This is me and my husband, Frank, with our three dogs, GG, Tuffy and Ellie. Thanks to Venture Photography, Westport CT, for the photograph!
My three beautiful Bichon Frises are my loving companions and dear friends, so I am fortunate to live close to an amazing retail store that caters to the health and wellbeing of companion animals: Earth Animal, in Westport, Connecticut.
In business for thirty years, this groundbreaking concept is the brainchild of Dr. Robert Goldstein, V.M.D., a holistic veterinarian, and his wife, Susan. Authors of the book The Goldstein’s Wellness & Longevity Program, the Goldsteins have made natural care for dogs and cats their lifelong mission. Dr. Bob promotes abundant health in animals through a carefully considered program of healing and nutrition that ensures a long and healthy life for animal companions. Sue operated the retail store for many years; today, their daughter Merritt manages the store, its mail order division and their website, www.earthanimal.com.
Earth Animal opened in 1979, and was the first true health food store for animals in America at that time. Sue began the store with a concept, designed the interior, then went searching for organic products to fill it, only to find there weren’t any! She found herself making custom flea collars the old fashioned way: by hand rolling the collars in herbs to repel parasitic pests, she would dip the collars in wax, one by one, serving her grateful customers who were among the first in the nation to be aware of the dangers of pesticide and nerve gas exposure.
The basic concept behind Earth Animals is loving, gentle care of our guardian animals, based on a proper diet of whole foods made with vitamins and minerals, food supplements to boost the immune system, and herbs and brewer’s yeast to fight fleas and ticks.
One of their most popular products is an herbal powder formulated for both cats and dogs. Brewer’s yeast and herbs used as a food supplement work to strengthen the blood and immune system, creating a natural, powerful barrier against disease and parasites. Although topical chemical products often produce multiple side effects, such as seizures, vomiting and damaged kidneys, Earth Animal’s natural products are effective and 100% side effect free.
Whether visiting the Earth Animal store or buying products available nationwide through their website, www.earthanimal.com, there is an awareness that every dog and cat has unique nutritional and emotional needs. Sue describes the staff at Earth Animals as healers, not cashiers. An affiliated service offered through Dr. Bob’s office, the Healing Center for Animals Natural Pharmacy, offers nationwide phone consultations with conventional as well as holistic veterinarians, teaching them how to use nutrition as a healing modality. As cancer has become endemic among companion animals today, many of the consults focus on how to support an animal through a regimen of a whole food diet, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, herbs and homeopathic supplements working in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, depending upon the family’s choice.
The store and website offer organic and premium foods, including those specifically formulated by Dr. Bob, such as Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo is named for company owners’ Bill and Jackie Bishop’s large breed Airedale, Blue. After Blue had a bout with cancer, the Bishops found that veterinarians are concerned about the increases in environmental toxins and their effects on animals. They consulted with Dr. Bob and decided to make a food with ingredients to nourish dogs and cats, along with ones that are scientifically shown to provide an extra level of protection against environmental toxins.
Blue Buffalo food is made with real chicken, lamb or fish, plenty of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit. The secret ingredient? LifeSource Bits, a precise blend of nutrients and antioxidants that are cold-formed for greater potency. (You can read more about Blue Buffalo at www.bluebuffalo.com.)
Cold-formed, living nutrients are also the concept behind Earth Animal’s Daily Health Nugget, a vitamin/mineral supplement created with living, uncooked, nutrients. The store and website have chewies and treats made from free-range, hormone free beef and chicken, and a bakery section filled with adorable cookies made from vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potatoes.
Earth Animal also has a line of shampoo called Clean Dog, a wild bird department for feeding and attracting avian friends to your garden, and much, much more! I invite you to visit their website, and if you are lucky enough to live close enough for a store visit, to stop by and say hello to Merritt, Chris, John, Betsy and Jamie, the resident animal healers who are there to help you.