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How to Prevent Pet Diabetes

It’s National Pet Diabetes Month!

Diabetes isn’t just a human disease. It’s on the rise in our pets, affecting thousands of dogs and cats every year. According to Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge (BARK) diabetes more often affects cats than dogs. Diabetes typically develops in older pets, however, since diabetes is largely a lifestyle related disease, it is preventable.

Key Triggers

In both dogs and cats, diabetes is tied to obesity and age. If your pet is over 10 years old and weighs too much, he or she is at a higher risk for diabetes. To decrease this risk, you can work with your veterinarian to increase your pet’s exercise level and decrease his or her caloric intake.

Just like with people, if pets consume more calories than they exert, they will gain weight. However, not all calories are created equal. It’s best to choose higher protein foods, and many pet parents find that a grain-free pet food with natural ingredients helps prevent their pets from gaining weight. Wellness CORE recipes for cats and dogs are grain-free and provide high-quality protein sources. Because a higher-protein diet can be more nutrient dense (as well as calorie dense), you may need to speak with your vet about decreasing your pet’s portion size when you transition foods.

Some vets say that a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet may help prevent diabetes.

What is Diabetes Anyway?

You probably know diabetes has something to do with insulin. Insulin is a hormone that processes blood sugar (glucose) so your body has energy. When your body can’t process the glucose properly, sugar builds up in the blood and urine.

This leads to an imbalance that affects the whole body, and can become very serious if untreated.

Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats and Dogs

Although cats and dogs handle diabetes differently, they can exhibit similar symptoms of the disease:

-Increased thirst/increase in water consumption

-Weight loss

-Lethargy

-Vomiting

-Change in appetite

Many of the symptoms of diabetes in pets can mimic other diseases, so if your pet exhibits any unusual behavior, it’s best to take him or her to the vet promptly.

Although a serious disease, if the vet determines that your pet has diabetes, it can be treated effectively with medication, diet & lifestyle changes.

Ask Wellness: November 2014

What would you recommend for dogs with tear stains?
There are many reasons for tear stains around the eyes. Diet does not seem to play a role. Some breeds (short nosed breeds) have a higher incidence of stain around the eyes. Irritation (infection, long hair touching the eye, dust and dirt etc…) can cause excessive tearing, clogged tear ducts, eyelids that turn inward are a few of the causes.
It is always best to have your veterinarian check your pup and determine the cause so an effective resolution can be determines.

Q. What do you recommend for dogs with tear stains?

A. There are many reasons that dogs have tear stains around the eyes, however, diet does not seem to play a role. Some breeds (short-nosed breeds in particular) have a higher incidence of stain around the eyes. Irritation, infection, long hair touching the eyes, dust and dirt in the eyes can all contribute to excessive tearing, clogged tear ducts and, in turn, tear stains. We recommend that you have your dog examined by your veterinarian to narrow down the cause of the tear stains and determine an effective resolution to the issue.

10 Things We Love About Cats

With 80 million cats in the U.S., it’s clear Americans have a love affair with the cat. Maybe it’s their cattitude that makes us want more of them, or maybe it’s because they can be more independent than dogs and are still sweet, furry companions.

Here are 10 things we love about cats:

1-      They’re cute – Big eyes, pointed ears, expressive faces. Silly antics. They bring a smile to your face.

2-      They’re soft and cuddly – When they present their soft bellies for petting, what’s not to like?

3-      They purr – Isn’t it nice when everyone is happy?

4-      They love us back – When they cuddle up with us, even head butt us gently; we know they’re saying, “I love you”.

5-      They’re independent – Cats operate on their own agenda. You can’t fault them for that and you can’t expect them to follow yours. They require respect and that’s ok.

6-      They make good foot warmers– If they have long fur, it may cover your feet and even if not, their body warmth can keep us warm. Who needs slippers when you have a cat?

7-      They’re entertaining – Why do cats choose the most improbable places to curl up? The smallest box, the sliver of a shelf…how many times does it bring a smile to your face?

8-      They don’t expect walks at dawn…actually, they don’t expect walks at all, though opening and closing the door for them will help you get in some exercise.

9-      They don’t bark at the mailman – They’re mostly quiet. We like quiet.

10-  Cat pictures – From the dawn of photography, humans have taken and shared pictures of our cats. Now we have the internet to share even more cat pictures.

Big or small, short-haired or long, cats have a colorful history. They’ve been royalty – wait, I think they still are – and they’ve been associated with superstitious beliefs. Through it all, they’re our companions.

What’s your favorite thing about cats?

How to Celebrate National Dog Week

Every Dog Has His Day (Or Week)

You can’t have too many opportunities to celebrate those who love us unconditionally. It’s even better when there’s a special day—or week—given especially for that occasion.

National Dog Week is the last week of September. According to one source, it was founded in 1928 by Captain William Lewis Judy to promote responsible dog ownership.

We like to think of it as another opportunity to celebrate and share the love of dogs.

Puppy kisses, happy greetings and lots of tail waggin’ fun bring smiles to our faces throughout the year. Plus, the weather is getting cooler and that makes it a perfect opportunity to get outside with your favorite furry canine.

Here are three ideas for celebrating National Dog Week:

Hold a Dog Party

Don’t have a good yard for several doggies to play? Enlist a friend who does. Invite 3-5 dogs (and their humans) over for a play date. The humans can take turns throwing balls and Frisbees and the dogs can catch them. Many dogs also love a great game of chase. They can run in circles chasing one another for at least 10 minutes.

Don’t have dogs who play chase or catch Frisbees? That’s ok. They’ll still enjoy the social opportunity. If you work long hours away from home, your pets may not get enough companionship. Just make sure the invitees all get along and enjoy one another. Then, everyone can leave happy and tired.

Get Involved in Doggie Events

Lots of animal shelters hold fundraisers throughout the year to support their mission of saving animals. They always need volunteers and can be a great way to help dozens of dogs without adopting more than your house can hold.

You could even organize a “Mutt Strutt” to benefit the shelter or for veterinarians to help families in need. Many veterinarians keep a special fund to help pet-loving families who find themselves in a financial crisis when it comes to caring for their pet.

Enjoy a Day at the Beach

After Labor Day, many beaches become pet friendly again.

Enjoy a romp in the sand and surf. Make clean up easy on yourself by stopping by a “doggie wash” on the way out.They’ll feel happy after a good outing. They’ll be over the moon after a great outing and a good bath.

Is the beach too far? Take a hike in the woods or at a nearby State Park.

Whatever you choose to do, your best friend will enjoy being with you. How will you celebrate National Dog Week?

Wellness Pet Food Completes the Ice Bucket Challenge

Wellness accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge to Strike Out ALS! We’re making a donation to the ALS Association from our WellPet Foundation and we encourage others to donate as well.

You can donate here. Thanks for watching!



Ask Wellness: August 2014

I have a 12 year old bijon who has developed bladder stones and is now on a special food Royal Canin Urinary SO.  We would love to give him treats, but have been unable to find any that would not harm him.  Can you make any suggestions?
There are many types of bladder stones and all are different and need to be addressed individually. The two most common stones are Struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) and calcium oxalate.
Struvite is usually caused by infection and so using the proper antibiotic at the correct dosage
for a sufficient time is essential. In addition the stones can be removed surgically or they can be
dissolved, in time with a special diet which you are on now. I suspect that this is your problem and a strict diet is essential. I would suggest working closely with your veterinarian to find a proper treat that won’t negatively affect the action of the diet.
The treat should encourage acidity so I would suspect a predominately meat treat would work. The Wellness Crunchy Small Breed Petite Treats are a meat based treat that may work.

Q. I have a 12 year old Bijon who has developed bladder stones and is now on a special food. We would love to give him treats, but have been unable to find any that would not harm him.  Can you make any suggestions?

There are many types of bladder stones and all are different and need to be addressed individually. The two most common stones are Struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) and calcium oxalate. Struvite is usually caused by infection and so using the proper antibiotic at the correct dosage for a sufficient time is essential. I would suggest working closely with your veterinarian to find a proper treat that won’t negatively affect the action of the diet.

The treat should encourage acidity so I would suspect a predominately meat treat would work. The Wellness Small Breed Petite Treats Crunchy Mini-Bites are a meat-based treat that may work. Again, it’s best to verify that your veterinarian feels comfortable with this option.

Happy National Mutt Day!

Embrace your favorite mutt! Whether long-haired with pointy ears or short furred with a stub of a tail, mutts nuzzle their way into our hearts as much as any pure bred pooch.
Pet expert and advocate Colleen Paige created Mutt’s Day as a biannual event (July 31 and Dec. 2) to recognize the lovable mutts waiting for their forever homes at crowded animal shelters around the country.
Every year, thousands of animals are euthanized due to overpopulation and she wanted to do something about it. In 2005, she founded Mutt’s Day as a day to recognize those animals and raise awareness to the problem of overpopulation.
What Can You Do?
Consider adoption instead of buying your next pet and donate time and/or dollars to a local animal shelter.
Get your pet spayed or neutered for population control.
Donate old towels and bed linens to a shelter.  The animals will appreciate having a soft bed to lie on.
If you can, volunteer at the animal shelter. You can walk dogs, foster pups or maybe help organize events like a Mutt Day Celebration!
Benefit of Mutts
In addition to the good feelings that come with knowing you’ve saved a life, mixed breeds have an advantage over pure bred pooches.  Studies show they often live longer, healthier lives thanks to a lack of inbreeding.
They’re devoted. Some people even say rescues are extra grateful to their pet parents, as if they know they were saved. And, maybe they do.
Celebrate Your Mixed Mutt
Whether you call them “mix”, “mutt” or “Heinz 57”,  these dogs deserve loving homes where their biggest concern is which patch of sun to lie in.
Why not take your favorite mutt for an extra-long walk in honor of Mutt’s Day? Maybe even sneak in some extra cuddle time and a special treat.
Long live mutts!
Who’s your favorite mixed breed? We’d love to hear about him/her in the comments below.

Embrace your favorite mutt! Whether long-haired with pointy ears or short-furred with a stub of a tail, mutts nuzzle their way into our hearts as much as any purebred pooch.

Pet expert and advocate Colleen Paige created National Mutt Day as a biannual event (July 31 and Dec. 2) to recognize the lovable mutts waiting for their forever homes at crowded animal shelters around the country.

Every year, thousands of animals are euthanized due to overpopulation and she wanted to do something about it. In 2005, she founded National Mutt Day as a day to recognize those animals and raise awareness to the problem of pet overpopulation.

Browse adoptable dogs like Gatsby here

Click the photo to view adoptable dogs like Gatsby

What Can You Do?

Consider adoption instead of buying your next pet and donate time and/or dollars to a local animal shelter.

Get your pet spayed or neutered to help prevent pet overpopulation.

Donate old towels and bed linens to an animal shelter.  The animals will appreciate having a soft bed to lie on.

If you can, volunteer at the animal shelter. You can walk dogs, foster pups or maybe help organize events like a Mutt Day Celebration!

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Henry.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Henry.

Benefit of Mutts

-In addition to the good feelings that come with knowing you’ve saved a life, mixed breed dogs have an advantage over purebred pooches.  Studies show they can often live longer, healthier lives.

-They’re devoted. Many people believe that rescues are extra grateful to their pet parents, as if they know they were saved. And, maybe they do.

Celebrate Your Mixed Mutt

Whether you call them “mix”, “mutt” or “Heinz 57”,  these dogs each deserve a  loving home where their biggest concern is which patch of sun to lie in.

Why not take your favorite mutt for an extra-long walk in honor of Mutt’s Day? Maybe even sneak in some extra cuddle time and a special treat.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Tower.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Tower.

Long live mutts!

Is your pet a mutt? Share your photos on our Facebook page!

10 Summer Fun Ideas for You and Your Dog

Ah, the lazy days of summer are here. Why not make some fun summer memories with your pooch?

Here are 10 fun ideas for you.

1— Go for a long walk early – Whether you like to hike or simply stroll the city streets with your pet, take him or her out for an extra-long walk.  Just make sure you do it early before it gets too hot. You’ll both benefit from the increased exercise.

2- Pack a picnic (for both of you) - Take your dog to a relaxing outdoor setting and enjoy a meal together.

3Freeze a bandanna—Soak a bandanna in cold water and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. On really hot days, you can tie it around your dog’s neck to help him cool down. This can help keep your pet safe on stifling summer days.

4— Hold a photo session—Whether it’s in your backyard or at a local park, get your pup posing for fun memories. If you really want to take it up a notch, hire a professional pet photographer.

5—Take your pet to the pet store—Let her pick out a new toy. Does your dog prefer chasing balls or destroying stuffed animals? Show her a couple of toys and let her choose.

6—Take your dog on vacation – Beach or mountains? No matter which you prefer, there are tons of pet-friendly options to choose from these days. Just make sure to make a reservation since it’s a busy time of year.

7— Try a dog activity you’ve never done – Dog Agility Courses or Canine Freestyle (dancing with your dog) are fun options.  Who knows, you might find a new hobby!

8–  Hunt for buried treasure –Geocaching is a fun activity where you use a GPS to locate hidden treasures near you.

9-Sprinkler fun – Set up a sprinkler on a hot day and watch your dog go wild with excitement.

10- Host a backyard pawty. Do you have a fenced in yard? If so, invite a few friends and their canine pals. Plan a few games like “Find the Treat” where you hide treats around the yard. You could even set up a simple obstacle course with a few cement blocks and boards for something to jump over. Add a wading pool at the end for water-loving pooches to cool off.

So there you, 10 fun ideas for you and your dog.  Which will you do this summer?

Ask Wellness: July 2014

Q. What is the best Wellness food to feed a 6-yr-old Portuguese Water Dog who needs to lose weight? What supplements might I try for joint health?

A. Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight is a good choice for helping your dog lose weight, in addition to regular exercise. It has fewer calories per cup than other Wellness Complete Health recipes, and offers increased levels of fiber to help satisfy appetite. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health.

Before you start a weight loss plan with your dog, you may want to check in with your veterinarian. It’s best to take an initial weight and develop a goal. You can begin feeding according to the feeding guide on the bag (or alter based on veterinarian recommendation) and weigh your pet each week. If your pet is not losing weight, reduce the amount fed each day. If your pet losing weight at a rate greater than 2% per week, increase the amount fed to avoid losing too much too quickly.

Regular, daily exercise is essential in order to maintain weight loss. In addition, exercise keeps the muscles toned which also supports the joints and reduces discomfort. To ease your dog into regular exercise, avoid activities that are overly strenuous. A daily walk is a great form of exercise.

Wellness Adopt a Cat Month Giveaway & Donation

It’s National Adopt a Cat Month! You can read more about cat adoption here. In honor of this special month, we’re hosting a giveaway and donation to an animal welfare organization. To enter, simply comment on this Wellness Natural Pet Food Facebook Post and share your cat adoption story. On June 30th we’ll be announcing a winner who will receive a Wellness Cat Prize Pack! In addition to receiving a prize pack, Wellness will make a donation of $250 to the animal charity of the winner’s choice. This is a great opportunity to spread the word about pet adoption and to help raise money for an organization that you’re passionate about.

Comment here to enter!