This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about what to feed a Golden Retriever during his senior years, and the proper diet for a one-year old German Shepherd.
Q: Our German shepherd puppy is currently on Wellness® Super5Mix® Large Breed Puppy Health Recipe dry dog food. When I switch her to adult food, would it be okay to use Wellness® CORE® Grain-Free Formula or would I have to stick to a large breed formula like Wellness® Super5Mix® Large Breed Adult Health Recipe?
A: I recommend feeding your large breed dog the Wellness® Super5Mix® Large Breed Puppy Health recipe dry dog food until about one year of age. After one year, many pet parents begin transitioning to Wellness® Super5Mix® Large Breed Adult Health Recipe as the logical follow-up diet of choice in the product family.
Some pet parents prefer to feed a more protein focused diet to the large breed adult, such as one of the Wellness® CORE® Grain-Free dry dog food products. The three Wellness® CORE® Grain-Free Formulas are formulated for adult maintenance feeding and we avoid recommending them in a growth program to limit calcium and phosphorus to minimum growth levels recommended by AAFCO for large breed dogs.
Start your transition to a new feeding regime by obtaining an accurate body weight on a scale and estimating a body condition score. Record this data for future reference.
When choosing a Wellness® dry dog food, consider the diet caloric density:
Your one-year old, active, nearly mature, 60 pound dog is going to need somewhere around 1000-1200 kcal per day. Don’t forget to observe stool quality when you make dietary transitions. When switching to a new food, loose stool is often an indicator that a dog is being overfed. If this happens, try decreasing the amount fed by 10 to 15% and divide the meals into two or three per day instead of one big meal.
Q: I have a five year old Golden Retriever dog that eats Wellness® CORE® Reduced Fat Formula Dry Dog Food. I am being told by my vet that he is already considered a senior pet. He does have white hair covering 50% of his face and has problems with shoulder and hip arthritis. Do I need to change him to a senior food—if so when? Is there such a thing as Senior Wellness CORE?
A: Senior dogs have different nutritional needs because lean body mass (muscle), weight, activity levels and digestive efficiency all decrease with age. Determining when to switch to a senior diet should be decided with your veterinarian based on your dog’s size, breed (large breed dogs tend to age more quickly than small breed dogs) and age. The most important consideration in a feeding program during the “aging of the pet” is changing the calories offered based on what your pet needs. Body weight should be monitored frequently and follow the feeding guidelines, adjusting to feed more if your pet is underweight or less if your pet is overweight.
Wellness® Super5Mix® Just for Seniors Recipe dry dog food is designed specifically for the needs of aging dogs. If you would prefer a grain-free diet, you can certainly continue to feed Wellness® CORE® Reduced Fat Recipe dry dog food. Wellness® Super5Mix® Just for Seniors and Wellness® CORE® Reduced Fat Recipe both offer lower calories to help your dog maintain a healthy weight, which can be helpful in reducing the stress on your dogs joints.
Water is an essential nutrient for your cat, accounting for 60-75% of an adult feline’s body weight. Water helps your pet’s body digest food, regulate body temperature, eliminate waste (urinary issues continues to be one of the most common medical reasons pet parents take their cats to the veterinarian) and allows salt and other electrolytes to pass through the body. Encouraging a healthy daily intake of water can help keep your cat feeling and looking good.
The amount of water your pet needs depends on a variety of things such as their level of activity and environmental factors. While diet can play a significant role in helping to prevent problems like urinary tract issues, hydration or adequate water consumption are equally important. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering your cat’s hydration habits.
1. When considering the urinary system, an ideal diet for a domestic, household cat, whether it is a canned or dry recipe, should contain lower levels of magnesium and encourage an acidic urine. All Wellness® Canned Recipes for Cats are designed with these criteria in mind. Our variety of minced, sliced and cubed entrees for cats offer the hydration cats need with a savory gravy they’ll love, now available in new varieties and new larger 5.5 oz cans!
2. Along with feeding a proper diet, encouraging sufficient water intake is a major concern. Many cats love to drink running water. Re-circulating water fountains are very attractive water stations that in many cases, will stimulate a cat to drink more frequently.
3. Fresh, palatable water should always be available in more than one area in the house, especially if there are multiple cats in the family. You can also try moving the water from one location to another regularly as sometimes a new location stimulates pets to drink.
4. Canned foods are another great way to add water to your cat’s diet. If your cat has had urinary problems in the past, canned foods should be a major part of their diet. You can even add more water to your cat’s canned food to encourage increased water intake. Wellness offers numerous recipes (including grain-free varieties) in both canned and pouch options to allow for a wide variety of choices for those sometimes finicky felines.
5. Multiple clean fresh litter boxes should be placed in out of the way places, making it easy for your cat to relieve himself without interruption.
6. The most common reason for insufficient water consumption is feline stress. Usually physical stress is the culprit, although sickness and disease can surely slow or stop the intake of water and food. In North America, the average cat owner owns more than one cat. Any time you have more than one feline in a home, there will be competition for dominance. It doesn’t have to be physical aggression, although that can occur. Many times all it takes is a certain look or a particular posture and the more sensitive, least dominate pet may run and hide under the bed for the rest of the day. While avoiding the confrontation and hiding, the kitty is not eating or drinking. This can go on for hours and the longer the kitty goes without food or water, the more concentrated the urine becomes and the more likely there will be a urinary problem. Be mindful of this if you do have a multiple cat household and be sure to get your bashful cat to replenish with plenty of water and canned food under times of stress.
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Wellness Natural Pet Food
Check out some of our furry Wellness fans showing a little 4th of July holiday spirit.
Enjoy and have a happy and safe 4th of July everyone!
This year show your pooch just how much you love him by…bringing him to work!
June 25th is Take Your Dog to Work Day. If you are able to celebrate this day with your dog there are 5 important tips to keep in mind.
1. You will need to pack your pet a bag of goodies for the many hours that he will be away from home. A treat such as Wellness® WellBites® Chicken and Lamb Recipe Treats are sure to satisfy your pooch at snack time.
2. Be sure to pack food (such as Wellness® SuperMix® Complete Health Chicken Recipe Dog Food), a water dish and some of his favorite toys to keep him entertained. Each are absolute musts to ensure a great experience for your dog. You may even want to bring a small dog bed or blankets if your dog likes to nap.
3. And don’t forget the leash! Your dog will need frequent trips outside, not only for bathroom breaks, but also for exercise.
4. If your dog is the excitable type, you may want to keep him close by on a tethered leash. This will prevent any inappropriate jumping or over excitedly greeting your coworkers.
5. It goes without saying that an unsocial aggressive or dog aggressive pooch would be best left at home.
Looking to convince your employer to celebrate the holiday? Just cite the calming, stress reducing effect a dog has. Not to mention this fun event can improve company morale. While some occupations you simply may not be able to bring your dog along you can still join in the fun. Bring a photo of your dog to work to show your colleagues, display on your desk, or carry with you.
Wellness Take Your Dog to Work Day: Our Photo Gallery
At an agility trial in MA this weekend – we spotted Quincy coming down to the rings with his Wellness® WellBites® Beef & Turkey Treats. He was very cute and proud of himself getting prepared for his run. His owner is Pete Freeman from Randolph NJ was pleased to let us take a few photos! A big thanks to Quincy, Pete and Faith for sharing this True WellnessTM moment!
Beat your pet’s winter blues. The following are tips to keep your pet active and happy the whole winter through.
Traveling with your pet is one of the most rewarding experiences that a pet guardian can have. By taking very little effort, you can make a checklist of things to accomplish before leaving for your destination.
No matter the length of your trip, you should always keep in mind the safety and comfort for your child with fur.
Fido Friendly Magazine, the Travel Magazine for You and Your Dog, presents a few reminders to make your trip a success. Read the rest of this entry »
Q: What can I do for my 9 year old beagle hound mutt as he approaches his senior years?
A: Wellness Super5Mix® Just for Seniors Recipe is a great diet for the older animal. It is a nutritionally complete recipe for older animals that contains optimum levels of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for skin and joint health, glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and natural antioxidant to enhance the immune system. Additionally, Wellness Super5Mix Just for Seniors is lower in calories to help control weight in older dogs that have become less active.