(Family Features) Regular grooming can keep your dog looking and smelling his or her best, but it’s also important for maintaining health. If you choose to groom at home rather than opting for (often expensive) professional care, it’s also an opportunity to examine your pet for potential concerns.
A proper grooming routine starts with the right tools. Consider these suggestions from The Humane Society of the United States:
- Dog-friendly nail clippers
- Rubber-bristled brush
- Dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste
- Dog-friendly shampoo and conditioner
- Cotton balls
- Blunt-ended shears or small clippers with guides
- Microfiber towel
When your dog’s nails nearly touch the ground, it’s time for a trim, typically every 3-4 weeks. Trimming the part of the nail that turns down helps prevent pain and damage to paws.
If your dog has white nails, avoid cutting the “quick,” the pink part that’s visible on white nails, which bleeds when cut. For dark nails, simply trim a bit at a time until evidence of the quick is visible.
Bathing and Brushing
Frequency for baths and brushing depends on your dog’s coat type – be sure to research optimal grooming schedules based on his or her breed. In general, The Humane Society of the United States recommends these guidelines:
- Short, smooth or wiry coat: Brush once a week with a rubber-bristled brush.
- Long, silky or curly coat: Brush once a day with a rubber-bristled brush or wire slicker brush. Use a steel comb to prevent tangles or mats, if necessary.
- Double coat: Use an undercoat rake or de-shedding tool to gently de-shed once a week in addition to regular brushing routines.
When it’s bath time, use a shampoo formulated for dogs and a damp cloth or cotton ball to clean around the eyes and ears without pushing anything into the eyes or ears. Dry with a microfiber towel or hair dryer on a low setting.
Be careful and work slowly to avoid mistakes and keep your dog calm and comfortable. Brush, bathe and completely dry prior to cutting fur with blunt-ended shears or small clippers with guide combs. Specifically trim hair covering the eyes and private areas and between your pup’s paw pads. It may be helpful to watch a tutorial online to ensure success.
You can prevent gum disease and plaque buildup by brushing your dog’s teeth with a soft toothbrush and dog-friendly toothpaste. Make sure your pet is comfortable and start slow, staying on the outside surfaces of teeth and gently rubbing back and forth. Focus on the area where the tooth surface meets the gum.
Visit eLivingtoday.com to find more pet health advice.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash
Bonding with Your Four-Legged Friend
(Family Features) Your dog may be one of your best friends, but that bond doesn’t happen overnight. Investing in quality one-on-one time can have a big impact on the bond you build with your four-legged companion.
One of the best ways to show dogs love is by keeping them healthy and spending quality time with them. Dedicating time every day to your dog’s well-being can help establish a connection, give you opportunities to express affection and foster shared bonding moments.
Teaching your dog obedience isn’t just about eliminating undesirable behaviors. Training allows you to clearly communicate your expectations to your dog. It also builds your dog’s confidence through positive feedback received after mastering a command or new trick. Most dogs thrive on meeting their owners’ expectations, so consistent commands they can recognize and follow help deepen your connection.
Another way to build trust through behavior training is establishing regular routines. Giving your dog a clear set of expectations helps build mutual trust. You can create routines around the key milestones of each day, such as mealtimes, walks and bedtime.
Some pets love bathtime; others avoid it at all costs. Either way, you can make the experience more rewarding for you and your pet if you use it as an opportunity to spend some quality time together and shower your pet with extra affection.
Many pets are especially sensitive to grooming near their eyes, but keeping the eyes clean and free of dirt and buildup may help reduce the risk of infection, reduce tear stains and support your dog’s eye health. Consider options like Project Watson eye wash for dogs, which comes in an easy-to-use bottle with a tip that allows for a steady stream of solution to use alone or by soaking a clean washcloth. Made with naturally inspired, high-quality ingredients, the eye wash is designed to match the pH of a dog’s eye and help remove dried mucous, foreign materials, pollen and other irritants.
Between grooming sessions, you can also clean your dog’s eyes with eyelid wipes. The wipes, which are part of the Project Watson line of dog care products developed by the experts at Bausch + Lomb and evaluated by veterinarians, are formulated with micellar technology that cleanses and hydrates around the eyes while helping remove excess buildup associated with irritated, dry eyes. The gentle formula is paraben free, pH-balanced and fragrance free, made to mimic the ingredients found in natural tears and provide a soothing, gentle cleaning.
Your dog needs daily exercise, just like you. Make your workouts do double duty by taking your dog along for a walk or jog. Just be sure to match your workout level to your pet’s abilities; just like humans, dogs need to build up endurance before tackling an extended route. Also be mindful of the terrain and ensure your pet’s paws are safe from potential risks like sharp or abrasive surfaces and extreme heat or cold.
While dogs need plenty of practical attention and structure, some of the best bonding comes from letting loose and simply enjoying interacting with your pooch. That might mean wrestling with a favorite toy, throwing a ball or just snuggling on the couch with plenty of petting and scratches.
For more suggestions to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy, speak with your veterinarian or visit tryprojectwatson.com.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Mastiffs: Majestic Guardians of Love and Loyalty
Mastiffs: Majestic, gentle giants, loyal companions. A protective breed, these canines embody grace and strength, captivating hearts worldwide.
Mastiffs, with their imposing size and gentle disposition, have captivated the hearts of dog lovers for centuries. These majestic canines are more than just impressive physical specimens; they are also renowned for their unwavering loyalty and affectionate nature.
Originating from ancient Molossian dogs, Mastiffs have a rich history as guardians and protectors. Their imposing presence and innate protective instincts make them exceptional watchdogs and formidable deterrents to potential intruders. Yet, beneath their intimidating exterior lies a heart of gold.
Despite their size, Mastiffs are known for their gentle and loving nature, especially with their families. They form deep bonds and are often patient and tolerant, making them excellent companions for children. Their calm and stable demeanor can bring a sense of security and comfort to those around them.
While Mastiffs are undeniably affectionate, they also require proper training and socialization. Early socialization helps them develop good manners and become well-adjusted adults. Consistent training is essential to harness their immense strength and ensure they are well-behaved members of society.
Exercise is crucial for Mastiffs to maintain a healthy body and mind. Although they are not the most energetic breed, regular walks and playtime are essential to prevent weight gain and promote overall well-being. However, it’s important to be mindful of their physical limitations and avoid excessive exercise, particularly during hot weather.
Mastiffs thrive in loving and nurturing environments. They appreciate human companionship and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Providing them with mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys or interactive games, can help keep their intelligent minds engaged and prevent boredom.
In conclusion, Mastiffs embody the perfect blend of strength, loyalty, and gentleness. Their imposing presence and loving nature make them exceptional family pets and guardians. By understanding their needs and offering them the care they deserve, Mastiffs can fill our lives with an abundance of love, loyalty, and joy.
BuzzPetz Explains Food Poisoning Hazards for Dogs During the Holidays
Dogs are more likely to eat toxic foods during Thanksgiving and the last two weeks of December than at any other time.LAKE WYLIE, SC, UNITED STATES, December 24, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — Every year, veterinarians around the country prepare for an increase in emergency visits around the winter holidays. Excess food and pre-occupied guests create an environment where dogs can vacuum up food to their hearts’ content.
As delicious as the food may be, it’s important to consider what gets left out within a dog’s reach. Many human foods are toxic to dogs, and the extra food preparation around the holidays increases your dog’s chance of suffering from poisoning by an incredible 86%. With that in mind, BuzzPetz wants to remind pet owners to be extra cautious with certain foods – so families and their dogs can have a safe and happy holiday.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and is the leading cause of an emergency vet visit due to its widespread addition around any holiday. This means hot cocoa, chocolate puddings, candy, and even cakes that are put out on the counter are a major risk for dogs. Theobromine, the toxic chemical in chocolate, will stay in a dog’s system for days, and symptoms of poisoning can take up to 72 hours to appear. As little as 1.5 ounces for every 10 lbs of body weight can be fatally toxic.
Grapes and raisins are another commonly seen ingredient in cakes and candies or as a standalone snack. They can be highly toxic to dogs, even in small amounts, so keep an eye on anything with grapes, especially raisins, which have an even higher concentration of tartaric acid.
Anything with garlic or onions should be kept away from dogs as well. If a dog is loved enough to share some prime rib with them, that’s perfectly fine, as long as it wasn’t seasoned with either of these vegetables.
Other things to avoid giving your dog or unintentionally leaving out around them are:
• Macadamia Nuts
• Anything with Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
• Cooked Bones
• Blue Cheese
There are plenty of dog-safe food options as well, for the dog that wants to be part of the action:
• Pigs in a Blanket
• Plain Turkey
• Plain Chicken
• Plain Prime Rib
• Deviled Eggs (dog-safe version)
• Baked Potatoes
Remember, moderation is key with any food not specifically designed for dogs, but they will love these and feel more included in the holiday.
It can be extremely difficult or outright impossible to find an available veterinarian during the holidays – not a situation anyone wants to experience. So, make sure to keep the harmful foods out of reach and make it a conversation with guests and kids. Let them know what they can and can’t feed a dog.
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