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Ways to Identify Lyme Disease Symptoms in Dogs

With the summer underway and deer ticks searching for hosts, dog owners will want to know how to identify symptoms of Lyme disease and how to prevent their dog from contracting the disease. Lyme disease in dogs is treatable but can be a serious issue when the infection leads to other harmful medical issues.

Lyme disease ( borreliosis) stems from Borrelia burgdorferi, a specific bacteria called spirochete which is carried by deer ticks. The disease was first diagnosed in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975, but cases have been documented in all 50 states. This is most likely from people traveling to endemic areas—regions where tick populations are prevalent—and returning to their home state. There is evidence that Lyme disease has existed in the wild long before humans discovered the issue.

The eastern coastal regions that are close to densely wooded areas and have high populations of white-tailed deer have a significantly higher prevalence of Lyme disease. Upstate New York, Massachusetts, and Minnesota are states with high concentration levels of deer ticks. If your dog plays outside in the summer months, you’ll want to take extra precaution.

How is Lyme Disease in Dogs Transmitted?

The transmission of Lyme disease is dependent on the life cycle of the black-legged deer tick. The tick goes through three stages in life. In the spring, the larvae hatch from eggs and will find a host to feed on—a small mammal like the white-footed mouse. If the mammal the tick latches itself onto is infected, the larvae will also become infected.

When the cool weather comes the larvae will winter over and wait to find another host for the spring as a nymph. Once attached to another mammal, the nymph can molt and reach the final stage of adulthood. Deer ticks get their name because they are most commonly attach themselves to the white-tail deer that rub up against vegetation the ticks are waiting on. Deer ticks can attach themselves to humans, dogs, and any other mammal walking through forested areas.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs

An infected tick must be attached to a dog for 48 hours for the transmission of the disease to contract. If the tick is removed before this, the infection will not be contracted. This makes checking your dog for ticks a good practice.

Only 5-10% of infected dogs develop symptoms. Lameness, due to inflammation of the joints, is the most common medical symptom of Lyme disease. What makes the disease even more potentially harmful are the other medical complications that derive from infection.

Progressive kidney disease, nervous system disease, and heart complications can occur after transmission of Lyme disease. If you spot any of these symptoms in your dog’s behavior, please seek out veterinary services immediately. Senior dogs with Lyme disease and arthritis will be in more severe pain than younger dogs. The inflammation of their joints can impair their mobility.

Other Symptoms Include:

  • Stiffness
  • Arched Back
  • Difficult Breathing
  • Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Depression
  • Superficial Lymph nodes around the area of the bite.
  • Heart Abnormalities
  • Nervous System Complications

Humans can also contract Lyme disease so if your pet is diagnosed you will also want to contact your physician. Your dog can bring in a tick from outdoors or chances are you hiked the same area of tick infested land.

How Are Dogs Treated?

Your veterinarian will administer a series of blood tests to detect certain antibodies developed by a dog infected with the B.  burgdorferi bacteria. Many dogs’ blood tests come back positive even if your dog has not contracted Lyme disease. Exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi will yield a positive blood test result. Most likely the dog was exposed to the bacteria but was able to fight the infection off without treatment.

Treating Lyme disease is straightforward. Veterinarians will prescribe a tetracycline or penicillin based antibiotic. Dogs will need to take the antibiotics for at least 14 days, but a 30-day regimen is recommended to sufficiently clear the organism. There have been a few cases where after 30 days of antibiotic treatment a dog has relapsed and will never completely rid themselves of the infection. However, the majority of animals that receive antibiotics respond well to treatment.

Prevention & How to Check Your Dog for Ticks

During tick season be aware of areas that could have tick infestations and monitor your dog’s coat after hiking through thick brush.

Tick Control:

  • Vaccination. If your dogs live in an eastern coastal state near the woods it might be worth getting your dog vaccinated. However, some medical experts have criticized vaccinating for Lyme disease in dogs, stating that is ineffective.
  • Topical Insecticides. There are various effective insect repellents on the market like K-9 Advantix or Spot On for Dogs. Applying these to your dog will ensure that if a tick bites your dog it will die and release within 12 hours.
  • Tick Collars. Using a tick collar with the active ingredient Amitraz which will repel ticks but not fleas.

After your dog adventures outside look for red irritated areas that are inflamed. This could be a possible tick bite. Check your dog’s coat by running your fingers through their coat like a comb feeling for lumps as you go. If you see any bumps, make note of its position but do not force a comb through the area. This will make the bite more painful. You will also need to check their ears with a flashlight. If your dog is showing any symptoms of Lyme disease, please seek out a veterinary diagnosis.

 

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How to Get Rid of that Dog Smell | Tips and Tricks

If you and your dog are inseparable, then chances are, you are also inseparable from their smell. Our canine companions have come a long ways from working dogs that were tethered outside. Most of us dog owners have a pooch that is right now sprawled out on the couch at home. The love of your dog is fair compensation for the added dog smell. But none of us want a house that reeks. This article will walk you through natural ways to get rid of that dog smell.

Why Does the Dog Smell….so Bad?

Oily Skin

When you enter someone’s house and you’re nostrils are immediately invaded by that ‘dog smell,’ it’s usually because their dogs have oily skin. It’s called atopy. This is when a dog’s body overproduces skin oils to compensate for the inflammation and itchiness of their skin due to allergies. The result is pretty stinky. These oils aren’t just emanating from your dog. They stick to whatever surface your dog is near—the bed, the couch, the car seats.

One of the easiest ways to combat the smell is with regular brushing. Brush your dog at least once a day to remove dead hair and the oils caused by build up of dead hair that causes that all-too-familiar stank. Brushing your dog’s hair is one of the simplest ways to get rid of that dog smell.

Bacteria

Odor causing bacteria love wet dog hair. As your dog runs through the sprinklers or after a bath their coat becomes a perfect environment for bacteria to live and reproduce. This is why drying a dog after bathing or swimming is so important! Using many towels, rub your dog down to rid as much moisture as possible. If you use a blow dryer, make sure it is on the cool setting! You don’t want to burn your dog.

 

Yeasty Ears

A dog’s ears are full of sebaceous glands that produce lots of wax. This wax is also the ideal breeding ground for microorganisms that can smell to high heavens. This wax build up is not harmful to your dog but will be smelly. Another issue dogs can have with ears are infections. A skin infection in the ear is due to bacteria or a yeast infection causing that dank smelling apocrine sweat. If this is the case, speak with your groomers and veterinarians for treatments.

Hot Breath

A dog’s oral hygiene is just important as a human’s. Although dog’s don’t need to have their teeth brushed every day, vets suggest brushing at least a few times a week. Different oral care chews can also help scrape tartar from their teeth and give your dog fresher breath.

The Glands

Dogs and scent marking are like wine and cheese, they just go together. Dogs have an instinctual need to ‘mark their territory’ and this is actually a passive act. Just as your dog pees on every sign post on their walk, your dogs are constantly secreting their “dog smell.’ This scent-marking can easily absorb into furniture. Also, a dog’s anal glands release a musty substance while a dog ‘does his business.’ Sometimes these glands can become clogged and will need to be cleaned or ‘expressed’ by a professional.

The First Step in a Cleaner House

Dogs will be dogs. They will roll in anything they like—it’s not always a field of flowers. After a good trip out to the dog park, or hiking, a bouquet of smells will attach themselves to your dog. The best way to keep these smells outside is to keep your dog nice and clean.

Dog’s need to be washed at least once a week. This will maintain a good pH balance for their skin and keep them from bringing in scents from the great outdoors. Many of us don’t have time to properly wash our dogs with quality dog shampoo. As we mentioned before, drying is just as important as the scrub down. This is why it might be worth considering using a professional dog groomer. A dog groomer with a membership program can save you money, time, and of course, keep your house smelling fresh! Successfully knowing how to get rid of that dog smell might be as easy as using a professional dog groomer.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique has a membership where pet parents can drop their dog off for a bathing and brushing at a set price. Super convenient! The dog groomers also offer luxurious pet spa treatments that will have your dog relaxed and smelling blissful.

Tips to Keep the House Clean Naturally

Furniture

There are two choices to tackling the furniture and ridding those pesky and gross smells. For both, you will need to strip all the soft furnishings—cushion covers, rugs, duvet covers, sheets. You can either throw these in the washing machine or apply baking soda or a natural odor repellent, then vacuum. You can use detergent mixed with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. The more natural cleaning products you use the healthier it will be for the whole family.

Sprinkle baking soda into every crevice of your furniture. The powders innate absorbent properties will soak up all the dog smell. Let the baking soda sit overnight and vacuum away. For the bed, you might want to this procedure in the morning. This way when you get home you can re-make the bed for the night.

The Floors

Whether you have linoleum, tile, or hardwood floors these can all be sources for the dog smell. To keep a crisp smelling house you will need to clean your floors once a week. Sometimes more if you have more than one dog and young children. Regular sweeping of the floors will remove hair. A thorough mop of the floor with 3:1 vinegar solution after sweeping will also eliminate foul scents.

Quick Tips on How to Get Rid of That Dog Smell:

  • Get Your Dogs Bathed Often
  • Sweep & Vacuum Every Other Day
  • Mop Floors Once a Week
  • Use Two Couch Cushions to Switch Out While Washing
  • Wash Dog Beds Once a Week
  • Leave Carpet Powders in for at Least 10 Hours
  • Open the House When Possible
  • Feed Your Dog Healthy Foods

Remember, dogs are animals and we need to let them live like the animals they are supposed to be. Part of this lifestyle is getting a little dirty. It’s not their fault they can develop some unsavory smells and ultimately it is our responsibility as part of their care to keep these scents at bay. If your dog has a potent smell, then more than likely, they have an allergy or some other medical issue that needs addressing. Groomers can help spot these ailments and help provide preventative care.

Good luck with getting rid of that dog smell, and always—Play Dirty. Live Clean!

 

 

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The Damage of Training Dogs to Walk on Their Hind Legs

Viral Videos of Dogs Walking on Hind Legs Stirs Controversy and Spreads Misleading Training Techniques

For the past few months, a barrage of videos showing dogs walking on their hind legs have been going viral all over the internet. The most famous of these is a brown Poodle wandering around China’s Sichuan province. The dog is dressed in girl’s clothing. The reactions in the video mirror the ones posted online. Many think the video is precious without knowing the real implications behind this kind of dog training.

Another video from Toronto that was also widely circulated on the internet shows a professional dog walker dragging a dog by his hind legs. The dog was in a harness and was being lifted by a leash. Just as disturbing is that the same dog walker had other dogs walking beside him without a leash. The dogs were walking and jumping in the streets with oncoming traffic close by. The city’s municipal licensing and standards committee have since taken actions to tighten up regulations for professional dog walkers.

Are Dogs Walking on Hind Legs in Medical Danger?

Most veterinarians agree, that yes, a dog walking on hind legs is not natural. The posture can be harmful if the dog walks like this for a prolonged period of time. “If it’s chronic that they’re on their legs like that, then it’s not a natural posture for a dog to be in, so it does produce more wear and tear on the joints,” Dr. Patrica Alderson tells GlobalNews. “This can lead to muscle and joint disease.”

Many aging dogs like German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are already predisposed to diseases that cause limb weakness and in bad cases, paralysis in the hind legs.  Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) usually occurs in dog’s over five-years-old. A dog will begin to lose muscle coordination, balance, and will develop paralysis in the hind legs that can spread forward. Training dogs to walk on their hind legs can exacerbate this.

Unnecessary pressure on joints and ligaments can cause inflammation and tearing. Senior dogs can develop osteoarthritis which will prevent them from getting into the car or climbing up stairs. A great way to prevent this is by providing foods packed with nutrients found in dog broth like glucosamine. These compounds act like hormones when ingested—stimulating cells called fibroblasts that lay down collagen in joints, tendons, and ligaments.

These Poor Dogs are Most Likely Abused

A 15-minute video found within a pen-drive in a shopping mall in Malaysia shows graphic footage of a man beating a Poodle into standing on her hind legs. This video and others have surfaced alongside the cutesy videos showing what is more than likely the truth about the situation behind a dog walking on hind legs.

Many animal rights activists have released statements condemning the dog owners in these videos. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, commonly known by their acronym, PETA, are controversial leaders in animal rights. PETA takes fringe stances on many issues but videos surfacing that actually show the abuse can’t be ignored.

“Dogs have four legs for a reason,” says Elisa Allen, director of PETA.  They don’t naturally walk on two—and certainly not over long distances—because it can be uncomfortable and cause them physical injury. There are many ways that people can have fun with their dogs which are respectful and don’t involve ridiculing them.”

One of the dog owners from these videos has come forward stating that his dog, Dou Dou, has a congenital condition and has been walking on hind legs since she was a puppy. We at Splash and Dash hope that this is true. We have expectations that dog owners are using humane training with positive reinforcements and are careful not to overburden their dogs. Sadly this is not always the case.

Cool Tricks that Aren’t Harmful

Why potentially injure your dog when there are so many other cool tricks out there? Many advanced dog training tricks are movements that your dog can perform naturally. Best of all you don’t need an agility course, or even need to hire a dog trainer to show your dog how to pull these tricks off. You only need a few treats, some patience, and your dog!

Cool Tricks:

  • Kiss
  • Bark/Speak on Command
  • Shake Hands
  • Fetch
  • Roll Over
  • Play Dead
  • Spin
  • Roll Over
  • Leave It

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Cute Summer Clothes for Dogs

Is Dressing Up My Dog A-OK? Or, Should Clothes for Dogs Stay On the Rack?

First, there’s National Dress Up Your Dog, Cat, Horse, Guinea Pig, Goat, Pig, Fish…Pet Day! Emphasis on dogs. Then there’s July 4th, Halloween, and somewhere in between the year, your dog’s birthday. All these days, plus when you get to hashtag pictures #weeklyfluff, are great excuses to grab some clothes for dogs and throw a fashion show!

What is cuter than a Dachshund dressed like a Hot Dog at a friend’s Barbecue? A French Bulldog dressed like a Frenchman or even French fries, yes! Or, what about a Chihuahua adorning a Taco Suit for Cinco De Mayo? A Pug dressed as a lion is always a hilarious sight!

Appareling clothes for dogs is too much fun! It’s a way to involve your pet in the holidays, get your Instagram game on point, and even represent your favorite sports teams. But, how do your pets feel about the charade? Before we tell you how to arrange clothes for dogs to create fabulously cute costumes, we’ll dive into the dog pile of ethics first.

Paws and Reflect: Should We Dress up the Dog?

You know your dog best! You know their temperament—what makes them comfortable, and what makes them go crazy. If your dog is anxious and hates unfamiliar experiences, you should probably opt out of dressing them up. If your dog doesn’t mind the shenanigans, we say go for it! Dogs have been putting up with human silliness for thousands of years. The only thing a dog loves more than treats is you! So if your dog has the personality to let themselves be safely wrapped in clothes for dogs, then sure, adapt your favorite wizard movie into your dog’s next Halloween costume—Harry Barker.

Pet parents also need to consider the weather. During the cold months, some dogs actually might benefit from being wrapped in a sweater. Ice melting chemicals and snow itself can be harmful to a dog, so booties over their paws will help their paws stay healthy. Not all dogs are genetically predisposed to cold northern weather and an extra layer will keep them warm. On the other side, Nordic dogs have an extra layer in their double coats. This keeps them naturally insulted and regulates temperature. Putting them in clothes could overheat them.

Safety First:

  • Take Measurements. Clothes that are too loose can’t trip your dog. Clothes for dogs that are too tight will be uncomfortable and possibly suffocating.
  • Materials. Wool, silk, and flannel will keep a dog warm, but cotton is more breathable. If if is snowing, cotton will also get wet. Keep these things in mind.
  • Be attentive. If your dog is showing signs of discomfort undress them!
  • No pants. Dogs can’t possibly walk with pants on. Plus this is not going to be fun when it’s time for them to use the bathroom.

Dog Anxiety Relief Clothing

Many pet parents swear by products like ThunderShirts—a vest that applies gentle swaddling pressure that comforts a dog. A dog’s evolution points to this gentle pressure giving them relief from fireworks or lightning. Similar to cave beds, some dogs like to be nestled. This replicates the burrowing habits of their ancestors. Clothes for dogs are designed to mimic this same sense of familiarity.

How to Style and Make Your Dog Fab in Clothes for Dogs

Dress your dog to fit their personality. If your bulldog has the bad to the bone biker attitude, put a Harley Davidson bandanna over him and spiky black collar.

Maybe your newly adopted mixed breed just has the air of stoicism calling you to dress them up like a philosopher. Some drapery to serve as a toga and a purple sash will have them looking like Socrates in no time. What about the sports? The summer baseball season is rounding home plate and you want to make your pup the most popular pooch at the tailgate!

Most sports teams have clip-on-hats that will sit comfortably on their head representing the Yankees, Cardinals, or the Cubs depending on your team. If you want to go neutral you can dress them like an umpire or even as the baseball itself. Nothing cuter than this!

More Dog Costume Ideas:

  • BatDog
  • CornDog
  • Great White Bark
  • Yo-Dog (Yoda)
  • Beggin’ Bacon
  • Princess
  • Dog-Tini
  • Bark-O-Saurus-Rex
  • Baked Pugtatoe
  • Kissing Booth

If you decide to dress up your dog for any event be sure to play it safe! Your dog can’t slay the runway without being comfortable and content in their cool new attire. Sometimes all you can do is snap some pictures of your pooch in clothes for dogs then call it a day. For even more dog DIY costume ideas click here!

Live Dirty! Play Clean!

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Funky Fur Fashion With Pet Paint

One of the coolest waves to hit the pet grooming scene is pet paint! The product was originally brought to light from ABC’s Shark Tank, but since then has been featured all over the internet and dog’s backsides.

Pet paint really started getting popular after pet owner, and artist, Bryn Anderson first painted her dog Nixie. Anderson sprayed some white lines over her black German Shepherd and posted them on the internet. Nixie’s fame skyrocketed from there as it quickly went viral.  How could these pictures not explode over the internet? Nixie looked adorable as a doggie skeleton for Halloween! Her skeleton paint job was so cool, the now famous skeleton dog has her own Instagram and Facebook pages with thousands of followers.

Since Anderson first posted pictures of Nixie, pet parents from all over have been searching for a way to replicate this on their own dogs. Pet paint is a sensational twist on grooming that can give your pup a unique look for any occasion. Pet groomers have caught onto the trend and are offering a painting with your dog’s bath and haircut. Many groomers and artists have made stencils that make the pet painting process even easier.

Party with Pet Paint

Fourth of July? Spray some red, white, and blue stars over-and-down your dog’s coat and you’ll have the star spangled barker! Christmas? Spritz a few blue snowflakes on him, or maybe even design a Santa’s little elf costume without the hassle and discomfort of forcing your dog to get into a fabric costume. What about Halloween? With pet paint, you can make an artistic rendering of lions, tigers, and…a zombie! Numbered stencils make it easy for you to transform your dog into a football or baseball player. Or,  with some creativity, you can dress them as the ball itself.

The ideas are endless and even if you’re stumped, a few clicks around the internet open the doors for dozens of awesome ideas for your festive doggie.

Are There Any Safety Issues?

First off, pet paint is not house paint.

Regular oil-based paint contains a slew of chemicals and carcinogens like toluene and formaldehyde. These chemicals are downright toxic for dogs. While humans can endure through painting the house by opening windows for ventilation, this is not always the case for our four-legged companions. If you paint the house, be cautious with your dogs. You might even think about letting a friend watch them for the weekend or taking them to doggie boarding.

Non-toxic pet safe paint does not contain the same resins, pigment, additives, or solvents that household paint formulas have.  Make sure you’re using a safe non-toxic pet paint if you choose to decorate your dog!

Use a brand that is veterinarian approved and has been rigorously tested to ensure its ability to last and overall safety. Pay careful attention to customer reviews when purchasing pet paint. Most pet paint brands on the market are safe and non-toxic, but not all of them are easy to use. Products come in ink blow, marker pens, and spritzing paint forms.

Depending on your dog’s coat(wiry or silky), using marker pens for paint application can be difficult. You might want to consider letting your trained groomer handle the painting for your dog’s safety and for a professional quality paint job.

There are only a handful of trusted pet paints out there.

Trusted Brands:

  • PetPaint
  • PetPerri
  • Pony Paints (Grooming Chalk For Horses)
  • Bark Art

Safety Tips to Keep In Mind

Use pet safe paint!

We love our pets and it’s our duty to keep them safe. Most brands on the market are veterinarian approved but the specifics of this claim are vague. If you have questions about pet paint formulas ask your vet or groomer. You can always test the paint out on a small part of your dog’s body before applying to a whole costume.

Try spraying a small dot—let it dry–then wash it out. This will warm your pet up to the idea and confirm that the paint will not have adverse reactions.

Where is it safe to apply?

If your dog is a fan of licking their paws, groin area, or any other part of their body—be cautious! The idea that ‘what is safe for humans is also safe for our dogs’ is a false assumption. Many dogs like the Shetland Sheepdog and Yorkshire Terrier have sensitive stomachs. Even non-toxic pet paint can possibly make them sick.

Be careful around your dog’s face and hygienic areas too. You don’t want to accidentally spritz paint right into their eye or any other orifice.

Measure your dog’s patience.

If your dog is timid or anxious it might not be the best idea to paint them. Exotic grooming like this takes precision and they will need to stay still for a long time. Foreign experiences can be scary for all animals, and if your dog’s disposition makes them easily frightened, painting them might be too stressful. Consider their tolerance and go from there.

Professional Grooming is the Best Idea

Dogs require a lot of attention to detail when it comes to grooming. Groomers use equipment like clippers and dremmels which can be scary for a dog who’s not used to the grooming process. Reputable pet groomers are trained and certified to handle and groom animals.

This professionalism is especially important when it comes to painting our pets. Pet paint products are still relatively new. You never know what possibly dangerous ingredients comprise a pet paint formula that is beinging sold out there. Dog groomers will guarantee your pet’s safety.

Letting a dog groomer handle the painting also comes with the benefit of knowing the paint will come out looking great. Groomers have the hands for accuracy to turn your pooch into a tiger, clown, or even a billboard!

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Best Haircuts for Dogs: Summer Styles are in!

Responsible Pet Grooming Can Cool Down your Dog for the Summer with the Best Haircuts for Dogs

The summer months are full of vacations, barbecues, and the blazing heat of the sun that has us all shedding into swimsuits and cranking up the air conditioning. If us human are stripping the winter layers, doesn’t it make sense for our panting dogs to cool off too? Yeah, Fido could probably use a trim down to contend with the oppressive heat. What are the best haircuts for dogs this summer?

First a word of caution. Many pet experts advise against shaving your pet. Shaving down to the skin can be harmful to dogs and downright useless for cats. Depending on the breed, shaving can damage their coat irreparably. Both dogs and cats have a natural temperature regulation system built into their coat. So when it comes to the best haircuts for dogs, it’s better to let professionals give your dog a cooling trim before shaving them down.

Brushing is one of the most important things you can do for your dog. It removes dead fur from their undercoat. This helps circulate the air flow to their skin. Brushing also prevents matting—tense knots of interlocked hair. A daily brush and having a professional trim your dog’s hair will be a lot less expensive than a trip to the veterinarian.

Responsible Grooming: Dangers of Shaving

For the last 15,000 years of doggie domestication, humans have been breeding dogs to develop thicker coats than other breeds. Northern breeds like the Husky, Samoyed, Chow Chow, American Eskimo and their lap dog counterpart—the Pomeranian—have double coats. These dogs still need dog grooming, but shaving them can begin a condition called clipper alopecia.

This condition develops when the hair follicles of the outer coat are damaged. When the outer coat, or guard hairs, are damaged the coat will never grow back the same. Most owners of Northern breeds that are not ‘lap dogs’ do not want this to happen. These double coated breeds need the second layer of fur to insulate their heat during the cold months. Coats also grow back patchy, thinning, and balding spots are more prevalent after shaving. During the summer a regularly brushed coat will ‘loft’ as the dog walks, circulating air to the skin to cool him down. Northern breed dogs only need light trimming and have their hygienic areas tended. This will leave them comfortable without possibly endangering them.

Shaving a pet down to the skin also leaves them vulnerable to sunburn. Always leave at least one inch of fur as a protective barrier from the sun’s rays. Clippers need to be well lubricated to keep cool. If a clipper gets too hot, take a break and let it cool down before continuing the groom. Pet parents can talk to their groomers about the best haircuts for dogs that ‘choose humanity over vanity.’

If you have a Pomeranian and want to have the stylistic ‘teddy bear look,’ make sure you’re content to keep this style for life. If done properly, this trim will not be harmful to a dog. There are various techniques to pull of these popular haircuts without full shaving. Sculpting with a #7 blade combined with scissoring is the most common methods for the ‘teddy bear’ or ‘puppy cut.’

Summer Haircuts

The difference between shaving and a trim is the extent of hair that is removed. Professionals groomers have the training and experience to know how much fur to take off.

Breeds like the Poodle, Bichon Frise, and Cocker Spaniel must be trimmed. These breeds have hair that grows constantly and needs regular attention. The best haircuts for dogs like these are the bikini clip, continental clip, standard puppy clip, or standard kennel clip. Because dog grooming is so individualized, most groomers refer to general haircuts as puppy clips or kennel clips.

A kennel clip is most common for poodles but can be applied to all dog breeds with the same fur texture. It involves trimming the face, feet, and tail with a scissored topknot and poofy tail pompon. The kennel clip got its name from use hunting dogs. During the offseason, most dogs were ‘kenneled’ and needed a short cut with less maintenance. Thus, the kennel cut was born. The kennel cut is one of the best haircuts for dogs during the grueling heat of the summer.

Dogs that need to meet breed standards like Schnauzer, Wirehaired Fox Terrier, and West Highland Terriers are going to need expert trimming. These dogs have a harsh wire coat that needs stripping to fit the aesthetic criteria for a show.  Stripping will make hair threads more wirey. This is ideal for pet owners who want to have their dog look as close to the breed standard as possible. If your dog isn’t a show dog, you can have their groomer clip them for the summer. Clipping the coat makes fur soft and silky.

Your dog’s summer cut depends on your vision and dog’s needs.

Safety Tips for the Heat

Never leave your dog in the car. Even if you’re just running into the store with the windows cracked, a parked car’s heat can swelter in just a few minutes. The temperatures can reach deadly numbers quick. The last thing you want to do is injure or threaten your pup’s life to save a few minutes.

Keep him hydrated. All our pets need to have access to clean and cool water. If your dog is a fan of ice cubes, by all means, add a few ice cubes to their dog bowl to encourage hydration.

Chill in the shade. Instead of sweating, dogs pant to regulate their body temperature. They draw air over their tongue which cools from the moisture. This panting process is nature’s air conditioning. Dogs have an easier time panting when they are under shade.Shady place’s air temperature is much cooler without direct sunlight.

Don’t leave your pets outside. Most dogs keep a core body temperature in the range of 100 to 103 Fahrenheit. When it’s baking outside, it is much harder for dogs to maintain this temperature. Don’t leave your dog outside for too long. The hot concrete can also burn your dog’s paws when the sun’s rays are concentrated on the street for hours.

Know the symptoms of dogs overheating. Heatstroke can be deadly, This is what it looks like:

  • Heavy Panting
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Glazed Eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody Diarrhea
  • Bright or Dark Tongue & Gums
  • Staggering Posture
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Unconsciousness

If you suspect your dog of overheating, get them to a veterinarian! Acting fast can save your dog’s life!

We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique hope you and your dogs can look cool, and stay cool, with the best dog haircuts and making informed decisions!

Play Dirty! Live Clean!

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Dogs are Going Green Too: Eco Friendly Dog Shampoo and Other Green Products

Pet owners tend to be more conscious about the Earth. We are people who care for animals and most likely your pet dog is the bridge between the wild and your living room. Dogs remind us that we’re all in this together. We all can play a part in reducing our carbon footprint on the world! Caring for the environment goes hand-in-hand with caring for a dog as more products like Eco Friendly dog shampoo become widely available.

This has not always been the case. Traditional pet products have typically been toys made from synthetic materials, dog food and treats are comprised of byproducts or fillers, and shampoos made with chemicals that seep into the environment. Not until recently have pet parents had more conscious options. What’s even worse, is that many of these products are inferior to sustainable products. A dog toy made cheaply will break quickly and need to be thrown away and replaced. Food with fillers contain no nutritional value. These foods will get eaten faster without filling your dog up with protein,vitamins, and minerals.

Rather than wasting money on products that hurt the environment and don’t last, why not get your dog green products?

Why Eco Friendly Dog Shampoo Can Be Better

Dogs have a stronger sense of smell than humans. Dogs have about 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses versus the six million in humans. This means their sniffers are 4,900% stronger than ours! Shampoos with artificial fragrances and chemicals can leave your dog with a monster headache.

Dog’s skin can is also hypersensitive. Skin is their largest organ and it takes delicate balance to stay healthy. Many traditional dog shampoos are packed full of chemicals that disrupt your dog’s natural pH balance. A dog’s skin can become overly dry or irritated when this happens. Eco Friendly dog shampoo offers a healthier alternative.

If the harshness of these chemicals are dangerous for your dog, they’re also dangerous for the Earth. The manufacturing process is tricky. Even seemingly benign ingredients can contain harmful byproducts. It is more expensive for dog shampoo manufacturers to synthesize formulations themselves. So instead of buying coconut oil and synthesizing it down to develop sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), they purchase the chemical and mix it with other chemicals for the final product.  If SLS wasn’t purged of contaminants it can be dangerous for your dog and the environment. If the manufacturers used ethical processes, then SLS can easily biodegrade into nontoxic components.

Read labels carefully and speak with your Veterinarian or dog groomer about what shampoos to use.

Avoid these Ingredients:

  • Artificial Fragrance
  • Phthalates
  • Formaldehyde Preservatives
  • Isothiazolinone Preservatives
  • Paraben Preservatives
  • Cocamide-MEA
  • SD Alcohol 40
  • Polyethylene Glycol(PEG)

 

Most Eco Friendly dog shampoos steer clear of these toxic and sometimes even carcinogenic ingredients. Your dog can still have that vibrant and shiny coat that works in harmony with their own natural oils with Eco friendly shampoo. Ingredients like Vitamin E, aloe vera, and rosemary extract make for a more soothing bath experience for your dog. You won’t have to worry when your dog licks their skin after a bath now!

These ingredients are also more gentle on the environment. The ingredients of Eco Friendly dog shampoos should be biodegradable—break down naturally after bath time. Once shampoo is rinsed away, it flows down the drain and into wastewater systems. Biodegradable ingredients are eliminated naturally in the water cycle, while pollutants add to carbon emissions in acid rain. Natural ingredients biodegrade without polluting.

But pet owners should still be wary. As environmentalism popularizes a movement called Greenwashing is happening. Greenwashing is when products are marketed as ‘natural’ even when they contain contaminated source ingredients. Take the time to read the label and watch out for words you cannot pronounce.

Green Products

Plastic has a questionable half-life. Depending on the source, it could take up to 1,000 years for plastic to break down in the environment. The scientific community is split. Plastic bags have only been around for around 50 years so no one is quite sure how long it will take those things to decompose in a landfill. Some say as little as 450 years others theorize 800. The longest theory is an entire millennium for plastic to decompose and some believe it never will.

One thing is certain, it will take organic cotton much less time to decompose than plastic. Let’s keep our landfills manageable!

Manufactured materials like plastic, rubber, and synthetic cloth also contain harmful ingredients.  Chemicals like Bisphenol-A,  phthalates, lead, and other heavy metal contaminants are all found in dog chew toys. How do dog toy makers get away with this? Many fetch toys, tennis balls, and plush toys aren’t sold as chew toys, but let’s face it, our dogs are going to chew on them.  What is scary is that these chemicals are in our dogs’ mouth. Even if they don’t ingest a piece of the plastic, the harmful contaminants are still secreting into your dog’s body.

Many pet owners prefer plastic chew toys. They are sometimes less malodorous than the natural counterpart. Natural chews like rawhide, bully sticks, bones, and antlers will be gnawed away until gone, but a little smell is better than intestinal blockage from contamination of rubber and plastic toys.

Recycled Products

Cycle Dog is an Earth friendly pet company that hand sews their products in the U.S. The company makes dog collars from recycled bike tubes that would otherwise be crowding up landfills. The collars are bacteria resistant and are less smelly than traditional collars. The company has evolved their Eco Friendly product line into beds, toys, travel bowls, and other pet accessories.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique are proud to offer Cycle Dog products in our stores and hope it’s one step closer to a cleaner planet!

 

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A Reflective Dog Collar Can Actually Save Your Pet’s Life

When it comes to dogs, our pup-inspired imagination has no bounds. There is no shortage of awesomely cute products that can keep your pet stylish and more importantly safe! One of the coolest of these is reflective dog collars. A collar is a versatile tool and accessory—with it, you can lead your dog by a leash, attach their name tag, and keep them safe on roadways. Not to mention reflective dog collars are quite the fashion statement at the dog park!

Why Reflective Dog Collars Will Keep Your Dog Safe

A report from 25 New England schools shows that a staggering 1.2 million dogs and 5.4 million cats are sadly run over each year. Car crashes account for deaths of wildlife too. The Humane Society of the United States reports that 475 million animals are run over a year. Meaning 15 animals are run over every second. This is tragic. The unfortunate truth is that most of these deaths could have been prevented.

One of the easiest ways for you to protect your pet is to use a reflective collar. At night, a car’s headlights turning onto the road will bounce off your dog’s collar. The reflective material will help your dog shine brightly. The material used picks up car headlights, streetlights, and any other lighting. Reflective collars for dogs are perfect for night runs or strolls to watch the sunset. Dogs that bolt because of a lightning storm will also have the added protection if they get lost at night. The added protection will also help you retrieve them because it will be much easier to spot them while you search.

Reflective dog collars can be used in combination with the primary colors already popular on dog collars to maximize your dog’s visibility and safeguard their overall safety. Using a reflective collar will help your dog avoid a deadly car accident and could mean the difference between a painful accident and one lucky dog.

Which Reflective Dog Collar is Right for Your Pup?

There are a wide range of reflective collars on the market and pet experts advise getting one that is durable and won’t slip off. If it does, that defeats the whole purpose. Different collars are made from different materials and not every collar is the same. You will want to get your dog a collar that will last longer and is stitched with a reflective material that allows you to see them from long distances. Of course, you’ll also want them to look snazzy.

There are are a lot of different styles and materials to pick from so we’ll break down our favorites.

3M Scotchlite

These collars were constructed by a Great Dane owner who made the collars for his own dog out of necessity. The collars are affordable and made with a sturdy 500-denier double folded nylon. The collar is designed to ride low on the neck—good for dogs with tapered snouts.

StuntPuppy

These collars embrace that classic minimalist look coming in six different colors that all look great. The collars are made with Biothane, claimed to be virtually indestructible, waterproof, and flexible.

Bahoolie

These collars come in various chic patterns and designs like Henna, 1960s Circle, and the British Flag. Also made with Biothane these collars are durable and bring out the fashionista in your pup!

Blueberry Pet

This brand is the Patagonia for dogs. Made with genuine leather with 3M reflective threads stitched into a polyester webbing. The buckle is made with Eco-friendly plastic too! The line comes in various neck sizes and does not stretch.

Max & Neo MAX Reflective

The main reason we love this collars is not only is it made with double nylon with reflective stitching but for every collar purchased, the company donates a dog collar to a rescue. Love this!

Orvis

These collars are made with a reflective nylon and come with a personalized embroidery. Instead of a tag, you can put your dog’s name and information right on the collar just in case he gets lost. These come in a variety of sizes and colors.

Night Runs & Hunting Dogs

Athletes that like to take their dogs out for a nightly run will definitely want to get a reflective collar. At night, even with proper street lighting, darkness impairs our vision. This is not secret. Just like you wear reflective gear, it’s important for your dog too!

Dog owners that like to bring their dog hunting will also want to use brightly colored reflective dog collars to keep them safe from any precarious happenings.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique loves all dogs wants to keep them safe and happy for a long, long, time!

 

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Dog Salons and Other Pet Trends Here to Stay

Consider Using a Pet Salon to Pamper Your Pooch and Safeguard Their Wellness with Professional Grooming

I remember the days before I found my dog. The family would get home from work and school to find an unsettling quiet within our house. Then we got Mercedes—my lovely Yorkshire Terrier—and things became pleasantly different. Mercedes is the princess of the house and I wanted to treat her like one. I started taking her to the pet salon where she was tended for as the furry diva she is.

This is what I wanted. Dogs are not simply pets, they are part of the family and won’t go rotten when you spoil them like kids. Of course, Mercedes gets the best food on a rotational diet, her choice of plush toys, and high-quality veterinarian service. But when I took her to these big-box pet salons for grooming we both walked away unexcited.

The service was mediocre. Usually some kid who didn’t know the first thing about my dog’s needs.  The prices seemed a little outrageous for a standard grooming. I wanted a pet salon where the groomer knew Mercedes by name and would give her the affection I would, if I had the time to groom her at least once a week. This is when Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique started—a pet salon that is dedicated to education, love, and exemplary service that me and Mercedes perfected for other pet parents to fall in love with.

Using a pet salon saves time, money, keeps my house clean, and best of all I can trust the people who spoil my little Yorkie in extravagance. If you haven’t tried a pet salon for your fur-baby, I urge you to give it a try.

A Pet Salon Saves Time

Dogs of all breeds require a lot of attention to maintain the health of their coat, teeth, and nails. Dogs need to be brushed daily, especially when they’re shedding. Brushing keeps the house clean and coat and skin in good shape. The same goes for doggie’s oral care. Depending on the condition of your dog’s teeth, most veterinarians advise teeth brushing around every three days to once a week. Mercedes also needs her nails trimmed every two months and the process can be tedious. One top of all this, she still needed to get a bath!

As most pet parents do, I take my dog to the dog park routinely. The park is great fun for the dog, but it’s also a haven for dog’s to get insanely dirty. I had muddy paw prints and pet hair everywhere. We would come home from playing with mother nature strewn all over my house as Mercedes shook it off her coat! Dogs that live an exciting but dirty lifestyle need a bath once a week.

Who has time to do all this? I love my furr-baby but the last thing I want to do after work is groom my dog.

This is why a pet salon is so convenient! I can drop Mercedes off at the dog salon anytime I want where she can get a relaxing hydro-massage bath in sudsy luxury. If she needs any new toys, food, or even a new dog bed it’s all right there. Saves me so much time! If I were to gather all the grooming supplies and do it at home, I would spend hours every week tending to Mercedes’s wellness. I just don’t time have time.

With the pet salon, it’s a breeze.

They take care of everything which frees me up to do the things I actually love to do with my dog—her laying in my lap as I watch reruns of Roseanne.

No Mess, No Fuss

Mercedes is good with baths. She welcomes the suds, but I have so many friends who say the opposite. Getting their dog into the bathtub was like trying to walk away from a used car lot in a good mood. That Boxer was not getting in the tub!

Then once you get the dog into the tub they act as if you’re torturing them. You’ve taken every painstaking step to ensure their comfort—good water temperature, expensive hypoallergenic conditioner, you even busted out their favorite treats to make the whole situation positive. Yet as soon as you turn your back for just a second. Boom! The boxers out of the tub and bathroom is now a puddle of dog hair and dirty water.

Every pet owner in the world knows what comes next. The shake. Before you can even get the towel over them—their shaking every drip all over the bathroom, coating the mirror. You can’t get mad, that’s what dogs do. What you can do is cut out the hassle and take your dog to a pet salon.

Every Splash and Dash facility has all the conveniences and supplies to adequately wash your dog. Not only do they have the equipment, but the well-trained staff is knowledgeable in handling dogs that hate bath time. Just drop off your dirty dog—grab a cup of coffee or get some grocery shopping done—then come back to a lovely smelling and happy doggie.

Also, one of my favorite parts about the pet salon is the price.

I was paying $100 dollars at big-box pet grooming places for a grooming and bath. At Splash and Dash, the signature service membership starts at $39.95. If you take advantage of the membership and get your dog bathed once-a-week, it almost pays for itself in time saved, no longer needing to buy grooming products, and the bathroom tub is fur-free!

Professional Grooming Techniques

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique signature service includes unlimited monthly bath and brush per month. If you just cleaned the house and don’t want Fido to ravage the place, take him down to the pet salon. Whenever you have houses guests, before vacations, or if the dog park was particularly muddy—you can take your dog for a bath whenever you want.

Pet salon groomers are also skilled in cutting any kind of doggie haircut you want. From Boo, the Pomeranian’s internet-famous teddy bear cut, to showroom style grooming, to a simple refreshing cut for the summer—pet salon groomers can handle it all. Just tell them what your dog wants.

Grooming a dog is a super involved task and if you don’t know what you’re doing you could hurt your dog. Professional groomers at the pet salon are trained to pamper your dog as they trim their coats. It’s a combination of precision and love that puts a smile on your dog’s face every time.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique services Include:

  • Bathing
  • Brushing
  • Full-Coat Grooming
  • Teeth Brushing
  • Nail Trimming
  • Gland Cleaning
  • Pawdicure
  • Facials
  • Nail Painting
  • Nourish Conditioning
  • Aromatherapy
  • DeShed Service

The difference between a pet salon and your run-of-the-mill dog grooming place is, of course, the spa element. It’s like the difference between a barber shop and a day spa. You can get your haircut at any old hair place, or you can get the full package of luxury-fueled indulgence at a day spa. Pet salons are the doggie equivalent. Humans deserve some R&R.

So do our furr-babies!

 

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Dog Nail Clipping I A Love Hate Relationship

One of the Most Important Parts of Grooming Is Trimming Gangly Nails to Keep Dog’s Happy and Healthy

Dogs can be huge drama queens sometimes. Some of the biggest drama stems around the trickier parts of grooming—dog nail clipping. Dogs instinctively guard their nails. When pups are not accustomed to their paws being handled it can be a scary experience. Remember your first visit to the dentist? This is probably how your dog feels!

The best way to alleviate your own apprehension and your dog’s fear is to ask your veterinarian or professional dog groomer for help. Dog nail clipping needs to happen routinely. Overgrown nails can have serious consequences on your dog’s health.

Establish Good Habits

The best approach is to get your dog used to the process as a puppy. This works for older dogs too it just might take some patience. From an early age, you will want to massage their paws and pads. Separate each toe digit as you handle their paws. Make sure this is a positive experience so give your dog treats and speak gently to them.

Next, you will want to introduce the clippers. At first, you only have to hold the clippers next to their paw. Reinforce the positive feelings with treats. As your dog gets used to the foreign object squeeze the clippers to make a sound. Repeat this process until your dog is no longer intimidated by the clippers or humans touching their paws.

At this stage, you can try to clip their nails. You might want to have a vet or groomer show you first before you make your attempt. Hitting the quick and accidentally making your dog bleed can cause trauma and your dog will be back to square one—terrified of getting their nails trimmed.

Why Dog Nail Clipping Is So Important

Dogs used to be wild right? Who was there to clip their nails then?

Wild dogs traveled long distances as they hunted. This would wear their nails shorter. The same is true for dogs that get plenty of exercise and walk a few miles every day. The rough surfaces of the ground will naturally erode nails down. Even if this is the case, you will want to monitor your dog’s nails to make sure they don’t tear or become ingrown. Also, the dog’s dew claws (thumb) don’t touch the ground and will need to be trimmed.

Dogs with overgrown nails are in constant pain. When an extended nail contacts a hard surface, the nail backs into the nail bed. Dogs compensate for this pain in their posture. Your dog will twist their toe digits to the side putting unnecessary pressure on their toe joints which also torques their spine. If this continues over time, toe digits become sore and in bad cases arthritic.

Goat on the Rock

Another consequence of prolonged lack of dog nail clipping is what vets refer to as “goat on the rock” posture. Dogs’ wild ancestors would run distances that shaved down the nail. The only time their nails would contact the ground was when they were on an incline. Since nails have nerve endings, their senses tell them they are on a hill. Dogs will shift their posture forward to lean over their forelimbs to compensate for the incline ensuring they don’t topple over.

In the present day, there is no hill, just long nails. Instinctual response to a hill is reported by the nerve endings in their nails. This creates an abnormal compensatory posture, AKA goat on the rock. This posture alignment forces paws closer together under your dog’s body. This causes muscle spasticity and overworked joints. In a dog’s old age this will lead to difficulty getting up, climbing into cars, or using the stairs. In bad cases, arthritis will occur.

When a dog’s toenails are cut evenly they will remain in their normal neutral posture. This is what show dog trainers refer to as “stack’ posture, with legs extending vertically. One last reason for dog nail clipping is that nails can easily rip while your dog is playing. This can lead to infection and even more serious pain.

Keeping our dog’s nails trimmed is essential preventative care!

Types of Nail Clippers

Professional dog groomers use all different kinds of nail trimmers. Depending on the size of your dog and the thickness of their nails will determine which clipper you will want to use. Every style should be concave at the clipping edge. This avoids crushing the nail. Blunted trimmers will split the nail instead of cutting it, so you will want good sharp trimmers to avoid splitting.

Core Types of Nail Trimmers:

  • Guillotine Style
  • Scissor Style
  • Small/Medium Plier-Style
  • Large Plier Style

Groomers will use the guillotine style with small dogs. The circular frame is perfect for their tinier nails. On larger breeds, or thick-nailed breeds, groomers prefer plier-style. These trimmers have good grip handles and are strong enough to clip through dogs with thick nails like Mastiffs or Bassets.

Many groomers use pumice stones or a dremel to file down the nails. This is a more gradual process than trimming and is safer because there is less chance of clipping through the quick. The more dog nail clipping that occurs, the more a dog’s quick will recede. So, the more your trim the less likely you are to cut too short in the future.

Effective Trimming Methods

Remember, the key to dog nail clipping is keeping your dog nice and relaxed. So…treats and patience. If you feel too nervous about it, dog groomers and vets will gladly take the responsibility off your hands. Nothing wrong with that.

To start, try starting with one nail. When it goes well, give your dog a treat and come back later.

Always use a firm grip with sturdy clippers and clip from the underneath. Dog nail clipping is best done when your dog is relaxed so take them for a walk beforehand. Also, bathing helps soften the nail giving you less resistance when you go to trim.

When you are ready, hold the handle of the nail trimmers flat against the toe pad, and cut straight across the nail. The nail should float above the ground. This makes it unlikely you will trim into the quick. For a shorter cut, aim trimmers at a 45° angle after you’ve discerned where the insensitive wall of the claw ends and where the quick begins.

Dogs with pink nails are easier because their nails are translucent. The quick can be spotted as the pink area of the nail. For dogs with dark nails, look at the underside of the nail. There is a section of the nail toward the tip that separates out into a triangular shape. This is the notch. The notch is usually a safe place to make an angled cut.

How to Stop Dog Toenail Bleeding?

The quick of the nail is the live part that comprises of the nail bed, nail bone, nerves, and blood vessels. Since the quick has nerves and a blood supply a dog can feel when the quick is cut into. A trick of the trade for determining where the quick begins is to squeeze clippers gently along the nail. If a dog reacts by yelping you know this is where the quick begins. Cut above this line!

Accidents do happen.

The best way to deal with accidentally snipping into the quick is to be prepared for it. Use styptic powder, baking powder, cornstarch, or a bar soap for a clotting agent that will stop the blood flow. Be wary of using styptic pencils. The pencils contain silver nitrate which can sting and make a dog even more nervous about having their nails clipped.

If you do accidentally cut too short, use plenty of treats next time to reduce nervousness.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wishes you good luck with all your dog nail clipping, and we hoped this article helped you and your dog!

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