You’re invited to our “Treat Tasting Party” EVERY SATURDAY from 1:00 – 3:00 to see what’s new for dogs AND cats! Our weekly tasting table features a variety of in stock favorites and new products we’re considering adding to our line up of healthy choices. Try ’em in the store and take home a sample to share with your furry friends. If you love ’em, get 10% OFF on a bag to take home! You can also register to help us try out other new toys and products – we value your opinions and want to make sure we have the very best pet products around!
One of our “finds” from the Pacific Northwest! Koda Treats are made in northern California with 100% USA sourced ingredients and are grain/corn/soy/wheat/gluten free! Made from responsibly raised bison, chicken, salmon and great superfoods like quinoa, chia, amaranth, pumpkin, ginger, blueberries and pomegranate. Perfect for training or to stuff in interactive toys for dogs and cats. Come by for a sample!
You can save on dental care by feeding better food! Many dry foods are filled with sugars that cling to teeth and gums so choose instead a good dehydrated food (Honest Kitchen, SoJos) or frozen raw food (Primal, Bravo, K9Kraving, Stella & Chewy) with high amounts of unprocessed enzymes. If you prefer a kibble, go with high protein choices like Orijen or Acana but remember, crunching on kibble is not a substitute for teeth cleaning. For added protection, try our dental care products — Now 20% OFF through February! Your dogs and cats will love our highly digestible, enzyme filled treats that clean teeth, freshen breath and come in great flavors like bacon, chicken, carrot fish and parsley/mint. We also have water additives, toothbrushes and sprays that are easy to use and very effective.
Leaving your dog in another’s care is naturally nerve-racking. A good care provider, whether that’s a boarding kennel or in-home care, enables you to relax and not worry when going away.
When looking for a care provider, consider your dog’s special needs. That’s not just their physical needs, but also their emotional makeup. Outgoing, exuberant dogs usually fare well in a boarding situation. Shy, nervous canines are another story. It’s important to find the right situation for your dog.
Prior to bringing your dog to a boarding kennel, ensure that they are current on all his vaccinations. They will need a bordetella – better known as kennel cough – inoculation, and a canine influenza shot. Any boarding situation that does not require proof that your dog is fully vaccinated is one to avoid.
First impressions count. When visiting a potential kennel, make use of your senses. How it looks, smells and sounds tell you a lot about the place. Kennels are not the quietest places in the world, but excessive barking usually means bored, attention-starved canines. Speak with the manager and available kennel staff. Consider their attitude, professionalism, and the questions they ask you about your dog when making a boarding decision. Good kennels want to know about your dog’s temperament, behavior, health, and any special requirements.
The management should inquire about whether your dog is currently on a flea and tick preventive and the type of flea/tick control you use. Reputable kennels do not want boarders bringing parasites onto the premises.
Make sure the kennel allows you to thoroughly inspect the facility. You want a clean, well-lit, well-ventilated, inviting place for your dog to stay. Check the outdoor runs to see if they are protected from the elements. If the kennel only offers indoor runs, find out how often and for how long dogs are taken for walks each day. Inside, kennels should offer air conditioning in hot weather and heat when the temperatures drop. Because dogs in a strange place may try to escape, look around the perimeter of the facility. It should have strong, well-maintained fencing to ensure that an escapee can’t get very far.
Each individual run should always have fresh, clean water available. The dog’s sleeping area should be comfortable. Some kennels allow you to bring your own dog bed.
Most kennels will allow you to provide your own food for your dog, if that’s what you want or need to do. Otherwise, kennels generally feed one specific type of food to all dogs, or have several types available and the client chooses a brand for their pet. If your dog has special dietary requirements – even if it consists of foods they mustn’t eat – let the kennel management know and confirm they can accommodate their needs.
It’s important to understand the kennel’s schedule and practices. Find out beforehand about:
- individual socialization time, the one-on-one attention your dog receives daily
- staff to dog ratio – at least one person for every 10 dogs
- feeding and exercise schedule
- night staffing
- separation by size for any group living or playtime
- veterinary care for emergencies, and whether the dog can be transported to your own vet
- additional services, such as dispensing medication, grooming or training
- facility insurance
You don’t want any unfortunate situations or surprises because you didn’t ask.
You might prefer that your dog stay in a home environment, especially if you’re going away for a considerable length of time. While many people do informal pet-sitting, your best bet is a person who belongs to a national pet-sitting organization and is certified by that agency. These at-home pet sitters are bonded and insured. Always ask an in-home boarding provider for client references.
The criteria for in-home boarding are similar to that of boarding kennels, including vaccination and parasite control. You’ll want to know whether your pet has the run of the house or is confined to certain spaces. Inspect the fencing in the dog’s yard area for any holes or evidence of digging out. Find out how often the pet sitter is out of the house every day, and where your dog will stay during that period. If no one is home for much of the day, you’re probably better off with a different boarding situation.
It’s imperative for you and your dog to have a meet-and-greet with the pet sitter and their family members, both two-and four-legged. Even the best pet sitters may have animals that simply don’t get along with your dog, or your dog might not feel comfortable around children. Ask the pet sitter whether any other boarding dogs or other animals will stay in the home during your dog’s time there. If possible, ask to have a meet-and-greet at the sitter’s home with those pets to see if they get along.
Ask your veterinarian and friends about good boarding options in your area. If you have a dog trainer or belong to a dog club, that’s another good source of advice. A community website or Facebook page is another place to ask questions and get feedback. It never hurts to contact the Better Business Bureau and find out if complaints have been filed against the kennel.
Snow is finally looming in the forecast… we’ve got Safe Paw ice melt ready and waiting! Muttluks Boots are available by special order so let us know if your dog needs to be fitted. Cracked, dry paws can be an issue with winter weather so be prepared with Musher’s Secret and Blissful Dog Paw Balm. If your dogs and cats are itchy, keep a humidifier going to keep them more hydrated. Also consider changing the food to one with more whitefish and salmon, like Orijen or Acana, Fromm or Annamet or even add some of our Grizzly Salmon or Pollock oil to your raw food. The extra omega 3 and 6 fatty acids can decrease scaly, dry skin, hair loss and just plain dull hair coat.
Launching in January 2016 is Acana’s “Heritage Recipes” featuring fresh regional ingredients grown close to home by farmers, ranchers and fishermen they know and trust. They are brimming with free-run poultry and nest-laid eggs from local farms, freshwater fish from regional waters and heritage meats from Appalachian ranches — all delivered in fresh WholePrey™ ratios to nourish completely. Prepared in Champion’s new Kentucky DogStar® kitchens from America’s best and freshest ingredients, these unique and Biologically Appropriate™ foods are a delicious way to keep your pets healthy, happy, and strong. We will have plenty of samples available!
We’re pleased to include the Annamet product line to our lineup of the finest holistic pet foods available in C-ville. This kibble is GMO free, gluten free, human grade and EU certified. The meat products are “low ash” — which means one of the highest inclusions of muscle meat you can get in a kibble type diet. It also includes microalgae, which provides high quality Omega 3 fatty acids, not to mention it’s a totally renewable and sustainable natural resource. These foods have helped many pets with ear, skin and coat issues as well as chronic digestive upsets. We also have their supplements and treats. Please come by for free samples!
If you want the most clever gifts for all the pet lovers on your list, Animal Connection is the place to be! You’ll find clever presents for pet lovers like tough toys made from natural fibers, warm bedding, hand crafted dog coats and knitted sweaters. Dogs and cats will just love our huge assortment of yummy treats like biscuits, training treats, jerky and our signature “woof” big bones are a big hit. We’ve been scouting regional farmer’s markets and have brought in many new brands of local favorites! We also feature bones and chews that come from grass fed, antibiotic free animals. We even grain-free choices for pets with allergies. So whether they’re naughty or nice, come see us and we’ll make your holiday shopping a breeze.
The word “holistic” gets bandied about quite a bit in marketing, but many people may not know exactly what it means. Some think it’s synonymous with “natural.” That’s partly true, but it encompasses far more than that. Holistic pet care takes the entire animal into consideration, and integrates their physical, emotional and mental well-being into their welfare concerns. Traditional pet care focuses on cure, while holistic pet care emphasizes wellness. You won’t take your pet to a holistic, non-veterinary practitioner if the animal is experiencing an emergency. That’s where traditional care excels. Holistic pet care concentrates on keeping the animal in balance, so that his body and spirit stay healthy.
An Individual Approach
Holistic pet care is not one-size-fits-all. It focuses on the individual pet and the animal’s particular situation and needs. A holistic pet care practitioner takes a more thorough history of a pet’s health and lifestyle than does the traditional practitioner. Expect questions about potential toxins in your home or environment, as well as the pet’s diet, behavior, habits and fears.
Holistic pet care incorporates alternative and complementary therapies not found in traditional practices. Traditional veterinary pet care practitioners use various types of drug therapy as the first line of defense in non-emergency situations. The medications may work, but have potential – possibly long-term – side effects. Holistic practitioners use drugs only when necessary. Instead, they rely on safe, natural remedies that treat the root cause of the pet’s issue, rather than treating just the symptoms. These methods might not provide an instant fix, but their results show over time and there are no untoward side effects. Holistic pet care therapies include:
- Herbal remedies
- Flower essences
Holistic therapies tend to cost less than traditional, drug-reliant pet care. The holistic practitioner may teach the owner to perform some therapies herself, such as simple massage. Although holistic pet care offers a variety of complementary therapies, basic principles involve nutrition and exercise.
Pets Are What They Eat
All pet owners know that good nutrition is important. It’s not that traditional pet care practitioners don’t care about nutrition, but they often lack an in-depth knowledge of food and its curative powers. Nutritional therapy can prevent or cure certain conditions. The holistic practitioner will recommend the right kind of food for the pet – one free of fillers and highly processed ingredients. Since cats are obligate carnivores and dogs are primarily carnivorous, the holistic diet is meat-based. Holistic pet foods should provide nutrition suiting the entire animal. Traditional pet foods may be labeled specifically for skin or digestive health, and that’s fine. However, a holistic food should address all of the pet’s needs, and that includes support for the major organs and bodily systems. If they are in balance, the pet’s coat and digestive system will reflect that.
Holistic Pest Control
No one wants fleas, ticks and other pests on their pet. The traditional approach uses strong pesticides on the animal, either in the form of topically applied or oral flea and tick preventives. These products work, but their use may have long-term consequences or even prove fatal to some animals. In 2009, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a consumer advisory regarding approximately 70 flea and tick preventives because of an increased number of adverse reactions reported. These reactions included:
- Skin burns
- Irritated skin
The EPA and the federal Food and Drug Administration advised owners to use such products with caution and always consult with a veterinarian about pet flea and tick control.
Holistic flea and tick control takes a little more time and effort than simply squeezing a pesticide on the skin, but it gets rid of pests and does not harm the pet. For example, holistic pest control may involve releasing nematodes, tiny worms that devour flea larvae, into your yard. Natural herbal products are used on the pet’s skin, and daily combing for fleas or ticks is a must. However, pets under the care of a holistic practitioner are less likely to suffer from flea or tick infestations than those receiving traditional care. That’s because parasites go after the weakest dogs or cats, and a pet treated holistically should have a stronger immune system.
On our site, you can find some of the best foods, pest control methods, and therapies for your animal. It’s a journey to overall wellness, and you’ll be pleased with the results.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BRIAN CARR – the lucky winner of our $500 gift certificate, which we know his cat Ramses will surely enjoy. Merry Christmas Brian!
RESCUE PET FUND IS GOING STRONG! If you haven’t donated yet, you still have time before Christmas! We are accepting donations of products or monetary gifts for the pet rescue group of your choice – we are MATCHING each gift so your donation goes a long way.
SPECIAL HOLIDAY HOURS We’ll be open Christmas Eve for last minute shoppers until 3:00 p.m. We will be closed both Christmas Day and Boxing Day (26th). On New Year’s Eve, we’ll close early around 4:00 p.m. and of course, be closed New Year’s Day. **Please note, if you usually get special frozen food orders, do let us know well in advance because our delivery schedule also changes!