Weâ€™re excited to share that weâ€™ve been selected as Wellness Advocates for your dogs inÂ Doglyâ€™s new advocate community!
Weâ€™re honored to be part of this amazing online advocate community created to give each of you more access toÂ nutrition, positive training, and wellness knowledge from a group of trusted and vetted professionals. We know thereâ€™s a constant feeling of â€śam I doing this rightâ€ť when it comes to our dogs, so now you can learn from and even message us or any other advocates directly online whenever you have questions.
Weâ€™ve always been dedicated to you, your dogs, and helping to cut through the confusion of the pet industry and weâ€™re so excited to now be able to help others outside of the storeâ€™s walls throughÂ Doglyâ€™s advocate community!
Of course, we’ll always be there for you in our shops and answer your questions and give you the help you need for you and your pets to live long and happy lives together. We love helping you and your pets!
AND weâ€™ll be chattingÂ LIVE on Facebook with DoglyÂ and one of the training advocates onÂ Wednesday, Aug 5th at 7 pm CSTÂ to talk about this new community and answer your questions!
Join Fitness with Fido for a new season of Yappy Hour Yoga sessions on our outdoor patio in Lafayette Square! Sessions begin at 6:30 pm and run about one hour.
Friday, July 26
Friday, August 2
Friday, September 6
We will start out with a leisurely dog walk for the dogs to loosen up then we will come back and do a mixture of standing poses and on the mat, then of course a little dog massage!
Mingle afterwards with some wine and dog treats. Please RSVP online as space is limited, 1 dog/person, no retractable leashes, dog friendly dogs only. If the weather is bad it will be rescheduled. Please bring a yoga mat to class. You’re more than welcome to come without a dog too, as long as you love being around other dogs â™Ą
All classes are 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Last Updated: July 15, 2019
Weâ€™ve been talking to many concerned customers about the recent status update from the FDA and the issue of a potential link between diet related DCM – Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy and dogs eating a grain-free diet.
We wanted to take the opportunity to break this down for you. (This post is rather long but we believe itâ€™s important information for you)
We take the health of your pet very seriously and our passion for the health and well-being of our animals was the big reason we opened Four Muddy Paws 15 years ago. The pet food industry has changed a great deal in the past 15 years and weâ€™ve seen our share of recalls including the massive recall in 2007 due to melamine in pet food. Itâ€™s important to remember that the FDA has not issued any recalls with this latest update but we understand how alarming these updates can be especially when it comes to the health of our own pets.
Hereâ€™s what we know so far about this report:
- Per the FDA report, â€śthe American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. As of April 30, 2019, the FDA has received reports about 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM suspected to be linked to diet. Tens of millions of dogs have been eating dog food without developing DCM.â€ť
- Thatâ€™s 560 dogs out of 72 million. Approximately one in four dogs will get cancer every year and nearly half of all dogs over ten will die from it. Now, that’s something to be concerned about, in comparison to the 0.000007% chance of DCM.
- The brands associated with the increase in DCM are the most popular brands and not solely those available in the small independent pet market but the big brands as well.
- Originally it was thought that exotic proteins were the issue but the FDA reports that 75% were not exotic proteins but actually chicken. Not that chicken itself is the issue just that itâ€™s the most popular protein.
- 95% of the dogs were fed solely dry kibble and not rotated off any particular food, sometimes for years.
- 25% of the dogs are predisposed to getting DCM genetically.
- This is an on-going investigation and the FDA has based their statement on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.
Weâ€™ve talked a lot about nutrition over the years and our philosophy has always been about adding in variety into your petâ€™s diet, adding in fresh foods into the diet and supplementing with additional whole food supplements which is why we call these our â€śmagic in the bowlâ€ť products.
This is also exactly why we designed our WAG Club Loyalty Program the way we did. We want to encourage you to change up your petâ€™s food on a regular basis and still get rewarded with a FREE bag of food for every 10 that you purchase of that size, regardless of manufacturer. Weâ€™ve always encouraged our Fresh Raw Feeders to rotate among three different proteins from three different manufacturers. Every pet is different and every pet food is different. Our bodies crave variety and need variety to thrive rather than just survive. Thatâ€™s why we donâ€™t eat a bowl of â€ścomplete and balancedâ€ť Total cereal at every meal for years and expect to be healthy – especially if we donâ€™t add in a banana, blueberries, etc. to add extra nutrition to our own food. So, we need to make sure weâ€™re adding in whole foods to our petâ€™s diets too in addition to feeding a wide variety of foods.
Here are the three things we believe you can do right now to bring more variety into your petâ€™s diet.
- Change Proteins regularly
- Change Manufacturers regularly
- Add in Variety with whole fresh foods and supplements
Remember that the amino acids in question for our pets’ heart health only come from fresh animal protein sources. Taurine, Cystine and Methionine. Most dry foods must add them back in after cooking and they are synthetic and not from a whole food source. We advocated that you should add in animal protein-rich fresh foods whenever you can.
Weâ€™ve always encouraged moving toward a fresh food diet as much as possible. On a scale of processed foods, you want to move toward the top of pyramid with whole raw foods giving your petâ€™s bodies the nutrients they need to thrive and create a healthy microbiome in their gut and a healthy immune system to have the body function at an optimal level. Focusing on giving your pet more protein-rich foods rather than carb-rich foods makes a big difference. Adding in a fermented raw goat or cow milk/kefir, extra taurine, prebiotics/probiotics, raw eggs, chicken hearts and digestive enzymes can help supplement what your petâ€™s bodies need. Ideally, you can do this at least a few times a week but at a minimum please rotate your petâ€™s food on a very regular basis.
On a personal note, our dogs have always been fed a variety of raw diets that we carry at Four Muddy Paws. Weâ€™ve always rotated their proteins and manufacturers with every bag we purchase. However, that doesnâ€™t mean that we donâ€™t supplement with additional nutrients too. Working with our holistic veterinarian weâ€™re able to give our boys the additional nutrients they need. We discovered a couple of years ago that Foster has a heart arrhythmia so we give him additional Taurine every day to support his heart health. If youâ€™re concerned about your own pet you can work with your own Vet and have your petâ€™s Taurine levels tested. Knowledge is power and being aware of what our pets are eating is one of the most important gifts we can give them.
Weâ€™re in this together and weâ€™re working every day to educate ourselves and educate you about your petâ€™s health and well-being. Rest assured; weâ€™re following this situation very closely. The options for our pets have greatly improved over the past 15 years but our knowledge is not yet perfect and we continue to learn more every day and why we must continue to be advocates for our petâ€™s health. This is why weâ€™ve always carried a wide variety of foods containing grains, grain-free options plus dehydrated, freeze dried and raw options. Please know that we take your support very seriously and we will do everything we can to give you the options you need to help your pets live a long and healthy life together.
We thank you for your continued trust in the care of your pets,
Jeff Jensen and Matt Brazelton, Foster and Potter and our dedicated teams at both Lafayette Square and Edwardsville
Vendor Links on DCM
Additional Helpful Links
Itâ€™s Summer time! Despite our recent wet Spring it will get hot this summer! This is also the time of year we relax and kick back, do a little BBQ, hang out by the lake or pool and just plain take it easy. Plus itâ€™s the perfect time to have your pets hang out with you! With just a few simple precautions you all can have a wonderful and safe summer.
- Dogs in the Car â€“
You would think that by now people would realize the risks of leaving pets and children in a car even on a nice Spring day but still people donâ€™t realize that the temperature in the car can quickly climb to 120 degrees even with the windows rolled down! Leave your pets at home even when youâ€™re just running a quick errand. When it reaches 70 degrees outside – definitely leave the pets at home. Even a sunny day in the 60’s in a closed car can heat up your pet.
- Heat Stroke â€“
This is a very real concern for our pets in the summer and it can happen quickly. Itâ€™s extremely life threatening. Unfortunately we witnessed a dog with heatstroke at an event last summer and itâ€™s very scary.
Here are some of the common symptoms of heatstroke:
- body temperature of 104-110F degrees
- excessive panting
- dark or bright red tongue and gums
- staggering or in a stupor
- bloody diarrhea
- The short-nosed dogs like Bulldogs and Pugs are very susceptible as well as the heavy-coated or overweight dogs and dogs with heat or respiratory problems.
- Seek Veterinary care immediately if you suspect your pet might have heat stroke.
- Use cool water but not ice water to cool your pet keeping the temperature no lower than 103 degrees to avoid hypothermia (too cold), which can cause the blood vessels to constrict.
- Offer ice cubes to lick until you can see a vet.
- Just because your pet seems OK after a bit please take him for a professional evaluation as many issues can occur in the internal organs after heat stroke.
- The best cure for heat stroke is prevention.
- Overexertion and Running â€“
Exercising with your dog is definitely a joy for both you and your dog but why worry about your dog running in the summer? While you have the opportunity to adjust your running gear for the warmer weather your dog is still running in the same gear they had last winter! Plus we sweat (a lot) in the summer and your dog only has the ability to cool down with the pads of his feet and through panting. Your loyal companion and canine athlete may be in excellent shape but over-heating and heatstroke can be fatal for even the best canine athlete. Adjust your running schedule to the early morning or late evening in the summer.
- Water to Drink and Play Inâ€“
Keep plenty of water on hand to keep your pet hydrated. Carry a portable water bowl on your walks and always have water available outside too. Plus use a life preserver when your dog is boating or swimming just as you do with your other family members. Some dogs are naturally not great swimmers plus your dog could be knocked overboard and taking the right precautions could save their life.
- Proper Grooming â€“
Keep your pets well groomed in the summer months. Your petâ€™s coat keeps them warm in the winter and actually helps protect them from the summer sun and even insulates them from the heat. If your dog has a lot of mats or tangles or itâ€™s coat is excessively long and overgrown it could prevent dog from being able to cool themselves properly in the summer.
- The Young, The Elderly and The Overweight â€“
A healthy adult dog can regulate their heat, however puppies and older dogs are not as efficient in controlling their own cooling so special precautions must be taken. Overweight dogs and snub-nosed dogs (pugs, bulldogs, frenchies, etc) are especially prone to overheating in the summer. Also high humidity can make if very challenging for any dog to regulate their body heat. Exercise should be very limited on these days and you should make sure that their crate or other rest area is well ventilated.
- Travel/Vacation Plans â€“
make sure your microchip and tag information is up-to-date before you leave with your dog on vacation. Also when you arrive at your vacation destination look for a local vet and keep this information handy. You never know when you might need it.
With the appropriate precautions your pet can have a wonderful, fun and safe summer.
Itâ€™s summertime so itâ€™s time to have another ice cream social!
Come and help us celebrate Summer with an old fashion ice cream social just for the pooches!
Lafayette Square & Edwardsville â€“ Saturday, July 20 â€“ 10 am â€“ 3 pm
A Sundae Bar for Dogs!
Weâ€™ll have a special ice cream sundae bar with all kinds of doggie ice cream and fun and tasty (at least for dogs anyway!) unlimited toppings! They can have a little cake with their ice cream as weâ€™ll be sampling out one of our fresh baked cakes too!
Weâ€™ll have our all-natural The Bear & The Rat Frozen Yogurt Single Serve Cups on hand to create your own dog’s masterpiece!
All summer long we have our popcorn and Arnold Palmerâ€™s (Lemonade & Iced Tea) every weekend
In The Kitchen with Primal Pet Foods - January 2018
Aloha! Escape to the tropics and join Tiki Pets and Four Muddy Paws at our Tiki Party on the Patio at our Lafayette Square shop
Saturday, July 13
11 am – 2 pm
Explore the world of Tiki Dog and Tiki Cat foods and treats with free samples, special one day savings and gifts! Plus check out the new Tiki Cat Raw Diets for Cats!
Take a photo of you and your pet on your own tropical island.
What’s a Tiki Party without a swimming pool? We’re breaking out the pools on the patio help the pets stay cool in the summer.
We’ll have some delicious authentic Tiki Libations and snacks plus an Exotica playlist that will transport you to a tropical paradise
beyond St Louis.
It’s mid-summer and that means 4th of July Fireworks are fast approaching. Pet’s afraid of fireworks? Fireworks & Thunderstorm anxiety affects many dogs. There are many ways you can help your pet relieve their anxiety.
Check us out on Fox2Now St Louis talking about the Thundershirt!
Training and counter-conditioning before the event can help desensitize your pet to a point where your pet no longer reacts negatively to the various stimuli but this can take some time and patience and is a good long-term solution.
Counter-conditioning your pet uses treats or other toys to your advantage. Associating a positive experience with something that may frighten your dog can often help reduce your petâ€™s anxiety levels. Have a storm puppy party and toss treats on the floor when it thunders. It can really help them begin to associate thunder with good things like treats. Try to do this before your dog is really anxious. There are CDâ€™s available that can help you train without an actual thunderstorm going on.
Hereâ€™s an example of how we did this with our dog Foster. He gets very agitated when the smoke alarm goes off. He runs through the house and is quite anxious. Hereâ€™s how we worked with him. We watched a recent episode of Modern Family and a key element in the show was a smoke detector going off. Foster heard the first beep on the TV and began to get anxious. We didnâ€™t want him to be stressed during the entire show so we came up with this solution. Heâ€™s clicker trained so we got out some treats and with each beep of the smoke alarm on the show he got a treat. By the end of the show he was anxiously awaiting the treats and not worrying about the alarms. Even now he begins to looks to us for treats when he hears the smoke alarm go off instead of anxiously running through the house.
In addition to behavior modification you can take a natural and holistic approach to reducing your pet’s anxiety through the use of various natural herbs, flower essences and energy healing. These are safe ways to help your pet deal with their anxiety. Some work right away and some require a bit more time to work in their system. No product or technique will work for every pet but these products are great natural options for your pet.
Four Muddy Paws carries several products that can help reduce your pets stress levels and our staff can help you decide what fits your situation best.
- Bach Flower’s Rescue Remedy
- Animal Essentials Tranquility Blend
- Pet Natural’s Calming Soft Chews for Dogs and Cats
- Herbsmith Calm Shen
- Herbsmith Third of July
- VetriScience Composure
- Ark Natural Happy Traveler
- ThunderEssence Naturally Calmer Dog
Color and music therapy can also be effective in helping your pet in addition to regular energy healing sessions. We also carry a line of music therapy CDâ€™s that have been helpful both with storms as well as separation anxiety. Through a Dog’s Ear Calming CD’s
An excellent book to read on this subject is Energy Healing for Dogs by Nicole Wilde. She offers numerous holistic solutions and techniques to help your pet deal with their anxiety issues.
Also, ask us how CBD oils and treats might be of some help for your pets.
Here are some other helpful tips to remember:
Have your dog go to their crate with an extra special treat. Covering your crate can help create a sense of security.
Get out a puzzle game for your dog to enjoy either with you or independently. This is helpful especially when you know a storm is coming in order to tire them out and relax them with some mental stimulation.
Keep out unwanted noises and visual stimulus by keeping them in an interior room with the windows closed and drapes drawn.
Mask other outside noises by keeping the AC on, playing music, having the television on or fan blowing to create some white noise.
Make sure your outside gates and fences are always closed and secure especially during and after guests have visited. Oftentimes guests who don’t have pets will leave the gate door open without thinking and your pet could escape their yard.
With some proper planing and anticipation of possible events that can be troubling to your pet you can help reduce their anxiety and get through these sometimes challenging events.