Proper Ear Care

Proper ear care on dogs that swim or hunt in tall wet grass is very important. Heavy eared dogs, mainly the spaniel breeds, tend to have chronic ear infections. The two main causes are internal (nutrition) and external (ear care and maintance).  

Nutrition for both the working dog and dogs with heavy ears should be corn and wheat free, low or no grains, and a moderate protein of 26 – 35%. This protein level enables the muscle and organs to work properly during times of excersice. The lack of grain, corn or wheat means less fillers or empty calories. Low or no grains makes for less allergen, which can contribute to ear infections. It also prevents the growth of yeast in the ears and on the skin.

To maintain the ear eternally, it is recommended that you keep the hair on the underside of the ear clipped to allow air flow which keeps the ear canal dry and cool. This can be done with scissors. Simply flip the ear back over the dog’s head, cut any excess hair that is on the bottom of the ear canal opening to expose the opening completely. You can also clip away any excess hair that is on the underside of the ear leather to allow more air flow. This is not seen from the outside and therefore keeps the natural look to the ears and head. Secondly, it is recommended that you clean the ears after swimming or working in tall wet grass to dry out excess water from the ear canal. To do so, use a cotton ball soaked with ear cleaner or Groomer’s Secret Derma-Ease . Gently insert the cotton ball into the ear canal. While squeezing the ear cleaner into the ear move the cotton ball around to pick up any debris or ear wax. Holding the ear down, rub the ear for a few seconds before releasing. The dog will shake his head to remove the excess ear cleaner. Look for ear cleaners that contain drying agents and antibacterial such as low amounts Tea Tree oil. Never use straight Tea Tree oil in a dog’s ear. You can also ask your veterinarian for an ear wash that will balance the PH in the ear for those that are very prone to ear infections or yeast. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to medication or ear wash they have prescribed.

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Facts About All Is Well - Summerville

All Is Well, A Groomer's Secret Salon, LLC opened on Trolley Rd, Summerville, April 2007.  We, Annette and Christina have over 30 years experience in the dog world.  Whether dog showing, training for obedience, or grooming, proper nutrition and all natural grooming products have always been our foundation.  Years of studying and applying the holistic approach to our personal dogs and cats has proven to enhance their minds, body and spirit!  This combination along with their dedication to passing this knowledge to every pet owner has helped many pet owners see how the holistic approach can benefit their pets.

Our Staff are all veterans in the dog industry!  Certified in Pet Nutrition and in Grooming, they are able to help you with all aspects of your pets needs.  We have a Certified Veterinary Technician on staff that can help you translate your veterinarians request for nutrition for you pet. We offer a free skin and coat evaluation that can help determine what your dog is lacking nutritionally in their diet.  We also have several veterinarians in the area that we can refer you to.

Our Self Serve Dog Wash is no less than a doggie spa!  Updated in soothing earth tone tile, our raised tub in a private room sets the stage for a relaxing bath for you and your pet!

Our promise to our customers is to always only offer you and your pets the absolute best holistic products available. We do extensive research into the quality control and quality of ingredients that each company offers.  We will only carry products that are safe for your pets. 

Our knowledgeable Staff and our Personal touch is what sets us above and beyond the box stores!  We are thankful for each and every one of our customers and their pets!

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Allergy Season Is Upon Us!

Allergies and Your Pet

In today’s world it seems that pet allergies have taken on a life all their own. As pet parents, we are constantly battling excessive chewing, licking and scratching, recurring ear infections, and idiopathic hair loss. Add to these issues digestive upset, foul body odor, dull and brittle coat, dry and flakey or oily skin and you have the key markers for the allergic pet. Recent studies have also shown that anxiety and respiratory issues can be caused or exasperated by allergens. With this host of symptoms any owner would feel defeated. So what, you may ask, can we do to alleviate such agonizing problems? The first step is knowing your enemy.

An ‘allergy’ is an exaggerated response by the immune system to a substance or toxin (often called the ‘allergen’). Allergens can be encountered by contact (touch), ingestion (eating/drinking), or inhalation (breathing in). Some researchers argue that food allergies (an ingested allergy) account for twenty percent of all allergy cases thus making this type of allergy the most prevalent. Many veterinarians and other animal professionals feel that this measurement does not reflect the true proportion of allergies due to food. In fact, most feel that this percentage is much higher due to undiagnosed food allergies. However, because the immune system takes a hit when food allergies are present, any other types of allergies can intensify any allergic reaction a pet may exhibit. We call this the “Boiling Pot Effect.” For instance, if a dog is fed a food that he is allergic to his pot (immune system) is always at a boil. If you add inhaled seasonal allergies (let’s say pollen) to his pot, it will boil over every time. However, if the dog is fed a food that he is not allergic to his pot is at a simmer; and, when seasonal allergies are added there will be no boil over.  In short, as the body comes into contact with allergens and other toxins they build up in the body causing the immune system to become unbalanced.

The best medicine is to eliminate the allergen or toxin in question. This will help to reduce the symptoms or eliminate the allergy altogether while allowing the immune system to mend. Unfortunately, we cannot always eradicate inhaled or contact allergens. However, doing so can be frustrating. Veterinarians often push medication while such treatments only alleviate the symptoms of the aliment, not the cause of it. Some medications can also have adverse effects on the immune system. The immune system is what keeps the body healthy, and the skin is the immune system’s first defense.  With that being said, most immunologic issues manifest as skin allergies in the form of itching, pustules, chewing the feet, etc. We believe that high quality pet foods that use human grade ingredients, proven granular supplements, and homeopathic and herbal remedies can be the key to improving a pet’s life and longevity.

Remember: a balanced immune system equals a healthy, happy pet!

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It's Shedding Season!

It is shedding season once again for our four legged family members.  There are many ways to help keep them comfortable during this time of year. 

Frequent brushing and combing with the appropriate tools for your pets hair type is one of the best ways to help.  Brushing not only removes the loose hair but also helps to remove dirt and pollen from the coat.  The loose hair, dirt and pollen will make for an itchy dog.  An itchy dog combined with loose hair can lead to matting or hot spots.

Bathing and conditioning will also help remove allergens as well as loose hair.  Stop by for quick lesson on proper grooming tools and Groomer's Secret shampoo products for your dog or cat's hair type!

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Halloween Safety Tips from the ASPCA

Halloween Safety Tips

    No Scaredy Cats This Halloween: Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all the way to November 1.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increaing the chances that he or she will be returned to you

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Protien – Healthy or Harmful

Protein-Healthy or Harmful

It is important to  provide protein for all stages of your pet’s life. Protein is essential in  early stages to sustain rapid development, and as your pet ages, protein  provides regenerative support.

The labels on  commercial pet foods list crude protein values, which indicate overall protein  in the package rather than the amount of usable protein. The quality and the  sources of the protein in your pet’s foods are of primary importance. It should  come from real meat sources, not by-products or mystery meat meal. Much of the  unusable protein in commercial foods comes from grains  and other difficult-to-digest foods, and can actually cause protein deficiency,  along with other health issues including digestive problems and allergies.

The kidneys are  another organ that is often associated with protein intake. According to  researchers, high protein levels in food DO NOT cause kidney damage in the  normal, healthy dog or cat! It is very important to feed your pet a high  biological value protein. This means a protein that is highly digestible,  easily absorbed by the intestinal tract, and that its amino acid components  (the building blocks of proteins) include all the essential types of amino  acids in their optimal proportions, leaving little for the kidneys to filter.  This is crucial for animals that have impaired kidney function as well because  by-products of protein digestion are the main toxins that need to be excreted  by the kidneys.

Starting your pet on  a high quality, easily digestible, utilized protein, from the beginning, will  give their bodies the appropriate fuel needed to function at the highest  possible level.

In recent years,  there has been a great deal of debate regarding the effects of protein on our  pets. There is a misconception that protein accelerates bone development, and  that pets, especially large breed dogs, can be negatively affected if they  consume too much protein when they are young. It is sometimes argued that  excess protein could also harm the kidneys. Unfortunately, these misconceptions  have led to feeding practices that are harmful for our pets.

The truth is -  genetics determines growth rate, not the amount of protein consumed. Carnivores  require a large amount of protein, which is converted and processed in several  ways to support the many cellular structures in the body. Feeding high levels  of protein along with the appropriate ratio of calcium and phosphorus with  other necessary minerals will not cause bone problems. Bone growth problems are  usually a result of excess calories or an inappropriate ratio of calcium to  phosphorus, rather than excess protein. Dogs raised on commercial diets with  substandard ingredients experience more musculoskeletal problems than those  raised on a natural diet that includes protein from high quality meat.

Source: Dr. Bruce  DeBaun. “The Protein Controversy”,, ^back to top

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