Friday, March 27, 2020

Choosing Combs

by Daryl Conner

Browsing a catalog of types and styles of combs to choose from can be mind boggling. Some have handles, some have wide spines, some have thin spines, and some have coating on them. They may be made from a variety of metals, and then there are all the different varieties when it comes to the spacing of the teeth. How is a groomer to know which is best?  Here are some things to consider.
  • Style- Combination style combs are the most popular grooming combs and have either coarse and medium teeth or medium and fine teeth, set into a spine. These come in a variety of sizes, differing in spine length as well as the length of the teeth. Shorter teeth are better suited to short haired pets, and longer teeth are best for longer coats, such as double coated breeds or those poodles, bichons, etc., which are kept in long styles.
  • Teeth spacing- Wide spacing and long teeth will be best when you are working on dogs such as a Keeshond or a Collie, with dense undercoat and long topcoat. Shorter, more closely spaced teeth are ideal for shorter coats with less undercoat, like a Labrador retriever, and many mixed breeds. Though many popular combs are made with combination teeth (ie, coarse/med) it is possible to buy combs with all coarsely spaced or all medium spaced teeth if this is what you desire.
  • Spine grip- You will find that some combs have squared spines, and others have round. Some companies make very wide spines out of wood, plastic or metal, which are intended to offer a larger, more ergonomic grip. Experiment to see which type feels best in your hand.
  • Handle combs- Some combs come with metal, plastic or wooden handles making up about half of the comb, the remainder featuring spine and teeth. Some groomers find these to be more comfortable to grip. Since the span of actual comb is smaller, you will cover less coat area while you work than you would using a longer comb.
  • Material and finish- Quality combs may be made of a variety of materials such as steel, brass or aluminum. Many will be nickel chrome coated to protect the tool from rust and give a very smooth finish. Others will have a static reducing coating applied to cover the metal. Ideally the teeth will be polished and have rounded tips, so they do not scrape the skin or damage the hair shaft with rough edges.
  • Finishing combs- Finishing Combs have finer teeth, spaced closely together to separate and fluff hair rather than help with shed control or detangling. A good finishing comb can really bring your grooming up to the next level.
  • Staggered or double row teeth- Some combs have double rows of teeth, and some have staggered teeth. These are designed to aid in dematting, removing loose undercoat and working through very dense coats. Some combs have staggered shorter/longer teeth. These are useful on short, dense coats, and are wonderful on cats.

No one comb will be ideal for every pet. Most groomers find it best to have a variety of combs in their toolbox. For starters, consider these three types.
  • A long toothed, coarse or coarse and mediumspaced comb will be excellent to help you remove loose coat and find tangles your brush missed when working on double coated breeds, drop coats kept in full coat, or dogs such as poodles and bichons with long hair. Some people call this a “rough in” comb.
  • A medium/fine comb with moderate length teeth is a good basic comb that can be used on most breeds.
  • A fine finishing comb to separate every last hair and make the dog look its fluffy, finished best is also important.

Combs vary in price from under $10 to over $100. It is a good investment to spend more on a quality comb, because it will last for years and the superior construction will be kindest to coats. Unpolished or marred teeth can cause damage to the hair shaft, resulting in increased tangling.

There is no “one size fits all,” comb. Try adding some new types and styles of these inexpensive but indispensable tools to your tack box and see how they make your work easier and your end results better than ever.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Protein Rotation

by: Nature's Logic, Guest Contributor
At Nature’s Logic, your pet’s health is our number one concern. The exceptional quality and variety in Nature’s Logic foods allows you to feed your pet as they were intended. We keep repeating the importance of feeding a species-appropriate diet. Feeding your dog or cat a variety of meat sources is “species-appropriate.”  Let’s look at how protein rotation is a healthy practice. 
Dogs and cats in the wild ate what they could catch, which changed often during the year. Animals couldn’t depend on their bowls being full each morning and evening, with treats in between. Dogs and cats naturally ate many types of meats. Their systems and genetics evolved to thrive on this variety, and their diets today should reflect that variety. 
An easy way to provide variety for your pet is to change the protein source regularly, say from chicken, to duck, and then to beef. Remember that in the wild, dogs and cats ate what they could catch, so one day it might be rabbit, a pheasant the next, and the remains of a moose carcass the day after. You don’t need to change foods every day with your pet – once a month is generally where I have owners start. Another approach is to change protein sources with each new bag of food. This is not an exact science. Feeding variety is what’s important.
You can also vary your pet’s diet by feeding food in multiple forms, including canned, raw, freeze-dried, and dry. Each type of food has its strong and weak points. Rotating proteins and food forms does even more to provide variety and complete, species-appropriate (there’s that term again) nutrition.

1. No one food is fully balanced and nutritionally complete. Eating the same food every day for weeks, months or years can lead to a nutritional deficiency. Beef has a different nutrient makeup than turkey. Rabbit and chicken are different still, as are vegetables and fruits. Each of these foods are rich sources of some nutrients, lacking in others. By eating a variety of these foods, the body gets a full complement of proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.  

2. Eating the same food, even your favorite food, every day, every meal for long periods gets boring. Many pet owners complain that their pet has become a finicky eater – most often these pets have been fed the same food for months or years!  Often, their appetites improve with the addition of new foods. Imagine trying to feed your family the same food every day…

3. A more serious result of eating the same food is that the body can develop a sensitivity to that one protein, say chicken or beef. This can cause upset stomachs, gas, and other health problems. Rotating protein sources regularly can avoid this problem.

4. Beneficial intestinal bacteria help process/digest the foods that are fed.  If only a few foods are ever fed, this limited bacterial population can only process those foods, so when new foods are introduced, digestive upsets often occur – they aren’t ready for them.  What would happen if you only did pushups for exercise? You would have strong arms (fronts) and upper back. But what happens when you have to run up the stairs? Your legs and heart have not been kept in shape by pushups alone.  Repeating a variety of exercises ensures the body can handle most physical challenges. This works for the digestive tract, too. Feeding a varied diet exposes the GI flora to a wider range of foods, expanding its ability to process more foods efficiently.  Animals eating a varied diet are less likely to experience digestive upsets when new foods are introduced.

If your pet has been on the same food for months or years, it is best to make food changes gradually, allowing their digestive systems time to adjust.  Once your pet is used to a wider variety of foods, these food changes can take place faster.
Say your dog eats 2 cups of a chicken-based dry food, and you want to introduce a beef-based dry food.  Look to make this change over 10-15 days.
If your dog experiences any digestive upsets during this changeover (diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, increased drinking or urination, gas, etc.), stop the new food and just feed the old food for 5-7 days.  Once the symptoms resolve, restart the process with even less of the new food (say 1/4 or 1/8th cup of the new food for the first 3-5 days). If symptoms occur at any time during the changeover, go back to the last combination  of old and new food that your dog handled well. Especially when getting started, don’t be afraid to feed the new combinations for 2, 3 or more days longer than listed. Remember your pet is adjusting to this new food, and it can take some time.
A final recommendation is regular use of an oral probiotic. Remember that we are expanding the population of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Probiotics boost the number of “good bacteria, improve digestion, and support immune function.
Congratulations! You are now ready to introduce variety in your pet’s diet. There is no set time table for switching foods – make it work for your schedule. I recommend switching protein sources every 6-8 weeks, or when finishing a bag of food.  Buying a new bag of food 7-10 days before the current bag runs out gives enough time to mix the two foods, making a smooth transition. Nature’s Logic makes protein rotation easy, with 9 varieties of dry, 8 varieties of canned, and 5 varieties of raw frozen foods.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Advice for Using Whitening Shampoos

by Daryl Conner

One of the biggest challenges in canine coat care is keeping white hair looking its best. White hair lacks any pigment in its makeup and is translucent. Our eyes perceive the “color” white because of the way light refracts off the hair shafts.

White hair by its very nature is often more porous than hair that contains pigment, and this causes it to absorb stains from the surrounding environment and begin to look dingy, gray, or most often, yellow. Thankfully, there are products to the rescue. Quality whitening shampoos work their magic in one of the following ways:

1. Removing stains from the coat- Some whitening shampoos contain special enzymes that work to remove stains caused by dirt and debris from the hair shaft. These enzymes actually digest protein deposits from the animal’s coat. When the stain is removed, the natural beauty of the white coat shines through.

2. Optical enhancers- The blue color found in almost all whitening shampoos is not there by accident. Most whitening shampoo formulas rely on some form of blue pigment in the product to help cover up any yellowing in the hair shaft and convert it to the blue spectrum of colors. By adding a hint of blue, the light reflected is perceived by human eyes as being white.

3. Shine enhancers-The perception of white is all about light. Adding products that produce shine to a shampoo that reduces stains and enhances white is like putting frosting on the cake!

Shampoos designed to whiten a dog’s coat can be irritating to eyes. Use extra caution when using a whitening product around the facial area. Should shampoo enter the eye, flush the eye with a gentle stream of cool water for several minutes. If the eye becomes irritated even after rinsing, seeking Veterinary attention is recommended. Whitening shampoos can also be drying to the coat and are not recommended for very frequent use. Overuse of shampoo’s heavy in blue pigment can, over time, cause a white coat to look dingy. For best results, keep a white coat clean with a basic, mild shampoo, and use a whitening shampoo when needed.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Cherrybrook DCM Update & Recommendations

An Ongoing Look at DCM and our Recommendations
regarding the recent FDA DCM Update:
As promised, we are continuing to dig into the recent FDA update on the possible connection of certain diets to a rise in the incidences of DCM.

To recap, the FDA DCM update provided some quantitative data that helped bring perspective to the issue. Although the update answered some questions, and perhaps allayed some of our fears and misconceptions, many questions remain unanswered. In the weeks since the update it seems that everyone with an opinion has offered one. We have heard from the pet food companies, veterinarians, the media, social media groups, neighbors, family members, friends at the dog park, etc.
Many large breeds are known to have genetic predispositions to DCM. Our team at Cherrybrook, as experienced pet owners and breeders, have experienced the pain of untimely loss from DCM.

DCM is not new, it existed long before grain-free foods.

We are all concerned that the rates of DCM appear to be rising, but it is important to point out the FDA investigation has found no causal link between grain free diets and DCM, we are encouraged that the food companies, veterinarians and the FDA are working together in the spirit of collaboration. Hopefully this will lead to actionable solutions.

We go to great lengths to ensure that the foods we carry are healthy options for all pets, including our own. We believe that most grain, particularly corn, wheat and soy are not appropriate sources of nutrition for a carnivore.

Many years ago, we decided to remove foods containing corn, wheat and soy from our shelves and began offering grain free and raw options.

Grain free and raw diets are helpful in alleviating food sensitivities which cause digestive issues and hot spots. In addition, grain free and raw diets are beneficial in mitigating and combating a host of chronic health conditions and diseases including obesity, diabetes, kidney disease and cancer. We all understand that these health conditions are sharply on the rise. We have seen health conditions improve when pets are fed grain free diets.

While grain free diets are helpful to many pets, they are not a solution for every pet. Though we do not carry foods containing corn, wheat or soy; we do have many grain inclusive foods available on our shelves. The grain foods we carry contain wholesome grains such as oatmeal, tapioca, millet, rice, brown rice, quinoa and other whole grains. Many of the brands we carry offer both grain inclusive and grain free options.
When we looked closely at each of the DCM cases in the FDA Investigation, we observed that many of the formulas fell into the Limited Ingredient or single animal protein diets. This brings us to our first recommendation: rotate the formulas you feed your dog. This will allow your dog to have access to a broader amino acid profile from different animal proteins, and animal-based proteins provide the best source of amino acids and taurine.

Rotating formulas, including rotating proteins, is particularly important if you are feeding a limited ingredient diet.

Pack some amino acid power into your dog’s day by incorporating freeze dried organs like duck heart, chicken liver or mussels as a treat. Organ meat provides a rich source of taurine.

This may be the right time to consider raw. We have several raw frozen and freeze-dried food options available in our stores. These foods contain the highest percentage of animal-based protein and are an excellent source of nutrition for your pet. If you don’t want to make a full transition to raw food, you can supplement your pet’s diet with a raw or freeze-dried patty added to their current diet.

If your vet has recommended, or you think you would be more comfortable on a grain-based diet, we encourage you to come in and talk to us. Once again, there is no “one-size fits all” solution. We have a large selection of both grain and grain free options and additional resources available in our store to help you make the best choice for you and your pet.

Link to the FDA June 26, 2019 Update

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a directory of responses from our brands on this issue. Find your brand below to learn more:









As we dig deeper into the FDA update, Cherrybrook will be providing more information in the coming days and weeks. We will continue to update you with any developments, via our Facebook page and weekly emails. Our Store team members are always available to help answer your questions regarding pet food choices. 

Cherrybrook Update on the DCM Investigation

Latest Update From Cherrybrook on
The FDA DCM Investigation:

At Cherrybrook your pet’s health and well being is our highest priority. Today the FDA issued a long awaited update on their ongoing Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) Investigation.  There has been much discussion about DCM and diet in the “dogverse” this past year, we are talking with customers, pet food industry experts, veterinary nutritionists, and food companies about this very topic on a daily basis. The update by the FDA was anxiously awaited by all of us.

This update provides a good deal more information than the initial alert issued in July of 2018 and the first update the FDA provided in February of 2019. The data provided is welcome because in the absence of data and facts there has been much speculation and misinformation disseminated over the last several months.
Here are some of the data highlights from the update:
·     There have been a total of 524 reported cases of DCM between Jan 2014- April 2019
·     There have been a total of 119 DCM related deaths between Jan 2014-April 2019
·     The update provides a listing of the breeds affected by DCM, the largest group with 92 reported cases are Golden Retrievers 
·     Dry Kibble was the most common type of pet food with a 452 reported cases having fed kibble
·     The update lists 16 brands of pet food frequently named 
·     Chicken was the most common animal protein fed in the reported cases
·     90% of the diets were "grain free" with some combination of Peas, Lentils and Potatoes
There is a good deal of information provided in this update. But the data does not provide answers. This is a just the beginning. The most important take away from the FDA update is that there is still much work to be done before they can fully determine a casual link between DCM and “grain free” diets:
“Based 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.

We understand the concern that pet owners have about these reports: the illnesses can be severe, even fatal, and many cases report eating “grain-free” labeled pet food. The FDA is using a range of science-based investigative tools as it strives to learn more about this emergence of DCM and its potential link to certain diets or ingredients.”
As we dig deeper into the FDA update Cherrybrook will be provide more information in the coming days and weeks. We will continue to update you with any developments, updates will be posted on our Facebook page and sent via our weekly emails. Our Store team members are always available to help answer your questions regarding pet food choices. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Meet Casper Milan

Casper Milan Cassarino, a second generation Afghan hound breeder, has been grooming since he was 11 years old.  Though born in New York, Casper spent many years living and studying in Italy, returning to Brooklyn, NY as an adult. He worked in the medical field, while maintaining his passion for dogs and pet grooming. Casper was actively grooming dogs, showing dogs and raising Afghan hounds. A proud accomplishment, Casper opened his own grooming salon, Pimp My Pooch, to pursue his passion full-time. Recently, Casper realized he needed more room for his 8 Afghans to play, and decided to move to NJ. Brooklyn's loss is Cherrybrook's gain.

Some of Casper's Grooms:

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Important Announcement About Raw Goat Milk

We have just received notice from our Pet Food Distributors that they will no longer be able to ship any Raw Goat Milk products to our stores, because it is unpasteurized. The state of New Jersey has issued a cease and desist to our distributors citing Title 24 - Sections 10-57.17 and 10-57.18 Food and Drugs Statutes listed below:

24:10-57.17. Pasteurization required
No person shall sell, offer for sale, or distribute to the ultimate consumer any milk or cream that is not pasteurized.

24:10-57.18. Milk and fluid milk products; pasteurization
No milk products nor fluid milk products shall be manufactured, shipped, transported, or imported for use or sale within this State unless the milk and fluid milk products used in the manufacture of such food products are pasteurized before or during manufacture into milk products or fluid milk products, provided, however, that this shall not apply to cheese which has been kept for at least 60 days after manufacture at a temperature no lower than 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

We have received word from other holistic independent pet supply stores that they have been visited by members of their municipalities Departments of Health and have had their stock of Raw Goat Milk removed from their freezers.

Please be assured that Raw Goat Milk is safe and healthy. This is not a recall based on any reports of adverse health issues with our Raw Goat Milk supply. There is no evidence that any pets in NJ have ever been sickened or had their health compromised by adding Raw Goat Milk to their diets. In fact, we have many testimonials to the contrary. We at Cherrybrook believe in the holistic and healing effects of Raw Goat Milk so firmly that many of our team members feed it to their own pets daily.

This cease and desist affects our ability to sell the following products:
  • Answers Raw Goat Milk
  • Answers Cow Kefir
  • Answers Goat Cheese Treat
  • Primal Raw Goat Milk
  • Steve’s Chia Freeze
We have identified alternatives to the Raw Frozen Goat Milk. Freeze Dried Goat Milk products are available as the state of New Jersey and the FDA consider Freeze Drying a pathogen elimination step. There are also frozen and dehydrated alternatives to Raw Goat Milk.

Alternatives Available at Cherrybrook:
We will continue to keep you updated and advise you immediately if we are once again able to sell Raw Goat Milk products.