Staff Favorites

Our staff are also our customers. They can provide  valuable firsthand feedback about products because they’ve used them at home, in some cases for themselves as well as their pets. They also bring their own expertise to the table when we’re choosing what products to carry, how to use them most effectively, and of course helping our customers choose the right product for their pet. We value our staff’s feedback and want to share what they find exciting and beneficial for their own pets.


The modest Zoom Groom by Kong can be part of your dog or cat’s wellness care too. I always recommend it for animals who have dull, sticky fur because it can gently stimulate blood flow and lymph near the skin. Not only does that improve the coat, the animals love it, especially those old timers who have a harder time grooming themselves and exercising. I also recommend it as a way to provide an easy holistic massage of the meridians one learns about in Traditional Chinese Medicine. I advise gently massaging the whole body, head to tail, including the legs and feet. We usually ignore the bony parts of the body when petting, but there are many important acu-points in those areas that can help balance the physical functions of the body through this easy and pleasant activity.


JackieMurphyMy kitties cannot get enough of the Vital Essentials freeze dried minnows!! Chaser, Millie, and Liam just go nuts for them!! Their primal instincts definitely kick in, and they shake these little fishies in their mouths, as if they just caught them. My only complaint is that they do not come in a much bigger bag!


RinaMy 12 yr old Yorkie Amani, has serious flea allergies. One bite from one flea and he tears himself up, which was recently the case. I had heard good things from coworkers about Vetricyn so bought it and tried it on Amani when I got home from work that night….Holy cow! by morning, some of the wounds were gone and the harsher ones looked better too. I sprayed his remaining wounds 1-3 times per day and in 3 days they were scabbed over and in 5 days completely gone! This stuff is definitely staying in my doggie medicine cabinet!


jamie1I am SO very glad that I did the Glacier Peak Pet Wellness Life Stress Scan for Sage!!! The hardest part for me was getting enough hair for the hair sample, but she ended up getting a pretty nice back scratch out of the deal. The saliva sample was a breeze. I thought of doing the expedited service, which is an extra ten dollars, but chose not to and the results came faster than I thought they would, bonus!

Since getting the results, I have definitely noticed a difference! So it turns out Sage is allergic to just about everything (well, it seemed that way at first). For meats I was surprised she could eat chicken! She can also eat turkey, and a couple red meats like bison and venison. But no grains, no potato, not even pumpkin! I thought I may be able to use the Grandma Lucy’s Premix, being grain and potato free, but she had a reaction to the pumpkin and apples! There goes that plan, so plan B = Beans! Sage is good to eat beans and beans she has been eating – I use them the way you’d use oats or quinoa to make the meat go a little farther and add some starch. I have been using black beans, pinto, garbanzo, kidney beans with great success and no gas (well, almost no gas, normal gas).

I mainly use Smallbatch Blends (rolls without veggies) so I can customize the greens she can have. I also add a “mixed green” herbal supplement as a whole-foods multivitamin; currently she’s getting Pet Wellness Blends Canine Wellness but I rotate these throughout the year, and healthy fats (fish oil and coconut oil alternately).

She still has the environmental allergies, but since switching the food around the environmental ones have been easier to deal with.



steph1I love Sleepytime Tonic by Happytails! I’ve used it for several years now.  Yes, they have changed their formula, but for my dog the new formula works just as well.  If I have to take her in the car for any reason, I give her a dose about 45 minutes before we leave and she’s good to go!  She’s not sleepy (like the Sleepytime name would lead you to believe) but just nicely relaxed.  Anytime I know she’ll be put in a stressful situation, I’ll give her a bit of Sleepytime Tonic…..4th of July, during the fair in Del Mar when they’re shooting off fireworks, travel, visits to the vet…  It works.  She’s picky about what she eats too and is not put off by the taste of it which is sweet & earthy. I can’t do without it!


paige1Five Flower Formula is a well known flower essence formula that works energetically to relieve situational stress and anxiety. It is not aromatherapy but is a vibrational formula that subtly helps to shift the energies back to balance. It is non-toxic and has no contraindications. If an animal doesn’t need it it will have no negative reactions on the body.

I use this for myself and my animals as the first go-to when dealing with a stressful situation. With summer travel and holiday’s like the 4th of July this would be a great addition to have on hand. View a PDF of our handout on using flower essences written by our Lead Educator Margarat Nee. It includes information on diluting the product and applying it effectively.


mrat11-2012Pet Wellness Blends Canine Healing Salve is the best one I’ve used yet for healing wounds, whether on my dog Vida or on myself. From minor to major wounds it’s never let me down, even when a tumor on Vida decided to ulcerate while I was on the road to New Hampshire. After a thorough cleaning the wound healed up within a week. The all-natural formula is crafted by an experienced herbalist to reduce inflammation, protect against pathogens, and speed the production of new healthy tissue. It even holds up to long distance car travel and doesn’t melt (believe me, that’s a plus!). This salve should be in everyone’s healing kit.



“The Vet’s Best Wash & Dry Ear Kit has been a lifesaver for my beach-loving lab.”

Having recently moved to the coast I found that that Lily’s ears were getting irritated from her frequent swimming in the ocean. I have tried out a few products but the Vet’s Best Ear Relief Wash + Dry has been the most effective for my dog. I like that it is natural, soothing, and easy to use (dogs never really like to have their ears cleaned, do they?). After using it she was no longer scratching her ears as intensely, they didn’t smell bad, and all the redness disappeared!

The kit comes with both a cleansing wash and a drying cream. The first time I used the wash on her I was shocked at how much debris was in her ear, but very glad that the solution was clearing it up. After I put the drying cream formula into her ear she shook her head a little more but quickly settled down. The drying cream doesn’t get cleaned out, it dries into a light powder ensuring that swimmers like my dog really get their ears dry and avoid infections and yeast overgrowth.

I know most dogs don’t enjoy having their ears cleaned but this product is so effective it’s worth the effort, and may help you avoid a trip to the vet.

Evan’s Favorites Include:

  • Katie’s Original Bumper water toy
  • Herbsmith AllerQi
  • Pet Wellness Blends Canine Wellness
  • The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth with Turmeric


toby1George’s Aloe is my ‘go to’ for this elderdog issue.”
Our Del Mar Manager, Toby, has been supporting local animal rescue groups for years in one way or another. She’s fostered for the Animal Safehouse Program that helps families escaping domestic violence protect their pets, and is currently part of Synergy Rescue’s shelter volunteer project. She’s currently fostering an elderly gentleman poodle for Synergy Rescue and he has a few health issues:

“Our senior poodle foster from Synergy has poopy problems. He doesn’t poop regularly enough. He loves his variety of Halshan food and gets The Honest Kitchen Perfect Form everyday. For my other dogs this combo is plenty and they have regular, good quality bowel movements a couple of times per day. Dale, however, sometimes only one time. And when I am not seeing any poop I reach for my “go to” George’s Aloe. He’s only about 12 lbs so I give about a half a capful. And voila! He poops!

Because Aloe has laxative properties it should be used in moderation as overuse could lead to diarrhea and then to dehydration. I will give it for a couple of days and then stop until I see a problem again (hopefully never!). Aloe also has the benefit of helping to maintain a healthy digestive tract by supporting a healthy mucous membrane system. George’s Aloe is also great for either dogs or cats because it has no flavor.”


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