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Live Well
The official Blog of Wellness Natural Pet Food

Welcome to your guide for all things pet. At Live Well, we’re giving our pet parents everything they need to show their pets the love and care they deserve—from articles on pet health, behavior and nutrition, to special offers on our Wellness products—we’ve got you covered.

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Cat

Dog

Pet rescue & adoption

How to Foster a Pet

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. What are the characteristics of the foster animal? Are you able to accommodate the animal’s size and medical/behavioral issues? Will the pet get along with other people/pets in your household? 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. 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. Will the animal shelter be providing/financing veterinary care while you’re fostering? Will the shelter/rescue group provide you with pet food while you’re fostering? How will the

Diet

Dog

Health & nutrition

Why You Should Transition To Grain-Free Dog Food

Grain free pet foods are becoming increasingly more popular. Do you have a pup that’s always itchy? Or maybe your cat is experiencing digestive issues? Have you recently started eliminating grains from your diet and want to have your pets to follow the same healthy lifestyle? There are many reasons why as a pet parent, you might choose to try a grain free food. Because grain free foods don’t contain any fillers, you’ll notice the first ingredient will be either chicken, salmon, beef or another meat, poultry or fish protein source. This is why grain free foods are higher in protein than traditional pet foods. While many pets thrive on being fed a higher-protein recipe, some pets may have digestive upset with the increase in protein. That’s why we always recommend discussing any diet changes with your veterinarian first. And not all grain free pet foods are created equal. It’s important that a grain free food be well balanced, offering an accurate protein to fat and carbohydrates ratio. This will ensure high digestibility and optimum nutrient absorption. Wellness grain free recipes are always complete and balanced, so they’re great for everyday feeding. We also include guaranteed levels of probiotics to help further support digestive health. A good grain free recipe should also have natural sources of essential fatty acids like flaxseeds and other fruits and veggies as grain-free carbohydrate sources. Healthy energy levels Soft, smooth skin and coat Maintenance or

Cat

Dog

Pet safety

Poison Prevention Safety Tips for Pets

Attention pet owners! March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, which means that if you’ve never inspected your home or aren’t aware of the things that could be poisonous to your pet, now is the time to educate yourself! There are so many poisonous substances that can be harmful and even fatal to our pets, so it is important to know what’s in your home and also to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms that your pet may be in danger. So, in honor of Poison Prevention Awareness Month, we are offering up some tips! Inspect! Regular inspections are the best way to ensure that your home is free of elements that may be toxic to your pet. Let’s go room to room and talk about some things that could be harmful to your pet. Kitchen The kitchen is one of the most important rooms when it comes to poison prevention. People often make the mistake of assuming that certain table foods are safe for their pet, but this is a dangerous way of thinking. 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 Avocado These are just some of the most common foods that can be hazardous to your pet. Consult with your veterinarian before sharing any table food with

Dog

Seasonal tips

6 Ways To Celebrate National Dog Day

After all, “Every Dog Will Have His Day” and this year, it’s August 26. National Dog Day is an opportunity to celebrate dogs of all types. Of course, we think every day is an opportunity to celebrate our canine friends so this just makes it extra special. August 26 is a Friday and a summer Friday afternoon seems perfect for a Yappy Hour either at your home or an area restaurant. If your pooch is the social type, you can invite a couple of dog loving pals to meet you at a nearby pet-friendly patio for appetizers and a drink. Everyone loves a massage. Why not give your dog one. Start around the shoulders and gently massage in circular motions, then move down to the hips. This is especially good if your dog is feeling stiff joints due to arthritis. Like people massage, there is a bit of an art to it and some veterinarians and pet stores offer dog massage trainings on occasion. Find a nearby trail and go for a hike. Your pet will love the opportunity to experience the new scents in the woods. Just be sure to keep Fido leashed so he doesn’t run rampant and check him carefully for ticks afterwards. Your dog may not love being bathed, but everyone feels better clean. When was the last time your dog went to the groomer? If it’s been awhile, why not book an appointment? Your dog

Dog

Entertainment

3 Ways to Celebrate DOGust!

What is DOGust you might ask? If you’ve ever shared your life with a rescue pup, you know you’re not aware of their true birthday.  Sure, you can choose a date at random or use your adoption date as your rescue’s special day. Either options are fine, after all, your pup isn’t likely to have strong opinion either way. But now there’s another option. The North Shore Animal League  – the oldest no-kill shelter in the country, declared Aug 1 as DOGust, the universal birthday of shelter dogs everywhere. Which means, if your rescue doesn’t have a birthday already, why not choose August 1? 3 Ways to Celebrate DOGust 1—Adoption – Adopting a new pup is the ultimate celebration, but we know that’s not always possible. So in lieu of adopting, you can donate money and/or share available pets via your social media feeds. You may be able to help someone ELSE find the furry love of his or her life! 2—Pawty – You can choose to host a doggie birthday party with your dog loving friends in a fenced in yard. Since it is August and hot across most of the country, water games are appropriate. Kiddie pools filled with cool water, sprinklers and some DIY frozen treats will help ensure the pups don’t get too hot! Play dates are great for sending everyone home with tired and happy dogs. 3—Share — Share your pet rescue photos on Facebook

Cat

Health & nutrition

Life stage

5 Tips for Socializing Your New Kitten

We all want to have a cat that interacts well with other people and pets, right? Socialization is the key to achieving this, and the first four to sixteen weeks of a cat’s life are critical for behavioral and social development. It is important to have a plan for socializing your kitten immediately upon bringing them into your home. Let’s talk about how you can properly socialize your new kitten. When your kitten first arrives home with you, remember it can all be a bit overwhelming for her. Start by taking her to a quiet place and show her where her bowls and litter boxes are. Give her lots of love and attention – pet her gently and talk to her in a soft, calming voice. Take the time to reassure your kitten that she is in a safe and loving place. It is important to socialize your kitten with other people as early as possible so that she becomes comfortable around others at an early age. However, make sure that playtimes and meetings are kept short, so your kitten can get plenty of rest. Playtime with Kids – If you have children, they are naturally going to be overly excited about the arrival of a new kitten. It is your job to teach them how to properly interact with the kitten in a careful and safe manner. It is a good idea to schedule supervised playtime for your kids and

Cat

Seasonal tips

Isn’t Every Day National Cat Day?

If your cat is anything like ours, every day is cat day at your house. Five am? It’s time for canned food, aka, “tuna time”. Sunny day? “Please open the door so I can lounge on the deck.” There’s no doubt our cats are spoiled and we enjoy spoiling them. To keep your whiskered-friends happy and healthy on this special day and every day in between, we recommend treating them with a tasty, nutritious snack like Wellness Kittles. Kittles are under 2 calories each, are grain-free and have addicting tastes. You can even pick up one of three scrumptious new flavors–Duck & Cranberries, Turkey & Cranberries or Whitefish & Cranberries! You might be wondering how National Cat Day started. Since 2005, Founder and cat-vocate Colleen Paige has championed the causes of all cats and designated Oct. 29 as the official day of “All Things Cat,” otherwise known as National Cat Day. Not only is it another excuse to treat your cats, but it’s also an opportunity to help shelter cats find their fur-ever homes. And one of the trendiest new ways to promote cat adoption involves socializing with adoptable cats in a cozy environment– a cat café! For the Cat Obsessed, There is the Cat Café In essence, these are coffee shops where the felines roam. They’ll cozy up to you as you sip a hot beverage. Originally popular across Taiwan and Japan, the first cat café opened August 2014

Dental health

Dog

February is National Pet Dental Month – Dental Care Tips for Pets

Cats and dogs can be particularly prone to dental disease because they often do not have their teeth cleaned as frequently as their humans do. Dental check-ups should be a part of your pet’s regular health screenings. Brushing your pet’s teeth is something you can do at home to maintain their oral health. Next time you’re at the vet, be sure to discuss the condition of your pet’s mouth. Your vet will explain whether getting a professional dental cleaning is recommended. Regular at-home brushing is recommended for cats and dogs in order to prevent plaque build-up. Plaque can lead to gum disease and, on rare occasions, problems that can spread through the body. If your pets aren’t used to having their teeth brushed, it may take a while for them to warm up to the idea, but with the right tools and a little patience, you can feel better about your pet’s dental health. Here’s What You’ll Need: Pet Toothbrush– Pet toothbrushes have smaller bristles and a smaller head. Some of them fit on your finger too. This can make it easier for you to control the movement. If your pet has a smaller mouth or sensitive teeth, even a cotton ball with pet toothpaste applied to it will do the trick. Toothpaste – It’s necessary to use special pet toothpaste for your cat or dog. Human toothpaste can be dangerous for pets and make them sick. Plus, pet toothpaste

Behavior & training

Dog

National Train Your Dog Month

Sit. Stay. Everyone wants a well-trained pup that sits on command and walks well on the leash. They’re a pleasure to be around and you can take them more places. And since January is National Train Your Dog Month and it’s the promise of a new year, there’s no time like now to create a plan for a better-behaved dog. Dog training starts with time and patience. And treats. Lots of treats. Your goal is to get Max to anticipate tasty rewards for good behavior. You don’t need hours every day either. A few minutes at a time will go a long way. In fact, daily practice will help solidify the principles you want your dog to learn. If you hire a dog trainer, they’ll usually come once a week and show you what to do in between sessions. For example, if you want to train your dog to walk calmly beside you, many dog trainers recommend leashing your pet and feeding a high value treat when your dog is calm. Even if your dog is typically filled with energy, at some point, there will be a lull in the craziness and that is the time to say, “yes!” in an excited tone of voice and give your dog a treat. That means, if you’re walking and the leash is slack – no pulling – then you can reward your dog over and over with both vocal praise and treats

Dog

Health & nutrition

Health issues / sickness

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

Diet

Dog

Health & nutrition

Thanksgiving Foods That Are Safe For Your Dog To Eat

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and with the arrival of this beloved holiday comes thankfulness for the year behind us, the arrival of relatives to join hands around the table, the football rivalry that makes us not want to join hands around the table, the Thanksgiving Day parade that never ceases to entertain, and the cornucopia of delicious Thanksgiving foods that seem to make their grand appearance only once a year. While you are enjoying your own Day of Thanks this year, don’t forget about the four-legged members of the party who have set up camp under the dining room table, just hoping that something wonderful makes its way from your plate to their tummies. While most table foods are not recommended for your pet’s health, there are several delectable Thanksgiving foods that are safe and healthy for dogs. Pumpkin is not only an appetizing treat for your pet, but also a very healthy one to offer. A great source of fiber, pumpkin is a natural promoter of healthy digestion, which lends itself to the overall energy and vitality of your pet. Proper digestion is also a powerful aid in weight management, which can help prevent a whole host of other health problems down the road. This colorful harvest symbol also helps with urinary health, as the natural oils in both the skin and seeds has been shown to increase urinary functionality. The seeds also promote healthy skin and

Dog

General care

Health & nutrition

How to Love Your Dog: Tips, Tricks and Must-Knows

There’s really nothing better than a dog. A true friend and companion, a trickster, a playmate, and often the life of the party, what would our lives be without our four-legged friends? The famous humorist Will Rogers once said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Dogs live to love us, so here’s a few ways to return that love and show your best friend how much they mean to you. Hanging Out with Your Buddy – Every day you have your routine, and it undoubtedly includes time spent away from home – at work, running errands or just living your life. But don’t forget that you have a buddy at home whose whole life revolves around you. Of course you can’t be with your dog all day, but it’s important to make time to hang out with your dog every day Walks and Runs: Every dog breed needs daily exercise, but do a little research on your pooch and make sure he is getting enough physical fitness every day. You’re not only assuring your dog’s health, but you’re showing him that he’s important enough to show off. And remember that it’s his time to enjoy the outdoors, so be patient when he stops to smell the flowers Dog-friendly Outings : Pet-friendly activities are popping up all over, so take a little time to research dog-friendly spots in your

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