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Michelle Allen

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The 411 on Kennel Cough | Symptoms & Treatment

Posted by Michelle Allen on Thu, Nov 09, 2017 @ 01:27 PM

Kennel Cough... two words that no doggy daycare or dog owner want to hear. Unfortunately, it is a common thing that we likely all will have to deal with at one point or another so it's best that we are educated about this nuisance called Kennel Cough!

What Is It?

Kennel Cough, AKA, Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis; is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Kennel Cough is spread from one dog to another through airborne droplets, direct contact, and contaminated surfaces. The most common places that dogs can contract Kennel Cough are anywhere that multiple dogs gather such as; veterinary offices, dog parks, training classes, pet stores, and yes, doggy daycare. As contagious as it is, Kennel Cough is very treatable and does not pose serious risks for most dogs. Kennel Cough can be more severe though in puppies under six months and elder or already sick dogs with poor immune systems.

What Are Kennel Cough Symptoms?

Some signs and symptoms to be on the lookout when it comes to Kennel Cough are the following:

  • Coughing or "Honking"
  • Lethargy
  • Sneezing and watery nasals
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

It is important to know when your dog isn't feeling well, keep track of abnormal behaviors as they may be clues to symptoms that can help you vet diagnose your pup. If you notice any of the above symptoms please notify your vet and keep your dog home as much as possible. These are symptoms of Kennel Cough, but other diseases and viruses have similar symptoms as well. Given that Kennel Cough is highly contagious Gemini Dogs asks that you keep your dog at home if you notice any symptoms and that you notify us as well if your dog is not feeling well and is diagnosed with any sickness.

How Is Kennel Cough Treated?

Kennel Cough is often not a serious diagnosis and is treated by letting your dog rest and relax for about two weeks at home (away from other dogs to prevent spreading it) with good hydration, nutrition, and extra love. In more severe cases, your vet may prescribe cough medicine and antibiotics to ease the symptoms and prevent the disease from coming back. If your dog hasn't already received their Kennel Cough Vaccine (AKA: Bordetella Vaccine), we urge you to have them vaccinated. The vaccine is not a definite protection from the disease, but it will help reduce the chances of your dog contracting Kennel Cough.

Kennel Cough at Doggy Daycare!

Here at Gemini, we pride our selves on the safety and care we provide for your dogs. When we are notified by parents or vets of dogs with ill symptoms we double up on our cleaning methods and sanitize our entire facility twice as much as we regularly do to help reduce the chances of it spreading. The surest way we can keep any contagious sickness from spreading though is for the ill pups to stay home and get better.

If we see that your dog is not feeling well or showing any abnormal symptoms, we will notify you immediately and move your dog to a quiet space away from the other dogs in our care.

Topics: Kennel Cough, Kennel Cough Treatment, Doggy Daycare, Kennel Cough Symptoms

Spring Cleaning Without Harmful Chemicals

Posted by Michelle Allen on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 @ 09:24 PM

Thieves essential oil blend has become our go-to cleaner here at Gemini Dogs, as well as in our home. As you look towards Spring, we all start thinking of Spring Cleaning. And if you're like me, you've started paying attention to the fact that so many of the cleaning products have harsh and damaging chemicals, which cause untold numbers of health problems and can cause numerous diseases in both humans and dogs.
The solution? Look to Young Living Essential Oils for an all-natural, holistic approach to cleaning. Just add some of the Thieves Household Cleaner in a glass spray bottle, fill with water, and use it to quickly spray and wipe your surfaces. The oils in the formula deodorize and protect your home.
We use Thieves exclusively now here at Gemini Dogs, for all of our cleaning needs. We use Thieves Household Cleaner to clean the crates after each use, to mop the floors, to sanitize the bowls and buckets, and more.
The amazing power of the Thieves will destroy mold, including air-borne mold, and is well-documented in Nature’s Mold Rx: The Non-Toxic Solution to Toxic Mold by Edward R. Close, Ph.D. Household cleaner can also be used as a bug repellant. In Essential Oils for Horse and Rider, you can see a demonstration of mixing the Thieves Household Cleaner with water and apple cider vinegar to keep flies away from horses.
Suggested Dilutions for Thieves Household Cleaner
  • Light degreasing 60:1
  • Medium degreasing 30:1
  • Heavy degreasing 15:1
  • Floors 100:1
  • Walls 30:1
  • Upholstery, fabrics and carpet spotting 40:1
  • Carpet 100:1
  • Glass 320:1
  • Pots and pans 100:1
  • Hand cleaner 1:1
This essential oil blend's name comes from its origin, during the Bubonic Plague.
Thieves were robbing those who had succumbed to the illness, but we're able to do so without becoming deathly ill themselves. Their defense was to wear a mask filled with a combination of herbs, spices, and essential oils. When they were finally caught and placed on trial for their crimes, they were granted leniency for revealing the recipe of this life-saving concoction. That recipe is the foundation for Young Living’s modern Thieves blend.
Thieves contains clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary. This blend has been found to reduce bacterial cultures by 99.96%.
Improve your health, and the health of your dog, by using Thieves for spring cleaning. We can assist you in setting up a wholesale account (For a 24% off retail cost), if you would like to purchase these products for your home!
"Thieves Essential Oil blend is a powerful combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils for an aromatic blend that fills any space with a rich, spicy aroma. Inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals used while robbing the dead and dying, Thieves is one of Young Living’s most popular products.  With the benefits of Thieves oil including cleaning power and an irresistibly spicy scent, Young Living offers it as an essential oil blend and as an important ingredient in a full range of home cleaning and personal care products, from dish soap to toothpaste. Looking to make your home smell as clean as it looks? Diffuse Thieves oil throughout the house for an aroma that makes every room smell more like fall baking than harsh cleaning formulas.”

Topics: dogs, gemini dogs, Spring Cleaning, essential oils, Natural, Holistic, home remedies

S is for Safety

Posted by Michelle Allen on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 @ 05:24 PM

As we near finalizing the details of our NEW FACILITY I thought this was the perfect time for us to share how one of our priorities has been focused on enhancing our safety systems.
Here are a few of the most important things for you to understand about how and why Gemini Dogs will keep your doggie safer than ever in our new home:
- At drop-off, you will notice that there are now two doors; an exit door and an entry door. This was a must for us. Gone are the days of happening upon a dog coming out the same door you are entering! The "in" door is on the right. You'll notice a lighted awning over the entrance, to assist with safety.
- You will see that we've installed a window in the entry/exit doors. This is the second stage of our new safety system. By providing you with the ability to see through the door, you can ensure that there is not a "traffic jam" on the other side. Once you can see that the entry vestibule is clear, you'll be able to enter the facility with the confidence that you won't be setting your dog up for an unplanned greeting.
- When you step inside, you and your dog(s) will be in a secondary enclosed space (think airlock). This space is equally important to safety. It provides a safe space between the outside world and the Gemini Dogs lobby, for those slippery pups that drag the leash from your hands running to greet us! ;-)
- We train our staff (and our family members) from day one: "Close every single gate, every single time; even if you are planning to come right back through it." You will step beyond that "airlock" gate, and close it behind you, as you step up to the check-in counter.
- Once you have scanned your card (if you do not already have a membership card, please ask us for one immediately), you will hand your dog to a staff member at the entry to the doggie area. These membership scanning cards are required to be scanned at our new facility. This is perhaps the most important safety measure we are implementing. Anyone who drops off or picks up a dog will scan their card to check in and out. If we would not recognize the person who is picking up your dog, they should have that card. That card lets us know that you approve of us releasing your dog to that person. (Don't worry though...we have a backup method that you can use; just tell us the person's name, and we will request a photo ID.)
- Once we take possession of your dog's leash, he/she will enter the doggie zone; the main entrance to which is a door which swings in; this ensures that if your industrious pup gets loose within the doggie zone, he/she cannot push open that door to get into the front lobby area.
- Inside the doggie zone, we have a multitude of doors, gates, and locks that provide a layer of backup security. When moving your dog from play areas to crates, all dogs are on leash, and our staff announces every move over a walkie talkie. This provides the added layer of security for those moments when two staff members are moving dogs who may not know each other, so that they do not meet around a blind corner or in a doorway. 
Additional Safety Features (inside and outside of the new facility)
- Out in the yard, we have installed a 6-foot fence with a 2-foot angled top, which foils even the most industrious climbers/jumpers. 
- Surveillance cameras record every area of the facility as well as display to a live monitor, so that we have eyes on your dog at all times.
- All dog-to-dog introductions, as always, will be done under the watchful eye of at least three staff members, and often more!
- Groups are monitored by a trained Kennel Tech, even if there are only two docile dogs just hanging out together. Your dog will never ever be left unsupervised, regardless of how well he/she behaves. It is simply that strict of a rule. The moment two dogs are in a play area together, we are physically in the same space (not just watching, but physically present), and actively monitoring their every move.
- One of the most interesting changes in the new facility is the level of security regarding medications. We have purchased a locked, password-protected medication cart, which only certain staff members will have access to...managers and senior staff. Even then, all meds and accompanying instructions will be visually verified by a second person before being administered to your dog.
These are just a handful of the policies, processes, and procedures that we use every day here at Gemini Dogs, to keep your dog safe, healthy, and happy. Learn more by asking for a tour!

Topics: safety, gemini dogs, Pet Safety

Why We Say NO to Rawhides, Pig's Ears, & Bully Sticks

Posted by Michelle Allen on Mon, Jan 02, 2017 @ 09:32 PM

Many people are surprised to hear me (and my staff) say that we do not allow rawhide chews, pig's ears, bully sticks, and other "animal parts" in our facility. Let me explain exactly why we feel so strongly about these types of chews, and particularly rawhide chews.


But let's begin by providing an alternative to these chews, first: Marrow bones are a wonderful alternative to rawhide and animal parts, and they are much better for your dog's teeth and digestive tract!

Rawhides are a Very Serious Choking Hazard

I have personally seen this occur several times with my own dogs, before I banned the use of rawhide in my home. The dog is just gnawing away at his rawhide chew when suddenly...gulp...ack...ack! Dogs enjoy these chews so much that they will often work really hard gnawing at a single piece, until they dislodge it from the bone and then, yep...they actually try to swallow it whole! If you have never seen this happen, it is super scary! You literally have such a short time to dislodge that chew from the back of their throat before the dog either attempts to swallow it down further, or it actually cuts off your dog's airway.

If your dog swallows large enough pieces of rawhide, the rawhide can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract. Depending on its size and where it is located, a vet might be able to remove these pieces by going in through the throat. But sometimes, abdominal surgery is needed to remove them from the stomach or intestines. If it isn’t resolved, a blockage can lead to death.

  • Aggression & Resource Guarding: If the choking hazard wasn't bad enough, giving a rawhide or other animal-based chew to a dog can incite aggression. Whether that aggression comes from the dog chewing the bone who is guarding his resource, or from another dog in some adjacent space, many a scuffle has occurred in multi-dog households because one dog thought he should protect what was his, while his housemate thought he should have all the bones! We have even seen dogs protect their rawhides from a dog across the hall or from he dog'd owner, who provided the chew in the first solve that problem, no more rawhides for that dog...ever!
  • Irritation of the Digestive Tract: Some dogs are sensitive, or more likely, allergic to rawhide or other substances used in their manufacture. This can cause some big problems, diarrhea and vomiting among them.
  • Chemical Exposure & Contamination: Rawhide chews can contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals. And of course, bacterial contamination is always a risk when dealing with non-human-grade manufacturing.
Did You Know? Humans can be at risk when coming into contact with Salmonella or E. coli contamination bacteria on rawhide treats.

Whenever you see the words, "wash your hands thoroughly after handling these treats. Have young children and family members with immune system problems avoid handling them at all..." you have got to start wondering, "Why on earth would I allow my dog to consume it, if my children are at risk by just touching it?!?"

Now for the gross part...did you know?

Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of cow or horse hides.

Now, many of us "dog people" are also "horse people"...and I doubt that many people would agree that horses are food...right? If we haven't convinced you to give them up, and you do choose to give these types of chews to your dog, be sure that you watch your dog closely for signs of a problem. (These symptoms can develop in any dog, no matter how many times he "has never had a problem" with them!)

Contact your veterinarian right away if your dog:

  • Is making a gagging noise that doesn't clear up after a couple attempts
  • Is repeatedly swallowing or flicking his tongue out as if he is trying to dislodge something in his mouth
  • Is vomiting
  • Is having multiple episodes of diarrhea
  • Is refusing to eat
  • Is showing decreased energy levels
  • Is developing a temperature

Topics: Rawhide

Prepare for an Emergency with Pets

Posted by Michelle Allen on Sat, Oct 08, 2016 @ 11:43 AM

Disaster Prepardness and Disaster Response is a topic that I am intimately familiar with and have very strong feelings about...especially this week. Penny and I were supposed to pick up my parents in WV, visit our son in NC, and then meet up with my brother's family, my aunts, and my best friend in Orlando, FL as we attend a 2-day trade show and buying event for our new retail store at Gemini Dogs. you may have heard, there is a category 4 hurricane bearing down on my family and friends (who are in immediate danger) and our son is also in danger, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejuene, NC.
My message to you is this: It can happen anywhere! New England is not without threats from ice storms, blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, and even earthquakes. And you need to prepare NOW for that eventuality. Make a "Go Bag" for yourself and your dog(s) today. You need to have a plan for evacuation and a plan for your pets.
At Gemini Dogs, we are here for you, no matter whether your dog is a Gemini Dog or not. Current family members are always welcome to shelter at Gemini Dogs. All other doggies are welcome, but must provide a Rabies Certificate at check-in. Please tell your friends and family that we are here for their dogs (and other pets) during emergency situations.

NEVER leave pets behind. It is a federal law that states requesting FEMA assistance MUST provide emergency animal shelters! That means there are no excuses for not evacuating, no matter where you are.


To help you prepare, refer to our 4 STEPS TO PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY WITH PETS:



Topics: Emergency, Pet Safety, Evacuation

Holiday Safety Tips

Posted by Michelle Allen on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 @ 08:34 AM

The Holiday season brings a lot of changes to your dog's normal routine. These changes will have an impact on your dog's behavior, so you want to try your best to keep your dog's schedule as close to normal as possible. Dogs are creatures of habit, and can be very upset by changes to their routine.
There are other things that may have an impact on your dog's health and well-being, so as we get into that crazy mode of holiday shopping and parties, we could all use some little reminders:
  • Make sure that your Christmas tree is sturdy enough that a curious dog won't be able to knock it over, or pull it down as they grab at branches and bulbs. To your dog, this tree may look like a giant tree full of toys, or a big scary thing to be avoided at all costs. Either way, be mindful of your dog's reaction.
  • If your dog is curious, erect a little barrier of sorts, using a folding baby gate or by positioning a long table to block the path.
  • Tinsel can lead to an obstruction and possible surgery, it is best avoided.
  • Shards of breakable ornaments can damage your dog's mouth and digestive tract, so be sure to keep them out of reach.
  • Decorative lights are all powered by wires, which can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock should your dog chew through one of them. Be sure to position them out of reach.
  • Make sure that your dog cannot access the tree water. Drinking from this standing water can cause stomach upset, and it's a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Watch that curling ribbon, too, as it can get stuck in your dog's intestines, often necessitating surgery.
Plants to Avoid:
  • Holly can cause dogs to suffer from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 
  • Mistletoe can cause dogs some tummy upset and cardiovascular problems. 
  • Poinsettias are toxic for dogs.
Around the Home:
  • Lighted candles can be knocked over if left on an unstable surface. And watch out for curious noses around low tables!
  • Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can cause serious issues with your dog's digestion and be dangerous for smaller dogs.
  • Avoid anything sweetened with Xylitol - this is usually found in sugar-free gum and similar products. It is toxic for dogs.
  • Be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans, as lots of new and interesting things will be showing up in there!
  • Leftovers are best saved for humans, as fatty, spicy foods can cause issues for your dog. Lean un-flavored meat and (especially raw) veggies are usually fine, if you want to share.
  • Dogs can digest raw bones, but any type of cooked bones are a big no-no!
  • Watch that alcoholic drinks are not left where your dog can get to them.
  • Always ask guests to refrain from offering yummy nibbles off their plates; there are a lot of human foods that are not okay for doggies to eat, so a friendly guest may inadvertently cause your dog some serious GI trouble if they slip scraps to him! Sometimes its best to just give your dog his own quiet space to retreat to—especially if crowds make him nervous.

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Topics: Dog, Holiday, safety

Does My Dog Need a Heavy Coat for Winter?

Posted by Michelle Allen on Tue, Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:54 AM

A dog’s coat (their own fur) is designed to protect the dog, but if you clip or shave longer-haired canines (like poodles) you’ve altered their body’s natural protection. A light jacket can help compensate. But when temperatures drop into the teens and below, many dogs get cold. If you’re headed out into wintry weather (especially when it's also rainy and wet), an insulated, waterproof jacket is a good idea. Just keep in mind that too high a temperature is more of a risk to your dog's health than too low a temperature; if you have a long-haired dog, he does not need a sweater or a bulky coat. A lightweight waterproof jacket is all you need, and depending on your dog, maybe not even that. (For example, Huskies do not need any sort of additional coat.)
Find a Jacket That:
- Is Made of Thin Fabric
- Is Waterproof or at Least Water-Resistant
- Is Easy to Get On and Off
- Fits Snugly
- Ends at the Base of the Tail
- Leaves his Legs Free (so he can walk, run, and relieve himself) 
- Doesn't Rub and Cause Skin Irritations
Why Not Buy a Heavier Coat?
Technically, dogs are already wearing one coat! Veterinarians actually recommend against bulky dog coats for long-haired, larger breeds because these dogs are naturally predisposed to survive cold temperatures. A heavy coat may actually cause your dog to overheat, as it impedes your dog's ability to regulate their own body temperature. Dogs have actually developed a very effective method of controlling their body temperature. Their own coat protects them from the elements, and is easily adjusted.
What About Thin-Coated Dogs?
Some breeds were never meant for harsh winter climates. And tiny breeds especially may need a little help keeping warm, as they pick up the chill radiating from the frozen ground. Small breeds with very short fur, and lean dogs with very short fur, are less able to deal with winter temperatures. Dogs recovering from an illness/injury may also be more sensitive to cold, as are senior dogs and young puppies. Heat regulation begins to decline with age, so a sweater isn't a bad idea for older dogs. Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, and arthritis affect the skin and joints in ways that warrant the use of a nice warm sweater. Basically, if your dog tends to shiver in the cold, consider a more dense coat or sweater. Just be sure to have several on hand, so that you aren't putting a wet sweater on him...that could be worse than no sweater!
What About Paws?
Don’t forget to protect those paws. Paws can crack, bleed, and even get frostbite. You need to be sure that you clean your dog's paws off every time they come indoors, to keep the salt, ice chips, and melting snow from getting stuck between your dog’s paw pads. Booties can prevent skin irritations and infections on your dog’s sensitive paws, but not all dogs will accept wearing the booties. Always try them out first; preferably allowing the dog to walk around the store wearing them for a minute to be sure they can figure them out.
Don't Forget About the Car
When the weather is very cold — regardless of whether your dog has a sweater or jacket — never leave him in a car. He can freeze to death just as easily as he can die of heatstroke.

Topics: Dog, Coat, Jacket, Hair, Fur, Care

Cold Weather Questions - Antifreeze Poisoning

Posted by Michelle Allen on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 @ 09:46 AM

Q: My dog was licking a spot of antifreeze that spilled on the ground; should I be worried?
A: Yes, VERY! If you have any inkling of a thought that your dog might have ingested even a small amount of antifreeze, call your vet immediately. Grab some hydrogen peroxide, too1 If the vet is more than a few minutes away, you will likely need to induce vomiting right now!!!
Let me tell you about Smokey's story. This goes way back to when I was married to John. We had just recently brought home a new addition, Smokey the Golden Retriever. Smokey was a curious pup, and one day John came inside from the yard and casually said, "I think Smokey might have licked up some antifreeze. Is that bad?" I almost had a heart attack right there. Yes, indeed, he had. John had stored the bottle inside an enclosed area of the yard with some gardening tools and supplies, and Smokey decided to hop the fence and grab ahold of the bottle, puncturing it, and carry it around for a bit, prancing happily.
I immediately ran for the hydrogen peroxide, because thankfully I knew that the best thing we could do was to make Smokey throw up right away, and start the drive to the emergency vet. We mixed the peroxide with an equal amount of milk, and it went down the hatch. Nothing happened at first, so we prepared to leave and gave him another dose. Thankfully that one did the trick, and he starting puking. That was probably the only time I've ever said, "Oh awesome, he's getting sick!" We drove furiously to the vet, wondering how stupid it was that we would leave that poison in a spot that was so accessible to a determined dog.
When we got Smokey to the vet, they whisked him away, shoved charcoal down his throat to absorb as much of the poison as possible, and desperately tried to flush his system with fluids to help get the poison out. They finally came back into the exam room and told us that we should prepare ourselves, because he might not make it. I was shocked and so upset...he was our new puppy and they were telling us that he might not live! And what was worse was that when they brought him in to say what could be a final goodbye, his tail was just wagging away and he was prancing around like nothing was wrong! Antifreeze poisoning gives dogs the appearance of being "drunk" and that was what we were seeing then.
We were so lucky...we saved our puppy with some quick action and a good vet, and thank the stars that I had known about how poisonous antifreeze is for dogs.
Now, where is your antifreeze? Is it in a safe location, where an industrious dog cannot reach it? Consider that dogs can jump fences and dig under things, and knock over boxes, and make sure that yours is stored in a place where it is completely inaccessible. Do not store it in the back of your SUV and then put your dog in there with it! Antifreeze is sweet and smells good and dogs seek it out. Better yet, use antifreeze that does not contain ethylene glycol
And be sure to watch out for it on your walks. People often spill a little when filling their cars, and it lands on the ground in a little puddle. Tiny dogs could lick that up and it could be fatal. Keep your eye out and watch for bottles of antifreeze and try to educate people about the extreme danger of leaving even a trace of it where a dog might get to it. (All the more reason for dogs not to be roaming the neighborhood.
If you liked this Q&A please share with your friends and family. Message us {woof@geminidogs.comand let us know what Question we can answer for you!

Topics: Puppy, dogs, cold weather, antifreeze, safety

Using Natural Oils for Optimum Dog Health

Posted by Michelle Allen on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

SkyThere are two natural oil supplements that we give our dogs (these can be especially helpful for those with allergies):

- Salmon Oil
- Coconut Oil

Tip: There is no difference between these oils as sold for humans and for dogs; it's just the packaging that is different.

Always work with your veterinarian or animal nutritionist when providing supplements; Always inform your vet of what you are giving your dog, and discuss the proper dosage with them.

Salmon Oil

We have been using Salmon Oil for years in our own dogs' food. We started using it to help with that flaky skin issue common in many short-haired dogs, as well as to help make their coats nice and shiny. Of course, we researched it thoroughly before we started and learned that Salmon Oil is also a great joint supplement. Plus, it has the added benefit that it supports organ and brain health. I can always tell when a dog is taking Salmon Oil; their coats are absolutely beautiful!


  • Orally: Add it to your dog's food.


  • Varies, but generally 1,000 mg per 25 pounds of the dog's weight. (Up to 1,000 mg for small dogs.)

What it Does:

  • Decreases inflammation, relieves allergic responses throughout the dog's body.


  • Salmon Oil has valuable omega-3 fatty acids and provides many benefits for dogs, with virtually no side effects. The omega-3 fatty acids are found in particularly high levels in salmon (as well as other cold water fish).
  • Maintains a glossy, healthy coat
  • Lubricates the skin
  • Strengthens teeth and nails
  • Lubricates joints and helps ward off arthritis
  • Keeps the heart healthy, as well as other organs
  • Keeps the brain functioning sharp in aging dogs
  • Slows cancer cell growth

Salmon Oil is recommended for dogs with skin allergies and to help various skin conditions heal faster.

Many commercial dog foods contain salmon meat or added salmon oil, but the omega-3 fatty acids in these foods are at such low levels, that they are nowhere close to what most experts would recommend for maintenance supplementation.

You may want to supplement the capsules or liquid fish oil with cooked salmon or sardines, both of which contain fish oil naturally.

Tip: Sardines are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, so toss one to Fido! Next time you open a can of tuna and start to strain off that juice, save it and drizzle over his food.

We order our Salmon Oil in gallon containers and then pour it into a soap dispenser that we bought strictly for that purpose. The dispenser has a pump, and we dose the dogs' food based on their size; the biggest ones get 2 pumps. (We meausered one pump into a measuring spoon to determine how much one of our pumps was equal to.)

Coconut Oil
We recently started using Coconut Oil, and I think it really helps our dogs. One of our dogs is older (13 years as a Pittie/Lab Mix) and started having some mobility issues and low protein levels. And one of our other dogs was being operated on to remove a cancerous mass from his leg. These two incidents, which came shortly after another of our dogs passed away at age 17, was what prompted us to look into providing more supplements to our dogs. We decided that we wanted to give them the best possible chance at a strong and healthy body. What we discovered in our research was that all five of our dogs could benefit from these oils, so now they all get them!


  • Orally: Add it to your dog's food.
  • Topically: Coconut oil can also be used as a topical treatment for skin problems. For example, coconut oil can be used to improves overall skin and hair condition. Applied topically, promotes the healing of hot spots, bites, and stings Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida. It also disinfects scrapes and cuts, promotes wound healing, and clears up warts and moles. 


  • Start slowly; coconut oil rids the body harmful bacteria, so it can cause symptoms of detox (diarrhea, vomiting and other flu-like symptoms).
  • Start with 1/4 teaspoon a day for smaller dogs, one teaspoon a day for larger dogs.
  • Increase every few days until you reach the suggested dose. Ultimately, 1 tsp per 10 pounds. (Some sources say 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily, so check with your vet for proper dosage for your dog.)

What it Does:

  • Coconut oil has healing properties. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal, plus it can help digestion. It fights the production of yeast, and decreases inflammation. It is well-tolerated by animals and can be used internally or externally. The lauric acid in coconut oil provides many of its benefits. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, made up of a medium chain of fatty acids, and contains lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid. The lauric acid is responsible for many of the oil's health benefits.


  • Contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agents that prevent infection and disease
  • Improves overall health and speeds healing, Fights infections
  • Conditions and makes coats become sleek and glossy
  • Deodorizes doggy odor
  • Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
  • Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs
  • Helps with joint inflammation
  • Protects against skin cancer, Reduces age spots
  • Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Helps overweight dogs lose weight; Helps sedentary dogs feel energetic
  • Protects from illness; Helps prevent or control diabetes, Balances the thyroid, Aids healing of digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis; Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis,and itchy skin, Regulates and balance insulin and promotes normal thyroid function, Prevents osteoporosis, Helps to manage diabetes.
  • Aids in arthritis or ligament problems

Look for unrefined or virgin coconut oil. Highest quality is organic extra virgin coconut oil, which has been cold pressed.

We purchase our coconut oil from Amazon in bulk, and then we spoon out the solid into a tiny glass bowl, and set that bowl in the sink in hot water to melt it. (We just put the stopper in the sink, fill the hot water to just below the bowl's edge, and start preparing their food. By the time we are ready to add the oil, it's already melted.) Once the oil becomes a liquid again, we use the measuring spoon to distribute it to the food. Any un-used oil simply hardens again for the next time.

If you would like to give salmon oil or coconut oil a try, let us know! We can add yours to our next order.

The "Perfect" Thanksgiving

Posted by Michelle Allen on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 @ 07:52 PM

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You've spent a lot of time planning your perfect Thanksgiving meal. You've done your shopping, you've decorated, and now you wake up early to put the finishing touches on your family's Thanksgiving Day table. Your guests will be arriving soon, and as you check the turkey and hurry to get everything just right before the doorbell rings, you realize that Fido never got his morning walk. No worries, you can just put him out in the yard for a few minutes and let him get some energy out before everyone arrives, right? Well, Fido has other plans. He's very interested in what you've got going on in that kitchen; it smells so yummy!

Fido just stands at the back door, scratching and barking, as if to say, "Hey, I don't want to be out here alone, could I just come in and get some samples?!?"

As you close the back door after letting him in from that unsuccessful potty break, you hear the doorbell. Fido is already there, wagging away, and barking hello. You open the front door to invite your brother and his family inside, and Fido jumps up to welcome your sister-in-law with a big wet kiss. She smiles and says, "Oh, it's fine," as you apologize...but then you notice that nice brown paw print on her pretty new skirt.

The kids have arrived, and Fido is keeping them busy by chasing them around the living room and under the table. Oops! Someone knocked the table, and that beautiful vase almost spilled all over your perfectly-set table!

Okay, so maybe this is a little too much excitement and activity for Fido. Time to take him upstairs. You can just crate him while your company is here, and he'll be fine, right?

Guess again. About 10 minutes into dinner, Fido starts barking upstairs. (Sounds like someone finally decided that he needs to go potty.) You excuse yourself from the table, and run up to get Fido and take him outside. He makes a pit stop at the table, hoping that your guests will take pity on him, and offer him a slice of that yummy turkey!

You finally get him outside and sit back down to your guests...and that's when it hits you...why didn't you just take Fido to Gemini Dogs for the day? You were up early, you sent your hubby out to grab that last-minute item at the store; he could have just dropped him off on the way.

Fido could be playing with his buddies right now, romping around and having the time of his life. Instead, he has been relegated to the back yard (or to his crate), and you are constantly being interrupted while you try to balance your guests' needs and your dog's needs. And now you feel guilty for not thinking of this solution sooner...

But wait! The good news is, none of this has even happened yet! Fido (and you) will be much happier if he spends the day with us at Gemini Dogs, so let's make that reservation now.

Gemini Dogs is open every day of the year (weekends and holidays included) from 6am-10pm. Current family members can make an express reservation online, call us at 978-486-9922, or even just drop in on Thanksgiving morning, if you can't decide yet! If you are new to Gemini Dogs, don't worry, you still have time to register! Just apply for overnight boarding online.

Let us entertain Fido so that you are free to entertain your guests...

And don't worry, our Thanksgiving guests get a little turkey dinner, too!



Click here to learn more about our Boarding Services

Topics: Puppy, Doggie Daycare, Therapy, Chewing, Puppies, Dog, Thanksgiving, boarding