You don’t have to be a Birkenstock wearing, tree-hugging hippie to appreciate Earth Day. We all enjoy clean water, fresh air and litter free streets, and Earth Day is a chance to show our appreciation.
Here’s how you can minimize your pet’s carbon footprint with “green” toys and accessories.
“Green” Toys and Accessories
Make Your Own – It doesn’t get much greener than that! From cardboard paper towel tubes to single mittens repurposing things around your home is the ultimate in recycling. For tips on “make-it-yourself” pet toys, see this post. (with a link to the recent post.)
Choose Toys Made of Eco-Friendly materials – some companies make pet toys out of recycled plastic bottles and milk jugs which not only help keep thousands of bottles out of the landfill but also make durable toys.
Imagine if your pet’s favorite chew toy was made with enough recycled plastic to also power your laptop for a month! Now that’s streamlining!
No matter what toys your pet likes best—balls, squeaker toys or rope tugs there’s something eco-friendly to chew on for everybody.
Organic cotton collars, leashes and bedding can reduce your pet’s exposure to harsh chemicals. The reason this matters is that traditional cotton may be treated with pesticides. Some pets develop skin irritants like red, itchy spots that you can see. Others aren’t as sensitive, but some scientists think long-term exposure to pesticides like these can raise dogs’ risk of cancer.
Protect your pet with organic cotton in stylish patterns.
Larger bags and cans of food mean less packaging waste and less energy spent producing said packaging. Buy larger containers when you can and recycle the packaging for a lighter footprint. Of course, you want to make sure the food inside is good for your pet too. Choose foods with plenty of vegetables and a named protein source like beef or fish.
How will you be green this Earth Day?
Pet lovers unite! April 11th is celebrated as National Pet Day, and whether you already have a special pet in your life or you have been waiting for the perfect time to add a four-legged friend to your family, this day is all about the pets of the world! There is never a shortage of reasons to celebrate our pets, but let’s talk about some of our favorite reasons to celebrate National Pet Day.
5 Reasons to Celebrate National Pet Day
1. Celebrate a good cause – One of the main causes behind National Pet Day was to bring awareness to pet adoption and the growing number of homeless animals living in shelters around the country. This would be the perfect day to dedicate your time to a local shelter in need of volunteers. Contact your local shelters and find out what their current needs may be, and help them out. You may even decide that National Pet Day is the perfect day for you to adopt that new friend you’ve been wanting.
2. Celebrate unconditional love – If there is one thing that our pets are good at, it’s loving us unconditionally. It’s one of the greatest lessons that we can learn from our pets and it can be very rewarding to learn how to give that love back or apply it to our daily lives. Celebrate that unconditional love today by paying it forward.
3. Celebrate an active lifestyle – There are some people who would say that their favorite part of the day is exercising with their pet. Especially if you have a dog, they can be just the motivation or push that you needed to get out and exercising again after being in a winter slump. Celebrate National Pet Day by taking your dog for the long walk that he deserves and give yourself the exercise that you need. Incorporate that into your daily schedule and you will both be healthy and happy!
4. Celebrate good company – We’ve all had those days when we come home from work and we just want to sit in silence and decompress. Pets are great at providing just the company that you need on those long days – and chances are they aren’t going to ask how your day went. They just want to sit with you and enjoy having you home. Celebrate tonight by setting aside some quality time for you and your pet to just be together and enjoy each other’s company.
5. Celebrate your welcoming committee – There is something really great about knowing that your pet is so happy to have you home each day. It is a great feeling to walk in the door and see your pet’s smiling face, knowing that they have been counting down the minutes until your arrival. Chances are that regardless of who else lives in your house, no one is as excited to see you as your pet when you get home.
Other Ways to Celebrate
- Pick up some new tasty treats at the store for your pet
- Bring home some catnip and bring out your cat’s frisky side
- Schedule a playdate at the dog park
- Save a pet’s life and adopt from your local shelter
- Buy your pet a shiny new collar with a personalized name tag
- Schedule a photo shoot for you and your pet
Celebrate National Pet Day this year in your own special way! As pet lovers we know that our pets deserve to be celebrated not just today, but every day. Show some extra love today and give back to the shelters in your community – that’s what it is all about!
Q. Do you have a special dry food for cats prone to getting UTIs? My cat dislikes the prescription diet.
A. We’re sorry to hear that your cat has been experiencing urinary issues. Please know that we do not offer prescription diets, however, our Complete Health recipes contain a cranberry blend that may promote healthy urine PH. Another way to help cats maintain urinary health is by keeping them well hydrated. If your cat does not drink water regularly, you can help him get more hydration by supplementing his dry food with one of our Complete Health wet foods. We recommend that you discuss your cat’s nutrition options with your vet before making any changes. Best of luck!
For over 50 years, the third week in March has been celebrated as National Animal Poison Prevention Week. This week is all about bringing knowledge and awareness to all pet owners regarding the many poisonous hazards in and around one’s own home, and what to do if you know or suspect that your pet has ingested something that is potentially harmful. Let’s go room by room and talk about the potential poison hazards so that you can protect your furry friend from harmful substances. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way, and in this case, it could save your pet’s life!
We are starting with the kitchen because we believe it is one of the most important rooms when it comes to poison prevention. People often make the mistake of thinking that if a given food is safe for them that it is safe for their pet, but this could not be more wrong. We all want to treat our pets to something scrumptious from time to time, but people need to be educated regarding certain foods that can be toxic to animals. 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
These are just some of the most common foods that can be hazardous to your pet. It is always recommended that you don’t give your pet any table foods unless approved by your pet’s veterinarian. Besides, if you have your pets on the Wellness diet, then they are already getting all of the delicious nutrition that they need!
Let’s talk about medications. Human medications are a big cause of pet poisoning occurrences. First things first, all medications should be stored in a secure place at all times to avoid any accidental ingestion by your curious pet. It wouldn’t take long for some pets to chew right through a medication bottle, totally unaware of its harmful contents.
- It is a good idea to store your own medications separately from your pet’s medications to avoid any confusion.
- Always check the bottle before giving your pet any medication to verify it is the correct one, especially if you have multiple pets.
- All human medications, whether OTC or prescription, should be deemed unsafe for your pet, unless otherwise advised by your veterinarian.
Cleaning supplies is another culprit. The chemicals can be very harmful to your pets. Keep them in a safe place and keep your pets away while you are cleaning with them to avoid any harmful contact.
Household plants are a popular topic when it comes to poison prevention for our pets. There are some household plants that can be toxic and even potentially fatal to your pets. If you are a pet owner and you are in the market for some plants to display in your home, be sure that you do your research to be sure that they aren’t poisonous to your pet. Here is a list of 17 poisonous plants that can be harmful to your pet. Knowledge is power!
Miscellaneous Household Items That Can Be Toxic to Your Pet
- Plant fertilizer/plant food
- Yarn, rubber bands, dental floss
How to Handle an Emergency
If you know that your pet has ingested something poisonous, or if you are suspicious due to your pet displaying signs and symptoms such as – fever, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle tremors and/or lack of coordination – contact your emergency veterinary service immediately. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a possible fee of $65 per case.
National Animal Poison Prevention Week is a great time to educate ourselves on how to keep our pets safe from potentially harmful materials that can be found right inside our own homes. The moral of the story? Curiosity really can kill the cat – or dog, if we aren’t careful! Keep your pet safe!
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 animals shelters and to bring awareness to 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 – If you have been teetering on the edge of the decision to bring a new puppy into your home, this would be the perfect day to take the plunge! Adopting from your local shelter has become much easier with the help of social media. Most shelters use social media sites such as Facebook to post photos of all of their animals that are currently up for adoption. Adopt from your local shelter or animal rescue.
2. Donate to the Cause – Maybe you already have the perfect puppy in your life and you get to celebrate that unconditional love day in and day out – great! Another way that you can celebrate the meaning of 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 animal welfare organization that fights to end puppy mill cruelty
3. Spread the Knowledge – Not everyone is aware of the dangers and cruelty involved with puppy mills. What is a puppy mill? Do your research and share the knowledge to bring awareness to this important issue.
4. 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.
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. You will love looking back on those in the years to come!
6. Puppy Training 101 – Sign you and your puppy up for an obedience training course to get a jumpstart on the basics. You will be well on your way to having the smartest puppy on the block!
7. Puppy’s Day Out – Plan a special outing for you and your puppy. Whether it is a trip to the Dog Park or “Bring Your Puppy to Work Day,” introducing your puppy to new social environments is one of the best things you can do for them.
8. Take Action – Write to your congressman to ask that he or she support the ban of puppy mills in your state.
9. Get a Healthy Start – It’s never too soon for your puppy to get a healthy start. Make sure that you are giving your puppy food and treats that are made with all natural ingredients and vow to give him the proper daily exercise to keep him healthy and happy!
10. Be Present for your Puppy – The puppy phase will be over before you know it! Spend as much quality time with your puppy as you can, not only today, but every day. 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.
National Puppy Day is a great time to celebrate the unconditional love that our furry friends bring to our lives and have fun while doing it! However, this day is also about shedding some light on some of the harsh realities of the world that some of the more unfortunate puppies are forced to live in. Choose to take some time today to help bring awareness to the importance of adopting shelter puppies as well as the fight against puppy mills – be the voice for puppies everywhere!
Be My Four-Legged Valentine
Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day draws near. Fancy restaurants are gearing up for a packed house, flower companies are preparing for the busiest day of the year, and people everywhere are pulling out all the stops to plan the perfect night for their Valentine. What if your valentine has four legs and a furry coat, though? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one who will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with their pet. After all, our relationships with our pets are often one of the greatest examples of unconditional love. Here are some reasons why your pet can make the best Valentine’s Day date.
10 Reasons Why Your Pet Makes the Best Valentine’s Date
1. Cheap Date – Your furry friend doesn’t expect to be wined and dined at the fanciest restaurant in town and doesn’t expect an expensive gift either. Order your favorite takeout, and in lieu of an oversized and overpriced bouquet of flowers, pick up a brand new bag of your pet’s favorite Wellness treats.
2. Dress Code: Comfy – No need to suffer an entire night in an uncomfortable suit or dress, wearing shoes that are your feet’s worst nightmare. Go ahead, grab your softest pair of sweatpants ; your pet is your biggest fan regardless of your outfit.
3. You Call the Shots –Skip the Romantic Comedy vs Action Movie debate this year. Spend this Valentine’s Day with your pet and chances are your furry friend will let you pick the movie and won’t even mock you for wanting to watch The Notebook or Fast and Furious – again.
4. More Chocolate For You – No Valentine’s Day is complete without chocolate, and who likes to share their chocolate? Let me answer that for you – no one. We all know that chocolate can be toxic to your pet, which means more chocolate for you – and you don’t have to feel guilty for not sharing.
5. Pets Don’t Talk – Anyone who has ever been on a really bad date knows why this reason made the list. Why risk it? Spend your Valentine’s Day with your pet, NOT having to endure potentially boring conversation.
6. No Pressure – Valentine’s Day can often come paired with pressure – pressure to plan the perfect date, pressure to pick out the perfect gift, or pressure to look your absolute best. Valentine’s Day with your pet comes paired with no pressure at all. The only request from your pet is quality time spent with you. Well, that and Wellness treats – don’t forget the Wellness treats. It’s only fair if you are going to consume large quantities of chocolate right in front of them.
7. Unconditional Love – Valentine’s Day is meant to be a celebration of love. Our pets spend each and every day loving us unconditionally in a way that only they can do. It seems only fair that we show our appreciation by celebrating this day with our four-legged friends, giving them our full, undivided attention.
8. Easy to Shop for – The struggle can be real when it comes to picking out the perfect Valentine’s gift for your partner. We’ve all been there. Your pet makes it pretty simple, though. You can stop by your local pet supplies store and pick up any of the following great gifts, with confidence that your pet won’t want to return it.
- new toys
- the perfect new collar
- tasty treats
9. Good for your Health – Research has shown that spending time with your pet actually has health benefits. Quality time with your pet can relieve stress as well as lower blood pressure, which are both great reasons to spend Valentine’s Day with your furry friend – doctor’s orders.
10. Did I mention more chocolate for you?
Have we convinced you yet that your pet can make the perfect Valentine’s Day date? If you have a significant other that you can’t bear the thought of leaving out, don’t worry, your pet won’t mind the extra company. And because chocolate can be harmful to your pets, it’s even more chocolate for you.
January 14th is National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Started by animal advocate Colleen Paige as a day to, “Have fun with fashion, celebrate your pet, inspire others and promote pet adoption.” She stresses that, “If your pet doesn’t like wearing clothing, there is no use stressing them out by forcing them to wear something for human entertainment.” That being said, many pets love the extra attention of some primping playtime, and look positively fetching in pet apparel. We’d like to thank our sister brand, Old Mother Hubbard Natural Dog Snacks for sharing these photos of some of their fans who’ve really nailed this whole dressing up thing. We hope you enjoy these dogs as much as we did!
This pup loves dressing up just as much as she loves building!
Linguine and Ratatouille look like they’re busy whipping up something delicious in the kitchen!
These pooches are dressed as the cast of one of the most popular movies of 2014, Frozen!
Looks like Cinderella just found her missing slipper–now it’s time to chew!
Now that this pup has experienced life as a squirrel, he’ll think twice before chasing them up the tree.
Your venti half-caff, caramel, er, pug is ready!
Solving the mystery can be ruff, but someone’s gotta do it.
What did you do with the dog today? “Oh nothing, just hung out.”
Was it her fault, or the dog who took her Wellness treats? Can’t be sure.
“Fine, if you won’t give me treats, I’ll make my own!”
“You want me to act like a big, scary goblin in my Halloween costume? Maybe next year.”
Everyone enjoys using a different persona from time to time. These two are here to report that being a lobster is pretty great!
Firefighter and police dog, reporting for duty!
“Those were some gnarly waves, just watch out for the big fish!”
“Follow me, I’ll lead you to safety!”
Does your pet love to dress up? Be sure to share your photos on our Facebook page!
Q. I have a Boston Terrier who’s having digestive issues with loose stools. She’s 12 pounds, small I know. She had a fecal test and it came back negative. I’m looking to change her food. Which Wellness food would you suggest?
A. It’s good to hear that your Boston Terrier’s fecal test came back negative. This doesn’t rule out the possibility that your dog has a sensitive stomach and/or food intolerance. I’d suggest that you try the Wellness Simple Small Breed Salmon & Potato Formula. This grain-free food is made with limited ingredients so that there’s less of a chance of your dog having digestive upset with it. The tiny kibble size is also a good fit for your small dog. I recommended that you transition your dog slowly from her current food to the Simple Small Breed Salmon & Potato. A transition over at least a week will decrease the chances of stomach upset with the new food. If your pup still experiences digestive issues, we suggest that you work with your veterinarian to help determine which specific ingredients are not agreeing with your dog’s stomach.
Around this time of year, we often start looking for ways to better ourselves: cutting out bad habits, adding healthier practices, and even adjusting our outlook on life. While the New Year rings in new resolutions for our own lives, the start of a fresh year is an opportunity to make some resolutions to better the lives of your pets as well. Luckily, what’s good for you is usually also good for your buddy, and with these suggestions, you’ll both be on the road to a longer life and a happier 2015.
When the clock strikes midnight on January first, sure there may be champagne celebrations and general merriment. But for many, this marks the occasion of the start of a new health or fitness regimen. OK, maybe it doesn’t start instantly, but there’s a reason that gym memberships are added in droves in January. The sad fact, though, is that by March, a good number of those folks have abandoned their good intentions. Studies (and logic) show that if you enjoy your means of exercise, you’re far more likely to engage in it regularly. So the real question is, what are your plans for movement this year, and how can you get your dog involved if he or she isn’t the most athletic pup?
• Running and Walking: It’s the oldest (and least expensive) way to get moving, and it’s easy to incorporate Fido into the routine. All you need is a good pair of shoes and a sturdy leash, and you’re ready to roll. For maximum effect, pick up a pedometer to get an accurate snapshot of your progress, and set goals for yourself each week. The longest journey starts with a single step, and before you know it, you’ll have logged several miles. Be aware of your pet’s status throughout the route. Don’t expect a full sprint from a pooch who’s been dormant all winter, and know that some dogs may require footwear to protect delicate paws. It’s best to consider the weather when preparing for your run!
• Pet-Friendly Yoga: Yes, this is a thing, (it’s actually called Dogya) and thanks to many pet-friendly communities, many yoga studios and community programs offer yoga for you and your canine companions. Of course they aren’t going to completely follow the routine, but it is called downward-facing dog for a reason–dogs love to stretch! If nothing else, this gives you a good stretch and strengthening time, while also inviting your buddy to a fun activity outside the house.
• Swimming: One minute of swimming is equivalent to four minutes of running for dogs. In addition to it being good exercise, water movement provides excellent benefits for dogs with joint and mobility issues. And swimming is also great for you! Not only does this give quality time for and your pooch, but water itself has been proven time and time again to provide healing for the mood and spirit.
Hey! What’s in that Food?
You may have noticed new human health trends popping up which place a heavy focus on ingredients. Many people are equally interested in knowing that they are feeding their pets high-quality, healthy ingredients. Our bodies function based on how we nourish them, so it’s plain logic that the better ingredients you eat, the better your body will respond. The same can be true for our pets’ diets, and don’t you want the best for your whole family?
• Live-Active Probiotics: A healthy intestinal tract and overall digestive system is imperative for good health, and this is true for both pets and people. Adding probiotics to our diets gives our systems an extra dose of the ‘good germs,’ which may help strengthen immunity.
• Add your Omegas: Fat isn’t always a bad thing, especially when we’re talking about fatty acids, like Omega 3 and 6. These are essential to cellular function, and promote healthy skin and hair for both you and your pet.
• Vitamins and Minerals: Remember as a kid taking a vitamin each day? Bring that habit back by making sure your food has the right vitamins and minerals. If it doesn’t add a supplement! In most cases, feeding your pet a high-quality, natural pet food will provide all of the essential vitamins and minerals they need. Certain pets may benefit from added supplements, but it’s always best to confirm with your veterinarian first.
• Protein: High-protein diets promote health and wellness, adding energy and endurance. Check the ingredients on your grocery list to make sure you are eating enough lean meats, like fish and chicken, and do the same for your pet’s food.
• Fruits and Veggies: An apple a day keeps the…well, you know. But it’s a truth that has stood the test of time. This year, make it a goal to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Choose carrot sticks and apple slices over chips or candy, and in addition to giving your dog healthy treats, add some fresh foods. You’ll be surprised that your pets love the crunchy fun that cold veggies can provide—they won’t even know they’re eating healthier!
• Read the Bag: This is true for your food and your pets. Always read the ingredients and research unfamiliar terms. Some will turn out to be scientific words for everyday ingredients, while others maybe preservatives, additives and fillers. Be informed!
Rest, Peace and General Life-Loving
Happy New Year to you, and to your pet! 2015 can be the year you refocus on your whole family’s health. Making even small changes can make all the difference in the healthfulness and longevity of your pets and loved ones. And at the end of each day, find time to spend together and rediscover the importance of rest, peace and a general sense of loving the life you live. That makes all the difference.
In December 2014, we asked Wellness Facebook fans to enter their dog or cat in our Naughty or Nice Pet Photo Contest. Soon after we posted the contest, the photos started pouring in. We saw dogs covered in mud, cats in the tree, adorable snapshots of pet siblings embracing and so much more. The fabulous outpouring of participation showed us that Wellness pet parents include their animals in the holiday festivities just as they would any other member of the family; we’re very proud to be a part of this type of community.
The contest closed with over 5,000 entries! After closely reviewing each entry, we started the difficult task of choosing the contest grand-prize winners and finalists. Narrowing it down certainly wasn’t easy, and we’d like to thank everyone who participated in celebrating the season with us. We’re now happy to announce two grand-prize winners who will each receive a year’s supply of Wellness Natural Pet Food, as well as several finalists who will each receive a Wellness prize pack:
Grand Prize Winner, “Naughty”:
Grand Prize Winner, “Nice”: