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.

Doggy Dental Care

Due to the rise in dental disease among dogs, home dental care must become a higher priority for pet owners. Though home dental care is extremely important for the health of your beloved doggy friend, remember that serious dental issues must always be brought to the attention of your veterinarian.

Bones and rawhide chew toys are great for developing dental health in dogs, as chewing the tough material cleans hard-to-reach places between teeth and can even prevent or reverse periodontal disease. An occasional raw beef bone is a wonderful treat to keep your dog’s teeth clean and free from the formation of plaque from the build up of bacterial organisms.

Smaller dogs have teeth that are smaller and closer together may require more diligent monitoring for plaque build-up and damage or decay.

Toothbrushes are available to give Fido’s teeth a scrub, but pet owners must take care to use a soft, bristled brush in order to get beneath the gum line, where most periodontal disease begins. Doggy toothbrushes are to be used with special kinds of pastes recommended by the veterinarians for home use on your dogs, as human toothpaste and baking soda can actually harm your dog. Luckily, veterinarian-recommended toothpaste comes in flavours that your dog will love. We humans appreciate having minty-fresh breath, but your furry friend would probably prefer a toothpaste in beef or chicken – yum! Good doggy dental hygiene begins with a daily brushing.

Specially prepared food is available in pet stores to remove tartar and plaque from the teeth, and while it may cost a few extra dollars, this specially-formulated food may be worth it to protect your dog’s health. Dry dog food and toys that are specially made to add strength to the teeth are often used at home for better teeth cleaning.  Dental wipes are also available and may be used carefully at home. These help to remove more plaque and the tartar in addition to daily brushing and the inclusion of teeth-cleaning treats into your dog’s diet. Check out Bow Meow Pet Centre’s selection of products to assist with your dog’s dental health.

Dogs Need Different Diets At Different Ages

As a dog ages, his dietary needs change and the conscientious pet owner must adapt feeding schedules accordingly. The milk a puppy depends on is clearly not sufficient for an adult dog, and while dietary needs stay relatively the same throughout later life, some adjustments are necessary.

Puppies need large amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates to fuel their energetic, on-the-go playfulness. Because of this requirement, puppies need more frequent feedings in a day – generally, four feedings per day is the norm. Four smaller feedings ensures that your puppy’s tiny tummy isn’t stretched out by the amount of food he needs to eat. Instead, the food your puppy requires is spread out during the span of a day.

Dog nutritionists once recommended that older dogs be fed a low-protein diet to lessen the strain on their aging kidneys. However, recent studies show that such a low-protein diet may actually cause wasting in the older dog’s muscles – thus, older dogs should be fed kibble with the same protein content as younger dogs. As the liver ages, it may not be as efficient in producing GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid. Likewise, antioxidants that eliminate free-radicals and slow the aging process such as beta-carotene and vitamin E may be lacking in older dogs. These should be added to the formula of an older dog’s food to keep your aging dog in optimal health.

Pregnant dogs have feeding requirements much the same as other adult dogs, and owners should be careful not to overfeed a pregnant animal. During the last weeks of pregnancy, a dog’s food intake should be increased 25-30% from her normal amounts of food, and it is wise to start her on a kibble specifically for pregnant/lactating dogs. Many veterinarians will suggest feeding puppy-formulated food to a lactating dog, as it will provide her with the extra protein she’ll need to sustain both herself as well as her new little bundles of joy!

The experienced staff at Bow Meow Pet Care Centre would be pleased to help you select a brand or formula of dog food best suited to your dog’s specific needs. Come in and find out what kind would work best for your furry friend.

Dog Grooming Tips For Pet Owners

We wanted to give our clients and website visitors something special so we just put together this FREE offer.  We are just starting a newsletter and we want you to get it for free.  Our newsletter will consist of some special offers that you can’t get anywhere else, some dog grooming tips and just things that you might want to know as a pet owner.  Also, just for signing up, we are going to give you a free gift – an electronic book that you can read on your computer called “Dog Grooming Tips for Pet Owners”.  We had it specially designed just for you!

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Clipping Your Dog

Many dog owners think of using clippers to groom an animal as a purely mechanical activity. Few understand that clipping a dog is an art. Clipping a dog’s coat or trimming its nails are procedures to be carried out in a careful manner in order to avoid injuries to the skin or paws. Often, breed characteristics dictate how the dog should be groomed. If a dog’s coat is not properly clipped, this may lead to dust accumulation in the coat and the animal may start showing signs of skin diseases. This is true especially when the grooming activities are not done in a proper manner.

Proper coat clipping helps to get rid of the burden of parasites to a great extent, and the clipping of your dog is useful in exposing the type of parasitic problem that the dog suffers, or may be susceptible to in later life. Many pet health parlors are available wherein dog clipping will be carried out in a systematic manner.

Always use a sharp clipper, and in the winter months, avoid clipping too closely. Closer clipping in our frigid winter climate may expose the dog to an increase in environmental stresses, such as an increased vulnerability to frostbite. Another reason to steer clear of clipping too closely lies in the possibility of injury to the underlying tissues such as bleeding in the animal concerned.

Many pet owners need to avoid any clipping activity when the animal is not in full health. Clipping instruments are readily available in many pet supply shops. Avoid blunt instruments because they may not clip well and thus, frequent clipping is often required. Always use modern equipment for clipping activities.

Bathing Your Dog

Proper bathing technique needs to be given more emphasis among pet owners. This is because of the fact that if you are careless in bathing, your animal may end up with some nasty infections. For example, if you don’t close the dog’s ears with large cotton balls, water may enter into his or her ear canals and may cause ear infections with symptoms like constant discharge from the ears and frequent shaking of the head.

Frequency of bathing, like many dog grooming practices, depends heavily on breed. If the dog is one of numerous long-coated breeds like the cocker spaniel, then bathing is to be carried out once every six to eight weeks. If these breeds are bathed too frequently, the skin and coat lose protective factors. However, if the dog has frequent digestive upsets leading to diarrhea, more frequent bathing is necessary to prevent skin irritation and odour.

Take care in avoiding harsh soaps which may irritate the skin and human soaps. Soap products used for human beings are not suitable for dogs. Similarly, many human shampoo formulas have some ingredients that are not suitably balanced for use in grooming dogs. Therefore, you should always try to use shampoo products that are indicated for use on dogs. Conditioner is helpful to make combing easier later. Take more care in introducing any new product.

Dogs generally love water – from sprinklers, to lakes, rivers, and even the ocean. However, since you’ll probably be using a bathtub to bathe your dog, it’s a good idea to have everything you’ll need gathered together before you begin bathing. You won’t want to leave your dog unattended in the bath to run out and get something you’ve forgotten. Basic items you’ll need include a leash, towel, shampoo and conditioner.

Bathing should be a pleasant activity for both the dog and owner, not a source of anxiety and stress. The groomers at Bow Meow Pet Care Centre would be pleased to answer any grooming-related questions you might have – give us a call at 705-495-0602.

Dog Care Tips

This is where you will find all of our Dog Care tips.  We will be posting here to help you take better care of your pet dog.  You are welcome to check in here and read the tips, better yet, sign up on the right of the screen and these tips will get sent to you by email so you don’t have to remember to check in here for them.


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