Diet and Care for your pet
Top 10 Pet Health Tips
Just like children, dogs and cats need to visit
a medical professional once a year, and not just for their
shots. While vaccination is an important part of routine care,
regular visits to the veterinarian allow them to be screened
for a variety of diseases, and provide owners with the best
possible information about caring for their dog or cat.
Exactly Is Dog Grooming?
Laura Wright Sounds like a very basic question,
doesn't it? Dog grooming is far more than washing your dog!
You need to pay attention to all aspects of the dog's anatomy,
and now is the time to do it! Grooming is an important part
of keeping your dog happy and healthy. I am constantly asked
so many questions about how, where and when to groom, so I
put some of the basics together for you here.
Starting at the top, and moving down, first check the
eyes and ears. Are the eyes clear and bright? Is there any
discharge, or excessive tearing? Once checked, apply a thin
coating of Vaseline around the eye area, to keep water and
soap out when you bathe.
Now, the ears. Most of us don't pay attention to an animal's
ears, but there is a lot that can go wrong in there! First,
look at the external ear. Is there dirt visible? If so, dampen
a washcloth with warm water, and gently scrub. If there is
a lot of grime, add a bit of shampoo. You can also purchase
special cleansing cloths made for this job, but baby wipes
work just as well, and are much less expensive. Use unscented,
as the dog doesn't like the perfumes in many baby products!
Now, sniff. Smell the ear canal. If there is a foul or bad
odor there, it could be trouble. Get your dog into a vet for
treatment as soon as possible.
A dog's teeth need attention, too, though not as much
as a human's! Check to see the condition of your dog's teeth.
Are they discolored, or covered with tartar? Use of a dental
product made to reduce tartar can do wonders! I love DentaBones,
made by Purina. They are available in a variety of sizes,
and really do the job. If there are teeth that look dark,
or there is a bad odor, you may need a professional to tend
to your dog's teeth. Schedule a trip to the vet for a dental
check-up. It isn't expensive, and may end up saving your dog's
and Nail Grooming
Brushing your dog before the actual bathing will help
eliminate mats and stickers that are in there, as well as
removing a lot of dead coat that can mat up when bathing.
Now, check your dog's toes. Check between the toes for foxtails
and other weeds that can get wedged in there. Trim the nails
if needed. Some dogs absolutely hate having their nails trimmed,
and will put up quite a fuss. If it is too hard to do, take
your dog to a groomer, or the vet. It is really cheap to clip
the nails, and they can do it fast and easy. I have three
dogs who make it sound like I am torturing them when I even
think of trimming their nails! For about $10, you can have
it done without the muss and fuss
First, wet the coat thoroughly. If the dog shakes off
the water, wet it again. A great way to keep the dog from
shaking off the water is to place your hand along the dog's
back. This usually works. Next, add the shampoo. Do this like
you do to your own hair, by pouring some between your palms
and applying to the coat. An easier way is to add water to
the shampoo, and pour that over your dog. Do NOT apply straight
shampoo directly to your dog, as it tends to 'cake' there,
and won't rinse off fully. Lather up, and rinse off well.
Run your hands all over, to make sure all the product is off.
When washing the dog's face, gather up lather in your hands,
and use that on the face and ears. It is easier to rinse off,
and less likely to leave residue, and it cleans well.
to dry! If you are lucky and have a blow dryer made for pets,
you can dry the dog in a matter of minutes. I recommend investing
in one if you have more than one dog. They can run a couple
hundred dollars, but are a godsend, especially if you have
a 'coated' breed, or one that sheds heavily. You can actually
'blow' the dead coat out easily, and get more out than by
brushing or raking can. If you don't have an air blower, a
regular hair dryer will work. Make sure it is set on 'cool'.
Towel out as much of the water as possible, then blow the
you're ready to groom your dog like a pro! Good luck to you!