Ellwood City Pet Groomer Offers Safe Treat Alternatives for Dog Owners

Photo by Cassandra Douglas/EllwoodCity.org

Since the recent warnings regarding the harm common dog toys and treats can cause to our beloved pets, dog owners have been searching for a healthier, safer alternative and just in time for the holidays, the owners of Grand Paws on Lawrence Avenue have been stocking holistic treats for dog owners to purchase instead.

Most pet owners are shocked to learn how many harmful chemicals and other potentially deadly substances are put into commonly sold dog treats. According to the Bark Post, a dog-enthusiast blog website, here are four common dog treats that can hurt your dog:

  •  Dynamic Pet Real Ham Bone: Unfortunately, this dog treat has been under fire for years from pet owners who say the bone is responsible for vet bills and even deaths. Hundreds of pet owners have shared their negative experiences with the bone, and even the Better Business Bureau has warned consumers for years, advising pet owners to exercise caution when buying the treats. The bones, according to critics, come apart when bitten, creating sharp shards that can get stuck in the small intestine, which leads to vomiting, diarrhea, and, without treatment, eventual death. After years of complaints, the bones now come with a warning label advising owners to supervise their pet while consuming the bone. But an innocuous warning label isn’t enough for some dog lovers. There’s currently a Facebook page, a class-action lawsuit, and an online petition that are all trying to get the bones pulled from shelves. However, the FDA concluded in an investigation that bones in general are “not good for dogs” and that the blame can’t be pinned on only one company. Despite all the controversy and backlash, these bones can still be purchased at any pet store.
  • Jerky Treats (various brands): Back in 2012, the FDA issued a warning for chicken jerky dog treats made in China that were responsible for the death of more than 1,000 dogs. According to pet owners, the treats caused kidney failure and gastrointestinal illnesses. However, the most common side effect was FLS or Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disease. Both Petco and Petsmart stopped carrying the dog treats, which, at the time, seemed like a conclusive end to the problem. However, many of the treats are still being sold in pet stores and in online shops like Amazon. Since then, many dog food brands have been reformulating their jerky treats and slapping “made in the USA” labels on their products. However, such labels can be misleading since some of the ingredients can be sourced from China and contain some of the same toxins. In an updated report, the FDA advises pet owners to stay away from jerky treats until they can pinpoint what ingredient is making dogs sick.
  • Pur Luv Dog Treats: A class-action lawsuit was filed against the dog food manufacturer stating that its treats cause intestinal blockage due to indigestible rock-hard chunks that obstruct the dog’s bowels. On Amazon, pet owners have been posting pictures of the indigestible pieces their dogs have coughed up, and there’s currently an online petition to get the treats pulled from shelves. So far the FDA has not looked into the complaints, and the dog treats can still be purchased everywhere.
  • Rawhide Bones/Chew (various brands): Rawhide chews are infamous among pet owners. Typically made from cow hide that has been stripped of hair, the chews are given a chemical bath for freshness before being patted down and dried. Although promoted as good for teeth and teething puppies, the popular chews contain tons of chemicals and have gone through several major recalls for salmonella poisoning over the past few years. Rawhide is also notorious for causing intestinal blockages as they do not break down easily in a dog’s stomach. Many pet owners advise to only buy rawhides made in the U.S., but others don’t think the purchase is worth the risk. However, with rawhide chews still being sold across the country, the choice is ultimately up to dog owners.

Holiday dog treats stocked at Grand Paws in Ellwood City

After serving the local Ellwood City community since 2010 as a predominantly dog grooming service, just this year, Grand Paws has expanded their services into retail.

“We wanted to offer a variety of products that we can endorse, are reasonably priced, and that are made in USA. We also wanted to find pet products that you can’t find in a Petsmart or Petco.” Kelly Fennell, co-owner of Grand Paws stated. “Our Gourmet Treats are made by a company in Arkansas called Claudia’s Canine Bakery. We chose this company because not only are the absolutely adorable they are made with all natural, high quality ingredients and priced well for our customers. The company gives us the complete list of ingredients in each cookie so we have that information for dogs that may have issues.”

Grand Paw’s carries both everyday and seasonal cookies as well as gift boxes and sucker pops made by the company, but if that doesn’t take your fancy, they host a “treat bar” with a variety of different types of treats from soft treats to harder biscuits for you to choose from, purchased from a New York distributor.

And for those dog owners who want something to keep their dog’s interest for a while longer, the store carries Fetch Your Dog a Bone, that used to be Titan Bones, in a variety of sizes for tougher chewers made by a company in Beaver Falls that who gets the bones from a butcher in Saxonburg.

Last but not least, you can even purchase your dogs food at the shop! They stock Blackwood Dog Food from a company located in Lisbon Ohio; the company has never had a recall on their pet food and the ingredients work well for dogs with allergies and skin issues.

Other things that can be purchased at the store are Tick Keys, Seresto Flea and Tick Collars, Lupine leashes, collars, RedDingo Pet Tags, and harnesses as well as their very popular Earth Rated Poop Bags. Their newest gift-like addition is the friendship collars, you get a collar for your dog and matching bracelet for yourself (pictured below).

The store offers gift cards as well for any of the dog lovers in your life.

“We hope that the community will keep us in mind when they are shopping for Christmas gifts and a spa day for their best friends.”

Grooming is by appointment and can be scheduled via Facebook with their “book now” button, but regular store hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 9am-3pm, Wednesday 2pm-7pm, and closed Sunday and Monday.

Photos submitted

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