Category Archives: Pet Care

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Pet Dental Health Matters

If a dog’s diet is nutritionally adequate, how can dental disease be so prevalent?  Maybe we need to take a look at diet. Did you know that healthy teeth and gums not only help prevent periodontal disease, mouth pain and bad breath, but also more serious conditions of the kidney, liver, heart, and joints? Pet dental health can significantly impact life quality and longevity and diet does matter.

Clean Eating is not just for Humans

Clean eating has become a focus of healthy living for humans.  People are reading labels, eliminating chemicals and processed foods, and eating “clean” as a means to health, so it’s common sense to consider that option for your pets as well.

Commercial dry or canned foods are often times made with poor quality ingredients, synthetic vitamins, harmful aflatoxins, are highly processed, and are typically high in starch, which sticks to teeth.  On top of that, dogs don’t generally chew it – they just gulp it down, which means they don’t get any benefit from abrasive action during the chewing process. On the contrary, the benefits of a raw diet go far beyond just pet dental health, giving your pet a higher quality of life.

 Toothbrush w/bubbles - Pet Dental Health Month

Raw Diet Benefits

Lean meats are the foundation of a good raw diet and contain natural enzymes.  Organs provide necessary vitamins and nutrients, and bones are needed for calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. All of these are components that foster pet dental health.

Raw bones are a staple in diets for dogs to ensure a good source of minerals, especially calcium and phosphorous. Meat is lower in calcium and high in phosphorous so meat alone will not provide what your pet needs. Giving raw meaty bones like our chicken or turkey necks allows the chewing action to help clean teeth naturally. Beef bones can also be given as a recreational chew and can offer great exercise. (Please remember to supervise dogs when chewing these and pick an appropriate size for your pet.)

Try an Experiment

Try an experiment by feeding a balanced raw diet, such as Northwest Naturals, for 3-4 weeks.  We’d love to hear your results and see before and after pictures.

For More Information

Read more about Raw Bone Benefits here.  Raw Bone Benefits for Your Pet.

Watch this documentary on the commercial pet food industry.  Pet Fooled Documentary


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Dogs and Baths, Oh My!

Start them out Right

Dog breeds that require a haircut should be seen by a professional groomer for the first time, somewhere between 2-6 months of age. They need to get used to being handled by other people, the clippers, and the noises of a grooming shop. This also helps to gain the puppies confidence going forward. Ask your friends for a recommendation on where they take their dog. (Just because you take a puppy in, doesn’t mean it has to get a haircut, just a bath or to meet the groomer.)

Bathing at Home

Some dogs naturally take to water and like any opportunity to frolic and play. Others, not so much. Here are a few tips to help make bath time more enjoyable.

black lab with hair net dog baths

 Get the Wiggles Out

Taking a long walk is good for both you and your dog and also reduces their energy level.  Some dogs even enjoy going for a “swim” after exercise.

Baby Steppin’

For the first few baths, do one small step at a time, giving your puppy a chance to get used to each new experience. Start with an empty bathtub (with a mat) and a little playtime in the tub.  Then, when the dog is outside the tub, run the water to help him or her get used to the sound. Next time, add a small amount of water to the tub and maybe just dip the paws in.  It’s important not to rush the process. Keep working your way up to a full bath – watching for that state of calm at each new step before you move on.

The Right Tools

  • Bathtubs are slippery, so be sure to use a non-slip mat or large towel that will stay in place.
  • Did you know they make special pet shower spray attachments? Lowering the pressure and water flow and holding it close to the fur can be less surprising.
  • Use a wash cloth around the face and be careful that water doesn’t go up the nose or in the ears.

Attitude

  • Be aware of your body language and tone of voice.
  • Make it fun!  Incorporate toys and make time for play.
  • Make it tasty!  Bring some treats into the bath area – or feed your dog there a few times to get him to associate good things with tub time on days when you aren’t planning a bath.

It’s never too late to employ a little planning and consistent effort to make bath time less of a struggle. And, you can always hire a trainer if you need some extra help!