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Beat the Heat- How to Keep Your Pet Comfortable and Safe in the Summer Months

Summer is upon us, fellow pet lovers, and with summer comes lots of outdoor fun with our pets. However, depending on where you live, the summer heat can present many dangers to your pet. Pet owners can sometimes be oblivious to these dangers, which can result in many health risks for our furry friends. Keep your pet comfortable and safe this summer with these tips on how to beat the heat.

What Not to Do

With temperatures rising to potentially dangerous levels in the summer months, you have to be conscious of your pet’s safety. In the hot summer months, these are some of the ‘DONTS’ to keep in mind when caring for your pet in the heat.

  • Never leave your pet unattended inside of the car. Honestly, it is never a good idea to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle for any length of time beyond a couple of minutes, but this is especially true in the event of extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold. The inside of a car on just a warm day can reach dangerous and fatal temperature levels, and it can happen within minutes! Print out this Humane Society flyer to disperse and help to educate your community.
  • Do not put a muzzle on a dog while they are out in the heat. There is a reason why dogs start panting when they get really hot – it is a natural way of controlling their body temperature. When you put a muzzle on a dog while they are out in the heat, you are preventing this natural process from occurring, which can lead to over-heating or heat stroke.
  • Do not leave your pet outside for extended periods of time during extreme heat. If it is too hot for you to be outside for an extended period of time, then you should consider it too hot for your pet as well.

Warning Signs of a Heat Stroke
It is important to be aware of the signs that your pet may be in danger of a heat stroke. Some of these warning signs are –
  • Heavy panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Glazed eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Profuse salivation
  • Vomiting

Pets who are most susceptible to suffering from heat stroke are usually very old or very young, overweight, or pets not conditioned to prolonged exercise. Speaking of exercise, if you are out exercising with your pet and they suddenly insist on slowing down or laying down – this is a sign that your pet is over-heated or over-exerted. Listen to what your pet is trying to tell you. Here are some more helpful tips on recognizing the warning signs of a heat stroke. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from a heat stroke, move them to the shade or an air-conditioned area immediately, place ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest and take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Tips to Consider
  • If your pet is going to be outside in the heat for any extended amount of time, be sure that they have access to plenty of water.
  • Do not assume that a dog house is a proper place for your pet to cool off in the heat. Dog houses are built to prevent air movement and can build up heat quickly.
  • When taking your pet out to exercise or walk/jog, be aware that the hot asphalt/concrete can be damaging to your pet’s paws. You’ve walked barefoot on hot asphalt before, right?
  • The best way to cool down your pet is by placing cool water or cloths on their neck, pads of feet, or belly.
  • If you have a longer haired dog, consider getting their hair cut shorter in the summer months.
Now that you know how to keep your pet comfortable and safe in the hot, summer months – get outside and have some fun with your pet on those beautiful, sunny days. Just don’t overdo it and stay cool – literally and figuratively.
With temperatures rising to potentially dangerous levels in the summer months, you have to be conscious of your pet’s safety. In the hot summer months, these are some of the ‘DONTS’ to keep in mind when caring for your pet in the heat.

Take Your Dog To Work Day 2016

The brainchild of Pet Sitters International, Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWD) is an annual celebration of our dogs and their social natures. As you probably know, dogs are pack animals. Leaving them at home alone for long periods of time every day is against their natures.

And while growing evidence points to the fact that pup friendly offices are healthier workplaces,  not every office has embraced this point of view. That’s why Take Your Dog to Work Day is great way to try it out. Plus, you’ll get to meet your co-workers’ four-legged friends– and that’s always fun!

7 Ways to Prepare Your Office for a Puptastic Day!

1—Make Sure Everyone is On Board – If Take Your Dog to Work Day is YOUR idea, pitch it to your team/boss and make sure everyone embraces the idea. This is NOT the time for surprises.

Once you’ve all agreed, it’s a good idea to put together a few guidelines for participants.

For example, it’s not a good time to bring untrained or aggressive dogs to the office (is there ever a good time?) You’ll also want to get a sense of how many dogs may come to work on June 24 and set expectations, will they roam free? Be leashed near your desk? What makes the most sense for both your office and the individual dogs?

2—Offer Distractions – Bring something for your dog to chew on. Non-squeaky toys and dog treats will give your dog a sense of a reward and occupy his mind. If your dog likes to sit in his crate or on a dog bed, bring those along. It will help your dog feel more “at home.” Plus, if your dog has a crate and you need to run out for a meeting, you can simply close the door.

3– Plan a Walk — Is there a nearby park or walking trails where you can walk your dogs? Plan to team up with a co-worker or two for lunchtime dog walk. You and your dog need the fresh air!

In fact, studies show that people who take a short walk at lunch are more productive in the afternoon! It’s something about the fresh air and sunshine.

4— Come Early – If your dog has never been to your office before (or if it’s been awhile), she’ll need time to sniff the surroundings before she can settle down. She’ll probably also want to greet the other dogs.  Allow everyone time to get acquainted before you get settled into your day.

5– Water – Bring a bowl for water and make sure your pet has plenty of it.

6—Clean up Supplies – It’s not uncommon for even the best trained dogs to have “accidents” in unfamiliar surroundings. Prepare yourself for clean ups and have extra supplies on hand.

7—Have a Plan “B” – If your dog just isn’t gelling with the vibe – for whatever reason – be prepared to take him or her home. Office life isn’t for everyone.

Take Your Dog to Work Day can be a fun way to bond with your co-workers (and your dog.) But every dog isn’t cut out for a day at the office.  Know your pooch. Consider if yours is well-mannered enough to spend with you at work and if so, go for it!

How Will You Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend With Your Pet?

As you know, Memorial Day is the annual salute to U.S. soldiers (both human and canine) and a traditional summer kickoff for outdoor fun. With 99 days of summer ahead of us, grab the sunscreen and your pet and let’s make a plan!

Here Are 3 Ideas For A Dog-Loving Good Time This Memorial Day:

1—Stay Cool – Keep your pets cool. In many parts of the country, the weather is hitting summer time temps of 90 degrees or more. Keep your pets cool by offering them a kiddie pool full of water, ice cubes to munch or a bandanna dipped in icy water before wrapped around their neck.

These and a shady patch in a backyard will help keep your pets cool while they enjoy the festivities.

If you’re planning to attend one of the many Memorial Day parades with your pet, make sure you take plenty of clean, cool water and a bowl for your dog to drink out of. You don’t want your dog getting dehydrated.

2—Don’t Feed Them From Your Plate – Please remind your guests NOT to feed your pets. Yes, dogs can make great beggars. But if you have half a dozen people feeding bits of this and that to your pet all day, you’re likely to have a sick dog on your hands later. Not fun!

Instead, let your guests’ lavish pets on your dog, not food.

If you’re traveling with your pet, you can take along some special treats for your furry friends. Wellness brand dog and cat treats come in flavors ranging from salmon to lamb and apples and they’re far better for your pet than random handouts.

3- Remember Safety – if you’re boating over Memorial Day weekend with your dog, it’s a good idea to put a doggie life jacket on him, whether or not your dog can swim. That way, if something happens, your dog stays safe.

You’ll also want to have a special place for your dog to hide during fireworks time. Unlike humans, pooches don’t embrace the fireworks. In fact, some are downright terrified. You probably know if yours is one of those dogs who’d rather hide under the bed and quiver than see the fireworks. If so, do you have a crate or special room for your dog to go when the fireworks start?

Whether you’re traveling or staying home this Memorial Day weekend, there’s plenty of opportunity for fun. What will you do?

How Wellness TruFood Saved My Best Friend’s Life

We recently received a beautiful email from Ania about her dog Charlie’s struggles to find a food she could eat, and the happy-ending gave us goosebumps!

Read the whole story:

My name is Ania, I’m 21 years old and I have a dog named Charlie. I got Charlie when she was four months old right with the passing of my mother due to brain cancer in June of 2014. She is my Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and she goes everywhere I do.

A month after I got Charlie she started to get very sick. Everything she would eat she would throw up or have constant diarrhea. It got so bad to the point where she was constantly dripping blood from her behind, had dry skin, her hair would fall out, constant ear infections, and my apartment was covered in puppy pads because of her constant sickness. She didn’t even want to eat anymore. She became a bag of hair and bones and people would publicly comment that I didn’t know how to take care of her. I tried changing her food so many times with different ingredients and took her to the vet to get her tested for everything possible; heart worms, parasites, cancer, and anything we could think of. I’m a full time college student and I used up every dollar of my savings to figure out what was wrong and turned to my dad for help when I ran out of money. I was miserable thinking I had to put her down. Charlie was the reason I started leaving the house by taking her to parks and started to feel like myself again after my moms passing. She’s my best friend.

I started spending hours on the internet figuring out what could possibly be wrong with her. After repeatedly trying out new things, I figured out she couldn’t have any gluten, wheat, beef, and most by-product fillers. I then came across your Wellness TruFood brand and gave it a go. What a miracle. Within two DAYS the bleeding stopped, her stool with firming, and she wasn’t throwing up anymore. She gained all the weight she should have and she is the happiest dog I’ve ever seen. No more scratching, no more ear infections, no more sickness, and no more puppy pads. Best of all she actually likes it! Even if I just feed it to her dry. She has hair not fur and it is so soft and shiny to the touch as apposed to the dry brittle thin hair with bald spots she had. She loves every product from TruFood I give her.

Charlie herself was abused. She’s terrified of children and it wasn’t until she was a year old that she let the first person at the park pet her. Now she loves to play and run up to people and it brings me to tears knowing she’s the happiest and healthiest she’s been. She is so funny and makes me laugh everyday. I have never written a review or reached out to a company before, but I can honestly say that this food has saved my dogs life and in return improved my own. What an incredible brand with great ingredients. To whoever reads this, I just wanted to say thank you with all of my heart for saving my puppy, because she was able to recently see her second birthday and now with many more to come. I couldn’t be more grateful for the amazing team at Wellness for creating this food!

Thank you forever,

Ania and Charlie

3 Easy DIY Pet Accessories with Wellness Natural Pet Food Packaging

Are you an eco-minded pet parent? Get creative this Earth Month with one of these fun and easy DIY pet accessories, brought to you exclusively by recycling leader, TerraCycle! If crafting isn’t your thing, you can still do your part to support the environment.

As the first US-based pet food brand to partner with TerraCycle, Wellness pet parents can recycle their pets favorite Wellness recipes for free, including our Wellness Complete Health dry recipes, Wellness CORE dry recipes and Wellness TruFood dry recipes for  both dogs and cats. Sign up here to get started, and you’ll begin accumulating points for all you recycle–points that can be used to support your favorite non-profits!

Easy DIY Pet Accessories

Wellness Dog Cape

What You’ll Need

Wellpet Dog Food Bag
clear packing tape
¼” flat elastic
Tools:
ruler
scissors
pen
Instructions:
1. Start with a clean pet food bag, and cut the edges off.
2. Use your rule to draw a trapezoid that is 6” wide at the bottom, 4” wide at the top, and 7.5” tall.
3. Fold over the narrow end, about .75”
4. Use a length of tape to keep the fold closed.
5. Cut a 17.5” strip of elastic.
6. Loop it through the fold on the cape.
7. Tie and adjust accordingly so it fits your pet!
Design Tip: Cut the bottom in a funky pattern!  Try a zig-zag or wavy shape!
Endling line:  Super dogs super upcycle!
  • Wellpet Dog Food Bag
  • clear packing tape
  • ¼” flat elastic

Tools:

  • ruler
  • scissors
  • pen

Instructions:

1. Start with a clean pet food bag, and cut the edges off.

2. Use your ruler to draw a trapezoid that is 6” wide at the bottom, 4” wide at the top, and 7.5” tall.

3. Fold over the narrow end, about .75”

4. Use a length of tape to keep the fold closed.

5. Cut a 17.5” strip of elastic.

6. Loop it through the fold on the cape.

7. Tie and adjust accordingly so it fits your pet!

Design Tip: Cut the bottom in a funky pattern!  Try a zig-zag or wavy shape! Super dogs super upcycle!

Collapsible Pet Water Bowl

Materials:

  • Wellness Pet Food Bag
  • 4 velcro tabs
  • clear tape

Tools:

  • ruler
  • pen or marker
  • scissor

Instructions:

1. Start with a clean pet food bag. Flatten out the package and measure the width. Measure and mark lines on both ends to make the length of the wrapper the same size as the width. A 10” square or smaller will probably work best. Cut along your marked lines.

2. Mark a border 2” from the edge along each side of the square. Fold and crease firmly along this line. Unfold and flatten it.

3. Fold up two sides at one corner of the square. Make a diagonal crease from the corner to the folded border creating an upright triangle. Repeat this for all corners, then unfold them.

4. Take the Velcro tabs, unfasten them, and stick each one on either side of the corner of the square, one per triangle. Make sure that they will line up when fastened.

5. Fold up the bowl at the corners and press the hook and loop fasteners together. You are ready to dish up your pet’s favorite snack in your new bowl!

Pet Treat Holder

Materials:

  • empty dog food bag
  • ruler
  • washable marker

Tools:

  • scissors
  • tape

1 self-adhesive Velcro® fastener

Instructions:

1. Start with a clean, empty dog food bag. Cut a square that is 7 ½ inches on each side. Centered inside the square, draw a smaller square that is

3 inches on each side. This smaller square will be 2 ¼ inches from all edges.

2. On the top edge of the smaller square, draw a semicircle that hits the top of the large square and starts and ends at opposite corners of the small square. Repeat for the other three sides. Cut around these lines.

Pro tip: To give your treat pouch dimension, make an extra ¼ inch fold at the base of each semicircle.

3. Along the lines of the small square, fold all four semicircles towards the center.

Your piece should fold up to the size of the small square. Tape the bottom flap and two side flaps in place.

4. Attach one side of the self-adhesive Velcro® fastener on the inside of the top flap. Then, fold down the flap so the other side of the self-adhesive Velcro® fastener attaches to the outside of the bottom flap. Let the Velcro® fastener stick where it naturally landed after you folded the top flap down.

Fill your new treat pouch with your favorite treats for your favorite pet!

National Pet Day

Since 2006, April 11th has been celebrated as National Pet Day. This day was brought about to highlight the unconditional love that pets bring to our lives and also to encourage and raise awareness for animal adoption. There are so many animals around the world who are sitting in shelters, waiting to be given a second chance at life and these same animals have the potential to bring so much light and love into the lives of their owners – anyone who has adopted a shelter animal doesn’t need a national day of observance to know that the love of a pet should be celebrated.

Ways to Celebrate National Pet Day
So, how can you celebrate this national holiday? Well, your pet would probably be happy with just an extra belly rub, but we’ve got some other ideas that your pet (or future pet) is sure to love!

  1. Throw in an extra daily walk – Going on daily walks is most likely one of your dog’s (or cat’s) favorite activities, so why not throw in an extra one or maybe even just make today’s longer than usual? Your pet is sure to appreciate it!
  2. Did someone say “treat?” – We don’t know a pet in the world that doesn’t wiggle in excitement when you reach for the treat jar! Surprise your pet with some new tasty treats today.
  3. Plan a play date – This is a great idea for the dog in your life. Dogs love a good romp in the yard with a fellow furry friend and it’s also great exercise! Your dog will be pleasantly surprised when Rosco shows up at the front door. “Mom, you shouldn’t have!”
  4. Volunteer at a local animal shelter – Do you know how happy you can make a shelter animal just by simply showing up and giving them some love and attention? Bonus points if you call ahead and find out what the current needs are for that shelter – a warm bed goes a long way for an animal.
  5. Stock up on new toys – Has your dog or cat been playing with the same toys for as long as you can remember? Today is a great day to pick up some new toys for your pet – complete with some quality play time!
  6. Schedule a professional photo session – As we all know, our pets won’t be by our side forever and having professional photos taken is a great way to capture your pet’s personality. These photos will forever be a special keepsake.
  7. Spread the love on social media – One way to inspire others to consider pet adoption is simply to share your story of adoption on social media. A great example of this comes from Alaqua Animal Refuge, an animal shelter located in Florida. Find out how you can join in on the #everyoneneedsabuddy campaign!
  8. Take a trip to the dog park – Trips to the park are probably what dog dreams are made of, so National Dog Day is the perfect day to make your dog’s dreams come true. And this also is a great way for your dog to get the exercise that he needs.
  9. Try something new with your pet – Maybe you’ve always wanted to train your cat to walk on a leash – that’s actually a thing! Or maybe you’ve always wanted to teach your dog to play Frisbee. Whatever it is, today is a great day to learn something new with your pet and strengthen your bond.
  10. Adopt a pet – Bringing a new pet into your home is a decision not to be taken lightly, but if you are in a place where you feel ready for a new pet, why not do it on National Pet Day? It’s always a good day to save an animal’s life and we can assure you they’ll return the favor – every single day.

Happy National Pet Day, everyone! We hope that you and your pet enjoy this day together. Spread the love for your pet and help us to raise awareness about animal adoption!

Poison Prevention Awareness Month

Attention pet owners! March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, which means that if you’ve never inspected your home or aren’t aware of the things that could be poisonous to your pet, now is the time to educate yourself! There are so many poisonous substances that can be harmful and even fatal to our pets, so it is important to know what’s in your home and also to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms that your pet may be in danger. So, in honor of Poison Prevention Awareness Month, we are offering up some tips!

photo cred: mybrownnewfies.com

photo cred: mybrownnewfies.com

Inspect!
Regular inspections are the best way to ensure that your home is free of elements that may be toxic to your pet. Let’s go room to room and talk about some things that could be harmful to your pet.

Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms when it comes to poison prevention. People often make the mistake of assuming that certain table foods are safe for their pet, but this is a dangerous way of thinking. The following foods have been shown to be potentially harmful to pets –

  • Chocolate – especially dark chocolate, coffee, caffeine
  • Raisons and grapes
  • Yeast dough
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raw or undercooked meat
  • Table salt
  • Garlic, onion and chives
  • Avocado

These are just some of the most common foods that can be hazardous to your pet. Consult with your veterinarian before sharing any table food with your pet.

Bathroom

The bathroom can be a dangerous place for your pet. Make sure you keep the following items in a place that is not accessible to your pet –

  • Human and pet medications
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Bath salts and bathing liquids

Living Room

Household plants are a popular topic when it comes to poison prevention for our pets. If you are a pet owner and you like to keep plants in and around your home, be sure that you do your research before bringing a plant into your home that could be harmful to your pet.

Here are some other miscellaneous household items that can be toxic to your pet –

  • Batteries
  • Potpourri
  • Insecticides
  • Rodenticides
  • Plant fertilizer/plant food
  • Antifreeze
  • Yarn, rubber bands, dental floss

Secure!

Make sure that potentially toxic items are out of your pet’s reach. Pets can be pretty creative about finding a way to get into things, am I right?

  • Keep human medications and pet medications in separate areas, both secure and out of reach.
  • If you have multiple pets, make sure that their medications are kept separate, in order to keep them from getting mixed up.

Learn!

Do the necessary research to educate yourself on the topics surrounding poison prevention. What items are toxic to your pet? Talk to your veterinarian to find out if there are certain foods that may be more toxic to your pet than others. Read up on household plants and make sure that you don’t keep any toxic plants inside your home. Knowledge is power!

Read!

Pay attention to the labels on the items in your home. The label will often warn you if the substance is toxic to you or your pet.

  • Before administering any medication to your pet, make sure you read and understand the directions, and follow any doctor’s orders exactly.

Know!

Do you know what the common signs and symptoms of poisoning are? This is an important part of poison prevention. If you notice that your pet is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately!

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Convulsions

If you can’t get in contact with your veterinarian, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Prepare!

It is important to be prepared in the event that any emergency arises with your pet, and that includes possible poisoning. Keep emergency resources on hand and have the number of your local veterinary emergency hospital in an accessible place, so that you can seek help immediately.

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 animal shelters and to raise awareness about 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, Don’t Shop! – Are you considering bringing a new puppy into your home? We can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Puppy Day! There is a puppy at one of your local animal shelters just waiting for you to come and give them their forever home! Social media has made it possible to browse available animals that are up for adoption at your local animal shelters right from your own home! Adopt, don’t shop!

2. 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.
  • Brag on your puppy on social media, tag the shelter that you adopted from and encourage others to adopt a puppy of their own!

3. Donate to the Cause – Maybe you already have the perfect puppy in your life and you celebrate their unconditional love day in and day out – lucky you! Another great way that you can celebrate 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 organization, such as ASPCA, that fights to end puppy mill cruelty.

4. Spread the Knowledge – Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of the dangers and cruelty involved with puppy mills. Do your research and share the knowledge to bring awareness to this important issue.

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. Trust us, you will love looking back on those in the years to come!

6. Puppy Training – Training your puppy is one of the biggest responsibilities of being a puppy parent and it is also a great bonding experience for you and your new buddy.

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

7. Puppy Play Date – Plan a special outing for you and your puppy. Do you have a friend or relative that has a playful pup? Plan a playdate at the local dog park or just bring your puppy and let him make some new friends! Socializing your puppy is one of the best things that you can do for him.

8. Take Action – Write to your congressperson to ask that he or she support the ban of puppy mills in your state. Your voice does matter!

9. Get a Healthy Start – A healthy puppy is a happy puppy! Do you know what’s in the food that you are feeding to your puppy? Is your puppy getting enough exercise?

  • Make sure that you are giving your puppy food and treats that are made with all natural ingredients.
  • Take your puppy out for daily walks to make sure that he is getting the proper daily exercise to keep him healthy and happy.

10. Be Present for Your Puppy – At the blink of an eye, your puppy will be all grown up! Savor the puppy phase and spend as much quality time with your puppy as you can. 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.

New Pet: Cat Behavior

Congratulations on welcoming a new cat into your household! When you bring an adult cat home for the first time, odds are you already have a pretty good understanding of his or her personality. But in the beginning, there may be some work needed in order to make your new pet feel comfortable and happy in his or new digs. Check out our resources below for behavior tips for new cats.

5 Things Your Cat Wants to Say to You

Checklist of Must Have Products for Your New Cat or Kitten

The Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

How to Groom Your Cat

New Pet: Puppy Training

Congratulations on the big decision you’ve made to welcome a new puppy into the family! We bet this is an exciting and overwhelming time for you. Spending the time early on to train your puppy and acclimate him or her into the household will pay off for years to come. Check out our resources below for help with training your young dog.

The Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

Training Your Puppy or Dog

New Dog Owner’s Guide

Benefits of Crate Training Your Dog

Dog Park Etiquette: Playing by the Unwritten Rules

The Benefits of Hiring a Pet Sitter