A Senior Cat’s Second Chance: A Raw Diet Success Story

Discover Ferguson’s Raw Feeding Transformation – a cat’s path to health and happiness.

Fresh food Diet Transformation

How Fresh Food Transformed Briggs’ Health

Discover how a fresh food dog diet transformation boosted Briggs’ vitality and health in this inspiring story.

The Little-Known Benefits of Feeding Eggshell Membranes

Egg membranes are often overlooked as a potential source of nutrition for pets. However, they contain important nutrients that can benefit your dog’s or cat’s health. 

Over Grooming

Grooming is an essential part of your pet’s life. There are a couple of factors that play a role in how often to groom your pet. Skin health, coat type, (long, short, medium, curly, wavy, thick, etc.), activity level, health, and breed should all be considered. What happens if we groom our pets too frequently? Grooming too frequently can result in damage to the hair follicles, dry irritated skin, and can also lead to bacterial and/or fungal infections as well.

Choosing a Shampoo: Options Tailored for Your Dog’s Coat

Which One is Best for Your Pet?

Your dog’s skin and coat condition are excellent indicators of overall health. A healthy coat is a shiny, smooth coat without coarse or brittle hair. And healthy skin should be supple, not flaky or greasy. 

While nutrition influences the health of your pet’s skin and coat from the inside, regular grooming and bathing do wonders to keep your dog’s skin and coat vibrant and healthy.

We believe that bathing your dog should be included in your overall grooming process. Bathing promotes skin exfoliation, removes loose hair, prevents matting, and lets you check for external parasites like fleas and ticks. 

Perhaps most importantly, bath time is another opportunity to bond with your dog. Warm water, soothing shampoo, and soft and repeated touching allow you and your dog to strengthen your connection to each other.

Before we take a look at shampoos, let’s talk about your dog’s skin.

Canine skin is not like human skin

A dog’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than human skin. The epidermis (the outer layer of skin) is our body’s shield against the environment. We are protected from disease, ultraviolet light, and injury by it. This “shield” is 10-15 cells thick in humans. In dogs, it’s only 3-5 cells thick. 

Hair that grows out of the skin is also different between the two species. Human hair grows as a single hair and continues to grow. A dog’s hair grows in bundles and stops growing at a certain length, as determined by the dog’s genetics. Once the hair stops growing, it dies and is shed.

These differences are why you can’t use human shampoos on your dog. In most cases, the pH is too acidic for your dog’s skin and will cause irritation and rashes. 

How do you pick the right shampoo? 

Like shampoos for human hair, there are many choices when picking the right shampoo for your pup. 

We separate dog shampoos into nine main categories:

  • General Purpose Shampoo
  • Coat Conditioner
  • Conditioning Shampoo
  • Puppy Shampoo
  • Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo
  • Oatmeal Shampoo
  • Medicated Shampoo
  • Probiotic Shampoo
  • Deodorizing Shampoo

Let’s take a closer look at each type of shampoo.

General Purpose Shampoo

These are less expensive “maintenance” shampoos that gently clean your dog if she has no allergies or skin conditions. Our favorite general-purpose shampoos include Kenic Kalaya Emu Oil Shampoo. 

Coat Conditioner

Conditioners are used after shampooing to detangle and condition your dog’s coat. Most coat conditioners contain silicones that bond to the hair’s surface, creating a protective envelope. This temporarily creates a smooth surface, even after the conditioner is rinsed out. We recommend EarthBath Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner

Conditioning Shampoo

A conditioning shampoo is the ultimate two-in-one product if you want to gently clean and condition simultaneously. We haven’t found these two-in-ones to be as effective as a dedicated conditioner, but they are perfect for maintenance bathing. We like Skout’s Honor 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner.

Puppy Shampoo

While your adult dog’s skin is sensitive, a young puppy’s skin is even more so. We recommend using only a washcloth and warm water to clean your puppy until she is three months old. She can be introduced to bathtime at that age, using a shampoo specially formulated for a pup’s soft fur and delicate skin. Quality puppy shampoos use all-natural ingredients and should be tear-free to reduce irritation. Our recommended puppy shampoos are EarthBath Puppy and Skout’s Honor Happy Puppy Shampoo. 

Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo

Hypo-allergenic shampoos are for dogs with extra sensitive skin or those prone to scratching. These shampoos are typically free of the fragrances, dyes, and coloring that can cause allergic reactions. Our top hypo-allergenic shampoos are Kenic Emu Oil Shampoo and EarthBath Hypoallergenic

Oatmeal Shampoo

Oatmeal shampoos are designed for dogs who suffer from occasional hot spots or seasonally dry, flaky, and itchy skin. These shampoos are made with a finely ground mixture of oatmeal that acts as a mild exfoliant when lathered into the coat, loosening dead skin cells and temporarily relieving itching. Our top-selling oatmeal shampoo is EarthBath Oatmeal and Aloe

Medicated Shampoo

Medicated shampoos target specific skin and coat conditions such as hot spots, fungal and bacterial infections, and parasites like fleas and ticks. Often, these conditions require medical treatment in addition to specialized shampoo. Our best-sellers are Kenic Tea Tree Shampoo and EarthBath Hot Spot Relief Shampoo

Probiotic Shampoo

Often referred to as “good bacteria,” probiotics are live bacteria that help resolve many skin-related issues in your dog. We frequently recommend probiotic shampoos to relieve itchy skin, dry hair, hot spots, and seasonal allergies. Our favorite probiotic shampoo is Skout’s Honor Probiotic Honeysuckle Pet Shampoo + Conditioner.

Deodorizing Shampoo

This type of specialty shampoo works on the molecular level to break down odors at the source instead of masking them with fragrance. We’ve found it’s a wise investment to always keep a bottle on hand. You never know when Fido will get in an argument with a skunk or decide to roll around on a fresh pile of feces or dead animals. Our most effective deodorizing shampoos are EarthBath Deodorizing shampoo.

Picking the Right Shampoo for Your Dog

Your dog’s skin and coat are windows into her health. Using a high-quality dog shampoo keeps her coat clean, moisturized, and healthy.  

Regular bathing — once a month is fine for most dogs — prevents matting and removes dead hair and skin. Bathtime is also the perfect opportunity to look for scabs, hot spots, bald spots, or parasites.

Please feel free to call us at (203) 271-0111 or stop in the store and let us help you pick the shampoo or conditioner that’s best for your dog.

Picking the Best Pet Grooming Brush

Brushing your dog’s coat is essential to your pet’s health. Regular brushing removes loose hair before it sheds on your carpet and clothes. It also clears out dead hair and straightens tangles. Tangles can cause painful skin irritations and infection if left unattended. 

Brushing is also good for your dog’s skin. By running the brush through the fur, the movement stimulates the production of natural oils in the skin.

Finding the right brush to use on your dogs can be confusing. Many of our customers feel overwhelmed by the options and which brushes work best on the many coat types. 

Fortunately, we have decades of dog brush expertise to help you pick the perfect brush for your pet based on coat type. Make sure to check out our recommendations based on coat type at the end of this article. 

Dog grooming brushes fall into four main types:

  1. Brushes
  2. Combs
  3. Rakes
  4. Deshedding

Brushes

Brushes are used daily grooming to untangle minor mats, remove dead hair, and stimulate your dog’s skin.

  • The bristle brush has densely packed bristles and is best used for removing loose hairs and massaging the skin. The longer your dog’s coat is, the longer and more widely spaced the bristles should be. 
  • The pin brush is usually oval-shaped with a set of flexible wires capped with rubber or plastic tips. This brush is often used on dogs with thick or curly coats and tackles minor tangles since it won’t pull the hair as it moves through the fur. This brush is gentle on your dog’s skin and safe for most breeds.
  • Like a pin brush, a slicker brush has shorter wires but is mounted much closer on a rectangular head. This design removes mats and dead hair from the undercoat. Apply gentle pressure so you don’t scratch your dog’s skin.

At first, many dogs don’t care about being brushed. If your dog refuses to be brushed, try a grooming glove. These gloves have textured rubber surfaces that pick up loose hair and provide a massage, just like when you’re petting your dog.

Combs

There are many types of combs to help you keep your pet’s coat healthy.

A general grooming comb is best for long-haired dogs to help remove tangles and knots. Make sure to use wider-spaced teeth to start tackling knots, then progress to a comb with more tightly spaced teeth. 

A dematting comb has ridged stainless steel blades to cut through mats instead of pulling on them or ripping the fur from the skin.  

A flea comb has tightly spaced teeth that catch fleas and dirt as they move through the coat. 

PRO TIP: Always brush in the natural direction of your dog’s fur. This minimizes the chance of you ripping or tearing the skin. 

Rakes

A rake is designed to get deep into thick coats to gently remove tangles and dead portions of the undercoat. 

A standard rake resembles a comb but with longer, wide-spaced teeth. Looking like a miniature garden rake, the teeth have rounded tips and excel at gently removing dead fur and tangles in longer-haired dogs.

An undercoat rake has curved small blades with sharp edges to remove mats and loose fur from dogs with heavy undercoats. While this type of rake will remove mats, we’ve found it not as effective as a mat comb.

Deshedding

Built for dogs that shed, the deshedding tool acts like a stripping knife to pick up and pull out dead hairs, leaving a low-shedding topcoat behind. This tool mimics a groomer’s clippers when they were not turned on but used to gently rake through a dog’s coat. 

There are many sizes to choose from when picking a deshedding tool. Please feel free to contact us with questions so we can ensure you have the right size to make the grooming experience more productive and more pleasant for your dog.

Dog Coat Types

Here’s what we typically recommend to help you find the right brush for these common canine hair types. 

Short Hair, Smooth Coat

This group’s breed includes Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs, Corgis, Dobermans, and Great Danes. Use a bristle brush to distribute the dog’s natural oils for a shinier and healthier coat. A slicker brush can also be used to remove any dead hair.

Wiry Coats

Breeds in this group include Airedales, various Terriers, and Schnauzers. We recommend weekly brushing with a slicker brush or pin brush. 

Curly Coat

Breeds in this group include Bichon Frise, Poodles, and most of the Doodle varieties. Weekly grooming with a slicker or pin brush will help keep your dog’s permanent perm fashionable.

Long Silky Coat

This group’s breed includes Afghan Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters, Maltese, and Yorkshire Terriers. We encourage DAILY grooming for these breeds using a pin brush to keep those silky locks under control. 

Double Coats

These breeds include Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, and St. Bernards. A double coat has two layers that grow independently and are often of different lengths. The outer coat is coarse, and the undercoat is soft and dense. We find that a rake brush, matched to your dog’s coat length, helps pull out loose undercoat fur.

Ensuring Grooming Success

Taking care of your dog’s coat is a vital part of grooming. As you’ve just seen, many types of dog brushes are available to handle everything from basic coat care to removing the thickest hair mats. 

Having the right kind of grooming brushes on hand will make the experience easier and create a stronger bond between you and your dog.

Dealing with “Frito Feet” and Yeast Overgrowth in Dogs

Have you ever cuddled up next to your dog and noticed a distinct smell coming from their feet? It’s not uncommon to notice a distinct odor, often referred to as “Frito feet,” emanating from their paws or ears. This smell is typically associated with yeast overgrowth, a common issue in dogs. In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes of yeast overgrowth, its connection to diet, and effective remedies to alleviate discomfort. By prioritizing a healthy diet and making informed choices, we can promote our dogs’ well-being from the inside out. Let’s dive in!

Fresh dog food

Introducing fresh, whole foods to their diet can promote a healthy gut and aid the immune system in resolving yeast issues.

Understanding Yeast Overgrowth and its Odorous Effects

Yeast, a naturally occurring fungus in dogs and humans, can become problematic when it proliferates excessively. It thrives in warm, moist environments, commonly leading to the noticeable smell in our dogs’ feet and ears. Therefore, addressing yeast overgrowth involves understanding the factors contributing to its occurrence.

Causes of Yeast Overgrowth in Dogs: Environmental and Dietary Factors

Yeast overgrowth can be triggered by various environmental and dietary factors. Moisture, warmth, and certain ingredients in dog food can create an ideal breeding ground for yeast. For example, dry kibble foods contain a significant amount of starchy carbohydrates that feed bad bacteria. It’s essential to identify these factors to effectively manage and prevent further issues.

Importance of a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy dog. By prioritizing high-quality ingredients and avoiding ultra-processed foods, we can support our dog’s overall well-being. A nutritious diet strengthens the immune system and helps combat yeast overgrowth. Minimally processed foods and those lower in starchy carbohydrates can help promote the growth of healthy bacteria, boosting your dog’s immune system for long-term health.

Incorporating Fresh Foods and Supplements to Combat Yeast Overgrowth

If you suspect your dog has yeast overgrowth, dietary adjustments may be necessary. Introducing fresh, whole foods to their diet can promote a healthy gut and aid the immune system in resolving yeast issues. Supplements such as probiotics and digestive enzymes can be beneficial in restoring and maintaining optimal gut health. These supplements support a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria, aiding in the elimination of yeast overgrowth. Consult with our knowledgeable staff to find the right options for your dog.

Five Reasons Your Dog Stinks

Unpleasant odors emanating from our canine companions can be a cause of concern for dog owners. While a certain degree of odor is natural, persistent and pungent smells may indicate underlying issues that need attention. In this article, we will delve into the top five reasons behind unpleasant dog odors and provide practical remedies to address them. Let’s explore these reasons and discover effective solutions to tackle them head-on.

Reason 1: A Yeast Infection 

Yeast overgrowth is a common cause of unpleasant odors in dogs. The musty, pungent scent associated with yeast is often likened to moldy bread or cheese popcorn. Yeast infections typically affect the ear canals or paws of dogs, with the latter sometimes referred to as “Frito feet” due to the similarity to corn

chips. Common signs of yeast overgrowth include smelly paws, a musty odor, excessive scratching, itchy paws, and butt scooting.

To address a yeast infection in your dog, it’s crucial to assess their diet. Ultra-processed, starch-heavy foods like dry kibble can encourage the growth of bad bacteria, allowing yeast to thrive in your pet’s body. While topical remedies such as medicated shampoos and sprays can provide temporary relief, a lasting solution requires a dietary change to prevent the recurrence of yeast overgrowth.

Reason 2: Gas Attacks

While it’s natural for dogs to pass gas, excessive or foul-smelling gas may indicate an underlying issue. Simply keeping your dog away from the trash might not be enough to control their gas. An unhealthy diet can be a significant contributor to your dog’s stinky gas. We can assist you in finding the best diet tailored to your dog’s health needs, helping alleviate the problem.

Reason 3: Bad Breath

Puppy breath can be endearing, but when bad breath sets in, it can be quite overpowering. Typically, bad breath in dogs is the result of bacterial buildup in

Bad breath dog odor

Poor dental health, tartar accumulation, infections, or periodontal disease can contribute to foul-smelling breath.

their mouths. Additionally, poor dental health, tartar accumulation, infections, or periodontal disease can contribute to foul-smelling breath.

Dog owners often find it challenging to maintain their dog’s dental health, but it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Check out our blog post on various methods to keep your dog’s dental hygiene in check, ensuring fresh breath and overall oral health. Check out our blog post on different ways to keep your dog’s dental hygiene in check. 

Reason 4: Anal Glands

Dealing with malodorous anal glands can be unpleasant. These glands are located on the sides of a dog’s rectum. Normally, healthy anal glands should not emit any odor. However, if you detect a fishy smell, it could indicate a problem with your dog’s anal glands. Symptoms such as leaking, a pungent odor, butt scooting, or signs of pain may indicate the need for expressing the anal glands, which requires a visit to your vet.

Reason 5: Lack of Grooming

Regular brushing of your dog between baths is vital for removing dirt, dead skin, and other debris trapped in their coat, effectively reducing unpleasant smells. Thorough brushing goes a long way in keeping your dog stink-free.

Grooming wipes and deodorizing sprays can also help your pet to smell fresh in between baths. Another simple trick to keeping your dog clean is to keep their bedding and toys clean. It keeps both your dog and house smelling fresh. 

5 Reasons to Add Bone Broth to Your Pet’s Bowl

Unlock the health benefits of bone broth for your pet. Improve hydration, joint health, liver detox, skin, and digestion.  

why does my cat puke

Why Does My Cat Puke?

Vomiting is one of the most commonly reported clinical signs noted in feline veterinary exams. While many cat owners fancy their cats as just having “sensitive stomachs” or simply “eating too fast”, chronic vomiting is not by any means healthy or ‘normal’.