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.
It’s a gardener’s favorite time of year. The ground is thawing, the nurseries are coming to life and soon you’ll be digging holes for your bedding plants.
Of course, your favorite pets might like to join you in the hole digging too, or, they may simply find other means of entertainment that could be harmful.
Pesticides, cocoa mulch, even certain plants can be toxic to dogs and cats. You already know your dog will likely eat anything— or at least to try it and see if it’s tasty…. and this can be a problem.
Beware of Toxic Plants
Plant bulbs such as Daffodils are toxic if your pet digs them up and eats them. So are Azaleas and Tiger, Day, Asiatic and Easter lilies- but with these plants, your pet only has to eat a few leaves or taste the flowers to be sick. Symptoms typically include vomiting or diarrhea and can sometimes even be fatal.
Pesticides and Your Pet
If you use pesticides on your grass or garden areas, you pet can ingest those chemicals. Even if your pet doesn’t eat the grass or plants but just noses around, dog’s noses are a mucous membrane that allows many substances to flow in. Plus, pets lick their paws and if they’ve walked on treated grounds, that’s another way for them to ingest harmful chemicals.
Always read the label on a lawn treatment to learn what the possible dangers are to pets. If you have a lawn and garden company treat your lawn, be sure to learn what they’re using and their recommendations. They’ll usually tell you if it’s not safe for children and pets. There are organic pesticides that you can use instead.
Be cautious if you put traps in the yard or garden to attract slugs and other pests; often, dogs find them and eat them. They also may eat a dead rodent that was killed by poison.
It almost sounds like something straight out of Willy Wonka; “Tuck chocolate around your plants to keep them healthy.” Cocoa or chocolate mulch smells chocolaty and delicious yet it could be fatal to your pets. True to its name, chocolate mulch has theobromine in it, which is the ingredient in chocolate that is dangerous to dogs and cats. If your pets eat it, it could cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even seizures.
Make sure your garden is pet safe and keep an eye on them if they’re spending a lot of time in the yard. If they show signs of sickness, get them to the vet to ensure their safety.
Spring is here and the warmer weather is coming! This means that your pets may get Spring Fever and want to take themselves on a stroll around the neighborhood. Sometimes dogs and cats slip out of the door or the fence and before you know it, they’re gone.
No matter how your pet gets loose, you have only one wish… to bring them home safely.
A microchip in your pet can help you to be reunited with your lost dog or cat. Without a microchip, only 17% of lost pets are reunited with their families. A study at the University of Columbus found cats with microchips were 20 times more likely to return to their families and dogs were 2 and half times more likely to be reunited.
The way it works is simple: A small microchip—no bigger than a grain of rice– is inserted between your dog or cat’s shoulder blades. It’s quick, easy and no more painful that getting a vaccination. The microchip acts like a bar code.
Afterwards, if your pet gets loose, veterinarians and pet shelters can scan your pet to check for ID. If one is found, they’ll check the pet microchip databases to get your pet back home to you.
Though there isn’t a single central lost pet database, however the scanners can read microchips from a variety of brands.
The cost is typically $25-$50, plus a registration fee. In addition to a microchip, ensure your pet’s tags are up to date too. A clear name and phone number on a tag can make it easy to return a lost pet.
Q: My 1 1/2 year old Schnoodle has anal gland problems. Is there anything I can do to prevent her from leaking this foul smell?
A: Anal glands are scent glands located around the dog’s anus which produces a strong smelling, oily secretion. (The anal glands are located at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock around the anus.) They are supposed to empty when the dog passes stool and the anus is stretched. The most common form of anal sac disease is impaction; other diagnoses are infection, abscess, or neoplasia. Clinical signs are related to pain and discomfort— scooting, licking and biting at the anal area and painful defecation.
Overweight dogs and small breed dogs are at greater risk.
Anecdotally, a diet that is enhanced in fiber and produces a larger quantity of stool may help the problem of unexpected leaking. For a diet with increased dietary fiber, try Wellness Small Breed Healthy Weight dry kibble.
In addition, your veterinarian may teach you to express canine anal glands manually when full. Ask at your next wellness check up.
Q: My cat that is eight years old is peeing in her litter box every 15 minutes when she is awake. But only a drop. She seems to feel like she has to pee. And her poop is very small compared to my other cats. What can I do to help her?
A: Your cat is exhibiting signs of lower urinary tract disease. Different types of urinary diseases occur in cats: FIC (feline idiopathic cystitis), urolithiasis, and urethral plugs are the top three. You should schedule an appointment for a health check. After a diagnosis, your vet can help you with nutritional goals and possible environmental enrichment and behavioral management.
Did human table scraps play a role in the evolution of today’s pet dog?
A new study recently published in the journal Nature found this to be the case.
The study traces the evolution of dogs and found that as a result of hanging around early farm sites and eating human food scraps, our four legged companions are able to digest carbohydrates better than their wolf counterparts. Over time, their bodies’ developed the ability to digest carbohydrates and use them for energy.
What does this mean from a diet standpoint?
Veterinarians agree, a healthy, balanced meal is one that contains plenty of veggies -not just meat- in your dog’s diet. Veggies are excellent sources of healthy carbs and they help keep your dog’s immune system strong.
Carrots, potatoes, and real fruit like blueberries and apples provide essential vitamins and nutrients for your dog.
Check the Label
To know whether your pet is getting the right balance of nutrition, check the label. Labels are written based on weight so the first ingredient is the heaviest – and often most plentiful ingredient. For example, protein is heavy. Wellness® Pet Food always lists real meat as the first ingredient because it’s the base of the food. Then come the fruits and veggies. We provide plenty of vitamins and nutrients so your dog is at his healthy best.
Does your dog have a favorite fruit or vegetable? Please share your answers on the Wellness Facebook page!
Regular pet dental care can keep your pet healthy inside and out. While you might take your pet to the vet for a full cleaning once or twice a year, your pet’s mouth needs regular brushing to stay healthy.
A Healthy Mouth Leads to a Healthy Body
Gingivitis and gum disease can lead to painful, swollen gums and tooth loss. If left untreated, holistic veterinarians believe this can result in kidney and other organ problems in your pet.
Super stinky breath is an indication your pet’s teeth need attention. Also watch for yellow or brown teeth.
Brush ‘Em Good
It’s essential to brush your pet’s teeth. Brushing gets under the gum line and cleans off bacteria.
If you haven’t already, get yourself a pet toothbrush (they have smaller bristles and a smaller head).
And, arm yourself with some pet toothpaste. There are beef and chicken flavors to entice your pet. (Don’t use people stuff here—your pets can swallow the toothpaste and toothpaste for people can upset their tummies.) There are beef and chicken flavored toothpaste to entice your pet.
Don’t expect to do a great brushing all at once. If your pet isn’t used to you rubbing her teeth, you may have to work up to it. You can start with your finger or a soft cloth to get her used to it.
Try it for a few minutes each day. Your pet will gradually be more comfortable with the experience and you’ll enjoy a pooch or kitty with fresher breath and gleaming teeth!
Does your pet have a winning smile? If so, enter the Wellness Hollywood Smile contest on the Wellness Facebook Page for a chance to win a Wellness goodie basket!
Regular dog dental care can keep your pet healthy inside and out. While you might take your pet to the vet for the full cleaning once or twice a year, your pet’s mouth needs regular brushing to stay healthy.
A Healthy Mouth Leads to a Healthy Body
Gingivitis and gum disease can lead to painful, swollen gums and tooth loss. Left untreated, holistic veterinarians believe they can result in kidney and other organ problems in your pet.
Super stinky breath is an indication your pet’s teeth need attention. So are yellow or brown teeth. Yuck!
Brush ‘Em Good
It’s essential to brush your dog’s teeth. Brushing gets under the gum line and cleans bacteria off your pet’s teeth.
If you haven’t already, get yourself a pet toothbrush (they have smaller bristles and a smaller head).
And, arm yourself with some pet toothpaste. (don’t use people stuff here—your pets will swallow the toothpaste and people kind can upset their tummies.) There are beef and chicken flavored toothpaste to entice your pet.
Don’t expect to do a great tooth brushing all at once. If your pet isn’t used to you rubbing her teeth, you may have to work up to it. You can start with your finger or a soft cloth to get her used to it.
Try it for a few minutes each day. Your pet will gradually be more comfortable with the experience and you’ll enjoy a pooch with fresher breath and gleaming teeth!
Does your pet have a winning smile? If so, enter our contest on the Wellness Facebook Page for a chance to win a Wellness goodie basket!
Q: My cat throws up after eating. I have tried several vets and tried various foods but she still throws up. It only happens at certain times as she will not throw up for weeks then suddenly will throw up after every meal.
A: Defining an accurate cause of feline chronic vomiting is sometimes difficult.
Try feeding your cat a Wellness canned diet in several small meals per day. Don’t feed all the food in one meal. Do not let your cat have constant access to dry food and feed less if excess weight is an issue. In this case- I recommend feeding feline canned Wellness. It is lower in fat and carbohydrates while enhanced in fiber and contains 148 kcal per 5.5 oz. can.
Q: Our 50 lb dog has a sensitive stomach. We give Wellness® Complete Health® Super5Mix® Chicken Recipe. If we give her any kind of treat outside of that she gets very gassy which we believe is caused by allergies. Are there any tests to perform to see what your dog is allergic to? Or is it trial and error?
A: There are blood tests available for diagnosis of canine food allergies. Most dermatologists do not rely on them as reliable for diagnosis; they believe that the elimination diet trial using a novel protein (trial and error) is the standard for diagnosis of food allergies.
If you and your vet determine that your dog can tolerate chicken recipe treats, you may want to try the Pure Rewards Chicken & Lamb Jerky.
Over the past few years, there has has been a significant increase in the number of dog friendly accommodations and trails at top ski areas around the country. From Mammoth Lakes, CA to Maine, you can bring your dog to join in the winter fun.
Here are 3 dog friendly winter getaways for you and your family:
1. Mammoth Mountain at Mammoth Lakes, CA is a renowned ski resort with a pet clientele. The Westin Monache — http://www.westinmammoth.com at the base of the mountain caters to canines with a variety of luxury pet amenities, including plush beds to crash down on after a day romping in the great outdoors. With several dog bakeries in the area to ensure your furry friend gets a special treat, along with a dog wash, he’ll be ready for the long trip home.
2. The Gunflint Lodge in Grand Marais, MN – http://www.gunflint.com/ offers a pooch paradise with dog themed weekends. In addition to hiking, skiing and snowshoeing, there are seminars on dog massages, pet communication and health, led by veterinarians and dog handlers. Additionally, there are K-9 Olympics and doggie socials. It’s a dog’s life indeed!
Here are the dates for the dog lover’s weekends for 2013.
March 14-17- Bow Wow Pow Wow
April 18-21- Pawloosa
October 10-13 Wag a lot
3. The Pawhouse Inn in West Rutland, VT– http://www.pawhouseinn.com/accomodations.html. With a tagline reading, “No dog left behind”, Jen and Mitch Frankenberg love dogs and it shows. The Pawhouse Inn is close to 120 miles of trails where you can take Fido cross-country skiing or snowshoeing and they have an outdoor dog park with a semi-permanent agility course.
Of course, if you and your furry friend would rather curl up in front of the fire and read a book, you’re welcome to do that too. They also include 9-5 dog care as part of the rate in case you feel like hitting the slopes of nearby Killington.
Has this ever happened to you? Your dogs are happily romping in the snow–but on the way home, they begin to limp.
What happened? If you were near sidewalks or driveways, they may have stepped on salt or ice melting chemicals, which are irritating to sensitive paw pads. It’s also possible they have ice crystals lodged within their paw.
The solution? Wash your dog’s paws!
If your dog won’t let you clean out his paw, then you’ll have to settle for soaking them.
- You could put him in the bathtub and fill it up with enough warm water to cover his feet.
- You could also keep an old pan by the door (or a cookie sheet with raised edges on the sides), fill it with warm water and have your dog step in it when he comes in.
These methods will help melt ice crystals and clean off rock salt used to melt ice. Rock salt can dry out your pet’s paw pads.
An alternative to salt and chemical ice melters is sand or gravel. They won’t melt the ice but will give you some traction and won’t irritate sensitive paw pads.
Best way to prevent salty paws altogether? Use booties or a wax like Musher’s Secret. What solutions have you found? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook Page.