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Ask Wellness: January 2014

I am feeding my golden your large breed adult food.  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 easily.
The feeding guide on the back of the bag is an approximate amount of food to feed based on the pet’s weight. It is merely a guide but is not appropriate for every pet. Age, breed, activity level, metabolic rate, time of the year and more are all influences that will affect your pet’s current caloric needs. The goal is to feed an adult dog just enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. Many dogs will need less than the guide suggests and some will need more.

Q. I am feeding my golden your large breed adult food. 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 easily.

A. The feeding guide on the back of the bag is an approximate amount of food to feed based on the pet’s weight. It is merely a guide but is not appropriate for every pet. Age, breed, activity level, metabolic rate, time of the year and more are all influences that will affect your pet’s current caloric needs. The goal is to feed an adult dog just enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. Many dogs will need less than the guide suggests and some will need more.

Top Dog and Cat Gifts for the Holidays

Regardless of whether your cat or dog has been naughty or nice, we know you’ll want to spoil them during the holiday season. Below, we highlight our top dog and cat gifts. Our suggestions for Fluffy and Fido will keep all of you happy during this busy time.

Top Picks- DogClassic-KONG1-700x700

KONG Classic–We love the holidays, but they can certainly shake up our routine (and our pets’ routines too). During the holiday season, your pets may experience added stress from guests in the house, or they may get an upset tummy from indulging in too many table scraps. The KONG Classic can help alleviate both of these issues, and it makes a fun gift for your pooch! The natural rubber, USA-made KONG Classic is bright red and super-bouncy. It helps distract and engage stressed dogs by bouncing unpredictably, and it can be filled with healthy treats such as Wellness® WellBites® to curb excessive snacking. KONG Classic comes in many sizes and rubber strengths.

Wellness® Petite Treats Soft Mini-Bites With Lamb, Apples & Cinnamon–Smaller breed dogs have unique needs, even when it comes to treats. product-lg-dog-treat-petite-treats-lamb-apple-cinPetite Treats come in plenty of tasty flavors (we selected a holiday favorite with apples and cinnamon) and are bite-sized for smaller mouths. They are perfect to take on the road during holiday travel.

Top Picks- Cat

Kitty Scratch Pole–As you probably know, cats like to scratch. In fact, scratching is a way for cats to mark their territory, stretch, and “file” their claws.Untitled-1They typically scratch in highly visible areas, marking their territory on the drapes, carpet or sofa. You can avoid shredded furniture by strategically placing one or more scratching posts in the house. However, not all scratching posts are created equal, and the USA-made Kitty Scratch Pole proves that. Made from sustainable wood and recycled cardboard, this eco-friendly scratching post is designed with a refillable cardboard center. We love that when your kitty shreds the cardboard past recognition, you can just pop on a new cardboard piece (sparing the reusable base from the landfill).

Wellness Pure Delights Turkey & Salmon Jerky–Us humans get to sample some of the most delectable dishes during our end-of-the-yearproduct-lg-cat-treat-pure-delight-turkey-salmon festivities, and we all know ignoring the cat doesn’t work. Rather than share human food that might make your kitty sick, give her a few of the scrumptious, USA-made Wellness Pure Delights Turkey & Salmon Jerky treats. Pure Delights are wheat and grain free and contain no corn or soy! These perfectly-sized morsels will satisfy even finicky felines, while keeping calories in check with only 1.2 calories per piece.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

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.

Ask Wellness Fall 2013

Q. I was recently told that cats need wet food in their diet. I am wondering if this is true and if so why?

A. We recommend feeding at least a combination of canned and dry cat food. The most common reason cat owners take their cats to the veterinarian is for urinary issues. Many of these urinary issues arise when cats don’t get enough water in their diets. While quality cat foods like Wellness® do everything possible to reduce the chances of a cat developing urinary issues, cats may still develop them if they’re eating an exclusively dry diet.

Wellness Signature Selects™  Canned Cat Food

Wellness Signature Selects™ Canned Cat Food

Since canned food is 78-80% water, eating this food helps cats increase their water consumption and lower their risk of urinary issues.

If you have more than one cat, providing several water bowls and litter boxes will encourage adequate water intake. In addition, many cats love moving water. Re-circulating water fountains may also inspire your cats to drink more water. Wellness provides many wet cat food options, such as our hand-packed Signature Selects recipes.

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.

Ask Wellness Summer 2013

Q. At what age (if at all) should I switch my dogs to the Wellness® Complete Health Just for Seniors recipe? I have a Rottie and a Jack Russell Terrier who are turning 7 this year.

A. Dogs today are living longer than ever before, however, veterinarians still consider large breeds to be seniors at about 8 years of age, so most of that extended life will be as a senior. Your Jack Russell terrier, a small breed dog, would usually be considered a senior at 9-10 years of age.

A recipe such as Wellness® Complete Health Just for Seniors would be a good choice for your Rottie because it provides moderate protein, fewer calories and supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, omega 3 essential fatty acids, pre and probiotics and more to help slow the aging process. The Wellness® Complete Health Small Breed Senior recipe would cater to your Jack Russell terrier by providing the same age-specific vitamins & minerals as our other senior recipes while featuring a smaller kibble size.

In addition to feeding a senior diet that’s lower in calories, regularly exercising your older dogs is essential. It helps keep muscles toned, stimulates the heart and lungs and burns any additional calories to help maintain a lean body. The earlier you get your dogs started on a senior recipe, the more positive benefits you’ll notice.

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.

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!

February 2013 Ask the Vet

Q: My cat throws up after eating.  I have tried several vets and tried various foods but she still throws up.  It only happens at certain times as she will not throw up for weeks then suddenly will throw up after every meal.

A: Defining an accurate cause of feline chronic vomiting is sometimes difficult.

Try feeding your cat a Wellness canned diet in several small meals per day.  Don’t feed all the food in one meal.  Do not let your cat have constant access to dry food and feed less if excess weight is an issue.  In this case- I recommend feeding feline canned Wellness® CORE® Grain-Free Indoor Formula.  It is lower in fat and carbohydrates while enhanced in fiber and contains 148 kcal per 5.5 oz. can.

Q: Our 50 lb dog has a sensitive stomach.  We give Wellness® Complete Health® Super5Mix® Chicken Recipe.  If we give her any kind of treat outside of that she gets very gassy which we believe is caused by allergies.  Are there any tests to perform to see what your dog is allergic to?  Or is it trial and error?

A: There are blood tests available for diagnosis of canine food allergies.  Most dermatologists do not rely on them as reliable for diagnosis; they believe that the elimination diet trial using a novel protein (trial and error) is the standard for diagnosis of food allergies.

If you and your vet determine that your dog can tolerate chicken recipe treats, you may want to try the Pure Rewards Chicken & Lamb Jerky.

December 2012 Ask the Vet

Q: Is it necessary for my senior dog to have senior dog food?

A: Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) does not describe the minimum diet profile for a senior lifestyle as they do for the adult maintenance lifestyle and the condition of growth and reproduction.

A senior type diet is typically described as being less dense in protein and fat with increased carbohydrate and fiber. For an example see Wellness® Complete Health® Super5Mix® Just for Seniors; it has a caloric density of 340 kcal per cup. This may be correct for some senior dogs, while not the first choice for others.  An example would be an old dog of thin body condition.

It is best to choose the diet based on your assessment of optimal body condition and body weight of each individual. Seek the input of your veterinarian concerning senior dog care and routine preventative programs available.

Q: My cat gets UTIs and I can’t figure out why.  Should I switch her food?

A: I would schedule a veterinary appointment to get to the bottom of the problem of chronic urinary tract symptoms; bloody urine, straining to urinate and urinating outside the litter box.  The workup should include a complete urinalysis.  At least one lateral radiograph should be taken as bladder stones are an issue in 20-25% of recurrent cases.  In the meantime feed a grain free, fish based, and moist diet like: canned feline CORE® Grain-Free Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Formula. It contains 192 kcal per 5.5 oz can.