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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 (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 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.

Happy National Mutt Day!

Embrace your favorite mutt! Whether long-haired with pointy ears or short furred with a stub of a tail, mutts nuzzle their way into our hearts as much as any pure bred pooch.
Pet expert and advocate Colleen Paige created Mutt’s Day as a biannual event (July 31 and Dec. 2) to recognize the lovable mutts waiting for their forever homes at crowded animal shelters around the country.
Every year, thousands of animals are euthanized due to overpopulation and she wanted to do something about it. In 2005, she founded Mutt’s Day as a day to recognize those animals and raise awareness to the problem of overpopulation.
What Can You Do?
Consider adoption instead of buying your next pet and donate time and/or dollars to a local animal shelter.
Get your pet spayed or neutered for population control.
Donate old towels and bed linens to a shelter.  The animals will appreciate having a soft bed to lie on.
If you can, volunteer at the animal shelter. You can walk dogs, foster pups or maybe help organize events like a Mutt Day Celebration!
Benefit of Mutts
In addition to the good feelings that come with knowing you’ve saved a life, mixed breeds have an advantage over pure bred pooches.  Studies show they often live longer, healthier lives thanks to a lack of inbreeding.
They’re devoted. Some people even say rescues are extra grateful to their pet parents, as if they know they were saved. And, maybe they do.
Celebrate Your Mixed Mutt
Whether you call them “mix”, “mutt” or “Heinz 57”,  these dogs deserve loving homes where their biggest concern is which patch of sun to lie in.
Why not take your favorite mutt for an extra-long walk in honor of Mutt’s Day? Maybe even sneak in some extra cuddle time and a special treat.
Long live mutts!
Who’s your favorite mixed breed? We’d love to hear about him/her in the comments below.

Embrace your favorite mutt! Whether long-haired with pointy ears or short-furred with a stub of a tail, mutts nuzzle their way into our hearts as much as any purebred pooch.

Pet expert and advocate Colleen Paige created National Mutt Day as a biannual event (July 31 and Dec. 2) to recognize the lovable mutts waiting for their forever homes at crowded animal shelters around the country.

Every year, thousands of animals are euthanized due to overpopulation and she wanted to do something about it. In 2005, she founded National Mutt Day as a day to recognize those animals and raise awareness to the problem of pet overpopulation.

Browse adoptable dogs like Gatsby here

Click the photo to view adoptable dogs like Gatsby

What Can You Do?

Consider adoption instead of buying your next pet and donate time and/or dollars to a local animal shelter.

Get your pet spayed or neutered to help prevent pet overpopulation.

Donate old towels and bed linens to an animal shelter.  The animals will appreciate having a soft bed to lie on.

If you can, volunteer at the animal shelter. You can walk dogs, foster pups or maybe help organize events like a Mutt Day Celebration!

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Henry.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Henry.

Benefit of Mutts

-In addition to the good feelings that come with knowing you’ve saved a life, mixed breed dogs have an advantage over purebred pooches.  Studies show they can often live longer, healthier lives.

-They’re devoted. Many people believe that rescues are extra grateful to their pet parents, as if they know they were saved. And, maybe they do.

Celebrate Your Mixed Mutt

Whether you call them “mix”, “mutt” or “Heinz 57”,  these dogs each deserve a  loving home where their biggest concern is which patch of sun to lie in.

Why not take your favorite mutt for an extra-long walk in honor of Mutt’s Day? Maybe even sneak in some extra cuddle time and a special treat.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Tower.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Tower.

Long live mutts!

Is your pet a mutt? Share your photos on our Facebook page!

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.

A Puppy Welcome Basket is a Fun Dog Gift Idea

Have a relative, friend or neighbor that recently welcomed a new pup into their home? What better way to show you care than with a puppy welcome basket?  Chock full of good things puppies love, the new puppy parents will be surprised and delighted by your thoughtful gesture.

Here are some dog gift ideas to include:

  • Puppy Kong – Kongs are great toys because they’re durable and can withstand sharp puppy teeth.  When filled with peanut butter or Wellness treats they can keep him occupied for hours.
  • Squeaky toys—Dogs love squeaky toys.  Plus, they come in cute shapes like bagels or rolled up newspapers.
  • Training pads— When a puppy has to go, he goes.  Help train him with special pads designed to sop up the mess.
  • Puppy toothbrush and toothpaste –  Banish puppy breath by keeping a clean mouth!
  • Shirt/collar/leash of parent’s favorite sports team  – Imagine how delighted they’ll be when Max shares this allegiance.
  • An assortment of Wellness® dog treats (of course!) including Just for Puppy Treats – great for training! We do more than make pet food. We create Wellness.™

What are your favorite dog gift ideas for a puppy welcome basket?  We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

Puppy Health – Nutrition for all Breed Sizes

cute pup3Wellness for a furry new family member begins with the right food and continues with exercise, love and regular veterinary check-ups. A complete approach is important for a pet’s long, happy and healthy life. Puppyhood is the perfect time to build a healthy foundation for many years to come. Balanced, complete nutrition is a perfect start for your puppy on the road to True Wellness.

Nutrition and Well-Being

All puppies need a diet that encourages an active immune system. The immunity puppies receive from the mother’s milk will not last forever. Probiotics are an essential part of the digestive immune system. Puppies need to acquire these “good bacteria” from the environment to maintain a healthy intestinal tract and help fight illness and disease. Diets like Wellness Super5Mix Just for Puppy add Probiotics after the food has cooled, making it ideal for all puppies.

Customize Your Puppy’s Diet

Wellness Just for Puppy Recipe dry dog food

Wellness Just for Puppy Recipe dry dog food

Ideally, optimum diets for all stages of life are essential for a long, happy and healthy existence. This begins with puppy hood and continues well into the senior years of your dog. An ideal diet for puppies depends on many factors, not the least of which is whether the pup is a large breed or a small breed. The nutritional needs are very different for each.

SMALL BREED PUPPIES

- Small breed puppies, such as the Jack Russell Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, and Miniature Pinscher require more calories per pound than larger breed puppies as they generally are highly active by comparison. Omega 3 fats such as Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are critical in small breed puppies for enhanced brain development, healthy skin and coat. Because small breeds are more active, they can be susceptible to low blood sugar levels. To combat low blood sugar levels, your puppy should be fed small, energy rich portions on a frequent basis. It is also important to have adequate levels of fiber in the diet to help maintain a steady blood sugar level.

Many of the smaller breeds of dogs are very active, energetic pups that require lots more calories per pound than the giant breed puppies. They also require adequate levels of fiber to help regulate absorption of glucose (sugars) from the digestive tract.

The smaller breed puppies are known to be more vulnerable to a condition known as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Proper levels of fiber in the diet ensure a slow and steady absorption of glucose rather than all at once. The risk may increase if a puppy does not eat frequently during the day.

Small Breed Puppy

Wellness Small Breed Just for Puppy Recipe dry dog food

A smaller kibble size makes it easier for the puppy to eat and encourages easy ingestion of adequate amounts of food with less effort.

However, large or small, proper brain development is essential for all puppies, so adequate amounts of the essential Omega 3 fatty acid Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are needed in the diet. These levels are guaranteed in the Wellness Small Breed Just for Puppy Recipe.


LARGE BREED PUPPIES

- Large breed puppies such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and Labrador Retrievers require a far different diet from their small breed relatives. Controlled growth is essential for large breed puppies. These breeds actually need fewer calories per pound than the small breeds. With a potential growth of up to 100 times their birth weight, a large breed puppy’s energy intake must be regulated to ensure consistent, steady growth. If weight gain is too rapid, the result is stress on the developing bones which can lead to one of several severe developmental bone disorders. A slightly lean body condition throughout the first 10 to 12 months of life helps to maintain proper development of your puppy, while reducing the potential for problems. Optimum calcium and phosphorus levels, in the proper ratio to one another, are also critical for proper growth. Supplements that reduce the stress on developing joints such as glucosamine are an ideal diet supplement for these pups. As with the small breeds, the large breeds also need optimum levels of DHA in order to enhance brain development and a healthy skin and coat. Wellness Super5Mix Large Breed Puppy Health was designed for the specific needs of large breed puppies to aid in controlled bone development and a steady, paced growth rate.

Large Breed Puppy Health Recipe dry dog food

Large Breed Puppy Health Recipe dry dog food

Pet parents of large and giant breed puppies must always keep in mind that some of these breeds have a potential growth of 100 times their birth weight. For this reason, their rate of growth must be carefully controlled.

If they grow too rapidly, large and giant breed puppies are prone to developmental bone issues. For the first 10-12 months of life, these special puppies need to be fed a diet that allows for growth but also maintains a slightly lean body condition. This ensures that the developing bones are not forced to carry excess weight, which can cause stress and possibly lead to painful developmental problems.

Optimum levels and proper ratios of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are also essential to proper development.

Nutrition for these breeds should also contain essential nutrients for proper brain development. It is imperative that large and giant breed puppies receive the proper training necessary for you to maintain control of the very strong adult dog. Without optimum brain development the task of training a larger dog becomes much more difficult. Adequate levels of DHA, an essential Omega 3 fatty acid, have been shown to enhance brain development and assure optimum potential for training. DHA levels are guaranteed in Wellness Large Breed Puppy Health Recipe.

Wellness® Natural Pet Food Unleashes Big Taste for Small Dogs

This month, Wellness Natural Pet Food is proud to launch two innovative dog food recipes in its Super5Mix Small Breed line that will please small dogs with mighty souls and big nutritional needs!  Designed for the unique physical composition of small breed dogs, the new recipes adhere to Wellness’ belief that every ingredient has a purpose, thoughtfully chosen for head-to-tail nutritional benefits to support total well-being.  Complete with wholesome and natural ingredients, no wheat, corn and soy, and no added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, these new varieties will have tails wagging:

  • Small Breed Just for Puppy Recipe has guaranteed levels of DHA to support healthy brain development in puppyhood, high quality carbohydrates, proteins and fats to keep up with high-energy needs, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, vitamins and minerals to help support healthy growth, and smaller kibble size for more petite mouths and teeth.
  • Small Breed Healthy Weight Recipe features reduced fat – 26 percent less than Super5Mix Small Breed Adult Health– and lower calories to help achieve healthy weight loss.  The unique recipe, created especially for overweight dogs, includes quality proteins – like deboned turkey and salmon meal – to help maintain lean muscle mass, pea fiber to aid in naturally satisfying a dog’s appetite, guaranteed levels of L-Carnitine to help reduce overall body fat, and glucosamine and chondroitin to support hip and joint health.

The two new diets join the existing Small Breed Adult Health Recipe, which provides optimal caloric intake for healthy adult body weight and four quality animal protein sources for lean, strong muscles.  All Super5Mix Small Breed recipes feature the WellCoat® Omega 3 & 6 Mix, which allows for nourished skin and a healthy, shiny coat.

“Small breed dogs have a much different physical composition than larger breeds – like smaller digestive tracts – which creates special nutritional needs,” said Laura Marseglia, Brand Manager for Wellness.  “In addition, small breeds can have a life expectancy of up to 20 years, so it’s important that life systems stay strong.  We’re very excited to offer this full line of specially formulated, natural dog food for our small canine friends so they may lead long and happy lives.”

Wellness Super5Mix Small Breed Just for Puppy and Small Breed Healthy Weight recipes are available in 4 lb and 12 lb bags.  Look for them at pet specialty retailers and natural food stores nationwide beginning June 2011.  To find an authorized Wellness retailer near you, please visit http://wellnesspetfood.com/store-locator.aspx.

Wellness® – This is Where True Wellness Begins.®

Wellness is a member of the WellPet portfolio of natural pet food brands, a complete line of healthy, natural food and snacks for dogs and cats made with carefully chosen, authentic ingredients.  With Wellness, every ingredient has a purpose, to provide an ideal nutritional balance and help enrich your pet’s life.  Wellness recipes include lean meats, whole grains, fruits and veggies with no wheat, corn and soy, and no added artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.  To learn more about Wellness, available in pet specialty stores and natural food stores nationwide, visit www.wellnesspetfood.com.  Find Wellness on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wellnesspetfood) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/wellnesspetfood).

Choosing the Right Lifestyle for your Puppy

puppylifestylePet parents take on a tremendous responsibility; the care and wellbeing of a very precious bundle of joy. When every effort is made to provide a superior environment and quality of life for your pet, the rewards are tremendous. Will Rogers once stated “dogs are put on this earth to please man, and they spend 24 hours a day doing just that”. Superior nutrition, exercise and regular veterinary check-ups are quintessential to a pet’s long, happy and healthy life.

1. Veterinarian Care
We all know that pets age much faster than humans. It’s important to remember that subtle changes in behavior and/or physical appearance should not be dismissed, as they may be the first indicator of a developing health issue. It is essential that pets are scheduled for regular annual examinations by a trusted veterinarian to monitor for any changes in your pet that can be detected only by a trained professional. Your veterinarian is dedicated to providing your pet with the very best care possible and it is absolutely necessary for him to regularly examine your pet in order to maintain the highest level of care for your pet. Read the rest of this entry »