Q. I have our puppy on Wellness® CORE Grain Free Puppy Formula. She is a 6-month-old Shih Tzu who’s doing great on this food. What do you recommend to put her on as an adult and when?
A. The Wellness® CORE Grain Free Puppy Formula is an ideal grain free recipe for a small breed puppy and should work well until your puppy turns one. At that time you might want to consider switching to the Wellness CORE Grain Free Small Breed Adult recipe which has the same basic proteins and fat as the puppy diet. Usually adults don’t need as many calories as pups, so the Small Breed Adult has less fat and therefore less calories to help your dog maintain lean muscle mass.
June is Adopt a Cat Month. If you’ve been thinking of adopting a new kitty, June is a good time to choose from frisky kittens to older, more relaxed cats.
Shelter cats are often well socialized because they’re around other animals and the staff. They’re used to being handled and petted which can translate into being good housecats.
Are you open to adopting a cat with special needs? Sometimes, all that means is that kitty needs a dose of medicine in the morning, a special food or a little extra attention. Your new kitty may have a broken tail or may be missing an eye, but he’ll love you just the same! To ensure a good match when choosing your cat, focus on personality rather than looks. Before you go into the shelter, take a moment to think about what type of cat may fit your lifestyle. Are you looking for a high-energy, playful young cat, or a middle-aged snuggle-bug? Which cats do you “click” with? Oftentimes, you’ll find that you don’t pick a cat, your cat picks you.
How a One-Eyed Cat Found a “Forever” Home
The white cat had been adopted and returned to the shelter twice. It seems cleaning out his eye was too unsavory for many people. The cat reached out to a passing man who stopped to investigate and asked the shelter staff if he could hold him. After multiple visits, he and his girlfriend decided to adopt the pirate kitty who’s grown into a sweet belly rub lover.
A Military Deployment Leads to a New Home
In another instance, a woman adopted “Kirby”, then found out she was being deployed. Heartbroken, she felt she had no choice but to return Kirby knowing she’d be gone for months. A family of four met Kirby at the shelter shortly after she returned him and fell in love. Now the kitty joins two dogs and another cat to make a happy home.
Some towns have special “cat only” shelters with a variety of available kitties. The staff at these shelters are especially well-versed in all things cat. Of course, no matter the pet shelter, the staff will take care to make a good match. They’ll ask you questions and help you choose a cat with the right temperament to fit into your household.
What’s your inspiring cat adoption tale? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook Page.
National Specially-Abled Pets Day is on May 3. It’s a day to honor the amazing pets who’ve braved challenges such blindness, deafness and paralysis, and to bring awareness to the specially-abled pets in need of loving homes.
If you’re thinking of adopting, a specially-abled pet may be the perfect fit for you. Sadly, specially-abled pets are often overlooked at the shelter based on the assumption that they’ll require too much care, but so many of these pets have a lot of love to give and an opportunity for a happy life with their new pet parent.
Thinking of Adopting a Specially-Abled Pet? Here’s What You Need to Know
The key is to ask questions before you adopt. Find out if the pet needs special medication or surgery or has other ongoing medical expenses. For example, if the condition is expected to worsen and require expensive medical treatment, you’d want to know this so you can be prepared.
You’ll also want to learn what type of “pet-proofing” you’ll need to do before bringing home your new pet. For example, a dog in a wheelchair will need ramps to get up stairs. A blind dog may need gates to block off stairs and prevent falls.
Can They Play?
If you’re considering adopting a dog in a wheelchair, you might wonder how they get around and if they do the things “regular” dogs do like go for walks and play fetch. The answer is “Yes!” Dogs in wheelchairs will love going for walks, playing with other dogs and chase balls as much as any dog.
Likewise, blind or deaf dogs can enjoy runs and even agility training just as much as dogs with great vision. With their strong sense of smell, dogs quickly “map” their landscape and learn where the obstacles are and how to navigate them. Blind dogs can learn certain commands like “step up” to help them maneuver in the world while deaf dogs can learn hand signals.
Specially-abled cats can also make great companions.
As with any successful adoption, the key is learning about the pet’s temperament and needs and matching it with yours. You may find specially-abled pets at your local shelter though there are also special rescue groups devoted to finding homes for these special pets. You can check out Pets With Disabilities for listings of specially-abled pets in many areas.
What’s your experience with a specially-abled pet? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook Page!
Q. My dog has a mast cell tumor and I am trying to decide what food is best for her to be on. The vet suggested a low carbohydrate, low grain diet. Is there one you would recommend?
A. High carbohydrate recipes are known to support cancer cells, while a lower carbohydrate diet works to fight the diseased cells. For this reason, feeding a diet that is lower in levels of carbohydrates is recommended. Wellness CORE Original Formula would be a great recipe to try as it is lower in carbohydrates. Adding additional antioxidants would also be a good idea, one way would be with our Wellness CORE Superfood Protein Bars. I recommend talking to your veterinarian about certain supplements that have been shown to slow the process of some cancers.
Cancer is the most common cause of death for our pets. While a good diet and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent all types of illness, it’s best to closely monitor your pet’s health in order to pick up on early warning signs of disease.
Diagnosing pet cancer requires a thorough veterinarian and medical testing, however, the following symptoms indicate that your pet may not be feeling well, and may indicate something more serious.
Here are 5 Signs of Illness in Your Pet (Sometimes Cancer-Related):
1—Lumps – As pets age, they will sometimes develop non-cancerous skin growths and other lumps and bumps. While many times these growths end up being benign, they can sometimes be a sign of lymphoma or a skin cancer. A trip to the vet will ease your concern, as your vet will run a needle biopsy or another test if she suspects an illness.
2—Unexplained weight loss – If your pet is losing weight, but his or her diet and exercise patterns haven’t changed, you may want to take your pet in for a check-up. Your vet may want to rule out cancer and will help you get to the bottom of the unexplained change in weight.
3—Unusual odors – If your pet has unpleasant odors coming from his or her mouth, ears or anal glands, this could be a sign of cancer in those areas. While these symptoms could also indicate an infection, your veterinarian will examine the areas in question and make recommendations for next steps.
4—Change in bathroom habits—Difficulty going to the bathroom, an increase in bathroom frequency or “forgetting” the approved bathroom locations can be signs that your pet is ill. Keep in mind that a move or other stressful life change can also affect bathroom habits, however it’s best to discuss the issue with your vet.
5—Lethargy – If your pet is no longer excited to go for walks or rides in the car, or is sleeping more often than usual, it’s time for a trip to the vet. Any illness is likely to leave your pet feeling less than stellar, so while it may not be cancer-related, you won’t know until you go in for a visit.
Remember, just like with humans, diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle play a role in disease prevention. You have the best chance of catching an illness early and resolving it if you pay attention to changes in your pet’s behavior and take him or her to the veterinarian regularly. Early detection can make all the difference.
Earth Day is an annual holiday that encourages us to respect and care for the home we all share. This year, we challenge you to consider your four-legged friends when making your Earth Day resolutions.
7 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Year Round with Your Pets
1—Recycled pet toys – From cat trees to stuffed animals, there are tons of pet toys made from bottles, paper and other materials salvaged from the landfill. One great option, the Kitty Scratch Pole, is made in the U.S.A. from recycled materials and can be used indefinitely by replacing the refillable, recycled cardboard discs that come with it.
2- Pet-friendly shampoo – There are dozens of pet shampoos on the market, but the eco-friendly option is to choose a pet shampoo made with natural ingredients which are safer for the environment and for your pet.
3-Use biodegradable bags—Grocery bags take hundreds of years to break down in the landfill. Using biodegradable waste bags is the more earth-friendly option. If you can compost the waste–that’s all the better.
4—Clean with vinegar – Max have an accident indoors? Grab the white vinegar to clean up. Vinegar and baking soda are time honored cleaning products. You’ll reduce your use of harmful chemicals and get the job done effectively.
5—Take your dog for hike—Most dogs love to get outside, enjoy some new sniffs and meet new friends. If hiking isn’t possible, go to a dog-friendly park and enjoy the Spring air.
6—Clean out your closets – Donate old towels, blankets and bedding to a local animal shelter. The animals and volunteers will thank you.
7–Choose quality food – When your pet eats nutritious food, more of the nutrients are used within the body which results in less waste.
What are your favorite earth friendly ways to celebrate Earth Day? We’d love to hear your ideas on our Facebook Page.
Today, cats are living longer lives thanks to improved veterinary care, better nutrition, and a heightened awareness of pet health and safety. As your cat approaches his or her senior years, it’s a good idea to learn what to expect so you can detect potentially serious health issues, as well as make adjustments to the way you care for your cat to ensure his or her comfort throughout the aging process.
Is Your Cat Considered a Senior?
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, you should begin senior care considerations when your cat reaches the age of seven. It’s recommended that healthy senior cats visit the veterinarian every six months. Regular veterinary visits are best way to catch diseases early and find a way to resolve them.
Physical and Behavioral Changes in Senior Cats
Aging cats experience many changes, so their mental and physical behavior may reflect those changes. Oftentimes, the normal signs of aging closely mimic symptoms of potentially serious conditions, so it’s always a good idea to report any significant changes to your veterinarian.
Here are several common changes in senior cats:
-Playing for shorter amounts of time, or sleeping for more hours in the day
-Not jumping as far, or hesitating when jumping
-Thinning or graying of the coat
-Changing appearance of the eyes including a slight haziness of the lens
-Changes in personality including increased or decreased vocalization, increased dependency on humans and avoidance of social interactions. Some of these changes may be attributed to the aging of the brain/memory loss
-Bad breath or dental issues
-Changes in litter box habits
Remember, many of the changes you may see in your aging cat could be related to an underlying medical condition so it’s best to ask your veterinarian about any questions or concerns you may have. The sooner you catch a health ailment, the better chance you have of curing it or managing it safely.
How to keep your aging cat healthy and happy:
You can help your aging cat to stay happy and healthy by following these tips.
-Give your cat regular exercise: Pay attention to your cat’s changing energy levels. Even though your cat is getting older, regular exercise will help keep your cat at a healthy weight, and it will also increase circulation and assist in maintaining lean muscle mass. To make sure you don’t overwork your cat, limit your play sessions to ten minutes, a couple of times a day and adjust to less or more as needed. If your cat seems to tire easily or experiences any breathing issues, consult your veterinarian.
-Brush your cat regularly: As cats get older, they may not be able to digest foods and hair (from grooming) as easily as they used to; this could mean an increase in hairballs. Help to prevent hairballs by brushing your cat once a day. Brushing also helps keep skin healthy. With your brush, you can help your cat groom those hard-to-reach areas that they may be missing.
-Maintain a Healthy Diet:
Many cats, like people, will experience a slowing metabolism as they age, while others find it difficult to keep weight on. Start your cat on a natural recipe specifically formulated for the nutritional needs of senior cats. Wellness Complete Health Senior Health is a good option. It has tailored levels of fat and fiber to support an aging cat’s digestive system, and it includes the WellFlex® Hip & Joint Support Sytem that helps keep cats’ joints supple and limber. Wellness Senior Health is also packed with phytonutrients which may aid in disease prevention, slow the aging process and help boost your cat’s overall immunity.
Limit Stress and Keep Them Cool: Senior cats are not able to regulate their body temperatures as effectively as younger cats. Make sure to keep your cat cool in the summer to avoid heat stroke, and offer a warm blanket or heated cat bed in the winter for comfort. Senior cats may not adapt to change as easily as they once did, so it’s helpful to minimize their stress whenever possible. If you’re introducing a new pet to the family, be sure to take extra precaution to give your senior cat his or her own space, and alleviate stressors such as moving to a new house with extra affection during those trying times.
Although being a pet parent to a senior cat may be challenging in some ways, there are many things to be appreciative for as well. Each year spent with your cat only strengthens the bond you two have with each other. And rather than bouncing off the walls, older cats often display a unique wisdom and mellow, patient personality that really shines as they reach their golden years!
Q. My standard poodle has a sensitive stomach. She often has diarrhea. I’ve had her checked for worms and she does not have them. What could this be?
A. There are some dogs that have what has been called a “sensitive stomach.” It is a very general term that can suggest that the dog seems sensitive to something in the diet or changes in the diet. This is usually expressed as intermittent vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Many times, the issue is an intolerance to an ingredient in the diet. It is not an allergy, but rather a non-immune mediated reaction to an ingredient in the diet. Allergies are to a particular protein, whereas a food intolerance can be caused by anything in the diet.
Feeding a natural pet food with limited ingredients and a single unique protein would be a possible solution to the problem. The Wellness Simple formulas are an ideal option to try. There are four diets each containing different ingredients as well as some natural supplements such as probiotics and Omega 3 fatty acids, both of which can help to resolve digestive issues. Keep in mind that with any dog experiencing digestive issues, a very slow transition (10-14 days) to the new food is always recommended.
March is Poison Prevention Month – Are These Common Items Lurking within Your Pet’s Reach?
From food to plants, there are dozens of common household objects that can be poisonous to your pets. Pet proof your home with these precautions.
1—Household Cleaners — Keep household cleaning products out of reach. From a curious kitty opening and chewing up dozens of wipes or a puppy opening a cabinet and getting into the floor cleaners, there are many “interesting” things we don’t want our pets ingesting. Keep the cleaning products up high or behind a locked cabinet.
2—Plants – Lilies, Azaleas, Daffodils, and English Ivy are a few plants your pets shouldn’t chew on. Keep bulbs out of their reach too. You can see a full list at the Humane Society.
3—Potpourri and Candles– They may smell good but, but they could irritate your pet’s nose, cause a burn, or make them sick if ingested. Keep scented products firmly out of reach of curious paws and noses.
4—Medicines— “Child proof” containers don’t necessarily mean “pet proof”. A bored pet could chew right through a pill bottle, never mind those sheets of pills with only a thin layer of plastic and foil. Keep all medications well out of Fido’s reach.
5—Certain Foods—Chocolate, macadamia nuts and onions can all wreak havoc on your pup’s digestive system. Don’t forget that chewing gums or mints sweetened with xylitol can be lethal to pets.
6—Citronella Candles – No candles are good chew toys but citronella can give our furry friends a tummy ache.
7—Ice Melters – Some of these these are labeled “pet friendly” which means it has less of the harmful chemicals in them than others but none are something you want your pet eating. Be sure to wash your dog’s paws after a winter walk.
8–Cocoa Mulch – True to its name, this mulch has cocoa—elements of chocolate–in it. If you have pets who spend time in the yard and you plan to mulch, you’ll want to avoid this one.
9—Fabric softener sheets – Think of the fun your pet can have in pulling one after another out of the box, then chewing them up. This is not good. Fabric softener is full of chemicals your pets are better off not ingesting.
10—Traps– Rat poison, ant traps, roach motels…if within reach of a curious pet, all of these pose hazards to your pet’s health. Be careful with them.
It’s a good idea to periodically give your house the once over and make sure the obvious things are out of pet reach. If you’re preparing for a new pet, you’ll want to be especially stringent.
If you know your pet has ingested something questionable or is acting woozy, call the ASPCA
Animal Poison Control Center for guidance.