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.

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