Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe: Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween is a Spooktacular time of year filled with costumes, candy, and all things eerie. While humans enjoy the festivities, our furry companions may find this holiday to be more of a trick than a treat. From strange costumes to tempting candy, Halloween can pose various risks to our pets. There are valuable Halloween safety tips that ensure your four-legged family members have a howling good time without any scares.

Costume Considerations

Dressing up our pets in adorable costumes is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Halloween. However, not all pets enjoy the experience, and safety should always come first. If you decide to dress up your pet, keep these tips in mind:

When determining the best costume, know that comfort is key. Choose costumes made of comfortable, breathable materials that don’t constrict their movement or impair their vision. Make sure there are no small parts they can chew on or swallow. Consider a costume that is just a head piece or a portion of a full costume so your pet can still move around, but also be part of the fun.

Acclimating your pet to his costume will enable a better experience during Halloween. Introduce your pet to their costume gradually. Let them wear it for short periods before the big day, and always monitor their behavior. Start with your pet wearing part of the costume and then introducing other parts gradually. If they seem stressed or uncomfortable, it might be best to skip the costume.

Think about the safety of your pet. Ensure that the costume doesn’t have any loose strings or pieces that could pose a choking hazard. It is common for pets to chew and eat things that are not food. Be especially cautious with masks that can obstruct breathing or vision. Make sure all elements are the costume allow blood flow and are not constrictive.

Keep Candy Out of Paw’s Reach

Halloween candy is delicious for humans but potentially toxic for pets. Chocolate, in particular, can be dangerous, even fatal, for dogs and cats. Other candies, like those containing xylitol, can also be harmful. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Secure Candy

Keep all Halloween candy well out of your pet’s reach. Store it in a high, closed cabinet or container that they cannot access. Along with any candy received during trick or treating, also consider candy that is left in a bowl for Halloween visitors.

2. Educate Your Guests

If you’re hosting a Halloween party, inform your guests about the dangers of sharing candy with your pets, even if they beg with those irresistibly cute eyes. Don’t leave room for gray areas when it comes to candy and pets. Explain that your pets should not be fed at all by guests.

3. Be Vigilant

Despite your best efforts, accidents can happen. If you suspect your pet has ingested candy or chocolate, contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital immediately.

Halloween Decorations

From glowing pumpkins to eerie cobwebs, Halloween decorations can be intriguing to our pets. However, they can also pose risks

Halloween brings on scary scenes throughout your yard and house. Often, they will be illuminated with candles and flames. If you use candles to light up your jack-o’-lanterns or decorative displays be sure to never leave them unattended. Pets can easily knock them over and cause a fire hazard.

Pets don’t just ingest food and will chew on decorations within the house. Some Halloween decorations, such as certain types of pumpkins and corn stalks, can be toxic to pets if ingested. When planning out the décor, within your house, be sure to place those out your pet’s reach.

Some pets chew on everything and often on things we don’t want them to chew on like shoes and furniture. Many pets chew out of boredom while puppies may find chewing soothing for their puppy teeth. Halloween decorations can pose a threat to chewing pets. Ensure that electrical cords and lights are securely fastened and hidden from your pet’s curious paws and chewing teeth. Chewing on cords can lead to electrical shock.

Noise and Stranger Danger

Trick-or-treating can be overwhelming for pets due to the constant doorbell ringing and strangers in costumes. Here’s how to minimize the stress:

Conclusion

Halloween can be a delightfully spooky time, but it’s essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of our beloved pets. By following these Halloween safety tips, you can ensure that your furry friends enjoy the holiday without any ghoulish surprises. Remember, a little extra precaution goes a long way in making Halloween a treat for both you and your pets.

Fall Grooming Pet Care: Keeping Your Furry Friend Cozy and Clean

As the autumn season blankets the world in a tapestry of rich colors and crisp air, it’s a timely reminder that our furry companions require extra care and attention during this season. While fall brings cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes for us, for pets, it can mean specific grooming needs and adjustments. Below is a comprehensive set of grooming tips tailored specifically for the fall season, ensuring that your four-legged friends stay content, healthy, and looking their best as the leaves fall and temperatures drop.

Brushing for Fall Fur

Fall marks the season of shedding for many pets as they prepare their coats for the colder months ahead. Regular brushing is an essential element of fall grooming, offering a multitude of benefits for your pet’s well-being.

Beyond merely removing loose fur, brushing plays a critical role in preventing matting, a condition that can lead to discomfort and even pain for your pet. The act of brushing also helps distribute natural oils evenly throughout your pet’s fur, contributing to a healthier, shinier coat. Notably, consistent grooming sessions can reduce the presence of pet hair and dander in your home, offering welcome relief to allergy sufferers. Perhaps the most delightful aspect of grooming is that it fosters a deeper bond between you and your pet, as these shared moments become opportunities for connection and trust.

Bathing with Care

While frequent bathing isn’t generally required for most pets, the fall season may bring situations where bathing becomes necessary for their comfort and health.

If your pet is prone to allergies, triggered by autumn allergens, a bath can be a soothing remedy. It can help remove allergens from their fur. Additionally, as fall ushers in rain and muddy terrain, a gentle bath can help ensure that your pet remains clean and comfortable. Always opt for a pet-specific shampoo, ensuring that the water temperature is pleasantly warm to avoid discomfort during the bath.

Moisturize Dry Skin

As the autumn air turns crisper, it can lead to drier skin for your pet. This can cause itchiness and discomfort. Combatting this issue requires a multi-pronged approach.

One effective strategy to facing dry skin is consulting your veterinarian about adding omega-3 fatty acids or other supplements to your pet’s diet. These supplements can work wonders in promoting healthy skin and a glossy coat. They often come in different forms and application methods so be sure to consider what will work best for your pet.

Using a humidifier in your home can introduce moisture into the air, which benefits both you and your pet. The extra moisture will not only help your pet’s exterior skin, but it can also benefit mucus membranes inside your pet’s nose. This will help your pet feel more comfortable and breath easier.

For specific skin issues like dryness or allergies, specialized products like hypoallergenic or medicated shampoos and conditioners might be beneficial. Be sure to seek your vet’s counsel before introducing new grooming products into your pet’s routine.

Paw and Nail Care

Fall presents changes to your pet’s paw and nail care routine, necessitating a bit of extra attention to keep them comfortable and healthy.

As the season ushers in cold, dry weather, your pet’s paw pads may become prone to cracking. To combat this, apply a pet-safe paw balm regularly to keep their pads moisturized and well-protected. Or protect the paws with booties. Prevention is the key to keeping your pet healthy during the change of seasons.

With your pet spending more time indoors during the cooler months, their nails might grow longer than usual. This can lead to discomfort or injury. Ensuring regular nail trimming is essential to avoid these issues.

Be vigilant of your pet’s paw care. After each outdoor adventure, make it a habit to inspect your pet’s paws carefully for any debris like leaves, thorns or ice. Debris can lead to irritation and discomfort if left unaddressed.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Even as the temperature drops, the threat of fleas and ticks remains. To safeguard your pet’s well-being, it’s vital to maintain preventive treatments consistently throughout the fall season.

Fleas and ticks can lurk in various outdoor environments, even in cooler weather. These parasites can bring discomfort and potentially transmit diseases to your pet. Maintaining a regular flea and tick prevention regimen, such as topical treatments or collars recommended by your veterinarian, is crucial. Additionally, consider thoroughly checking your pet for these pests after outdoor outings, paying special attention to areas like the ears, neck, and paws. By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your furry friend enjoys a pest-free and comfortable autumn.

Conclusion

The fall season is a magnificent time, filled with cozy moments and exciting outdoor adventures. Your pet deserves to enjoy it to the fullest. By implementing these fall grooming pet care tips, you can ensure that your cherished companion stays clean, comfortable, and healthy as the leaves fall and temperatures dip. Remember, your veterinarian is an invaluable resource for personalized grooming advice tailored to your pet’s unique needs. Embrace the season together, forging lasting memories that will warm your heart for years to come.

 

Grooming for Specific Breeds or Coat Types

Grooming is an important part of caring for your dog. It not only keeps them looking their best but also helps to maintain their health and well-being. Different breeds or coat types require different grooming techniques and tools to keep them looking and feeling their best. This will review brushing, bathing, and grooming needs of several popular breeds based on their coat type.

Short-haired Dog Breeds

boxer dog, short haired coat, grooming

Examples of short-haired breeds

Short, smooth coats that are easy to maintain

  • Boxers
  • Beagles
  • Dobermans

Grooming Tips for short-haired breeds

Though they have shorter hair, they still require regular grooming to keep their coats shiny and healthy.

  • Brush at least once each week
  • Use soft-bristled brush to remove loose hair and dirt
  • Rubber grooming mitt helps distribute natural oils throughout their coat, giving it a healthy shine

Bathing Recommendations for short-haired breeds

  • Don’t require frequent bathing as their short coats don’t accumulate a lot of dirt or oil
  • When they get dirty, bathe with a gentle dog shampoo

Medium-haired Dog Breeds

Australian Shepherd, Medium Coat Breed, Grooming

Examples of medium-haired breeds

Medium-length coats that require a bit more attention than short-haired breeds

  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Huskies

Grooming Tips for medium-haired breeds

This breed and coat type requires more attention and a different technique

  • Brush at least twice each week
  • Use pin brush to remove any tangles and mats
  • Slicker brush can be used to remove loose hair and to smooth out the coat

Bathing Recommendations for medium-haired breeds

  • Should be bathed every 4-6 weeks
  • Use a mild dog shampoo
  • Apply a conditioner to help detangle the coat and make it easier to brush
  • Brush before and after bathing

Long-haired Dog Breeds

Afghan,Hound, Long Haired Coat

Examples of long-haired breeds

Long-haired breeds require the most attention when it comes to grooming

  • Shih Tzus
  • Maltese
  • Afghan Hounds

Grooming Tips for long-haired breeds

This breed requires daily attention for grooming and brushing

  • Brush daily
  • Use slicker brush and comb to prevent tangles and matting
  • De-matting tool can also be used to gently remove any mats or knots in the coat

Bathing Recommendations for long-haired breeds

  • Should be bathed every 3-4 weeks
  • Use a gentle dog shampoo and conditioner
  • After a bath, a leave-in conditioner can be applied to keep the coat silky and smooth

Wire-haired Breeds

Wire Haired Coat, Schnauzer, Terrier, Wirehaired Daschund

Examples of wire-haired breeds

A wiry, textured coat the requires special attention

  • Terriers
  • Schnauzers
  • Wirehaired Dachshunds

Grooming Tips for wire-haired breeds

This breed and coat type requires more attention and a different technique

  • Brush at least twice each week
  • Use slicker brush to remove any loose hair and to prevent matting
  • Stripping comb can also be used to remove dead hair and to keep the coat looking neat and tidy

Bathing Recommendations for wire-haired breeds

  • Should be bathed every 4-6 weeks
  • Use a dog shampoo specially formulated for their coat type
  • After a bath, a leave-in conditioner can be applied to soften the coat and make it easier to brush

Curly-haired Breeds

Bichon Frise, Curly Haired Coat, Portuguese Water Dog, Poodle

Examples of curly-haired breeds

Curly, wavy coats that require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling

  • Poodles
  • Bichon Frises
  • Portuguese Water Dogs

Grooming Tips for curly-haired breeds

Regular grooming is necessary for this coat type

  • Brush at least once a week
  • Use slicker brush and a comb to remove any tangles and mats
  • A de-matting tool can also be used to gently remove any knots in the coat

Bathing Recommendations for curly-haired breeds

  • Should be bathed every 2-3 weeks
  • Use a dog shampoo designed for their coat type
  • After a bath, a leave-in conditioner can be applied to keep the curls defined and moisturized

 

Conclusion on Grooming for Dog Breed and Coat Type

In conclusion, grooming is an important part of caring for your dog, regardless of their breed or coat type. Regular brushing, bathing, and grooming not only keep them looking their best but also helps to maintain their health and well-being. By understanding the unique needs of your dog’s coat, you can ensure that they receive the proper care they need to look and feel their best. Find a professional dog groomer who can help you navigate the care that your pet needs and ensure they are getting what they need as often as they need it.

Tips for Dealing with Shedding

As pet owners, we all know that shedding is a natural phenomenon that comes with the territory. However, it can be frustrating to deal with all the fur that ends up on our floors, furniture and clothing. Shedding is a common problem for most animals, including cats and dogs. Understanding why shedding occurs and how to deal with it can make a big difference in keeping your home clean and your pet healthy.

Why animals shed

Shedding is a natural process of hair growth that happens to all animals. Just like humans, animals have hair follicles that produce new hair cells. As the new hair cells grow, the old ones die and fall out, which is what we refer to as shedding. Shedding tends to be more pronounced during seasonal changes, when an animal’s coat adapts to the changing weather. This is why you might notice your pet shedding more in the fall and spring months.Why animals shed, Cat Shedding

Understanding the causes of shedding

There are several factors that influence how much an animal sheds. Genetics play a big role in determining the thickness and length of your pet’s coat. Some breeds are naturally heavy shedders, while others have short, fine hair that doesn’t shed very much. The environment also plays a role in shedding. Poor nutrition, stress, and health problems can all contribute to excessive shedding. Regular grooming and proper nutrition can help alleviate these factors.

Tips for dealing with shedding

1. Grooming

Regular grooming is the best way to control shedding. Brushing your pet’s coat once or twice a week will help remove loose hair before it falls off around your home. Use the appropriate brush for your pet’s coat type, as some brushes are designed to be more effective on longer hair. Additionally, bathing your pet once a month can help reduce shedding and keep their coat clean.

Dog grooming, Dog shedding. Tips on Shedding.

2. Vacuum regularly

Vacuuming is essential to keeping your home free of pet hair. Make sure to vacuum floors, carpets, and furniture regularly, especially if your pet sheds excessively. A high-quality vacuum with a HEPA filter is ideal for removing pet hair embedded deep in carpets and upholstery.

3. Diet

A healthy diet is essential for your pet’s overall health and can help reduce shedding. A good quality pet food provides the necessary nutrients for healthy skin and fur. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the best diet for your pet.

4. Supplements

Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, and vitamins can help support healthy skin and coat, which can reduce shedding. Consult with a veterinarian before giving your pet any supplements, as they can interact with other medications.

dig shedding, cat shedding, how to decrease shedding, tips on shedding

 

In conclusion, shedding is a natural occurrence that all animals go through. Regular grooming, proper nutrition, and a clean environment can help reduce shedding and keep your pet healthy. By understanding why shedding occurs and how to manage it, you can help keep your home free of pet hair and your pets healthy and happy!

All About Doodles

Doodles are quite the rage in the canine world nowadays. They are a mixture of two purebred dogs, and this combination has brought together some of the most adorable and intelligent beings on earth. Doodle dogs are typically a hybrid between a Poodle and any other dog breed, resulting in an amazing breed of dogs with unique characteristics. We will take an in-depth look at this breed to include their history, appearance, personality, behavior, training, care, and health issues.

History of Doodles

Doodle dogs did not originate from a single breed of dogs; instead, they were created from crossbreeding between two different breeds. The first Doodle dog appeared in the USA in the 1980s, which was a mix between a Poodle and a Golden Retriever. They were initially bred to create hypoallergenic dogs that could be used by people with allergies. Because Poodles possess a non-shedding coat, breeders would mate them with other breeds with the hope of producing puppies that have a low shedding rate. doodle, labradoodle, history of doodle

Appearance of Doodles

Doodle dogs come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. The appearance of a Doodle dog depends on the type of Poodle that’s crossed with the other breed. There are three types of Poodles: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. Most Doodle breeds are a cross between a Poodle and a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever. These dogs generally range in size from small to large.

Here is an overview of some different types of Doodle dogs and their appearances:

Most Common Doodles: Goldendoodle, Labradoodle, Cockapoo, and Bernedoodle

 

Personality and Behavior of Doodles

Doodle dogs possess excellent personalities that make them famous across the world. This breed is generally known for its affectionate nature towards humans, making them suitable family pets. Doodles are also intelligent, calm, and gentle dogs that get along well with children and other animals.

These dogs require a lot of socialization to ensure they develop excellent behavior since they can become anxious and shy if they are not adequately socialized during their early life. It is therefore necessary to introduce them to as many different people, places, and things as possible.

Training Doodles

Doodle dogs are highly trainable due to their intelligence and eagerness to please their owners. Since Doodles have Poodle genes, they are considered one of the smartest dog breeds, and this makes them easy to train. If trained properly, Doodles can learn basic obedience commands quickly.

Positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise work best when training Doodle dogs. Punishment-based techniques like shouting, hitting, or using shock collars should be avoided as they are harmful and counterproductive. Doodles also have a high energy level, and it is essential to provide them with enough exercises daily. Long walks, trips to the park, and playing fetch are excellent ways to burn off their excess energy.training a doodle, labradoodle

Caring for Doodles

Grooming Doodles

Doodle dogs have curly, woolly, or wavy coats that require regular grooming. Grooming helps to prevent matting, shedding, and skin problems. Brush your doodle dog’s coat daily or at least twice a week with a slicker brush and a metal comb. Ensure that you brush all the way down to the skin to prevent matting. Remember to check their ears regularly for wax buildup, and clean them gently with a damp cloth. Also, trim their nails once every two weeks to prevent overgrowth and cracking. Grooming is an important part of your doodle’s well-being, working with an experienced pet groomer will ensure you are meeting his needs.

Grooming a doodle, cockapoo

Exercise for Doodles

Doodle dogs are active and energetic dogs that require ample exercise to stay healthy and happy. Aim to give your doodle dog at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as a brisk walk, a hike, or a game of fetch in a fenced-in yard. Regular exercise not only helps to keep your doodle dog fit but also improves their mental health by reducing anxiety and stress. Dog daycare programs are a great way to help your doodle exert energy while providing socialization with other pups.

Doodle Nutrition

Feeding your doodle dog a balanced and nutritious diet is critical to their overall health and wellbeing. Choose high-quality dog food that contains essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Avoid foods that contain fillers, artificial preservatives, and flavors. Also, avoid overfeeding your doodle dog, as they can quickly become overweight, which can lead to health issues such as joint problems, heart disease, and diabetes.

Healthcare Considerations for Doodles

Regular veterinary care is essential to maintain your doodle dog’s overall health and detect any health issues early. Take your doodle dog to the veterinarian for annual wellness exams, vaccinations, and preventive care such as flea and tick control. Also, keep your doodle dog up to date on heartworm prevention medication to prevent heartworm disease.

Doodle dogs are a popular breed of crossbred dogs between different breeds of poodles and other dog breeds like golden retrievers, Labradors, Bernese mountain dogs, and others. These breeds are known for their adorable looks and loving temperament, making them one of the most appealing dog breeds to own. However, despite their popularity, doodle dogs are prone to several health issues that potential owners should know before bringing them home.

Healthcare Considerations for Doodles

In conclusion, doodles are wonderful pets that come in different shapes, sizes, colors and types. They are popular dogs with great personalities; intelligent, calm and gentle. This type of dog requires specific care including extensive grooming and exercise to enable them to thrive. This proper care will extend their life and ideally prevent them from encountering potential health conditions that doodles are prone to. Overall, a doodle can be a perfect fit for a pet parent!

 

Basic Grooming Techniques

Grooming is more than a bath and haircut. Pets have other maintenance needs which can vary based on their breed, coat type or age. Through a grooming consultation your pet’s grooming needs can be assessed. Typically the groomer will get to know your dog and his or her lifestyle. They will discuss any sensitivities and assess the condition of your pet looking for matting, shedding, tartar on teeth, condition of their coat and skin, and evaluating any crust on eyes and build up on their ears. A thorough consultation will help you, as the pet parent, and the groomer determine the best services to keep your pet healthy.

There are many options for a pet beyond a haircut – anal gland expression, Shedicures, nail trimming or grinding, teeth brushing, hand stripping, facial scrubs, and a handful of different shampoos to help specific conditions. If you are unfamiliar with the options and what they can do for your pet, we’ve put together this helpful list.

Anal Gland Expression

What are the anal glands in dogs and cats?

Animals, like dogs and cats, have two small pouches, located on either side of the anus, at approximately four o’clock and eight o’clock positions. The walls of the sac are lined with a large number of sweat glands that produce a foul smelling liquid.

What happens when they expresses their glands?

The purpose of a dog of cat expressing their glands is to create this liquid that has a unique smell as a way for the animal to “mark its territory”. Some can involuntarily express when they are fearful or become stressed.

Why would a dog or cat need to have their anal glands expressed manually?

Some pets need help expressing these glands as they can become impacted, painful, or uncomfortable. Signs of this include:

Signs of Impacted Anal Glands and when to Express Anal Glands for Professional Grooming

Do all dogs and cats need this?

Many pets can go their lifetime without any anal gland issues. Not all need an expression and it can vary dog to dog. It is more common in small dogs need it as their gland area is much smaller.

Can my groomer help with anal gland expression?

Groomers are recommended to only do external gland expression. Some anal gland issues may need to be expressed internally if severely impacted. In those instances, a vet would be recommended.

 

Shedicure

What is a Shedicure?

Most dog breeds have different types of hair on their bodies: 1) the topcoat or primary hair, 2) the undercoat or secondary hair, and whiskers. The undercoat, as the name indicates, is the part of a dog’s coat that is closest to their skin and under the topcoat. The main function of the undercoat is for insulation to keep your dog warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Throughout the seasons, a dog will shed to accommodate the weather and new hair growth. It is important to address the removal of both the undercoat and topcoat. The Shedicure is a de-shedding process that helps remove a dog’s undercoat.

Double Coated Dog Breeds, shedding and how to de-shed.

How is a Shedicure different from brushing?

A Shedicure helps any impacted hair loosen and come off the dog especially in the undercoat. Brushing will only remove a minimal amount of the top layer of undercoat. By removing shedding hair in the undercoat you are preventing matting and other issues from creeping up.

When do you recommend getting a Shedicure?

A Shedicure is great for any dog experiencing a lot of shedding that may be noticeable if there are clumps of fur stuck in the coat. It is also recommended for those double coated dog breeds.

Are there particular breeds that are good candidates for a Shedicure?

Yes! Akitas, Huskies, German Shepherds, Pomeranians, or any of the double coated dogs both large and small. Here is a link to the double coated breeds by the AKC.

Is this beneficial to non-double coated breeds?

While the Shedicure is primarily for the double coated dogs, it can also benefit single coats as it helps remove the dead coat that may be stuck in the dog’s fur.

 

Nail Trim & Nail Grind

What are the parts of a dog or cat’s nail?

Cat and dog toenails are made of keratin, just like human nails. They are oval; wider at the toe and narrower as they grow out. Inside each nail is the quick, a highly sensitive bundle of nerves and blood vessels. If the quick is cut or injured then it will bleed

Parts of a Dog or Cat's nail

Why should I trim or grind my pet’s nails?

If nails are long enough to touch the floor they will eventually push back against a dog’s toes. This puts pressure against the other structures of the paws. As the nail grows longer it can cause the toes to push apart and deform the feet. This is painful for your pet and may prevent them from being able to play, run or even walk.

What is the difference between the nail trimming and nail grinding?

Both options are effective ways of keeping your pet’s nails short. Nail trimming with leave the nails sharp and pointed on the sides, but is a less noisy option. Nail grinding will make the nails smooth and blunt, but may not be suitable to a dog who is afraid of noises.

 When do you recommend one versus the other?

Nail grinding is usually recommended as the nail gets shorter to the quick as there is a bit more accuracy and control to it.

 How often should I shorten my pet’s nails?

The frequency of nail clipping or grinding depends on how long the dog’s nails are. In an ideal condition every 3-4 weeks would be best or when you start hearing the “tick” of your dogs nails on the floor.

 What else should I know about this?

Nail grinding is ideal for older customers and those with small children as it helps soften the pet’s nail and prevents injury if the pet is prone to jumping.

 

Teeth Brushing

Cat and Dog Teeth Brushing. How to brush a pet's teeth

Why should you brush your pet’s teeth?

When a pet’s teeth gets coated in plaque and tartar their gums will get inflamed. This can lead to tooth loss. Receding gums, caused by periodontal disease, can permit bacteria access to the bloodstream which can lead to infections. Teeth brushing is the most effective tool in decreasing plaque buildup before it becomes tartar.

When is teeth brushing recommended?

You should brush your pet’s teeth on an on-going basis as part of general maintenance. It is extremely important for a pet that has minor tartar build up on their teeth or just had a dental cleaning done.

Should this be done in a grooming salon versus at home?

Ideally teeth brushing should be done both at home and in a grooming salon. For those who may not be comfortable with brushing their pet’s teeth, a groomer is a great resource to provide guidance.

How often should you brush your pet’s teeth?

Ideally you should brush your pet’s teeth at least once per week.

Anything else?

Teeth brushing is ideal when a home schedule is followed as well. It can help with freshen up a pet’s breath when done frequently.

 

Hand Stripping

What is hand stripping?

Hand stripping is the process of excess dead topcoat, without clipping. It leaves room for the new coat to grow and gives a more natural look. The process keeps the dog’s coat tidy and healthy, leaving it strong and shiny.

When would this be recommended?

Hand stripping is the correct way to groom a wired coat breed. Hand stripping mimics how a dog’s coat would be maintained in the wild and will keep the proper breed look.

Are there types of breeds that benefit from this?

Hand stripping is more about the coat type then the breed. Dogs with wire coats like terriers as well as hound and toy breeds that are hand stripped for the show ring.

What else do I need to know about hand stripping?

Hand stripping is a long process and can take multiple visits to achieve the desired look. Some breeds require hand stripping as a breed standard over clipping the back for show.

 

 

Shampoos 

Does it matter what type of shampoo I use on my dog?

Like humans, a pet’s skin and coat can differ based on many factors. There are many types of shampoos available to meet your pet’s needs. These shampoos can cleanse your dog’s coat of germs and insects, and add nutrients and vitamins to keep it healthy. The type of shampoo, used on your pup, depends on his needs. Here are some of the differences among these different products and what they can do for your dog:

 Dog and Cat Shampoo Types and When to Use Them

Are there specific issues that a dog can have that would require a specific type of shampoo?

Each shampoo is formulated to aid a specific condition. Your groomer will assess your pet’s coat and skin, prior to a groom, to determine the best shampoo for your pet.

Is there anything else I need to know about choosing the right shampoo for my pup?

Each dog is unique along with their coat and skin needs. Finding the proper shampoo, designed to meet your pup’s needs, will make him feel his best and contribute to a healthier pup. Sometimes it may require a combination of shampoos to get the best overall outcome for your dog.

Facial Scrub

What is a facial scrub and what does it do?

This gentle scrub is pH balanced to exfoliate and remove dirt, tear, and food stains. It is made with plant derived ingredients that are safe to use on your dog’s face and chin. And it smells great!

When is this recommended for a pup?

Usually this is recommended for dogs that “cry” excessively or to in order to give a dog a pamper session. The blueberry facial is a key player in helping clean a pup’s face.

Anything else I need to know about facial scrubs?

If used frequently the blueberry facial can help reduce the tear staining commonly seen in breeds like the Shih-Tzus and Poodles.

Are there any other grooming add-on services that should be highlighted?

Paw pad and nose creams are great to know about – especially for the winter season. These help to soften and hydrate the paw pads and noses for pups. It is beneficial especially if you notice cracking or roughness on your dog’s paws.

Conclusion on Grooming Services

Grooming your pet means that you are maintaining your pet’s health. It is more than just a bath and a haircut and can tend to your pet’s teeth, coat, skin, nail and many more needs. Each pet is different and certain breeds may require other services more than others. Your professional groomer will assess your pet’s needs as part of your pet’s FREE initial consultation at Best Friends Pet Hotel.

Contributing Author:
Bobbi-Jo Bouchard has worked in the pet industry for over 15 years. She started out as a pet bather and moved onto grooming. She currently leads the Springdale Best Friends Doggy Daycare & Spa as the Center Manager. She has had a least one dog in her life at a time. Currently she has 4 (Roxas – Siberian Husky/German Shepherd, Axel – Cocker Spaniel, Shiva – Chihuahua mix, and Lexy – Whippet). Her heart and passion will always be with animals!

Winterize Your Pet

Dog and Cat preparing their coat for winter

As we head to cooler temps, now is the time to prepare for your pet’s needs. While most people routinely winterize their house, cars and wardrobe, it is absolutely essential to include your pets in the winterization process.

All pets should have wellness check-ups by their vet to ensure they are ready for winter. Cold weather can further irritate arthritis and other medical conditions and make it more difficult for your pet to regulate their body temperate.

Make sure your furry friend is protected from vents that can be blowing hot and cold air which can be drying to their skin and coat as well as drafts that can make them susceptible to colds. Certain parts of their body are more impacted by the weather than other parts including paws, noses, and ears.

Paw Rescue

Paw protection is vital in winter as snow, ice and rock salt for deicing can damage paw pads and can cause a chemical burn. Dog paws may become dry, chapped, itchy, flaky and downright painful due to walking directly on cold snow. Their paws need protection.

Pure and Natural Pet offers an award winning USDA Certified Organic Paw Rescue balm. It features organic Beeswax that creates a natural barrier between your dog’s paws and the snow. Their new and improved container allows for easier application. It has healing and moisturizing properties to help combat skin dryness associated with this time of year. Make sure to reapply the balm after returning from walks.

Dog's paws are sensitive to winter conditions. This paw may become dry, chapped, itchy, flaky from walking outside in the snow.

Nose Rescue

Cold winter weather and wind can impact a dog’s sensitive nose, and forced air indoors can further dry a sore and chapped nose. A “weathered nose” can appear cracked and crusty. A dry, winter nose can be kept clean and healthy by applying a thin layer of Pure and Natural Pet’s USDA Certified Organic Nose Rescue.  Nose Rescue hydrates skin while creating a protective barrier that won’t clog pores.

You may be tempted to use your own sunscreen or lip balm to treat your dog’s crusty nose. Human products are only tested for use on humans and often have chemicals or perfume that can be harmful for pets.

A dry, winter nose can be kept clean and healthy and is essential to winterizing your pet.

Pet Wipes

A Pet Wipe allows you to quickly remove ice, salt, chemicals, and caked-on mud. It’s important to wipe between the toes to remove debris. Cleaning up paws will not only protect your floors, but also will allow you to see any paw problems that might need attention while preventing others from developing. Caked on dirt may hide wounds and chronically dirty feet can cause inflammation and abrasions.

Pure and Natural Pet makes Grooming & Cleansing Pet Wipes that are larger than other wipes and biodegradable. They have antibacterial properties and remove odors exceptionally well, while soothing and hydrating delicate skin that can become dry from the elements. Their wipes are also free of sulfates, parabens and alcohol that can be harmful to your dog and the environment.

Ear Cleansing

Due to the lack of blood vessels in a dog’s ears, they can get chilly after only a few minutes and are susceptible to frostbite damage. This dog's ears should be dried and cleaned after going outdoors to ensure safety.

Like humans, dogs react to extreme temperature changes. Due to the lack of blood vessels in a dog’s ears, they can get chilly after only a few minutes and are susceptible to frostbite damage. It’s important to clean your dogs’ ears when they’ve been playing outside in the wet snow or ice. Added moisture is a common cause of painful ear infections, so be sure to thoroughly dry your dog’s ears after going outside in the winter. Best Friends Pet Hotel’s Grooming Salons use Pure and Natural Pet’s USDA Certified Organic Ear Cleansing Kit to naturally clean and heal your dog’s ear. The dual-sided medical grade Pure Tips clean while the Witch Hazel and Mullein Oil Ear Serum deodorizes and disinfects.

Waterless Shampoo

When it’s cold outside it may not be ideal for your pup to have a “traditional” bath especially if you are in the habit of letting them dry out in the sunshine.  When it’s chilly outside you need bath options. It’s important to keep up a grooming routine even during the winter months not only to help keep your dog smelling fresh but also to help prevent fleas, prevent matting, and notice any lumps and bumps that your dog’s winter coat might hide.

Best Friends Pet Hotel’s Grooming Salons have a waterless option for pets made by Pure and Natural Pet. It is a great option as it helps lift out oils and dirt without the need for a rinse.  It’s a stress and mess-free way to keep your dog clean and smelling fresh between baths. It is also great for cats who tend to be difficult bathers. Their natural, no-rinse formula is blended with lavender and chamomile to soothe and moisturize your pet’s skin.

Conclusion

The cold weather can have a negative impact to the sensitive areas of your pet including their paws, nose and ears. Ensuring you keep up with their grooming maintenance is key to their health. Best Friends Pet Hotel Grooming Salons use Pure and Natural Pet products to protect them from the elements and avoid injury or infection.

About Pure and Natural Pet

Best Friends has thought a lot about how we can give the best to you and your pets. That’s why we are proudly partnered with Pure and Natural Pet. They are passionate about Organic Pet Wellness & Grooming and are:

  • Industry Leaders in USDA Certified Organic
  • Ingredient and Education Focused
  • Proudly USA Made & Cruelty Free
  • Award Recipients for their Winning Formula

Learn more about their products or book a grooming appointment at Best Friends Pet Hotel.

 

 

Reproduced with permission from Pure and Natural Pet (https://pureandnaturalpet.com/)

Winter Coat Care – Five Must Know Tips

Cold winter weather is hard on skin and hair for pets as well as for people. Just as the low humidity of heated indoor air dries out your skin, it can also dry out your pet’s skin and create static in his coat. With a little extra T.L.C, during the winter months, however, you can help to keep your pet comfortable and maintain his skin and coat health. These five simple tips will benefit your pup during the winter months.

Do Shampoo!

Contrary to popular opinion, your pet does need regular bathing, throughout the winter months, to keep his skin and coat healthy. In fact, if done properly, frequent shampoos and conditioning can help to reduce dryness, matting and cold weather related skin problems.

Be sure to use a quality shampoo that is specifically formulated for pets. Though it is tempting, don’t use human hair products on your pet. Animals’ skin has a different pH and products, formulated for human hair – even for babies – can be too drying for them.

Follow Up with a Conditioner

Always follow the shampoo with a conditioning rinse. The winter season is dry and it pulls moisture from anywhere it can – including your dog’s skin and fur. This can lead to dandruff, irritated and itchy skin, and fur that doesn’t keep your pet as warm as it should.

Shampooing rids your pup of anything that is an irritant on his coat. However, the shampoo process also strips oils from the skin and fur. Conditioning replaces those oils and alleviates itchiness. As an added benefit, well-conditioned fur also keeps away those alarming wintertime static shocks. No one likes an unexpected shock!

If your pet’s skin is especially dry, give him a moisturizing treatment: apply the conditioner thoroughly, then wrap your pet in a towel to keep him warm while allowing the conditioner to penetrate for five minutes (much like you might do when applying a deep conditioner to your own hair).

You can shampoo and condition your pet as often as weekly, if you use the appropriate products, but once a month is adequate. This will keep your pet clean and odor free, while controlling dander and shedding. The dryness, from winter, will not be as impactful to your pet’s coat with a consistent bathing schedule.

Brush, Brush, and Brush Again

Frequent brushing is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer, especially on longer-coated breeds. Before bathing your dog, you should remove tangles and loose hair in order to prevent matting. Matting is a major cause of skin problems during the winter months. Matts prevent airflow and trap moisture, which create bacteria. This can cause redness and irritation and make your pet uncomfortable.

While brushing regularly will prevent matting, it also has a secondary benefit to aid your pet during the winter months. Regular brushing, with a soft bristle brush, stimulates the natural oils in your pet’s skin and helps to counteract dryness keeping your pet more comfortable. The more often you brush, the better – let the fluff fly!

Keep Them Warm

Finding the proper balance for your dog’s coat length is important in the winter. While maintaining his haircut schedule is essential, cutting too short may have a negative impact.

Long-haired dogs need their fluff and fur to maintain their body temperature. A dog’s coat is designed to protect them from the elements of winter; therefore removing fur, through shaving, affects their built-in heating system. Dogs that may be more prone to “shaved hairstyles” (like poodles) should wear sweaters or winter jackets so that they can thrive outside as much as dogs that have a full coat of fur.

If your pet is a breed that requires regular trimming, it’s important to maintain his haircut schedule year-round. Don’t allow his hair to “grow in for the winter” unless you are prepared to brush him daily to prevent matting. Those, concerned about your pet being cold, can help him bundle up with a sweater or jacket – a better option than letting his fur coat get too long creating tangles and matts.

Visit a Professional Groomer When Necessary

Maintaining your pet’s skin and coat be a challenge for you or you may feel that it is too messy to do in your home. Long-haired breeds may require detailed grooming that a skilled groomer can do with ease. Also, during grooming appointments, you can keep up-to-date on other important aspects of your pet’s care like teeth brushing and paw health. This one-stop scheduled maintenance program for your pup will ensure your pet thrives in the winter.

If you are new to the idea of getting your pet professionally groomed, you can start by visiting one of our centers to get a free consultation. Our groomers will take a look at your pet and determine his needs and the best process and timing to meet his needs. You will have an opportunity to ask all of your important grooming questions and discuss what is important to you.

In Conclusion

The winter months can be drying and harsh on your pet’s coat. By keeping your pet clean, brushed, and warm you can protect your pup and meet the winter months head on. You can jump into the snow pile together, roll around making snow angels and enjoy the winter months while keeping your pup healthy through a consistent grooming schedule.

 

Puppy 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Caring for Your New Puppy

new puppy

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting, but sometimes overwhelming experience. Whether this is your first puppy or it’s been a while since you’ve had a pup, we’d like to help by answering the most common questions and offering tips to ensure you give your new pet the best care possible.

 

What do I feed my puppy?

puppy food

There are many choices out there in dog food, so it can be tough to feel confident you’ve found the right food to nourish your puppy. For starters, it’s important that you feed a high-quality food that is specially formulated for growing puppies. This food will have higher protein and fat levels, added DHA and EPA, and other vitamins and nutrients (such as calcium), all perfectly balanced to provide proper nutrition during growth.

Puppies’ nutritional needs change quickly as they grow, so be sure to revisit the amount you’re feeding frequently to make sure your pup is getting the proper amount for their growth stage. If you have a large breed puppy, like a lab or a golden retriever, you’ll want to avoid overfeeding, as this can cause issues with bone development as your pup grows.

Your puppy’s food will be complete and balanced, providing all the nutrients he or she needs in the correct proportions. While it might be tempting, you should avoid switching between foods or feeding table scraps because these can lead to a very picky eater in the future! Plus, some people foods can cause stomach upset and some can even be toxic. If you do give your puppy a little something on the side, we recommend these treats and other foods make up less than 10% of a pet’s daily food intake. And If you must switch your puppy’s food, be sure to gradually change the foods over two weeks to avoid an upset stomach.

 

When should I transition from a puppy formula to an adult food?

puppy

Our recommendation is that your pup should stay on puppy food until they are full grown, but know that “full grown” varies significantly depending on the breed. Many are done growing and can change to adult food by a year old, but some large breed puppies, such as Great Danes, will continue to grow for up to two years!

 

How do I set my puppy up for potty training success?

puppy potty training

Potty training is a much happier adventure for all involved when you make the experience positive by encouraging your pup when it succeeds rather than scolding when it has accidents. Puppies are still developing the muscles they need to hold their urine for the first 12 weeks, so you’ll need to take them out frequently and praise them when they go outside. Eating usually stimulates movement through their system, so you should take them out within 20 minutes after mealtime. It’s also a good idea to take your puppy out after sleeping, drinking, and playing. And always try to give a verbal cue such as “go potty” that the puppy can catch on to, along with plenty of praise as soon as they have gone.

Always keep your puppy in your sight while potty training to foster success. This is easier said than done, we know. So if you find that your puppy has had an accident and urinated or pooped inside, do not punish them after the fact. The puppy will only understand why you are upset if you actually catch him or her in the act. If you do catch your puppy going in the house, immediately interrupt the behavior with a verbal “no,” and take him or her quickly outdoors to finish. Be sure to offer plenty of praise when he or she goes outside.

Any time you’re not able to supervise your puppy, he or she should be kept in a crate. Puppies become comfortable and consider the crate their safe place to rest. They are also less likely to go to the bathroom in their crate as long as it’s not too big. For optimal success, you should allow your puppy to go to the bathroom before putting him or her in and as soon as they come out of the crate. Short periods of time in the crate will help your puppy learn to hold off until an appropriate potty time is offered. Another benefit of crating your puppy is that it prevents them from chewing on or eating things in the house while you’re not looking.

Remember that puppies often make mistakes during potty training, so do your best to keep up the positivity! If training seems to be really off course, it’s always good to check with your vet to rule out medical causes for the challenges. A professional trainer can also help smooth out the process if issues persist.

 

What can I expect from visits to the vet?

puppy vet clinic

You should schedule a vet visit as soon as possible after getting a new puppy and do whatever you can to make every vet visit as low-stress as possible. Be sure to give plenty of praise (and treats!) to make each visit a positive experience. This will help your puppy see the vet as a normal outing rather than an unpleasant experience as they grow older.

The vet will give your puppy a physical exam to look for any problems he or she may have been born with (such as hernias, luxating patellas, soft spots on their head, heart murmurs, etc.) or any other medical issues. In addition, your vet will deworm your puppy and get you started on a proper vaccination schedule. You’ll also want to talk about having your puppy spayed or neutered at the appropriate age.

Vaccinations are a proactive way to protect and support your puppy’s immune system from exposure to new diseases. Your veterinarian will create a plan for your puppy based on your unique lifestyle and routines, but they usually start vaccines around 6  to 8 weeks of age and booster them every 2 to 3 weeks until they’re 16 weeks old. It’s important to follow your vet’s plan as getting all recommended boosters in with the correct intervals will ensure your puppy is fully protected. Some vaccines are considered core vaccines (rabies, distemper combo vaccine) and are given to almost all puppies. There are other non-core vaccines (bordetella, lyme, lepto, influenza) that are given based on an individual puppy’s chance of future exposure. This often depends on where you live and what your puppy will be in contact with, both in the environment and from other dogs. For example, does your puppy spend almost all of their time inside or do they go to dog parks or a groomer? Will you take them for a hike in the woods every weekend? Your vet will also likely start your puppy on a heartworm preventative and possibly a flea and tick preventative regimen.

Because they are so little, puppies can get sick quickly. Watch for any diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, lethargy, sneezing, coughing, discharge from the eyes or nose, fever, decreased appetite, limping, or general changes in health or behavior. Contact your vet right away if you notice any of these.
Always remember that your vet is your ally, and you both want the best for your puppy. If you have questions about something or if you miss a vaccine booster or dose of preventative medication, be sure to check in with your vet. They will be happy to get you back on track.

 

Time for training!

puppies playing

It’s important to socialize puppies with people and dogs, but be careful about who you introduce your puppy to until they’ve gotten all of their puppy vaccines at 16 weeks. Until then, it’s best to keep your puppy in a fenced-in yard and only let them interact with fully-vaccinated dogs. You’ll want to avoid places where other dogs frequent (such as dog parks and pet stores), and carry them in and out of vet clinics to help reduce their exposure to diseases.

Puppy classes are strongly encouraged for training and socialization, and reputable classes will require that all puppies be up-to-date on vaccines. These classes are great for both you and your puppy, and they will foster a positive long-term relationship by teaching you how to communicate and interact with each other.

Your puppy will lose its baby teeth and get adult teeth throughout its first eight months. Chewing and biting is a normal play behavior between puppies, and it provides relief to pesky teething pain. You can teach your puppy that biting you is inappropriate using a high-pitched sound to mimic the noises puppies use with each other when playtime gets too rough. Immediately give your puppy a toy to play with and praise them for playing with the toy.

 

Brushing up on grooming tips

puppy grooming

Now is the perfect time to get your puppy comfortable with things they will encounter in the future, such as vet visits, nail trims, ear cleaning, and brushing their coat and teeth, so they will not be afraid of these things as an adult dog. Trimming nails can be done at home, but ask your vet to show you how.  Cutting them too short can cause a bit of pain and bleeding, and it might make them wary of nail trims in the future. It’s also great to get your puppy used to daily tooth brushing. Dental disease can be detrimental to the body later in life, so keeping the teeth clean is a great way to keep them healthy. You can use a regular toothbrush or a finger brush, but be sure to use toothpaste specially made for dogs because human toothpaste is toxic to pets.

Puppies can be messy, but we only recommend giving a full bath every two weeks if possible. More frequent baths can dry out the skin. Between baths, you can spot wash your puppy as needed. It’s important to use a shampoo that’s made for dogs because the pH of their skin is different than that of people, so our soaps and shampoos can dry out or irritate their skin.

 

Anything else I should know? I’m a bit overwhelmed!

puppy beagle

Exercise, plenty of toys, and playing are important to keep your puppy’s mind stimulated. Gradually introduce exercise (but don’t overdo it) and keep a close eye on your puppy when it’s playing with toys. Remove any strings or small parts that can come off the toy, as they can cause choking or blockages in the intestines if swallowed. Always supervise your puppy if he or she is playing with plush toys. Their sharp little teeth can cut through and get the stuffing and squeakers out easily, and these can be hazardous when swallowed.

Most important of all, enjoy your puppy! Take lots of pictures to look back on later. They don’t stay small for long, and there’s nothing better than puppy kisses to brighten any day.

 

Best Friends Pet Hotel – Puppy Wellness Resources:

Puppy Play Group

Give your puppy a strong foundation for life! At our Puppy Play Group sessions, your puppy gets to play in a supervised pack environment that teaches them proper socialization, manners and play skills to prepare them for adulthood.

Click here to learn more about Puppy Play Group and to book a reservation.

 

Puppy Nutrition

We are proud to have partnered with Freely® – our Exclusive Nutrition Partner – to offer pet food recipes (for puppies and beyond) that are made with limited, purposeful ingredients.

Click here to learn more about Freely.

 

Puppy Grooming

Whether you need a quick shampoo or “the works, our expert groomers will make your furry friend fabulous. Each appointment includes a free consultation to discuss your pup’s personal grooming needs. Bonus: First time puppies receive a discounted bath for only $10 and a discounted bath and haircut for only $20!

Click here to learn more about grooming and to book a reservation.

 

Vet Clinics

In conjunction with Vetco, we offer vaccination and wellness services, monthly, in almost all of our convenient locations.

Click here to learn more about our vet care, see our upcoming clinic dates and locations, and to make a reservation.

 

 

Blog Post Source: https://freelypet.com/blogs/nutrition-articles/puppy-101-a-quick-start-guide-to-caring-for-your-new-canine-companion

 

 

How to Maintain a Long Haired Coat (Dog Grooming)


Looking for some coat maintaining tips from our groomer, Val, to keep your pet feeling good? Check out this video on how to maintain a long haired coat as we work our way through a grooming session with our pal, Levi. Happy brushing!

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