Temporary Closure Due to COVID-19 Exposure

Hello, All. Thank you so much for your loyalty during the COVID adjustments we have had to make. Now we need to ask for even more understanding. One of our staff has tested positive for COVID, so the rest of us have to self-quarantine for 2 weeks since our last exposure to her. That means that Total Dog must close until at least Wednesday, June 10. Please follow us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute announcements, and look for future emails with updates. We will miss you! Thanks again for your support and we will see you soon when this uncertainty has passed.

By |2020-06-02T14:25:48-05:00June 2nd, 2020|Store|0 Comments

COVID-19 and Modifications at Total Dog 3/24/2020

During these trying times, we will continue to provide essential goods for your dogs without elevating everyone’s risk of contracting COVID-19. To that end, and to do what we can to “flatten the curve,” we believe this is not the time for business-as-usual. Total Dog Company has been and still will be your source for high quality, practical food and gear for dogs. We are most grateful for and appreciative of your loyalty and your business, and we will do everything we can to deserve it. But, for now, we need to respect and abide by the official recommendations for social distancing. We can help each other with these temporary changes: MOST IMPORTANT Starting Monday, March 30, we will be changing our WEEKDAY hours to 10 am – 6 pm. Weekend hours will remain the same as they have been: Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 11-5. No nail trims until further notice. If at all possible, call in your order and pick up curbside within the day you ordered. If you must come in, limit it to only one person (and the dog, but only if it has to try something on and you can do the fitting, not us). Sorry, no treats for visiting dogs. Maintain 6’ physical distance from staff and other customers. We have always been meticulous cleaners, and we’ve added even more sanitizing around the front counter/register/credit card terminal and door handles Regarding products Distributors are beginning to experience temporary shortages, so we may not have what you are looking for, even if you special order it. We order weekly from a variety of distributors, and automatically restock on our regular items. We can special order items we don’t carry if they [...]

By |2020-03-26T14:13:32-05:00March 26th, 2020|Store|0 Comments

Update on Taurine-Deficiency Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Thanks to the staff at Lake Harriet Veterinary clinic in Minneapolis, who held an informational session on this topic. This summary is based on the information they passed along: The bottom line, unfortunately, is that there is still no answer about what is the cause of this heart disease. There appears to be a connection between eating grain free diets containing legumes or potatoes (white or sweet)—even diets that contain adequate taurine levels—and becoming taurine deficient; however, there is a wide range of timeframes during which the dog eats grain free before developing taurine deficiency: some dogs are affected in a very short time (a month or so) and other dogs eat grain-free food their whole lives and are never affected. The reason for the different response times is unknown. Golden Retrievers and Border Collies have a higher incidence of diet-responsive taurine deficiency than other breeds. “Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a form of heart disease in which the heart muscle becomes weak and the heart becomes enlarged. This results in poor heart function, leading to exercise intolerance, collapse, pale gums, coughing, and panting. Eventually, DCM results in complete heart failure. Many dogs show no symptoms until the disease is quite advanced.” (from the Lake Harriet Veterinary session handout) DCM is not inconsequential, and we still can’t predict who will be susceptible or how long it will take to develop. So, what should you do? First, forget my advice from the previous newsletter about supplementing with taurine. Why? Because if one of the current hypotheses ends up being true – that grain free diets (legumes and/or potato) bind taurine or interfere with the production of taurine in the dog’s body – and you continue to feed [...]

By |2018-11-16T12:14:05-06:00November 1st, 2018|Recalls & Safety Information|1 Comment

Regarding the Grain-Free Food Connection to Cardiomyopathy

Many have asked me my take on the recent concerns raised about grain free dog foods.  Here it is: As I understand it, there isn’t unequivocal data about the link between legume-rich dog food and dilated cardiomyopathy (legumes commonly used in dog food are peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and lentils).  It’s probably a more complex problem than what’s being presented right now.  Legumes may interfere with the production of taurine (a heart-friendly amino acid) in the body.  There seems to be a genetic component in some of the cases.  This should concern you if you have a golden retriever, for example, because that is one breed where there seems to be a connection between legumes and heart disease. While we wait for more research to identify the exact mechanisms at work, there are some ways you can respond: Some dog food manufacturers—NutriSource for one—is already upping the taurine added to their formulas. I suspect that other manufacturers will supplement with taurine or up the amount if they already add it.  They’ve been doing it for years with cat food; now it’s dogs’ turn. You can give your dog supplemental taurine yourself. Consult with your vet to determine dosage. You can rotate foods for your dog. If you’ve ever spoken with me about what food to feed your dog, you’ve heard me say, “All of them.”  I am a strong proponent of rotating foods, and this issue just adds to the reasons why.  Say you feed your dog the same thing year after year.  What if that food you have chosen has too much or too little of a nutrient that your dog needs?  We don’t know what is the ideal food for a dog—and every [...]

By |2018-09-10T19:49:21-05:00September 10th, 2018|Recalls & Safety Information|0 Comments

RECALL NOTICE – Evanger’s and Against the Grain Canned Food

Evanger’s has recalled ALL lots of the following three varieties of canned food.  If you have any of these three, please return it to the place of purchase for a full refund: Evanger’s Hunk of Beef Evanger’s Braised Beef Chunks Against the Grain Pulled Beef For more information please visit:

By |2017-05-18T11:14:34-05:00February 28th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Discontinuing Wellness Products Due to Chinese Ingredients

We just discovered that WellPet (makers of Wellness brand foods and treats) have started sourcing some preservative ingredients (green tea extract and mixed tocopherols) in China. Because of this, we have decided to discontinue those products. The Pure Rewards and Wellbites that are on the shelf are the old recipe. They won't be replaced. We are sorry to have to do this, and we've told WellPet that. Wellness canned food will remain. The dry food and treats are out until they modify their recipes to stop using ingredients from China. If you currently feed your dog any WellPet products, please stop by the store and we can help you pick out alternatives.

By |2016-10-01T16:24:30-05:00September 30th, 2016|Products|3 Comments

2016 Nature-Based Therapeutic Conference Speak! A Kinship of All Creatures: Broadening our Knowledge of Human-Animal Interactions

Total Dog Company has signed on to be an endorsing organization for the MN Landscape Arboretum's 2016 Nature-Based Therapeutic Conference Speak! A Kinship of All Creatures: Broadening our Knowledge of Human-Animal Interactions. About the Conference Research suggests our connection to animals is important to human health and well-being. Speak! is a conference about our human partnership with animals, the natural world and the ways of interacting with animals increases individual health and community well-being. This conference will provide participants with new understanding of how human connections with animals advance work in schools, non-profits, social services, healthcare, community groups, faith-based organizations, and families. The purpose of Speak! is to: Broaden our knowledge of animal intelligence Deepen our understanding of animal feelings Transform the way we view non-human animals Apply practice skills and methods with animal emotions in mind Inspire and delight the audience with new sounds and information Event Details Wednesday, October 26, 2016 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. MacMillan Auditorium, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Please note: While we love our four legged friends, we ask that participants not bring their animals. (With the exception of personal service animals and those appointed teams working with the conference will be allowed on site.) For more information on attending the event, please visit the MN Landscape Arboretum Event Page.

By |2017-05-18T11:14:34-05:00September 22nd, 2016|Promotions|0 Comments

Protecting Your Pup: Summertime Pool and Lake Precautions

In the land of 10,000 lakes, there is a risk that comes with the traditional Minnesotan R & R on the water. With some of the hottest recorded years in the books already and a warm start to 2016, toxic blooms of blue-green algae present a danger for your dog. We’re here to prepare you and your pet by talking about the potential water dangers your dog may encounter this summer. What is Blue-Green Algae? Blue-green algae, or Cyanobacteria, is a type of algae that grows in bodies of freshwater all around the world, including Minnesota. Algae are microscopic organisms that can produce toxins if grown with the right ingredients of heat and fertilizer—toxins that are especially dangerous for pets. Found in nutrient-rich areas in the steamy summer months, a blue-green algae “bloom” can look like blue and green paint on the surface of the water, and/or a light green layer on the surface and shorelines. (see this website for some photos of what is and isn’t blue-green algae: ) Blue-green algae blooms are common in Minnesota and pose a very real danger to both people and animals that swim in, or consume water contaminated with it. Although not every bloom of blue-green algae is toxic, the best choice is to steer clear of areas that host this potential poison. Hot weather and lakes/ponds with fertilizer run off are breeding grounds for this type of bacteria. Signs and Symptoms of Blue-Green Algae Exposure: There are two types of toxins that can be produced by blue-green algae and they cause different effects: liver failure and neurological damage. Physical symptoms of one or both include: Vomiting Diarrhea Bloody or black stool Pale mucus membranes Blue mucus [...]

By |2016-08-23T10:25:31-05:00August 23rd, 2016|Guide|Comments Off on Protecting Your Pup: Summertime Pool and Lake Precautions

Summer Pet Safety & Preventing Heat Related Injuries

Another summer quickly approaches, along with the concerns that come with the temperature and safety of your pets. Whether it be leaving or finding a pet unattended in a vehicle, or walking your dog on hot pavement, we are hoping to inform and change the circumstances that leave so many pets injured or dead during the warmer months. Hundreds of pets die each summer from heat stroke and other heat related symptoms. The main cause? Being left in a vehicle on a warm day. We say warm, because it doesn’t need to reach much more than 70° outside for your pet to suffer and possibly die in a vehicle. When the outdoor temperature is about 75°, the temperature inside your vehicle can rise to 118° within an hour, even with the windows down. Sometimes a harmless stop for milk and bread can unintentionally mean danger for your furry family member. What can you do to prevent overheating? Conditions in a vehicle during the summer can result in heat stroke, brain damage, and ultimately death. Symptoms of an animal in heat-related distress include: Dark tongue and excessive or heavy panting Thick saliva Restlessness Wobbliness and uncoordinated movement Rapid heartbeat Vomiting and diarrhea Watching for these reactions is important so that you can address them immediately. Checking to see if your destination allows pets inside is also a good idea to help you determine if you can bring your pet along with you. Total Dog Company welcomes our customers and their leashed and pottied dogs. is a great resource in the Twin Cities to find dog-friendly restaurants, stores, and more. What should you do if you see an unattended pet? Not only do you need to [...]

By |2017-05-18T11:14:34-05:00June 6th, 2016|Guide|0 Comments