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The Purrfect Howl-O-Ween

Pumpkins, scarecrows and goblins, oh my! Halloween is upon us and this holiday is one that is fun for everyone – including our four-legged friends! Pet owners all across America look forward to this holiday and many spend hours upon hours picking out the perfect costume for their pets. How do you celebrate Halloween with your pet? We’ve got some tips on how to have a fun and safe Halloween with your pet!

The Costume Factor

If you have a pet that doesn’t mind suiting up in a festive Halloween costume, then you should consider yourself lucky! Not all pets will be jumping at the chance to wear a costume, so it’s important to make sure that you don’t force your pet to wear something that they aren’t comfortable in. Your pet can participate in the festivities simply by wearing a fun Halloween bandana. Be sure to consider safety issues when choosing a costume for your pet. Your pet should be completely comfortable in their costume.

Trick or Treating

Whether you are going out trick or treating or staying home to give out candy, keep your pet’s safety in mind!

  • If you bring your pet along for trick or treating, make sure they are on a leash the entire time.
  • If it’s dark outside, your pet should be wearing some type of reflective gear so that they are noticeable to all drivers.
  • Don’t let your pet leave home without their ID tag – you never know when they could get away from you.
  • While at home giving out candy, take extra precautions to make sure your pet doesn’t slip out of the door when trick or treaters arrive. If your pet is known to be an escape artists, it’s probably best to keep them in a secure area during this time.

Speaking of Treats…

What’s the first thing you think of when it comes to Halloween? Candy! Dentists everywhere cringe at the thought of what their patients are indulging in on this particular holiday. While candy isn’t really good for anyone, it can be even more harmful to our pets.

  • Keep all Halloween candy in a safe place where your pets cannot get to it. There are some candies that can be fatal to your pet, especially in large doses.
  • That doesn’t mean that your pet can’t have any treats on Halloween! Pick up some special Halloween treats for your pet so they don’t feel left out while everyone else indulges in their favorite candy.

Community Events
There are always some fun events going on in the community during Halloween, and some events are even catered specifically to our furry friends! These events are a great chance to get your pets out and allow them to socialize.
  • Pet Parades: We love a good pet parade! Whether your pet is dressed in full costume or simply sporting a spooky bandana, pet parades are a fun way for your furry friends to get some good exercise and socialize with other pets.
  • Costume Contests: What could possibly be better than a bunch of adorable dogs (and cats) dressed in funky Halloween costumes? If your community is hosting one of these events, you certainly don’t want to miss out! Your pet doesn’t have to be dressed up to get in on the fun! Again, if you take your pet out to any events in your community, keep their safety in mind. Make sure they are on a leash and they are wearing proper identification at all times.
Halloween can be such a fun holiday for the whole family, but it can also be a nightmare if you aren’t looking out for your pet’s safety. Take these tips into consideration and you and your pet are sure to have the “Purrfect Howl-o-Ween!

· Be sure to consider safety issues when choosing a costume for your pet. Your pet should be completely comfortable in their costume.

Wellness TruFood Wagon Tour Photo Recap

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Winners


    Last month, we asked Wellness fans to share with us how their pets love Wellness by entering up to 3 photos in our Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest. Thank you to everyone who participated! We received so many wonderful photos of your pets and their favorite Wellness recipes. After much deliberation, we’re very happy to announce the Grand Prize winner of the contest, along with the Runners Up and Honorable Mentions. The Grand Prize winner will receive a year’s supply of Wellness! The Runners Up will each receive a deluxe Wellness prize pack, and each Honorable Mention will receive a bundle of Wellness goodies!

    Can we get a drum roll please?

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner: Lucky, submitted by Cynthia D. “Lucky loves her Wellness Signature Selects. When it’s mealtime she hops onto the stool next to the counter to watch me get her food ready. If she could talk she’d probably say, “Come on mom! Put down the camera and get this can open!”

    Lucky loves her Wellness Signature Selects. When it’s mealtime she hops onto the stool next to the counter to watch me get her food ready. If she could talk she’d probably say, “Come on mom! Put down the camera and get this can open!”

    Photo---cdorminey@nctv

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest 1st Runner Up: Kono, submitted by @kono_in_orlando via Instagram.
    love-pet-photo-contest-first-runner-up

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest 2nd Runner Up: Gacy, submitted by Karin J.

    “Who wants Wellness for dinner? Gacy does!”

    gacy

    Lucky loves her Wellness Signature Selects. When it’s mealtime she hops onto the stool next to the counter to watch me get her food ready. If she could talk she’d probably say, “Come on mom! Put down the camera and get this can open!”

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest 3rd Runner Up: Zoey & Henry, submitted by KellyAnn Z.
    “Zoey + Henry love Wellness Pet Food! They are lifelong fans of Wellness because it helps keep them healthy and happy!”

    Third Runner Up

    Honorable Mentions

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Sluggo, submitted by Lindsay B.
    “Sluggo Will Work For Wellness”

    Honorable Mention 1

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Wellness kitty, submitted by Lauren A.
    “Thank you for keeping me happy and healthy!”

    Honorable Mention 2

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Tatiana, submitted by Christina S.
    “It’s 5 o’clock… What are you waiting for?” My service dog Tatiana is always ready for her Wellness Core. Thank you for Wellness for keeping her healthy and looking like a puppy.”

    Honorable Mention

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Polar, submitted by Allison S.
    “Polar powers through his farm chores fueled on Wellness Core Ocean Formula! #LovesHisWellness”

    Honorable Mention

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Lucy, submitted by Sarah S.
    “Wellness was love at first bite with Lucy. You can tell by the look in her eyes! We absolutely love all your products.”

    Honorable Mention

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Wellness students, submitted by Deb N.
    “We’re so happy our mom included our bag of Wellness Core Superfood Protein bars in our lunchbox for our first day of school! We eat Wellness dog food for our meals too!”

    Honorable Mention

    Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Wellness feast, submitted by Johnal L.
    “Wellness…it’s what’s for dinner!”

    Honorable Mention

    Thanks again to all who participated!

    -Your Friends at Wellness

    Wellness Wagon Tour Photo Recap

      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.

      Fireworks Safety: How to Keep Your Dog Safe This Fourth of July

      Fourth of July is one of America’s favorite holidays. When you think of 4th of July celebrations, what comes to mind? Celebrating our freedom? Of course. Family cookouts? Pass me a burger. We all may celebrate the 4th of July holiday a little differently, but let’s talk about the grand finale – the fireworks! While most people love a good fireworks show, we can’t say the same for dogs. This time of year can present many dangers to your dog, as fireworks can cause them severe anxiety. Let’s talk about how you can keep your dog safe this 4th of July.

      Bring Your Dog Inside
      If you know that your dog doesn’t like fireworks, or even if you have a new dog and are unsure, it is always best to bring them inside on the days surrounding the 4th of July holiday. Fireworks can cause your dog extreme anxiety, which can present many dangers if they are left outside alone. Possible dangers can include –

      • Injuries sustained as a result of attempting to jump the fence
      • Getting hit by a car while roaming frantically around the neighborhood
      • Wandering away from home to escape the noise and getting lost
      • Getting picked up by strangers (and not the nice kind) while roaming aimlessly

      July 5th is known to be one of the busiest days for local shelters, due to these dangers that fireworks present to your dog. Play it safe, and bring your dog inside – they will be happy to join you.

      Talk to Your Veterinarian about Anxiety Medication

      This may sound a bit dramatic, but for dogs who experience severe anxiety from fireworks, this can be the best way to keep your pet safe and comfortable. If you using natural methods of medication, talk to your vet about that as well – chances are he can steer you in the right direction. Check out these natural remedies:

      • Chamomile
      • Lemon balm
      • Oat
      • Valerian
      • Skullcap

      Always consult your vet before giving your dog any medication, even natural remedies, as doses can differ for different dogs and breeds.

      Keep Your Dog Away from Windows

      When you bring your dog inside, it is important to find a nice, comfortable spot for them to be while the fireworks are going on. A good tip is to try to find a spot away from any windows, as this can help to relieve their anxiety. Some cozy spots to consider –

      • A spacious laundry room without windows
      • A central room in the house that can be closed off
      • A comfortable room in the basement – “No scary basements, Mom.”

      Make Sure Your Dog is Wearing Identification

      This is a common rule that applies year round, but at times like these it is especially important to make sure that your dog can be identified in the event of getting lost. Even if you bring your dog inside, 4th of July is a busy time in most households, with people coming and going from the house a lot. If your dog were to slip out, make sure that someone can help him find his way back.

      Keep Your Dog in a Kennel/Crate

      Another things to consider is keeping your dog in a kennel during firework shows. This can often provide a safe escape for dogs in high-anxiety situations, especially if it is an enclosed kennel versus an open crate. Make sure you have the appropriate size kennel for your dog. Your dog should be able to stand up and turn around completely in their kennel. Keeping a dog in a kennel that is too small can be dangerous to your pet.

      Skip the Fireworks and Stay Home

      If fireworks cause your dog to experience severe anxiety, another option is to celebrate with your family at home, without fireworks. Sometimes we as pet owners have to make sacrifices for the comfort and safety of our dogs. We may not be able to control our neighbors when it comes to fireworks, but we can do our best to provide a safe environment for dogs in our own home.

      However you choose to celebrate your freedom this year, be mindful of your four-legged friends as well as others in your neighborhood. Utilize some of these tips to keep your dog safe from the dangers of fireworks, and keep an eye out for your neighbor’s furry friends as well.

      Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 26th

      Take Your Dog to Work is celebrated each year on the Friday following Father’s Day. The holiday was started by Pet Sitters International in 1999, so this year marks the holiday’s 17th anniversary. The original purpose of the holiday was to “celebrate the great companions dog make and encourage their adoptions.” Take Your Dog to Work Day has become a huge hit and some big companies have even started allowing dogs in the workplace on a regular basis. Why, you ask? We’re glad you did.

      Reasons to Take Your Dog to Work
      While some people may think that taking your dog to work is a bit far-fetched, others are jumping on board and would argue that having their dog in the workplace actually creates a more relaxed, productive environment. Here are some reasons why taking your dog to work can be beneficial –

      1. Bringing your dog to work promotes a stress-free environment. Studies have shown that spending time with your dog can alleviate stress and work is one of the biggest contributors to our stress levels – makes complete sense, right? Bring your dog to work, keep you more relaxed, and improve the quality of your work.
      2. Spread the love and promote adoption. After all, this is one of the reasons that Take Your Dog to Work Day was started – to promote the adoption of other homeless pets. By bringing your dog to work with you, co-workers who may not have a dog, get the chance to witness the bond that you share with your dog. Hopefully this will lead to inspiring someone to adopt a dog of their own.
      3. Boost the overall morale of the office environment. Dogs make us happy – they are just special that way. Allowing dogs in the workplace improves the overall morale of everyone in the office. It creates a lighter, happier environment that people enjoy being in. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel as happy at work as you do when you are at home with your dog?
      4. It’s not all about making us happier – your dog will be happier too. Whether you crate your dog or not while you are at work, have you ever noticed that your dog is overly excited when you get home? This is partly because they are happy to see you, but also a result of pent up energy from being left alone all day. Even if you only took your dog to work a few days out of the week, your dog would surely appreciate it and you might even notice some positive changes in their behavior.
      5. Create a more inviting atmosphere and give people a reason to come back. If you are trying to bring people in, having a dog in your work establishment creates a laid back, homey atmosphere. People who visit your business will feel more at home and they will remember the experience and be more likely to visit your establishment again – especially the dog lovers. Again, this also promotes adoption, which is always a positive thing. 

      Who’s Doing It?

      Allowing pets in the workplace is becoming more and more popular. There are a lot of big name companies that now have pet-friendly policies, such as Amazon, Google, Proctor & Gamble and Etsy, just to name a few. Some companies even provide perks that cater specifically to the pets, such as –

      • Benefit packages that include pet insurance
      • Websites that include photos of office dogs
      • Daily group dog walks for employees and their dogs
      • Dog friendly water fountains
      • Designated play areas for pets
      • Dog food and treats provided by the company

      Here at Wellness, we celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day every year. It’s always a lot of fun to bring in our pets!

      National Puppy Day

      Since 2006, March 23rd has been celebrated as National Puppy Day. This day was founded not only as a celebration of the unconditional love that puppies bring into our lives, but also as a day to save the lives of homeless puppies sitting in animals shelters and to bring awareness to the horrific reality of puppy mills across the globe. Here are some ways that you can celebrate the true meaning behind National Puppy Day!

      10 Ways to Celebrate National Puppy Day

      1. Adopt – If you have been teetering on the edge of the decision to bring a new puppy into your home, this would be the perfect day to take the plunge! Adopting from your local shelter has become much easier with the help of social media. Most shelters use social media sites such as Facebook to post photos of all of their animals that are currently up for adoption. Adopt from your local shelter or animal rescue.

      2. Donate to the Cause – Maybe you already have the perfect puppy in your life and you get to celebrate that unconditional love day in and day out – great! Another way that you can celebrate the meaning of National Puppy Day is to DONATE!

      • Donate your time by volunteering at a local shelter
      • Donate money and/or supplies to a local shelter
      • Make a donation to an animal welfare organization that fights to end puppy mill cruelty

      3. Spread the Knowledge – Not everyone is aware of the dangers and cruelty involved with puppy mills. What is a puppy mill? Do your research and share the knowledge to bring awareness to this important issue.

      4. Share the Puppy Love – We get to experience the unconditional love from our puppies each day, so National Puppy Day is a great opportunity for us to share that love with others. Take your puppy to a local elderly community to visit with the residents and put a big smile on all of their faces – your puppy will be smiling too from all of the extra love and attention.

      5. Capture the Moment – They don’t stay puppies forever! Hire a photographer to take some photos of you and your puppy to savor the sweetness of the puppy phase. You will love looking back on those in the years to come!

      6. Puppy Training 101 – Sign you and your puppy up for an obedience training course to get a jumpstart on the basics. You will be well on your way to having the smartest puppy on the block!

      7. Puppy’s Day Out – Plan a special outing for you and your puppy. Whether it is a trip to the Dog Park or “Bring Your Puppy to Work Day,” introducing your puppy to new social environments is one of the best things you can do for them.

      8. Take Action – Write to your congressman to ask that he or she support the ban of puppy mills in your state.

      9. Get a Healthy Start – It’s never too soon for your puppy to get a healthy start. Make sure that you are giving your puppy food and treats that are made with all natural ingredients and vow to give him the proper daily exercise to keep him healthy and happy!

      10. Be Present for your Puppy – The puppy phase will be over before you know it! Spend as much quality time with your puppy as you can, not only today, but every day. Raising a puppy is a big responsibility and the decisions that you make now will shape them into the dog that they will grow up to be.

      National Puppy Day is a great time to celebrate the unconditional love that our furry friends bring to our lives and have fun while doing it! However, this day is also about shedding some light on some of the harsh realities of the world that some of the more unfortunate puppies are forced to live in. Choose to take some time today to help bring awareness to the importance of adopting shelter puppies as well as the fight against puppy mills – be the voice for puppies everywhere!

      10 Things We Love About Cats

      With 80 million cats in the U.S., it’s clear Americans have a love affair with the cat. Maybe it’s their cattitude that makes us want more of them, or maybe it’s because they can be more independent than dogs and are still sweet, furry companions.

      Here are 10 things we love about cats:

      1-      They’re cute – Big eyes, pointed ears, expressive faces. Silly antics. They bring a smile to your face.

      2-      They’re soft and cuddly – When they present their soft bellies for petting, what’s not to like?

      3-      They purr – Isn’t it nice when everyone is happy?

      4-      They love us back – When they cuddle up with us, even head butt us gently; we know they’re saying, “I love you”.

      5-      They’re independent – Cats operate on their own agenda. You can’t fault them for that and you can’t expect them to follow yours. They require respect and that’s ok.

      6-      They make good foot warmers– If they have long fur, it may cover your feet and even if not, their body warmth can keep us warm. Who needs slippers when you have a cat?

      7-      They’re entertaining – Why do cats choose the most improbable places to curl up? The smallest box, the sliver of a shelf…how many times does it bring a smile to your face?

      8-      They don’t expect walks at dawn…actually, they don’t expect walks at all, though opening and closing the door for them will help you get in some exercise.

      9-      They don’t bark at the mailman – They’re mostly quiet. We like quiet.

      10-  Cat pictures – From the dawn of photography, humans have taken and shared pictures of our cats. Now we have the internet to share even more cat pictures.

      Big or small, short-haired or long, cats have a colorful history. They’ve been royalty – wait, I think they still are – and they’ve been associated with superstitious beliefs. Through it all, they’re our companions.

      What’s your favorite thing about cats?

      How to Love Your Dog: Tips, Tricks and Must-Knows

      There’s really nothing better than a dog. A true friend and companion, a trickster, a playmate, and often the life of the party, what would our lives be without our four-legged friends? The famous humorist Will Rogers once said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Dogs live to love us, so here’s a few ways to return that love and show your best friend how much they mean to you.
      Hanging Out with Your Buddy – Every day you have your routine, and it undoubtedly includes time spent away from home – at work, running errands or just living your life. But don’t forget that you have a buddy at home whose whole life revolves around you. Of course you can’t be with your dog all day, but it’s important to make time to hang out with your dog every day.
      Walks and Runs: Every dog breed needs daily exercise, but do a little research on your pooch and make sure he is getting enough physical fitness every day. You’re not only assuring your dog’s health, but you’re showing him that he’s important enough to show off. And remember that it’s his time to enjoy the outdoors, so be patient when he stops to smell the flowers.
      Dog-friendly Outings : Pet-friendly activities are popping up all over, so take a little time to research dog-friendly spots in your neighborhood and town. Many outdoor restaurants and more shops than ever are not only allowing you, but inviting you to bring your dog along for the fun. Call ahead to make sure, or check out Bring Fido, a great online search tool that highlights the best in dog-friendly spots, complete with user reviews and pictures.
      At Home: Long day at work or just feeling like keeping it local? Don’t forget that even if you’ve had a busy day, your dog has been busy waiting for you to come home, so don’t forget to give him some attention. Throw a favorite toy (back and forth a few thousand times), play a game of hide and seek, or set up a doggy treat hunt in your home.
      Taking Care – You watch what you eat, have good hygiene and have regular checkups with your doctor, so why wouldn’t you want the same for your dog? One of the best ways to love your dog? Making responsible choices when it comes to their everyday health.
      Food : Your dog’s diet can determine not only the longevity of his life, but also the quality. Dog’s don’t judge their food in calories or health benefits, so it’s up to you  to make good choices with what to put in his bowl. Read the bag, check the ingredients, do your homework, because don’t you want to have your best friend around as long as you can? You want a food that has real meat, fruits and vegetables, not fillers, and the artificial flavors or colors have to go. Choose a diet suitable for your dog’s breed and stage of life; Wellness Pet Food makes it easy to make the right choice for your dog.
      Grooming : Can you imagine what your hair would look like if you didn’t brush it for months and you only got a haircut every couple of years? Or what if you never trimmed your fingernails or brushed your teeth? If you wouldn’t neglect your own hygiene, why would you neglect your dogs? Not only does poor grooming cause your pet discomfort, but some factors, like not regular teeth-brushing, can pose serious risks to his health.
      Vet Care – Regular veterinary care for your dog is part of being a responsible owner, and this includes two exams a year at the minimum. Stay up to date on vaccinations (most importantly for distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and rabies) and visit the vet if your buddy is injured or shows lingering signs of sickness.
      The Special Treatment – Hopefully you have lots of opportunities to show your dog a special reward; he didn’t chase the mailman at lunch, or you left your brand new shoes out all night and not a chew mark to be seen, or maybe it’s your dog’s birthday. Whatever the reason for celebration, here are some ways to give your buddy the special treatment.
      Dog Massage – Sure, that can sound a little strange at first, but dogs, especially dogs with more than a few years under their collars, can reap the benefits of a good massage. Massage can be calming in times of anxiety, relieve joint stiffness in arthritic dogs, or even provide a warm-up for athletic dogs before play. This article in Modern Dog Magazine has some great tips on how to give the right kind of massage for your dog’s health.
      Treats – Treats are often the go-to choice for rewarding your dog, but if you truly love your pooch, you will only give treats with the right ingredients and offer these kind of tasty rewards in moderation. Choose the right dog treats, tailored to your buddy’s diet and health needs, and save treats for times of excellent behavior, not to be given as a ‘guilt treat’ for when you have to leave the house.

      There’s really nothing better than a dog. A true friend and companion, a trickster, a playmate, and often the life of the party, what would our lives be without our four-legged friends? The famous humorist Will Rogers once said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Dogs live to love us, so here’s a few ways to return that love and show your best friend how much they mean to you.

      Hanging Out with Your Buddy – Every day you have your routine, and it undoubtedly includes time spent away from home – at work, running errands or just living your life. But don’t forget that you have a buddy at home whose whole life revolves around you. Of course you can’t be with your dog all day, but it’s important to make time to hang out with your dog every day.

      • Walks and Runs: Every dog breed needs daily exercise, but do a little research on your pooch and make sure he is getting enough physical fitness every day. You’re not only assuring your dog’s health, but you’re showing him that he’s important enough to show off. And remember that it’s his time to enjoy the outdoors, so be patient when he stops to smell the flowers.
      • Dog-friendly Outings: Pet-friendly activities are popping up all over, so take a little time to research dog-friendly spots in your neighborhood and town. Many outdoor restaurants and more shops than ever are not only allowing you, but inviting you to bring your dog along for the fun. Call ahead to make sure, or check out Bring Fido, a great online search tool that highlights the best in dog-friendly spots, complete with user reviews and pictures.
      • At Home: Long day at work or just feeling like keeping it local? Don’t forget that even if you’ve had a busy day, your dog has been busy waiting for you to come home, so don’t forget to give him some attention. Throw a favorite toy, play a game of hide and seek, or set up a doggy treat hunt in your home.

      Taking Care – You watch what you eat, have good hygiene and have regular checkups with your doctor, so why wouldn’t you want the same for your dog? One of the best ways to love your dog? Making responsible choices when it comes to their everyday health.

      • Food: Your dog’s diet can determine not only the longevity of his life, but also the quality. Dogs don’t judge their food in calories or health benefits, so it’s up to you  to make good choices with what to put in his bowl. Read the bag, check the ingredients, do your homework, because don’t you want to have your best friend around as long as you can? You want a food that has real meat, fruits and vegetables; not fillers, and the artificial flavors or colors have to go. Choose a diet suitable for your dog’s breed and stage of life; Wellness Pet Food makes it easy to make the right choice for your dog.
      • Grooming: Can you imagine what your hair would look like if you didn’t brush it for months and you only got a haircut every couple of years? Or what if you never trimmed your fingernails or brushed your teeth? If you wouldn’t neglect your own hygiene, why would you neglect your dogs? Not only does poor grooming cause your pet discomfort, but some factors, like not regular teeth-brushing, can pose serious risks to his health.
      • Vet Care: Regular veterinary care for your dog is part of being a responsible owner, and this includes two exams a year at the minimum. Stay up to date on vaccinations (most importantly for distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and rabies) and visit the vet if your buddy is injured or shows lingering signs of sickness.

      The Special Treatment - Hopefully you have lots of opportunities to show your dog a special reward; he didn’t chase the mailman at lunch, or you left your brand new shoes out all night and not a chew mark to be seen, or maybe it’s your dog’s birthday. Whatever the reason for celebration, here are some ways to give your buddy the special treatment.

      • Dog Massage: Sure, that can sound a little strange at first, but dogs, especially dogs with more than a few years under their collars, can reap the benefits of a good massage. Massage can be calming in times of anxiety, relieve joint stiffness in arthritic dogs, or even provide a warm-up for athletic dogs before play. This article in Modern Dog Magazine has some great tips on how to give the right kind of massage for your dog’s health.
      • Treats: Treats are often the go-to choice for rewarding your dog, but if you truly love your pooch, you will only give treats with the right ingredients and offer these kind of tasty rewards in moderation. Choose the right dog treats, tailored to your buddy’s diet and health needs, and save treats for times of excellent behavior, not to be given as a ‘guilt treat’ for when you have to leave the house.

      There’s a saying that goes, “Dogs may not be our whole lives, but they do make our lives whole.” Dogs spend their waking moments vying for our attention and hoping to show us how much we are loved. Take time for your dog today and show him just how lucky you feel to have him in your life. Make your pet be happy, healthy and well.