If you plan a summer or fall road trip with your pets, you know you need to do more to ready your pet than simply toss Max or Fluffy into the backseat. It takes a little preparation.
First, you’ll want to establish that your destination is pet-friendly—there’s nothing like showing up at your hotel 7 hours later with Max in tow to be told there are no more pet friendly rooms.
Of course, you’ll also need a few other items as well. Here’s a list of travel necessities:
1—Restraint – Just as you use your seat belt when in the car, your pets should be secured. This prevents them from becoming projectiles if you are in an accident.
There are many options available today from harnesses that work similar to seat belts to traditional pet carriers. Which is best for your pet? It’ll depend on factors like your pet’s temperament and comfort level with riding in the car—and, how much space you have. If your car will be full of kids and luggage, putting Fluffy in a carrier may be your best option.
2—Food/Water/Dishes – Be sure to pack enough food for the trip and bring a water supply for your pet. You’ll need dishes too. If you make a pit stop and realize you don’t have a water bowl, it can make for a little unnecessary complexity. Collapsible travel bowls pack well.
3—Comforting Items – Even if your pets are good travelers, they will feel more content with familiar items such as their favorite toy, or an old towel or shirt that smells like home.
4—Cleaning Supplies/Alternate Carrier – Some pets are nervous travelers and may have an accident in their carrier. If this happens, you can minimize your pet’s discomfort by pulling over and cleaning out the carrier or swapping it for an alternate one.
5—Favorite Treats –Your pets already appreciate their favorite treats. They’ll be very happy that you remembered to bring them!
Q: My dog has what appears to be a severe allergy; I have heard that it could stem from grain ingredients in his food. I have tried a small amount of grain-free food and he has responded well. I am soon going to deplete the food I have and am wondering if Wellness has grain-free dry foods.
A: Wellness offers several dry grain-free canine diets. They are CORE® Original Formula, CORE® Reduced Fat Formula, CORE® Ocean Formula, CORE® Small Breed Formula, and CORE® Puppy Formula. The sources of protein for CORE Original formula are Turkey and Chicken; for Reduced Fat Formula are Turkey, Chicken, and Whitefish; and for Ocean Formula are Whitefish, Herring Meal, Salmon Meal, and Menhaden fish Meal. CORE canine grain-free diets are also available in moist form (12.5 ounce cans). We now also offer two grain-free recipes of our Simple Limited Ingredient Diet. You could try the Simple Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Formula or the Simple Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Formula. With any severe skin condition, in addition to undertaking a dietary trial, your vet should be consulted to rule out atopy (environmental allergies), fleas, ringworm, demodex, scabies, secondary yeast and bacterial overgrowth or other underlying medical conditions.
Q: My cat has noticeable dandruff. Is this normal and is there anything I can do about it?
A: It is normal for your cat’s skin to slightly slough away resulting in what is commonly referred to as dandruff. Especially in cold winters, low humidity can dry the skin of an animal causing excessive flaking.
Diet can play a role in preventing dandruff. Be sure the foods you are feeding are complete and balanced, like Wellness Natural Pet Food, and contain optimum levels of the essential fats to encourage a healthy skin and coat.
Brushing your cat will help remove the flakes. Most cats are very particular about proper grooming and so when you see dandruff, it may be more than just the normal flaking of the cells of the skin. If your cat has excessive dandruff, it is important to have the problem checked by your veterinarian to determine the cause so an effective treatment can be developed.
Q: I have a Shar Pei mix rescue dog about 5 years old. She has very dry skin and a severe shedding problem.
A: Feeding a diet with optimum levels of Omega 3 fatty acids that are in the proper ratio with the Omega 6 fats may help to resolve the problem as they are essential for a healthy skin and coat.
The Shar Pei breed is known to have an increased incidence of skin problems. Many also suffer from food allergies or intolerances. If that is the problem with your pet, feeding a grain-free diet may help. Be sure to transition to the new diet slowly over at least a week’s time. When one suspects a food allergy or intolerance, one must give the new food at least two months (provided there is no negative reaction to the new diet initially), as it can take that long to rid the body of the offending allergens.
Keep in mind that there are other causes that can produce an itchy dry skin: external parasites, bacterial and fungal infections and several other common problems can cause the same symptoms and it is always advisable to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the cause, as well as the best procedure for resolving the problem.
Additionally, this could also be normal seasonal shedding. Regular brushing and mild shampoo baths will speed up the process and could help to resolve the itching.
The phrase, “you are what you eat” goes for your pets too. Feeding flaxseed for shiny coats can give your pet more than just a healthy coat.
If they eat healthy, their eyes shine bright, their coats gleam and they feel good. Yet, certain foods have added benefits. These so-called “power” foods boost your pet’s immune system, moisturize their skin and help give them shiny coats. Packed with high levels of vitamins and minerals for maximum nutrition, “power” foods deliver for your pet’s health.
Flaxseed is one of those foods.
Flaxseed contains essential omega 3 fatty acids. A “good” fat, omega 3’s are great for your pet’s health inside and out. They repair and manufacture cell membranes so they stay healthy and increase the amount of oxygen coursing through your pet’s body. This increases the amount of nutrients flowing to cells.
The result? Flaxseed moisturizes the skin, reduces inflammation and can give your pet a soft and shiny coat. It also has a nutty flavor most dogs love. Feeding your pet a natural food containing flaxseed will allow you to provide all of these benefits and more.
Have you given your pet flaxseed for shiny coats and overall good health? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.
You might think your 10-pound terrier has a different digestion system than a 70-pound lab but the truth is, small dog digestion doesn’t differ that much from larger canines. They still have the same processing system, it’s just smaller.
All dogs are designed to bite off large chunks and eat quickly. In other words, don’t be alarmed if your pet gulps down his food, it’s part of what makes him a dog. From there, the food gets broken down in the stomach and passes through the intestines to complete digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Of course, small dogs don’t have the storage capacity of large dogs when it comes storing calories. They may need to eat frequent meals to keep their blood sugar up. A morning and evening meal may work better for the small dogs than one bigger meal.
Slow-feed bowls are available for those dogs who continuously eat too fast. These bowls containers dividers in the bowl, which then forces your dog to eat around them, slowing down the process.
Wellness recently expanded our line of Small Breed food offerings, with the introduction of two new dry recipes and four new treats! From healthy weight maintenance, to skin & coat support and smaller kibble sizes, there’s sure to be a dry recipe that’s just right for your petite pup! Pair it with one of our new Petite Treats, available in four tasty varieties!
Now that the weather’s getting warmer, it won’t be long before flea and tick season are here again.
Here are 4 Ways to Control Fleas and Ticks Naturally:
Apple cider vinegar can make a good spray too. Just mix it with water in a clean spray bottle, about ½ and ½. Then spray it on your pet daily. Pay special attention to behind the ears and the base of the tail where fleas tend to collect.
1–All Natural “Flea” Collars for dogs—rub one of the following essential oils onto a rope collar or bandana to keep fleas and ticks at bay. Eucalyptus, lavender or citronella are all scents that repel pests. You will need to do this weekly to keep it fresh and effective.
2—Supersonic – This small electronic device looks like a tag or pendant and fits on your pet’s collar. It emits a series of electronic pulses to prevent fleas and ticks from setting up camp on your furry friend. It’s safe for dogs and cats.
3—Vacuum often – If you have carpeted floors, be sure to vacuum frequently to pick up any possible flea larvae. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day and they’ll fall off your pet into the carpet and furniture where your pet sits. Frequent vacuuming can rid your house of these pests before they hatch.
4—Diatomaceous earth– You can sprinkle this powder around your yard and pet bedding to prevent fleas and ticks. It’s made of fossilized diatoms (a type of phytoplankton) and appears soft and powdery to the naked eye. However, if you look at it under a microscope, it’s actually full of sharp edges. These sharp edges provide effective natural flea prevention. Because when fleas crawl through the substance, the sharp shell edges slice their bodies. They leak water from the soft tissue and dehydrate.
Side Effects: A word of caution, the sharp edges can harm your respiratory track so wear a mask and goggles when you’re applying it to large areas like your yard or pet beds.
Let it settle without your pet around so they don’t breathe in the substance. Be aware, it’ll wash away in the rain for wait for a dry day and you’ll need to reapply it after heavy rains.
What’s your favorite method for preventing fleas and ticks? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Q: My sister seems to think that dry dog food is the best for her dog instead of wet canned food. She said dry is better because it helps clean their teeth, is this so?
A: That’s a great question. Many pet parents like to top the dry food with canned food. It can provide additional nutrition, if weight is an issue.
The best way to answer your question is to first put the question in a human perspective. We humans brush our teeth daily and even twice daily, yet we still need to have our teeth cleaned annually or even more frequently.
The point is, that no matter whether we feed all dry for or we feed some softer food, your pet will still need her teeth cleaned at some point. Feeding just dry food may slow the process but not by much.
Q: I have 2 small dogs (a Maltipoo and a terrier mix) both under 20 pounds. I have heard that I should not feed them wet food every day, but I feed them 1/2 can of wet food each day. I leave the dry out for them to eat throughout the day and I also give them some snacks each day. Is this okay? Should I change my feeding schedule at all?
A: There is no problem feeding any dog a combination of canned and dry food as you have described. Be careful to only feed enough each day to maintain a slightly lean body condition (that goes for small dogs and larger dogs as well).
Canned foods are nutritious and a great complement to dry diets. They can add variety to the diet and encourage proper nutrition in dogs that are picky eaters or having trouble maintaining adequate weight. They do contain significant calories and that should be considered when making up the daily diet.
CA and NJ are now requiring pets “buckle up” when riding in the car and other states are likely to follow in the near future. The reason is unrestrained animals pose hazards. Whether they want to climb in the driver’s lap because they’re nervous or they’re roaming all over the car pets can create a serious distraction for the driver.
Even if your dog loves to ride and always sits nicely in the back seat, your pet can be seriously hurt in an accident if they’re not restrained. Imagine getting rear-ended and your pet being hurled into the windshield.
If you don’t want to use a crate to transport your dog, you can stay safe on the road with doggie seat belts.
Here are 3 Types of Dog Seat Belts:
Many of the restraints are harnesses. You slip your dog’s front legs into the opening and it attaches at the back like a walking harness. They have clips that clip into the seat existing seat belt buckle to secure them similar to the way a person is strapped in.
These restraints have a harness with a strap that goes across your car ceiling to create a zip line. If your dog is nervous in the car, this gives him the ability to roam from window to window but he’s relegated to the back seat or back cab of an SUV.
Car Seat Lookout:
Small dogs will enjoy a car seat lookout. This seat is raised so small pets can look out the window as you cruise down the road. Some are a plush lined box for your pet while others can double as a soft-sided crate with a lid you can zip up if you need to carry your dog into the vet or onto a plane.
Have you used any of these with your pet? We’d love to hear about your experience on our Facebook Page.
Have a relative, friend or neighbor that recently welcomed a new pup into their home? What better way to show you care than with a puppy welcome basket? Chock full of good things puppies love, the new puppy parents will be surprised and delighted by your thoughtful gesture.
Here are some dog gift ideas to include:
- Puppy Kong – Kongs are great toys because they’re durable and can withstand sharp puppy teeth. When filled with peanut butter or Wellness treats they can keep him occupied for hours.
- Squeaky toys—Dogs love squeaky toys. Plus, they come in cute shapes like bagels or rolled up newspapers.
- Training pads— When a puppy has to go, he goes. Help train him with special pads designed to sop up the mess.
- Puppy toothbrush and toothpaste – Banish puppy breath by keeping a clean mouth!
- Shirt/collar/leash of parent’s favorite sports team – Imagine how delighted they’ll be when Max shares this allegiance.
- An assortment of Wellness® dog treats (of course!) including Just for Puppy Treats – great for training! We do more than make pet food. We create Wellness.™
What are your favorite dog gift ideas for a puppy welcome basket? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.
Q: I have two questions. I am feeding my Golden Retriever Wellness® Complete Health® Super5Mix® Large Breed – Adult Health recipe. I give her one cup in the morning and one cup in the evening. Is this the right amount? Like most Golden Retrievers, she gains weight easily. Also, I’ve been told that rotating foods occasionally is good for them. Do you agree?
A: To determine the amount to feed a dog: get an accurate body weight on a scale (your vet will have a walk on scale), then consult the feeding guide on the package to get a suggested starting range. Start conservatively. Feed multiple meals per day if possible.
Wellness Large Breed Adult dry food contains 336 kcal per cup, so in two cups that is 672 kcal per day. If that amount maintains activity, body weight and body condition score at desired levels, then that is the right amount to feed.
Canine dietary rotation among complete and balanced diets is fine. To help avoid unwanted weight gain when switching foods, carefully keep the total daily caloric intake constant. Note that calories per cup are not the same for all foods—rather the number varies widely.
Q: I currently feed CORE® Grain-Free Ocean Formula due to my dog’s allergies. However, he is now six years old. Is it still OK to feed the same food to an older dog? At what age should I start looking at other formulas?
A: CORE® Grain-Free Ocean Formula is a great food for older dog maintenance. If the dog responds well to this food, there is no reason to switch to a senior low protein type diet.