Seven Tips for Grooming Your Dog

Grooming your dog is an essential part of dog ownership. Many people are familiar with the basics such as removing tangles and shampooing for a great, clean shine. It’s worth looking further into the world of dog grooming because there are many benefits you may not have considered before.

The first thing to realize is that grooming is not just for improving the look of your dog’s coat. There are also many health benefits if you groom regularly. You’ll want to start right away because:

  1. Grooming will take away dead hair and skin. This will not only remove an unsightly and unwanted mess, it will also improve that air circulation to your dog’s coat. This is essential in the summertime when it’s hot and humid
  2. You’ll also find that grooming increases the blood flow to hair follicles. In turn, this will improve the health of your dog’s whole coat.
  3. Grooming also stimulates the lymphatic system, which is similar to the results a human would get from a deep tissue massage.
  4. Another benefit of grooming is that it will put your dog in a great mood. Combine this with your gentle voice and you’ll be helping to strengthen the bond that is between you.
  5. A benefit that many people don’t think about is that you will become more familiar with your dog’s body while grooming. That means you will be able to detect many health problems that might occur.
  6. You may find ticks or other insects that are attached to your dog. These can be very unhealthy for your dog so keep an eye out for them.
  7. While you are grooming your pet you will also want to clip their nails. This will give you a chance to check the pads of their feet to see if there are any problems.

If you don’t have the essential grooming materials you can certainly find them at your local pet supply stores. If you would rather shop online there are many stores that offer the equipment for sale as well. As an added bonus you will also find a lot of great information and advice on the internet.

For those who want to know more, your local community college may offer a program to teach dog owners how to groom. Dog clubs and other dog related groups might offer training as well. Feel free to ask the groomers at Bow Meow Pet Care Centre for their recommendations on how to best look after your dog’s grooming needs.

Doggy Pedicures

Are you comfortable with bathing and grooming your dog, but are concerned about nail trimming? Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as hard as it seems to get your dog’s nails down to a good length.

The first thing to ease your worries and give you a good idea of how to trim your pet’s nails would be to watch someone who is experienced in pet nail trimming. A friend, a groomer or your vet won’t have a problem letting you watch and maybe even giving you some beginner tips.

Some dogs may never need their nails clipped. Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors wearing them down should have them relatively short already, or your animal’s nails may just flake away at the ends without you even knowing. Some breeds, however, do need their nails kept short- a couple examples would be Dachshunds or Basset Hounds.

Remember, accidents happen and there may be a time you will cut a nail too short. If this happens, it may begin to bleed so be prepared, but don’t be startled if it happens.

The first step to trimming your dog’s nails would be to purchase a good nail trimmer. You can ask your vet or someone in your local pet supply store which they recommend. The trimmers that have two pieces you squeeze together in your hand and a small blade that cuts the nail are the type that you want to get.

Start from underneath, not from the top downward. Slide the opening of the trimmer over the nail, but be sure to remain on the whitish area of the dog’s toenail. The pink area of the nail has blood vessels running through it and if you cut it that far, the nail will bleed.

Some dogs have very dark toenails where you won’t be able to see where the live part begins or where the white part ends. In this case, trim a little from the bottom of the nail at the time, checking the end of it as you go. The dead part will be white and as you get close to the live part of the nail, it will get dark.

When you are ready to trim, make a quick, easy squeeze on the handle of the trimmer. The end of the nail will fall of itself, you don’t have to pull it off. If you like, you can file down the ends of the nail, but taking your dog for a walk on the sidewalk or street will file them just as easily.

If you do cut the nail too short and it starts to bleed, hold a piece of tissue against it with some pressure for a few minutes. Another good idea is to keep some cornstarch or flour handy when you trim your dog’s nails and to put some of this against the bleeding nail. If your dog’s nail continues to bleed longer than a few minutes or if it looks like he is losing a lot of blood, call your vet.

Nail trimming really is not as scary as it seems. You can do a little bit at a time or all at once every week, but just remember that you are not harming the dog and that it needs to be done.

Dogs and Children

You love your children more than anything and want to make them happy. One of the natural things parents do is purchase their children a dog, as a dog will be your child’s constant companion and will provide hours of fun and adventures that will become fond memories as your child grows older – what parent wouldn’t want such an enriching relationship for their child? Unfortunately, we hear news stories all the time of dogs attacking children. Should you change your mind completely?

The good news is that most dogs really are “man’s best friend” and you probably won’t have to deal with that situation. Most dogs naturally love people and are extremely protective of children. So, even though there are some sad cases it’s unlikely that you should abandon your dog buying ideas quite yet.

What you do need to think about is that your children need to be in a protected environment so you don’t have to worry about things like this happening. These safety precautions can mean the difference between saving the life or your child and dealing with personal tragedy.

1. Never leave young children alone with a dog. Children who are aged six and below might not make the best choices when it comes to interacting with pets. If your child harms the pet they might act out as their natural instincts tell them to. Think of your dog as another child who doesn’t quite know right from wrong and act accordingly.

2. Many people like to roughhouse with their dogs. This is a lot of fun for humans and pets but is potentially harmful. What starts out as simple fun can actually make your dog angry. This is very important to follow if your dog is a breed that is known to be a natural born fighter or if your dog is large. If your child is trying to play rough with the dog (of any breed) they might get knocked over and injured if not harmed in a worse way.

3. Make sure your dog has received the very best in dog training. Some people skip this step altogether but it is absolutely necessary. A professional trainer or professional resources can ensure that your dog knows what is right and what is wrong and obeys your commands.

Even if you think it’s impossible for aggression to occur in your canine, sadly, it can happen. Your children should come first so it’s important to follow these steps to have the best outcome. If your dog is improperly trained or you haven’t taken all of the necessary precautions, then you will not get the peace of mind you need when your dog is around your child. Don’t let that happen to you by taking action today. Your children and your dog can be best friends with little trouble at all.

Entertaining Your Dog

Dogs are athletic, energetic animals. Puppies especially are little bundles of energy. Without harnessing this steam, it can work against you, or more specifically, your furniture or garden. One of the biggest frustrations for new dog owners is property destruction from their puppies chewing, digging or generally wreaking havoc on their home. Instead of getting frustrated with your dog’s bad habits, you can get smart and learn how to get them to exercise their energy in positive, healthy ways that are fun for them and safe for your shoe collection.

When a dog is being destructive (i.e. chewing or digging), it usually means that it’s bored. Many people work 40 hours a week away from home, leaving their animals with nothing to do for 8 hours a day. One might think a good solution would be to get a second pup to entertain the first. While this might help to an extent, a boring environment to one animal will probably be a boring environment to two. And now you have twice as much digging, chewing and destruction on your hands as before.

Rather than handling the problem this way, a better idea is to pick up some dog toys for your furry buddy. Toys offer positive and fun stimulation for the dog so that it won’t have to resort to finding his fun in ways that will hurt your things, patience and wallet.

You can find dog toys in pet stores across the country and many grocery stores and pharmacies as well. Most toys are relatively inexpensive and there are a wide range of toys to choose from. One thing you must make sure of, however, is that you purchase toys that are size appropriate for your animal. Your dog’s toys shouldn’t be so large that they are intimidating and not fun for the animal to play with, but they should also not be so small that your animal can swallow it whole and that the materials the toy is made of are strong enough that pieces can’t be torn from it and swallowed.

Examine the dog toys before your buy them and make sure that it can stand up to your animal’s jaws without being shredded to bits. Swallowing pieces of plastic would not be healthy for your doggy and could result in injury and vet bills.

Keeping your dog engaged is the key to getting him to expend his energy the way your want him to. If you can hold his attention with dog toys while you are at the office, he is much less likely to seek out fun on his terms. The first obstacle to keep your dog’s attention could be to actually find their toys. Toys can be hidden in specific areas of the yard or house (a corner, sandbox or alcove works well as a good play area).

Aside from that, there are certain toys that take more doggy effort than others. Some toys, for example, are like little canine puzzles that you place treats in, requiring your animal to roll around the floor for the treats to come out. Other toys can be frozen overnight and given to your dog on a summer day when a cool toy would be fun for your dog to lick as it thaws.

The options in your local pet shop are more than likely plenty. There may even be items around your house your animal would love to play with and there’s no reason to not let them as long as they’re safe.

Another idea to keep your puppy engaged is to keep a rotating number of toys that your give to him on different days so that each day your dog thinks the toy is new and fun and won’t quickly tire of his toys. You could also easily put some treats or edible paste in or on your dog’s toys to encourage him to play with them. Broccoli stems, plain yogourt, cheese, bananas, store-bought pastes such as KONG Stuff’N Paste, peanut butter or just plain kibbles are good options. This method is something that animal shelters often use to keep kenneled dogs entertained.

Just a little brainstorming and you can easily keep your puppy entertained with something fun and harmless for hours on end. Check out Bow Meow Pet Centre’s selection for ideas of entertaining and safe dog toys, and feel free to ask the staff for their suggestions.

How Long Will My Dog Live?

Many people are concerned with how long their dog is expected to live. Some people guess by thinking of their age in dog years. It’s important to know that the actual life expectancy is based on a variety of things that many people are not aware of.

Some of these factors include the dog’s breed, size, and environment. There are other things that make a difference in how long your dog will live as well. The diet you feed him and whether or not there are any health problems plays a role as well.

Certain breeds like Chihuahua dogs are expected to live between fifteen and sixteen years. Dogs that are a bit larger like Border Collies are only expected to life between ten and thirteen years. As you look at dogs that are even larger like the Great Dane they are only expected to live between seven and eight years.

If you’re confused about how long your dog is expected to live you might want to use an online breed calculator. These give surprisingly accurate results based on the size and breed of dog.

If you still want to calculate your dog’s age in dog years you might know that popular theory has that one human year is the same as seven dog years. As you’ve probably guessed, this is not an accurate calculation because different dogs age at different speeds. The calculation comes in because when a dog is one year old they are considered to be full grown and at their peak mental and physical condition.

In fact, only 8% of dogs live past fifteen years and 16% of them die because of things like heart disease and cancer. This is a significant difference from the way humans carry out their lives, as many humans can live with incurable diseases due to advanced medical care. Some consider this to be one major reason you can’t expect to compare dog years and human years.

As long as your dog doesn’t get any diseases you might not even see the effects of aging in your dog for quite some time. When you do start to notice it you’ll likely see a decrease in activity levels. Your furry friend might also sleep longer than ever before.

Some dogs also experience a downturn in their skin condition, appetite, and might even lose their teeth. Hearing and vision loss are not uncommon either. These are parallel to the signs of aging that occur in humans as well. While there are some medications for dogs, there are far more for humans that save lives and extend life expectancy.

Even though dogs and humans are quite different they do experience some of the same things when they age. Though you can’t specify the difference in age and expectancy with an exact formula, it is possible to make some educated guesses based on the information that is available.

Choosing the Right Pet Sitter

When you’re a dog owner there is a lot more to consider right before you go on vacation. It’s not just a matter of getting you and the kids ready to go, you also have to figure out what to do with your dog.

One thing you can do is use a pet sitter. This is a great solution because your dog will get to stay in a situation where they are most comfortable. It is also generally less expensive than putting your dog in a kennel. You’ll also feel a lot better knowing right where your pet is.

There are many different people you can consider for the job of your pet sitter. Some friends and family members might want to take on the task. Even so, you need to find the perfect pet sitter so you can go on your vacation with an easy and relaxed mind.

So, how do you find that elusive and perfect sitter? These ten things come to mind

  1. One of the best ways is to get referrals from friends and family members. If someone has had a good experience with a dog sitter in the past then chances are good that the person will be a good bet for you now.
  2. Whether you manage to find a good referral or not you’ll definitely want to take the time to interview the person. That way you’ll get to see how they interact with your dog and whether or not you like their personality. It’s important that your dog feels comfortable around their potential sitter.
  3. A good pet sitter will also want to know a lot about your dog before they take on the job. They will ask a lot of questions so that they know exactly what to do before you go away. If the potential sitter does not ask any questions you’ll know that they just are not qualified for the job.
  4. There are some pet sitting associations out there like Pet Sitters International or National Associations of Professional Pet Sitters. If your potential sitter is a member that is a good indication that they are serious about their pet sitting. Don’t rely on these criteria alone because the associations may not be familiar with their personal style.
  5. You should ask for client references. If they are an experienced pet sitter then they should have a list of people you can contact to see how they would rate their experience.
  6. You can also get bonding and insurance. This doesn’t relate directly to making sure your pet sitter is the right one, but it can protect you in case of theft or damage. That alone can help to put your mind at ease while you are away.
  7. In addition to all of the thorough checking you have done, you will need to review their contract. There definitely needs to be a contract in place because that guarantees that everything is clearly, and legally, spelled out for both of you. Their contract will also tell you how much their services are.
  8. It’s important for you to then arrange a second visit. This is a time where the sitter and dog need to be alone for a short amount of time so you can see if there are any problems that pop up. When you return you can look at your dog’s reaction to see if they had a good time or if they seem scared.
  9. Above all, listen to your instincts. If you have an uneasy feeling about a person then you should never hire them. If you feel like the potential pet sitter will be great, then by all means hire them if everything else checks out.
  10. The very last thing you need to do is leave instructions for your chosen sitter when you leave. This should include the phone number where you can be reached on your trip, emergency friends or family to call, and the vet’s name and number.

It can seem like a lot to handle, but if you go through these guidelines you will be making sure that your pet sitter is the best one for the job. When you’re making travel plans make sure choosing a great pet sitter is part of them.

Caring for a Blind Dog

If your Rover is visually impaired, you’re already aware that caring for an animal without sight is a little more complicated than attending to a sighted animal.

Just like a blind human would, a blind animal will learn the layout of his territory. With practice, they will discover how to get from the kitchen to the living room without bumping into things. However, if you decide to move around the furniture or if something is in their path, they will unknowingly stumble into it. Definitely be aware of the fact that a blind dog’s familiarity with their surroundings is a major tool used to navigate. Changing those surroundings quickly or without notice could certainly put a damper on how they get around.

Always make sure your home is kept up and all toys or other objects are off the floor and away. Be sure not to move around furniture unless it is absolutely necessary. Blind dogs memorize the layout of their surroundings, without that practiced layout they have no safe way to get around their home.

Another area of mention is the yard. Just like with the interior of the home, blind animals memorize their exterior yards as well. It’s certainly easy to forget to bring your lawn mower back to the shed or to unthinkingly move lawn chairs into new areas of the yard, but doing something as insignificant as this can totally offset a blind dog and put them in the way of potential harm.

Additionally, families who have in-ground pools and are planning to adopt a blind animal need to be sure to fence off their pools, separating them from the rest of the yard. A sighted animal could be taught to swim and to find the steps of the pool to get themselves out when they are tired, but a blind dog could easily fall in accidentally and, not knowing how to get out, become fatigued and drown.

Staircases that have open areas beneath the railing, or no railing at all need to be remodeled to be totally closed so there is no chance of your blind dog falling from the staircase.

Blind dogs are just as loving as any other pet, they just require a little extra planning and maintenance. Not moving around your furniture, keeping the floor uncluttered and closing off any in-ground pools are just a few small things that can greatly improve the chances of keeping your blind animal safe, happy and aware of his surroundings in his home.

Blindness can occur in an animal for many reasons, some are reversible and some not. If you feel you have the financial capability to, you may opt to have your dog get surgery to correct his lack of vision.

If surgery is not a reasonable option, do not feel that your pet can not be happy, safe and enjoy their life. Dogs, and animals in general, are very adaptive creatures who can learn (with your help) how to respond to their daily surroundings and lead happy and full lives.

While caring for a blind animal may be more complicated than a sighted one, you will find that the extra effort put into your pet will be very rewarding and your dog will love you that much more for making sure they are happy and safe.

Refer a Friend and Get A Free Dog Grooming!

You have friends.  You love the great service here at Bow Meow.  You want to tell your friends about the great service here, but you don’t always remember to tell them.  Now, we are making it easy!

Pick up our new referral cards (for free, of course) at the grooming shop.  All you have to do is put your name on them as the person referring your friend.  They get a 10% discount for coming in to try us out for the first time.  Once you refer 4 of your friends over, you get your next dog grooming for FREE.  It’s that simple!  We want you to send us your friends, now we will make it worth your while.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

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