Pet Nutrition and More at Godfrey’s Welcome to Dogdom
Aug 01, 2019 11:29AM
By Kyle Hass
Barb Emmett’s passion for helping dogs began with rescuing golden retrievers and advocating for designated off-leash dog parks. Those efforts led her to open Godfrey’s Welcome to Dogdom canine lifestyle business in 2004, and she hasn’t been bored since.
“We’re all about doing what’s best for the dog and trying to move people along to learn about healthier choices they can make,” she says. “We want to provide customers with tools and knowledge to help them discern better food, supplements and toys.” Emmett specializes in helping canine parents find natural ways to improve nutrition and pinpoint allergies common in dogs that cause skin conditions, recurrent diarrhea, fleas and ticks.
Emmett carries the NutriScan food sensitivities and intolerance test for pets, invented by pet health expert Dr. Jean Dodds. The kit helps eliminate guesswork by testing 24 possible food allergens. Customers send in the pet’s saliva samples and get a detailed report. Also available is the 5Strands Affordable Testing fur analysis, where customers can send in strands of pet hair to receive a detailed report for environmental and food sensitivities.
Emmett emphasizes that sometimes a natural approach can be taken first to cure a problem before conventional treatment is needed. In her view, the best of both worlds is integrative care, looking to find and treat the root cause of a problem, thus in many cases avoiding conventional treatment using a chemical drug or prescription diet.
“The old adage ‘food is medicine’ holds true,” she says. “I help pet parents move forward in a logical way through nature, diet and food to stop the cycle of chronic disease.” She also suggests people ask their vets about titer testing, which can check a pet’s blood for bacteria or disease.
Emmett has noticed pet parents become more aware of food additives and recalls, so she carries brands only from smaller pet food makers whose companies she has investigated and trusts. She also networks with peers in her industry and well respected veterinarians and specialists in the sphere of integrative canine care to get their take on health and wellness issues.
“I have to dig even deeper, because big pet food companies are trying to get on the natural foods bandwagon, but they don’t always do it right,” she notes. Emmett carries dry kibble and canned foods from independent brands like Fromm and Nature’s Logic; dehydrated and freeze-dried raw foods from The Honest Kitchen; Stella & Chewy’s dehydrated raw food; and My Perfect Pet and Allprovide gently cooked food.
The largest growth for her customer base is in commercial raw diets, like Answers Pet Foods and Smallbatch. Also of increasing interest are brands with special formulas like ketogenics and low-glycemic diets, which can help dogs with cancer, and low phosphorous diets, all to offer dogs gently-cooked or raw foods for specific dietary needs.
She also designed materials to guide customers on how to look at foods and what to incorporate into homemade balanced meal plans, and how to incorporate pasteurized eggs, kefir, fish protein, supplements, fermented raw goat’s milk or bone broth into the pet’s diet for thyroid, digestive and omega-3 fatty acids support.
Emmett also carries canned and dry cat food; natural and raw dog treats; nontoxic dog toys and leashes; chemical-free flea and tick solutions; and pet-themed home décor and jewelry. She offers one-on-one dog training and dog playgroups that match pet personalities. She hosts a monthly cable TV show, Dog Is Family, which can be found on BCTV.org. “I want to present great information to people so they can move forward,” Emmett concludes.
Godfrey’s Welcome to Dogdom is located at 4267 New Holland Rd., Mohnton. For more information, call 610-777-5755 or visit GodfreysDogdom.com.
Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.