it’s time to celebrate!

We’re open – come on in!

Our new location is: 8630 Kennedy Ave. (on the corner of Kennedy and Condit St.)

To have some fun, we’re having a Grand Opening Celebration

on Saturday, June 10th from 10 am – 3 pm.

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– Meet some of our favorite pet people

– Learn about our pet products and services

– Free pet food samples and raffles!

SEE YOU THERE!

We are MOVING!

The Hydrant is relocating to a brand new facility on Kennedy Ave. on MAY 15, 2017.

To prepare for the big move, we will be…

open on Friday, May 12th from 8 am – 12 noon

and CLOSED on Saturday, May 13th

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After years of hard work and dedication serving Highland and the neighboring communities, Mindy and her staff are excited to be moving to a bigger, brand new space.  Just 2 blocks from our current location Downtown Highland, the new Hydrant Pet Center address will be:

8630 Kennedy Ave. (on the corner of Kennedy Ave. and Condit St.)

The new Hydrant will offer all of the superb grooming services our clients have come to expect plus a larger retail space and natural pet market to keep your pets healthy.

Until the big move, we are still keeping your pets happy & healthy in our current location.

new digestive help is here

If you doggie has diarrhea or digestive issues, you may want to stop by the Hydrant for some Slippery Elm or Flora4.

Slippery elm is the ideal herb for treating dogs with a nervous stomach. While it soothes and protects the digestive tract, it is astringent and can reduce inflammation at the same time. Therefore, it can be used in cases of diarrhea, colitis, stomach ulcers, and so on. The mucilage also lubricates the digestive tract to help in the elimination of waste.

While slippery elm benefits dogs suffering from diarrhea, this herb also helps constipated dogs. In cases of constipation, this herb helps and relaxes the muscles to facilitate elimination of waste.

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You can also use Flora4 whenever your pet needs supplemental enzymes and probiotics for a wide range of issues:

  • During and after treatment with antibiotics
  • To correct intermittent diarrhea and soft stools
  • To aid digestion when transitioning to a new food.

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Carna4’s Flora4 Ground Sprouted Seeds Food Topper simplifies the chore of learning how to supplement effectively to add the live probiotics, plant enzymes, phytonutrients and whole food vitamins & minerals that are lacking in an all-meat diet.

Flora4 contains only 100% raw organic sprouted seeds (a blend of barley seed, flaxseed, and lentils), ground into a fine powder.

You can add Flora4 to every meal to supply all your dog’s non-meat nutritional requirements. Or if you already mix foods like tripe, green leafy & root vegetables into your dog’s raw diet, try using Flora4 every couple of days to “fill in the gaps”. That way, you can be sure that you’re not missing any essential vitamins & minerals with your homemade recipes.

Your cat can also benefit from the intense nutrition in Flora4. Be sure to add healthy sources of taurine such as organ meat – pork liver and duck liver are 2 excellent examples.

Flora4 is extremely versatile. It can be sprinkled into raw, home-cooked food or commercial kibble to boost nutrition and complete the diet. If your main pet food contains vitamin/mineral additives (kibbles and canned foods), then you should consider supplementing the diet with doses of Flora4 every day or two, to make sure your pet is getting really bio-available nutrients from food – not just synthetics. Our testing has shown that dogs and cats love the mix of flavors from meat + our sprouted seed blend. Flora4 gives Raw feeders the convenient whole food supplement they’ve been waiting for — no need to use bottled synthetic products again!

Flora4 contains guaranteed levels of live probiotics (18 billion cfu/kg) and enzymes (1 million U/kg); effective doses of 26 essential vitamins & minerals; and high levels of Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids – all from raw food – that combine to provide a variety of health benefits for dogs and cats

Winter weather wreaking havoc on your floors?

Now in stock at The Hydrant!  The Dirty Dog Doormat™ from Dog Gone Smart soaks up mud and dirt, so the MESS stays in the MAT keeping floors clean & dry!

  • Super absorbent material
  • Soaks up to 7X its weight in water and mud
  • 50% more microfibers
  • Dries 5X faster than ordinary door mats
  • plush and velvety soft
  • Super Gripper Backing
  • Machine washable

We have Cupcakes for your dogs!

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Don’t forget about your furry friends on their birthdays… we have Cupcakes just for them!

Available in pink and blue, our cupcakes are made with the best organic ingredients.  A layer of yogurt “frosting” coats this moist, soft cupcake made of peanut butter and carrot. It’s an irresistible combination for any pup!

Not your pet’s birthday?  No worries.  You don’t need an excuse to have fun.  Any day is a perfect day for a cupcake!

Ingredients include organic carrots, organic oat flour, honey, peanut butter, and eggs.

Call today for our Student grooming special

Want to save $20?  The Holidays are quickly approaching and we know your furry friends are going to need haircuts. The Students at our Grooming Academy are ready to show off their skills and they need dogs to groom at a discounted rate. Interested? Here are the details:

1.) Your dog must need a Full Body Haircut.

 

2.) Your dog should be an easy going pet that a beginning groomer can handle.

 

3.) When scheduling your appointment, you MUST mention that you want a Student. That’s the ONLY way you will be given a Student.  Give us a call to schedule your appointment 219-923-3649. We cannot book your appointment thru Facebook or our Website.


4.) The Student Grooming Holiday Discount is $20 OFF Full Body Haircut.


5.) Your Appointment with a Student must be scheduled Monday thru Friday ONLY– November 9th thru December 16th.
(NO SATURDAYS).

This Holiday deal does not apply to appointments scheduled with our Regular Grooming Staff (Crystal, Jill, Mindy, or Raquel).

This deal is for Full Body Haircuts only — service includes a bath, blow dry, brush out, nail trim, ear cleaning, gland expression if needed, and the full body haircut you would like for your dog.

Not valid on Baths or Bath/Brush/Trims.

Sorry, no cats.

we love Dachshunds!

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One of the most recognizable dog breeds on Earth, the dachshund is also one of the most popular breeds. But how much do you really know about them? Check out the following facts and learn more about this tenacious hound.

They Come in 15 Colors

While you are probably used to seeing red, black & tan and dappled Doxies, did you know they come in 15 colors and 6 marking combinations? Colors include: black & cream, black & tan, blue & cream, blue & tan, chocolate & cream, chocolate & tan, cream, fawn (also called Isabella) & cream, fawn & tan, red, wheaten, wild board, black, chocolate and fawn. Marking combinations include: brindle, dapple, sable, brindle piebald, double piebald and piebald.

They Were The First Olympic Mascot

The very first Olympic mascot in the history of the Olympic Games was Waldie a dachshund for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The Olympic marathon route was designed to be in the shape of the dog that year.

They Are The Smallest Hunting Breed

The Dachshund is the smallest breed in the AKC hound group, but don’t let that fool you. They are tenacious and were bred to not just stalk prey but kill it.

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Poochapalooza 2016 Recap

We had so much fun at Poochapalooza! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth and let us put a bandanna on their pooch. We enjoyed seeing our regulars and we sure made a lot of new friends.   Beth may have set a record for the most cute dog photos taken in one day!!

How excellent… our booth was right next to the Dr. Becker’s Bites booth at Poochapalooza!  Hopefully you had a chance to stop and chat with these awesome folks. I saw a lot of doggies loving their samples! If you need a bag, the Hydrant is stocked with a few flavors of their Bites!

Enjoy these cute dogs at Poochapalooza photos!

the Hydrant is a busy, little shop!

We cannot say thank you enough to all of our amazing customers.  2016 has been our busiest year so far and we have so many exciting plans for next year!  Our retail area is expanding each month with new products that are perfect to keep your pets healthy and happy.  Please let us know if there is anything you wish you could purchase at the Hydrant.  Our knowledgeable staff wants to talk to you about your pet’s nutrition needs!

What’s new on our shelves?  Have a look…

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New Acana Coming Soon

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ACANA Heritage

ACANA Heritage foods are Champion’s original Biologically Appropriate recipes that celebrate their 25-year tradition of featuring fresh regional ingredients grown close to home by farmers, ranchers and fishermen they know and trust.

ACANA Heritage foods are brimming with free-run poultry and nest-laid eggs from local farms, freshwater fish from regional waters and heritage meats from Appalachian ranches — all delivered in fresh WholePrey ratios to nourish completely.

Prepared in their new Kentucky DogStar® kitchens from America’s best and freshest ingredients, these unique and Biologically Appropriate foods are a delicious way to keep your dog healthy, happy, and strong.

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12 oz. trial size bags are available NOW for $3.99 so you can try them out.

Stop by the Hydrant today!

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What’s New?

Here’s a little peek at what’s new at the Hydrant…

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treats your dogs will love, perfect for Thanksgiving time!

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New from Party Animal… CocoLicious Grain-Free canned foods for Dogs

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cute and warm sweaters for your hounds

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Vital Essential cat treats… can be used as dog treats too

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Dirty Dog Doormat is an amazingly thick and thirsty little rug!

oh no…FLEAS!

Fleas are very bad right now in NW Indiana.  Learn about these nasty little critters and how you can protect your pets…

The Flea Life Cycle

Fleas are highly productive; a pair may produce 20,000 fleas in three months.

Eggs hatch after two to 12 days into larvae that feed in the environment – generally on digested blood from adult fleas and other food matter. The food required at this stage is microscopic, and even clean carpets often offer plenty of food to the larvae.

The larvae are little wiggles about three or four millimeters long; you may see some if you inspect your pet’s bedding carefully. Larvae molt twice within two to 200 days and the older larvae spin a cocoon in which they remain for one week to one year. When in this cocoon stage the young flea is invulnerable to any kind of insecticide and to low, even freezing, temperatures. Only sufficient warmth and the presence of a host can cause them to emerge. This long cocooning period explains why fleas are so difficult to eradicate.

Flea-development

To get rid of fleas in your house, you must break this cycle.

As a practical matter, this means you’ll almost certainly have to repeat your flea elimination efforts a few weeks apart to catch the fleas from the larvae that didn’t get destroyed the first time around. This is also why it is essential to address the problem of the eggs and larvae as well as the adult fleas.

Eliminating Fleas

It’s not enough just to rid your dog of fleas. Fleas don’t spend all their time on your dog, but will hop on when they need a meal.

The eggs can be shed anywhere your dog spends time – including your own bed, if you share it! Your house and yard must also be treated to prevent re-infestation.

If you use a topical preventative, now is the time to apply.  K9 Advantix II is an effective product to kill AND repel fleas, ticks, and other bugs on Dogs.  Advantage II is available for your Cats.  The Hydrant sells both 2-packs and 4-packs.

Knowing that some pets have a reaction to topical flea and tick treatments and require a no-chemical approach, we also provide some natural alternatives that are less toxic to pets and their families.

Alzoo makes a safe monthly topical application made from natural oils and ingredients that will repel fleas.  Without harsh chemicals, Alzoo is safe to use around children and other pets.

An important part of flea prevention is treating the environment your pet lives in. Only adult fleas live on your pet.  Eggs, larva and pupa are found in the bedding, flooring, and couches and might be living in your yard. Vacuum your carpets and wash bedding often until you are sure the fleas are gone.  We also recommend using Flea Vac when vacuuming.  Flea Vac (sold at the Hydrant) is an all natural, safe and environmentally responsible solution for treating fleas in your home.  By using these pellets made with bentonite clay mixed with essential oils, Flea Vac is highly effective at killing 100% of the fleas inside the vacuum.  Flea Vac also makes a vacuum hose attachment that allows you to suck the fleas right off your pets!

Bathing your dog often using a natural shampoo can help in the fight against bugs.  Earthbath’s Orange Peel Oil Shampoo for Dogs is great for flea prevention due to its concentrated citrus oil.  This shampoo also calms & relieves the itching that comes from insect bites, including mosquito bites and flea bites. In addition to thoroughly cleaning your pet, the concentrated citrus oil in this shampoo will bring out the coat’s natural highlights and generate a brilliant sheen. Orange Peel Oil is the natural oil rendered from oranges and is very effective at killing fleas.  Ask for Earthbath Orange Peel Oil Shampoo at the Hydrant!

Diet is everything – Healthy dogs aren’t good hosts for parasites.  Fleas (like any parasite) are more attracted to the weak animals.   I’ve seen this with my own eyes… three dogs standing in a group – two dogs who were eating high quality diets including raw and freeze-dried raw diets had no bugs flying around them while the one dog eating a low quality kibble diet had a swarm of bugs around him.  Enough said.  Let the Hydrant help you select a healthy food that will boost your pet’s immunity and natural ability to repel insects.  We always have samples and the time to talk with you about pet foods and proper nutrition.

To check for fleas, brush through your dog or cat’s hair with a flea comb. Doing this above a white sheet or white paper allows you to see if there are actually fleas.  Flea dirt is flea feces, which appears on your pet in small, dark clumps which is a clear sign that your pet has fleas. Flea dirt is usually easiest to see on the stomach of your pet. This is where their fur is the lightest color and the least thick. Flea dirt can also be found on your pet’s bedding so make sure to check there.  If you have doubts about whether or not what you’re seeing is flea dirt or just normal dirt, there’s an easy test. Grab one of the small black clumps with a wet paper towel.  If that black clump is flea dirt, it will turn a reddish color once it gets wet.

 

Yorkies!

The tiny Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.  Despite their small size, Yorkies have big personalities and need plenty of regular exercise and mental stimulation.

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If you’re thinking of adding a Yorkshire Terrier to your family, be sure to check your local shelters and rescue organizations first to see if there’s an adoptable dog available.

Yorkshire Terriers are extremely intelligent, energetic, and loaded with confidence. The breed was developed in North England during the 19th century as ratters to control rodents in textile mills and coalmines. The Yorkshire Terrier’s ancestors include the long-extinct Clydesdale Terrier and the Black-and-Tan Terrier.

Did you know…
The Yorkshire Terrier breed was once called the Broken Haired Scotch Terrier, Broken Haired Toy Terrier, or simply Toy Terrier. The name Yorkshire Terrier was adopted in the 1970s as a salute to the place where the breed was born.

We have lots of Yorkie friends that visit the Hydrant for their grooming needs.  Here are just a few of the cute faces we get to see…

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this is what Dr. Karen Becker has to say about Yorkies…

Yorkies Can Be Great Agility Competitors

Don’t let his small size fool you – this little guy loves speed, action, and lots of attention, so canine sports such as agility can be a great way to challenge and stimulate him.

Also don’t assume he’s a purse-dog whose feet should never touch the ground. Your Yorkie loves long walks and the opportunity to show off his guard dog skills!

Yorkies are known to be brave, adventurous, and loyal. They are curious and learn quickly. They have a strong hunting instinct, so it’s best to keep your Yorkie a safe distance from any small pets in the house such as hamsters or birds.

Yorkies Are Independent Little Souls

Yorkshire Terriers can be lapdogs, but often only in short bursts. And while they enjoy pleasing their humans, they are easily distracted by other interests.

Some Yorkies are sweet and cuddly, while others tend to be more entertaining and mischievous. The sweet-n-cuddly Yorkie makes for a better lapdog, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Since this breed is notoriously stubborn, it’s important to obedience train and socialize your Yorkie puppy to insure she doesn’t develop bad habits that will be very difficult to extinguish once she’s an adult.

Healthy Yorkies Are Long-Lived

Yorkshire Terriers live 14 to 16 years on average, but they are prone to several health conditions, including liver shunts, collapsing tracheas, luxating patellas, dental issues, hypothyroidism, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Low blood sugar is also a problem, along with certain types of bladder stones, hair loss, cataracts, and ingrown eyelashes.

Very tiny Yorkies (under 4 pounds) are prone to more health problems, and in my opinion, breeders who select for “teacup” size are sacrificing the health of their dogs in favor of an abnormally small size.

The Yorkie Coat Is High-Maintenance

The good news is your Yorkie sheds little to no hair, however, his long silky coat needs extensive grooming. To prevent tangles and matting, his coat needs to be brushed 4 to 5 times a week with a firm bristle brush, and professionally trimmed regularly. Your Yorkie’s eyes and ears must also be cleaned regularly to avoid infection, and daily tooth brushing is necessary to avoid dental problems.

One of the First Therapy Dogs Was a Yorkshire Terrier

A US soldier fighting in the Pacific theater during World War II came upon a Yorkie puppy hiding in a foxhole. The dog was named Smoky, and she went on to visit injured American soldiers, and later worked stringing communication lines between military outposts in the Philippines.

Yorkies with Undocked Tails Look Especially Adorable

While the American Kennel Club (AKC) still insists on docked tails as part of the Yorkshire Terrier breed standard, knowledgeable humane Yorkie breeders and owners are increasingly opting to forego this barbaric practice.

Yorkies Need Regular Exercise

It’s a common misconception that toy breeds don’t need vigorous exercise. Yorkshire Terriers in particular require physical activity. Daily walks and frequent playtime in an open area will keep your Yorkie physically fit and mentally stimulated. Lack of adequate exercise can result in behavior problems.

This breed can gain weight easily, so take care not to overindulge your Yorkie.

Yorkies Are Talkers

Actually, they’re barkers. It’s the watchdog in them. It’s a good idea to train your Yorkie to stop barking on command (or to avoid barking when the urge strikes), unless you appreciate a small dog with a big mouth.

Yorkies Can Be Difficult to Housetrain

The myth that Yorkies are impossible to housetrain is indeed a myth. Your little boy or girl probably won’t learn in a week, but with consistency, patience, and lots of positive reinforcement you can potty train your Yorkie.

 

Forever in our hearts, this post is for Ty.

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Skunked

Apparently it is that time of the year when we need to watch out for our local Indiana wildlife friend, the Skunk. So many dogs have come to the Hydrant this week after being Skunked!!

Striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) spraying, USA

Striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) spraying, USA

Here is a recipe for a shampoo you can make at home in case the unfortunate happens to you and your pet…

http://healthypets.mercola.com/…/far-better-than-tomato-jui…

If you don’t have the resources to get rid of that smell at home, we have created a Skunk shampoo that you can get with a bath at the Hydrant to help. Unfortunately, one magical visit to the groomer won’t do the trick. We can help, but that Skunky smell will linger for a little while.

Watch out for Skunks!

Are you ready for some football?

Get your pup ready for the season with our Bears Spa Package

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Ask for our Bears Spa Package and give your dogs some extra pampering when they come in for a bath or haircut. This $10 package includes:

– Nail Grinding
– a Facial (those Ditka mustaches need a good scrub!)
– and a Bears Bandanna

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Zeus, an amazing PTSD service dog

What an honor it was to meet Zeus and his family today. Our groomer, Crystal, gave Zeus the works because this PTSD service dog sure deserved it! He is making a huge impact on a Marine who was injured in an IED attack and lost his hearing amongst other injuries, including suffering from PTSD. We can’t wait to see Zeus, Jeff, and Lisa again!

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The Warrior Dog Foundation was established by Mike Ritland who fought as a Navy SEAL in Operation Iraqi Freedom and other deployments. He created the Warrior Dog Foundation with the sole purpose of giving back to the Navy SEAL and special operations community. Mike’s generous donations of well trained service dogs make it possible for veterans to have zero out-of-pocket costs.

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The Warrior Dog Foundation strives to educate the public on the importance of K-9s in the combat environment, and showcase the level of sacrifice these dogs give in support of our troops.

Read more about the Warrior Dog Foundation here http://warriordogfoundation.org/

Toenails… every dog has them

When you have a dog, you become very familiar with the need for nail trims.  That clicking sound on your hardwood floors or getting puncture wounds when they jump up on your lap… you know when your dog needs a nail trim!

 

Consequences Of Long Toenails

So what’s the big deal if my dog’s nails are long? The first consequence of long toenails is painful feet. When a dog’s nails contact hard ground, like a sidewalk or your kitchen floor, the hard surface pushes the nail back up into the nail bed. This either puts pressure on all the toe joints or forces the toe to twist to the side. Either way, those toes become very sore, even arthritic. When the slightest touch is painful to your dog, he will fuss when you pick up his paw to cut nails.

The second consequence of long toenails is more serious. All animals rely on information from nerves in their feet to move through the world and process gravity accurately. For millions of years, wild dogs have run long distances while hunting and worn their nails short. The only time their toenails would touch the ground was when climbing a hill. So a dog’s brain is evolutionarily programmed to associate toenail contact with being on a hill, and he shifts his body posture accordingly: leaning forward over his forelimbs, up the imaginary hill as reported by his toes. Since the hill is not real, a secondary compensation with his hind limbs is necessary to avoid a face plant. This abnormal compensatory posture can be called “goat on a rock,” because it brings his paws closer together under his body.

Normal neutral posture is a nice show dog “stack,” with vertical legs like a table. Recent research shows that standing with limbs “camped-in” is hard work to maintain. These goat-on-a-rock dogs get over-used muscles and eventually over-used joints, especially in their hind limbs, making it difficult to jump in cars, climb stairs and even hard to get up from lying down. Sounds like a lot of older dogs we know! Cutting toenails short can be like a miracle cure for your dog whose hind end has become painful, weak and over-used.    -Karen Gellman DVM PhD

What can you do?

Maintenance

Nail maintenance requires a trim every two or three weeks, just like maintaining human fingernails. If you can hear nails clicking on your kitchen floor, they are too long.

At the Hydrant, all pets nails are trimmed during the grooming process.  However if you’d like to get your pets nails trimmed in between visits, we’d be happy to help.  There is NO APPOINTMENT needed for just nail cutting.  Our groomers are available for nail trim “walk-ins” Monday thru Friday from 8:30 AM until around 4:00 PM and on Saturdays from 9:30 AM until 12 Noon.

Sometimes your pets nails just aren’t short enough or they may be a little sharp after they are cut, therefore we also offer nail grinding.  There is an additional charge for nail grinding when you request this service with your pet’s grooming appointment or with your pet’s “walk-in” nail trim.

 

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What’s inside your dog’s toenail? (image above) 

The interior structures are shown, along with the suggested angle to cut the nail while not harming the sensitive nail bed or quick as it is often called (aka the part that bleeds).  Our groomers can ONLY cut the nail to the point just before where the quick is located within.  Unfortunately that nail bed grows with the nail.  With regular maintenance, the quick will dry up and recede. This will allow our groomers to cut your dog’s nails even shorter.

(Illustration by Michael A Simmons MFA)

Doing it yourself? Here are some tips…

  • If you cut the quick, use corn starch to stop the bleeding.   It’s easiest if you use a small container with tightly packed powder.
  • Remember, no dog ever died from a quicked toenail.  If you “quick” your dog accidentally, give a treat right away.  Keep things positive.
  • Make nail trimming fun… always associate nail cutting with cookies and praise.
  • For maintenance, cut every two weeks.  To shorten, cut every week.
  • Start on the hind feet, because the nails tend to be a little shorter and less sensitive than the front.
  • You can’t make an accurate cut on a moving target so if you’ve got a squirmy dog or a drama queen, you might be better off to let a groomer take care of your pet’s nails.

 

Exercise Your Dog Inside

As much as we’d love the weather to be perfect year round, we live in NW Indiana.  We’ve had plenty of bone chilling and snowy days during the month of February and for most of our pets, going outside means taking care of business and running back indoors as quickly as possible.

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But, despite the weather’s lack of cooperation, it’s still important to regularly exercise our dogs for both their physical and mental well-being . What can we do?  Exercise them indoors!  Research has shown that just a few minutes of mental exercise is far more exhausting to your dog than that same amount of time spent doing something physical.

So, when you’re stuck inside and your dog’s bouncing off the walls, try exercising her brain!

1. Obedience and Trick Training:

In addition to teaching your dog basic obedience skills, like sit, down, and come, take this extra time together to work on some advanced cues, like stay or shake. Once you’ve mastered those, start working on some cool new tricks, like roll over, sit pretty, or high-five. Not only will you strengthen your bond and communication skills with your dog, you’ll have some great fun showing off what you’ve taught – and your dog will LOVE being rewarded for learning new behaviors.

TIP: When training your dog, keep sessions short – about 15 to 20 minutes – and always end on a positive note. If your dog hasn’t quite grasped the latest trick or cue, go back to one he knows well and end your session on a successful execution of the trick. This will keep him excited for training and looking forward to the next session.

 

2. Brain Games and Dog Puzzles

Did you know there are tons of puzzles and games especially for dogs? From simple treat dispensing toys that require interaction by your pup, to elaborate puzzle games that force your dog to problem solve, dog puzzles are an excellent was to exercise your dog indoors!  Filling a few treat dispensing balls with the Fruitables Bacon or Bison jerky sold at the Hydrant keeps both of my dogs busy for hours.

 

3. Scent Games and Hide ‘n Seek

Scent games and hide and seek are excellent indoor activities that not only expend energy, but build confidence as well! Here’s how to play:

With your dog watching you, toss a few small, soft and meaty dog treats onto the floor. Just as your dog runs to eat them, say “go find it!” After a few tosses, start placing the treats inside boxes, in corners, or on low shelves (nothing above your dog’s nose level) and always use the “go find it” cue when he goes to get them.

Once he’s got the hang of it, try putting your dog in another room while you hide the treats. At first, use the same locations that you’ve already put treats to guarantee success in finding them. Then, allow your dog back into the room and say “go find it!” and watch him go to work searching for his tasty rewards. If your dog has trouble finding your hides, either stand in the vicinity or toss some additional treats in that direction to give him a boost. Eventually his nose will take over and lead him around the room to find the hidden treats on his own.

If you really want to thrill your dog, hide a long-lasting chew like an antler or bully stick or a treat dispensing ball for him to first find and then enjoy!

TIP: If treats don’t excite your dog, scent games and hide and seek can also be played with a favorite toy. Or, you can even hide yourself and let your furriest friend come find you!

 

4. Tug-o-War

A good game of tug doesn’t take up a lot of room, but it DOES use up a lot of physical energy!

Look for tug toys that are durable enough to stand up to rigorous pulling and long enough that you can safely hold onto one while your dog pulls on the other.

 

For the super creative pet owner…

5. Build an Indoor Obstacle/Agility Course

You can use portable agility equipment if you have it.   Or you can always build your own indoor obstacle course using chairs, tables, and couch cushions! Have fun getting on all fours and doing the course along with your dog – he’ll love it!

Before you know it, Spring will finally be here!!

new sweaters in the shop

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Calling all tiny and teacup dogs…  Some new sweaters are here!  They are perfectly sized for teacup Yorkies, Malteses, and Chihuahuas. Even my Italian Greyhound fit nicely in one of our new sweaters.  We ordered a few super tiny ones for small breed puppies as well.

Stop in today with your pup to try them on!!

Shea Butter Deep Conditioner

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This ultra-rich conditioning treatment immerses your best friend in healing moisture. All natural shea butter helps bring back the shine to a dull or damaged coat and restores softness and manageability.  Your pet’s coat will be super silky and easy to brush through.  Our deep conditioner also helps to heal dry itchy skin with natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and aloe. This specialty treatment is perfect for dogs with short or long coats… we think it’s especially beneficial for breeds like the Maltese, Bichon, Cocker Spaniel, or Poodle as well as any dog prone to matting or with dry skin.

Add a Shea Butter Deep Conditioning treatment to your pet’s next groom!  This conditioning treatment is also available in our Healthy Hydration and the Works spa packages.

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…this spa treatment is Minnow approved!

 

now offering Spa Packages

Want to give your dogs a little more TLC when you get them groomed?    Ask about our new packages when you bring your dog in for grooming!


ABOUT THE SERVICES IN OUR SPA PACKAGES:

SHEA BUTTER DEEP CONDTIONER
This ultra-rich conditioning treatment immerses your best friend in healing moisture. All natural shea butter helps bring back the shine to a dull or damaged coat and restores softness and manageability.  Your pet’s coat will be super silky and easy to brush through.  Our deep conditioner also helps to heal dry itchy skin with natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and aloe. This specialty treatment is perfect for dogs with short or long coats… we think it’s especially beneficial for breeds like the Maltese, Bichon, Cocker Spaniel, or Poodle as well as any dog prone to matting or with dry skin.
 
GENTLE CLEANSING BLUEBERRY FACIAL
A Facial?  For dogs??   Yes!   This tearless, extra-mild facial wash is the perfect complement to any pampered pet’s bath.  This spa treatment will give your dog a deep-clean, bright, fluffy muzzle that smells delicious.
 
DE-SHEDDING
Got “fur tumbleweeds” blowing through your home?   If so, this package is for you!  The Furminator de-shedding shampoo and conditioner will help to loosen the undercoat… our high velocity dryers will rid your pet of all that unwanted hair…and then we finish using the patented Furminator tool.  Great for dogs with short and long hair!
 
TEETH BRUSHING
First we use an enzymatic oral care spray:  this will attack bacteria that can cause bad breath and dissolve plaque.  Then we use a toothbrush to additionally clean your dog’s teeth.
 
NAIL GRINDING
Sometimes your pet’s nails may be a little sharp after they are trimmed.  Nail grinding will file the nail smooth and allow your pet to have the shortest nail possible.

5 Habits You Can Start Now for a Healthier Pet

Shawn Messonnier, DVM Shawn Messonnier DVM – Author, the award-winning The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs

1. Diet
The basic part of any health care program begins with diet. Diet is something you can totally control, as you decide what you feed your pet. There are many decisions to be made, and sometimes it’s easy to be swayed by fancy ads or advice from well-meaning friends and family members. I prefer to go with the science and feed foods that are devoid of chemicals, by-products, and artificial ingredients. I also appreciate the concept of feeding the most natural diet possible, and for many pets this means a raw diet. The concept of the raw diet is that it mimics the diet our pet’s ancestors ate:wholesome ingredients in a fresh, minimally processed state to ensure living nutrients. Raw diets provide nutrition the way nature intended, and are generally formulated like the diets eaten by your pet’s ancestors, composed of mainly meat, organs, and raw ground bone, with a small amount of fruits and vegetables, and little to no grain. Additionally, raw diets are also about 60-70% moisture, serving as an excellent source of dietary water.

2. Minimize Vaccines
While vaccines can be beneficial, too many vaccines can do more harm than benefit. Over the last 10 years, several veterinary organizations, including the AVMA, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitioners have changed their recommendations for pet vaccines. In general, their recommendations are for fewer vaccines for all pets, with doctors and pet owners working together to determine the vaccines most likely to protect the pet based upon various factors, including the age of the pet and its lifestyle. And for those pet owners who want to be as natural as possible, I recommend a simple blood antibody test called a titer test to determine exactly which vaccines are most likely to benefit the pet.

3. Practice Preventive Care
Preventing problems is easier and less expensive than treating disease. The best way to prevent disease, in addition to feeding a great natural diet and minimizing the use of vaccines, is to visit the veterinarian BEFORE your pet becomes ill. In our practice, this means annually for pets under the age of 5 and twice annually for pets 5 years of age and older. A simple but thorough physical examination, and testing of the blood, urine, and feces, will often discover serious problems in their early stages. This is the best time to intervene and literally save the pet’s life.

4. Don’t Forget the Teeth
Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats. It’s easily diagnosed and treated. Don’t ignore your pet’s teeth, as infection in the mouth can easily spread to other parts of the body, causing serious problems. Regular dental cleanings can be done safely under light anesthesia and will not only save the pet’s teeth but keep its entire body healthy.

5. Minimize Toxins
I believe that my healthiest patients are those that get the least amount of chemicals and medications. When medications are needed, they are used at the correct dosage and only as long as needed. Natural therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbal medicine often work equally as well as conventional therapies without the risks of side effects or toxicity.

By following my simple suggestions, you can begin your pet on a program geared towards health and longevity. Feed your pet the best food possible in its natural state, practice preventive care, and only use vaccines and medications when absolutely necessary to help maintain health and prevent disease!

Nose Butter

Don't let a dry, crusty, or cracked dog nose get you down. All you need is a little Nose Butter!

Don’t let a dry, crusty, or cracked dog nose get you down. All you need is a little Nose Butter!

Nose Butter moisturizes your dog’s nose, reviving and softening the tissues with layers of organic butters and oils. Made in the USA with a recipe that’s completely safe if your dog licks or eats some. You can use it on your dog’s dry or cracked paw pads too!

 

 

just Kajah

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If there is a box, Kajah will find it.

Science Finally Answers Why Cats Like Boxes So Much

by Steve Williams

If you’ve ever owned a cat you’ll know one thing: put an ordinary cardboard box down and before long, there your cat will be. But why do cats love boxes so? And, is there any way we can use this to improve our favorite felines’ health and well being?

This box-loving aspect of a cat’s personality has long puzzled their human carers, and it’s also caught the attention of scientists. Researchers, who published their findings in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, investigated whether hiding in boxes might reduce stress for cats in animal shelters.

While most species of dog can adapt to shelter environments relatively quickly, cats often experience high levels of stress. Previous studies have shown that cats prefer areas where they have the ability to hide, but until now scientists have not studied whether so-called “hiding enrichment” might benefit a cat’s sense of well-being and specifically if providing boxes for cats to hide in might help to ease those turbulent first few weeks in a new shelter.

To investigate this, researchers took 19 newly arrived cats in a Dutch animal shelter and randomly split them into two groups, one where the cats would be given access to hiding boxes, and one group who wouldn’t have access. The researchers then observed the cats for 14 days, and they used a scale known as the Kessler and Turner Cat-Stress-Score to estimate, based on visual clues and habits like grooming and eating, how stressed the cats were during this initial settling-in time.

The researchers found that by day three and four there were significant differences in the stress levels exhibited by cats without boxes to those who had boxes, with the cats who had hiding boxes showing a total average stress score lower than their non-box counterparts. An interesting note is that box-access seemed to reduce stress no matter the breed of cat, suggesting that this isn’t just a preference for some but a much more firmly ingrained cat trait.

At the end of the 14 day period the cats in both groups had roughly the same stress scores, but the cats in the box-access group reached that level of adjustment by the third day of the study, meaning that the other cat group was on average 10 days behind. That’s a significant difference in well-being and adaptation to the shelter environment.

Now, because the cats are in an “altered environment,” a place where their normal behaviors may be modified by the unfamiliar and quite stressful setting, we can’t say for certain that boxes provide the same stress-reducing benefits outside of this context. That said, the researchers believe it makes sense that cats–who generally prefer to hide away rather than participate in direct confrontation–would seek out boxes and other small enclosed spaces to sleep and rest because they could feel comfortable and protected.

When it comes to this study in particular, we might infer that if we are trying to settle a kitty into a new environment, for instance if you have a new rescue cat in your family, it might be a good idea to provide the cat with lots of boxes and hiding places so that they can start to feel secure in their new environment. This might speed up the settling in process, and so help the cat to come round quicker.

What other reasons are there for a cat’s box fetish? Cardboard also makes a relatively good insulator, so a cat might curl up in there because she wants to get toasty, especially in the winter months. Of course, we shouldn’t rule out certain common sense elements either: if you have a box down on a cold kitchen floor, for example, your cat may simply be choosing the warmest place to sit. And then of course there’s the play aspect: cardboard often makes a nice scratching area, so cats may also gravitate toward it for this reason, and it’s a useful spot to wait and then pounce on suspecting prey (you or another pet).

So science now has some insight into why cats love boxes.

 

Give the gift of health

This Holiday season, why not give your pets the gift of health.  Make the commitment to your pet that you will feed them grain free, low carb, high-quality protein foods for the upcoming year.  We are pretty confident that you will see a dramatic change in your pet’s vitality as well as their skin and coat after feeding a better diet.

Excellent food is a gift that can decrease vet visits while extending the quality of life for your pet.  The Hydrant carefully selects the best grain-free kibble, canned, and raw diets and stocks their shelves only with foods that they would (and do) feed to their own pets.  For optimal health, we also recommend adding a little freeze-dried raw to your pet’s diet.  Everything you need to give the gift of health to your pet is available at the Hydrant!

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Now let’s talk about treats.  Give your pet treats and chews that are made only in the USA, are quality controlled, and are not full of chemicals or things that are not appropriate for them.  Yep, that describes ALL of the treats sold at the Hydrant – safe and healthy!

Pico (pictured above) had his eyes on some Dr. Woofers biscuits while visiting the Hydrant for his holiday grooming appointment.  Dr. Woofers are one of the best selling dog treats at our shop.  Not only are they available in a variety of fun flavors, these American made biscuits are grain-free AND potato-free!

Happy Holidays!

Cute Customers!

Just a few of our furry customers that visited us recently – look at those sweet faces!!

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We really appreciate your business.  Some of these cuties have been coming to the Hydrant for  years while others are young pups that just visited us for the first time.  We hope to see all of you again soon!!

Dexter!

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This great looking Beagle is Dexter.  I took his picture last year in August when he was just a young puppy.  Lucky for us, we’ve had the chance to watch him grow up into the super sweet, handsome fellow that he is.

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This is Dexter today.  Thanks for visiting us!!

Kickstart your kibble with Meal Mixers

Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers are an easy way to add raw food nutrition into any diet. 

 

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This month, we’ll be talking more about the importance of adding some Raw food to your pet’s diet.  Look for future Blog posts about Raw Diets here on our website.

Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers are a great addition to our selection of Raw products because we know how convenient they’ll be for folks trying out a freeze-dried Raw product for the first time – Just add a scoop (or even half a scoop) to your kibble and Serve!  Introducing Raw Food to your pet as treats is another great way to get the much needed natural nutrients and enzymes into your pet’s body.  Meal Mixers are small sized pieces perfect for treats!

If you have a picky eater at your house, Meal Mixers can get your dogs eating and most will be licking their bowls clean! 

In an independent taste study at a leading university…

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Is raw food safe?  Yes!

On every Stella & Chewy’s package, you’ll find a seal that states that the product has gone through their SecureByNature food safety process. Every batch is tested by an independent laboratory for harmful bacteria before packaging. Stella & Chewy’s is so confident in the quality and safety of their products, the test results are posted on their website!

Chewing on Ligaments

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Once your dogs start to chew these all-natural beef ligaments, they won’t be able to stop!  This healthy, natural chew will keep your hounds busy and give them all the chewing pleasure they need. These beef ligaments are oven baked with no artificial ingredients – All Jones brand products are 100% grown and made in the USA.  The Hydrant loves to support local companies and Jones Natural Chews are based in Rockford, IL.

Dogs need chewy treats to keep their teeth in good health.  Minnow, pictured above, has some beautiful white teeth thanks to the Raw Marrow Bones, Trachea, Bully Sticks, and Ligaments she gets to gnaw on weekly.

As a pet owner, I like the Jones brand Beef Ligaments for my dogs because they are very low in odor.  I’ve tried other brands of tendons and they were just too stinky – and some were too greasy.  Smell is very important when it comes to dog chews.

Stop in today for some all-natural beef ligaments.   Dogs LOVE them!

Can you handle the cuteness?

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It was so nice to meet this bundle of cuteness and her mom this week!  Itzy, a 3 month old Yorkie puppy, came to us for her first groom.  In between kisses and snuggles, our groomer Jill gave Itzy her bath, a little trim up, and a bow on top.  Such a sweet puppy!!

Poochapalooza fun!

It was so great to see so many of our customers today as well as make some new friends at Munster’s annual Poochapalooza event.  The turnout was fantastic!  A big thanks goes out to NutriSource for accompanying us at this awesome pet event – their tent was extremely busy the entire day!!  As always, there is no shortage of cute dogs at Poochapalooza and I was lucky enough to get a few photos for proof.  See you next year!

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happy Friday!

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Puppy love!  This cutie stopped by the Hydrant yesterday for her very first nail trim and also to brighten up our day with tons of puppy kisses.  We hope Manchitas loves her NutriSource food as much as her siblings, Chewy and Chula.

There ain’t no bugs on me

After surviving the Polar Vortex this past winter, the temps are starting to climb and that means flea and tick season begins.  Despite the brutally cold winter, flea and tick populations are expected to be at least at their normal levels.  NWI friends…they’re back – I found a tick on one of my dogs last weekend!

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If you use a topical preventative, now is the time to apply.  K9 Advantix II is an effective product to kill AND repel fleas, ticks, and other bugs on Dogs.  Advantage II is available for your Cats.  The Hydrant sells both 2-packs and 4-packs.

Knowing that some pets have a reaction to topical flea and tick treatments and require a no-chemical approach, we also provide some natural alternatives that are less toxic to pets and their families.

Alzoo makes a safe monthly topical application made from natural oils and ingredients that will repel fleas.  Without harsh chemicals, Alzoo is safe to use around children and other pets.

An important part of flea prevention is treating the environment your pet lives in. Only adult fleas live on your pet.  Eggs, larva and pupa are found in the bedding, flooring, and couches and might be living in your yard. Vacuum your carpets and wash bedding often until you are sure the fleas are gone.  We also recommend using Flea Vac when vacuuming.  Flea Vac (sold at the Hydrant) is an all natural, safe and environmentally responsible solution for treating fleas in your home.  By using these pellets made with bentonite clay mixed with essential oils, Flea Vac is highly effective at killing 100% of the fleas inside the vacuum.  Flea Vac also makes a vacuum hose attachment that allows you to suck the fleas right off your pets!

Bathing your dog often using a natural shampoo can help in the fight against bugs.  Earthbath’s Orange Peel Oil Shampoo for Dogs is great for flea prevention due to its concentrated citrus oil.  This shampoo also calms & relieves the itching that comes from insect bites, including mosquito bites and flea bites. In addition to thoroughly cleaning your pet, the concentrated citrus oil in this shampoo will bring out the coat’s natural highlights and generate a brilliant sheen. Orange Peel Oil is the natural oil rendered from oranges and is very effective at killing fleas.  Ask for Earthbath Orange Peel Oil Shampoo at the Hydrant!

Diet is everything – Healthy dogs aren’t good hosts for parasites.  Fleas (like any parasite) are more attracted to the weak animals.   I’ve seen this with my own eyes… three dogs standing in a group – two dogs who were eating high quality diets including raw and freeze-dried raw diets had no bugs flying around them while the one dog eating a low quality kibble diet had a swarm of bugs around him.  Enough said.  Let the Hydrant help you select a healthy food that will boost your pet’s immunity and natural ability to repel insects.  We always have samples and the time to talk with you about pet foods and proper nutrition.

To check for fleas, brush through your dog or cat’s hair with a flea comb. Doing this above a white sheet or white paper allows you to see if there are actually fleas.  Flea dirt is flea feces, which appears on your pet in small, dark clumps which is a clear sign that your pet has fleas. Flea dirt is usually easiest to see on the stomach of your pet. This is where their fur is the lightest color and the least thick. Flea dirt can also be found on your pet’s bedding so make sure to check there.  If you have doubts about whether or not what you’re seeing is flea dirt or just normal dirt, there’s an easy test. Grab one of the small black clumps with a wet paper towel.  If that black clump is flea dirt, it will turn a reddish color once it gets wet.

After walks, thoroughly check you pets for ticks. If you find any, use the Tick Key to remove them, which is the easiest and safest way to remove the entire embedded tick.  Don’t have a Tick Key?  The safest way to remove a tick is with a twisting motion.  DO NOT squeeze the tick, pull on it, press down on it, burn it, or otherwise try to kill it while it’s still embedded in your pet.

T-Rex, Trigger, and Jake

I love taking pictures of dogs and I’m so lucky to have access to SO many beautiful pets each and every day.  Here are some of our furry customers photographed as pups and as adults – T-Rex, Trigger, and Jake…

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jake newfie poo

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Dinky…you are awesome!

Not every dog can pull off a hot pink mohawk but Dinky sure can! 

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Our groomer, Crystal, gave Dinky her new look today complete with a colorful mohawk, a dash of lilac on the tail, and some lovely purple nails.  Nice job Crystal!

Do you want something fun and exciting for your dog that is anything but ordinary? Or do you prefer a cut that is perfect to breed standard?  The Hydrant will make your dog bold or beautiful or both!  Our talented groomers will give your pet the exact haircut that YOU want.

making bully sticks last longer

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Available now at the Hydrant – the perfect bully stick life extender… the Bully Moose.

Dogs love bully sticks.  And most dogs I know gobble them up pretty quickly.  I had some Kong toys at home so I decided to try putting a bully stick in them to see if that would make them last a little bit longer… and it worked!  My dogs chewed the ends sticking out but could not get to the bully stick inside the toy.  They played with the toy for a long time until they finally got that bully stick out.  Genius.

The Bully Moose worked wonders too.  It’s the perfect size for our 6-inch bully sticks or even a small split antler.  I did have some trouble getting the remaining bully stick end out of my regular Kong when Minnow and Lottie couldn’t do it.  The Kong “stuff-a-ball” worked better for me.  This Moose, however, was the best.  Give it a try!

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BULLY STICKS:

– provide an excellent way to reduce tartar build up

– are sourced from free range, grass fed cattle in the USA, Brazil, Australia, and Argentina

– contain NO preservatives, hormones, or artificial colors

– are great for teething pups or dogs who just like to chew

These slow roasted, meaty treats supply quality protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to your pet making them a MUCH better alternative to rawhide chews.

The Hydrant sells bully sticks in a variety of shapes and sizes – sticks, braids, curly, wavy, thick, and thin.  Stop in today – your dogs will thank you!!

 

Trachea… dogs love them!

 

We’ve seen the way you look at them.  Perhaps you’ve even asked us, “What are those?!”  Yep, they are a little gross BUT these Bravo! brand dry-roasted beef trachea are 100% digestible and an ideal source of natural chondroitan and glucosamine.  Beth loves giving her dogs (pictured here) a treat that helps build and support cartilage and lubricate their joints.  These chews are perfect for dogs with occasional joint stress due to exercise or physical activity.  As the dog chews the trachea, it also helps to naturally clean their teeth.

Oh and dogs LOVE them!

We individually wrap our Bravo! trachea to make them more customer-friendly and a little less scary.  We don’t want any dogs to miss out on these sturdy all-natural chews!

Bravo! chews are sourced in the USA and New Zealand and are made from human grade meat sources.  We only sell the best for your pets!

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