10th Annual Tricks and Treats on Park Children and Pet Halloween Party! Saturday, October 26, 2019 in Lafayette Square
It’s our 10th Annual Tricks and Treats on Park Children and Pet Halloween Party!
Tricks and Treats on Park takes place on Saturday, October 26 from 11 AM – 1 PM.
Fun activities in the mini park @ Lafayette Square at the corner of Park Avenue and Mississippi Avenue:
Pet and children’s costume contests & Parade @ 12:00 PM
Kids can trick or treat at local Lafayette Square businesses too – just look for the poster in the window of participating businesses! Of course, we’ll have delicious treats for your four-legged friends too!
The Lafayette Square Business Association is sponsoring this extra special event for kids and pets!
See you there!
It’s Holiday Santa Photo time so as Buddy the elf would say “don’t be a cotton-headed ninny-muggins” and forget to make an appointment at one of our annual Holiday Photo events!
We’re hosting two events this year and Santa will be making his annual holiday appearance with all the holiday trimmings at both Lafayette Square and Edwardsville.
Everyone is welcome in the photographs – We don’t mind if it’s just your pet(s) or if you or your kids would like to join in the fun. In the past we’ve had dogs, cats, a pot-bellied big, a rabbit, hamsters, hyacinth macaw and other assorted little critters. Just let us know when you’re making the appointment how many and what kind of pets you’ll be bringing with you on photo day. We do request that only friendly pets visit our winter wonderland. It might just be too much excitement or could be kind of overwhelming for some of our four-legged friends.
Come dressed up for holidays – we’ll have some props available and also a number of different holiday items in the shop that are perfect for the holidays.
Here are our dates and the details:
Edwardsville – Sunday, November 3
11 am – 3 pm
You’ll receive three digital photos for only $25 and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Metro East Humane Society.
Professional photography by Keegan Philips Photography
Call 618-692-4729 to make your appointment at Edwardsville
Lafayette Square – Sunday, November 10
11 am – 3 pm
You’ll receive three digital images for only $25 and 100% of the proceeds will benefit PAWS – Pets are Wonderful Support – St Louis Effort for AIDS
Plus you’ll be able to order Custom Holiday Greeting Cards
Professional Photography by CRYROLFE Photography – St Louis, MO
Call 314 – 773 – 7297 to make your appointment at Lafayette Square
It’s hard to believe we opened our doors in November 2004 at the corner of Geyer and Mississippi in St Louis and then buying and renovating our historic building in Lafayette Square-St Louis and moving our shop a few years later and opening up in Edwardsville almost eleven years ago.
It’s been quite the adventure and we’ve met so many wonderful dogs and cats and their people over the years. We’re so thankful we get to do what we do and also for the trust you’ve given us to help you and your pets live long and happy lives together.
We’ll also be forever grateful for that fateful day when we found our dog Salem. He literally changed our life and the lives of countless dogs and cats in our neighborhoods. We miss him every day but we’re so thankful for the world he opened us for us. Go catch some balls, Salem! We Love You!
Here’s what you can you expect!
* Free Gift Bags for the first 50 Customers in our Lafayette Square shop beginning at 9 AM!
* Save 15% off All Day* (Excluding Food, Supplements, Grooming & Self Service Wash) at both Lafayette Square and Edwardsville.
* We’ll have many of our Vendor Partners with us at Lafayette Square with special savings and samples! Learn how adding in Fresh Whole Foods into your pet’s diet is so critical!
* Special Drawings including winning OC Raw Dog Food for One Year and a Year’s Worth of Self Service Washes!
* Fresh Baked Cake for the pups and Cake for you too!
* Stay tuned for more details coming!
We’ve loved growing with you and we certainly appreciate all of your support over the past 15 years at Four Muddy Paws!
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
As we get older we become a bit wiser to the world and sometimes set in our ways. This is also true for our dogs. They have a list of tried and true behaviors that have worked for them in the past and theyâ€™ll continue doing them as they get older. Of course keeping them physically active within their abilities is very important but so is keeping them cognitively active as well. Keeping them mentally challenged is very important in their aging process.
As our dogsâ€™ get older and are less physically able to do what they used to do in their younger years we have the tendency to restrict their world. We donâ€™t go for walks as frequently, we donâ€™t play with them as frequently, and we worry about their diminished sight and hearing. Consequently their world shrinks and this reduced stimulation and communication with the world around them can definitely affect their behavior and overall mental state.
Letâ€™s Go for a Walk
Dogs have a very heightened sense of smell (with over 50 million sensors in their nose, they should!) so even a senior dog with a diminished sense of smell can enjoy a walk through the neighborhood. This doesnâ€™t necessarily mean a long walk either. It could be a short, â€śletâ€™s go smell somethingâ€ť walk. You can meander at your dogâ€™s pace letting them explore and smell and fill their head with all sorts of information and messages left by others in the neighborhood. This can be a highly enriching experience for them regardless of their age. This SEEK and SCAN behavior is critical at all stages of their development.
The Nose has it
Weâ€™ve begun doing some Nosework with our dog Salem where heâ€™s being trained to find a small tin of birch scent hidden either inside or outside in the environment. This could be in a box, on a windowsill, under a car, behind a tree, or anywhere. Itâ€™s absolutely amazing to watch him work the area until he â€śfinds itâ€ť on his own. He loves it and you can take this skill onto the competition level too to earn titles, even with our seniors. Check out one of Salemâ€™s training videos where he needs to â€śfindâ€ť his birch scent hidden in our yard without any direction from us. This is an exceptionally large search area and this is the first time Salem had to â€śfind itâ€ť in our backyard. Having a clicker trained dog makes it easier to communicate when he’s found the target.After only a few sessions heâ€™s pretty tired both mentally and physically.
Keeping your senior dog mentally challenged is easier then you think. Sometimes just playing games or using puzzle toys can be enriching as can teaching some simple tricks.
So breakfast and dinner are most likely still your dogâ€™s favorite times of the day. Typically, food is a pretty strong motivator for our dogs but this can represent only a few minutes (if youâ€™re lucky) out of our your dogâ€™s day. So donâ€™t just use a bowl for your dogâ€™s mealtime. Think about making this event a little more fun and challenging for them by using some puzzle toys. These can be as simple as putting their food in a Kong toy or using one of the more complex puzzle toys available today.
The Kong â€“ the King of Dog Toys
Kongs can be used for dogs of all ages and while the concept seems quite simple itâ€™s a tool that every home with a dog should not be without. Using a Kong is a bit more of an art then a science. Youâ€™re really only limited by your imagination. You can use your Kong for mealtime by putting your dogâ€™s food inside the Kong,, capping it with a bit of peanut butter or low-sugar yogurt and youâ€™re done. Or you can also create a more complex recipe. Hereâ€™s a link with even more options. And here’s another!
When we would like to keep our dogs occupied we like to stuff ours with an assortment of treats, cap the wide end with a little natural peanut butter and toss it in the freezer. This is an excellent method to use when crate training or when you want to keep your dog occupied for a longer period of time. Just take your Kong from the freezer and have your dog watch you throw it in their crate and in they go with a quick â€śkennel upâ€ť. All of a sudden their crate has become a magical place of full of wonderful treats.
Here are some other simple games you can play with your senior dog:
Find It â€“ This brings out the hunting instincts in your dog. For dogs not used to hunting for their food this can take a little practice. Just start by either tossing some kibble or some tasty treats near your dog and tell them to â€śFind Itâ€ť. This is their cue to go find the food and eat it. If your dog has some hearing or sight difficulties you might want to help them along by moving it closer to them. Remember you want your dog to â€śfind itâ€ť and be successful. Youâ€™re going to repeat this process many times while slowly tossing the treat reward further away each time and telling them to â€śfind itâ€ť. Soon youâ€™ll be able to move the game outside and in harder to find places as your dogâ€™s skill and confidence levels increase. This is a great game to play with puppies too. Oftentimes a game of â€śfind itâ€ť will replace some of that nipping and mouthing and pant-grabbing so often occurring during this puppy period.
Scavenger Hunt â€“ This is a more advanced game of â€śfind itâ€ť. In the scavenger hunt youâ€™re going to hide all sorts of food and treats in your house in all sorts of ways â€“ in small containers, inside paper towel tubes, in paper bags, small boxes etc. while your dog is safe in another room or in their crate â€“ then you let them out to explore and say â€śfind itâ€ť and off they go finding all of their treasures. Start out slow with treats hidden in more obvious places and then slowly progress to more challenging locations in more challenging containers. Itâ€™s a super fun game to play when the weather is too hot, too cold, or too rainy to play outdoors.
Hide & Seek â€“ Dogs of all ages love to play Hide and Seek. Just have someone else secure your dog for a moment in another room or their crate while you hide somewhere in your home. Then let them out and have them find you. You can prompt them to find you with a little whistle or even say their name. Be ready for some big time affection when they find you â€“ they love it! You can also be ready with some special treats for a little reward too. You can play the game inside or outside always playing at your dogâ€™s level.
Muffin Tin â€“ This is a quick and easy way to create a puzzle toy from things you have at home. Use an old muffin tin and place a treat in each of the cups and then cover the cups with a tennis ball. Present this to your dog and tell them to â€śfind itâ€ť. Theyâ€™ll need to knock off the tennis balls to find the hidden treats. This is a pretty easy puzzle toy but still fun for your dog.
Food Puzzle Toys â€“ These come in all shapes and sizes and levels of difficulty. We carry a wide variety of puzzle toys at Four Muddy Paws. We can definitely help you find one thatâ€™s at the appropriate challenge level for your dog. Many of the food puzzle toys are also a great option for dinnertime as they can easily hold your dogâ€™s dinner and it makes dinnertime a little longer affair and more mentally challenging as well. Here’s a short video of our dog Foster enjoying his Kong Genius – just put some yummy treats inside of different shapes and sizes (a bit larger treats work best as kibble tends to come out more quickly) and let them figure it out and get their treats. Remember to take up the toy when the treats are gone so they don’t continue to chew up the toy. (you can trade them for the toy by offering them an extra special treat for letting you have the toy). If it’s dinner time you could put their use their kibble inside – it does make dinner time just a little more challenging.
New versions of Old Tricks â€“ You can easily modify tricks your dog loved in their youth but at a pace thatâ€™s more appropriate to their age. Just slow the action down a little or shorten up the distance. Chase a little slower, or throw the ball a little closer. Your dog will still love it.
The whole goal is to make their life a little more enriching and their days a little more exciting. It will help keep them young and help you continue to strengthen the connection with your senior dog.
Science shows that you can teach your old dog some new tricks!
In case you’re wondering about the science behind the ability of older dogs to learn new behaviors because either they’re “too stubborn” or “just too old to learn” a recent study concludes that these are human motivated statements and not founded on any factual basis. There’s been some great research done in Neuroscience and it confirms that “instantaneous” learning can occur at any age. The key is for us humans to better understand our dogs and that we implement the correct strategies with our dogs.
This is a great read for both dog trainers and behaviorists.
Here are some more posts we’ve written about our senior dogs:
In The Kitchen with Primal Pet Foods - January 2018
Celebrate National Dog Week by Giving Back!
We’ve partnered withÂ Champion Pet Foods, makers ofÂ Orijen and AcanaÂ on a Pet Food Drive for two local groups in our area –Â Bi State Pet Food PantryÂ andÂ Partners for Pets.
Friday, September 27 -Sunday, September 29
With every bag purchasedÂ ChampionÂ will be making a donation to our partner groups.
Here’s how it works:
With everyÂ Orijen or AcanaÂ Dog or Cat Food Purchase,Â ChampionÂ will give a $ credit toward a food donation to that group.
$3 Food DonationÂ with the purchase of a 4-4.5 lb bag
$5 Food DonationÂ with the purchase of a 12-13 lb bag
$10 Food DonationÂ with the purchase of a 25 lb bag
Lafayette Square – will supportÂ Bi State Pet Food Pantry
Edwardsville – will supportÂ Partners for Pets
Blast off is Saturday, September 7!
Join us for our Raw Bar Buffets on Saturday, September 7 from 10 am – 2 pm at both of our shops. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions, get samples and find out more about our special savings!
If you’ve got any questions on feeding raw, please visit us in-store or check out our extensive website. We’ve included a lot of information there to help you out.
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
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!