a balanced dog is a #WeruvaDog #sponsored

Just when I thought all angles in the dry dog food world had been covered, along comes a brand new line of all-natural, premium-quality food from Weruva, a family-owned pet food company. We are always interested in learning about healthy pet food, but before N.A.S.H.A. and I even checked out Weruva® Caloric Melody™, I was impressed, as these friendly people sent us a hand-written note of appreciation just for giving their new food a shot. That personal touch tells me Weruva doesn't just say they care. They really do!

 A balanced dog is a Weruva Dog!

A balanced dog is a Weruva Dog!

This post is sponsored by Weruva® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help create awareness about the launch of Weruva's new Caloric Harmony™ and Caloric Melody™ Dry Dog Food, but we only share information that we feel is relevant to our readers. Weruva is not responsible for the content of this article.

what is weruva caloric harmony and caloric melody?

Weruva Caloric Harmony and Caloric Melody are brand new on the scene. Their focus is not just on caloric intake, but on WHERE those calories come from. Nutrition matters for our dogs just as it does for us. When we choose–say–300 calories of vegetables vs. 300 calories of potato chips, our bodies thank us by operating at a higher level. Dogs have nutritional needs, as well, so making sure the calories they consume are coming from the right places is important for energy, overall health, and vitality.

achieving balanced canine nutrition

 Weruva's New Caloric Harmony and Caloric Melody are about balanced nutrition for your dog. Image source: weruva.com

Weruva's New Caloric Harmony and Caloric Melody are about balanced nutrition for your dog. Image source: weruva.com

Weruva is rolling out their brand new line of premium dog food with the goal of providing our dogs the nutrition they need for optimum health. They explain that your dog's calories come from three places: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. More calories should come from protein than fat, and more calories should come from fat than from carbohydrates. Achieving the right balance is important for proper nutrition. 

what makes weruva's caloric harmony and caloric melody so special?

I won't feed N.A.S.H.A. any food that compromises on quality. Weruva's new line meets our standards because it is all-natural and uses quality ingredients. It is important to us, too, that as a family-owned pet food manufacturer for over ten years Weruva uses ethical practices. We've been trying out the Weruva Caloric Melody Lamb Dinner with Lentils formula, which N.A.S.H.A. really digs! But what makes it so special?

Weruva_Caloric_Melody

• the main source of calories is protein, as it should be in a balanced canine diet

• there is no potato, wheat, corn, or soy

• there are no artificial flavors or artificial preservatives

• pumpkin is added for healthy digestion 

• seaweed is added for natural prebiotic action

• includes  salmon oil, linoleic acid, zinc, and B vitamins for healthy skin and coat.

• low fat

• low ash content

• gluten-free

• low-glycemic level to help maintain steady energy

• responsibly-sourced ingredients

N.A.S.H.A. seems to really love the Caloric Melody. She's pretty picky about food. There are three levels for her.

Dog_eating_Weruva

1. I smell it and walk away and refuse to eat it even if I starve to death.

2. I smell it and walk away, but I'll be back later when I'm super hungry. It will be consumed for survival.

3. I smell it and immediately dig in, whether I'm hungry or not, and then I beg for more, driving my mommy crazy by punching her in the leg while she's trying to work.

Weruva's Caloric Melody falls into category three. N.A.S.H.A simply loves it, and I can feel great about feeding it to her. It's a win-win! Except my leg is getting sore...

how can i learn more and purchase some for my pooch?

Connect with Weruva on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Is canine nutrition important to your family? Please share your thoughts!

the easiest way to introduce raw food to your dog #mixitup #sponsored

I've always understood the benefits of feeding my dog a raw diet, but I've never done it. The time commitment and process of getting it just right always seemed so daunting to me, and as an owner of a professional pet sitting company and work-from-home mom, well...I just can't do it all. With all of the nutritious, grain-free dog food options on the market these days, feeding raw just felt like an unnecessary chore. But about a month ago, I discovered Nature's Variety® Instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers, the easiest way to introduce raw food to your dog. Now N.A.S.H.A. can reap the benefits of a raw diet, but I have no added hassle. Want to know more?

I thought so.

 The Easiest Way to Introduce Raw Food to Your Dog– wellmindedpets.com

The Easiest Way to Introduce Raw Food to Your Dog–wellmindedpets.com

This post is sponsored by Instinct® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Instinct is not responsible for the content of this article. 

what does "raw" mean, exactly?

Nature's Variety outlines what feeding "raw" means:

• raw is never cooked

• raw contains pure, whole food ingredients for optimal nutrient absorption

• raw contains natural enzymes for digestive health

• raw provides nutrition in its purest form: proteins, vitamins, and minerals are ready for the body to utilize

what are raw boost mixers?

Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are a natural freeze-dried raw meal topper (or mix-in) packed with protein and nutrients reminiscent of an ancestral diet–what your pooch would eat if he were out foraging in the wild with his pack. We all know he's benefiting from the modern conveniences you've spoiled him with...er...lovingly provided, but his nutrition needs are best met by going as natural as possible. Back to basics, so-to-speak. The Raw Boost Mixers are packed with high-quality protein. Instinct uses natural cage-free chicken, natural beef, natural turkey, and natural grass-fed lamb. Oh, and if the cats in your family want to try raw, too (of course they do), Instinct offers natural cage-free chicken and natural farm-raised rabbit Raw Boost Mixers. Bow-wow and Me-ow!

 Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are offered in all-natural chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb varieties. 

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are offered in all-natural chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb varieties. 

Don't worry about switching your dog's food. Raw Boost Mixers aren't meant to replace what you've already got going on; they are meant to enhance your pet's existing diet.

what are the benefits of incorporating raw food into my dog's diet?

Great question. So glad you asked.

A raw, ancestral diet is a super healthy option for our dogs–many would argue the healthiest. I love that Instinct has taken the hassle out of the equation, yet N.A.S.H.A. can still reap the benefits, including:

• pure animal protein that promotes lean muscles and strong bones

• natural ingredients that provide optimal nutrient absorption, which can increase energy and vitality

• nutritious oils for healthy skin and a soft coat

These benefits are important for all life stages, but I've been especially prudent about what I feed N.A.S.H.A. as she's getting on in years. 

how do i feed raw boost mixers to my dog?

 A little goes a long way with Raw Boost Mixers.

A little goes a long way with Raw Boost Mixers.

Well, if he doesn't rip the bag open and devour the entire contents on his own, Instinct provides a formula.

Since N.A.S.H.A. is only eleven pounds, I get fifty-six servings out of a fourteen-ounce bag. A little goes a long way! Instinct also offers six-ounce bags and–get this–one-ounce trial size bags for those of us who aren't quite sure how our dogs will take to it. 

When I told you this was the easiest way to introduce raw food to your dog, I wasn't kidding. Here are the steps:

1. get bowl

2. put regular food in bowl

3. put serving of Raw Boost Mixers on top

4. mix (optional)

5. call dog (oh, wait...dog is already drooling at your feet...skip to step 6)

6. put bowl down for dog

I know six steps seems like a lot, but if you compare it to all the steps required in feeding raw, you're getting off easy. 

n.a.s.h.a.'s opinion

 N.A.S.H.A. can't get enough Raw Boost Mixers.

N.A.S.H.A. can't get enough Raw Boost Mixers.

If you're a regular reader, you know that we feed N.A.S.H.A. a rotating diet of high-quality dry dog food. We know her favorites, and we keep them in regular rotation. We mix apple cider vinegar and turmeric into each meal. She's usually pretty excited at meal time, but she's also very polite. She waits patiently as we prepare her food, and she allows us to place the bowl down and walk away before she digs in.

Not anymore.

Since we've incorporated Raw Boost Mixers into her diet over the past month, N.A.S.H.A.'s manners have gone out the window. Now, I'm not blaming Instinct or anything (okay...maybe I am), but she loves the Raw Boost Mixers so much that she now charges the bowl, taking bites before it even hits the floor. We've been feeding her the grass-fed lamb variety, so it will be interesting to see how she takes to the others. Never in my life have I had to train her to have manners at meal time. Let's hope an old dog can learn new tricks, because we have some training to do.

 All manners go out the window when N.A.S.H.A. wants her Raw Boost Mixers.

All manners go out the window when N.A.S.H.A. wants her Raw Boost Mixers.

Speaking of tricks, the Raw Boost Mixers make excellent training treats. Each pellet is the perfect small size, and, clearly, they are highly motivating. As with any raw food, it's important to remember to wash your hands after handling. The freeze-dried Raw Boost Mixers don't feel raw, so that might be easy to forget. 

 Raw Boost Mixers are the perfect size to use as a training reward.

Raw Boost Mixers are the perfect size to use as a training reward.

 N.A.S.H.A. sits pretty.

N.A.S.H.A. sits pretty.

where can i get instinct raw boost mixers?

Instinct_Raw_Boost_Mixers

We got our Instinct Raw Boost Mixers at our local PetSmart, which carries the full line of Nature's Variety foods. Now through January 31st, the fourteen-ounce bags are 20% off, and you can snag three trial-size bags for $5. In addition, if you sign up on the Nature's Variety web site, they'll email you a $3 coupon. 

Visit Instinct on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Are you thinking about giving Instinct Raw Boost Mixers a try, or is your dog already enjoying them? Please leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts!

 N.A.S.H.A. is either wishing with all of her might for more Raw Boost Mixers or this is an outtake. You decide.

N.A.S.H.A. is either wishing with all of her might for more Raw Boost Mixers or this is an outtake. You decide.

when your little dog wants to indulge #chewyinfluencer

We've developed a problem in our house. N.A.S.H.A. has trained me to provide her with a treat on command. It all started innocently enough. I'd let her out first thing each morning to relieve herself, and upon her return, she earned a treat. On occasion in my zombie-like state, I'd neglect the second half of the equation, so I'd find myself dead-legged while attempting to brew some coffee. N.A.S.H.A. did not understand the "you can't pour from an empty cup" philosophy.

 When your little dog wants to indulge–wellmindedpets.com

When your little dog wants to indulge–wellmindedpets.com

Chewy.com provided me with a package of Wellness® Petite Treats in exchange for my honest opinion. Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Neither chewy.com or Wellness is responsible for the content of this article.

Over time, N.A.S.H.A.'s punches have become more pronounced and more frequent. She requests treats in this obnoxious way multiple times throughout the day, and she's relentless about it. She's totally in charge. Don't tell Caesar Milan. 

I began to worry about the amount of treats I was forking over. And if I said no enough times, she'd move on to other members of the family. N.A.S.H.A. has always maintained a healthy weight, but with all of these extra treats, who knew what could happen? Especially since she's getting on to her senior years...

 N.A.S.H.A. loves it when a chewy.com box is delivered.

N.A.S.H.A. loves it when a chewy.com box is delivered.

 Petite treats! Just what we needed!

Petite treats! Just what we needed!

These treats are tiny–like Cheerio tiny–and only four calories each. So, basically, no matter how many times I'm dead-legged in a day, N.A.S.H.A. can get what she's after. But no matter how tiny, I wanted to make sure they were healthy for her. The Wellness Petite Treats come in both soft and crunchy varieties with different ingredient options. We tried the Soft Mini-Bites with Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ginger. 

 N.A.S.H.A. runs through her repertoire of tricks to earn more treats.

N.A.S.H.A. runs through her repertoire of tricks to earn more treats.

what's so great about wellness petite treats?

I keep N.A.S.H.A.'s diet as natural as possible, so did these treats prove themselves? Yes...a resounding YES! Why do we love them?

• 4 calories per treat (which means she can indulge)

• grain-free

• whole-food ingredients

• no meat by-products, corn, wheat, or soy

• no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors

• over 100 treats per bag (at this rate, that ought to last us at least 48 hours)

These treats are great for small dogs who like to indulge, but would also be great as a training treat for any size pooch. I absolutely love the healthy ingredients, but even more-so love what's not included. It's all good.

N.A.S.H.A.'s verdict?

Has your little one tried Wellness Petite Treats, yet? What's your verdict?

Visit chewy.com on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Visit Wellness on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

maintaining a healthy canine diet with #NaturalBalance Limited Ingredient Diets® #sponsored

This post is sponsored by Natural Balance and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help spread the word about Natural Balance available at PetSmart, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Natural Balance and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.

As a pet sitting professional, I am often asked about diet recommendations. There are a lot of great pet foods out there, but there are also a whole bunch of seemingly healthy foods that I would steer clear of. Diet is one of the most important factors in a healthy lifestyle. Just like our skin, hair, body makeup and energy levels are affected by the foods we eat, your dog's skin, coat, weight, and energy are affected by the quality of the dog food you provide. I believe in rotational feeding, which means I feed N.A.S.H.A. a variety of high-quality dog foods. Though we throw in a new one now and again, there are a few staples in our lineup, and Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets® is one of our favorites.

 Maintaining a Healthy canine diet with Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets–well minded

Maintaining a Healthy canine diet with Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets–well minded

When I was a kid, no one in my class was allergic to peanuts or had a gluten sensitivity. And pretty much every family dog ate some kind of crappy puppy chow and seemed to do just fine. I can't get into all of the ins and outs of how these health issues may have developed in humans and canines, but, over time, it seems we're witnessing more and more diet sensitivities. 

If your dog has food allergies or is sensitive to traditional dog foods, a food with limited ingredients may just be the ticket. The fewer the ingredients, the less chance of a reaction.

why is Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets such a great food for dogs? 

Natural_Balance_Logo

PetSmart® carries a complete line of Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets (L.I.D.) for both cats and dogs. You can find dry, canned, and treat formulas at your local PetSmart or at Petsmart.com. What is so great about a "limited ingredient" pet food? And why Natural Balance?

• The foods contain a single-source animal protein, which may help pinpoint the source of the sensitivity and help you avoid it in the future.

• Natural Balance offers unique proteins such as rabbit, venison, bison, and wagyu beef. Some of our pets have developed sensitivities to the proteins more commonly used in pet food, so switching things up can help.

 Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets offers grain-free options.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets offers grain-free options.

• A variety of grain-free options are available. Grains are another common culprit of food sensitivity in our pets.

• Natural Balance limits the carbohydrate sources, thus minimizing the chance for food sensitivity.

No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Hallelujah!

• The food contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that, along with a quality protein, support healthy skin and a shiny coat.

• Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets are suitable for all life stages.

• Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets are backed by a "Buy with Confidence" guarantee, which means their food is tested, and you can see the results of your particular bag of food on the Natural Balance web site. How awesome is that?

our experience with Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets

 N.A.S.H.A. was quite curious about the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato and Fish Formula.

N.A.S.H.A. was quite curious about the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato and Fish Formula.

As you know, we rotate N.A.S.H.A. through several natural pet foods. We do this to try to avoid her developing food sensitivities and also to keep her happy and interested at mealtime. Would you want to eat the exact same thing every day for your whole life?

It's great that Natural Balance offers a variety of unique proteins, so if your pet is allergic or sensitive, you can stay within the family, yet still offer variety. 

For the past month, N.A.S.H.A. has been enjoying the Sweet Potato and Fish formula. My family groaned when I brought it home from PetSmart, thinking it would be super stinky (they are anti-fish dog food for that reason). Fish is super healthy for dogs, so I sometimes opt to suffer through the stink. But the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets fish food...er...dog food...you know what I mean...isn't stinky at all! No, really!

 N.A.S.H.A. has been enjoying the Sweet Potato and Fish Formula.

N.A.S.H.A. has been enjoying the Sweet Potato and Fish Formula.

N.A.S.H.A. loves the food and has had no problems adjusting. She punches me in the leg for second helpings, a practice that can be quite irritating, but at least I know she's enjoying the food. Her skin and coat have been really healthy, even though here in the Arizona desert, it's the driest time of the year. I wish my skin and hair were tolerating the season as well! At ten years old, N.A.S.H.A.'s energy level has been great, and she's been able to keep up with all of our holiday antics.

We will definitely keep Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets in our food lineup. As I've mentioned in the past, several of my clients have had great success with it, as well, and it's my go-to recommendation for pets with food allergies or sensitivities.

where to find Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets

PetSmart_Logo
 Find the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets lineup at PetSmart.

Find the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets lineup at PetSmart.

Is your pet on a Limited Ingredient Diet? We'd love to hear about your experience!

Visit Natural Balance on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

RELATED

how a limited ingredient diet can benefit your dog

getting ready to #mixitup with Instinct Raw Boost Mixers #sponsored

This post is sponsored by Instinct® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Instinct is not responsible for the content of this article. 

As a professional pet sitter and wellness advocate, I completely understand the benefits of feeding my dog a raw diet. But, if I'm being honest, I just don't. It's a pain in the...you know. So I do the best I can with high-quality grain-free dog foods that we feed N.A.S.H.A. in rotation. If I could incorporate raw food into her diet without all the hassle, I definitely would.

Guess what. 

I just found out that I can!

 Getting Ready to #mixitup with Instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers–Well Minded.

Getting Ready to #mixitup with Instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers–Well Minded.

Nature's Variety® Instinct® is one of our favorite high-quality dry dog foods. We've had it in our rotation for years. I was really excited to learn that they now offer Instinct Raw Boost Mixers, freeze-dried raw mix-ins to compliment and enhance our pets' regular diets. Now we can provide the benefits of a raw diet, minus the intimidation factor. 

what is raw?

Feeding raw is just as it sounds, serving your pet uncooked food. It's traditionally a pretty expensive and labor-intensive process. Nature's Variety explains just what a raw diet provides:

• food is not cooked

• contains pure, whole-food ingredients for optimal nutrient absorbtion

• contains natural enzymes for digestive health

• provides nutrition in its purest form–proteins, vitamins, and minerals are ready for the body to utilize

benefits of feeding raw

So why is it so healthy to feed your pet a raw diet? 

Raw diets are the most natural diet for your pet. A raw diet is nutritious and easily-absorbed into your pet's system. Basically, it's what your pet would eat in the wild, should he not be snuggled up in a cute sweater next to you on the couch right now. As we humans seek out whole foods and steer away from the processed junk we've been consuming, we desire the same nutrient-rich, chemical-free options for our pets. Enter the raw diet.

go get Instinct Raw Boost Mixers–it's easy!

I am super excited to have found Instinct Raw Boost Mixers because now I can incorporate a raw element into N.A.S.H.A.'s diet without the hassle. I just mix it right into her regular food. The fine folks at Nature's Variety have developed high-pressure processing that ensures safety without cooking the food. So it's raw, but in a kibble-like form that is easily mixed into your pet's existing grub. The Instinct Raw Boost Mixers work great with kibble or cans, and you don't even have to add water. What could be easier?

I love that they offer trial sizes. So if you aren't sure about the raw deal, or you're not sure you pooch will dig it (who are we kidding?), you can purchase convenient one-ounce packages. 

 It's great that Instinct offers trial sizes of their Raw Boost Mixers. Someone is lurking in the shadows, eager to see what this new culinary adventure will bring.

It's great that Instinct offers trial sizes of their Raw Boost Mixers. Someone is lurking in the shadows, eager to see what this new culinary adventure will bring.

I found the complete lineup at my local PetSmart®. Since N.A.S.H.A. isn't a great car dog, we usually leave her behind, but my daughter helped me spot what we were looking for on the shelves. She was excited to have found the Instinct Raw Boost Mixers right away. They come in chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb varieties. 

 Some treasure-hunt...even a six-year-old could easily find Instinct Raw Boost Mixers at our local Petsmart.

Some treasure-hunt...even a six-year-old could easily find Instinct Raw Boost Mixers at our local Petsmart.

 It was easy to find Instinct Raw Boost Mixers with the rest of Nature's Variety Instinct lineup at PetSmart.

It was easy to find Instinct Raw Boost Mixers with the rest of Nature's Variety Instinct lineup at PetSmart.

 Decisions, decisions...which bag of Instinct Raw Boost Mixers should we choose?

Decisions, decisions...which bag of Instinct Raw Boost Mixers should we choose?

We're getting ready to mix it up! I received some samples of Instinct Raw Boost Mixers, and N.A.S.H.A. loved them so much that we snagged ourselves a big ol' bag. We're planning to mix them into her food each day, and I can't wait to see the positive changes for myself. I know one thing is for sure: N.A.S.H.A. loves the way they taste! She's super interested in breaking out the big bag. I'll keep you posted on how things go.

If you're ready to take the plunge like we are, now is a great time. Instinct Raw Boost Mixers larger bags are currently 20% off at PetSmart!

 I'd say this is a bit easier than traditional raw diet preparation. 

I'd say this is a bit easier than traditional raw diet preparation. 

Do you feed raw? Or have you tried the Instinct Raw Boost Mixers? I'd love to hear your opinion as we embark on this raw food journey.

Visit Nature's Variety Instinct on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.