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 and you can find one at: https://www.doggeek.com/dog-groomers/ where you can make regular spa appointments if you need a little help. Remember, cleanliness is next to Dogliness!
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January 2, 2020 | 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, 2019 | 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, 2019 | DogGeek
If you’re like most pet families your best friend is right there besid you while you’re cooking. Whether it’s just a Monday night frozen meal or a Thanksgiving feast Fido doesn’t care, he wants a piece of the action, or turkey. Ensure that your best friend has a great Thanksgiving and doesn’t need a trip to the emergency vet. Here are 5 foods they need to avoid.
- Turkey Bones. While everyone’s been told that dogs love to chew on bones, turkey bones are not the ones to give them. Turkey bones are small and can become lodged in your dog’s stomach or throat. They also splinter causing severe damage to the stomach.
- Fat Trimmings. Fatty foods like turkey skin and gravy are very difficult for dogs to digest. They can also cause pancreatitis which includes vomiting, depression, reluctance to move and abdominal pain as symptoms.
- Dough and Batter. The dough can rise in your dog’s stomach and lead to vomiting, bloating and severe pain. The raw eggs can also spread salmonella.
- Grapes and Raisins. Both can cause kidney failure in dogs.
- Mushrooms. They can damage kedneys, liver and the central nervous system.
Be safe and have a happy Thanksgiving!
November 5, 2019 | DogGeek
A DogGeek.com exclusive
Dog vomiting is a common daily occurrence for many dogs because of the very fast consumption of food by your pooch or may be because he ate something he shouldn’t have. But in some dogs, it may be an indication of any serious hidden illness.
Changing the meal schedule of your dog can be an easy fix to the problem if it isn’t anything serious. But in case this didn’t seem to work, be sure to get your dog good medical attention without any delay as he might have a serious underlying illness.
Frequent vomiting of your dog can lead to intestinal problems, extreme dehydration, and in worse cases, organ failure. It is essential that you do not ignore the vomiting of your dog if it exceeds the frequency of twice per hour, and take him to the vet immediately.
Reasons for Frequent Dog Vomiting
- Intestinal parasites – These can lead to both diarrhea and vomiting in adult dogs and puppies. Dogs with illnesses, like flue are also known to have minor vomiting.
- Higher stomach acid – If your dog vomits soon after his meals and the vomiting is yellow in color, it can suggest overproduction of acids and bile in your dog. Feeding small, frequent meals to your dog can help you correct this problem.
- Food intolerance – At times, change in dog food can also lead to diarrhea and vomiting as your dog might be intolerant to certain ingredients of this new food. Beef, pork, fish, wheat, and salt are the common foods that can cause food intolerance.
- Eating Grass – Although it is normal for dogs to eat grass but if your canine friend has eaten too much of grass, it may lead to vomiting.
- Consuming Non-Food Items – It is natural for dogs to hog upon almost anything that they come across, including garbage, dead animals, plants, and others. Some of these items can be very dangerous when consumed by your dog. To eliminate this habit in dogs, you may want to buy dog supplies or toys to keep them occupied with harmless stuff.
- Eating Human Food – Human foods that have a higher content of salt, sugar, and fat, should be given very sparingly to dogs. Frequent consumption of these foods can not only cause vomiting but also lead to chronic illnesses, like diabetes.
- Hurried or Excessive Drinking or Eating – Drinking or eating hurriedly or in excessive quantities can cause your pooch to vomit soon after the meal. This is especially common among small breeds and puppies.
- Illnesses – Diseases like cancers, canine parvo, and pancreatitis can also be the reasons for vomiting. Bacterial infections, ear infections, and tumors are also cited as one of the many reasons that can cause vomiting. For better diagnosis, it is essential that you observe the secondary symptoms and any change in behavior of your pooch, apart from vomiting.
What to Do When Your Dog is Vomiting Frequently?
If you suspect any illness, you should call your vet immediately. If your pooch has eaten any dead or spoiled animal by any chance, your vet will prescribe the necessary antibiotics. In some extreme cases, your pooch might need to be provided with an IV drip overnight to avoid any dehydration.
In mind vomiting cases, Pepto Bismol or Tylenol may be recommended by your vet. But it is important that you must NEVER give these to your furry friend, unless your vet consents for it first.
Any food should be kept away from your dog if he vomits frequently all through the day. Provide your dog with ice chips to make up for his hydration but don’t give him any fluids if your dog keeps vomiting or has diarrhea. After you’ve not given him water for 12 hours, begin introducing bland meals to him. This includes rice, boiled hamburger, or plain oatmeal. If your pooch stops vomiting in the next few days, you can re-introduce his normal dog food.
Brenda Lyttle is a dog lover and enjoys making Halloween costumes for dogs in her free time.
October 10, 2019 | DogGeek
Summertime is here and that means lots of activities for you and your best friend but it also means chances for danger. While out and about with your dog this summer, remember these pet safety rules.
- Never leave your dog in a car alone, even if the windows are down.
Even on a nice 80 degree day, your car can heat up over 100 degrees or more in 10 minutes. Dogs have heat strokes at 110 degrees. Cracking the window still does not allow enough ventilation for all the heat to escape and opening it too much will allow your dog the ability to jump out. If you can’t take your dog with you every where that you go, leave him at home. Trust us, he will appreciate it more.
- Never put your dog in the back of a pickup truck without being in a crate properly restrained.
Yes, we know he may “like” it, but it’s not safe. Dogs are easily distracted by many things, squirrels being one of the most popular items. You do no want your dog jumping out of the back of a moving vehicle. And do not use just a leash to keep them from jumping as your dog could hang themselves by accident. If your dog has to ride in the back, please crate them with the proper restraints and protection from the wind. Just like how you like being protected by the windshield, so do they.
- Asphalt heats up quickly, protect your dog’s paws
Black asphalt, as with any black items, heats up quickly in the sun light. Don’t walk your dog during the heat of the day and if you do, check the temperature of the asphalt. If it burns your hands it can burn the pads on their feet.
- Ensure your dog has plenty of shade while outside
If you must leave your dog outside for any amount of time, ensure that they have plenty of shade as to not get sunburned or over heated.
- Keep their water fresh and full
During the summer
water evaporates fast and is a place where parasites can grow. Remember to replace their water daily and to keep it full so that your dog does not dehydrate.
- Go to the groomer
Imagine if you had to have a fur coat on all summer. While a dog’s hair does have built in heat management, they need help. Take yours to a dog groomer to get their undercoat brushed out so that the air can flow thru easily cooling your dog. Never shave down to the skin as their skin can burn just like yours.
- Keep them on a leash
We know, it’s summer and everyone wants to run free, but unless it’s an off leash dog park or your fenced back yard, always keep your best friend on a leash. It will help keep them from getting lost, getting into a fight with other dogs or being hit by a car.
- Keep the cocktails and food on high ground
Everyone loves a cookout, so does your dog.
Remember that your dog doesn’t know which foods and drinks are good for them, they only know what smells good to them. Cocktails and beer can lead to alcohol poisoning fast.
Have fun this summer and be safe!
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July 5, 2019 | DogGeek