Weekend before last, Mickey and I went to Chicago to attend the PET EXPO. Well, actually, it was our 6th anniversary and we thought this would be a good opportunity to take a long weekend and combine business and pleasure. We went to the Pet Expo on Friday and did some exploring on Saturday and we ate. A lot.But, back to the Pet Expo. I’ve been doing some reading this year about advances in nutrition and supplementation for senior pets and non-medical ways to help dogs with separation and anxiety. Here are a few things I learned:1) Probiotics may hold part of the answer to a lot of gi/skin and other problems in dogs. That’s a big word that means adding the right “critters” to your dog’s gi system through his or her food. There are all sorts of products out there, but making sure that the critters are “live” is the key. While they come in all sorts of formulations, a spray product that is highly palatable with the appropriate numbers of organisms is easy to dispense on top of food. I brought some samples home to try.2) Supplements for separation anxiety were everywhere. Names like calming, soothing and anxiety relief were on a lot of products. I visited with a number of companies to see what kind of data they had on the reliability of their products. All of them but one said that they work in some dogs and not in others and that’s been my experience, too. I did find one company that stands behind their product to guarantee it, though. It’s a combination probiotic and calming supplement that you sprinkle on top of food. I brought some samples home with me.3) There are also a number of wound care products on the market, including several that were developed by veterinarians. These are made of natural components without out antibiotics or other prescription medications. Since we see the usual run of cuts and scratches (and Tanner can get a scratch walking across the yard in bubble wrap), I brought some samples home to try.4) Toys! Wow, there were a million kinds of toys out there, some that would last about 2 seconds with Tanner and a few that just might last a while. I ordered a sample of a ball that is meant for tough chewers and a couple of cases of some cool and durable balls for our retail area. I can’t wait to see what you think about them!