Dealing With a Stinky Dog

Dog owners who live near a forest, beside a river, or on a farm will be quick to tell you that there is something about stinky, decaying items that appeals to dogs. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is black swamp water, dead fish, or a pile of slimy manure, if it stinks and can be rolled in, the dog is happy. While smelling like a walking, barking sewer system is a dog’s idea of heaven on earth, it’s owners are normally less than enthusiastic. The odour emitting from their pet means that they have to take time out of their busy day to either take their pet to the groomer and have it bathed, or they have to bath their dog themselves. Even then, there is no way that they can be sure that the offensive odour will wash out of the dog’s coat.

Dog experts believe that dogs roll in things like dead fish, road kill, and manure in an attempt to disguise themselves. What nobody knows is why they feel the need to camouflage their scent. It could be a throwback to the days when they hunted their dinner — if the prey couldn’t smell them, they stood a better chance of capturing something to eat. Another reason dogs might feel the need to hide their scent is for protection. They might be trying to hide from potential predators or other potentially hostile packs of dogs. Maybe stinking like a landfill made it easier to be accepted into another pack. On the other hand, it’s possible that dogs roll in the stinkiest object they can find just because it feels good. Nobody really knows for sure why dogs feel the need to smell like a dumpster.

The quickest, most efficient way to remove odour from your dog’s coat is to give him a good bath. Try to use a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs. Human shampoos can strip the dogs coat of its natural oils, leaving the skin unprotected and more prone to rashes and infections. Dog shampoos are made to clean the dog’s coat, without stripping it of the natural oils. If the dogs stink is especially strong, like the scent of a skunk, bathing the dog in tomato juice is one of the quickest ways to remove the smell.

If you have dog that consistently rolls in stinky, smelly items, you may want to consider taking him to a professional pet groomer and having his coat clipped. The shorter coat will be more comfortable for the dog during the hot summer months and while the shorter hair won;t prevent your dog from rolling in the smelly items, the shorter coat will be easier for you to wash, and will dry faster.

If you have bathed your dog and still notice a strong odour whenever it is in your presence the source of the smell might not be the dog’s coat but a more serious health problem. Dental issues can create especially foul breath. Strong breath odour can also indicate more serious diseases such as kidney failure and diabetes. Dogs are also prone to having anal sacs that become impacted and infected, and therefore extremely malodorous. If washing your dog does not seem to take care of the odour, you will want to take your dog to your veterinarian and have the problem officially diagnosed so that treatments can begin.

To Muzzle, Or Not to Muzzle?

Home pet grooming can be a harrowing experience for both animal and owner. The activity stresses out some dogs and cats and, as such, they behave differently when they are getting a bath or having their nails clipped. They may snip or bite at the pet groomer even if they familiar with the human grooming them. A loving, docile pet can become all teeth and nails if they do not want to be groomed. The best, most humane way to protect both human and animal during pet grooming is to use a muzzle. Though some people think that a muzzle is cruel, it can keep the animal restrained and stop them from possibly doing harm.

A muzzle fits around the dog’s mouth and is secured around the back of the head with ties or straps. Pet grooming experts agree that the animal feels no discomfort when wearing the muzzle. It leaves enough room for the pet to breathe and at the same time restricts the animal from biting. Muzzles are made in many different sizes. Even small dogs with tiny mouths can inflict a nasty wound. There are no muzzles for cats but there are “head bag” contraptions that fit over the entire head, restricting biting. Pet grooming experts say that the bag is thin enough for the cat to breathe, but will keep the animal from biting the groomer.

There are many styles of muzzles the home pet groomer or pet grooming expert can use. The most popular one is called the softie. The softie is made of a pliable, soft, but resistant material that gives your dog the ultimate comfort as they are being groomed. The DuPont fabric is tear-resistant and durable, able to hold up during any pet grooming experience. It is stain resistant and can be machine washed. If you are grooming several dogs in succession, it is wise to wash the softie between dogs or to use another muzzle so diseases or bacteria will not be passed on.

There are several sizes of softies even for little breeds like Yorkies or Chihuahuas. Pet grooming experts do emphasize to not keep the muzzle on for an extended period of time. The muzzle could interfere with the animal’s natural cooling system.

The softie should not be used with overly aggressive dogs. When grooming an animal known to bite or attack, a leather muzzle is best. The leather will have enough strength to restrain the dog’s jaws and keep the groomer from getting bit, while having adequate space for the dog to pant and cool down. Besides pet grooming, these muzzles can be used during walks. They will warn passers-by that the dog is not friendly while protecting the public from a dog who doesn’t get along well with strangers. The drawback of the muzzle is that if your animal is attacked by another, it will have no way to defend itself.

Whether you are pet grooming or just worried about the disposition of your animal, the muzzle will protect you and your pet. Remember to look into multiple muzzling options before settling on any one model – find out what variety works best for your pet.

A Dog’s Vision

Of the five senses, sight is arguably the most important. Seeing helps us observe and process our surroundings and our vision continually allows us to enjoy the world around us and avoid hazards.

The way our canine friends see is similar to the sight of a human, with a few key differences. The human eye can process many different colors and shades of those colors. Even breeds of dogs that have the best vision have a much more limited range of colors they can see. Dogs are unable to distinguish red, orange or green – but shades of blue, yellow and purple are visible to dogs and may make the best choices for toys and other items for your pet. This also explains most dogs’ love for bright yellow tennis balls! Dogs’ eyes are also much better at noticing movement than they are at recognizing detail. Being able to notice movement better than us allows them better vision at night, but they are less likely to notice subtle details.

Though their vision may be poorer, an advantage canines have is their heightened other senses. Dogs have an excellent sense of smell and finely tuned hearing. As mentioned above, they are also great at noticing movement. Though our perception of detail may be better, dogs are, on the whole, better at sensing their surroundings than humans. These heightened senses made early dogs good hunters as well as great companions to early humans who would need a dog’s keen observance to help keep them out of danger’s way.

A dog’s eyes also resemble a human’s eyes. Dog’s have a range of eye colors they may have, though they are usually a shade of brown. One big difference between our eyes and a dog’s eyes are their nictitating membranes, or third eyelids. Though you can’t often see this membrane, eye irritation and some diseases can make it more noticeable. This membrane sits in the inside corner of the canine eye and helps to keep dirt out and to keep the eyeball lubricated.

Dog’s even share a lot of the same eye diseases that humans can be affected by. Just like you might pull out your Visine to take care of mild eye irritation, dogs can experience similar irritation to their eyes. The same irritants that bother our eyes also bother our dog’s: dust, chemical pollution and smoke are the most often culprit for eye irritation.

If your dog’s eyes are bothering them they will likely be inflamed, red and teary. You may also see your animal scratching at their eyes or rubbing at them. If only one of their eyes are bothering them, it often means a foreign object or maybe an injury is the problem.

A common breed-specific problem for some dogs is blocked tear ducts. Shih-Tzus and Poodles often have this problem and have darkened, damp hair matted around the corners of their eyes because of this. If your dog has watery eyes, it is recommended to get a veterinarian to check them out and determine which cause is the problem.

Sometimes elderly humans get cataracts and this is also often the case with older dogs. A long time pet owner can easily recognize the lightened haze that forms over a dog’s eye when they are older and affected by cataracts. The haze is your dog’s eye lens becoming opaque and consequently, your dog’s vision becoming impaired.

Something that might appear similar to a cataract in your dog’s eye but is a different condition altogether is Lenticular Sclerosis. This condition is similar but the center is the only part of the dog’s eye that is affected. Lenticular Sclerosis also often shows in elderly dogs.

Though it may sound sad to hear that older dogs are often affected by vision impairment, vision loss does not hurt a dog’s senses the same way it affects a human. Remember, dogs have far better noses and hearing abilities than we do. Blind dogs can still live out their lives happily and it’s a shame that humans lack similar sensory abilities to adapt as do our furry companions.

What To Do When You Go Away

It can be a dilemma to figure out what to do with your dog or cat if you go away. It is up to you to find a suitable solution and have emergency backup plans in place if something comes up. When you make a plan beforehand, you will eliminate potential sources of stress you might otherwise encounter.

Having a pet is a large responsibility. Even if you thought you were prepared for it there are always instances where you will be thrown for a loop. No matter what other responsibilities you might have you need to make sure you take care of the needs of your furriest friend.

The good news is that you have options. There are services that have been set up for this specific reason. Even if you aren’t able to give them the attention and care they need for a few hours or even longer there are solutions for you. It’s up to you to choose the ones that are the best match for your pet and your situation.

Pet Day Care

One option is to send your dog or cat to day care. This isn’t the same thing as child’s day care, but is the same idea.

These day care centers will give your pet the social interaction they need to get through the day. There will be plenty of animals there to play with your pet and workers who will tend to its needs. This is an especially great thing if you have a young dog because they will need supervision or else they might become destructive.

Boarding Kennels

Kennels are an option if you’re going to be away overnight or an extended period of time. This might cost you a lot of money but you can rest assured that your pet will be in a safe place.

In-Home Care

Many people prefer their pets to stay in their home environment. This is a fairly hassle free way of making sure your animal will be taken care of. This method may also be more cost-effective. You can just pay someone to pop in or even stay over at your home to make sure everything is OK.

Cats are usually all right on their own for the day, while dogs need more care and attention. In fact, cats prefer to stay in their home environment, and dogs are a bit more flexible so you can factor that into your decision.

Making Your Choice

There is probably a method that stands out to you depending on a variety of factors. Above all, make sure that you consider what is best for your pet. No matter which option you go with it’s important to make sure the person caring for your pet is qualified.

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.

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