Category Archives: Grooming

Canines Dealing with Dry, Itchy Skin in the Winter

The furnace is on! This winter has been a cold one and we still have February and March to go before Spring arrives. While our furnaces work to keep us warm, they rob our air of moisture so you may find your indoor pet experiencing dry skin and shedding. This is usually the result of low humidity. Frequent brushing helps remove dead hair and skin and stimulates oil glands but brushing alone is often not enough to keep a dog’s skin and coat healthy; diet and supplements can play a major roll here as well.

Many skin disorders and other health problems of pets are caused by a lack of proper fats in the diet. The most important types are Omega 3s and Omega 6s. These essential fatty acids (EFAs) are polyunsaturated fatty acids that the body needs for health but cannot make on its own. EFAs must be obtained from food. The body needs EFAs to make and repair cell membranes. They also govern growth, vitality, mental state, oxygen transfer, hemoglobin production and control the movement of nutrients through cell membranes. The most important Omega-3 fatty acids for pets are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

EFAs play a key role in both the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways. Lack of sufficient EFAs tends to manifest in the skin first. The skin is the first to lose oils and the last to get them. The deficiency can lead to dry, flaky, itchy skin. Another area of the body influenced by the dietary imbalance of EFAs is the joints; arthritis is merely an inflammation of the joints. Studies have shown that adding fish oil to the diet can reduce the stiffness, pain and inflammation associated with this debilitating disease. Supplementing fish oil in the diet can prevent or reduce the development of arthritis in the first place. Some animals have trouble absorbing oils in their diet. Digestive enzymes, such as papaya, found in Digestive Enzymes by NaturVet or aspergillus, found in Prozyme, can be added to the diet to increase absorption of EFAs by 200%.

Misty Pines carries Grizzly Salmon oil, recommended by Dr. Doug Kneuven, and UltraOil, both of which are oils balanced to provide the optimum levels of Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids. It is recommended to rotate between bottles, meaning that when you’ve finished the Grizzly, get the UltraOil next time. Each different type of oil contains the EFAs in different quantities so rotational usage ensures that all the body’s needs are being met. Misty Pines also carries Prozyme and Digestive Enzymes, which are recommended by Dr. Kneuven. Stop in to Misty Pines today and get 10% off any Salmon, Pollock or UltraOil products as well as Prozyme or Digestive Enzymes.


Canine Nutrition. What Every Owner, Breeder, and Trainer Should Know by Lowell Ackerman, D.V.M.
Why Fish Oil for a Dog by Dr. Doug Knueven D.V.M.

Health Benefits of Grooming Your Dog

grooming your dog in your tub.

Grooming responsibilities for your dog may take you a few hours each month for routine tasks like regular brushes and nail trimming, however there are pros and cons to getting your dog professionally groomed that include time, money and expertise. You may want to weigh the pros and cons of taking your dog to the groomer vs. grooming your dog yourself.

Learn how a properly trained and dedicated dog groomer may save your dog from harmful infections and reduce your costs for dog supplies.

Pros and Cons of Professional Dog Grooming and Grooming Your Own Dog

    Professional Dog Groomers:

  • Seeing the groomer on a regular basis will help the groomer learn what is normal for your dog and therefore be able to detect abnormalities very quickly and provide guidance on numerous health issues that your dog may be presenting. The professional dog groomers at Misty Pines are experienced and may see conditions like tumors, hot spots, allergies or other skin problems you may not notice.
  • If your dog has separation anxiety or other behavior problems, dog grooming may or may not be a good option. At Misty Pines, we have a Behavioral Consultant who can help your dog overcome anxiety and have a positive experience while being groomed.
    Grooming Your Own Dog:

  • Requires patience and may be time-consuming.
  • Quality grooming equipment may be costly, but general grooming supplies are cheaper than taking your dog to a groomer.
  • You can make mistakes that may harm your dog.
  • Grooming your own dog is a great way to bond but you must be committed and you can’t take a day off or your dog’s health and hygiene may suffer.

Health Benefits of Grooming Your Dog

Fleas, Ticks and Parasites: A professional groomer checks every dog over every square inch of your dog’s body for ticks, fleas and other parasites which will be completely removed by the groomer unless medication is needed for worms which requires a vet referral.

Fleas are usually noticed in the tub and none should make it out alive. Ticks are noticed and removed safely and completely from your dog’s skin during your dog’s drying process. Your dog’s entire coat is split with a dryer line by line until every bit of skin and row of coat is dry.

In the process of air splitting your dog’s coat to the skin, your groomer also removes all the dead coat. It is important for your groomer to keep an eye out for abnormal skin growths so your groomer can inform you and help you prevent other serious diseases in your dog.

Ear Mites in a dog's ear

Ear Mites and Ear Infections: Your groomer can spot ear mites and ear infections when you bring your dog to get groomed. At Misty Pines, if our groomers notice an infection of any kind we will recommend that you take your dog to the vet for proper identification of the type of infection and to get a proper treatment based on the specific type of infection.

Skin Conditions: Your groomer may be the best way to help cure your dog’s skin conditions. Compare the costs of dog medicated shampoos and vet or dermatologist visits before you make a decision on how you want to treat your dog’s skin conditions since you could save hundreds of dollars by avoiding taking your dog to your vet. Many skin conditions and allergy related itching may be eased and reduced by regular bathing with hypoallergenic, medicated or oatmeal shampoos that groomers typically have on-hand. These shampoos can be costly to purchase yourself and the time required on your part to bath your dog on a frequent basis may not be worth the hassle.

Anal Gland Expression: Dog feces are normally firm, and the anal glands usually empty when the dog defecates. When the dog’s stools are soft they may not exert enough pressure on the glands, which then may fail to empty. This may cause discomfort as the full anal gland pushes on the anus. The glands can be emptied by the dog’s owner, or more typically by a groomer or veterinarian. A groomer addresses this need by squeezing the gland so the contents are released through the small openings on either side of the anus. This technique is known as anal gland expression.

Anal gland expression must be performed to maintain the dog’s hygiene and to eliminate discomfort when the anal glands have become unable to empty themselves due to a number of different issues. Discomfort is evidenced by the dog dragging its posterior on the ground (“scooting”), licking or biting at the anus, sitting uncomfortably, having difficulty sitting or standing, or chasing its tail. If your pets do have recurring anal gland problems, identify if it’s an inflammatory response, an allergic response, or a soft stool issue. Addressing the underlying root cause of why your pets are dealing with the recurrent anal gland problem is the best choice to deal with this problem. While searching for the root cause of the issue it is necessary to deal with the symptoms, mainly by manual expression. This is a service provided at Misty Pines upon request or need for an additional fee. If your dog is not experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, this service is not necessary.

Dog needs groomed

Emotional Health: Dogs who are in good physical shape in regards to their coat, skin, nails and so forth, are happier than those that are in poor condition. When a dog’s fur is matted, growing into their eyes or in other states of neglect or if their nails are too long and causing pain or if they are suffering from itchy, dry skin, they are in a state of discomfort and may begin to exhibit personality changes ranging from mild irritability to outright aggression. Some dogs may even become depressed. Dogs have come to Misty Pines completely matted to the skin and are depressed or aggressive, then after being shaved, washed and properly taken care of walk out a few hours later with a completely different disposition. To avoid this situation brush your dog at least weekly with a coat appropriate brush or comb and take your dog to a groomer on a regular basis.

To put the icing on the cake upgrade your dog’s bath to a spa! Our groomers will use all natural scented shampoo, conditioner and finishing spray, which, when used in combination, last longer than a typical bath or than just using one product at a time. The Silver Spa package includes teeth brushing and the Gold Spa package adds nail grinding on top of that.


Upcoming Specialty Classes

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Sat 17

CGC/TDI Prep Class

March 17 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Sat 17

Scent Work 102

March 17 @ 11:15 am - 12:00 pm
Sat 24

Agility Class

March 24 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Sat 24

Scent Work 103

March 24 @ 11:15 am - 12:00 pm
Sat 31

Nuisance Behaviors

March 31 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am