In this week’s episode of Raising Your Paws Podcast, Number 20, we were talking about who comes up  with the recipes for your pet’s meals.

You can hear this episode by clicking this link.

Speaking about the origins of things, “Know Your Source” is the NutriSource Pet Foods, tag line.  What does this mean exactly?

It’s you knowing:

Nelson Family

1.  Who is making the food your pet will eat  and knowing some things about them.

2.  Where the food is being made.

3.  What are the ingredients that provide the proper nutrition, health benefits and good taste for your pet.

4.  Where the ingredients are coming or sourced from.

5.  How the food is made.

Here’s the who.

It’s the Nelson family.  They are the owners of Tuffy’s Pet Foods, and the whole kit and kaboodle, the people, the pets and the plant are all up in Perham, Minnesota. That’s about three hours north of Minneapolis.

The Nelsons, manufacture all of the three brands, NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet Pet foods for dogs and cats and they own the plant. Yay for excellent quality control!

From the NutriSource Pet Food website, here is a bit of their story.

“We are three generations of families located in Perham, Minnesota producing healthy pet foods since 1964. Here is our story – we hope you will be part of our future.

Our story starts in a tree. When Darryl Nelson (our founder) was a boy, he suffered a fall from a tree that most young kids would have been sent to the doctor. Instead, he brushed himself off and kept right on playing earning him the nickname “Tuffy”. The name stuck, and in 1964, Darryl and his son Kenny started Tuffy’s Pet Foods. Now Kenny’s son Charlie is at the helm, working side by side with generations of other Perham families.

Tuffy’s Pet Foods exemplifies the heart of Perham and small towns everywhere: compassion, integrity, and a deep-rooted sense of community guide our choices. Being family owned means we can make decisions based on what’s best for our employees, our community and our ultimate customer—family pets!

When you travel through the region, we hope you will stop and learn what makes Perham, MN unique. Charlie Nelson would tell you it is the community of families, working side by side, for generations, dedicated to producing pet foods for the long term health of family pets that sets Tuffy’s Pet Foods apart.”

Here is the link to their website page about the family and their history that lets you know a little more about them.

I’ll write more in future blogs so you know some really cool things about why the pet food plant is the state-of-the-art, what makes some of the ingredients so special and the actual community outreach activities that the Nelsons are involved with and care about.


Additional Resources for the Podcast Episode Number 20.

Title:  Increase Your Dog’s Confidence with a Trick of the Leash & There May Be Bugs in Your Pet’s Food in the Future…But That’s a Good Thing. 

Source for the puppy story from Turid Rugass, dog trainer and animal behaviorist. Barking, The Sound of a Language” by Turid Rugass.

If you have any stories about your dog being fearful while on the leash, write me at

Guest, Dr. Greg Aldrich, PhD.  

Dr. Greg Aldrich.

Kansas State University  Pet Food Program Website Page.  







Here is the list of steps to take if you suspect your cat or dog, may be going into shock after an injury.

Check these two vital signs.

a. Look at your pet’s gum color. In the early stage of shock the pink part of the gums will be redder in color.  In the middle and end stages of shock the gums will be paler, whiter in color.

b. Check the capillary refill time.

Capillary refill refers to the blood flow in the cells. Normal time is about one and a half seconds – no more than two seconds.

Check this by lifting the top lip of your pet, use your thumb to lightly press on the gum above the upper canine tooth. When you press, the pink color will blanch white. Take your thumb away and count how long it takes the gum color to come back from white to pink. (or whatever the gum color is when your start this.)

The normal time is less than two seconds. In early shock, the time will be about that,  1-2 seconds. In early and late shock, the time will be longer – three – six seconds. In general, the longer the capillary refill time, the more severe the shock.

c. Plan to transport your pet to the vet. Shock is a serious medical condition.

d. If your pet is lying down:

  1. Help keep your pet from getting overly cold or hot. Place something like a blanket between your pet and the surface of the ground.

2.  Maintain an open airway so they can breathe. Do this by keeping their head tilted forward and if needed pull their tongue forward out of their mouth.

3. Elevate your pets hind end slightly if this will not cause further injury to its body.

e.  Do not give anything to your pet to eat or drink in case your pet will need surgery.


To take a Pet Tech, pet CPR and first aid class:

If you live in the Chicagoland area or will be visiting,  I, (Susan Frank) am teaching two classes in the fall.

McHenry Community College

8900 U.S. Highway 14

Crystal Lake, Illinois, 60012

  1. Knowing Your Pet’s Health – this is a mini-pet wellness workshop teaching vital signs and the snout-to-tail pet assessment.  Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  2. Pet CPR and First Aid – this is a 6 hour class that will be taught over two evenings. Tuesday, Oct 23 and Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. both nights.

Go online or phone for more details and to register. Visit or call 815-455-8588. 

For finding a class near you in the United States and other countries, go to

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