Bathing Tips from Animal Wellness Magazine

Some dogs love having a bath; to them, it’s just another romp in the water. Others tremble and whine, shivering pitifully or struggling to escape until the ordeal is over. If your dog falls into the latter category, you might be tempted to avoid the problem by just never bathing your dog. But most pooches eventually do need a bath. So how do you make the experience more tolerable and comfortable?



How often should he be bathed?
There’s no right answer to how often a dog needs a bath. It depends on many factors, such as his lifestyle and coat type.

If your dog spends lots of time exploring woods and ponds, or meeting interesting animals such as skunks, he’s going to need a bath more often than the dog who only ventures outdoors for leashed walks. Dogs with long or thick coats tend to collect more dirt on their travels and therefore require more frequent bathing.

Some dogs, meanwhile, have skin conditions that may warrant regular bathing with special shampoos or other treatments.

“A full bath at shedding season – spring and fall/winter – helps bring in the new coat,” adds veterinarian Dr. Mark Newkirk.

What’s actually scaring him?
If your dog makes a run for it whenever it’s bath time, start by trying to evaluate what might be making him anxious.

• Make sure you are using a soap and shampoo formulated especially for dogs; human products can be too harsh and can cause skin irritation that may leave the dog feeling itchy, uncomfortable and even more anxious after the bath. Natural shampoos, such as Pure Pooch All Natural Shampoo for Dogs are much gentler and easier on the skin than commercial products. Pure Pooch lathers quickly and rinses easily, minimizing time spent in the tub – and consequently reducing bath stress. A shampoo that leaves your dog’s skin feeling good will help him feel calmer about being bathed.

• Check that your dog is comfortable in the basin or tub you are using. It should be large enough that he can turn around, but small enough that he doesn’t feel overwhelmed. Try different basins, tubs or sinks to see if he has a preference. Always place a rubber mat on the bottom, so the dog has solid footing.

• It’s also important to make sure your dog has secure footing on surfaces around the bathing area, such as tile or stainless steel. The Ezee-Visit Pet Vet Mat, for example, has an oilcloth top and an antimicrobial nonskid padded bottom that gives dogs safe and stable footing on potentially slippery surfaces. A dog that feels physically secure will also feel more emotionally secure.

• Consider the possibility that something in the bathing environment might be frightening him – it may be the sound of water running or draining, the unfamiliar surroundings of the bathroom or laundry room, or even the lighting or the way your voice echoes in a tub or shower area.

• Make sure he’s exposed to water outside of bath time. Walk around a lake or along a creek and encourage him get his paws wet. On warm days, fill a kiddie pool with an inch or two of water and add squeaky toys for playtime. Or encourage a game of fetch around a sprinkler.

Back to square one
Another technique is to simply try giving the bath experience a fresh start. You need to make it pleasant rather than something to be afraid of, and that takes time, so be patient.

1. First, coax your dog to visit the empty tub or basin when there’s no water in it. Scatter a few toys or treats inside and encourage him to jump in to retrieve them.

2. As he gets more confident, add just enough water to cover his feet. Don’t use soap or shampoo at this point; just make it fun for him to get in the tub, splash around, and get out.

3. Gradually work your way up to an actual bath. Always have plenty of treats on hand, and keep the sessions brief.

4. Remain calm and reassuring – your dog will pick up on any anxiety you may be feeling. Quiet music may help.

5. Enlist a helper so one of you can secure the dog and tend to his well being while the other gets the bathing done. If you don’t have another set of hands, look for products such as the Pet Wash. It attaches to the wall to keep your dog comfortably secure during bathing. “It safely holds the animal in place and at arms’ reach under the shower head or tub faucet without harming him,” says marketing representative Maitte Van Arsdelm. “[Having both hands free] makes the owner more relaxed, and that confidence is passed along to the animal, making the whole experience easy and fun.”

Keep him clean in between
To minimize the number of baths your dog needs, take simple steps to keep him clean between times.

• Brush your dog frequently to remove dirt, undercoat or sticky substances that may have dried on his hair. Carefully remove mats or tangles before they become unmanageable.

• Vacuum the house frequently and keep your dog’s bedding laundered to minimize doggie odor.

• Doggie wipes, such as Omega Paw Solutions’ Paw & Body Sanitizing Wipes, are useful to have on hand. “Wipes are a good in-between bath solution for when you just want to freshen up your dog,” says Sales and Marketing Associate Ashley Price. “They’re moist and durable enough to clean and sanitize all four paws – plus they have a pleasant lavender scent.”

From the inside out
Allergies, dry itchy skin, hot spots and other skin conditions can leave your dog feeling anxious much of the time, let alone during a bath. Consider what you are putting into his body. A high quality diet and supplementation with essential fatty acids will help keep his coat and skin healthy.

Biotin is another essential nutrient for skin health. It helps with the synthesis of fatty acids and aids in metabolizing carbohydrates and proteins, maximizing the nutritional value of the dog’s diet. BioCoat from Nickers International is rich in biotin and good for dry skin, scratching and poor coat quality.

Calming solutions may also help. Dr. Newkirk suggests valerian root and skullcap, two natural remedies for relieving anxiety. Check with a holistic practitioner to determine the dosage for your dog. “Bach flowers, such as Rescue Remedy, are helpful too,” he adds.

Seek help
If all else fails, consider turning bathtime over to a groomer. The professional equipment and handling may help your dog feel more comfortable. Groomers are also experienced in working with different canine personalities. Screen your groomer carefully and choose one who is good with anxious dogs, and who uses holistic products.

No dog should be afraid of baths. By eliminating or minimizing potential fear triggers, using soothing natural products, offering praise and treats, and staying calm and reassuring, your dog should soon start to feel more comfortable and secure.

IAMS Healthy Naturals Versus NutriLife All Gold….and the winner is?

IAMS Healthy Naturals    Versus    NutriLife All Gold

Notice that the following Iams product has whole grain sorghum and ground whole grain barley listed AHEAD of chicken meal.   Ingredients are listed in order of decreasing inclusion in the product.     Yes, chicken is first but that product is listed before it’s dried so it’s a lot of water.     This product is very heavy in grains. 

Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken Meal, Brewer’s Rice, Fish Meal (Source of Fish Oil), Dried Egg Product, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Source of Vitamin E), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Carrots, Tomatoes, Monosodium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Peas, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, DL-Methionine, Dried Apple Pomace, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement and Rosemary Extract

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (min) 25.0%
Crude Fat (min) 14.0%
Crude Fiber (max) 4.0%
Moisture (max) 10.0%
Calcium (min) 1.1%
Phosphorus (min) 0.8%
Zinc (min) 150mg/k
Omega-6 Fatty Acids* (min) 1.62%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids* (min) 0.21%

The following product lists two meats first…both still contain water.   But then there is chicken meal.   So it is more meat than rice or sorghum or barley.    Note also in the guaranteed analysis more favorable levels of Omega fatty acids which are critical to a healthy coat and skin!  This is NutriLife All Gold formula!  

Chicken Meal
Brown Rice
Pearled Barley
Oat Meal
Menhaden Fish Meal
Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
White Rice
Tomato Pomace
Salmon Oil
Brewers Dried Yeast
Alfalfa Meal
Sweet Potato
Chicken Cartilage
Potassium Chloride
Monocalcium Phosphate
Inulin (from Chicory Root)
Yucca Schidigera Extract
Lactobacillus Acidophilus
Bifidobacterium Longum
Lactobacillus Plantarum
Enterococcous Faecium
B12 Supplements
Choline Chloride
Pantothenic Acid
Ascorbic Acid
Thiamine Mononitrate
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
Folic Acid
Zinc Sulfate
Iron Carbonate
Manganous Oxide
Copper Oxide
Cobalt Carbonate
Calcium Iodate
Sorbic Acid
Sodium Selenite.
·         Crude Protein…………….not less than 24%·         Crude Fat……………………not less than 14%

·         Crude Fiber………………..not more than 3.5%

·         Moisture……………………..not more than 10%

·         Omega 6 Fatty Acids…not less than 2.6%*

·         Omega 3 Fatty Acids…not less than 0.4%*

·         Lactobacillus Acidophilus…….(min) 100,000,000 CFU/lb.*·         Bifidobacterium Longum……..(min) 100,000,000 CFU/lb.*

·         Lactobacillus Plantarum……….(min) 100,000,000 CFU/lb.*

·         Enterococcous Faecium………..(min) 100,000,000 CFU/lb.*

·         Glucosamine…………………………..not less than 400ppm*

·         Chondroitin…………………………….not less than 40ppm*

Do dogs need sweaters in Winter weather?

Do dogs really need sweaters when the weather turns? Having grown up with rough and tough farm dogs I used to scoff at such things. But of course those dogs weren’t going from inside 70 degrees to 10 below outside and they developed thick winter coats.

Here is some info and a relevant link from PetMD….

Smaller, light bodied breeds, toy breeds, and breeds that naturally have very short or thin hair coats benefit from a warm dog sweater for when they need to go outside, or for just hanging around the house. A sweater can make a significant difference in your dog’s feeling of well-being.

Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter? | petMD

Pet Emergency Kit (from


When disaster strikes, being stocked and ready to face an emergency is the best way to keep your family safe. Your pets can’t fend for themselves and are especially vulnerable if you’re forced to batten down the hatches because of bad weather. Here, ten items to include in a pet emergency kit so that your entire family can weather a natural disaster safely.


#10 Water

When bad weather strikes, obtaining fresh water becomes a top priority. When you go to the store to stock up on emergency supplies and reach for the bottled water, don’t forget to think of your pet. The more you can store for you and your family the better, but a week’s worth of water for each family member, including your pet, is a safe bet.


#9 Food

Because your pet is less likely to understand food and water rations, it is best to stock up on canned, wet food. Food in cans keeps better, and your pet will be less thirsty if they get moisture from their meal, thus enabling you to stretch out the precious water supply. Don’t forget to pack a can opener!    (A small supply of freeze-dried food is also a great option!)


#8 Medications

Like people, some pets suffer from chronic conditions that require the constant administration of medicine to keep them healthy. Speak with your veterinarian ahead of time to secure an emergency supply of pet medicines you may not have access to if your community is hit with severe weather.


#7 Proof of Ownership

You’ll want to place photographs and/or any ownership papers of your pets in a sealed, airtight container as an essential component of your pet emergency kit. If your family has to evacuate to a shelter, you may have to board your pet. Keeping proof of ownership on hand will identify you as a pet owner.


#6 Proof of Recent Vaccinations

Again, if your family has to evacuate and relocate to a shelter, note that due to capacity and safety issues, you may have to board your pet. Some animal clinics and boarding facilities will offer shelter to pets, but require your animal have up-to-date vaccinations. If you need to take your pet to an emergency animal shelter, taking a copy of their vaccination record with you will help ensure they get a spot.


#5 An Emergency Help List

Because everyone in the affected community will be in survival mode, you will want to have a list of helpful neighbors and/or emergency boarding facilities handy. Knowing where you’ll need to go to ensure your pet is safely cared for ahead of time will ensure your pet is safe for the duration of the emergency.


#4 Leashes and / or Pet Carriers

In the event of severe weather, your pet may panic and try to break loose to find a place to hide. Many pets become fatally trapped or injured because of this. In addition, the aftermath of a natural disaster usually results in downed power lines, fallen debris and contaminated groundwater. Therefore, it is best to utilize leashes and/or carriers to restrain your pet from running out into unsafe conditions.


# 3 ID Tags

Whether faced with an emergency situation or not, if you do become separated from your pets the best way to be reunited with them is to have additional ID tags you can fit them with in a hurry. Consider installing a microchip in your pet to help locate them as well. Just don’t forget to keep your contact information up to date!


#2 First Aid Kit

Together with the telephone number of the nearest emergency animal clinic, you can put together an emergency medical kit for your pets should they become injured. Include items such as gauze to bandage an injury, hydrogen peroxide to disinfect a wound, and milk of magnesia to absorb poison should accidental ingestion occur.


#1 Creature Comforts

Your pet may be confined to a small space for an undetermined amount of time. Try to include a pet bed, extra litter, clean blankets and towels in your pet emergency kit. Like you, your pets will be nervous and frightened. Soothing them any way you can, will make your pets more likely to stay calm and relaxed until conditions improve.


Honorable Mention: “Pets Inside” Sticker

Placing these stickers on all entrance doors to your home will ensure that emergency responders and passerby will be vigilant just in case you were unable to evacuate your pet during an emergency.



Introducing Acana Regionals

Announcing the addition of Acana Regionals!

From Champion Pet Foods…..the makers of Orijen.  Made from Canada’s best and freshest ingredients, ACANA Regionals reflect our local heritage and express the diversity of fresh authentic foods produced from western Canada’s vast ranchlands, rich prairies, fertile valleys, and pristine waters.

Rich in protein, low in carbohydrates and entirely grain-free, these unique and flavorful ACANA recipes feature 60-70% meat and 35-40% of fruits and vegetables to nourish cats and dogs completely.

  • RANCHLANDS acana_ranchlandsBlack Angus beef, Alberta Bison, Alberta Lamb
  • For Adult dogs of all breeds and sizes and we have them in both small and large bag sizes!

More exciting news coming soon with new options for single source protein foods for your allergic pets!

Pet Food Labeling….Crude Protein?

So what is crude protein?    How much crude protein does my dog or cat need in their diet?  


Crude protein is a calculated value based on a laboratory evaluation of the nitrogen level in the food ingredients.   Protein can be derived from any number of animal and/or non-animal sources.    A pet food containing many animal and non-animal by-products can contain more crude protein than one containing pure animal food products.    So the crude protein level alone can be very deceiving.   Protein is of course the single most expensive major ingredient in any food.   Many big box manufacturers will utilize least cost formulation programs and grains and grain by-products to meet the crude protein requirements they have established for their foods.    These will cheapen the cost.    But they will not necessarily provide the appropriate amino acid mix for your pet’s best health.    Pets require amino acids in the right amounts and proportions….not crude protein per se.     Corn gluten meal is 60% protein and heavy use in pet food will raise the crude protein label.   But the amino acid profile is not favorable for growing pets.    So while the crude protein guarantee is an important (and legal) piece of information to have for your pets diet we have to go beyond that % number and look at the ingredient panel to get a better handle on the quality of the food.


As to the actual level of crude protein needed by your pet that will vary considerably based on the ingredient composition (ie., amino acid profile) and the activity/growth level of your pet.    We have products ranging from the lower 20’s to the upper 30’s and they are all appropriate levels when fed to the appropriate age/developmental stage/activity level, etc. of your dog or cat.

One other major point….    Canned pet food is labeled on an “as is” basis so the % crude protein will be considerably lower than dry kibble which is calculated at 10% moisture.

More on product labeling later along with specific ingredients to be wary of.    It can be a swamp with some deep holes in it to navigate!


Here is a typical Fromm label:


A grain-free entrée of duck, turkey, quail, and pheasant with farm-fresh fruits & vegetables


Duck, Duck Meal, Peas, Turkey,Potatoes, Pea Protein, Dried Tomato Pomace, Pea Flour, Dried Whole Egg,Quail, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat,Salmon Oil, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken,Pheasant, Cheese, Flaxseed, Carrots,Broccoli, Cauliflower, Apples, Celery,Parsley, Lettuce, Spinach, Chicken Cartilage, Potassium Chloride,Blueberries, Cranberries, Salt, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract,Alfalfa Sprouts, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid, Taurine, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals,Probiotics.


  • Crude Protein 29%MIN
  • Crude Fat 17%MIN
  • Crude Fiber 3.5%MAX
  • Moisture 10%MAX
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids  0.6%MIN
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids  2.7%MIN




Tailwaggin Tailgate Party Saturday, September 19

We will be hosting a tailgate party for our furry friends and their owners on Saturday, September 19th. Lots of taste testing, great deals, games, face-painting, contests and give-a-ways.

Bring the entire family!

Wear your favorite team gear so you can pose for a picture with your furry friends in our photo booth!

It’ll be a great time, you won’t want to miss it!

at 11:00am2:00pm  CDT

Rate Your Dog’s Condition


Your dog is not getting enough to eat if you can easily see its ribs, vertebrae, and pelvic bones, feel no fat on the bones, and possibly notice some loss of muscle mass. If chronically underfed, adult dogs may experience impaired ability to nurse young and perform work, and increased susceptibility to bac- terial infections and parasites; puppies may be stunted in their growth; adult dogs may develop osteoporosis.



Your dog is at an ideal weight if you can easily feel its ribs. The waist should be easily observed behind the ribs when viewed from above.  An abdominal tuck is evident when viewed from the side.



Your dog is overweight if you cannot feel its ribs, see fat deposits over its back and the base of its tail, discern no waist behind the ribs when viewed from above, and see no abdominal tuck in profile. Obesity occurs in one out of four dogs in western societies. Its incidence increases with age and is more common in neutered animals. Health risks include dia- betes and osteoarthritis.

Stella & Chewy’s Wins Award

Stella & Chewy's photo.

We’re pleased to share that Stella & Chewy’s received a 2015 Pet Product News International Editors’ Choice Award. Our Meal Mixers product was recognized as an easy and convenient way to introduce raw food nutrition into a pets’ diet. A little raw goes a long way!

Advice from AKC for National Pet Fire Safety Day


  • Extinguish open flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck.  The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.



  • Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.  When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Secure Young Pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
  • Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.  Make sure to update the number of pets listed.