Thursday, June 24, 2010

In Clover is a company that has always supported rescue. In fact, my first introduction to their products was at a local Labrador Retriever rescue party. When they told me they were relaunching their OptaGest product with new packaging, I was excited to catch up with the founder, Rebecca Rose, and find out more:

HTB: Rebecca, what prompted you to found In Clover?

RR: In Clover really found me. I was doing research with the National Institutes of Health and became interested in pet health. I found that there were no complete and natural options for the number one chronic condition in dogs and cats, joint disorder, so I developed Connectin. In 1996, we did a clinical trial to prove that Connectin is safe and effective and the told the people whose pets participated in the trial that we would provide them with product after the study ended. The response was overwhelming and In Clover was formed.

HTB: I understand you're coming out with new packaging for your OptaGest product. Tell me about it - what sort of ailments does this digestive supplement help?

RR: OptaGest is one of those products that if you just want an overall healthier pet, it will make a difference quickly. OptaGest is used for things like diarrhea, gas, stress resulting in digestive upset, food change and antibiotic use. Since 70% of a pet’s digestive system is located in the digestive tract, daily OptaGest use will support the pet’s immune system. Our new product format is a single serving stick that can be used for convenience when you are traveling with your pet or an easy way try the product.

HTB: Could this product be helpful for people with rescued dogs?

RR: OptaGest is great for rescued dogs. My rescue, Floyd, the furry one in the picture, came to us completely stressed out, starving, full of ticks and weary of living on the streets. I immediately put him on a good food and supplemented with OptaGest. I enjoy seeing him blossom into a happy, vibrant and lovely boy. His digestive and immune systems are healthy and strong. My vet said Floyd is a picture of health and he deserves it!

HTB: Where can people get OptaGest?

RR: OptaGest is available through independent pet stores, natural grocers, catalogs, vets and pet product e-tailers. Go to the In Clover website to find a retailer near you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Trainer Tip: Crate Training Calamity

At Happy Tails Books we've got some great training resources, and by golly, I'm going to use them! That means that you, our reader, can send in training questions through our website, and we'll post answers for you here. Look for the blog title "Trainer Tip" for training information.

Training Question:
Today's inquiry comes from Ginny who recently adopted an eight-year-old Yorkie named Lizzie. She says Lizzie is a great dog except when she needs to go out at 2:30am and 5:00am. She had taken up her food and water by 7pm to no avail. Lizzie likes to nap in her crate during the day but isn't too keen on being closed into the crate at night. Ginny really needs a good night's sleep!

Trainer Kathryn Segura writes:
Hi Ginny,
The first thing you should always do when you have a dog with potty issues is take her to the vet. The cause of the urination may be a urinary tract infection or other medical issue. If her nightly peeing turns out not to be related to a medical problem, it might be because wherever she lived before you, she was able to go potty whenever she wanted (maybe she had 24hr access to a dog door?).

She may not like it when you close the crate at night, but you can't give into her. Who's the boss here? You'll have to start closing the crate at night. You can even practice closing the crate door when she is in there during the day, perhaps closing it and then giving her a treat to make it fun. Just don't make a big deal about it and stay calm - dogs can feel your anxiety. At night, put her in the crate give her a treat, say good night, and walk away. She may not like it at first, but everyone needs their sleep!
Good luck!

So there it is. Lizzie will have to get used to the crate. It sounds like she doesn't have an aversion to it in general, so it's just the idea of shutting her in there at night that she'll have to get used to.

If you're interested in more training tips from Kathryn Segura, check out her book entitled Hollywood Barks available at