February is dental month, and that means it is time to talk about teeth. Gum disease, gingivitis, and other oral diseases are so common in our pets. Over 80% of all dogs over the age of three has one of these.
Regular dental care is just as important for your dog as it is for you. Many people think because they feed their dog a dry food like kibble, they are protecting their dog’s teeth in place of brushing. This would be a little bit like you thinking that because you eat crunchy oreos, they are cleaning your teeth so you don’t have to brush.
Kibble simply isn’t hard enough to clean your dog’s teeth, and particles that get lodged in between your pet’s teeth will feed the bacteria leading to plaque build up, and eventually tartar. If you’ve ever noticed your dog has smelly breath, this is often a sign that the dog needs dental care right away. That smell is from tartar build up, and it needs to be removed by a professional.
While yearly dentals may be necessary to help clean away the tartar that does build up, prevention of the build up at is the best option available. That means brushing your dog’s teeth as often as possible with a pet safe toothpaste.
When brushing your dog’s teeth, start on the back molars and work all the way to the front. Many people brush the front teeth, but fail to get the back molars where most of the food debris gets caught.
If you have trouble brushing your dog’s
teeth, or would just rather not, you can have one of our groomers
brush them for you. It’s a walk-in service, no appointment necessary.
Toothbrushing is just $6, and we can do it while you wait.
sIt seems like almost every dog suffers from a yeast infection at some point in their life. That strong doggy smell, angry red skin, and constant itching is stressful for both humans and dogs alike. Luckily there’s a great supplement that may be able to help.
Fermented raw cow’s milk kefir is packed with gut-friendly bacteria. Kefir is made by culturing raw milk from specialized probiotics and yeasts. These bacteria and yeasts work together to support the digestive system, making it a great choice for boosting the immune system and helping with tummy troubles.
When a dog has a yeast infection, it’s
often caused by an imbalance in the yeast on their skin. Yeast is
present on their bodies (and on ours too) at all times. The only time
it becomes an issue is when these imbalances occur.
Kefir can help restore that balance, by
crowding out the yeast with good bacteria, so it has no place to
Fermented raw cow’s milk kefir is a great option for your pet if he needs to gain a little weight, has a yeast infection, or have been on antibiotics in the past. If your dog is lactose intolerant, it’s better to try raw goat’s milk as a supplement.
If you’re already using raw goat milk for a supplement, you can also use fermented raw cow’s milk kefir. Fermented raw cow’s milk kefir is different from raw goat’s milk, and addresses different issues.
If you’re excited to give this a try, we’re excited to offer a coupon for one free pint of Answers cow milk kefir. Print it out from this newsletter!
A recent study was picked up by news organizations around the world. The articles on the study screamed grain-free dog food was making pets sick. These catchy headlines certainly grab the attention of pet lovers, but they don’t tell the whole story. Veterinary researchers have uncovered a link between grain-free kibble, taurine deficiency and the heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in certain breeds of dogs.
With today’s smart consumer knowing that dog food is more than just pretty packaging, the demand for grain-free dog food has been growing. That means companies that make grain-free dog food are growing and not all of them are doing a good job of meeting animal requirements. A grain-free dog good that is mostly peas or potato, and very little meat, is still a poor choice to feed a carnivore.
While the study was completed on grain-free dog food, this does not mean that switching to a grain filled dog food will correct the problem. The problem isn’t with grain-free dog food. The problem is with “complete and balanced” dog food. The truth is, we are still searching for the definition of “complete and balanced” dog food. Scientists have discovered that dogs have a nutritional need for taurine.
Dog food manufacturers are not required to add taurine to dog food, so more and more pets are developing cardiomyopathy. Taurine comes from animal sources, and can’t be found in grains. There may be other missing ingredients in kibble that are causing this heart condition to crop up. Switching to a grain filled food is not the solution. After all, how many dogs have you seen out grazing in a field of corn?
Just because a dog food is labeled as “complete and balanced”, it is only complete as far as we know. The more we learn about our beloved pet’s nutritional needs, the more we discover that “complete and balanced” isn’t as perfect as we thought.
The best way to combat what we don’t know is to feed fresh, biologically appropriate food whenever possible, and to supplement in order to fill in any gaps. No matter how great a kibble you buy, it is still just a dried biscuit in the end, and can only do so much nutritionally.
If you are looking for an easy taurine supplement, feed your dog heart treats from our treat section. This tail-wagging good treat will also help supply the needed taurine that is not found in their kibble. We also carry a taurine supplement by Wysong. Raw fermented goat’s milk is also an excellent source of taurine and is packws with many nutritional benefits for your dog. Our Answers Raw Goat’s Milk can be found in our freezer.
In forests all around the world, a flat strange looking mushroom grows prolifically. This plain mushroom, called a turkey tail, is so common as to seem ordinary, but it is getting the attention of scientists and nutritionists all around the world for its potential life saving anti-cancer properties.
Turkey tail mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, but they are still unfamiliar as a medicine to Western society. This may change in the next few years, however, as the FDA has recently approved turkey tail mushroom supplements to be used in human cancer patient trials.
Scientists have discovered that turkey tail mushrooms are a powerful immune therapy, and may help the immune systems of breast cancer patients. This could mean longer and better lives for cancer patients of every description. Turkey tail mushrooms can be used as an immunity booster for dogs and help the dog’s body to recognize cancer tumors and fight them directly.
Here at Woofers, we have two groomers that have tested the turkey tail mushroom supplement on their own dog’s tumors. One of the dog’s tumors was confirmed as cancer, the other a tumor that hadn’t been tested. Both dogs experienced shrinkage of the tumors and better health. The undiagnosed dog’s tumor disappeared so completely that the vet could not find the tumor anymore in order to check if it was benign or malignant.
Here are some photos of the dog with the confirmed cancerous tumor.
It’s a little hard to tell the tumor from a hot spot (caused by the cancer) but the circle indicates where it is on the dog. She was also put on Woofers raw meat mix and CBD, which may have contributed to the visible shrinkage.
After 6 days the hot spot also started healing.
If you have a dog that has been diagnosed with cancer, or are looking for a way to keep your dog healthy so that it has a reduced risk of cancer, a turkey tail supplement may be worth adding to your dog’s bowl.
What is Crate Training?
Crate Training is a form of conditioning in which you condition your puppy to live, with you, in your home. The objectives of crate training are:
To provide the dog with a secure space that’s his.
To aid the puppy in his potty training.
To contain the puppy so he cannot hurt himself or your home while he learns how to live with you.
Provide A Den
Every dog needs a space that’s his. It’s where he sleeps. It’s nice if it can fit in a corner somewhere quiet and away from the main flow of traffic through your home. The dog must be able to feel safe in his den, so we never use the crate to punish the dog.
I’d like you to imagine that you just brought your new puppy home and it’s his first night with you. When it’s bed time, you take him outside to his “potty-place” and say whatever word you use for him to associate with eliminating his wastes. Then you put him in his crate as you say the word, “Kennel”, or any other word you’d like to use consistently as a command-word.
At this point you must walk away from the crate and not look back or clutch your trembling hands together as you marvel over his cuteness. Otherwise, you will not be able to withstand the urge to comfort him when the wailing begins. You must allow him the opportunity to deal with this on his own. He’s probably going to wail and shriek for at least a few minutes and maybe most of the night.
A healthy, 8 week old puppy that has all his needs cared for and has emptied his bowels and bladder, should easily be able to remain crated for around three hours. Your pup will need to come out of his crate sometime during the night to potty. Remember, you don’t want him messing his crate. If he stopped crying and went to sleep; the next thing you hear will be him announcing that he needs to go out again.
I’ve had pups that needed to go out two or three times in the course of a night, but most of my pups only need to go out once a night after the first few days of living in the house. And yes, it’s loads of fun when you’re standing in your bathrobe at 3:30 AM in 38 degrees and drizzle while the dog pees, then as soon as you get him in, he wants to play, or better yet, you’re standing there in aforementioned bathrobe and he decides to go under the fence to the neighbor’s yard. This is a good time to avoid any behavior on your part that might excite the dog. Just scoop him up as calmly and quickly as you can and put him back in his crate without engaging in play or other activity that will further excite the pup.
When he goes back in the crate immediately after his midnight potty-walk, he’ll probably protest with more wailing. This is an attempt to convince you that he will have a complete meltdown if you don’t take him out and play with him right this minute. This is the hardest part for some people. They can’t stand to hear their puppy wailing in the middle of the night, so they let the pup out of the crate thinking, “maybe if I just play with him for a few minutes, he’ll wear out and go to sleep”. What they’re actually doing is teaching the pup that the more he wails, the more likely he is to be released from the crate and (Bonus) be played with too!
If you leave the pup in the crate and allow him to wail, you accomplish two important things. First, you begin to establish a pattern that will remain all the dog’s life: You are the “pack-leader” who will control his comings and goings all his doggy days. Second, you give him the opportunity to self-soothe, or calm himself.
The pup should go in the crate without food, water or toys inside the crate. A healthy puppy will not need food or water during the two or three hours that he sleeps in his den, nor does he need toys that may excite him and prevent him from sleeping. This should not be taken to mean that you can leave the dog in the crate without food or water for extended periods. It’s far more accurate to say that the puppy should not be stuck in his crate so long that food and water become an issue.
Dogs are not humans. They do not have the need or desire for constant entertainment. This is why dogs don’t have smart phones, computers or X Box. When a dog isn’t feeding, breeding or fulfilling other basic needs, he will spend most of his time sleeping. Dogs sleep a lot.
I wish I had some fancy statistic that showed how many of the behavioral problems seen in dogs today are the result of people expecting dogs to be “ON” all the time. This is so much against the dog’s nature that it damages some of them. A well adjusted dog will have the ability to “shut down” and spend a great deal of his idle time sleeping. By providing a safe den in the form of a crate, you give your dog the opportunity to assume his natural behavior from the very first night he lives with you, even as you begin to place pressure on him to conform somewhat to the schedule of his new “pack”.
Aid In House-Breaking
A healthy puppy, taken from a healthy litter at the age of seven to eight weeks, will not soil its own sleeping area. A crate should be just tall enough for the pup to stand up, and have just enough length and width for him to turn around. There should not be enough room for the dog to soil one end of the crate and sleep in the other.
The process of housebreaking a pup is very simple. You need two things. First, you need the crate, next you need undivided attention. Undivided attention is getting pretty scarce these days. Kids certainly can’t afford it and most adults won’t even focus for more than a few seconds before they need to text, email, tweet or… where was I going with this?… oh yeah, focus!
Remember I said the “process” was easy? It is! Just keep your attention on the pup any time he’s out of his crate. This means no phone, no TV, no computer. Just watch the pup. Until he’s completely housebroken, you will need to devote a great deal of time and attention to him. He shouldn’t have time to potty on the floor because you’re watching him, right? And he shouldn’t have time to chew the corner off your leather sofa because you’re paying attention, right? Here’s the deal: He doesn’t know the difference between a chew-toy and a Persian rug. You can either pay attention or pay for new furnishings.
The crate works for potty-training because you either have the pup in the crate, or he gets your undivided attention. Your pup will have accidents in the house. He will show you signs that he’s getting ready to poop or pee. If he has your undivided attention every time he’s out of the crate you’ll learn these signs really fast. Now the puppy is teaching you something that you will use for the rest of your life. This is what he’s teaching you:
“These are the signs I give when I need something. I will never be able to talk to you, but if you give me enough of your undivided attention, I will show you signs for everything I need. I can also show you how I am connected to the wildness in the world and I can show you the way to the wild inside you; If you give me enough of your undivided attention.”
Woof! That got pretty dang lofty for a potty training session huh?
Anyhow, when you see the pup getting ready, or showing any of the signs of needing to potty, take him outside. Take him through the same door every time, to the same spot outside and use the same word, such as “potty”, or “bathroom” or “do your business”. It’s not important, what word or phrase you use as long as you are consistent, so pick a word or phrase you can be comfortable using in any setting.
Provide A Safe Containment Area
The average American home is filled with things that endanger a puppy. Some of these dangers are:
Electrical cords, such as lamp cords or extension cords.
Fall hazards, stairs, balconies, decks.
Drowning hazards, tubs, toilets, buckets.
Poison hazards, cleaning supplies, medicines.
Garbage / trash, sharp objects.
Choking hazards, any small object the pup might be tempted to chew.
The list goes on and on! If you’ve raised children, you probably noticed that this list of puppy-hazards is much like the one you had to worry about with small kids. The difference with a puppy is that an 8 week old pup is much more mobile than an 8 week old child. With an infant child you have some time to child-proof the house before the kid starts to crawl around and terrorize his surroundings. A puppy, on the other hand, will have amazing abilities to get into trouble right from the very first day he arrives in your home.
A thoughtful guardian will go to great lengths to “puppy-proof” the home before the dog arrives, but the puppy’s inquisitive nature combined with his tendency to eat everything he can get his lips around, make it extremely dangerous for him to roam unsupervised in your home. No matter how carefully you puppy-proof your house, you can be sure that someone will drop a paperclip or a thumbtack, and the puppy will find this shiny treasure on the floor and immediately ingest it. Veterinarians love to tell stories about the strange items they’ve removed from dogs. The cost of surgically removing household items from a dog’s intestine starts at about $800. There’s also considerable risk involved in these surgeries.
In addition to these hazards to the pup’s health, there is the risk that left unattended; a puppy will become bored and frustrated. Rather than drumming his puppy fingers on a table or flipping endlessly through TV channels, the bored and frustrated canine will begin to dig and chew. Keep in mind that he does not know the difference between a rubber chew toy and the I-Phone that you left lying on the coffee table. So when you come back into the living room after a quick trip to the bathroom, and find your expensive new phone chewed to bits, whose fault is that? Likewise, when you wake in the morning to find that your new pet has run through the whole house and redecorated with poop, pee and the stuffing from your favorite recliner, whose fault is that?
All of the aforementioned hazards can be easily avoided by using the two most important tools of early dog training: the crate and your undivided attention. Simply put, when the puppy does not have your undivided attention, you put him in his crate. I know how hard it is to give a puppy (or anything for that matter) your undivided attention. We’re all busy! But consider this: if you and your family don’t have the time to give your pup the attention he needs, then maybe you don’t really have time to raise a puppy.
If you find that your new best friend is constantly in his crate because you simply don’t have the time to give him the attention he needs; then you have discovered, too late, that you don’t really have the time to raise a puppy.
I hope that this article has provided you with some real-world reasons for using a crate and undivided attention in your puppy-training program. I hope you will take an honest assessment of your available time before you choose to bring a puppy into your home. If you decide that you don’t have time to raise a puppy, perhaps you will consider adopting an adult dog.
How To Pick The Right Crate
The most practical way to get started with crate training is to begin with a plastic transport crate. As mentioned earlier, the crate should be just big enough for the pup to stand upright and turn around. You should use this crate when you bring the dog home in your car and you can also use it to transport him to and from the vet when he goes for his shots and check-up. One of the advantages of early crate-training is that it allows your dog to become accustomed to confined spaces at a young age. This will make it much easier on him when he has to be confined at the groomer’s, the vet, or if he ever goes for an airplane ride.
He’ll probably outgrow the transport crate pretty quickly, but you can replace it with a larger wire crate that fits him better. It’s also a good idea to replace the transport crate with a larger one as well. You’ll use the larger transport crate whenever you take the dog somewhere in your car. He should be accustomed to his crate by now and it will make him feel safer. The transport crate also comes in handy when you travel anywhere with your dog. If you’re visiting relatives and your cousin’s kids are getting too rough, you can just put the dog in his crate and tell them he’s taking a nap.
How To Develop Undivided Attention
I hope you’ll forgive me for harping about undivided attention so much. I just don’t think its’ importance can be stressed enough. I think part of the reason we love dogs, part of the magic of their friendship, is the manner in which they help us to connect with the natural world.
Since the first wolf pup was domesticated by pre-historic humans, a bond has developed between humans and dogs. Dogs, with their instincts and sharpened senses, have the ability to share with us a connection to nature that we would not have without them. Even with all our highly prized rationality and ability to analyze, we cannot hear a friend approaching from a mile away. We cannot smell the fear that another being feels near us. We cannot stop thinking about the future and we cannot disconnect ourselves from our past. But a dog can do all these things. For the small price of paying attention, we can partake in a dog’s boundless generosity to share all these abilities with us.
Just watch your dog. Try not to analyze or judge everything he does. Try not to worry about tomorrow or dwell on the days you’ve already spent. Just watch your dog and listen. Your undivided attention will help him bring you to the place where only dogs and a few lucky humans can ever go, a magical place called “Now.”
At Woofers, we believe strongly in supplements to help keep your dog as happy and healthy as possible. Every month we will be featuring a new supplement and talk about what they are used for and why.
This month we are talking about my favorite supplement, Joint Guard Vet. This joint supplement works extremely well for all kinds of joint issues. I’ve tried lots of joint supplements before, but this one got my attention because it helped my dog Rocco go from three-legged-lame to jumping and running without issue in what felt like no time at all.
I was so impressed by this supplement I emailed the company asking what made it work so well.
My inquiry: “I have a 5 year old chihuahua named Rocco. As you may know, chihuahuas are prone to a condition called “Luxating Patella” where the knee joint slips out of place. My dog has a grade 1 slipping patella on one side, and a grade 2 in the other. This didn\’t appear until he was 3 years old, and while it causes him no pain, sometimes his knee gets stuck and the only way to put it back is to tip him upright and then back down.”
Here is the prompt reply I received:
“Thank you, Andrea, for your putting Rocco on joint guard and supporting his nutritional and supplement needs.
I can see you how much you love him. There is not just one ingredient, but the blend of Joint Guard is what we feel is working. Patella luxation is a chronic, genetic, congenital, or traumatic condition that over time will cause arthritic changes and the inflamed environment inside the joint will cause a breakdown of ligaments. Therefore, by supplementing with the ingredients in joint guard we are trying to support the normal structure of the joint and keep it healthy. The vitamin C used (Pure-way C) is rapidly absorbed and maintains higher plasma levels in comparison to other ascorbic acids and is necessary for collagen synthesis. There are various ingredients that help to form glycosaminoglycans which have anti-inflammatory properties needed for proteoglycan synthesis, found normally in synovial fluid. MSM is a source of sulfur required for collagen synthesis and may inhibit pain impulses traveling along the nerve fibers, therefore having analgesic properties. A blend of bioflavonoids have been chosen because of the strong antioxidant properties which inhibit inflammation and damaging enzymes. Manganese is also an essential cofactor in the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, collagen and proteoglycans to form the organic matrix of bone.
We hope this answers your question. Thank you for informing us on the amazing update for Rocco.
Animal Necessity Veterinary Advisory Team”
If you have a dog with joint issues, give this a try. The results with my dog were fantastic! Lyn is also using this product with Ginger & FredMan.
The 45 count bottle costs $40.00 and it’s worth every penny.
Written by: Andrea Kuska, one of your amazing groomers at Woofers, who is also studying canine nutrition.
We all want what is best for our dogs. We give them healthy food, treats, and supplements. We take them for walks. We try to eliminate any discomforts or problems our dogs may have. A difficult problem to deal with in your pet is anxiety.
We’ve all had a dog that shivers under the bed for fireworks, loses their mind at the first crack of thunder, or can’t stand it when they are apart from you. For these dogs it can sometimes be difficult to find a solution. If you’ve already tried thunder shirts, rescue remedy, training and exercise, you may feel there is nothing else you can do.
Enter Barkworthies Phytocannabinoid dog treats. A treat designed to aid your dog’s digestion, help with joint pain, and reduce anxiety. It is made with CBD, CBN, and CBG, parts of cannabis that treat these problems without any of the bad parts.
These treats work wonderfully for anxious dogs. In a test run during a massive thunderstorm, I had four, relaxed, happy chihuahuas surrounding me. Without the treats they’re shaking and hiding. We will definitely be keeping these around for fireworks and other high stress times.
Since most dog foods are complete and balanced, the idea of giving your dog a multi-vitamin supplement may surprise you. Yet this little pill can seriously boost your dog’s health. On top of featuring all human grade ingredients, this supplement contains both herbs, vitamins and minerals for your dog. Let’s look at a few of the ingredients:
Flax Seed: While we recommend your dog get as much of his omega-3 fatty acids from an animal source, flax seed is nonetheless an excellent source of omega-3s for your dog, and also offers a source of fiber.
Spirulina: A power house of nutrients ranging from vitamins (A variety of B vitamins as well as Vitamin A) as well as minerals such as iron and manganese.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is not included in most dog foods because dogs can survive without it. They can manufacture enough of it on their own to survive. However, recent studies have shown that dogs can really benefit from vitamin C in their diet. Check out this link on how vitamin C can benefit your dog!
This is Lyn’s favorite multi-vitamin, and a great supplement to put your dog on. We carry it at Woofers Grooming & Goodies, for $x.xx per bottle.
At Woofers, we believe strongly in supplements to help keep your dog as happy and healthy as possible. Every month we will be featuring a new supplement and talk about what they are used for and why.
If your dog is on a kibble-based diet, chances are he is not getting enough omega 3 fatty acids. Salmon oil is the perfect supplement for these dogs, dogs for skin problems, and also Nordic breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute, which do better with higher omega-3s than other breeds.
Omega-3s are often neglected because the AAFCO doesn’t consider them essential, but recent research is showing more and more the important of getting enough of this important supplement.
You can buy Salmon Oil here at Woofers Grooming & Goodies for $9.99 for a 4 fl oz bottle, $16.99 for 8 fl oz, and $24.99 for 16 fl oz. Larger sizes are available.