Petey’s Nutrition Story: From Shelter to Wellness

Tina’s perspective on pet nutrition was transformed when she began fostering Petey.

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.

Supporting Pet Aging

Supporting Our Pets Through the Aging Process

Enhance pet cognitive health with supplements & nutrition. Combat doggie dementia symptoms. Learn expert advice for supporting aging pets.

truth about garlic effects

Debunking the Myths of Feeding Garlic to Your Dog

Is garlic good or bad for pets? Some say it’s healthy, while others claim it’s toxic. What’s the truth?

Unveiling the Mystery Behind Paw Licking

I often caught my dog incessantly licking his paws. After a while, I began to wonder what was…

The Good, Better, and Best Dental Care for Your Pet

Your pet’s dental health is an important piece of their overall health and wellness. Oral disease can be caused…

Uncovering the Hidden Signs of Arthritis in Cats

Cats are notorious for hiding their discomfort very well, so it’s important to be aware of subtle changes in their behavior or routine that may indicate an underlying problem. 

Unfortunately, signs of arthritis in cats are often dismissed as normal signs of aging or go unnoticed altogether. 

Our job as pet owners is to pay close attention to their behaviors, so we can easily pick up on the tiny clues that they aren’t feeling their best. Since every cat will show discomfort differently, here are some behaviors to keep an eye out for that may indicate joint pain. 

Changes in litter box habits – Since most litter boxes have sides tall enough that your cat has to lift their legs and/or jump to enter/exit, they may seek alternative places to do their business that are easier to access. Similarly, they may struggle to settle into a comfortable position inside the litter box, or you may find that their aim is a little ‘off.’

Expert tip: Litter box habits offer a first line of observation into your cat’s health and well-being. If you observe changes in their routine, it’s best to schedule a vet visit as soon as possible. 

Changes in sleep patterns – Cats tend to develop strict routines, including specific preferred places to nod off throughout the day. Suppose your kitty historically likes to sleep up off the floor (my cat prefers the tall back of our couch) and suddenly prefers lower ground (often tucked out of sight). They may be too stiff to climb up or down from that place. Additionally, if the cat becomes more interested in hiding overall, that can be another red flag that they aren’t feeling great. 

Avoiding the stairs – This behavior mimics how dogs display joint pain — hesitating or struggling to go up or come down the stairs. This is particularly difficult with stiff joints if the stairs are bare (not carpeted) because they offer less cushion and traction for unstable joints. If kitty seems to suddenly spend all day on one level of the house, consider that they may need extra joint support. 

Less interest in playtime – While it’s common to observe your cat’s activity level decrease as they age, it’s not always simply because they’ve lost interest. Cats with healthy joints should still be able to jump, climb, and run for short play sessions throughout the day. If your cat seems interested in playing but prefers to participate without moving from their lounging spot, joint pain may be to blame. 

Irritability – Perhaps the most common indication of discomfort is a shift in their personality. Cats who don’t feel well will choose to seclude themselves as much as possible and become easily annoyed when they feel threatened. This can be as subtle as pinned ears when you pet them or a hiss if you pick them up. 

There are several ways to prevent and manage joint pain for cats:

  • Maintain a healthy weight with the right food and an appropriate feeding schedule (avoid free-feeding).
  • Reduce inflammation with a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and rich in antioxidants to avoid cell degeneration. 
  • Maintain cartilage with glucosamine and chondroitin (many options are available for even the pickiest kitties!)
  • Ensure your cat has active playtime daily to keep their body moving. 
  • Provide supportive bedding and extra warmth during cold months. 
  • Provide litter boxes with at least one low side that is easily accessible.

If you’re not sure where to start, stop in to speak with one of our experts for tips!

Be Proactive for Your Pet’s Joints

What You Need to Know About Your Pet’s Joint Health

Joint health is a topic most pet owners don’t think about until their dog or cat has begun showing signs of pain or stiffness. 

The truth is, once you start to notice signs that your pet is uncomfortable, damage has already been done to the joint. It will take time (and a larger expense) to rebuild cartilage and try to reduce inflammation.

Just like with planting a tree, the perfect time to start addressing joint health is yesterday. The second best time is today.

Here are the questions we get asked most frequently about joint health. 

At what age should I start supplementing for optimal joint health?

We believe it’s important to begin taking preventative measures for your pet’s joint health early on. Depending on the age, breed, and activity level, different supplements may be recommended. For instance, for younger puppies and kittens, omega-3 fatty acids are great for their inflammatory issues, as well as for their brain and eye development.

What’s the best supplement to give?

When trying to find the best supplement to improve joint health in your pet, it is important to remember that each pet has unique needs. There is no universal supplement or application.  

Supplements come in many forms, like chewable tablets, liquids, powders, and capsules, and offer different levels of support. Furthermore, there is no universal dosage that is suitable for every pet, so it is necessary to find a dosage that is tailored to your pet. For instance, a fish oil capsule may be recommended for one pet, while a green-lipped mussel powder may be recommended for another.

Is there a food that can help reduce inflammation?

There are a variety of dietary choices that can help to reduce inflammation in our pets. A diet that is high in animal-derived protein, fat and moisture, and low in carbohydrates, generally has a higher content of omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce inflammation. Additionally, these foods can be rich in amino acids to promote organ health, and antioxidants to support our pets’ immune systems. 

Adding fresh fruits and vegetables, raw eggs, and commercially prepared meal toppers to their bowl can have positive effects. Moreover, using bone broth or goat milk can improve joint health as well as provide excellent benefits for your pet’s overall wellness.

What other changes can I make to keep joints healthy?

In order to keep your pet’s joints healthy, it is crucial to maintain their weight. Too much weight can put a strain on the joints, reducing their activity. For instance, a 20-lb dog that gains 3 lbs is equal to a human gaining 26 lbs. This extra weight can rapidly lead to a dangerous cycle of health complications, such as joint stress, a decrease in activity, and obesity

To prevent this cycle from starting, we recommend you take these two steps to manage your dog or cat’s weight. 

  1. Stay active! Schedule time each day to keep your pet active, whether it’s a quick walk or run around the block or a backyard fetch session. Exercise keeps the joints healthy and increases metabolism to help maintain a lean body shape. 
  2. Feed the correct amount. We understand that feeding guidelines on pet food labels can be vague and inaccurate. In our experience, following those guidelines typically leads to overfeeding. Give us a call or stop by the shop to let us help you determine the appropriate amount to feed your pet based on genetics, age, and lifestyle. Don’t forget to pay attention to calories from treats!

Preventing pain and discomfort in your pet’s joints is crucial to their enjoyment of life. And fortunately, there are many options for your pet. Please remember that there is no clear-cut solution, and your pet will respond differently to different dietary choices and supplementation – so professionally guided experimentation is key for both you and your pet.

Green-Lipped Mussels: A Natural Way to Improve Joint Health in Pets

Green-lipped mussels (GLMs) are perhaps nature’s best whole food source of nutrients to boost your pet’s joint health and mobility. They are shellfish sourced just off the coast of New Zealand, easily identified by the bright green stripe on the lip of the shell. While they offer a long list of benefits for your pet’s whole body health, they shine in their ability to relieve joint pain and stiffness. 

What makes them so great for joints?

Omega-3 Fatty acids – GLMs are rich in EPA, DHA, and ETA, which makes them a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) do an excellent job preventing the enzyme COX (cyclooxygenase) from producing chemicals that trigger inflammation. ETA (eicosatetraenoic acid), an omega unique to GLMs that cannot be found in fish oil, inhibits other inflammatory pathways in the body. In simple terms, ETA prevents inflammation before it even starts!

Omega-3s also help manage pain, boost the immune system, promote healthy skin and coat, and support kidney, heart, and brain development. 

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are the building blocks for healthy joints. Glucosamine is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG). This substance helps the body produce synovial fluid, which acts as a lubricant for your pet’s joints. Over time, the body’s production of glucosamine will decline, leading to joint stiffness. Chondroitin helps form healthy cartilage and strengthens the capsule that holds the fluid. It also stimulates the body to produce more hyaluronic acid to further cushion the joint. In other words, these help to slow the aging process of your dog’s joints — meaning less pain, stiffness, and better mobility.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and are believed to stimulate cartilage growth. They also affect neurotransmitters (like serotonin) to help reduce pain. 

Vitamins and minerals found in GLMs have antioxidant properties which can prevent or slow free radicals from damaging healthy cells. They are rich in Vitamins C and E, zinc, magnesium, copper, and selenium, to name a few. 

Green-lipped mussels are available as single-ingredient treats, chewable supplements, or powders to add to your pet’s meals. To see if GLMs are right for your pet, stop in and talk to any of our experienced team members. 

Joint Health Solutions: Exploring Joint Supplements for Cats and Dogs

Joint health is an important concern for pet owners, as joint problems can cause pain and decreased mobility in cats and dogs. Thankfully, there are a number of joint supplements that are designed to help improve joint health and reduce pain. These supplements typically contain one or more of the following ingredients: glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine HCl, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid. 

Let’s take a closer look at these ingredients and how they can benefit your pet’s joint health.

Glucosamine sulfate & Glucosamine HCl 

Both glucosamine sulfate & glucosamine HCl are forms of glucosamine, a naturally-occurring substance found in the cartilage and other connective tissues of both cats and dogs. Glucosamine helps to protect and strengthen the cartilage, which helps to prevent joint damage and reduce pain. It can also help to reduce inflammation in the joints.

Glucosamine may take weeks or even months to start working, so it’s important to be patient when adding them to your pet’s diet. 


Chondroitin is another natural substance found in the cartilage of cats and dogs. It works in conjunction with glucosamine to protect and strengthen the cartilage and can also help reduce inflammation.

If your pet is taking other medications or supplements, it is essential to let your veterinarian know since chondroitin may interact with them. 

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane)

MSM is another naturally-occurring sulfur compound that helps reduce inflammation and joint pain. It also helps to improve joint flexibility and reduce stiffness and inflammation. MSM can also help rebuild cartilage and minimize further joint damage.

MSM supplementation does have potential side effects with higher doses. These can include nausea and dizziness. Please follow dosage instructions carefully.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

Hyaluronic acid is found in the joint fluid of both cats and dogs. It is a major component of joint fluid and helps to lubricate and cushion the joints. As pets age, the levels of HA in their bodies decrease, leading to joint pain and inflammation. Giving your dog or cat HA supplements can help replenish the natural lubricant in their joints and improve joint health.

Like glucosamine, hyaluronic acid can take several weeks before your pet may experience benefits. 

All of these ingredients are effective at improving joint health in cats and dogs. They help to protect the cartilage and reduce inflammation and pain while also helping to improve joint flexibility and reduce stiffness. As a result, your pets can enjoy better mobility and less pain.

If you notice signs of joint stiffness or decreased mobility, stop in to speak with one of our experts to determine the best supplements for their needs.