A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
In order to be healthy, whether human or canine, one must do regular grooming. Dogs, not unlike teenagers, may need a little gentle coaxing, but will benefit greatly from simple at-home regular grooming. The more often you groom, the more conditioned they get to the treatment (literally and figuratively!), so start early and lather, rinse and repeat often.
- Brush your dog’s fur.
This seems like a simple step, but it’s important. Many dogs simply love the attention that regular gentle brushing gives them. Dogs with undercoats benefit greatly by regular brushing, especially in the spring and summer when they are shedding their winter fur. Brushing a dog is not unlike brushing your own head, in that it helps spread natural oils and loosens up dirt or debris. This is also a great time to check for fleas/ticks and to see if your dog has any tender areas that may need to be checked out by a vet.
- Bathe them regularly.
Scrub-a-dub-dub and get the dog in the tub! Dogs roll in the grass and dirt, play in the bushes, dig in the mud and lay on the ground. All that dirty play has an effect on your dog’s coat. Fur is like a sponge and regular bathing can keep dirt from building up, which might lead to irritated skin and excessive scratching. Make sure the water is lukewarm and always use a gentle hypo-allergenic natural dog wash. Dogs have varying levels of enthusiasm for bath time, so you might want to do tip #3 (trim your dog’s nails) before hopping into the tub.
- Trim your dog’s nails.
Long nails on dogs can cause them unnecessary pain. A good pair of nail trimmers with a safety guard can help you feel confident that you won’t accidentally cut into their quick (a vein that runs partially into the nail) and regular leg massages will keep them relaxed when you handle their feet. If you’ve never trimmed a dog’s nails, have your vet show you the safe and easy way, because your gentle confidence will make the experience smooth and fast for your dog as well.
- Brush your dog’s teeth.
Yuck mouth doesn’t just stink, it’s unhealthy! You can use a gentle children’s toothbrush or a special brush designed for a dog. Brushing at least 2 times a week will keep periodontal disease at bay, which in turn will keep your dog around longer. Just don’t try to achieve that Colgate smile and avoid using human toothpaste. There are many affordable dog dental products on the market that are safe to swallow, and taste good too!
- Clean your dog’s ears.
Ears are a fantastic environment for bacteria to breed. They are cavernous, dark and often moist. It’s important to check your dog’s ears regularly to see that they are dry and clean and not irritated. After bathing or swimming, gently but thoroughly dry the inside of your dog’s ears to make sure no moisture is left. Diluted apple cider vinegar applied to a cotton ball is an easy weekly maintenance cleaning and works as a natural antiseptic. Dogs with big floppy ears are especially prone to ear mites and bacteria growth, so be sure to check them out frequently.
Grooming your dog at home is a great way to bond with your pooch. They love the personal attention and adding one or two things a week will take you no time at all. A clean dog is a healthy dog and is much more likely to get hugs and kisses than a stinky dog. If all else fails, there are plenty of professionals who groom dogs for a living.
January 2, 2022 | DogGeek
The holidays are a fun and hectic time for all of us, including the family pets. Here are some tips to make your trip safe and worry free.
- Get their ya-ya’s out before you get in the car! A tired dog is a happy dog. Take them for a walk or to the dog park to get some of the travel excitement out. Besides, you could use the fresh air too! You’ll just be sitting on your butt all day in the care anyway.
- Plan in advance! Before you hit the road, plan out where you can stop with your pets for potty breaks, food and lodging. Don’t wait till the last second! Many hotels, especial pet friendly hotels, sell out quickly. Book your dog friendly hotel in advance.
- Bring water along with water and food bowls. You don’t know if where you stop will have them and it’s always better to have something that your pet is familiar with.
- Pack wisely. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve packed up our pack only to get to our destination to see that we forgot a Frisbee for our Border Collie mix. A Border Collie without a ball or Frisbee is the equivalent of a small child crying on an airplane… no one is going to be happy! Check, double check, then triple check that you brought everything you need!
- Don’t forget the food. Many pet stores are closed (as they should be) on holidays. Don’t let your pet have an upset stomach because they had to eat table scraps that they are not use to.
- Don’t let your gifts get destroyed. No one wants a hole if their gift from a dog that stepped on it during the car ride to Grandma’s. Plan ahead on how you will store everything in your vehicle so that everything gets there in one piece.
- Make sure all tags are up-to-date. Ensure that your correct mobile phone number (including area code, you are traveling) is on all tags and is readable. Also make sure rabies and other tags are up-to-date too. If you have your dog micro-chipped, ensure that all information is correct there too.
- Don’t forget the pet medications too.
Last of all, don’t forget to have a good time! It is the holidays, enjoy them!
December 1, 2021 | DogGeek
The Holidays bring excitement, parties, meals and decorations all of which can be a hazard to your pet. No need to cancel the festivities, just be prepared so that you and your best friend have a safe and merry Christmas! Here’s a top 5 list to of things to remember to make sure your holiday is safe for your pets:
1. Keep all holiday food on high ground out of your pet’s reach. Just like how people pack on the pounds during the holidays because of irresistible food, dogs want to eat too. Remember, chocolate, alcohol and other feeds can be toxic to your pet.
2. Secure and/or hide all lighting and other electric cords.Whether its the desire to see what the cord tastes like and having a shocking experience or the rough play running around the house and tripping making the tree fall down, cords can get in the way and wreak havoc if not properly secure. Make sure they are tucked up against the wall securely so they won’t be played with. If needed, spray down with Bitter Apple or another taste aversion spray.
3. Carefully choose holiday plants and where you put them. Many of them are dangerous to your pets. Mistletoe, holly, lilies and poinsettias call all be poisonous and affect them in different ways. Make sure they are out of reach as to not be eaten and secure so they won’t be tipped over.
4. Keep their safe spot safe. Many dogs have a safe spot. Whether it be in their crate in a certain spot or their bed in the living room, don’t make their safe spot the new place for the tree or other holiday items. Pets thrive on routine, let them know that even with all the fun, this is still their home too and they have a safe spot.
5. Ensure ID tags are on and readable.With people coming and going during all the parties your dog or other pets may get out. Make sure they get home safe with proper ID tags, microchips if you can.
Have a safe and Merry Christmas from our family at DogGeek.com to yours.
December 1, 2021 | DogGeek
The holidays are full of friends, family, parties and food and we all want our fur family to be involved. The one thing that no one wants during the season is an emergency pet bill though. The following food can make your dog ill or even poison them so avoid them and reach for the treat bag instead if you just can’t hold back sharing with them.
- Milk/Dairy products
- Onions (Chives)
- Raw meats
- Raw poultry
- Raw fish
- Yeast dough
- Coffe grounds
- Candies or baked goods using Xylitol
It’s not just the food, remember to have your lights, cords,tree and other decorations out of reach from your pups.
Last but not least, remember to have a good time and ejoy the season!
December 1, 2021 | DogGeek
It’s the official kick-off to the holiday season, first one up, Thanksgiving. Mmmm the turkey, ham, stuffing and desserts… is your mouth watering yet? While we’re over indulging on delicious foods with our extended family and friends, remember these tips so that your best friend(s) have a day to be thankful for also.
- A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog: Before the house starts filling up with friends and family, go for a walk. Get your pups ya-ya’s out now. Besides, it will help you make more room for the great food your going to over indulge in!
- Collar and Tags: As with any gathering, ensure that your pup has their bling on. Collar is on correctly and tags are up-to-date. You don’t want to spend the afternoon searching for a lost dog.
- Turkey and Trimmings: I know, we all want to share a little and every once in a while that’s OK. Ensure that the turkey is fully cooked so that there is no salmonella bacteria and please, please make sure there are no bones. Turkey bones are small and can easily choke or hurt their stomach. Try putting some in a Kong or Busy Buddy and make the moment last, you’re pup will enjoy the food and the challenge.
- Onions, Grapes, Raisins and Chocolate, Oh My!: Just because they are all ingredients that make the day and meal doesn’t mean they should be shared. All of the items listed are toxic to dogs and other pets and should not be shared.
- Keep a Lid On It: The meal smells so good while cooking, it also smells so good to your best buddy in the trash. Keep a lid on it and avoid messes and embarrassing moments.
- No Yappy Hours: While the Thanksgiving cocktails may be flowing two things you should always adhere to. 1. Don’t drink and drive and 2. Never leave your cocktails on the ground or in reach of your dogs or other pets, they are toxic.
Most of all, have fun, be thankful and enjoy time with your family and friends! Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at DogGeek.com
November 2, 2021 | DogGeek
Thanksgiving is fun for the whole family and that includes your best friend. There are things to watch out for though to ensure your Thanksgiving is dog friendly and doesn’t result in an emergency trip to the vet. Here’s some tips below from our friends at PetCareRX.
November 1, 2021 | DogGeek