New Grooming Discount

If you rebook your pet for their next full groom when you checkout from the current grooming session we’ll apply a 10% grooming discount on that next booking.     Includes only the regular grooming charge and does not include a discount for any “add on” services.      The discount will not be taken if the appointment is rescheduled within 7 days of the originally scheduled date.


Gluten — Beware This Inferior Dog Food Protein Impostor

Hey, nobody likes an impostor. Am I right?

Dog Food Protein Impostor

Yet you may have already come face-to-face with this unexpectedtrickster and not even known it.

You see, in the world of dog food, protein truly is the Holy Grail.

Dogs crave it for survival. And companies market it for profit.

All things considered, the higher the protein content of a dog food, the greater its perceived value.

It’s Not Just the Amount
of Protein That Counts

But the amount of protein only tells half the story. It’s a protein’s digestibility and its biological value that matter more.

And that’s the problem.

You see, protein can come from just about anywhere — even from non-nutritious sources like leather, hair, feathers, chicken beaks.

Or that mysterious meat substitute — gluten.

Basically, gluten is what’s left over from certain grains — like wheat, barley, rye and other wheat-type cereal grains — that’s had all its starchy carbohydrate (the good stuff) washed out of it.

The rubbery protein residue that’s left is the gluten.

Think of gluten as a sort of plant-based protein concentrate and meat substitute.

Now, although corn gluten meal is the most common form of this AAFCO recognized phrase found on a dog food ingredients list, this item isn’t technically a true gluten.

Yet because it’s more commonly known by its colloquial name, corn gluten meal is still considered (on this website) to be similar enough in its protein-boosting capacity to true glutens to be red-flagged as such on every dog food ingredients list we publish.

The Two Most Common Problems
with Gluten Ingredients

In any case, here are the two most important things to know about gluten ingredients…

1. Glutens are less nutritionally complete than meat based proteins. They’re low in some of the ten essential amino acids dogs need to sustain life

2. Glutens can raise the protein reported on a food label. So, manufacturers frequently add them to a recipe to make a product look better than it really is

The Bottom Line

Whenever you discover gluten on a dog food ingredients list, you should always question the true meat content of the product.

Dogs Get Back on Feet wtih Assistance from ISU College of Veterinary Medicine

Rudy increases his pace on the treadmill, a stoic expression on his face. On the other side of the room, Lucy is having a blast as she moves her legs through the water to reach the other end of the pool. Nearby, Larry concentrates as he begins a warm-up routine incorporating balancing exercises using the stability ball.


Is this the Lied Recreation Athletic Center? No… The Sports Medicine Department? You’re getting closer… It’s the Iowa State University Canine Rehabilitation Center at the College of Veterinary Medicine.


Every day dogs perform a range of activities in the clinic, located in the Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital, under the supervision of certified rehab practitioner Joanna Hildreth and Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh, Iowa’s only board-certified canine sports medicine and rehab specialist. “We offer therapy for patients who have orthopedic or neurologic injuries, as well as rehab for obese, arthritic, or geriatric patients,” Hildreth said.


The rehab facility has an in-ground pool, therapeutic ultrasound, land treadmills, stability balls, cavaletti rails, stairs, grass, and offers neuromuscular electrical stimulation. The facility also has two underwater treadmills. “The first patient to use our underwater treadmill was one of the Des Moines K9 Officers who was shot in the line of duty,” Hildreth said. After surgery and post-operative therapy, he went back to active service for many years until he retired. “We have helped several service and therapy dogs get back to their jobs,” she added.


Patients receive customized therapy plans to help improve their particular condition. In some cases, it may be to recover from spinal surgery or ligament damage incurred by a sporting dog, or improve an arthritic condition of an older patient. Whatever the situation, these dogs receive lots of encouragement to do their exercises from the veterinary technicians and students.


Did you know? The Canine Rehabilitation Center sees nearly 1,000 animals each year. In addition to dogs, cats and even a miniature pony have rehabbed at the facility.


K9A K9 Officer exercises in the underwater treadmill
at ISU’s Canine Rehabilitation Center.

Dog Owners….Trim those Nails!

Why keeping a dog’s nails short and sweet should be a top priority for all dog owners.

(Excerpted from Whole Dog Journal)

Let’s get this out of the way first: Nobody, it seems, likes to “do” dog nails. Not you, not the dog, nor anyone else who may be called upon to take on nail-clipping for you (such as a technician at your local veterinary hospital or even a professional groomer). But for the health of your dog, it must be done, and should be done frequently enough to keep your dog’s nails short.

Why Dogs Need Their Nails Trimmed

When dogs spend a good deal of time outdoors, running on various hard surfaces, including concrete and blacktop, their nails are gradually worn down, and they have less of a need for formal nail-grooming sessions. But today, with many suburban and urban dogs increasingly confined indoors when their owners are at work, and running mostly on soft surfaces such as lawns when they are outdoors, this welcome friction is often absent in their daily lives.

Long, unkempt nails not only look unattractive, but over time they can do serious damage to your dog (not to mention your floors). When nails are so long that they constantly touch the ground, they exert force back into the nail bed, creating pain for the dog (imagine wearing a too-tight shoe) and pressure on the toe joint. Long term, this can actually realign the joints of the foreleg and make the foot looked flattened and splayed.

Again, this isn’t just an aesthetic problem, it’s a functional one: Compromising your dog’s weight distribution and natural alignment can leave her more susceptible to injuries, and make walking and running difficult and painful. This is especially important in older dogs, whose posture can be dramatically improved by cutting back neglected nails.

It’s much easier to trim white nails nice and short, since you can see the pink, sensitive tissue inside the nail, and stop short of cutting into this and causing it to bleed.


In extreme cases, overgrown nails can curve and grow into the pad of the foot. But even if they are not that out of control, long nails can get torn or split, which is very painful and, depending on severity, may need to be treated by a veterinarian.

And in the end, unattended nails create a vicious cycle: Because the extra-long nails make any contact with his paws painful for the dog, he avoids having them touched, which leads to unpleasant nail-cutting sessions, which makes both human and dog avoid them, which leads to longer intervals between trims, which leads to more pain …

The Basics of Clipping Dog Nails

So what’s the goal? What’s the “right” length? While some breeds (most notably the Doberman Pinscher) are often shown with nails so short they can barely be seen, the most commonly accepted rule of thumb is that when a dog is standing, the nails should not make contact with the ground. If you can hear your dog coming, her nails are too long.

The nails of mammals are made of a tough protein called keratin. Technically, dogs have claws, not nails, though we’ll use the latter term in its colloquial sense for this article. (The distinction is that nails are flat and do not come to a point. And if your nail is thick enough and can bear weight, it’s called a hoof.)

Dog’s nails differ from ours in that they consist of two layers. Like us, they have the unguis, a hard, outer covering in which the keratin fibers run perpendicular to the direction in which the nail grows. But unlike us, under their unguis, dogs have the subunguis, which is softer and flaky, with a grain that is parallel to the direction of growth. The faster growth of the unguis is what gives the dog’s nail its characteristic curl.

The Canine Toenail Quick

There’s a reason why the phrase “cut to the quick” means to deeply wound or distress: Running through the nail is a nerve and vein called the “quick.” Nicking or cutting this sensitive band of tissue is very painful for the dog – and messy for the owner, as blood often continues oozing from the cut nail for what seems like an eternity. (Keeping a stypic-powder product, such as Kwik-Stop, on hand can help promote clotting and shorten the misery. Or, in a pinch, try flour.)

Shortening the nail without “quicking” the dog is easier said than done – unless your dog has white or light-colored nails, in which case, you’re in luck: The quick will be visible from the side, as a sort of pink-colored shadow within the nail. Avoid going near it. If you trim the nail with a clipper or scissors, trim a bit off the end of the nail, and notice the color at the end of the nail (in cross section). As soon as the center of the nail starts to appear pink, stop.

You can’t see the quick in a black or dark-colored nail. With these nails, you have to be even more conservative about how much nail you trim off. After making each cut, look at the cross-section of the nail. If you see a black spot in the center – sort of like the center of a marrow bone – stop cutting. It’s likely your next slice will hit the quick.

The longer a dog’s nails are allowed to grow, the longer the quick will become, to the point that taking even a very small bit of nail off the end “quicks” the dog. Then the goal becomes a matter of snipping or grinding the nails to get as close as possible to the quick, without actually cutting it. This is perhaps easiest to accomplish with a grinding tool (such as a Dremel), though it can be done with clippers, too, with practice. By grinding away the nail all around the quick – above it, below it, and on both sides – the quick has no support or protection, and within days it will begin to visibly recede, drawing back toward the toe.

If a dog’s feet have been neglected for months (or, horrors, years) at a time, it might take months to shorten those nails to a healthy, pain-free length. But if you keep at this regularly, it should get easier for the dog to exercise. And the more he moves, the more his nails will come into contact with the ground in a way that will help wear the nails down and help the quicks to recede.

New Dog? 21 Items for your shopping list….

from our friends at

What’s almost as much fun as welcoming a new dog into your home? Going on a shopping spree to make that welcome complete! Let’s face it. Even though your new dog can thrive on love and attention, even dogs have a materialistic streak, and they won’t turn down a plush bed, a fun toy or an entertaining chewy.

Consider the following items for your shopping spree:

Fence. If you plan to let your dog loose in your yard, you will need a fence. The fence should be dog proof from the start, so your dog is never encouraged by successful escapes. Make sure it also prevents marauding animals from getting in. Buried electric fences, while better than no fence, are not ideal because they don’t prevent other animals from getting inside the boundary, and your dog can also run beyond the barrier even though he’s getting a shock, and then not be able to get back inside.

Crate. All dogs should be crate trained, and the best time to start is now. Crates come in three types: wire, which folds flat and has better ventilation; plastic, which is cozy and is approved for airline shipping; and cloth, which is lightweight but can be shredded by dogs who want to get out. Wait until your dog behaves in a hard-sided crate before trying a cloth one.

Baby gates. Baby gates allow your dog freedom while still blocking off restricted areas in your house. Don’t use the old-fashioned accordion style, which can close on a puppy’s neck. Even a long, sturdy piece of cardboard can possibly do the job in a pinch.

Exercise pen. An exercise pen (X-pen) is a 4 foot-by-4 foot portable enclosure that functions as a doggy playpen. It’s safer than locking your puppy in a bathroom, and he’s less likely to object because it doesn’t have that closed-in feeling that a small room gives him. Set the pen in your kitchen or den, where he can be out from underfoot yet still be part of the family when you can’t watch him. They’re also great for traveling to keep your dog from bolting out of motel rooms.

Dog bed


Bed. Beds can range from a cardboard box packed with comfy towels to a miniature bedroom suite that matches your own. But leave the fancy ones until your dog is over his chewing urges.

Anti-chew spray. Like an off-limits sign for your furniture legs, these sprays taste bitter so your puppy will be discouraged from chewing inappropriately.

Collar or harness. A collar or harness is a means of controlling and identifying your dog. A buckle collar is OK for most dogs. A slip (“choke”) or, better, a martingale collar is a good choice for walking on leash because your dog can’t let it slip over his head. However, it’s dangerous to leave them on your dog unattended, as they can get caught on things and strangle your dog. In fact, don’t leave any collar on a puppy unattended, as they have a penchant for getting their lower jaw stuck in it. Make sure any collar is loose enough for you to get a couple of fingers between it and your puppy’s neck, but not so loose that it could slide over his head when walking on leash — or that he can reach down and bite it!

Leash. Start with a sturdy lightweight leash, 4 to 6 feet long. Don’t get a chain leash, which is hard to hold on to.

Retractable leash. These give your dog more freedom, but too many people give them so much freedom that the dog wanders into the road or up to strange dogs or under people’s feet. Retractable leashes should be retracted unless you’re in a safe place away from other people and dogs. They’re an unpopular choice in veterinary waiting rooms.

Identification. Almost any large pet supply store sells identification tags you can make on the spot. Get one.

Cleaning supplies. For rug accidents, use anenzymatic carpet cleaner, which destroys the odor-causing molecules rather than simply covering them up.

Poop scoop. Scoops with a rake on one side are better for grass, and the flat-edge pusher varieties are better for cement surfaces. Two-part scoops are easier to use than hinged versions.

Poop bags. A variety of special doggy poop disposal bags are available, but you can also use a baby diaper disposal bag or a cheap sandwich bag.

Bowls. Stainless steel bowls are durable and easy to clean. Ceramic bowls can be put in the microwave. Plastic bowls hold germs, and a few dogs are allergic to them. Self-feeding or watering bowls are handy but must be cleaned just as often as regular bowls.

Brush. A soft-bristle brush is ideal for getting your puppy used to grooming. Later, you can buy more appropriate grooming tools for his adult coat.

Rinseless shampoo. When you can’t give your dog a real bath, just squirt some rinseless shampoo on him, rub it in and wipe the dirt away with a towel.

Dog brush


Toothbrush. A doggy toothbrush and toothpaste is ideal, but a child’s toothbrush will do. Don’t use human toothpaste, though, which is not made to be swallowed.

Toenail clippers. Cat nail clippers work fine for tiny puppies. For adults, scissor-type or guillotine-type is a matter of choice. You can also use a grinder.

Plush toys. Puppies love soft fuzzy toys. Make sure no parts can come off and that your puppy can’t gut it and swallow any noisemakers. Avoid bean or Styrofoam stuffing.

Throw toys. Balls and other toys that encourage playing with people are especially good for social development.

Interactive toys. Toys that challenge your puppy to dislodge food treats can occupy him while you’re away. Rotate several interactive toys with different challenges to help prevent him from getting bored.

And that’s just to get you started! Happy shopping!

Signs of Dental Disease in Dogs

Signs of Dental Disease in Dogs, and What Can Be Done About It     (from

Signs of dental disease in dogs include bad breath, bleeding gums and gum loss. We run down the symptoms of dog periodontal disease.

Unlike you, your dog doesn’t brush his teeth two or three times a day to make sure his smile is sparkling white and his breath is fresh. Overseeing our pets’ dental health is something that we, as pet parents, need to do in order to ensure our animal companions a long and healthy life.

The bacterium that accumulates in your dog’s mouth and that causes periodontal disease is the same kind that can travel throughout his body and affect his kidneys, lungs, and heart. If you know what to look for when it comes to your dog’s teeth and mouth, you can be better prepared to deal with any problems that may arise.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Detecting dental disease in your dog can be as simple as opening his mouth, looking inside at his teeth and gums, and smelling his breath. I have listed some of the things you should look for below:

  • Bad Breath: The bacteria from decaying food that causes gingivitis and infection in your dog’s mouth also results in abnormally bad breath. We don’t expect doggy breath to be “minty fresh,” but any type of sour, acrid odor is indicative of some kind of disease process in your pet’s mouth or other internal organs. (Yes, cats can have bad breath too.)
  • Inflamed Gums: Also called “gingivitis,” the disease that causes your dog’s red, inflamed and sometimes bleeding gums is a result of the bacteria that linger in his mouth from food left in his teeth. This bacterium typically gathers under the gum line around the roots of the teeth and can cause an infection that leads to tooth loss, bone degeneration and, in severe cases, possible major organ disease.
  • Plaque and Calculus: Dental plaque is composed of the food particles and saliva that mix together to form a sticky film on your dog’s teeth. If the plaque is left on the teeth, it will harden into a thick, bone-like formation called calculus (or tartar), which can cover the entire tooth and hide an underlying infection.
  • Swollen Jaw: Often, when infection gathers around the tooth root and creates anabscess, swelling of the jaw occurs that is visible to the naked eye. There will be a lump either on the lower jaw close to your pup’s neck or on the upper jaw just under his eye socket. Sometimes, if the abscess becomes large enough to burst, it will break through the skin covering it and you’ll see pus seeping onto your dog’s fur from a small hole in the lump.
  • Trouble Chewing: You may notice that your dog is having trouble chewing his food, or that he’s stopped chewing altogether and is just gulping it down. If you look inside his mouth, you may also see loose or missing teeth where the tooth roots have detached from the bone because of disease. Rotting, infected teeth and gums can be extremely painful, and loose teeth can cause your pet to stop using his mouth to break up his food.
  • Nasal Discharge and Sneezing: When your dog’s gums become infected on his maxilla (upper jaw), the roots of the teeth can abscess, creating pockets of pus and infection that can reach up into his sinus cavities. When the sinuses become infected, your pup can develop a runny nose and begin sneezing.

How to Take Care of Your Dog’s Dental Disease

Once your pet shows any of the symptoms discussed above, scheduling him for aveterinary dental cleaning is the only sure way to effect a cure for his periodontal disease.

Your veterinarian may request a blood screen to detect any signs of systemic organ problems before placing your dog under anesthesia for the dental cleaning, particularly if your dog is a senior or has some other diagnosed illness.

After the dog is anesthetized, a trained veterinary technician will take X-rays of the teeth to determine if there are any pockets or abscesses around the tooth roots, and to look for any bone deterioration.

The vet tech scrapes the teeth free of any plaque and cleans them with a high-powered, ultra-sonic water pick. The water pick vibrates at such a high rate of speed that any hard calculus formed on the teeth is easily broken up and removed. After the initial cleaning, the technician scrapes and probes underneath the gum line looking for any deep pockets of infection.

If any of the teeth need to be pulled because they are broken or the roots are no longer holding the teeth in place, the veterinarian steps in to perform this part of the procedure. The vet may also inject any needed antibiotics into the gum cavity, and suture the hole closed if it is too large to heal on its own.

Once your dog’s teeth are polished and his mouth is rinsed with an antibiotic wash, he is allowed to awaken from the anesthesia, and you should be able to take him home the same day. Typically, the veterinarian prescribes antibiotics for you to administer to your dog to clear up any remaining bacterial infection.

What Else Can You Do for a Dog With Periodontal Disease?

Here are some more tips:

  • A new dental vaccine called the porphyromonas vaccine has been developed to destroy the types of bacteria that cause periodontal disease in dogs. These particular strains of bacteria are linked to canine lung, kidney and heart disease and have been known to effect bone loss in a dog’s jaws. They have also been shown to be a major cause of aspiration pneumonia in humans. The vaccine is given every six to 12 months as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin) and only after a veterinary cleaning. Ask your veterinarian about the vaccine at your next regular visit.
  • Home brushing should be your next step in helping to prevent dental disease in your dog. You can buy a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste from your veterinarian or a pet store. Brush the teeth daily, using downward strokes on the outside of the teeth only. You won’t need to brush the inner portions of the mouth because your dog’s tongue and saliva clean those areas. Note: Please DO NOT use human toothpaste to clean a dog’s teeth. Human products contain chemicals that can be harmful to your pet’s digestive tract.
  • Dental chew toys and treats can also be purchased from your vet, the pet store or online, and they are manufactured to help clean your dog’s teeth as he chews on them. We all know dogs like to chew on things, so finding an appropriate toy or treat that also removes the plaque on his teeth while he chews can be part of the solution to his dental issues. Just make sure to give him a treat or toy that best fits his size, because some toys meant for larger breeds can cause tooth and jaw fractures in smaller pets.
  • Switching to kibble, or a hard food, can be beneficial for your pup’s dental health as it, too, scrapes his teeth clean as he chews during the day. You’ll want to make sure to get the kibble in a size to fit his mouth, and one that has all the proper nutrients for his health.

The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that 85 percent of dogs over the age of 3 have some sort of periodontal disease. Keeping your dog’s teeth and gums clean and infection-free can mean a difference in years when it comes to your pet’s life.