The weather seems to be changing. Spring is leafing out and allergies are going full tilt. While it is a beautiful time of year to enjoy nature and Spring freshness, those of us who suffer from allergies should be aware and practice good preventive maintenance.
Dust is everywhere. Open doors bring in lots of fresh air and dust. Pets whose coats are heavy will feel the heat in the house and then the mold, pollen and dust in the air. Be sure to watch for ear infections and runny eyes. Skin issues also begin to erupt. It can happen very quickly.
Brush your pet’s coat often to remove allergens, thick undercoats and any debris from your yard or a walk.
Clean your pet’s ears, regularly and be ready with a good pet shampoo like TropiClean to help prevent skin issues from developing.
Ask us about G-Whiz if you are planting a new lawn or want to minimize yellow, urine spots on lawns.
NEW - Buffalo/Duck – No Grain – Kibble
We are getting good positive responses from our new Sensitive – NO Grain. We had lots of dogs on Sensitive but we also had an equal number of requests for a NO Grain with a “novel” protein. Our former Sensitive was made with Chicken as its first ingredient. We were able to convince the manufacturer to create a Sensitive with Buffalo and Duck as the new, “novel” protein source and eliminate Chicken for those animals that were tired of or allergic to Chicken. The shape of the kibble is a little different. The kibble is still small enough and interesting enough to please the most discerning dog palate. The price is the same and since the old Sensitive is no longer being made, if you want Sensitive NO Grain you will notice that we are giving you Buffalo and Duck – No Grain with your order. The price is the same.
Two – New Cookies - GRAIN AND GLUTEN FREE – made by Sam’s Yams
The cookies have a only a very small number of ingredients. Extremely natural and each contain about 20 chewy, crispy cookies. They are both priced at $6.50 each and offer a nice, healthy option for use when dogs are good.
Just – Sweet Potato,Pumpkin, Applesauce and Cranberries.
Just – Sweet Potato, Apples and Carrots.
It is recommended that you get one of each kind to really offer a fair choice
Creative new dog and cat names as surveyed in 2012 -
“The Twilight Saga” brought out new names for both dogs and cats -
Bella and Renesmee. From” The Hunger Games” brought us Katniss for either dogs or cats. Reality TV suggested Snooki and Lorenzo and Honey Boo Boo. The Music industry brought us Beyonce’s daughter’s name, Blue Ivy. Others named their pets after Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Ke$ha.
The Top 10 Names, in order, for 2012 were:
We love the referrals and thank you over and over for your time and trouble in sharing your satisfaction with our products and service. You are the best advertising we have. Don’t be shy asking if your friend, neighbor or relative called to order as we want to be sure you get credit for the referral and that we are reminded to reflect that on your next order.
We will talk to you soon.
|It has been a busy first of the year for us and I suppose it has been busy for you, too.I was trying to explain our business to potential franchisees at the Del Mar Franchise Show we attended in January. They asked questions and I tried my best to explain what we do for our customers. First, I said we provide a super-premium dog and cat food that is all made in the USA from USA products (exception is our New Zealand Lamb). I said, our
pet food has never been recalled where almost all other brands have been. I said, we discuss what is in our food with our customers (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Omega 3 & 6) and what is not in our food (chemical additives, corn, wheat or soy). Our customers trust us to be knowledgeable about our food and how it can benefit their pet. I also said we deliver our food to their doors when they need it.
Someone then asked, “Well what is it that keeps a customer with you?” I said, “Well that is a good question.” I would love to hear your responses. You can send us your comments at the end of each newsletter. I believe some customers will say their pets love our food. Others will say they appreciate the fact that it is delivered to their door and always protected from the rain. We talked a lot about YOU, our customers, and one person said, “It sounds like they are more like your friends than your customers.” I said, “Well, it feels like that to us.” We appreciate each of you. We feel we get included in your lives through our pets. It has been such a rewarding and happy place to come to work over the last 16 years. Thank you.
We have a new product. Nordic Naturals has a full line of products that have an exceptional quality of omega-3 fish oils. We are currently going to carry Omega-3 Pet Soft Gels for Dogs.
Usually, we hear about the positive effects of Omega-3’s on the skin but according to veterinarians and scientific studies the affect is much more far reaching. Omega-3 fatty acids help support:
Immune System health
Skin and Coat health
Brain Development and maintenance
Eye Development and maintenance
POISON CONTROL CENTER
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal brought up a national problem that we don’t usually think about. “When Pills and Medicines Get into the Wrong Paws.” Accidental pet poisonings are on the rise. Human medications and supplements are some of the most common toxins ingested by pets. “One acetaminophen (Tylenol) will kill a cat says, Kevin T. Fitzgerald a veterinarian with VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver. Adderall used in treating Attention Deficit Disorder in humans, triggers seizures in both dogs and cats. An anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen might result in stomach ulcers or kidney failure.
Some supplements for joints are made of beef cartilage or shellfish. Their smell attracts our pets even through the packaging. Leaving bottles of medications on bedside tables can usually be reached by determined pets. So be careful what you leave on a counter or a table. Keep your medications away from pets as you would your small children.
Always keep your veterinarian’s number on speed dial but I have another suggestion. ASPCA has an Animal Poison Control Center based in Urbana, Illinois. The center is manned 24/7 so you can always call them at 888 426-4435. There is a $65 charge for a consultation. Veterinarians recommend not going to the internet to deal with this problem. Time is of the essence. Petplan Pet Insurance estimates an average cost for a visit to the vet for poisoning was $465 in 2012. You will need to get help fast if your pet gets into over the counter drugs, supplements or other toxic substances. Please be careful. If you want to look at the ASPCA site for listings of food that is toxic to our pets, go to www.ASPCA.org/pet-care/poison-control/.
I will end this newsletter with a selection of a poem written by a famous author, Arthur Miller about his dog.
I have to worry because no one else does.
Some strange car comes up the driveway—
They go right on talking. They trust,
I don’t. Threat crosses my nose
Twenty times a day.
No wonder I bark and menace,
Who knows who it could be at the door
‘Specially in these times.
Walk in the woods with them
You’d never know they’re passing
Under two tremendous owls perched way up,
Or stepping on fresh coyote pee
Or hair of an elderly rat on a blade of grass
Or the spunk of rutting deer last night,
Or the rubbing of a bear, God forbid,
On a bent birch beside the path.
So I worry.
Sleep with my ears up, not soundly.
When I’m not watching I’m greeting.
People are not grateful enough
For visitors. I am. I worry
About them not being grateful enough.
So I make up for it by howling
Till they get up off the couch
To shake hands. Between the dangers
And the greetings I’m simply exhausted.
We wish you a healthy and safe month and we will talk again, soon.
|Welcome back after making it through the holidays. We hope everyone is well and looking forward to the coming year. Most of us are on diets and dressing warmly to ward off the cold. I hope you are walking your dogs as that is the best New Year’s Resolution to help both man and beast!We are so happy to be welcoming so many new customers with new pups. It seems lots of people were able to adopt shelter pets and give them a new home. What a happy and sometimes challenging time for those of us who can’t resist a puppy but forget what a learning experience that is for both pet and owner. Older dogs are especially grateful when they are adopted and usually are much easier to fit right into your family.
I was reading “Do dogs Dream” and came upon the chapter “How well do dogs understand human body language and Communication signals?” Through several examples it showed how well dogs think. Dogs have the ability to read human body language. A dog owner just glancing at the leash hanging by the door causes a dog to know it is time for a walk!
Chimpanzees, wolves and human babies are less successful picking up subtle body language clues than puppies still with their littermates. The conclusion to be reached is that the evolution of the dog is not from just an urban dwelling wolf but a separate species that evolved with humans and may well understand the emotions and intentions of humans better than any other species does. “Obviously, dogs that could figure out their masters’ intentions and desires would have been more likely to thrive in a human-dominated environment and hence produce more young.”
So, we hope your puppies are picking up your signals and responding to your wishes.
Food - Thawed Raw
I have heard so many requests from prospective customers about raw food that I wanted to do some research to figure out the reason and the responsibilities that feeding a dog a raw diet involves.
Raw food is supposed to be the “most natural.” Wolves eat their food raw and so our dogs should thrive with that diet, right? Not necessarily. The food that we sell is manufactured in Ohio and it is made with all US products with the exception of our New Zealand lamb. We add Glucosamine and Chondroitin for its value to our dog’s cartilage and ligament strength and flexibility. We add the essential vitamins and minerals, Omega 3 and 6 for heart, eye, brain and skin health. We don’t add sugar, salt, or chemical preservatives. We cook the food to keep it safe from pathogens.
Raw food is meant to be eaten without cooking so it is easy to become contaminated by being exposed to air without refrigeration. Pet food bowls that are left out without being cleaned immediately with hot, soapy or even a bleach solution, can quickly become contaminated with pathogens which can lead to foodborne illness in humans and pets.
Our Thawed Raw is made from grass-fed beef, lamb or chicken. The meat is frozen when it arrives at our manufacturer and it is then “air dried.” This process involves quickly drying the meat by gently blowing warm air over the product. Since pathogens need water to grow and thus become dangerous, the amount of moisture in the food is reduced to 15%. Pathogens, molds and bacteria cannot grow in foods that have available water levels of less than .7ªw (water activity). Additionally, glycerin, inulin (soluble fiber), and salt bind the moisture to .65 ªw making our Thawed Raw product extremely safe while ensuring a high nutritional value. We want you to know the level of care and commitment we have to providing our dogs with the best and safest food we can provide.
Franchise/Business Opportunities Show
Pete and I will be at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in January ( 26th and 27th) for a Franchise/Business Opportunities Show. Please call us if you would like to attend and we will give you the details.
Thank you for your referrals and continuing loyalty to our company. We realize you have lots of choices and we appreciate your continued
Take it easy. We will talk to you soon.
Twitter with Sean at- #whiskerspawsca
It’s Christmas time and everything is better this time of year. It’s “sparklier”, and friendlier and more emotional. The food is better, the drinks are special, the packages look interesting, and the trees smell wonderful. Dogs and cats are on their best behavior too, expecting a special treat or present.
We are especially thankful for this year. We are happy to still be serving customers going into our 15th year. The customers we had to start our business fourteen years ago are changing every year and that is sad to us. We have lost some wonderful pets along the way. But, we also have met some new additions to the Whiskers and Paws family. It is so life affirming to hear about the new addition to the family and learn about that new pet’s special qualities. We are thankful for the continued loyalty to our products and service.
We just have two dogs now, which is plenty since one is a very large, 90lb, puppy. Sean is still taking very good care of Sadie who just turned 14. We all wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.
We’ll talk to you next year!
Pete, Sean and Karen
Plus… Louie, Grace and Sadie
End of the Year
We are at the end of the year and it will move quickly, now. Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and the New Year. So, as you make your plans be sure to consider that our delivery days will be somewhat reduced as the year end approaches. We want everyone to have a well-stocked pet’s pantry. We want everyone to be delivered and content with everything they need. If you are not on a scheduled delivery, be sure to plan ahead.
We are making holiday bags for DOGS ONLY this year. Because we don’t get that many requests for our kitty customers we are discontinuing the cat bags. We want to be able to only offer our own treats like we did last year and a good Squeaky toy. The cost of each dog bag will be $25. We still have some sequined dog or cat collars if you want to check for color and size availability. Ask us if you have any questions about the bags that we have been making for the last ten years or so at no price increase. They make great gifts for that special neighbor, friend, relative, co-worker or service provider, or your own pup.
Hypoallergenic New Food
Due to the constant consideration of our customer’s needs, we have just received our first shipment of a new kibble, BUFFALO/DUCK/GRAIN FREE. The protein is new and should answer the needs for owners who have allergic dogs and veterinarians who are recommending their pets switch to a “novel” protein because it may help alleviate allergic reactions in their pets. OR, you may just want to try a new food. It is good for all dogs. Our current Sensitive/No Grain ( Chicken protein) is still available but in limited quantities. So, we hope you will want to try our new product.
We want everyone to be healthy and I just want to comment on SKIN issues. During the transition from summer to winter weather we start to hear about itching and dry skin. When the humid weather is leaving us and the early mornings are cool, the skin on all of us seems to dry and shrivel for lack of moisture. Be sure to consider adding Royal Coat back into your pet’s routine. Lubricating dry skin with extra ( 4000mg.) of Fish oil will go a long way to prevent skin from developing an allergic reaction that leads to a bacterial infection. Itch Free can be sprayed on an itchy spot to stop that cycle of scratching and infection. Another tip to consider when you visit your vet and need prescriptions filled…..COSTCO will fill your pet’s prescriptions in most cases. We have a dog on long term medication and we have saved a tremendous amount on the cost of medication that he takes twice a day. Just ask your Vet for a Prescription. It’s simple and cost effective. If you are in the minority and do not have a Costco card, you can still get a prescription filled by showing the employee at the entrance door, your prescription. Pretty cool, huh. Thank you Groomer, Tye, for sharing that information with us.
“Do Dogs Dream” by Stanley Coren. This is question and answer book about everything you have always wondered about your pet, but could never get a straight answer . The author is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. He has researched and studied the behavior of dogs for over 50 years. He had a television show in Canada for over 10 years and has a very easy to read book that will be fun for the whole family to enjoy. We first read it at the library but decided we needed to have our own copy.
A very pretty book that would be nice to get a pit bull owner caught my eye. We have lots of pit customers and they have proven to be good, hardy dogs that have few problems and very devoted owners. This paperback book of beautiful photographs would make a very nice “stocking stuffer.” The title is “I’m a Good Dog,” by Ken Foster. The subtitle is “Pit Bulls, America’s Beautiful and Misunderstood Pet.”
The Importance of Training
We have been taking our new Golden Retriever, Gracie for training these past two months. She is a mild mannered Golden Retriever who was raised by a breeder and not exposed to people, places or things. She shies away from strollers, grocery carts, lawnmowers and many surprising things that she has never experienced. She is a big dog and looks like she should know everything; but in reality she has been very protected and is naïve. We have been dropping her off once a week for a day of training with Dan Atkinson. He has worked with her successfully and she can walk nicely on a leash, go to her bed, stay and come. She likes other dogs but is shy around new people so that has also been a challenge that Dan has worked on with her, too. If you have a dog problem or a question about training check out Dan at www.KindtoCanines.com. Gracie is getting so smart and so good. We are very happy to have her with little Louie. He’s lost weight and is so much happier to have another dog around.
We are in the News!
We wish you a happy and fun Thanksgiving. We hope it is a time for family gatherings and football and good food. Thank you for your referrals and your kind words of thanks and encouragement. We met some very interesting and nice people at our recent Franchise Show who seem to be interested in our business so we will see how that works out in the coming months. We also got a nice write up about our business in Business Asset Magazine. If you would like to read it, please go to www.MyBusinessAsset.com.
Take care, stay safe and be well.
Kids are back in school, summer vacation flew by and now we begin the Fall rush to the Holidays. Hope you all had a good summer with lots of happy memories and sunny, carefree days.
We didn’t get away for any vacation time this year. Hopefully, next summer we will be better able to spend a few days to play and enjoy a change of scenery.
WCFE – West Coast Franchise Expo
We have a big event coming up in October. The Franchise show is being held in Anaheim this year, from October 12-14th. We hope you will want to come to the show or to tell an interested friend or relative about it. Business opportunities are varied and all price ranges are available from fast food restaurant chains to small, pet related franchises like ours. You can come to the show for FREE as our guest by going to:
PET FOOD RECALL
Another recall of a well-known brand of pet food – Manufacturer,“Breeder’s Choice” announced that Avo-Derm Natural Lamb Meal and Brown Rice Adult Dog Formula, was recalled because it tested positive for Salmonella. It was produced on August 29, 2012 and distributed to stores in CA, NV, VA, and WA. You may want to notify a friend if you believe they might be affected.
If you have known us a while, you will not be surprised to learn that we have added a new dog to our household. Louie was lonely. We were feeling very “empty nest” and considered a new small dog to join Louie who is small, too. We contacted www.CuddlyCanines.com. They have a very nice selection of adorable dogs, mostly small. This rescue group fills a very
special and difficult niche for pet agencies who are tasked with housing and keeping pets to be eventually put up for adoption. They rescue pregnant mother dogs from high-kill shelters and take them into a home environment to finish their pregnancies and then deliver and whelp the babies. When the babies can leave the Mother, they are given to dedicated volunteers who raise the puppies in their homes until they are adopted. These dogs are not exposed to the typical issues that affect any dog or cat that ends up in a larger, noisier and more institutional type setting.
We adopted a little dog from this group. We found everyone to be very easy to work with, kind, well-organized and safe for the dogs they save and then place. However, we found that Louie was not able to accept this small, gentle little pup. We had to return her to the group and they quickly understood and accepted her back into their capable hands. We would definitely recommend this group if you are looking for a well-adjusted and adorable dog.
We considered not getting another dog. We enjoyed a brief period of a clean house, organized flower beds and grass that looked well maintained. Then, Sean came across what he thought was a rescue group for Golden Retrievers. www.SoCalGoldens.com. Sean forwarded a very nice e-mail from Nancy Glarman who told Sean that she thought she might have the perfect dog for Louie. Pete and I drove out to visit her facility and to meet Nancy. We loved her small breeding facility in her home and acreage in East Riverside. We met Grace. She is a 9 month old, light-colored Golden. How could we resist? Gracie is a big girl at almost 80 lbs. But, she is gentle, sweet, loving and Louie and she love each other. So, we now have a messier house and life, but that is what it’s all about, right?
DOGS ON JOGS
Watching so many people jogging by with their dogs lagging a bit behind with tongues hanging out, I decided to do a bit of research. Is jogging with your pet a good or a bad thing?
Of course, as in all things, we must first understand that although exercise is good for all of us, it must be tailored to the individual. Not all dogs are meant to be marathoners. Not all dogs are good candidates for jogging. Even though puppies have the will and the energy, a running routine may not be a good idea for him either. One veterinarian, Dr. David Goodman says that most dogs should not be jogging until they are at least 10 months of age when the bone growth plates close in most breeds. Growth plates in giant breeds, such as Great Danes, may not fully close until 14 to 18 months of age. Jogging before the closure of growth plates can damage joint cartilage and the other hip joint structures.
To begin jogging, start with a check- up at the vet. Start slowly. Build stamina with brisk walks and gradually work up to jogging if you want.
Watch for signs that he’s overdoing it. Noisy breathing, wide-open mouth breathing, and bright red gums can all be signs of over-exertion. Summertime is critical to watch for overheating. Dogs don’t sweat like we do. They also don’t always know when to stop. It is our job to know if it is time to shorten the walk.
Thank you for all of your referrals this month. We appreciate your trust and your support of our business. We are happy to give referral discounts when you call us for a sample for a friend or co-worker. We know YOU are the reason we are successful. Thank you.
We are officially in the dog days of summer. Everything seems to slow down. Cooking is easier and dog bowls need to be replenished with fresh water several times a day. Fleas are jumping on and riding in on the dogs and the grass seems a bit dry. Sometimes it looks like rain.
We just lost one of our dogs, Beau. He was my shadow and had been a big part of our family for fourteen years. He went pretty fast so we are thankful he wasn’t sick for long.
I wrote about him and if you want to read about his life you can click here. We had so many dogs for a while and now we just have Louie. We are already working on getting him a pal. He is rather lost. It is pretty quiet around here.
A Follow Up
I have an update on a fabulous dog story “Here’s Johnny” that we ran in September 2010. Do you remember the exciting trap and rescue of the scraggly dog who lived in an industrial area and was so elusive that he would not be captured? Determined and exceptionally devoted dog people rescued him and eventually he came to be adopted by one of our customers ( Anna) who had recently lost her beloved dog, Sage, after many years. We published his picture after he was adopted. He was gorgeous, well-mannered and getting used to being spoiled. Well, we got some new pictures of him on vacation. I think you can tell what a difference his caring owner is making in this dog’s life. Here’s Johnny again, summer on the river 2012. What a lucky boy.
The USDA is seeking public feedback on a potential new rule that will affect unlicensed puppy mills. It will apply to breeders who have four or fewer breeding females. It will not apply to hobby or backyard breeders who remain exempt. What the USDA is considering is requiring that breeders who sell to members of the public “sight unseen,” including those who sell over the internet or telephone, be licensed and inspected. This would provide the same basic standard of care as those who sell wholesale to pet stores. This would crackdown on the worst offenders who hide behind websites, classified ads and mail order catalogues. This is being sent out by Best Friends Animal Society. We have signed our names and I hope you will too.
You only have until August 15th to register (click here) your support with the USDA. Thank you for doing what is right for the puppies.
Drought & Grain Supplies
You may have seen the stories in the newspaper and on television about the drought that is causing entire corn fields to be plowed under. We have been notified by our dog and cat food manufacturer that the cost of grain is going up and while we do not have corn in our food, corn is the main feed for cattle, sheep, bison and other animals that are used for pet food. Corn crops are drying out and what is left will be expensive to use as feed. Hence, it all comes down to increasing the cost to the end consumer and we have been informed that our costs will go up in September. However, we are hoping that this will be a short lived problem. So, we are holding firm and NOT increasing our prices. We are glad to do that for our customers.
We recently learned of a reasonably priced alternative to a new concept for combating fear in dogs. A tight fitting “shirt” with Velcro straps helps with controlling the anxiety from noise, thunderstorms, etc. The shirts are made well but they can be pricey. An alternative to try is to use an elastic bandage. Use 2 inch rolls of bandage for dogs less than 20 lbs. and use 3 inch wraps for dogs over that weight. Try this when your dog is calm and then be prepared to use it when you need to.
Fold the bandage into fourths and simply lay it over the dog’s shoulders. Gradually unfold the bandage and wrap into a figure 8 across the dog’s chest and around its torso. Then, remove the slack so it makes
light contact all the way around the dog’s body until you can tie it. Sort of like bundling a baby.
This light body touch technique can be used to cope with any stressful situation. It makes the dog feel safer and protected. Try it and let us know.
Golden Retriever Rescue
Thank you for your referrals. We also appreciate your sharing your pets by bringing them in to the office. You can also send us a picture for use on our website. We have even met a new dog that was adopted from www.scgrrescue.com
These dogs have been rescued from Taiwan. Our new customer, Augie traveled 6000 miles and landed at LAX. After evaluation and transition to foster homes they are being adopted through the Southern California chapter of Golden Retriever Rescue. Augie is gorgeous and now lives in San Diego. Our customer brought him in to meet us as she came to pick up her food. It is quite a story and these beautiful dogs are certainly appreciated in the US even if they are being discarded on the streets by some uncaring people in Taiwan. See the you tube video of some of the dogs arriving at LAX. What an opportunity to be able to have one of these beautiful adult Goldens who just want a chance to love you.
We will talk soon. Enjoy our summer weather and love your pets.