Ask Chuck

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Other Questions

Dog Play and Color Changing Eyes


My granddaughter has a husky pit mix. He has light blue eyes, but the other day, they were playing and his eyes turned red. Not the whites, but the color went from blue to red. We they were done playing his eyes went back to blue.Is this something to be concerned about. I’ve never heard of a dogs eyes turning red except for the white area. He has also been wanting to fight our older smaller dog. The husky pit is only about a year old.


Hello Linda,

At the back of the eye, there is a layer of reflective pigment called the choroid layer. This mirror-like layer reflects available light and allows dogs to see well even in very dim light. In an eye with normal pigmentation the eye reflects a silvery greenish color in bright light. In eyes lacking pigment the eye reflection is red. Pupils dilate when dogs are excited, exposing more of the choroid layer and allowing for greater reflection. You don’t need a camera flash to see this – any light at the correct angle can make the dog’s eyes appear bright green or red!

As for the attitude, know that bully breeds have a different play style than most other dogs. When other dogs will make brief, jerky movements and have pauses in play to “check in” with their playmate and make sure everyone is still okay with the play behavior, many bully breeds don’t do this. Their play is constant and can come across as aggressive to dogs who aren’t used to it. When he’s getting excited and playing without pause, your older dog may be sending signals that the puppy isn’t picking up on or is reading incorrectly and reacting to. As a large dog is growing, they take time to realize how large they are in comparison to other dogs. As a puppy, it’s entirely possible that he has no idea how big he is or that he’s coming across badly. If you’re going to let them play, do so with supervision and distract them every few seconds to create the “break” in play that your senior dog needs.

Best of luck!

“The Chuck” | On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Potty training an already trained and small dog


My neighbor has a maltise dog that is not quite house broken and has problems. They think he’s about 2 years old now and the family needs help. What’s your advice? They have trained him but it’s not working for some reason. What’s wrong in this picture?


Hi, Yosef!

Without knowing what your neighbors have done, it’s difficult to give specific advice. Most of the time, dogs that are difficult to potty train are lacking communication with their guardians. How do they “tell” us they need to go outside, and are we “listening?” Is this a dog who regularly sniffs and circles, whines or scratches at the door and is let out quickly after doing so? Or is this a dog who quietly wanders to the back door, waits five minutes in silence, gives up when no human appears and then tinkles in the dining room? Learning what signals the dogs gives that he needs to go to the bathroom and then helping the dog connect that behavior with heading outside and getting praise and possibly treats to reinforce that pottying outside is a wonderful thing and doing so with the utmost consistency is the key.

Tiny dogs are more difficult to train as they potty so quickly that it’s difficult to catch them in the act and take them outside to finish. Many small dogs have a difficult time staying out long enough and relaxing enough to empty their bladder when it’s super cold as well. If they are unable to keep an eye on the little guy when he’s inside they could consider crate training him – going all the way back to the beginning of crate and potty training to help them reinforce positive behavior.

For marking behavior, using a Simple Solutions Pee Post outside and having the dog wear a belly band inside can work wonders. Additionally, a neutered male tends not to mark as much as an intact male. Keep in mind that there are numerous health concerns that can cause incontinence and encourage a visit to the vet to discuss these.

We wish the best of luck to your neighbors! Let them know their local Chuck & Don’s has several potty training and cleaning tools (Nature’s Miracle and Skout’s Honor!) as well as advice to help them out. Thank you!

“The Chuck” | On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

My dog keeps itching, why?


I am looking for a food for a recently adopted one year old Brittany. She is suffering from severe itching and vet has been unable to find cause. We are feeding her taste if the wild salmon based currently. Any suggestions


Hello Charles,


Thank you for contacting me regarding the issue you are experiencing with your dog.


I would suggest that you discuss your pet’s issues with your vet. I am not a vet but it does sound like it could be an allergy.  Sometimes the allergy could be the protein source of the food, other times it could be the treats.


An easy way to find out if your dog’s itching is related to an allergy is to change her food to a different protein source. So right now she’s eating salmon, I would recommend trying the boar or lamb. You can also consider a limited-ingredient diet for her.


Another option would be to change them to a raw diet. It’s a great way to get your dog the nutrients and moisture they need and it offers some alternative protein sources like rabbit or pheasant which can be harder to find in a kibble.


If you do choose to switch foods, I recommend you do it slowly over a two-week period of time, so start by adding 5% of the new food in with their old kibble for the first day or two and then up it to 10% and so on until the dog is 100% onto the new food. While you should see results in as little as two weeks, there could still be flair ups for the first three months.


When determining what is causing the itching, be sure to take away all treats and chews except for ones that have the same ingredients as the food. I would recommend using their dog food kibble as a treat. You could even give her pieces of apple, bananas or blueberries. Also, if you choose to not take treats away, keep in mind that even though the food is grain free, the treats or people food she receives may have grains. Grains are a culprit for itching. Make sure anything she receives is grain free.


If you stop into the nearest Chuck & Don’s store, a Team Member would be happy to help you choose a new food for your dog.


“The Chuck” | On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

When do quarterly rebates get mailed out?


When do quarterly rebates happen?


Hello Eileen,

Quarterly rebates that are in the Barkin Mews get mailed out around the middle of January, middle of April, middle of July and middle of October.

“The Chuck” | On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Does Chuck & Don's sell skijoring gear?


Do you sell skijoring harnesses for dogs, belts for the people, and the bungee type leash (within the rule requirements length) required for your Feb 2017 skijoring event in Minneapolis? If not in stock, how long to order and price? If no, where is the best place to buy this? I would rather support a local business than a big online store if I can. : )


Hi Anja,

Thanks for reaching out and for your interest in skijoring!


We do have some Skijoring harnesses we can order for you from the store. Here is the information on them below along with prices.

Thanks and good luck at the event!


Ultra Paws:

784079001891 Regular Each Ultra Paws Two Dog Tow Line, 8 feet $34.99
784079001907 Regular Each Ultra Paws Double Neck Line $12.99
784079001877 Regular Each Ultra Paws Tow Line, 10 feet $24.99
784079001860 Regular Each Ultra Paws Tow Line, 8 feet $21.99
784079003680 Regular Each Ultra Paws Tow Line, 5 feet $18.99
784079001846 Regular Each Ultra Paws Skijor Belt, XLarge $74.99
784079001839 Regular Each Ultra Paws Skijor Belt, Large $74.99
784079001822 Regular Each Ultra Paws Skijor Belt, Medium $74.99
784079001815 Regular Each Ultra Paws Skijor Belt, Small $74.99
784079001808 Regular Each Ultra Paws Skijor Belt, XSmall $74.99
784079001853 Regular Each Ultra Paws Skijor Package $129.99
784079002133 Regular Each Ultra Paws One Harness, Huge $31.99
784079002126 Regular Each Ultra Paws One Harness, Large $29.99
784079002119 Regular Each Ultra Paws One Harness, Small $27.99


The Skijor package is an 8 foot tow line, a large harness and a medium hip belt.


Ruff Wear:


Code Color Size UPC MSRP
Omnijore™ Joring System        
30401-615S Red Currant Small 748960963767 $175.99
30401-615M Red Currant Medium 748960073299 $175.99
30401-615LL1 Red Currant Large/X-Large 748960940027 $175.99
Omnijore™ Hipbelt        
30401HB-615 Red Currant   748960877057 $69.99
Omnijore ™ Towline        
30401TL-035 Granite Gray   748960153786 $49.99
Omnijore ™ Harness        
30401H-615S Red Currant Small 748960949457 $74.99
30401H-615M Red Currant Medium 748960286361 $74.99
30401H-615LL1 Red Currant Large/X-Large 748960993795 $74.99

Which healthy treats are best for training?


What healthy treats do you recommend for training purposes?


Hi, Barb!

There are so many wonderful, healthy treats on the market today! The best treats for training purposes tend to be small, soft, and rather stinky as smell is the number one motivating factor for a dog when they’re deciding if they want to put something in their mouth. Even the smallest training treats can be cut to make them smaller – ideally about the size of a pencil eraser. Fruitables Skinny Minis, Cloud Star’s “Tricky Trainers” or “Wag More, Bark Less” treats, Zuke’s Mini Naturals, Plato’s Small Bites, and the Wellness soft Petit Treats are just some of the many options in the “soft and stinky” category that can also qualify as healthy options.

In an ideal world, you’d have four or five different options in your training pouch at any one time so they can’t predict what they’re getting next. Predictability isn’t exciting or motivating for most dogs, so grab a couple of brands and some different flavor options and (most important) have fun! Stop by your local Chuck & Don’s and chat with an associate about all of the options and flavors available.

What can I feed my overweight cat this isn't a prescription diet?


Good day!

I need a recommendation on cat food. I have two 7 year old female litter mates. They are indoor cats. Both need to shed some weight. My vet has them on Prescription Diet, Metabolic, Weight Management, dry cat food. They have been losing weight slowly, but still need to lose more. I used to have them on a Hairball Control food, as one of my cats has longer hair and used to cough up hairballs before the new food.

Honestly, I just can’t afford the cost of the prescription food anymore. But, I need something that is healthy and will help them.

Can you recommend something similar that I can get at your store?




Hi, Molly!

For weight loss and hairball issues, we’d consider looking at a low- to no-carbohydrate dry food and adding a wet food into the mix. If your foods are high enough in fiber and moisture, the hairballs shouldn’t be an issue and if we do our best to reduce ingredients that are can pack on the pounds (carbs), we’ll hopefully be reducing weight as well. Next time you stop in, also take a minute to look at some of our interactive toys and feeders for cats that help them “hunt” for their food. Increasing activity and eating healthy are typically the secrets to healthy weight for us and our pets are no different! We look forward to helping you pick out some fun options for your girls!

Does Chuck & Don's carry Purina EN?


Do you carry Purina EN?


Hi EJ,

Thanks for reaching out! We do not carry Purina EN as that is a prescription diet and only available through veterinarians. Please check with your vet if you are interested in trying it out. Thanks!

What do I feed my dog with GI and heart issues?


I have a 12 yr old cavachon who has recently had GI and heart issues rear up. First the GI problem appeared and then his heart got bad.(bad diarrhea and enlarged heart). We stopped the Fromm grain free food. Went to Science ID. He won’t eat it anymore. Tried Nurtisource grain free. He liked it x2 days. We tried Fromm again. Tried adding low sodium chicken broth too. We can’t get him to eat. What can we feed him? He needs food 2x per day in order to get his needed heart meds.
Mary Jo


Hi, Mary Jo!

Often, medications can change an appetite. If the heart meds cause an upset tummy or if there’s an upset tummy for another reason, most aren’t really interested in food. Think about when you have a GI upset: a bland diet feels best! Most of us don’t go out for chili and pizza when we aren’t feeling well and most kibble is akin to asking a dog with an upset tummy to do just that. Maybe try Sojo’s turkey, Grandma Lucy’s chicken (there are two varieties we carry), or The Honest Kitchen’s chicken? All of them are easy to swallow, easy to digest, and most dogs find them to be rather palatable. Adding in some Steve’s Cannagurt to stimulate appetite and introduce some probiotics certainly wouldn’t hurt. Primal also makes a goat’s milk product that can be wonderful for irritable tummies. There are many options that will be low in sodium to account for the heart condition while helping you get something nutritious in his tummy. Stop by your local Chuck & Don’s and ask us about our rehydrated foods to get you started.

Are treats affecting my dog's booty scooting issues?


Does the Minneapolis location sell bison treats for small dogs? I am open to suggestions, but my dog’s food is bison so I thought he might better tolerate bison treats? He is doing a lot of booty scooting, even weeks after a vet visit to express his anal glands. It seems linked to his treats, both beef and turkey.

Thank You!


We would recommend skipping treats for a week and seeing if there is any improvement. If there is no improvement, withhold treats for up to a month, replacing them with kibble or with a Kong (fill it with non-fat, sugar-free, plain Greek yogurt and freeze it). If you still aren’t seeing improvement, it isn’t likely to be related to his treats. There are two ways to go at this point: increase his dietary fiber or decrease it. If he’s on a moderate fiber diet (in the 4% range) he could go either way and it may be a bit of trial and error. We can definitely help you find a food with lower or higher fiber or recommend supplements to increase the fiber if you want to stay on the same food. Manually expressing the anal glands can be irritating and scooting, just like licking or tail chasing, can become habitual. If it is only a problem when he gets treats, we can absolutely find some bison treats for you, even if it means ordering them in! Northwest Naturals and Raw Bistro both make bison treats that are single-source protein and rather limited ingredient. Both are carried at our Calhoun location. If you’d like more options, please call or stop in and let us know! We’re happy to do the research to keep your little guy happy!