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Choosing a Grain-Free Diet for Your Pet

dog and cat3If you’re considering feeding a grain free diet for your dog or cat, we know sometimes it can be difficult to decide which formula is best for you.

Grain-free diets for dogs and cats are free of grains like rice, barley, corn, oatmeal and other grains have been traditionally used in pet foods to create complete and balanced dry and canned foods. The most common carbohydrate sources found in the grain-free diets are potato and tapioca. Generally, grain free diets fall into one of two categories; high protein diets with low carbohydrate levels and moderate protein diets with moderate carbohydrate levels. High protein diets with low carbohydrate levels can contain over 40% protein in the dog recipes and 50% in feline recipes with an accompanying higher level of fat as well (and therefore calories). For performance dogs that require large amounts of calories, these diets can be a great choice. However, for most of our furry family members,  such a high protein and low carbohydrate level may not be ideal. It’s  important to keep in mind when feeding a high protein and low carbohydrate diet, that high calorie diets can encourage pets to gain excess weight if they are not fed according to the feeding guidelines. A diet providing higher levels of fat than your pet needs can make it difficult to maintain a healthy body weight.

How is Wellness® CORE® different?

Wellness CORE Grain-free recipes for dogs and cats are based on the nutritional philosophy that pets, based on their primal ancestry, thrive on a diet mainly comprised of meat. Each kibble is packed with a high concentration of quality animal protein, without fillers or grains, along with a proprietary blend of botanicals and nutritional supplements including probiotics. Wellness CORE is designed by thoughtfully selecting specialized ingredients and managing nutritional ratios, to deliver protein-focused nutrition with moderate protein diets and moderate carbohydrate levels. For our Wellness CORE recipes, we believe everything should be in believe in balance, never in excess. Unlike many grain-free diets, we’ve considered your pet’s whole health by ensuring the overall nutritional equation remains appropriate for everyday feeding.

Wellness Grain-free CORE recipes for dogs and cats are made with a variety of high quality proteins to provide the amino acid building blocks essential for growth and cellular replacement. There are both life stage and special need recipes to meet the needs of all most all dogs and cats. In addition, there are a huge variety of grain free CORE as well as traditional canned foods for dogs and especially for our feline friends. This is grain-free nutrition the Wellness Way® – thoughtfully-balanced, nutrient-dense and created from the highest quality, cutting-edge natural ingredients. A diet so unique you can see it in your pet’s weight, coat, digestion and overall radiance. Unlock your pet’s core health with Wellness CORE.

February Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

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:

Wellness Super5Mix Large Breed Adult Health Recipe 336 kcal/cup

Wellness CORE Reduced Fat Recipe 360 kcal/cup

Wellness Super5Mix Large Breed Puppy Recipe 366 kcal/cup

Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe 417 kcal/cup

Wellness CORE Original Recipe 421 kcal/cup

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: You can certainly continue to feed Wellness CORE Reduced Fat Recipe dry dog food. 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 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 dog’s joints.

December Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about weight loss for pets.

Q: My cat is overweight but very active, and when I asked my vet what to do, he just recommended giving her less food, so I now feed her 2/3 of a 5-oz can (Wellness canned food) per day. She is still the same weight after I cut back (from 1 full can a day), and she is now meowing more and visibly hungry, hanging out in the kitchen all the time begging for more food. I’m worried that she’s not getting enough food, and I’m surprised she hasn’t lost any weight. What should I do to help her lose weight? She does get exercise and that doesn’t seem to affect the weight either. Could it be a thyroid issue or some other medical concern?

A: To first determine how much weight your cat needs to lose – measure her body weight or body condition.  To start a weight loss and control program an accurate body weight must be recorded.  Weigh the cat frequently.  Visual inspection/estimation of body weight is not enough because it is inaccurate and not repeatable.  I would recommend purchasing a small animal or pediatric scale to weigh your pet regularly.

Feeding one 5.5 ounce can per day of Wellness food provides about 200 kcal of energy per day (depending on recipe).  When you lowered the amount offered to 2/3 can per day, it decreases the caloric intake to 133 kcal per day.  That is 66% of the original calorie intake and will result in weight reduction.  It is a substantial decrease in amount of food offered and is expected to trigger some hunger behavior.

Recommendation:

Get an accurate body weight and body condition score during a veterinary exam; rule out any medical problems.  Then, plan on feeding the amount of calories daily to promote weight loss.  Start at offering about 66% original caloric intake—about 2/3 cans per day.  Feed at least two meals per day—no treats, plenty of water.  Maintain the elevated exercise level you describe.  Weigh the cat twice weekly; on Tuesday and Saturday and record the results in a notebook.

In this case, the diet I would recommend is Wellness® CORE® Salmon, Whitefish and Herring Canned Food Recipe because of its high protein and lower fat content.   It helps maintain lean body mass and may contribute to “that feeling of fullness.”   It has 192 calories per 5.5 ounce can— so feed about ¾ can per day. Adjust the amount fed to your cat based on actual results and desired body weight loss.


Q: My dog needs to lose 4 lbs. She is a miniature Pincher Dachshund and she weighs 14 lbs and is just beginning to have a little tummy. I only feed her 1/2 cup of kibble in the morning and 1/2 cup at night but she is not loosing weight. I cannot get her to run and chase a ball, but I do take her to the park and walk her. Maybe I should walk her more?

A: I would recommend that you decrease the amount you are feeding and increase the level of physical activity to help your dog reach an ideal body weight. Try offering 1/3 cup of dry Wellness SuperMix® Small Breed Adult Health Recipe Dry Dog Food in two meals;  with one feeding in the morning and one at night.  A total of 2/3 cups per day or 280 kcal. While feeding this diet, it is important that you offer your dog no table food or treats. You can feed some raw fruits and vegetables as a snack to mix things up a bit. To measure your dog’s progress on this weight loss plan, weigh the dog twice weekly; Tuesday and Saturday and record the results. As far as physical activity is concerned, I recommend walks of at least 30 minutes by leash.  Feel free to adjust the amount you feed based on results you are seeing, and desired weight loss.

January Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about a cat with food allergies and keeping a dog’s coat shiny.

Q: I have a 5 year old cat with food allergies. She can’t have food with many grains and is allergic to chicken. Does Wellness have a type of food that she would be able to eat?

A: Working with your vet you have identified a sensitivity in your cat to feeding diets that contain chicken as a primary animal protein source and a long list of grains. For long term maintenance you want to identify Wellness feline diets that avoid chicken and turkey protein sources and limit grain ingredients. The Wellness canned diets of choice would be: Wellness CORE® grain free Salmon, Whitefish, and Herring Recipe, and Complete Health Beef and Salmon Recipe canned cat food.

The Beef and Salmon Canned Recipe has salmon and beef as primary protein sources, and contains no grains. Some carbohydrate is contributed by sweet potato, flax, and vegetables. A 3 ounce can contain 107 kilocalories of energy.

CORE Salmon, Whitefish and Herring Canned Recipe is also 100% poultry and grain free. In addition to fish; potato, cranberry, flax, and chicory root extract are included at low levels.

A 5.5 ounce can contain 192 kilocalories of energy.

Q: We love Wellness products! We have a 140 lb Bullmastiff that has suffered from chronic ear infections and skin issues. Wellness CORE is the food that keeps these issues at bay. I was wondering how I could bring more sheen to his coat. Will supplementing the dry CORE with wet food help give him get a shinier coat?

A: CORE is a natural, grain free pet food that is protein focused. Wellness CORE Original Recipe dry dog food is a chicken and turkey based protein source diet with potato as a carbohydrate source; canola oil and salmon oil for fat sources; and some tomato pomace for added dietary fiber. Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food is a fish based protein diet with potato as the carbohydrate source; canola oil for a fat source, and a mix of pea fiber and tomato pomace as a source of dietary fiber. Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish, & Herring Recipe is a canned food that is fish protein based, with some sweet potato and flax, fruits and vegetables; and chicken fat and salmon oil added.

Wellness CORE Original is about 421 kilocalories per cup and Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe is about 417 kilocalories per cup; Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food is about 220 calories per 6 ounce can.

Assume you are currently feeding about 5 cups per day of Wellness CORE Original (2.5 cups in the morning and 2.5 cup in the evening); about 2100 kcal of energy per day; and you want to bring out more sheen in the coat. Some changes you may try:

Plan #1:

- Morning feeding- 2 cups Wellness CORE Original dry dog food and 1x 6 ounce can of Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food.

- Repeat same as above for afternoon feeding.

Plan #2:

- Replace half the volume (cups) of Wellness CORE Original dry dog food you are currently offering daily with an equal volume of Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food for dogs at each meal. That is 1.25 cups of each brand of dry food in the morning and 1.25 cups of each dry food in the evening. A total of 5 cups per day.

In both plan #1 and #2; we are manipulating the amounts and/or ratios of the fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3) in the total daily diet for the dog. Monitor in a diary the results you see in skin condition, body weight, and stool volume and consistency.

December Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about a cat with food allergies, keeping a dog’s coat shiny and feeding a dog with pancreatic issues.

Q: I am currently trying to switch my lab to Wellness® Super5Mix® Healthy Weight Recipe dry dog food because it is low in fat. He is currently being treated for pancreatic insufficiency and is on a prescription dry food with added pancreatic enzymes and probiotics. I am trying to switch to an over the counter dry dog food. Would Wellness Healthy Weight be the one to switch to? Do you have any suggestions as to what Wellness diet I should try?

A: Your vet has diagnosed your adult dog with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).

Dogs with EPI have a history of chronic small intestinal diarrhea, weight loss and failure to thrive. Pets with EPI defecate frequently (6 to 10 times per day); have stools that are typically voluminous, greasy, foul smelling and pale in color. EPI refers to a partial or complete deficiency of pancreatic enzymes and is the most common cause of maldigestion in dogs. It may occur in young dogs as a congenital disorder (pancreatic acinar cell atrophy) or may develop as a sequel to pancreatitis.

The dietary management goals for patients with EPI are: a highly digestible diet with low to moderate fat (10 to 15% as fed) and low crude fiber (less than 4% as fed).

The Wellness diet of choice for your dog’s condition is Wellness® Simple Food Solutions® dry dog food. The Simple Food Solutions family of diets consists of a choice of 3 novel animal proteins: Duck, Lamb and Salmon. All three Simple Food Solutions dry dog food formulas contain rice as a carbohydrate source; canola oil as a fat source; a small amount of tomato pomace added for gut health and stool quality- the diet crude fiber remains less than 2%. Additionally, these diets are fortified with fat and water soluble vitamins; the Simple Food Solutions diets do not contain added probiotics. I would recommend trying Wellness Simple Food Solutions Salmon & Rice Formula dry dog food initially.

Your vet would continue to recommend supplemental digestive enzymes and probiotics. Serum cobalamin (B12) levels will be monitored by your vet to assure adequate levels.

I would recommend that you feed frequent small meals; monitor your pet’s body weight, stool consistency & frequency and continue with regular veterinary evaluations.


Q: I have a 5 year old cat with food allergies. She can’t have food with many grains and is allergic to chicken. Does Wellness have a type of food that she would be able to eat?

A: Working with your vet you have identified a sensitivity in your cat to feeding diets that contain chicken as a primary animal protein source and a long list of grains. For long term maintenance you want to identify Wellness feline diets that avoid chicken and turkey protein sources and limit grain ingredients. The Wellness diets of choice would be: Wellness CORE® grain free Salmon, Whitefish, and Herring Recipe, and Complete Health Beef and Salmon Recipe canned cat food.

The Beef and Salmon Recipe has salmon and beef as primary protein sources, and contains no grains. Some carbohydrate is contributed by sweet potato, flax, and vegetables. A 3 ounce can contain 107 kilocalories of energy.

CORE Salmon, Whitefish and Herring Recipe is also 100% poultry and grain free. In addition to fish; potato, cranberry, flax, and chicory root extract are included at low levels.

A 5.5 ounce can contain 192 kilocalories of energy.

Q: We love Wellness products! We have a 140 lb Bullmastiff that has suffered from chronic ear infections and skin issues. Wellness CORE is the food that keeps these issues at bay. With Wellness CORE his coat does not seem as shiny. I was wondering how I could bring more sheen to his coat. Will supplementing the dry CORE with wet food help give him get a shinier coat?

A: CORE is a natural, grain free pet food that is protein focused. Wellness CORE Original Recipe dry dog food is a chicken and turkey based protein source diet with potato as a carbohydrate source; canola oil and salmon oil for fat sources; and some tomato pomace for added dietary fiber. Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food is a fish based protein diet with potato as the carbohydrate source; canola oil for a fat source, and a mix of pea fiber and tomato pomace as a source of dietary fiber. Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish, & Herring Recipe is a canned food that is fish protein based, with some sweet potato and flax, fruits and vegetables; and canola and salmon oil added.

Wellness CORE Original and Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe are both about 430 kilocalories per cup; Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food is about 220 calories per 6 ounce can.

Assume you are currently feeding about 5 cups per day of Wellness CORE Original (2.5 cups in the morning and 2.5 cup in the evening); about 2100 kcal of energy per day; and you want to bring out more sheen in the coat. Some changes you may try:

Plan #1:

- Morning feeding- 2 cups Wellness CORE Original dry dog food and 1x 6 ounce can of Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food.

- Repeat same as above for afternoon feeding.

Plan #2:

- Replace half the volume (cups) of Wellness CORE Original dry dog food you are currently offering daily with an equal volume of Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food for dogs at each meal. That is 1.25 cups of each brand of dry food in the morning and 1.25 cups of each dry food in the evening. A total of 5 cups per day.

In both plan #1 and #2; we are manipulating the amounts and/or ratios of the fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3) in the total daily diet for the dog. Monitor in a diary the results you see in skin condition, body weight, and stool volume and consistency.

Halloween Safety for Pets

465Follow these top tips to keep your pet safe and happy this Halloween!

  • Using flameless candles in pumpkins helps to avoid potentially harmful accidents.
  • Make sure to keep all candy out of reach of a curious nose.  Potentially dangerous ingredients used in human candies include sweeteners (such as Xylitol), chocolate and macadamia nuts. Be sure to have plenty of high-quality, natural dog treats, such as Wellness® WellBars® or WellBites® for dogs on hand for your furry friend to enjoy instead.
  • Doorbell anxiety is common among dogs and can lead to barking and aggression which can ruin the night for you, your dog and any trick-or-treaters that come to the door.  You can help your dog get used to the sound of the doorbell by doing some “practice runs” a few days before Halloween.  Have someone stand outside and ring the doorbell, and if your dog barks, calm him or her in a soothing voice and consider offering a small treat as a reward. Repeat this exercise until your furry friend realizes the doorbell is a good thing, not something to be scared of.
  • If you plan on dressing up your pet, make sure the costume does not interfere with his or her vision, hearing or breathing. Costumes should be lightweight and not too tight.  Also, loose or dangling accessories or details can present a choking hazard for your pet. Make sure to snip loose threads, beads or other hanging items before dressing your pet.
  • Although it may not match their costume, make sure your pet is wearing an ID.  With the door opening and closing all evening, curious pets may try to sneak outside and join the festivities. Reflective leashes, collars or stickers on their costumes are also a great way to help keep pets safe.

November Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about diet choices for an indoor cat and what to feed a 1 year old Boston terrier.

Q: I recently adopted an adult cat and am going to switch her to Wellness brand cat food. She is my only pet and lives indoors only. Is it better to feed her the dry Wellness Indoor Recipe or dry Wellness CORE?

A: I assume weight maintenance (not gain or loss) is the feeding goal that you and your vet agreed to during your initial veterinary wellness examination.  Make sure to record the cat’s current body weight in your pet’s health record.  Continue to weigh your pet frequently to detect weight changes that may signal the need to modify the amount of food or type of food offered per day.

Both Wellness Indoor Health (IH) and Wellness CORE use wholesome natural ingredients to create palatable diets that provide complete and balanced nutrition for adult maintenance.  Essential trace minerals are provided in chelated form. Prebiotic organisms and an antioxidant blend are present.  Both diets have desirable amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Wellness Indoor Health dry cat food is a blend of meats, grains and fruits, with deboned chicken as the first ingredient.  Dietary credentials include:  crude protein 31%, crude fat 13% and crude fiber 4%.  An 8 ounce measuring cup of IH contains 465 kilocalories. Wellness CORE Recipe dry food for adult cats and kittens is a meat protein focused-grain free diet.  The first four ingredients are meat or fish.  The dietary credentials are:  crude protein 45%, crude fat 18% and crude fiber 3%.  An 8 ounce measuring cup contains 502 kilocalories.

Initially, choose the diet that fits the feeding philosophy you would like to adopt.  Add the new food to the current feeding program– gradually replacing old diet with new over a 5 to 7 day period.  Have patience and remember that you can try one diet for two months and then switch to the other, comparing results you see. Base your initial feeding amount based on the low end of the label feeding recommendation.  The goal is to feed the amount needed to maintain a desirable body weight.  If gaining weight feed less.  If losing weight, feed more.

Many owners experiment with adding wet food to the cat’s daily feeding program.  You can choose from:  Wellness traditional canned cat food, new canned cat cuts, or Healthy Indulgence® pouches.  Coincident with adding Wellness wet cat food to the diet; remember to remove the same number of calories of dry cat food from the diet so that the total daily dietary intake of calories remains constant. When designing a feeding program for your cat, choose a “meal feeding” not a “free choice” feeding plan.  Free choice means to leave a full bowl of food out all the time and allow the cat unlimited access.  A better system is to feed a premeasured amount of food to the cat in several small meals in the day.

Q: Our Boston terrier is on the Wellness Super5Mix Just for Puppy Recipe dry dog food. She is doing very well on the puppy recipe and will be celebrating her first birthday soon! Do you have any suggestions on what we should feed her after she reaches 1 year of age? She stays about 15 pounds and is very active.

A: Now is a good time to incrementally switch your dog to one of the Wellness Small Breed Health Recipes.  Since your dog is very active – initially try the Small Breed Adult Health dry food.  The nutritional credentials include:  a generous amount of crude protein at 28%, crude fat 15% and crude fiber 3%; the diet contains 420 kcal per 8 ounce measuring cup.  It is best to feed 2 or 3 premeasured meals per day rather than allow free choice feeding.    If the animal is gaining unwanted weight, feed less; if losing weight, feed more.  Large amount of stool with “cow-pie” like consistency can indicate overfeeding.

Other small breed dogs may benefit from a diet that is still generous in protein, but lower in fat, higher in fiber and lower in caloric density per cup.  This helps prevent weight gain and allows dogs to eat a larger volume of kibble, which may induce a full feeling (satiety) at a lower caloric intake.   For this situation, use Wellness Small Breed Healthy Weight dry food.  The nutritional credentials are:  crude protein 28%, crude fat 9%, and crude fiber 5%.; the diet contains 335 kilocalories per 8 ounce measuring cup.

October Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about the proper diet for a cat with megacolon and what to feed a Havanese to encourage a shiny coat.

Q: My cat has megacolon and my vet put him on a prescription food, but he hates it. He loves Wellness and I have been feeding him the canned chicken and turkey. He also really loves Wellness dry food, so I give him a little bit with the canned food. The vet suggested that I need a low residue food. Can you recommend a diet plan from Wellness that would suit my cats needs?

A: Megacolon is not a specific disease, rather it describes a much dilated, flabby, incompetent colon, with loss of motility.  It will result in severe constipation with a stool that is dry and hard (as water is absorbed by the colon). Cats affected with idiopathic megacolon (cause unknown) are usually adults between the ages of five and nine.  The condition is chronic and usually diagnosed after constipation has been present for some time.  This condition is common among obese cats. Chronically constipated cats often exhibit weight loss and poor body condition.

A Diet to Meet Your Cat’s Needs Should Meet the Following Six Criteria:

1. Hydration – Maintaining hydration is important for managing patients with chronic constipation.  Ensuring adequate water intake is often overlooked.  Moist foods (formulated with at least 75% water) are recommended for severe constipation.

2. Dietary fiber – Increasing dietary fiber is a great way to manage severe constipation. Foods for patients with idiopathic megacolon should have minimal crude fiber (less than 3%)

3. Digestibility – Highly digestible foods with increased nutrient density are desired to enhance nutrient uptake and reduce stool volume.

4. Diet Energy Density—About 4 kcal/g dry matter or greater; offer food amounts recommended by your veterinarian based on body condition score, and body weight.

5. Small Frequent Meals - Smaller, more frequent meals (4 to 6 per day) may aid in digestive efficiency.

6. Palatability – Select a highly palatable diet with a taste your cat will love. This will help ensure that he’ll eat enough calories to maintain a healthy body weight.

Recommended Wellness Diets:

I’d recommend feeding either of the following Wellness® Cat Cut Entrées to meet your cat’s specific needs.

1. Wellness Sliced Chicken Entrée – 3 ounce canned cat food

2. Wellness Minced Turkey Entrée – 3 ounce canned cat food

Both of these natural products meet the key nutritional factors listed above.  The diets are about 80% moisture and are quite palatable.  They are energy dense, grain-free options that are low in dietary fiber, highly digestible and contain no artificial flavors or colors, wheat, corn, soy or meat by products. Each 3 ounce can contains 87 kilocalories of energy.  Work closely with your veterinarian to determine how much to feed your cat based on his body weight and body condition score.

Q: I have a one and a half year old havanese. Her coat used to shine, but within the past six months her coat has lost its shine. She is all black and she looks a bit ashy. I brush her every other day and I feed her Wellness® Super5Mix® dry dog food only. Is there something I can do to give her coat its shine back?

A: Try a daily calorie diet plan including both canned food and dry food in equal amounts.  I’d recommend trying Wellness® Simple Food Solutions® for Dogs – this limited ingredient diet is the simplest natural option for your dog .  Each Wellness Simple Food Solutions recipe contains antioxidant vitamins, chelated zinc and copper and beneficial omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid to aid in healthy skin and a glossy coat.  No meat by products, wheat, corn, soybeans or chemical preservatives are used in production.

Recommended Dry Dog Food

Simple Food Solutions Rice and Salmon Formula; contains salmon, rice, canola oil, and tomato pomace.  (405 kilocalories per 8 ounce measuring cup.)

Recommended Canned Dog Food

Simple Solutions Salmon and Rice Formula which contains salmon, rice, and canola oil.  (471 kilocalories per 12.5 ounce can)

Assume a 12 pound Havanese will require about 250 to 300 kilocalories of energy per day. Check this estimate by measuring how much you are currently feeding.  Also, obtain a body weight and estimate a body condition score.

Estimated feeding guide:

Morning feeding =  1/3 cup of dry kibble = 135 kilocalories

Evening feeding= 1/3 (12.5 ounce) can = 157 kilocalories

Total daily intake = 292 kcal

You may need to adjust the amount you feed your Havanese based on his weight, feed more if your dog is underweight and less if your dog is overweight.

Urinary Health for the Wellbeing of Your Cat

One of the most common medical reasons pet parents take their cats to the veterinarian is for urinary issues. Cats evolved in the desert and have an innate ability to concentrate their urine. That’s fine if you live in the desert, but for a domesticated cat living in a home environment, keeping hydrated is essential. While diet can play a significant role in helping to prevent problems, hydration or adequate water consumption are equally important.

While diet can play a significant role in helping to prevent problems, hydration or adequate water consumption are equally important.

Here are our top 5 tips for urinary health and the wellbeing of your cat.

1. When considering the urinary system, an ideal diet for a domestic, household cat, whether it is a canned or dry recipe, should encourage an acidic urine. All Wellness® cat food recipes are designed with these criteria in mind.

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. Fresh, palatable water should always be available in more than one area in the house, especially if there are multiple cats in the family. Many suggest moving the water from one location to another regularly as sometimes a new location stimulates cats to drink.

3. Canned foods are almost 80% water and should be a part of any feline’s diet. If your cat has had urinary problems in the past, canned foods should be a major part of their diet. New Wellness Cubed, Sliced & Minced Cat Cuts canned cat food recipes come in twelve flavorful varieties to help pet parents make each meal special. Our new tasty cuts in savory gravy contain wholesome, natural ingredients, with flavors to keep your cat interested and hydrated. Wellness also offers a full line of canned pate recipes for cats as another healthy meal option.

4. Multiple clean fresh liter boxes should be placed in out of the way places, making it easy for your cat to relieve himself without interruption.

5. 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.

August Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about a cat with food allergies and the benefits of feeding grain-free dog food.

Q: I have a 5 year old cat with food allergies.  She can’t tolerate a food with many grains and is allergic to chicken. Does Wellness have a type of food that she would be able to eat?

A: Based on your diagnosis of food intolerance and allergy, you want to impose the following dietary restrictions for the cat: elimination of the dietary protein source chicken, and avoidance of grains, which contribute dietary carbohydrates.

I suggest you consider the following as the Wellness diets of choice to satisfy the requirements of your desired feeding program:

A.) Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe.  It is available In 5.5 ounce cans and is 192 kcal per can (78% moisture maximum).  It has a nutritional guarantee for all life stages.

B.) Wellness Cubed Salmon Dinner.  Available in 3 ounce cans at 81 kcal per can (82% moisture max).  It has a nutritional guarantee for adult maintenance.

C.) Wellness Minced Tuna Dinner.  Available in 3 ounce cans containing 73 kcal per can (82% moisture max).  It has a nutritional guarantee for adult maintenance.

To determine feeding rates, estimate the caloric need for your adult maintenance cat at about 22 to 25 kcal per pound of body weight.  Feed measured amounts of food two or three times daily.  Feed less if your cat is overweight, and more if your cat is underweight.

Use a scale to measure body weight frequently.

Q: We have been feeding our 2 year old Maltese a grain- free formula since birth (as recommended by the breeder). Why should I feed a grain- free food for dogs?

A: Grain free feeding such as Wellness CORE means the diet has a meat protein focus.  Wellness CORE grain free dry dog food is based on the philosophy of providing nutrient rich high quality meat/fish ingredients, while eliminating traditional grain ingredients (such as corn, wheat, oats, and barley).

Advocates suggest that a grain free diet more closely mimics our pet’s ancestral diet—higher in animal protein and fat while limited in carbohydrates from grains. This type of diet is more efficiently digested and less antigenically reactive for our pets.

Supporters of feeding grain free diet to dogs also suggest that positive results are visible: improved skin and coat condition, low stool volume and a more energetic dog.  In addition, supporters suggest encountering fewer problems with food allergies and food intolerances when feeding a grain free dog food.

Grain free dog foods tend to be energy dense, containing more calories per cup (dry food) or per can than foods that contain grain.  To avoid overfeeding,  it is prudent to follow the recommended feeding guidelines initially; then based on weighing the pet weekly, adjust the food offered in two or three daily meals.  I recommend that when feeding a grain free diet, dogs are not fed free choice.