Although good mouth care is essential to maintaining your pooch’s health, the good news is that dogs are not as prone to cavities as human beings are yet despite the old conventional wisdom that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans however dogs can still develop problems like tartar and plaque build up and gingivitis which can lead to impacted gums, abscesses, infections and worse. So it’s not just bad breath and yellow teeth you have to worry about: if these canine dental problems are left untreated they can actually lead to life-threatening infections and issues including heart, liver, and kidney disease.
Whilst your dog might not welcome the tooth brushing at first, there are things you can do to make it a reasonably pleasant experience for both you and your canine friend. So we’ve come up with a few pointers to help maintain your dog’s teeth and mouth health at home:
Start early, start brushing with your puppy.
Grown dogs can learn to become comfortable with dog teeth cleaning, but make things easier for yourself by working with your dog as a puppy.
Pick the right toothpaste.
This is very important. Do NOT use regular human toothpaste for your dog. Most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. You can find toothpaste formulated for dogs at most good pet stores.
Dry food is better than soft, wet food.
If the tooth brushing ends in blood, sweat, or tears, there are still choices you can make to help improve your dog’s oral health. Crunchy kibble is better for your dog’s teeth than soft food, as soft food is more likely to stick to the teeth and cause decay. However a purely dry food diet is bad for your dogs digestion, mix it up!
Use chew bones or toys for dental health.
There are many synthetic bones and chew toys that are specially designed to strengthen your dog’s gums and teeth. Just make sure you’re providing safe objects for your dog to chew on. Hard objects can cause broken teeth. Whilst giving your dog a good bone to chew on can help get rid of build up and keep teeth strong, imagine a human who only chewed gum and used mouth wash. Not exactly what we would call an effective dental regime. The same is true for your dog.
Some further recommendations are to try and choose a time when your dog has had a decent amount of exercise, so they’re more inclined to sit still for the procedure. Don’t go crazy on the first few times. Start slowly and quit if your dog gets agitated, even if you don’t brush the whole mouth. You can increase the time every day as he gets used to it. You should also make sure to speak soothingly and pleasantly during the brushing and reward your dog with a treat afterwards. Before too long, your dog should start looking forward to the event and you can look forward to those in your face moments again.
No Bake Peanut Butter Dog Treats
Yield: Makes 40
1 cup all-natural peanut butter
1/2 cup low-fat milk (we recommend plant mylk, dairy is too complex for dogs and can cause terrible gas!!)
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened carob chips (like chocolate chips but safe for dogs)
2 bananas, each cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 20 pieces
In a bowl, mix the peanut butter and milk with a spoon.
Stir in the oats; the mixture will look crumbly. Mix in the carob chips.
Place a mound of the peanut butter mixture into the palm of your hand. Then, place a piece of banana in the center and top with more peanut butter mixture. Squeeze the ingredients together to form a 1-inch ball. Don’t worry about mashing the banana and expect to add more mix, as needed, because some will fall off as you shape it into a ball. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, placing each piece on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Refrigerate the treats for at least 1 hour before serving.
Almost overnight, a tangle can appear even in the most well groomed of pooches. When the fur becomes tangled, it forms a knot.
The reasons these knots are formed is because a dogs hair actually consists of many barbs along the side of the hair, much like the thorns on the stem of a rose. When the fur remains un-brushed for some time, these barbs begin to hook into each other, creating more and more tight and complex knots.
If left for too long, lots of these little tangles and knots begin to join into a single masses which we call ‘Matts’. These Matts can range hugely in size, from the size of a pea to the WHOLE animal being one giant Matt.
Obviously a Matt of any size is going to be extremely uncomfortable for your dog and leaving them too long can lead to extreme situations.
What can cause fur to Matt?
Incorrect brushing & bathing
The Life Of A Matted Mutt.
With a little twist or tousle of the fur, the barbs get tangled. Combine this with some wet mud rolled in or some dry/damaged skin or even a collar and you have the beginnings of a Matted Mutt.
Now we plop the poor pooch into a bath, completely soak the fur and cover it in a shampoo and conditioner that will be impossible to remove from tangle and matted fur and we are well on our way to creating a nice, tight Doggy Dreadlock.
Repeat this process a few times along with missing out on regular grooming and you are now the owner of a fully fledged and increasingly uncomfortable Matted Mutt.
Now you’ve noticed your dog is matted, but it’s winter….. Your brain tells you to not worry about a grooming session till after the winter as over as your poor pooch may get cold without their coat.
However, while the dog is matted, the fur underneath is still growing but without anywhere to go. The hairs and barbs and pushed into the Matt which eventually draws the tangled mess flush with the skin. You’ll begin to wonder were the Matts end and your dog starts!
Now Rover is starting to smell like a laundry basket as muck and dirt starts to integrate into their fur. You try desperately to wash, clean and brush them because that’s what you assume is best.
Oh dear…. Now the Matts so tight against the skin that the skin is having an extremely tough time breathing. The skin lets of small amounts of moisture that now cannot go anywhere and evaporate. The skin starts to get sore, turn red and eventually will Start to rot!
At this point, you are the owner of a serious mangy looking mutt. No one wants to stroke or pet the smelly, tangled beast and the dog suffers from this. Some animals can even become aggressive when they feel uncomfortable or sore.
So now you have a grumpy dog. You try to cheer them up by taking them on a nice long walk. You struggle to find the clip for the collar and drag your dog outside in the worlds, heaviest, smelliest most uncomfortable coat.
And guess what? Your dog is probably absolutely freezing! They still haven’t dried from the bath yesterday and are now walking more mud and plant material into their smelly, wet, matted fur.
What a sight for sore eyes….. It’s finally time to take Rover to the groomers.
You try and explain the state of your pooch. The groomer gives what you assume are funny looks as you can both see you don’t have an outdoors dog, so your excuse of getting cold doesn’t quite sound right once it’s spoken aloud.
On first sight, the groomer could tell that this dog is going to require a lot more attention than normal. They know that the signs of matting usually tell that the animals nails haven’t been clipped, teeth, eyes or ears haven’t been cleaned and also that the dog is more than likely to be under trained.
Brushing the dog is out of the picture now. Even cutting and shaving is going to massively irritate the dogs already sore skin. Their is a good chance the dog is now going to bite and be aggressive to our obviously unknown trainer.
The owner is then most likely going to complain at the amount of time taken, the higher cost for the length of time, the fact that the dog couldn’t be groomed to breed specifications because of the Matts, or even because the dog is nervous/aggressive during the session.
This scenario is unfortunately one that happens all to often. But remember that the state of your dog isn’t the groomers fault, neither is it the dog’s. The responsibility is yours alone.
Grooming at home.
If you are going to go through the mighty effort of bathing your dog at home, it is extremely important that before the dog enters the bath, you have brushed through every inch of fur, removing any Matts or tangles, to the point where you can run a fine tooth comb over every inch of your pooch, against the skin, without hitting a single snag.
Don’t make the mistake or wrongly assuming that dog fur mimics human hair and is easier to brush out when wet. Bathing tightens dogs Matts where as it may loosen ours. However, we have hair, dogs have fur.
Be extremely attentive to drying your dog after a bath and make sure the dog doesn’t stay wet for any longer than necessary. A damp dogs fur will clump and Matt very easily!
Also, if you try to cut the Matts out of your dogs fur yourself, you run a huge risk of injuring your animals skin which could easily lead to a skin infection in a matted dog.
Do some dogs Matt faster than others?
Of course! Depending on how many barbs the fur has and how thick and strong they are will determine the rate at which your dog’s fur Matts. Barbs and fur are not breed specific, while certain breeds have certain fur traits, nothing is set in stone.
Two siblings from the same little will generally vary greatly on how they Matt and tangle so each dog must be groomed with their individual needs in mind.
If you have Matted Rover or a slightly tangled pooch, it’s never too late to correct it with a grooming session before things escalate any further. We can’t even bring ourselves to show you some of the images of seriously matted dogs, some in such a critical condition they have to undergo surgery to have their Matts removed. Click here to see our grooming services and prices and help us help you and your dog to avoid a nasty Matt ever taking hold in the first place!
Noise-related phobias are very common in dogs and can be triggered by a number of things including anything from fireworks, thunderstorms to the front door bell going. When a noise is unexpected, it can cause the dog to have a severe stress reaction and the phobia is usually a mix of the noise itself and how unexpected it is.
Sometimes certain stimuli can trigger the stress reaction in your dog even without the stimulus of noise. For example, seeing the postman walking towards the front door can cause anxiety when anticipating the noise. As well as this, a dog can detect certain pressure changes in the environment which can cause your dog to show signs of anticipatory anxiety well before a thunderstorm rolls over.
Some of the symptoms of Noise Phobia in dogs include obvious signs such as urinating, defecating, chewing and pacing and less obvious signs such as dilated pupils, hiding or even trying to escape. Mild signs such as sucking a blanket can become exacerbated due to long exposure to the noise.
While these signs aren’t exactly detrimental to your dogs health, other possible reactions could have a much greater harm to your animal and even you. Their have been recorded cases of dogs injuring themselves and dying when trying to jump out of windows, run into traffic or even attack people out of sheer panic.
When it comes to treatment of such a condition, many people, vets and trainers alike would be quick to recommend pharmaceuticals much like the same a human would take with the same anxiety condition. Some of these drugs include Diazepam, Alprazolam, Amitriptyline. Many of the drugs prescribed by vets for anxiety usually aren’t found in any Vet formulation which is obviously not good for you pets health. These kind of drugs have been known to affect dogs kidneys as well as their mood and temperament.
A less invasive form of treatment for an anxious animal would be behavioural therapy. If dogs can receive the same drugs as a human can, why should they not then receive the same physiological therapy?
Behavioural therapy can work for both your and your animal as it is important for you to learn what behaviour to enforce and what not to enforce, to ensure you dog knows when it is safe and can feel comfortable. For example, punishing your dog for displaying the natural signs of anxiety will only further the condition.
While comforting your dog in these moments may seem like the best thing to do, studies actually suggest it makes no difference to the animal unless they physically seek you out for contact.
One of our methods of effective Noise behaviour therapy is Desensitization. Just like your skin is desensitized when it is introduced to the sun for sustained periods, your dog will grow less and less sensitive to noises it fears if it is introduced to the noise slowly while the trainer enforces the more positive behaviour and normalises the situation.
Another method used is counter-conditioning which is essentially providing your dog with the means to associate the terrifying noise with something much more constructive such as toys, food, play or favourite park which are presented before or after the noise over a sustained period of time.
We also provide gun dog training which is more of complicated process which usually involves beginning the training of the dog at the right age to ensure all fear can be easily allieved.
Sound therapy training for dogs is a lot of dedication as the training must be repeated time and time again to ensure that the enforced behaviours have successfully been recognised by your dog. Some dogs may even need continuous behavioural therapy to cope with the condition and live a fruitful life. Some, may not even respond to the training at all. All of these situations must be weighed up seriously by you the owner before partaking in this kind of training as ending the tr
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