll want to establish that your destination is pet-friendlythere’s nothing like showing up at your hotel 7 hours later with Max in tow to be told there are no more pet friendly rooms.

Cat car travel

Of course, you’ll also need a few other items as well. Here’s a list of travel necessities:

1—Restraint – Just as you use your seat belt when in the car, your pets should be secured. This prevents them from becoming projectiles if you are in an accident.

There are many options available today from harnesses that work similar to seat belts to traditional pet carriers. Which is best for your pet?  It’ll depend on factors like your pet’s temperament and comfort level with riding in the car—and, how much space you have. If your car will be full of kids and luggage, putting Fluffy in a carrier may be your best option.

2—Food/Water/Dishes – Be sure to pack enough food for the trip and bring a water supply for your pet. You’ll need dishes too. If you make a pit stop and realize you don’t have a water bowl, it can make for a little unnecessary complexity. Collapsible travel bowls pack well.

3—Comforting Items – Even if your pets are good travelers, they will feel more content with familiar items such as their favorite toy, or an old towel or shirt that smells like home.

dog-travel-car


4—Cleaning Supplies/Alternate Carrier
– Some pets are nervous travelers and may have an accident in their carrier. If this happens, you can minimize your pet’s discomfort by pulling over and cleaning out the carrier or swapping it for an alternate one.


5—Favorite Treats
–Your pets already appreciate their favorite treats. They’ll be very happy that you remembered to bring them!

Enjoy your travels!

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.

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 recently expanded our line of Small Breed food offerings, with the introduction of two new dry recipes and four new treats! 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 one of our new Petite Treats, 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.

Garden Dangers and Your Pets

It’s a gardener’s favorite time of year. The ground is thawing, the nurseries are coming to life and soon you’ll be digging holes for your bedding plants.

Of course, your favorite pets might like to join you in the hole digging too, or, they may simply find other means of entertainment that could be harmful.

Pesticides, cocoa mulch, even certain plants can be toxic to dogs and cats.   You already know your dog will likely eat anything— or at least to try it and see if it’s tasty…. and this can be a problem.

Beware of Toxic Plants

Plant bulbs such as Daffodils are toxic if your pet digs them up and eats them. So are Azaleas and Tiger, Day, Asiatic and Easter lilies- but with these plants, your pet only has to eat a few leaves or taste the flowers to be sick. Symptoms typically include vomiting or diarrhea and can sometimes even be fatal.

Pesticides and Your Pet

If you use pesticides on your grass or garden areas, you pet can ingest those chemicals. Even if your pet doesn’t eat the grass or plants but just noses around, dog’s noses are a mucous membrane that allows many substances to flow in.  Plus, pets lick their paws and if they’ve walked on treated grounds, that’s another way for them to ingest harmful chemicals.

Always read the label on a lawn treatment to learn what the possible dangers are to pets. If you have a lawn and garden company treat your lawn, be sure to learn what they’re using and their recommendations. They’ll usually tell you if it’s not safe for children and pets. There are organic pesticides that you can use instead.

Be cautious if you put traps in the yard or garden to attract slugs and other pests; often, dogs find them and eat them. They also may eat a dead rodent that was killed by poison.

Chocolate Mulch

It almost sounds like something straight out of Willy Wonka; “Tuck chocolate around your plants to keep them healthy.” Cocoa or chocolate mulch smells chocolaty and delicious yet it could be fatal to your pets. True to its name, chocolate mulch has theobromine in it, which is the ingredient in chocolate that is dangerous to dogs and cats.  If your pets eat it, it could cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even seizures.

Make sure your garden is pet safe and keep an eye on them if they’re spending a lot of time in the yard. If they show signs of sickness, get them to the vet to ensure their safety.

Does Your Pet Have a Microchip?

Spring is here and the warmer weather is coming! This means that your pets may get Spring Fever and want to take themselves on a stroll around the neighborhood. Sometimes dogs and cats slip out of the door or the fence and before you know it, they’re gone.

No matter how your pet gets loose, you have only one wish… to bring them home safely.

A microchip in your pet can help you to be reunited with your lost dog or cat. Without a microchip, only 17% of lost pets are reunited with their families. A study at the University of Columbus found cats with microchips were 20 times more likely to return to their families and dogs were 2 and half times more likely to be reunited.

The way it works is simple: A small microchip—no bigger than a grain of rice– is inserted between your dog or cat’s shoulder blades.  It’s quick, easy and no more painful that getting a vaccination.  The microchip acts like a bar code.

Afterwards, if your pet gets loose, veterinarians and pet shelters can scan your pet to check for ID. If one is found, they’ll check the pet microchip databases to get your pet back home to you.

Though there isn’t a single central lost pet database, however the scanners can read microchips from a variety of brands.

The cost is typically $25-$50, plus a registration fee.  In addition to a microchip, ensure your pet’s tags are up to date too.  A clear name and phone number on a tag can make it easy to return a lost pet.

March 2013 Ask the Vet

Q: My 1 1/2 year old Schnoodle has anal gland problems.  Is there anything I can do to prevent her from leaking this foul smell?

A: Anal glands are scent glands located around the dog’s anus which produces a strong smelling, oily secretion.  (The anal glands are located at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock around the anus.)   They are supposed to empty when the dog passes stool and the anus is stretched.  The most common form of anal sac disease is impaction; other diagnoses are infection, abscess, or neoplasia.  Clinical signs are related to pain and discomfort— scooting, licking and biting at the anal area and painful defecation.

Overweight dogs and small breed dogs are at greater risk.

Anecdotally, a diet that is enhanced in fiber and produces a larger quantity of stool may help the problem of unexpected leaking.  For a diet with increased dietary fiber, try Wellness Small Breed Healthy Weight dry kibble.

In addition, your veterinarian may teach you to express canine anal glands manually when full.  Ask at your next wellness check up.

Q: My cat that is eight years old is peeing in her litter box every 15 minutes when she is awake. But only a drop. She seems to feel like she has to pee. And her poop is very small compared to my other cats. What can I do to help her?

A: Your cat is exhibiting signs of lower urinary tract disease.  Different types of urinary diseases occur in cats:  FIC (feline idiopathic cystitis), urolithiasis, and urethral plugs are the top three.  You should schedule an appointment for a health check.  After a diagnosis, your vet can help you with nutritional goals and possible environmental enrichment and behavioral management.

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!