Dog Grooming

Use these simple grooming tips to keep your dog beautiful and healthy

Brush Me!

Brushing your dog often is important, especially for longer haired breeds.

Even for short coated dogs brushing is important, because it helps remove the loose undercoat which can be very itchy and irritating. For short coated breeds use a curry comb or rake to bring up the loose hairs and remove them. You’ll be surprised at how much hair comes off of your dog!

Regular brushing keeps your dog's coat clean and healthy, gives you a chance to bond and lets you check her skin for cuts and bumps.

Regular brushing keeps your dog’s coat clean and healthy, gives you a chance to bond and lets you check her skin for cuts and bumps.

 

For longer haired breeds use a brush with metal bristles to untangle mats, and then smooth the coat with a fine bristled brush. Taking care of mats is very important because if left they can trap moisture next to the skin which can lead to hot spots. Brush your dog at least three times a week for a glorious coat.


Rub a Dub Dub, One Doggy in the Tub

Bathing your dog is also important, but how often depends on his lifestyle.

Is your dog outside a lot, or does he prefer the great indoors? Indoor dogs should only require a bath about once a month, unless they get into something stinky or yucky (such as dead animals or mud).

A dog who spends time outdoors will get dirty more quickly, and will require more frequent baths. Still, you should restrict bathing to once a week at the most, too much bathing will dry out your dog’s skin. After bathing try rubbing some tea tree oil into your dog’s coat, it’s a great natural deterrent to fleas and ticks.

Snip Snap
Don’t forget to clip your dog’s toenails as well. Long or jagged nails can be very painful for your pup, and can leave him vulnerable to all of the bacteria on the ground.

To familiarize your dog with nail clippers start using them when he is a puppy, and feel free to give him lots of love and treats during and after the experience. Be careful not to cut the quick, which contains blood and nerves. To avoid this simply cut away from the point where the nail turns pink, or where the nail is hollow underneath (easier to find on dogs with white nails). Also, if your dog has a jagged edge, file it down so as to make him more comfortable.

Grooming your dog at home can save you lots of money, and help you to form a closer relationship with your dog. Have fun getting beautiful!

Have a Pet-Safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Okay, who else is looking forward to a three-day-weekend? Picnicking, swimming, some serious watermelon eating—whatever your plans, be sure to keep your pets in mind!

  • Give your pet access to plenty of fresh water at all times. Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if overexposed to the heat.
  • Avoid lathering your pet with any insect repellent or sunscreen not intended for the four-legged kind.
  • Keep your pet away from matches, citronella candles and lighter fluid, which if eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.
  • Be cool near the pool. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool, lake or high waters—not all dogs are expert swimmers!
  • Never leave your dog, cat or any other animal friend alone in a car! The inside of a car can heat up very quickly—even with a window open.
  • Be prepared! From tornadoes to floods, we’ve seen the devastation severe weather has brought to pets and their families these past few weeks. Develop an evacuation plan well ahead of time in case you’re forced from your home in an emergency.

As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous from the picnic table, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435.

 

Have fun!

Pet Safety Memorial Day

With summer right around the corner Bark Buckle UP wants to remind people to be safe driving buckle up the whole family pets included this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Ray LaHood, Department of Transportation announced the 2011 Click It or Ticketmobilization with a reminder to motorists about the severe risks of driving unbelted, day or night. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show 306 people died on U.S. roads during the 2009 Memorial Day period, 55 percent were unbelted.

Memorial Day weekend in a car, truck, SUV, crossover, RV and even boating, remember safety-first buckle up the whole family. It’s easy to do pet travel harness, tethers, crates and for boating wear it your PFD pets too”, stated Christina Selter “Pet Safety Lady, founder Bark Buckle UP.

“Despite all the warnings against leaving pets and children in cars, yet we still hear all too often the horror stories of dogs that suffered or even died after being left in vehicles as temperatures inside soared. Studies have shown that a healthy dog, whose normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees, can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees for only a short time before suffering brain damage or death, at even 85-degree weather, temperatures inside a car can reach 120 degrees in less then 30 minutes, even if a window is cracked,” Selter said.

FACTS:
• Wearing a seatbelt costs you nothing but NOT wearing on can cost a life
• Bark Buckle UP’s StatTracker 2009 98 percent of pets were not secured properly
• A 60-pound pet can become 3000-pound projectile, at just 35mph
• Pet travel has increased 300 percent since 2005
• Unrestrained pets delay emergency workers’ access to human occupants
• Pets escaping post-accident pose many dangers, including catching the loose pet
• Injured pets may bite first responders and rescue workers
• Pets may escape through a window or open door and cause a second accident
• Driver distraction is common when unrestrained pets are rambunctious

FACTS:
• Wearing a seatbelt costs you nothing but NOT wearing on can cost a life
• Bark Buckle UP’s StatTracker 2009 98 percent of pets were not secured properly
• A 60-pound pet can become 3000-pound projectile, at just 35mph
• Pet travel has increased 300 percent since 2005
• Unrestrained pets delay emergency workers’ access to human occupants
• Pets escaping post-accident pose many dangers, including catching the loose pet
• Injured pets may bite first responders and rescue workers
• Pets may escape through a window or open door and cause a second accident
• Driver distraction is common when unrestrained pets are rambunctious

Fountain Valley

Dog Walking 101

Hey you, new pooch parent—yeah, you with the cute puppy who can’t stop pulling! Want some tricks to keep Trixie on task? Or perhaps you’re already an old pro but want to make your outdoor excursions more fun for both you and your dog.  Follow our insider tips and your pooch will be eager to get going as soon as you pick up the leash!

It’s the Leash You Can Do

What’s the best type of leash? “Use whatever you feel most comfortable holding,” recommends the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center’s Kristen Collins, CPDT.

  • Flexi-leads are best reserved for walks in the park, when it’s safe for a dog to explore a bit further away from her pet parent. They are NOT a good idea if you’re walking in an area with high foot traffic or off-leash dogs, as the long line may get wrapped around your dog, a person’s leg or another dog.
  • Many people think chain leashes look nice, but they are much heavier than nylon or leather, and they can be very hard on the hands. Even so, they sometimes work well for dogs who like to tug or bite the leash. “Metal doesn’t feel nearly as nice in a dog’s mouth,” explains Collins.
  • Leather leashes are a good option because they are easiest on the hands.
  • Nylon leashes can cut into hands or give a pet parent “leash burn” if a dog pulls a lot or unexpectedly lunges forward. But they come in many stylish colors and designs, and they hold up well after repeated exposure to rain and snow.

Pull Over, Rover!

Constant pulling on the leash makes walks stressful for both of you. “It’s a common problem that can happen for a number of reasons,” says Collins.

  • If your dog darts after local wildlife, it may help to walk him when critters are less likely to be out and about; avoid dawn and dusk. You can also check out our article Dogs Who Are Reactive on Leash.
  • If the problem is simply pulling on leash due to natural canine enthusiasm for all the exciting signs and sounds you encounter on walks, you’ll find  help in our article Teaching Your Dog Not to Pull on Leash.
  • Try using a head halter to walk a dog who’s excitable on leash. “They provide power steering for dog parents!” says Collins. “The Gentle Leader® by Premier® Pet Products is my personal favorite.” Details and more can be found in our article Walking Equipment for Your Dog.

Stay Off the Grass (and Out of the Flower Beds!)

Our experts at the ASPCA Poison Control Center want you to keep your walks toxin-free:

  • During the warmer months, it’s important to keep your pet safe from toxic lawn and garden products. Insecticides and certain types of mulch can cause problems for our furry friends—during neighborhood strolls, please be sure to keep your pooch off the lawns of others.
  • Even though popular spring bulb plants like tulips and daffodils add much to our landscape, they can cause significant stomach problems for our furry friends. If your pooch likes to stop and smell—or nibble—the flowers, please keep him on a short leash during your walks.

So Nice to Meet You!

It’s great that your friendly pooch loves meeting people during walks—but not so great that she jumps up on them. “The basic idea is to teach your dog how to sit on cue and then require her to sit to interact with people,” says Collins. “No sitting, no greeting. But if she sits, she gets to enjoy the reward of greeting her friends.” It doesn’t hurt to reward the dog with a treat—or ask the person whom she’s greeting to offer a treat.

See our article on Teaching Your Dog Not to Jump Up on People for more guidelines.

Three Things To Bring

  • If you’re planning an extended walk, be sure to bring water for your dog—especially if it’s warm outside.
  • Don’t forget the goodies! Walks are great training opportunities. Bring Fido’s fave treats along, and practice tricks and obedience while you’re out in the world. “This will solidify your dog’s skills andconvince him that going on walks is fantastic fun!” says Collins.
  • Don’t get caught without extra poop bags, particularly if you’re going on a long walk.  (P.S. This is a great way to recycle all those plastic grocery bags!)

Watch for Creepy Crawlies

Depending on the time of the year and the area of the country you live in, sneaky critters like snakes, spiders, scorpions and bees can be a serious concern for pet and parent alike. If you’re walking in a densely wooded area, take extra care to keep an eye out for hidden dangers.

To Be Free or Not to Be Free—That Is the Question

Taking a walk to a dog park or other fenced-in area that’s safe for canines to romp freely? Make sure your dog is prepared for off-leash play. “Your dog must know how to come when called,” says Collins, “so the most important thing to do is teach a really reliable recall.”

Find out how to accomplish this in our article Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called.

Take It Up a Notch

Here are some suggestions for making walks more fun for your dog:

  • Mix it up! Try taking your dog to new places. He’ll love experiencing the new sights, smells and sounds at a novel location.
  • Choose fabulous destinations. If possible, walk to fun places, like friends’ houses or the dog park.
  • Walk with buddies. If your dog likes other dogs, consider group walks. You can either borrow a friend’s dog to accompany you, or invite family and friends who have dogs to meet you somewhere.