Happy 14th Birthday to the one who started it all…. Jackson!

   

 

Ever wonder how Pet Wants got its start? Michele and Amanda Broughton Hobbs struggled to ease the allergies of their dog Jackson for years. After countless trials and errors with different foods and medications, and thousands of dollars spent on vet visits and testing, they decided to take matters into their own hands. The couple began working closely with a family-owned pet food company right at home in Ohio to formulate a gluten-free, nutrient-dense pet food that could be made-to-order in small batches fresh every month. Jackson finally experienced relief—within a couple of months on Pet Wants food, his symptoms disappeared and Michele and Amanda’s search for a cure came to an end. Nearly seven years later, thousands of dogs and cats throughout the country are now thriving on the same pet food that eased Jackson’s allergies. All of us here at Pet Wants still honor Jackson as the mascot of Pet Wants and the one who started it all—you can even see his portrait hanging in our original shop at the historic Findlay Market.

Today we celebrate Jackson’s 14th birthday and still tell his story as the first pet to experience the wonders of Pet Wants food. Jackson is an energetic 75 pound Australian Shephard/Collie mix. With the birth of Michele and Amanda’s twin boys, Jackson and his high-energy demeanor became a lot to handle. A Pet Wants staff member knew the perfect match for Jackson through a colleague at Save The Animals Foundation. Sure enough, Jackson and his new family were a wonderful fit and he has lived with them ever since. He now enjoys a large yard and lots of trees… and a cat to chase around. He is, of course, still enjoying Pet Wants food, and supports his joints in his older age with our Joint ReLiver supplement and Sound Dog chews. His long, healthy, happy life reminds us all of the power of a high-quality, nutrient-dense, gluten-free pet food.

Prepping Paws for Winter

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In our last post on dogs’ winter coats, we mentioned the importance of taking care of paws as well. Since winter can be quite hard on the paws of any dog that spends even a moderate amount of time outside, we want to dive into this topic in detail. By understanding exactly what winter means for your dog’s paws, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to provide support and protection for your pet. Read More

Your Dog’s Winter Coat

                fluffy white dog under the falling snow in winter

While there are definitely some nice things about the winter season in Cincinnati, the weather during this time of the year can be quite rough. It’s important to remember that’s just as true for your dog as it is for you. Specifically, the combination of low humidity and keeping your house warm through heating can result in your dog’s coat drying out. Because you want to know that your dog feels great throughout this season and isn’t struggling with problems like winter dandruff, we want to share some coat tips for this time of the year:

1. Consistent Grooming

You’ll definitely want to stay on top of your dog’s grooming needs during this time of the year. Brushing on a regular basis will remove dead hair, tangles and dirt. Not only will this keep your dog looking its best, but it will also help with things like skin circulation. And while it is fine to bathe your dog even when the weather is cold outside, just make sure your pet is fully dry before it goes out again.

2. Skin Spray

Pet Wants is passionate about helping dogs enjoy the highest quality of life. That’s why we developed a homemade skin spray for dogs. This spray is perfect for keeping your dog’s winter coat from drying out. It can also help with other issues like hot spots, bites, burns and irritations. The ingredients used to make this wonderful spray are calendula infused purified water, witch hazel, aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin, avocado oil, lavender oil, cedarwood oil, peppermint oil and geranium oil.

3. The Right Diet

You’ve probably heard the expression “you are what you eat.” This very accurate saying applies to dogs of all sizes. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right type of food for your dog. Because Pet Wants dog food is carefully designed to support all elements of a dog’s health, we include ingredients that are specifically targeted at coat health. Flaxseed and fish oil are two examples of those ingredients that can be found in our blends. By combining ingredients like these with all the other healthy elements of our fresh dog food, you can count on your dog feeling and looking great all winter long.

4. Don’t Forget About the Feet

Your dog’s coat isn’t the only part of its body that faces different conditions during this time of the year. Your pup’s paws can also face some harsh conditions when you’re out for a walk. The best way to deal with those conditions is our paw wax for dogs. Made from organic olive oil, organic coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax and lavender oil, simply applying this wax prior to heading out into the cold will help your dog a lot.

When Cats Don’t Like Your Holiday Visitors

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There are a lot of exciting things that take place during the holidays. A common example for many people is hosting guests at their home. Some guests may only come over for a few hours to enjoy a holiday meal with you. Others may stay for a longer period of time. Although you probably enjoy having these kinds of guests in your home a lot, your cat may not feel the same way.

If you know you’re going to have guests over this holiday season but you’re worried about how your cat is going to respond to having new people in your home, we have several strategies to help take care of both your visitors and cat:

1. Avoid Pressuring Your Cat

Even though it comes with good intentions, a common mistake cat owners make is trying to get their cat excited about interacting with a visitor. While that’s fine if you have an especially social cat or a kitten that you want to help get used to new people, for a cat that’s already set in its ways, you’re better off letting it hang out wherever it wants to be and eventually coming out on its own if it chooses.

2. Give Your Visitors Helpful Tips

While you can’t really tell your cat how to act around visitors, you can give anyone who comes over for the holidays a few tips for interacting with your cat. First, let them know that your cat takes awhile to warm up, so they shouldn’t feel pressured to engage. Another very helpful tip is to let visitors know that if your cat does start coming around them, they can maximize the likelihood of a successful interaction by using eye kisses. In case you aren’t familiar with this term, it’s done through slow blinking and avoiding direct eye contact. This lets a cat know that someone is in no way a threat to them.

3. Focus on Positive Associations

One way you can help minimize your cat’s stress about visitors and build momentum towards successful future interactions is to focus on positive associations whenever someone comes into your house. This can include managing your own energy, along with exposing your cat to something it really likes whenever a visitor first comes inside.

4. Create a Safe Space

A simple but very effective way to keep both your cat and guests comfortable during holiday visits is to create a safe space for your cat. This should be an area in your home where your cat doesn’t feel pressured and can enjoy activities like scratching. By giving your cat this space, which should include a bowl of tasty cat food, you can minimize the likelihood of your cat having any bad experiences while guests are over.

Do Dogs Feel the Changes of Daylight Savings Time?

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Most people are happy about the extra hour of sleep they’re able to gain when clocks turn back an hour near the beginning of fall. While that experience can be a positive one, the same isn’t always true once this new schedule goes into effect. Plenty of people require a few days to adjust to a new sleep pattern. Others don’t like the fact that it is dark when they go to work in the morning and dark when they get off at the end of the day. And for a portion of the population, this shift completely throws off their internal clock and can cause ongoing sleep challenges for weeks at a time.

Since this single change can have so many different effects on people, it brings up an interesting question of if the switch has any impact on animals. While dogs obviously don’t look at a clock and decide what they need to be doing, they do follow a set schedule for different activities that’s driven by their circadian rhythm. Because the change that humans make to their clocks impacts this schedule that dogs internally follow, we want to highlight a few of the disruptive issues dogs may experience this time of the year:

Going to the Bathroom

Even though potty training a puppy can be quite a challenge, once a dog gets in a consistent routine of going to the bathroom, they’re going to want to stick with it. Many owners take their dog out when they first get up in the morning. So if you start sleeping in an hour later due to the clock shifting back, your dog may get quite antsy or start trying to get you up at the time when it usually goes out. Depending on your dog’s personality, you may be able to shift to a new morning potty time in just a few days or you might have to stagger this shift over a longer period of time.

Eating

Your pet knows when to expect its bowl to be filled with delicious dog food. So when that important event doesn’t happen right on schedule, plan on your dog coming straight to you for a refill. As with going to the bathroom, the time required to fully shift your dog to a new feeding schedule can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Spending Time with You

If you come home at the same time every day, your dog knows when to expect you. So it’s completely normal for your dog to be a little extra excited or even anxious when you first start coming home in the days following the time change.

Because dogs do have such a consistent inner clock, yours may be caught off guard when going to the bathroom, eating or hanging out with you doesn’t occur at the normal time as a result of the shift caused by Daylight Savings Time. While this is definitely a change your dog is likely to notice, the good news is as long as you’re aware of it, you can take a few steps to minimize the amount of time your dog feels like it’s out of its normal routine.

Is Halloween Scary for Your Pets?

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Trick or Treat

There are a number of reasons why fall is a great time of the year. One of those reasons is Halloween. Although this holiday can be a lot of fun for both children and adults, there are those who aren’t particularly fond of Halloween. The group we’re going to focus on today who may not be such fans of Halloween is pets. While dogs and cats don’t automatically hate this holiday, there are some different elements of it they may find scary.
Read More

4 Ways You Can Help in October for Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month

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Did you know that it’s officially Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month? Given that there are more shelter dogs than ever who need help, this month is the perfect opportunity for anyone who is passionate about animals to do their part to help. Since plenty of people want to contribute to this initiative but aren’t exactly sure how, I’ve put together a list of four different ways you can use your time and resources to help make a difference:

1. Spread the Word on Social Media

A simple but effective way to support Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month is to let other people know about it via social media. Doing so can be as simple as sharing this post with others. If you want to remind people throughout the month, another useful option is to find pictures of specific local shelter dogs and share those.

2. Find Out What a Shelter Needs

There are number of great shelters around the Cincinnati area. You can easily find multiple ones via a Google search. Then when you find a specific shelter that resonates with you, check their website to see if they have a donation wish list. If this list isn’t on their website, you can contact them and ask about it. Once you know what the shelter needs, you can put together a donation on your own or organize a mini-drive to help collect those essentials.

3. Volunteer at a Shelter

In addition to things like food bowls and collars, shelters also need support in the form of time. So if you haven’t ever volunteered at a shelter before, October is the perfect month to start. Being a volunteer in this environment is a very rewarding experience. While not all shelters have the same needs, common activities for volunteers include walking dogs, playing with animals who are recovering from injuries, helping with dog training, working in the adoption center, folding laundry and helping with public events.

4. Adopt a Shelter Dog

Choosing to give a dog a home is a big decision, which is why it’s not something you should rush. But if you’ve been thinking about adopting a shelter dog for some time now and have the resources to do so, October is a great opportunity to follow through with this decision. By adopting a shelter dog, you’ll get to save a life and also enjoy all of the benefits that bonding with this type of wonderful animal will bring to your life. Plus, you’ll make room for another dog in the shelter!

Pet Wants Cincy is a company that’s very passionate about the well-being of all dogs, which is why we want to say thanks for using your time and resources to help support Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month!

How Do Cats Always Land On Their Feet?

 

photo-1452873867668-7325bd9f4438For people who don’t have a cat, the type of smooth landings portrayed by cats in movies and TV shows may seem like an exaggeration. But for anyone who has a cat, chances are you’ve seen your cat pull off a landing that seemed nearly impossible. A cat’s ability to always land on its feet is directly tied to the old saying that cats have nine lives.

While cat owners have seen this type of landing in action, they still may not have an explanation for it. So if you’re wondering how cats actually pull off this feat, keeping reading to find out! Read More

Is Your Dog Stressed Out?

 

photo-1455103493930-a116f655b6c5Over half of the adult population in the United States experiences physical symptoms caused by stress. But we’re not alone in facing the negative effects of this condition. Dogs can also suffer from stress. And just like humans, it can take a toll on their well-being. If you’re trying to get to the bottom of whether or not stress is impacting your dog, here are three signs you’ll want to watch for:

  1. Decreased Appetite

When you feed your dog delicious food like Pet Wants, you know that they’re always going to be excited when it’s time for a meal. So if you notice that your dog suddenly loses the spark it usually has for eating, chances are it’s due to stress or another health condition.

  1. Sleeping More Than Normal

Dogs definitely sleep more than humans. The short answer to why is they don’t sleep as soundly as humans. In order to get the amount of rest they need, dogs have to spend more time with their eyes shut. Although spending quite a bit of time sleeping isn’t a bad thing for dogs, what can be cause for concern is if your dog starts sleeping even more than normal. Like most of the other signs on this list, stress is one of several health conditions that increased sleep can signal, so be sure to let your vet know about this issue in a timely manner.

  1. Self-Isolation and/or Aggression

Like people, dogs may need to occasionally recharge by spending time alone. What a dog shouldn’t need to do is constantly isolate itself from humans or other dogs in your household. Frequent self-isolation is a very strong indication of stress that’s occurring from anxiety or some type of pain that your dog is trying to hide. This symptom can also manifest itself as aggression whenever anyone tries to get close.

Helping Your Dog with Stress

By knowing the signs of stress in dogs, you can help protect yours. If you do notice any of the signs of stress or have reason to believe your dog may be suffering, it’s always best to consult with a vet. Even if it turns out to be nothing, a vet will never fault you for wanting to take the best possible care of your dog!
Once you’ve met with your vet and ruled out any serious health conditions, you can help your dog with its stress by making outdoor exercise a priority. Another way to help is creating a designated area in your home where your dog feels 100% safe. And if you aren’t feeding your dog a high-quality food like Pet Wants, switching can help provide your dog with the health support needed to feel its best. Pet Wants also makes dog-friendly Calming Balm infused with essential oils to reduce anxiety. And if your dog hasn’t tried our Housemade Snooze-Booster Pawsicles, they’re missing out on some serious chill time.  Snooze Booster has dried lavender buds frozen in a pumpkin and turkey breast puree and cranberry to boot!  Just think how you feel after Thanksgiving dinner! Yes please…

How Cats Keep Cool in the Dog Days of Summer

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Summer Cat

In our last post, we talked about dogs sweating (or their lack of), how to avoid overheating and what you need to know about the glands in a dog’s paw. But as we all know, dogs aren’t the only ones who can be affected by the summer heat. Since we’re probably going to have at least a few more scorchers (if not more) this year, we want to use this post to focus on what cats do to manage their temperature during the summer.

Cats, Sweating and Panting

Like dogs, cats don’t do their sweating out of their brow. Instead, the area where you’ll find sweat glands on a cat is their paws. If a cat gets scared, there’s a chance they’ll sweat so much that they end up leaving wet paw prints wherever they walk. But in normal cases, cats just do a little sweating through their paws. However, since these glands are small, they’re often not enough to fully cool a cat.

Needing other ways to cool down brings up the subject of panting. Although this behavior is very common in dogs, cat owners probably don’t notice this action as often. However, cats can and do pant. When this happens, it means they’re very hot, so it’s a good idea to provide water and a cooler environment if possible.

Cats are vulnerable to heat stroke or overheating, so watch out for signs like drooling, heavy panting or staggering. In the event you see these signs, use a damp cloth on your cat’s belly that’s cool but not cold and seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Other Ways Cats Beat the Heat

Because sweating through the paws is only a minor part of cat’s cooling down and panting is reserved for especially hot situations, you’re probably still wondering what they do to stay cool. One of the strategies cats use is finding the coolest spot available. That may be under the bed or on cool tile floor. So while it may look like a cat is hiding, there’s a good chance they’re just trying to beat the heat.

Another very interesting way cats stay cool is by mimicking the process of sweating. They do this by licking their coats even more than normal when it’s hot. By getting their saliva all over their coat, they can enjoy a cooling effect when it evaporates. You can help your cat stay cool by being sure to consistently brush during the hottest months. Some cats also enjoy playing with ice cubes, so you should definitely try that out as well.

By providing your cat with a comfortable environment throughout the summer, along with a daily diet of great cat food, you can help your cat continue to feel its best even when the weather is absolutely scorching outside.