10842313_10153202799892354_7218158156511782508_oJohn, Owner

Aka Top Dog, John….before starting up The Chewed Slipper, John spent almost 30 years in the grocery industry from Windsor to Bridgewater to Metro. All while having many pet of his own and taking care of friends furry pets. John has taken 2 levels of training with Lietash, Clicker classes and has spent numerous hours working with trainer Sue Jordan prior .Since June 2008, John has committed to ensuring a safe, clean and fun play environment for the canine kids of Sackville and is keenly aware of the responsibility and trust pup parents place when they choose The Chewed Slipper.



Katie, Puppy Wrangler
A true blue SackVegas girl, Katie has two cats and gets her dog fix by working here at The Chewed Slipper. Along with known for being a voracious reader, Katie is a secret geek…girl loves to plunk around on computers.   When asked what her ‘dog name’ would be, Katie replied ‘Tiny’.  And when you meet her, you’ll think…’Yeah, Tiny fits’  She’s a big personality packed in to an itty bitty frame…but Katie can hold her own in a room where sometimes the dogs outweigh her!

Sarah, Puppy Wrangler

Chantel, Puppy Wrangler



We say ‘Dog Days of Summer’…..because at this point we are still optimistic that ‘Summer’ will arrive late to its own party now that we are officially in the season.

A couple things of note here in the Sackville/Bedford Dog Community.

First is the PAWS FOR CANADA DOG WALK: Sunday June 28th

This official Sackville Patriot Days event will start 9am at the Football field behind the legion in Bedford and wind its way along the Sackville River trail.

This event is sponsored again by Brenda’s Dog Dudz (who supply festive bandannas) and The Chewed Slipper (treat bags). Note: Supplies limited to first 50 dogs (we have never run out, btw).

To discover ALL of the fun to be had at Sackville Patriot Days, hit the WEBSITE and their FACEBOOK PAGE.  And there is always room for more volunteers with this big array of Patriot Days events.


After more than 30 years of providing the animal citizens of Sackville with health care, Dr. Paul Kendall has retired!  We wish him, Patricia and Reggie all the very best for the future (and thankfully still get to see Reggie when he comes for his daycare visits).

We would like to welcome the new owners of Sackville Animal Hospital: Dr.Kristina Hughes and Dr. Tyler Hughes
These highly experienced veterinarians are eager to meet Sackville’s fab furkids and their families during the upcoming OPEN HOUSE Sunday July 5th  11-2. It will be your opportunity to meet the doctors, take a tour, see a display of exotic pets and enjoy a BBQ snack.  Learn more on their Facebook page!


Ocean and Lux won’t be happy, but I will be: BATH TIME!
We will be heading to the Annual Vetcetera Dog Wash, Yard Sale & BBQ…
Saturday July 18th  10am-4pm at 1144 Bedford Highway.
Proceeds to Bide-A-While Animal Shelter and Pick-Of-The-Litter Society.
For more hit their FACEBOOK page.


Have a WOOFderful Day


Nicolle Bellefontaine



As of June 7th, 2015, The Chewed Slipper realized our 7th anniversary of business.
That’s 2,555 days of spending time with the most pawsome dogs in HRM.

We thought we would reveal the TOP DOG NAMES we have encountered in these past 7 years….

By far the most popular girl name: BELLA/BELLE
and for the boys: TUCKER

And in no particular order:
Charlie, Sophie, Hunter, Jake, May, Cooper, Bailey, Zoey, Brady and Finn

For the list of predicted most popular names in 2015 based on current trending….hit BARKPOST.

But what about the unusual names?  We have had quite of few interesting monikers….
some of which include:

Blanche, Kipper, Primah, Tego, Sola, Ueli, Atticus, Argo, Bilbo, Grizz, Ketch, Wheezie, Boomer, Addie, Bruce, Kiwi, Favor, Traeger, Bray and the late but unforgettable Rocky Elvis.

My two fur-brats are terrier mix Ocean (who answers to Owie/Missy/Baby Girl) and basset hound Lux (who answers to Lucky Bastard/Luxie/Meatball).

Hope you and your furkid have a grrrrr8 day and thanks for reading!


aka Nicolle Bellefontaine
The Chewed Slipper


TICKS are gross!

Like, SO gross, right?

IMG_8019 But along with a huge ick factor, ticks can carry Lyme Disease and transmit it to both humans and dogs. What you need to know, is that parts of Nova Scotia can be straight up lousy with ticks.    In fact, so much so that the provincial government has created a whole section on their site to inform residents of Canada’s Ocean Playground.  I highly recommend hitting that site for the bounty of information you will find there.

If you are looking for a chart depiction of tick varieties….this is a great one.


Keep a brush or tick comb in your vehicle to thoroughly run through your dog’s coat prior to re-entry into your vehicle.

Another tip (for black dogs especially), run a sticky lint roller over the dog and your clothes.

Use lint rollers to get ticks off short haired dogs.

Dragging a white piece of fabric across the grass to clear the yard of ticks.

Note: Feeding garlic or brewers yeast has been proven to be ineffective in preventing fleas and ticks.IMG_8027

For holistic prevention we recommend using food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (simply rub this powder into your dog’s coat prior to spending time in an area known for ticks or when you expect to be out on a trail walk).  Scroll to the bottom of this post to read a testimonial by a pup-parent who has tried all the veterinary options and found success with this all-natural (and super-cheap/safe) option.

Our Food and Holistic Guru, Melanie Briand (of Harmony Dog Products) offers this new recipe for homemade tick and flea powder:

1 cup diatomaceous earth
1/2 cup Neem powder
1/2 cup Yarrow powder
20 drops Eucalyptus oil  – leave this out if making for cats

Should a tick land on you or your dog, there are a variety of tick remover devices on the market.

We offer a new product called TICK SR which when soaked over the tick will cause the tick to pull out of the skin.

Another method is ‘smothering’, which is simply taking an empty vial (an empty pill bottle is most practical), add water and then hold over the tick and surrounding skin.  This technique takes around 20 minutes and as such, is not for the faint of heart.IMG_8022

Here is one pup-parent’s scary journey finding a safe Tick/Flea alternative for her dog…

I started Kiwi on food grade diatomaceous earth a year ago. I was looking for an alternative method of flea control other than the typical topical or pills available. I’d been using Sentinel on her since she was a puppy, but with the increased tick population and because I live in the country and we like to go hiking I wanted something that would help prevent those as well, my vet suggested K9 Advantix. Unfortunately, Kiwi had an allergic reaction to it, which caused her to power puke for hours and landed us at the emergency vet at 4:30AM for subcutaneous fluids because she was dehydrated. After that experience I wanted to try something that would be safer, natural and yet just as effective. The staff at The Chewed Slipper recommended that I try D.E. because it’s natural, nontoxic and chemical free. I dust her about every two weeks and after every bath/swim, this helps to prevent any fleas and ticks. I also feed it to her once a day, sprinkled over her food to help prevent any intestinal worms and parasites. For me, the pros of using DE definitely outnumber the cons, Kiwi’s a medium sized 60lb shorthaired dog so it only takes a few minutes to dust her and it only takes a few minutes extra in the morning to sprinkle the tablespoon amount over her food. It cost me a lot less money since one container will last me about 5-6 weeks compared to the $30 a month that I was spending on ONE pill, she’s never had any adverse side effects to it and it WORKS, we haven’t had any issues with fleas, ticks or parasites. However, I do have to be diligent in dusting her, which can be a nuisance since I live next to a lake that she loves to be in all summer long and she romps around my backyard which is wooded. Her coat can feel a little gritty or dry for the first day after dusting until it’s had a chance to really settle down to her skin.  But, overall I would and do recommend DE to all my friends with pets, it’s worth the little extra time and effort it takes to keep them happy, healthy and flea free. ☺ ~ Vicki Lynch

I hope you found some helpful information in this post and that it found you (and your dog) healthy and TICK FREE!


aka Nicolle Bellefontaine, co-owner, The Chewed SlipperIMG_8030

RAW: Are you a ‘bad’ pup-parent for feeding kibble?

george bentRaw vs Kibble: Are you a bad pup-parent for not choosing to feed raw?

Like any diet for us humans, food trends are now popping up in the pet industry. Gluten-free, grain-free, breed specific and more. The current push toward feeding RAW has substantial traction. Given the high price tag and inconvenience, raw dog food must garner perceived impressive feeding results. The pros and cons of feeding raw can be debated with great passion.

For some dogs, feeding raw is optimal. But for many, dry kibble ultimately offers premium, balanced nutrition. Are all kibble equal? NOT A CHANCE! Which is probably why raw is garnering such interest: many dry dog and cat foods involve the use of corn meal, soy products, cellulose fibre (which part of the food pyramid does that fit?), by-products and other inferior ingredients along with questionable processing.

There is a profound misunderstanding about Pet Food regulations in Canada.  Many times, customers have issued concern that our dry pet food is manufactured in the United States.  We would love to support Canadian food brands but until Dry or Raw Pet Food is actually regulated in Canada, we will sell American brands.  Unlike here at home, in the United States ALL PET FOOD must meet AAFCO limits for vitamin, nutrient, mineral and nutritional minimums.  As well, all Pet food must meet FDA guidelines regarding pathogens such as listeria, salmonella, ecoli, etc. (Due to the high potential for pathogens, many Raw producers have difficulty meeting FDA guidelines).

Back here in the un-regulated pet food world of Canada, you need to be hyper-diligent when choosing raw pet food. Along with learning how to manage the fiber/mineral/vitamin balance that you may need to add and the financial cost, you also have to be very mindful of the myriad bio-hazards involved with handling raw pet food. Plus, ask your raw pet food outlet how temperature controls are managed when freezers are un-manned (ie: overnight power outages, etc).

Some foods are being touted as raw, but they have been processed in some way to help minimize the pathogen load.  High pressure pasteurization, freeze drying,  and irradiation are some of the methods used to help reduce the pathogen load to pass the FDA guidelines.  Some would argue that this is not truly raw, and the resulting product is similar to canned food or other traditional pet foods.

There have been many cases of dogs suffering from various health issues after being fed an insufficient or incorrect raw diet.  A great deal of science has and continues to go into pet food both canned and dry.

But back to dry dog food aka ‘kibble’….are you a bad pup-parent for choosing dry? When you use common sense and do a little bit of shopping around, you can find a quality, nutrient-dense kibble that will, literally, offer your beloved pet everything it needs! Processing is key as well: when the ingredients are cooked at proper temperatures for scientifically managed durations, your dog can enjoy a lifetime of quality nutrition. Did you know that certain foods actually need some element of cooking to release the nutrients? Carrots, broccoli, even some meat proteins require cooking. Independent research when offered both cooked and raw versions of identical meals, dogs preferred cooked over raw with the conclusion that for the dog, a cooked meal offers are more agreeable taste and odour. And unlike when you feed raw, cooked food means pathogens and bacteria are killed…keeping your dog safe!

Again, are you a bad pup-parent for feeding dry dog kibble…NO!!
Should you be pressured by well-intentioned friends, stand firm in the knowledge you have assessed the risks, the costs and ultimately the nutritive value of your chosen dry dog food and you know what is best for your dog.

And if kibble was so terrible why do the majority of  board-certified Veterinary Nutritionists choose dry kibble over raw?

Thank your friends for being concerned but that for you and your dog ‘kibble is king!’

Denmother aka Nicolle Bellefontaine

CUJO The Survivor!

10256952_10152034610722181_3617384673538344286_nCujo is a personality-packed 5 year old daschund…and beloved fur-kid of TCS Puppy Wrangler Laci. Barely four weeks ago, this sweet dash was rushed to Atlantic Veterinary College for emergency spinal surgery.  Diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease and suddenly paralyzed from mid-back, Cujo was struggling to breathe and even with the spinal surgery he was facing a less than 50% chance of regaining mobility.

Now, after just a few weeks of hydro-therapy (water-treadmill) and acupuncture treatments Cujo is actually walking on his own!!!   While he is able to walk (in a wobbly fashion), Cujo is still dragging his rear toes and will be spending part of his time motoring around in a wheel-chair.

7609_10152351847792181_3538506661186996460_nBelow are videos showing Cujo’s impressive results over the past few weeks.
And if you are interested in helping fund this extraordinarily expensive recovery, there is a GO FUND ME for Cujo here.

Denmother aka Nicolle Bellefontaine

Murphy’s Oil Soap & Your Dog

IMG_20150323_141115820First things first, I do not believe most dogs should be bathed too frequently. It is totally natural for dogs to retain some oils in their coats.  For longer coated dogs,  a good brush and a light mist of an all-natural canine scent (you can find many home-made recipes on Pinterest) usually does the trick.   For the ultra short coat, a warm, damp towel can do a nice job toward freshening up your sweet pooch.

However, there are times when your dog may be plagued with an oily coat and patches of flaky skin.  Usually this irritates the dog and the dog has a stronger odour than usual.

The cause of this could be dietary or something more involved and it is wise to talk with your veterinarian.
Until you visit with your veterinarian, you can bath your dog using Murphy’s Oil Soap.

Yep, MURPHY’S OIL SOAP for WOOD….and that comes from Dr.Jean Dodds!

Dr. Dodds has been a veterinarian, animal advocate and holistic pioneer for 50 years. A few years ago, Dr. Dodds was in Halifax for a two-day seminar. Among the myriad topics discussed was using Murphy’s Oil Soap to bathe dogs with oily coats/dandruff/hot spots. I was shocked at first (the whole room was a twitter, in fact) but I tried it on my Basset Hound and his dandruff did seem better.

I would recommend ensuring your dog is well-soaked and then use a diluted amount, followed by a very good rinse.
As well, this is not a bath I would do often….only when the coat is true need of a soothing and deep clean.

Now, you can google it for yourself and you will read all sorts of conflicting opinions on this practice…and that is what makes the world go ’round, as they say.

But if it’s okay for Dr. Dodds, then I think it is an option any pup-parent should explore.

And it bears repeating: if your dog is struggling with a greasy, flaky coat or troublesome hot spots, there is definitely an issue that needs to be resolved.  Your veterinarian should be open to examining this from all possible angles, including food sensitivity, thyroid-function, etc.

To learn more about the PAWSOME Dr. Jean Dodds, hit her BLOG!

– Denmother

aka Nicolle Bellefontaine

The Chewed Slipper

Tuscan Natural… The Power of Olive Oil & Your Pet

Many pup-parents struggle to break through the constant barrage of pet nutrition messages.

We totally get that.

So much so, that at The Chewed Slipper we did our research and listened to our pet food advisers. Clearly, there is much confusion in the market with an understandable fear of wrong ingredients or questionable processing.  Unlike most pet retailers, we only offer two brands of food….and the reason is simple: pick the best pet nutrition and offer it at the best price.

One of those food brands is Tuscan Natural. The corner stone of this extraordinary food is the inclusion of  premium olive oil. We know how awesome olive oil is for us humans and when added to Tuscan Natural it is awesome for our dogs and cats.

The team behind this innovative brand have extensive experience in creating tasty, holistic pet foods using safe and state of the art manufacturing.

What we love about Tuscan Natural is the flexibility.

For the chicken-sensitive dog (which is more common than you think) Tuscan Natural offers Simply Pure Lamb or Ocean Extreme hypo-allergenic formulas.

For the poultry-tolerant dog you can opt for the holistic delicious Harvest recipe, grain-free Carne or the hypoallergenic Simply Pure chicken.

These food formulas are designed to ensure each feeding provides maximum nutritional impact.

Ask yourself: am I picking up a lot of dog poop?

Yeah, that’s a gross but ultimately revealing question. The kibble brand you feed ideally should result in compact, firm stool. When this doesn’t happen it could be due to dietary sensitivity or ingredients which are essentially expensive filler.

Come by our shop at 937 Sackville Drive for FREE SAMPLES and straight talk. All of our staff have been trained to ask questions, listen and then give you a simple place to start from. At The Chewed Slipper we could sell you any bag of food…we would rather help you find the best darn nutrition you can find at a price that fits your family budget.

We may be a dog daycare but we have yummy, premium food for our Feline furkids, too!

-Denmother aka Nicolle Bellefontaine

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