11.11.2013 | 05:09 pm
Q. I have a two-year-old standard poodle and a seven-year-old standard poodle that have been on Holistic Select Adult Health Lamb Meal Recipe for a while now. They both have recently been diagnosed with pancreatitis. They are recovering now but when they are ready to transition back to Holistic Select, should I try a different recipe?
A. Pancreatitis can be a very uncomfortable condition and one that can reoccur. It’s important that your dogs maintain a normal, healthy weight and a slightly lean body mass. We would recommend several smaller meals throughout the day rather than a full portion once a day. Regular exercise is also very important to help maintain good weight and to stimulate proper gut motility.
It might be a good idea to try a Holistic Select diet that is lower in fat content. The Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy & Sardine and Salmon Meals Recipe has less fat than the Holistic Select Adult Health Lamb Meal Recipe so trying a new recipe is something to consider. If your dogs have trouble maintaining a healthy weight or if you’d like to use an even lower fat recipe, the Holistic Select Weight Management Chicken Meal & Peas Recipe is a good option. We recommend discussing these options with your veterinarian to be sure you choose the best option to prevent a recurrence of the Pancreatitis. Please remember to transition to the new diet slowly, especially when there have been digestive issues in the past.
11.11.2013 | 04:46 pm
6 Steps to a “Green” Dog
You recycle, you buy organic and you’re concerned for the environment. It’s only natural you want to take a “green” approach to your pets too.
Here are 6 easy steps to a “green” dog.
1—Buy (or make) Biodegradable Dog Toys. Instead of plastic, think hemp or jute rings or tug toys to keep your pooch happy. Once Max has chewed and frayed them beyond recognition, they can safely return to the environment without leaving a paw print.
2—Skip the Plastic Bag – If you use plastic grocery bags to pick up after your pet, you’re simply preserving your pup’s waste— yuck! Studies show plastic grocery bags may never truly decompose. When scientists pitted plastic bags against newspaper, the newspaper began breaking down within a few weeks while the bags didn’t change at all.
What can you do to make sure your pet’s waste, ahem, returns to the earth? Biodegradable bags are the answer. There are plenty of options, including flushable bags that are also biodegradable.
3—Baking Soda Kicks Odors — Chances are, your great-grandmother used baking soda to soak up odors. This time-tested cleaning and deodorizing product has endless uses, and is safe to use around your pup.
To freshen up a dirty dog bed, simply sprinkle some baking soda on the bed, wait a few minutes and then vacuum the baking soda away.
4—Vinegarize! — White vinegar mixed with a bit of water will help remove pesky odors left behind by accidents. Like baking soda, this tried-and-true cleanser is safe to use around pets.
5—Mow Your Leaves – This trick will ensure that you and your dog have a lush lawn to enjoy come spring: turn fall leaves into a mulch by mowing them. The mulch gives grass the healthy nutrients it needs. This all-natural lawn treatment is safe for pets and will save you from needing to use a potentially harmful lawn application.
6—Say “Yes” to Ceramic or Glass Dishes – Studies show that many plastics contain potentially harmful BPAs and phthalates. These chemicals can disrupt the endocrine system leading to cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Ceramic and glass dishes not only match your pet’s refined taste, but they eliminate the chances of chemicals leaching into your pet’s food and water.
There are many steps you can take to make healthy decisions for your family and for the Earth. Thanks for reading!
10.04.2013 | 11:12 am
Q. I have a 7-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier puppy currently on Holistic Select Puppy Health Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meals Recipe . When should I transfer him to Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meals Recipe which is what my 2 Jack Russell’s are on?
A. We generally feel that puppy recipes should be continued for the first year of a puppy’s life. Then, we recommend slowly transitioning to an adult recipe. There is no problem using a puppy recipe a little longer, but your puppy’s first birthday would be a good time to transition him to the Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meals Recipe.
10.03.2013 | 10:36 am
Pumpkin, Papaya and Pomegranate help boost your pet’s immune system with vitamins and minerals. They’re also packed with antioxidants which can be an important part of your pet’s diet. Why? Antioxidants fight the free radicals that break down cells and can lead to diseases like cancer.
Pumpkin is an important source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is the source of the orange color in the pumpkin, but it’s also known to fight arthritis and cancer. It’s also loaded with pumpkin lutein which helps prevent cataracts in aging pets.
Pumpkin has plenty of other nutritious qualities like Vitamin A, potassium and fiber too. Vitamin A is important for healthy eyesight, potassium is important for kidney health and fiber helps keep your pet “regular.”
This tropical fruit benefits the cardiovascular system. Packed with Vitamins C and B as well as folate and magnesium, it helps promotes a healthy heart.
Studies show papaya is also an anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatory ingredients help relieve the swelling and painful joints that can occur as your pet ages. Papaya can even help with swelling associated with asthma. Additionally, papaya helps regulates the digestive system.
Pomegranates pack a powerful punch. They offer heart protection by benefiting the blood vessels around the heart and lowering blood pressure. Besides their well-touted heart benefits, The National Cancer Society considers them a key food in cancer prevention.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that bounce around your pet’s body and attack cells. They can alter DNA and open the doorway to cancer and other diseases. It’s important to neutralize them with good nutrition.
Pumpkin, Papaya and Pomegranates are all loaded with these important antioxidants. They work together to ensure your pet is getting the best nutrition. Additionally, they all promote good digestion so if your pet is suffering with constipation or loose bowels, they can help regulate his or her system. You can find these and other healthy ingredients in Holistic Select recipes.
08.19.2013 | 03:11 pm
Q. Is there a Holistic Select® dog food appropriate for an animal with bladder stones?
A. There are several types of bladder stones seen in dogs. The most common stones are usually a result of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and they are known as struvite stones.
Infection raises the pH of the urine and encourages struvite crystals to form which eventually coalesce into stones.
The stones can be surgically removed or the dog can be fed a specific therapeutic or prescription recipe that will, over time, dissolve struvite stones. There are no over the counter, non-therapeutic recipes that will dissolve the stone.
Once the stones have been removed or dissolved and the infection has been completely eliminated (your veterinarian much check to be sure the infection has been completely eliminated), it is usually possible for a dog to be placed back on a commercial diet as long as the diet is designed to encouraged acid urine, as struvite crystals have a hard time forming in acid urine. The vitamin and mineral levels of all Holistic Select® dry dog foods are formulated to produce acidic urine, and the natural products contain cranberries which aid in urinary tract health. You can browse dry dog formulas here.
It is also wise to encourage as much water consumption as possible and allow outside time for frequent urination as retaining urine also encourages the urine pH to rise.
08.19.2013 | 02:46 pm
As a cat owner, one of your top priorities is making sure your feline is not only happy, but healthy and well adjusted, too. Providing your furry friend with a scratching post is an effective way to combat his or her natural instinct to scratch, without destroying your furniture.
Why Is It Important That Your Cat has a Scratching Post?
It’s natural for cats to sharpen their claws on things. Not only do they incorporate it into their daily stretching regimen, but it’s also a territorial marking strategy. Cats have scent glands in their paws, so when they scratch they leave behind odor cues intended for other cats. This gives cats a sense of control over their environment.
As your tattered drapes may attest, your cat may choose a “favorite” place to scratch. By providing a good scratching post, you can train your cat to stay away from your furniture and to scratch something more appropriate.
Choosing the best scratching post for your cat
Before you run out and pick up the first scratching post you find, there are a few things to consider first, such as:
● Height – Your cats will reach upward and pull down on the post as they scratch and stretch. Observe your cats the next time they scratch. The ideal scratching post will be at least as tall as your cats when they’re stretched out. The taller the post (24-32”), the better chance that your cats will return to it because they feel comfortable using it.
● Sturdiness and durability – Cats will use their full body weight when using a scratching post, so a sturdy base is important. The taller the scratching post, the wider the base will need to be to prevent it from toppling over.
● Material– Many scratching posts are covered with carpet material. Though this is suitable for most cats, some may relate the carpeting in your home with the post, causing them to also scratch and pull up carpets. If you’re concerned this could be an issue, look for a scratching post covered with materials like corrugated cardboard, sisal mesh fabric or sisal rope, which is similar to tree bark.
● Location- Because scratching is a territorial behavior, many cats prefer to scratch in a prominent, visible area. It’s best to place the scratching post in an area that’s easily accessible for your cat. If your cat already has an established scratching and stretching place, be sure to locate the scratching post close by. If you have more than one cat, it’s best to have scratching posts for each of them.
Keep in mind that scratching is a normal behavior. Finding the best scratching post for your kitty will make both of you very happy. Have you found a favorite scratching post for your cat? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook Page.
07.15.2013 | 11:22 am
Q: My vet put my dog on a high-fiber prescription food intended to improve loose stools. It has helped somewhat, but I’d like to try a more holistic solution. Does Holistic Select® have a dry food that is high in fiber?
A: Yes, Holistic Select does offer a higher fiber dry dog food you could try to help with your dog’s loose stool issues. Holistic Select® Weight Management dry dog food recipe has an increased level of fiber with the additional digestive benefits of added probiotics (the “good bacteria” essential for a healthy digestive tract) and digestive enzymes, both of which are important to aid in proper digestion.
07.12.2013 | 10:10 pm
Are you taking your four legged family members on vacation this summer? If so, you’ll want to know the best spots for plenty of outdoor fun in the sun.
Here at WellPet, we’ve rounded up a few Fido-friendly summer vacation spots. From wineries to doggie camp, there’s plenty of fun on the horizon!
Let Lucy Try on a Sailor Hat
In Maine, the Acadian sightseeing boat welcomes friendly pets. You’ll cruise the Atlantic for two hours taking in the stunning sights of Acadia National Park and the shoreline of Bar Harbor.
Afterwards, you can shop and dine in pet-friendly Bar Harbor or head to dog-friendly Hadley Park Beach for more water fun. http://www.acadiannaturecruises.com/
If you’d like a summer camp experience with your pet, head to Vermont.
Camp “Gone to the Dogs”
This Vermont vacation is the ultimate getaway for the dog lover. Bring Max and participate in activities ranging from agility training, flyball and freestyle doggie dancing. From puppies to seniors, dogs go to camp year round and have a wonderful time.
Walk a 5K for a Good Cause
Towns and cities from shore to shore offer pet-centered events such as Chicago’s One Tail at a Time Lazy Dog 5K in June. A fundraiser for a no kill shelter, they request you raise funds from other dog lovers to sponsor you and your pet. At the end of the 5K, there’s a brunch for the humans.
Vineyards across the country are dog-friendly. Some, like Spoiled Dog Winery in Washington’s Whidby Island have named their winery after their four footed loves.
Some vineyards have special tasting rooms for your furry companion such as Frenchie Winery in Healdsburg, Ca. where they have a chandelier drinking fountain and kennels crafted from wine barrels.
North Hollywood, CA offers NoHo Dine Out Fridays. The city’s best food trucks come together along with live music to offer a casual dining stroll through the neighborhood. Well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome.
For hiking enthusiasts, most state parks will allow leashed pets. Trails vary from an easy hike of an hour or so to multi-day adventures with camping. Be sure you pack pet-friendly flea and tick repellant and plenty of water.
Summer’s here. Make a point to get out with your pets and have fun. What’s your favorite pet-friendly summer activity? Please share your tips on our Facebook page.
05.08.2013 | 01:13 pm
Q: I have a pair of two year old Greyhounds. Their weight is between 55 and 60 lbs. I feed them 1 1/2 cups of Holistic Select Anchovy, Sardine and Salmon dry dog food morning and evening, which is a little more than you recommend. In addition to their Holistic Select dry food, they get several treats during the day, and yet they are still starving! When I let them outside I have to watch them closely so that they don’t consume their stools. They do scavenge around the yard eating sticks, acorns and droppings from the trees. What should I do?
A: In my experience, the behavior you have described is typical of a rescued greyhound. Much has developed as a result of boredom and periods of very little stimulation. Exercise is essential for these dogs. They need regular activities that stimulate their interest, both in the home and outside.
With regard to feeding, never feed to satisfy appetite, rather always feed just enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. The Holistic Select Anchovy, Sardine and Salmon dry dog food is a relatively low calorie recipe (354 kcals./cup). I would suggest trying the Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Recipe dry dog food as it contains more calories (almost 400 kcals./cup) and uses three different animal protein sources which is an excellent source of calories for a dog such as a Greyhound.
Remember to transition slowly to any new diet over a week’s time.
09.24.2010 | 01:36 pm
This month, Dr. Al answers your questions about adding fiber to a dog’s diet and switching to a lower protein diet for a senior cat.
Q: I have a 5 year old active Rat Terrier that weighs 10 pounds who sometimes has problems with his anal gland. It has been recommended that I increase her fiber intake (to help firm up her stools). Which food would you recommend for my dog?
A: Chronic loose stools can alter the anal gland’s normal secretions and make it more difficult for the glands to empty naturally, resulting in what is known as impaction. As the glands fill up, they can cause discomfort, scooting and increased licking in the area. Working closely with your veterinarian to relieve the buildup of secretions and make sure there is no infection or other complication is essential.
In many cases, re-occurring impaction does respond to increased fiber content in the diet. Holistic Select® Weight Management Recipe Dry Dog Food contains increased fiber and may help the problem.
If you decide to try the Weight Management recipe, remember to transition to the new diet slowly, over a 5-7 day period in order to allow the body to easily adjust to the change.
05.08.2013 | 10:47 am
Summer fun usually means more time outdoors and traveling as a family. Though Max is an important family member, when you take him along, you have to think a little differently.
Here are 4 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe:
- Never leave him in the car. In just 10 minutes, your car interior can climb to 100 degrees—even with the windows cracked. Your dog could overheat and dehydrate during your “quick” errand.
- Work up to exercise – If your pet has been a couch potato most of the winter and now you want to take him for a long run, work up to it. Go for longer walks and short runs frequently rather than suddenly deciding to “go for the gold”. That’s how sprains, pulled muscles and other injuries happen.
- Asphalt burns paws—If you’ll be walking on asphalt for a good portion of your outing, be sensitive to your pet and dab the paw pads with cooling alcohol pads, douse them in water and look for grassy areas to let your pet cool off.
- Prevent Escape Artists—If you have a fenced in yard, make sure your pet cannot escape. You might enact a family wide “safety check” to review the fence and ensure everyone understands the importance of triple checking the gate.