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How to Tame That Shedding Doggie Fur

How to Tame That Shedding Doggie Fur 0

Your dog loves to lounge on your dark brown sofa and being the loving dog parent you are, you allow him to do so.  Yet whenever he jumps down, he leaves ample fur behind, and prior to sitting in that chair yourself, you will need to “shave” it, or risk wearing your canine’s hair yourself.

Similarly, when you look down at your rugs and carpets you see a trail of hair your canine companion left behind. Visitors to your home as somewhat reluctant to sit on the sofa, and at times you look a bit furry yourself when you arrive to work. Face it, your dog is shedding and you will need to deal with it. Yet you often wonder if there is anything you can do to tame that falling doggie fur?

While it is not possible to completely stop your dog’s shedding, there are actually a number of things that can be done.

Be Sure To Brush Your Dog Daily...

This will allow you to eliminate a lot of the falling fur before it hits the sofa or the carpet. A well-kept secret is the lint-roller – not on the sofa but on the dog! There are some dog lovers out there who in addition to brushing their dogs sometimes also use a lint roller. It does not hurt the pet, but instead allows some of the hair to be picked off in between brushings.

If You Are In The Midst Of A Season Change...

Such as from winter to spring, then odds are that your canine companion is losing his winter coat. There is nothing you can do from stopping this process, yet there are a number of grooming tools available that will permit you to strip the winter fur yourself before it finds it way onto your sofa.

Discuss your predicament with your veterinarian or groomer and see if she or he cannot recommend a tool that will help you. Before using an unfamiliar grooming tool for the first time, be sure to read all of the instructions, or even better, ask your groomer or vet to demonstrate the proper use.

Set Up A Grooming Appointment...

Proper grooming will get rid of a lot of the dead hair that is being shed in between seasons, and will also ensure that your dog’s skin remains healthy. Your groomer will also be able to recommend some things to try at home to keep the flying doggie hair under control until it is time for the next grooming appointment.

Of Course, There Will Be Times When Shedding May Actually Be An Indicator Of A Health Problem...

If the shedding is accompanied by the advent of bald patches in your dog’s fur, it is time to visit the veterinarian. You want to rule out any illness, such as mange, or other problems that cause patterned hair loss. Hair loss is a very important indicator in failing or declining health, and if caught early, many health problems may be fixed before they become more serious.

Sometimes malnutrition will be indicated by a loss or fur. Discuss your dog’s nutrition with your vet, or, if you have just gotten the dog, have him checked for nutritional deficiencies. At such a vet appointment it is extremely helpful if you bring a sample of the food you are giving to your dog, preferably in its original packaging to permit the veterinarian to take a look at the list of ingredients in case she or he feels the need to change the dog’s diet.

Sometimes A Vitamin Deficiency Will Alson Contribute To Irritated Skin Which May Result In Shedding...

There are a number of over the counter remedies available, but it is advisable to discuss any such supplementation with your vet first. Self-medicating your dog should only be done if you are absolutely certain of what you are doing.

As you can see, a shedding dog is something you will need to live with, but the amount of shedding can be controlled with a few simple steps and a bit of easy know-how. So go ahead and embrace the changing seasons, and make sure you know where your doggie brush is!

  • Dana S
Should You Get Pet Insurance for Your Dog?

Should You Get Pet Insurance for Your Dog? 0

You love your pooch and take extra special care of them, but nonetheless, anything can happen. Should you consider pet insurance to help pay for unexpected health issues that come up? It is generally a good idea!

What Exactly Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is similar to health insurance for humans. You pay a small premium each month, and in exchange, pet insurance helps to pay for routine and emergency situations that may come up. There are also pet insurance plans that pay out if your dog suddenly dies or gets stolen for those who got an expensive purebred pup with plans for breeding or showing. The main way most pet insurance plans differ from health insurance is that you often have to pay your vet for the full cost of the procedures performed, but then you submit a claim to your pet insurance provider for reimbursement.

Types of Pet Insurance Plans

As with health insurance for humans there are several different types of pet insurance plans. The most affordable option is an accident-only plan. This will cover your vet costs only in the event of an unforeseen accident. Other more comprehensive plans also cover diseases that strike randomly, congenital conditions that your dog was born with and hereditary conditions that may not appear until later in life.

There are also plans that help to cover your routine vet visits, and ones that help you save on premiums through a time limit or maximum benefit paid out. However, the most comprehensive type of pet insurance plan is a lifetime policy and it covers most things that could happen to your pet for their whole life. The latter is the most expensive option but if something difficult happens, it will really help you out.

The Benefits of Pet Insurance

Pet owners have enjoyed having pet insurance primarily because it removes a difficult choice from a bad situation. With pet insurance, you are less likely to have to make the choice between saving your pet's life and spending a bunch of money or putting your pet down because it is too expensive to treat them.

It also helps in situations where you simply wouldn't be able to cover the expenses at all, even if you wanted to. Saving your best friend's life becomes possible with pet insurance. Having pet insurance puts your pooch first and is considered the responsible thing to do by many pet owners.

Pet Insurance Considerations

If your dog has a pre-existing condition, it may be a challenge to find a plan. A pet insurance plan isn't going to cover a pre-existing condition but would cover any new problems that pop up. Similarly, older pets are often a bit more expensive to insure, because just like humans, with old age comes more chronic health problems that are expensive to treat. It's a good idea to get your doggie covered while they are still young to cash in on low premiums.

Before you get your own pet insurance plan, check with your employer! Just like some companies offer health and life insurance benefits to employees, some offer pet insurance too. Otherwise, the best way to get covered is to do research online and get a few different quotes from top companies. Note the differences in prices and coverages, then pick the one that is best for you based on your needs. Adding another monthly expense may not seem like the best idea, but when you consider how much pet insurance could help you save in the long run, it's usually a good idea.

  • Dana S
6 Tips for Safely Cleaning Your Dog's Ears

6 Tips for Safely Cleaning Your Dog's Ears 0

It isn't necessary to clean some dog's ears. However, for others - especially those with floppy ears - ear cleaning is something that should be done regularly.

Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to clean your dog's ears.

If you want to make sure you do this properly, and that you don't cause any pain or harm to your pup, use the tips found here.

1. Never Use Q-Tips

Did you know when you use a Q-Tip on your own ears, you are actually packing down the "junk" and pushing it further into your ear canal? The same thing happens if you use a Q-Tip on your dog's ears.

Also, don't ever use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to clean your dog's ears, as this can be quite irritating. Take cues from your dog, as well. If they yelp in pain at any time during the process, then stop right away. This may be a sign of an ear infection.

2. Use Plenty of Liquids

It is crucial that you dissolve all wax buildup and debris that have accumulated in your pup's ears. An effective way to accomplish this is by filling up the ear with a safe ear cleaning solution. Continue adding it until the ear slightly overflows.

Once the liquid is in place, use your hands to gently massage the lower portion of the dog's ear to ensure it works properly. This is going to make a squishy sound and should be done for approximately 30 seconds.

3. Massage Repeat

Once you have massaged the ear for 30 seconds, you can wipe out any ear gunk you can see. If you see a lot of "gunk" on the tissue, then it will be a good idea to repeat the steps mentioned above. Simply add more ear washing solution, massage and wipe once more.

If you repeat this and still see quite a bit of brown goop, then let your dog be for a few days and then try again. This will allow the cleaner to work its magic and soften the wax, so you can easily remove if from your dog's ear.

If there is still a lot of goop coming out of your dog's ear, it may be the sign of an infection. It is a good idea to have your vet check it out.

4. Use a Cotton Ball to Clean Out Any "Goop"

If you have a pup who is a willing participant in the ear cleaning process, then use a cotton ball to clean out the goop. You can soak the cotton in an ear cleaning solution until it is dripping. Avoid using a tissue for this, as it can fall apart in your dog's ear.

Place the cotton ball into your dog's ear and then massage the ear just like before. After about 30 seconds, remove the cotton ball and use a dry tissue to wipe any gunk away. Repeat if needed.

5. Don't Worry About Remaining Cleaning Solution

There's going to be some of the cleaning solution left behind. Don't worry about it. It isn't going to cause any harm.

If you are planning on a complete grooming session for your dog, it is best to start by cleaning your dog's ears and then give them a bath. This lets you remove any left-over goop.

6. Finish with Praise and Treats

Make sure you finish the ear cleaning process with plenty of praise and a few treats. When there is something positive associated with the experience, the dog will be a more willing participant next time.

Cleaning your dog's ears isn't a difficult process, but it is important to know how to do it right. To learn more about the proper and safe way to care for your pet, visit the Doggie Dailies website. Here you can find quality ear cleaning solutions, as well as a myriad of other pet healthcare products.
  • Jennifer M
Plant a Dog-Friendly Garden

Plant a Dog-Friendly Garden 0

Dog-Safe Greenery

Whether planning a garden or bringing a little outdoors in, knowing the difference between safe and toxic plants is crucial to the health of your dog. Unfortunately, dogs aren't able to distinguish between what's good and what's bad. That's why you must take care to plan to have only those plants, herbs and flowers that aren't harmful rather than picking ones just because they're pretty.

Common Plants That Are Toxic to Dogs

Plant toxicity can exist in some unexpected places. While far from exhaustive, here are a few of the plants and flowers you may already have in your garden that should be kept away from your dog.

Azalea

Azaleas, also known as rhododendrons or rosebays, contain grayantoxinare. This toxin is risky for dogs and it doesn't take much to get them sick. Not only can eating a small leaf cause vomiting, diarrhea and drooling, but it can also lead to cardiac distress.

Crocus

There are two types of crocus flowers: the Autumn Crocus and the Spring Crocus. Both can cause vomiting and diarrhea. However, the Autumn Crocus is particularly dangerous, since it contains colchicine. This toxin can cause internal bleeding and damage to the liver and kidneys, and brings a risk of respiratory failure.

Cyclamen

Cyclamen contains substances called terpenoid saponins. These toxins also cause gastrointestinal distress in dogs, but ingesting a large amount can result in heart abnormalities, seizures or death.

Dieffenbachia

A deep green and tropical plant, dieffenbachia can cause your dog oral distress. The plant's toxic elements burn the mouth and may lead to drooling, vomiting and trouble swallowing.

Daffodil

A common sight with the changing seasons, daffodils have alkaloids that cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and tremors. Although the entire plant is potentially toxic for your dog, daffodil bulbs are a particular hazard.

Kalanchoe

When swallowed, kalanchoe can cause typical symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, as well as heart rhythm abnormalities. In addition, because this plant contains cardiac glycosides, ingestion may lead to death.

Lily

There are many varieties of lily, some of which cause your dog to have tremors, depression and gastrointestinal upset. Stay away from lilies of the valley, peace lilies, calla lilies and amaryllis for the welfare of your pooch.

Oleander

A common plant in warm climates, oleander is yet another beautiful flower that contains cardiac glycoside toxins. In addition to nausea, vomiting, seizure and tremors, oleander can lead to abnormal heart rate and cardiac arrhythmias in canines.

Peony

It is the paeonol toxin in the peony bark that may cause vomiting and diarrhea in your pooch. Thankfully, this usually only causes mild distress, but it's best kept away from any dog.

Periwinkle

This star-shaped flower contains toxic alkaloids, such as yohimbine, vincristine and vinblastine, which may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and tremors. While most reactions are mild, periwinkle is highly dangerous for your dog if he eats too much.

Safe Plants for Dogs

Thankfully, there are many types of greenery that are both beautiful and safe for your dog. Here is just a sampling of the kinds of plants you can use in your landscaping or interior decor without worrying about possible risk to your fur baby.

African Violet

A compact, purple flower commonly placed on windowsills, pet owners can rest assured their dog is safe even if Fido decides to put a little bit of this plant in his mouth.

Aluminum Plant

Also known as a watermelon plant, the aluminum plant has a similar look to dieffenbachia, without the toxicity. This greenery is safe for your canine and feline family members alike.

Astragalus

Harvested from mature plants in traditional medicine, astragalus may help to boost your dog's immune system.

Bamboo

Although regular bamboo won't cause harm to your dog, beware of heavenly bamboo or sacred bamboo. These are decorative species that may be toxic.

Burdock Herb

Burdock is a traditional medicinal plant used worldwide. Many dog owners believe it supports a dog's health. If you choose to plant burdock, a rich soil works best. Prune regularly to keep it at a reasonable size.

Peppermint

Generally safe for dogs, some canines actually like to chew the leaves of the peppermint plant to aid digestion. It can also help freshen breath.

Rosemary

Rosemary is ideal for the indoor gardener, as long as it is trimmed regularly. One of the hardiest of the perennials, it will keep providing you with savory flavor through the winter months. Best of all, rosemary is non-toxic for your dog.

Sage

Another addition to the herb garden, sage should not cause any problems for your dog. The plant and its leaves are non-toxic to canines.

Spider Plant

A spider plant is not toxic for your dog, but if you come home to find it overturned and your pooch with some stomach queasiness, he may have just overindulged.

Sunflower

Nothing says summer like a sunflower, and your dog will welcome these plants as well. They won't cause him any distress, even if he goes in for a bite.

It can be scary to think of your beloved family member in medical distress because he ingested something he shouldn't. The good news is that with quick intervention you can help your canine to stay well.

If you suspect that your dog has gotten into a toxic plant, call the Pet Poison Helpline and seek medical care at your local veterinarian. Bring a photo or sample of the plant if you can't identify it, and remember to stay calm and focused on your dog's well-being.
  • Dana S