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Ask Wellness: January 2014

I am feeding my golden your large breed adult food.  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 easily.
The feeding guide on the back of the bag is an approximate amount of food to feed based on the pet’s weight. It is merely a guide but is not appropriate for every pet. Age, breed, activity level, metabolic rate, time of the year and more are all influences that will affect your pet’s current caloric needs. The goal is to feed an adult dog just enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. Many dogs will need less than the guide suggests and some will need more.

Q. I am feeding my golden your large breed adult food. 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 easily.

A. The feeding guide on the back of the bag is an approximate amount of food to feed based on the pet’s weight. It is merely a guide but is not appropriate for every pet. Age, breed, activity level, metabolic rate, time of the year and more are all influences that will affect your pet’s current caloric needs. The goal is to feed an adult dog just enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. Many dogs will need less than the guide suggests and some will need more.

Wellness Pet Food Donates $16,000 to Animal Welfare Organizations

The natural pet food brand donates to Green Chimneys and The Cat House on the Kings at conclusion of Facebook holiday giving campaignWellness-LeftsideGraphic-FIN

Tewksbury, Mass. (December 10)—Wellness Pet Food recently concluded their, “You Click, We Donate” holiday giving campaign, hosted on their Facebook page. During the campaign which ran from December 10 to January 16, Wellness Facebook fans could sign up for Wellness to donate $1.00 on their behalf—up to $8,000 each for Green Chimneys and The Cat House on the Kings.

Although campaign participation did not reach the maximum donation amount, Wellness donated the full $8,000 to each charity. “We’re happy that we’re able to offer monetary donations to each of these deserving charities,” said Chanda Leary-Coutu, Wellness Marketing Communications Manager. “We support the missions of these charities and were glad to help increase public awareness of them.

The Cat House on the Kings is California’s largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center. The Cat House relies entirely on donations from the public to carry out its mission. You can read more about The Cat House here.

Green Chimneys, located in New York State, is a multi-faceted nonprofit organization helping young people by providing them residential, educational, clinical and recreational services. Green Chimneys also provides housing and rehabilitation to over 200 dogs, cats and farm and wildlife animals. You can read more about Green Chimneys here.

Tips on How to Foster a Pet

Considering Pet Fostering? Here’s What You Need to Know

Dog with Foster Mom

Fostering a dog or cat can be a very rewarding experience. Many times, animal shelters rely on foster pet parents in emergency rescue situations. For example, a foster pet parent can prevent an animal from being euthanized by temporarily housing the pet until a safe option becomes available. They can help an animal recover from a sickness by providing special, individualized care or they can help keep a close eye on a litter of kittens until they are old enough to be adopted.

There are many reasons to consider fostering pets and just like adopting, it’s a good idea to think things through and ask a few questions before you bring home that wriggling, furry bundle of happiness.

1—What are the characteristics of the foster animal? Are you able to accommodate the animal’s size and medical/behavioral issues?

2—Will the pet get along with other people/pets in your household?

3—How long will you be fostering the pet? It’s best to compare expectations with the animal shelter before you agree to foster to make sure you’re on the same page.

4—Will the pet need training during the time you are fostering him/her? Many shelters rely on foster parents to assist with training or working with problem behaviors in order to help the pet become more adoptable.

5—Will the animal shelter be providing/financing veterinary care while you’re fostering?

6—Will the shelter/rescue group provide you with pet food while you’re fostering?

7—How will the dog or cat meet potential adopters? Will you attend adoption events or interact with the potential adopters in any way? The shelter may request that you take photos of the pet and/or provide a written description of the pet and its behavior so the shelter can post to Petfinder.com or to a social media page.

8—Will you have a say in who adopts the foster pet? Many animal shelters allow pet foster parents to be part of the decision on which adoptive family to pair the pet with.

10—If you fall in love, will you be able to adopt the pet?

When you foster animals, you free up space for the shelter or rescue to save another life. Plus, you’re providing important socialization for the pet to live a long and happy life. Fostering can be rewarding, yet, you’ll want to ensure you and the shelter have matching expectations of what fostering means.

Foster Dog with Foster Parent

Have you ever fostered a dog or cat? What’s been your experience? We’d love to hear your stories on our Facebook page.

Wellness Pets: Best of 2013

It’s almost the end of the year, but before we welcome 2014, we decided to look back at the photos that Wellness Pet Food fans shared with us on Facebook in 2013. We were so impressed with what we found that we decided to share our favorites. Since they didn’t have to spend any time looking for nutritious food :) , these cats and dogs had plenty of time to focus on their eclectic talents!

We give you, “Wellness Pets: Best of 2013”:

1. Best Bedhead:

Best Bedhead

Even with an entire aisle of hair care products, we couldn’t replicate this kitten’s coiffure! Tousled just perfectly, this cat’s bedhead style is the perfect fusion of high-fashion and fun. This hairstyle was clearly the result of an afternoon spent sleeping on the windowsill–a perfect excuse for taking a good long nap!

2. Best Break-In Attempt:
Best Break-in attempt

We don’t condone excess feeding, but we’ve got to credit this clever cat for nearly breaking into a bag of Wellness Pure Delights cat treats! When interviewed about his technique, the cat said, “I bite and claw the bag, then I snag those delicious turkey and salmon morsels!”

3. Best Hiding Spot:

Best Hiding Spot

This hiding spot is superior for many reasons: 1. Camouflage, 2. Aromatherapy, 3. Breakfast, 4. Lunch, 5. Dinner, 6. Dessert

4. Best Model Pose:

Best Model Pose

Haven’t these dogs mastered the over-the-shoulder, “Oh, me?” look perfectly? The next time we see them, they’ll likely be featured in an ad campaign for a luxury doggie perfume. Ah, some were just born to be in front of the camera!

5. Best Security Guard:

Best Security Guard

Did the dog chew on those sneakers? This cat knows. Did someone tip-toe downstairs for a midnight snack? This cat knows. Master of her domain, this cat will keep a watchful eye out for any intruders; just don’t try opening a can of tuna near her unless you’re prepared to share.

6. Best Slow Dancer

Best Slow Dancer

Maybe it’s just us, but we think this dog has near-perfect form. She even manages to keep an appropriate distance from her partner, much to the surprise of high-school dance chaperones everywhere. Book your ballroom lessons now!

7. Best Use of a Box:

Best Use of Box

These felines give new meaning to the expression, “If it fits, I sits.” These cat-ortionists do however abide by a few rules when using their box: 1. Trim your toe claws before getting in, 2. We only fits before we eat our breakfast, 3. No dogs allowed!

8. Best Patient Dog:

Most Patient Dog

So many litter boxes, so much meowing! When the feline pheromones become a bit too much for this dog to handle, he closes his eyes and goes to his happy place—a park with unlimited squirrels to chase!

9. Most Studious Cat:

Most Studious

While most of her kitty counterparts are sprawled out in their beds or intently watching the window for movement, this cat is catching up on the day’s headlines and getting to work on her latest novel.

Do you have funny photos of your pets? You can share them on our Facebook page.

Top 10 Pet Resolutions

If your pet made New Year’s resolutions, what do you think she’d put on the list? We decided to have a little fun and offer a few ideas:

From the Dog:

This will be the year I…

1. Finally catch a squirrel!

How dare they always run up a tree? I know, I’ll set a trap for them. I’ll leave a bone in plain view and hide by the bush. Then, when they come down…

2. Get more walks (or runs)

It’s time to really lose this weight. And, since sitting is the new smoking, I figure Mom and Dad can get in on the action too.  Come on, let’s go!

3. Learn to operate the car window

Rides are fun but rides with my head out the window make me feel at one with nature. I love feeling the wind blow through my fur.

4. Stop choosing the rug


As the recipient for my tummy issues. Yes, it holds in the scent far better than the bare floor but the humans don’t seem to appreciate my efforts.

5. Learn to open the refrigerator

Seriously. There’s so much goodness in there and I know my people want to share. I think I can get the cat to work with me on this one.

From the cat…

1. Stop guarding the stairs

OK, maybe I’ll still guard them but I won’t pounce on the dog when he needs to pass. This one’s gonna be hard because he’s such a scaredy cat. Get it? The dog’s a scaredy cat! LOL, I crack myself up.

2. Stop re-enacting Pamplona’s Running with the Bulls

At least I’ll refrain from doing it at 3 a.m. across their chests. I’m good like that.

3. I will not liberate the goldfish

It never goes well. Especially for me. I am wet and usually locked up somewhere. Plus, I never get the fish.

4. Stop stealing the dog’s bed

Listening to the dog’s fitful whimpers when I claim his bed for my own doesn’t bring the same level of excitement that it used to. Alas, I’ll just have to take up permanent residence on the kitchen table from now on. The humans won’t like that very much…

5. Indulge the humans

When I lounge in the clean laundry, they’re able to take a little bit of me with them everywhere because my fur coats their clothes. This seems to make them very happy because they always get a little excited whenever I do it. What’s not to love?

Top Dog and Cat Gifts for the Holidays

Regardless of whether your cat or dog has been naughty or nice, we know you’ll want to spoil them during the holiday season. Below, we highlight our top dog and cat gifts. Our suggestions for Fluffy and Fido will keep all of you happy during this busy time.

Top Picks- DogClassic-KONG1-700x700

KONG Classic–We love the holidays, but they can certainly shake up our routine (and our pets’ routines too). During the holiday season, your pets may experience added stress from guests in the house, or they may get an upset tummy from indulging in too many table scraps. The KONG Classic can help alleviate both of these issues, and it makes a fun gift for your pooch! The natural rubber, USA-made KONG Classic is bright red and super-bouncy. It helps distract and engage stressed dogs by bouncing unpredictably, and it can be filled with healthy treats such as Wellness® WellBites® to curb excessive snacking. KONG Classic comes in many sizes and rubber strengths.

Wellness® Petite Treats Soft Mini-Bites With Lamb, Apples & Cinnamon–Smaller breed dogs have unique needs, even when it comes to treats. product-lg-dog-treat-petite-treats-lamb-apple-cinPetite Treats come in plenty of tasty flavors (we selected a holiday favorite with apples and cinnamon) and are bite-sized for smaller mouths. They are perfect to take on the road during holiday travel.

Top Picks- Cat

Kitty Scratch Pole–As you probably know, cats like to scratch. In fact, scratching is a way for cats to mark their territory, stretch, and “file” their claws.Untitled-1They typically scratch in highly visible areas, marking their territory on the drapes, carpet or sofa. You can avoid shredded furniture by strategically placing one or more scratching posts in the house. However, not all scratching posts are created equal, and the USA-made Kitty Scratch Pole proves that. Made from sustainable wood and recycled cardboard, this eco-friendly scratching post is designed with a refillable cardboard center. We love that when your kitty shreds the cardboard past recognition, you can just pop on a new cardboard piece (sparing the reusable base from the landfill).

Wellness Pure Delights Turkey & Salmon Jerky–Us humans get to sample some of the most delectable dishes during our end-of-the-yearproduct-lg-cat-treat-pure-delight-turkey-salmon festivities, and we all know ignoring the cat doesn’t work. Rather than share human food that might make your kitty sick, give her a few of the scrumptious, USA-made Wellness Pure Delights Turkey & Salmon Jerky treats. Pure Delights are wheat and grain free and contain no corn or soy! These perfectly-sized morsels will satisfy even finicky felines, while keeping calories in check with only 1.2 calories per piece.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Ask Wellness

Q. We are switching our dog from Wellness® Complete Health Healthy Weight Deboned Chicken & Peas Recipe to Wellness® Simple. Do we have to go through the normal transition of mixing both?

A. We would not want your dog to experience any digestive issues while transitioning to a new Wellness recipe. While both foods are made by Wellness in our own state-of-the-art facility, we would strongly suggest that you do transition to the new food. Some dogs will transition more quickly than others and it is easier to transition from one food to another within the same brand, but I would still suggest you do take time to switch slowly from Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight to Wellness Simple.

Keep in mind that the Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight recipe contains 340 calories per cup while the Wellness Simple recipes contain between 406 and 450 calories per cup so you will need to feed less Simple. Be sure to feed only enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. Regular exercise is also an essential component to maintaining a healthy body weight.

10 Ways to Help Your Dog Adoption Go Smoothly

When you rescue a dog from the shelter, you give him a second chance at life. Here are 10 ways you can get off on the right paw.

1– Talk with the shelter staff. Have them introduce you to their favorite dogs. Tell them what you’re looking for in a pet. Let them know what pets you already have and whether you have children. They’ll guide you to one that’s a good fit.

Find a dog who matches your temperament. If you enjoy lengthy hikes or other athletic endeavors, a high energy dog like a lab mix may be good for you. On the other hand, if you have small children or are looking for a dog who loves to snuggle, an older, more mellow dog may be a better option. The shelter staff can help you narrow your choices.

2- Once you’ve narrowed your choices to 2 or 3 dogs, see if you can take them each for a walk. Getting them away from the kennel environment will help many dogs relax and show you more of their personality.

3- Introduce your other family members to your candidates. This will help eliminate unpleasant surprises once you get home together.

4- If you already have a dog at home, see if you can bring your current dog in for a “meet and greet” or trade towels/blankets with each dog. The idea is each dog smells the other and begins to get accustomed to the other’s smell so they aren’t completely new to one another.

5- Once you’ve made your choice, determine where your new best friend will spend the first few days at your home. Even if your new friend is house-broken, the stress of moving and a new environment may cause him to “forget.” If you confine him to a kitchen, you’ll have easier clean up, yet, he’ll be able to adjust to family life.

6- If you plan to crate train, get the crate ready and decide where it will go in your home. When your new pet comes home, leave the crate sitting in its area with the door open and let him explore the crate on his own. You may find he enjoys being in it when he’s relaxing.

7- Aim for a calm schedule the first few weeks with your new pet. Take a few days off work if you can, and avoid planning travel right after adoption. Stick to scheduled meal times and walking times. The first few weeks are a critical adjustment time for everyone. Give yourself time.

8- Take your new friend to your veterinarian for a full checkup shortly after you bring him home. This gives you a baseline on health and temperament independent of the shelter.

9- Your new pet may benefit from doggie training classes or other forms of socializing such as dog parks. However, it’s important to discuss this with your vet and watch your pet’s temperament. Not every dog does well in these environments.

10- Make sure everyone in your family is onboard with the training plan. When everyone adheres to the schedule and uses the same commands, it’s easier for your dog to learn.

By giving a shelter dog a “forever home,” you’ll be deeply rewarded. You may find yourself the recipient of deep gratitude from your pet.

What tips do you have for a successful adoption?

5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween offers lots of opportunity for fun with your pet. Evening strolls, decorations and costumes can all add to the fun. However, all pets aren’t the same and what’s fun for one is terrifying for another. Here are a few guidelines for Halloween fun and safety.Halloween Dogs

1-Pets in Costume – Who doesn’t love a dog (or cat) in costume? Sometimes, it’s the dog or cat. Try the angel costume on your Yorkie but if she seems stressed by it, don’t force the issue. Even if your pet seems happy to entertain you by wearing this year’s ensemble, don’t leave him or her unattended. Pets could hurt themselves trying to tear off headgear, cloaks, etc.

2-Trick or Treating with Your Dog – Does your dog love socializing with other dogs and people of all sizes? If so, you may have a prime candidate for canine trick-or-treating. Dress your pooch as a pumpkin and stroll the neighborhood looking for a bone-a-fied good time. Just make sure to keep your pet leashed and visible with a lighted harness or glow stick. Halloween can be full of surprises.

3-Keep Track of Your Pets – Halloween offers the opportunity for lots of fun and scary times. Most cats and some dogs may be happiest spending the evening behind closed doors safely removed from human trick-or-treaters. Consider your pet’s temperament.

4–Keep Pets Away From Treats – Chocolate can be deadly to dogs. So can xylitol (an ingredient in many sugar free candies and gums). As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep sugar away from your pets. Wellness brand treats like Yogurt, Apples, Bananas yogurt bars are pet-friendly and delicious!

5Decorations—Candles, cords and paper or plastic decorations can all be harmful to your pets. Curious kittens and puppies can chew on things they shouldn’t or knock things over. If the flickering of a jack o’lantern or plastic decorations seem interesting to your pet, be especially vigilant.

Does your pet enjoy Halloween? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook page. Pictures are welcome!

Ask Wellness Fall 2013

Q. I was recently told that cats need wet food in their diet. I am wondering if this is true and if so why?

A. We recommend feeding at least a combination of canned and dry cat food. The most common reason cat owners take their cats to the veterinarian is for urinary issues. Many of these urinary issues arise when cats don’t get enough water in their diets. While quality cat foods like Wellness® do everything possible to reduce the chances of a cat developing urinary issues, cats may still develop them if they’re eating an exclusively dry diet.

Wellness Signature Selects™  Canned Cat Food

Wellness Signature Selects™ Canned Cat Food

Since canned food is 78-80% water, eating this food helps cats increase their water consumption and lower their risk of urinary issues.

If you have more than one cat, providing several water bowls and litter boxes will encourage adequate water intake. In addition, many cats love moving water. Re-circulating water fountains may also inspire your cats to drink more water. Wellness provides many wet cat food options, such as our hand-packed Signature Selects recipes.