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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.

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, 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 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 »