Tag Archives: dog care

Limit frequency of dog, cat bathing / NEVER use human shampoo

The first step in bathing your dog or cat is to choose a shampoo MADE FOR PETS.  There are many good ones on the market.  AVOID using HUMAN shampoos that will dry your pet’s delicate skin.  NEVER use hand soaps or laundry soaps which are way too harsh for your pet.
Bathroom to a dogWhile bathing your dog – or cat – keeps them clean and helps keeps their fur soft and shiny, too much bathing removes essential oils and  can lead to dry skin, itching and flaking.  Some pet owners make the mistake of thinking that bathing will remove dry itchy flakes.  In fact, it does just the opposite and will make the problem worse.

If your dog has itchy flaky skin, limit bathing and choose a shampoo that contains oatmeal which will be much milder on the skin.  If your cat or dog has some form of SKIN IRRITATION, CONSULT YOUR VETERINARIAN.  DO NOT THINK THAT BATHING WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM.  While there are special shampoos for irritated skin, they are NOT the best solution.  Instead:

  • Feed your pet a high-quality food that provides proper nutrition.   Nine times out of 10, itchy, flaky skin is a result of poor nutrition.
  • Consult with your veterinarian who can do a blood test to see if your pet is suffering from any blood deficiencies.
  • Once your veterinarian has ruled out any underlying health issues, consider treating irritated areas of your pet’s skin with an anti-itch spray to temporarily relieve minor pain and itching. One such product is Allercaine for DOGS. You can also buy Allercaine with Bittran, a safe, bitter substance that discourages animals from licking.   NOTE these products are for DOGS ONLY.  As always, check first with your veterinarian.

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Nail trimming can be done at home with right tools & supplies

Nail trimming – for dogs and cats – is a regular part of your pet’s grooming that should be pretty easy to do at home.  Doing it at home can save you a little money at the groomer’s.  Some veterinarians trim nails for free during a regular appointment, but this means waiting six months or more for the next trim.

So to try nail trimming at home — just like anything – you will need the right TOOLS and SUPPLIES.

Clippers

scissorstyle
A scissor-style pet nail clipper. Photo courtesy of Pet Supplies Plus.

There are two main types of nail clippers:  Scissor-style and guillotine style.  We prefer the SCISSOR-STYLE clipper to the GUILLOTINE-STYLE clipper.      

The SCISSOR-STYLE of pet nail clipper – pictured right — applies pressure from two sides.  We find it easier to control the nail cut with this type of tool as it is similar to using a pair of scissors in which you are bringing both sides together to make a cut.

clippers
A guillotine-style pet nail clipper. Photo courtesy of Pet Supplies Plus.

On the other hand, the GUILLOTINE-STYLE of clipper — pictured left — requires that you slide the blade over the nail.  The clipper then applies pressure from one side to the other.  We find this style more difficult to use.

IN CLIPPING YOUR DOG’S OR CAT’S NAILS, CAREFULLY TRIM RIGHT ABOVE THE “QUICK” OR THE PINK AREA WITHIN THE NAIL WHERE THE NERVES AND BLOOD VESSELS ARE.  IF YOU ARE NOT SURE, ASK YOUR VETERINARIAN.  CUTTING TOO MUCH INTO THE NAIL CAN BE PAINFUL TO YOUR PET AND CAN CAUSE EXCESSIVE BLEEDING.

Nail grinder

Nail grinders for pets are becoming very popular.  They remove the rough edges AFTER you trim the nails.  Removing the rough edges is important to prevent nails from chipping and splitting.  A split nail can be very painful and can necessitate a trip to the vet for your pet. For a good quality nail grinder, expect to pay $30 or slightly more.  A lower-priced version can have a weak motor and may not do the job.

Styptic powder

Should you cut into the “quick” of your pet’s nail, bleeding can be profuse.  Styptic powder is used to stop bleeding.  It’s used externally and packed onto the wound.  See package directions.

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