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Grooming Services that Your Dog Will Appreciate

Splash and Dash Makes Dog Grooming Services Easy!

Most pet parents know the responsibilities of owning a dog. Caring for your little four-legged child holds the same weight as caring for your two-legged child. Some dogs are high maintenance. They might need special diets, particular grooming, and specialized care. Other dogs are less demanding. Just as some dog breeds need tons of exercise, some dogs will need constant grooming. Breeds with heavy coats like Chow Chow, Golden Retrievers, and Maltese will need regular dog grooming services to keep up with their health.

When a dog’s coat is kept too long, and is not regularly brushed, matting occurs. This is extremely painful for dogs. Imagine a twisted knot in your hair constantly pulling at your scalp. Ouch! A rule-of-thumb is that if you have not brought your dog in for professional grooming after 6-12 months, your dog may need to be shaved down. Splash and Dash, and any reputable groomer, will choose humanity over vanity. This means that the most humane option for dogs with severe matting is shaving over subjecting them to the painful de-matting process. Groomers will extend the option between giving your dog a professional shaving or letting you take your dog home to attempt a de-matt yourself.

This is only in worst case scenarios. Most dogs with common matting issues can be treated with de-matting dog grooming services. A standard de-mating service will not force a dog to suffer any unnecessary discomfort. Regular grooming also keeps a dog’s coat pristine by circulating natural skin oils and removing dander from the coat. Regular brushing and bathing are essential. Trimming your dog’s nails and keeping their teeth brushed is also very important to their health.

What Does Splash and Dash Offer?

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique offers amazing dog grooming services that not only safeguard your pet’s health but is great for their happiness too! This article tours all the awesome care options you can spoil your dog with at Splash and Dash.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is getting more and more popular with pets. This treatment is great! With proper techniques not only will your dog smell great but each scent can help induce a certain emotional state.

The benefits of aromatherapy begin with dogs experiencing the world through their nose!

With aromatherapy, anxious dogs can learn—with some conditioning—to respond well to relaxing aromatherapy blends infused with Lavender and Chamomile in our Relax treatment. We have an answer for any case. If your dog’s coat needs a moisturizing boost, a fusion of Coconut, Cucumber, and Green Tea can replenish their coat and skin with the Hydrate treatment. With Renew—Argan oil, Vitamin E, and Antioxidants quench a dog’s coat and invigorates their skin. Lazy couch surfing pups can get a zeal of Energy with Ginger and Orange essential oils to pep them up.

Pawdicures

Imagine walking around on your hands all day. Walking through gas stations, chemically treated grass, and concrete—havens for bacteria. Common chemicals in fertilizers like molybdenum or sodium chloride in ice melting products can be harmful to your dog. This makes dirt and mud almost the least of your worries when it comes to your dog’s paws.

A pawdicure includes a healing effervescent treatment that cleanses away bacteria and chemicals. Pawdicures also attend to cracked pads and inflamed nail beds. Just as soothing as a pedicure is for humans, a pawdicure will melt away tension in your pupper.

Facials

Dogs love this! A facial purges out those puppy pores and removes debris from tear ducts. Splash and Dash have human-grade Blueberry and Pinkberry facial scrubs that revitalize a dog’s skin. If your dog has tear stains or built up ‘crust’ in their facial fur, this treatment is a great option for them!

DeShed Service

All dogs shed. There are two ways to keep hair from getting all over your couch. The first is daily brushing. Take your dog outside and brush out all the dead hair that is trapped in their coat. Next, treat them with a DeShed service.

The way it works is using a specially-formulated DeShedding shampoo that is packed with moisturizers and essential omega fatty acids. This shampoo replenishes dry, brittle hairs. The shampoo is massaged into your dog’s coat for at least ten minutes, then rinsed out repeatedly. After this, thorough brushing with professional grooming equipment is used to remove excess hairs.  

The process of shedding is constant throughout the whole year but some dogs shed more seasonally. If your Malamute sheds after the winter months, the best time to bring him in for a DeShed is in the spring. DeShedding helps contain the endless amount of loose hair that gets everywhere!

Nourish Conditioning

This is the dog service treatment that keeps on treating. Nourish Conditioner is an ultra-nourishing leave-in or rinse-out conditioner which is hypoallergenic and adds a protective layer between groomings.

Nourish helps a dog’s coat retain vitamins and protects their skin as their being dried. The detangler-properties helps eliminate static and support coat shine. The conditioner allows your dog to get the most out of their vitamin-enriched bath!

Teeth Brushing

Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the most important and pain-in-the-butt parts of grooming. Veterinarians recommend brushing your dog’s teeth at least twice a week to prevent bad breath, periodontal disease, and even kidney disease. Why not let your groomer do this for you? Let them take care of the tedium so you can get back to playing and cuddling with your pooch, who now has minty fresh breath!

Ear Cleaning

An ear infection is no fun. Monitoring ears for redness, inflammation, and an odorous discharge is vital for a dog’s health. During a bath, dogs need to have debris removed to prevent ear infections.

An ear cleaning takes this one step further. Using non-abrasive cleaning solutions and professional grooming supplies, a groomer will cleanse a dog’s ear canal. This is super important for long-term health and hygiene.

Nail Trimming

This is another exhausting part of dog grooming that is just as important as it is tedious—nail trimming. If you can hear the clicks and clacks of your dog’s nails making contact with the floor, your dog’s nails are too long! Gangly nails are painful for a dog. It forces them to torque their spine in unhealthy posture and decreases the chance of nail bed infection.

The professional and loving hands of a groomer can keep nails at a healthy length and will prevent toenail bleeding.

Sanitary Areas and Anal Glands

Tending to these areas of a dog might not be tedious but it is kinda gross. Cleaning up a dog’s genital areas helps them maintain cleanliness as they do their business.

Dogs naturally “express” their anal glands as they defecate but most toy breeds need extra help with this process. If you ever see your dog dragging their butt across the floor, this means their anal glands need to be expressed and this is their way of trying to alleviate the pressure. You can do this at home but we don’t blame you for letting your groomer take care of it for you.

Full-Service Grooming

Splash and Dash offers safety-first grooming for dogs of all sizes and breeds. Whether you have a tiny Yorkie or a giant Bernese, our groomers can tidy up your dog’s coat into a stylish new look. From showroom styling, that the American Kennel Club recognizes, to a casual cut for the summer, our groomers can do it all. We also use eco-friendly shampoos made with all-natural human grade ingredients.

One of the best parts about Splash and Dash is the Signature Monthly Membership. You can pay a flat fee and take your dog in for unlimited bathing and brushing. Whenever you have guests, or the squirrel chase gets extra muddy, you can bring your dog in for sudsy pampering. Being a Splash and Dash member also entitles you to free add-ons and major discounts on dog grooming services.

Angie’s List members reported paying on average between $53 and $90 for a single cut. As a Splash and Dash member, your dog’s grooming can be much less depending on the size of your dog. Plus, you can get your dog washed and brushed literally whenever you want!

If you’re looking for a pet salon that will treat you and your dog like royalty with trained-professional and loving hands, consider Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique. Play Dirty, Live Clean!

 

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Spa Treatments That Your Pup Needs

Regular Spa Treatments are Vital to a Dog’s Health

Owning a dog is one of life’s most joyful experiences. Coming home to a wagging-tail and happy, expectant eyes is an amazing feeling that dog owners relish. As you know, dogs have amazing abilities to enrich our human lives. Owning a dog has been shown to lower Cortisol, the stress hormone, which is why therapy dogs have such impressive results. Studies have even shown that having a dog around your infant helps strengthen a child’s immune system. Your dog gives you unconditional love and care! Showing this requisite love is pretty simple: provide healthy foods, spa treatments, and lots of affection.

At Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique, we are here to help with all three! The spa treatments we offer are made with your dog’s needs in mind, and the products in our stores are the same products we use at home with our own dogs.

Grooming is a vital part of a dog’s general health. A trained groomer can help keep a dog’s skin pH balanced, provide a wellness check for diseases or parasites, and style your dog’s coat in a way that is healthy and chic. Grooming is preventative care that can stop medical issues before they begin. This helps save money by avoiding costly visits to the vet. It also saves you time, you would otherwise spend cleaning your dog and house from all the shedding! Regular grooming for many dogs is a tedious process and it’s not always easy to get it done with a busy schedule. This makes professional grooming a practical part of owning a dog.

Veterinarians suggest beginning dog grooming around eight to 12-weeks-old and no later than 16-weeks-old. Starting early allows your puppy to associate grooming as a good thing. This will make grooming easier for them and their groomer for life. It’s also important to start early because establishing good grooming habits for your dog is important for their health. Common issues like matting, periodontal disease, and kidney disease can all be easily prevented by regular trips to the groomer.

This article walks dog owners through the importance of spa treatments for a happy and healthy doggo!

Brushing

Brushing is one of the most overlooked parts of spa treatments.

All dogs shed. Hair shedding is a continuous process despite the season. Regular brushing removes any dead hair and dander that is trapped in a dog’s coat and stops painful matting from turning a coat into a knot. Brushing also distributes a dog’s skin oils—preventing hot spots and other skin irritations.

Dogs need to be brushed every day. You can brush your dog at home, or have a professional do it as much as you needed on top of a wash with the Splash and Dash signature service!

Bathing

Having your dog bathed regularly is another important part of a healthy grooming schedule. It’s just as easy with the signature service, which lets you take your dog in for a bath whenever you want!

We use all-natural eco-friendly dog shampoos that remove the debris and chemicals—picked up from lawns and concrete–away from your dog’s coat. Quality shampoos also help lock in needed moisture and vitamins for a vibrant coat shine and healthy skin.

Ears & Eyes

Cleaning a dog’s ears and eyes are important to make sure your pup doesn’t get an infection.

Dogs that are prone to tear staining (epiphora) have a higher risk of yeast infection and the area around their muzzle will need to be cleaned often.

A dog’s ears are also susceptible to infection. To prevent redness, swelling, or a smelly discharge your dog’s ears need to be cleaned at least twice a month. This also inhibits parasites from making their home in your dog’s ears.

Nail Clipping

If you can hear the click-clack of your dog’s nails making contact with your floor, then their nails are too long!

Before domestication, dogs’ nails grind down naturally as they walked over rough terrain. Most dogs today will get their daily walks in, but this not nearly enough for their nails to wear down. When a dog’s nails are too long, they will compensate with bad posture—torquing their spine and locking their legs into what’s known as ‘goat on the rock’ posture. This can lead to joint issues and immobility later on in life.

Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed also helps prevent overgrown nails from cutting into their pads and infection in their nail bed.

Teeth Brushing

Bad breath is only the beginning. Brushing your dog’s teeth and providing dental chews will stop gingivitis and periodontal disease along with that bad fishy smell we get when our dogs lick our faces. Built up plaque hardens into tartar, a magnet for bacteria. This overabundance of bacteria can leak into a dog’s bloodstream. This causes kidney disease and other organ issues that are preventable with good oral care.

Splash and Dash offers dental care and will work with your dog to freshen breath and brighten smiles!

Glands & Sanitary Areas

Have you ever watched your dog do the infamous drag-the-butt-across-the-carpet move? We all have. We all laugh. But the reason they’re doing this is grosser than you would think!

All dogs have anal glands that naturally express themselves as they do their business. Toy breeds sometimes have a harder time expressing their glands and need some help relieving the pressure. When a dog scoots their butt across the ground, they are attempting to relieve this pressure themselves. This move also leaves some stinky-smelling stuff on your carpet. You can express your dog’s glands at home, but there is no shame in having a professional do it. We don’t blame you.

The sanitary areas are also important for ‘doggie business.’ Long hairs can trap urine or fecal matter in their fur and no one wants to have that in their house! Regular trimming of the sanitary areas keeps everything hygienic and will be much more comfortable for your pet.

Specialty Spa Treatments

On top of the signature service, Splash and Dash offers some awesome pampering spa treatments that will leave your dog looking and smelling great.

Doggie Facials

We have a Blueberry and Pinkberry doggie facial which cleanses the pores around a dog’s face and muzzle. A facial also helps rid tear stains caused by epiphora and cleans up the fur around the muzzle if your pupperoni is a messy eater.

Pawdicures

An effervescent pawdicure attends to your dog’s cracked pads and will cleanse away any chemicals found in fertilizers.

Aromatherapy

What pet spa treatment is complete without some blissful scents formulated to induce a desired emotional state? Yes. We’re still talking about dogs here. Splash and Dash offers four different scents that help relax your dog with a safe ratio of all-natural botanical fragrances.

DeShedding

All Splash and Dash spa treatments are 100% guaranteed and this guarantee can be seen in the lack of dog hair no longer accumulating on your couch. Using specialty shampoos and grooming techniques, your dog’s coat will be sleek and shiny on their body, not your furniture!

At Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique we have a variety of care options administered by trained professionals to give your dog that same spa experience you receive at a human spa. We also offer top-of-the-line products like toys, treats, food and more! Come on by and check out all the fun happenings at our stores across the nation!

 

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Do Dogs Have Hair or Fur? And How Can I Tell?

We’re Answering the Age Old Question, Do Dogs Have Hair or Fur? Finally the Debate is Settled

Determining whether dogs have hair or fur is a pretty common question. Even some groomers debate over what the correct term for the ‘soft stuff’ that makes up a dog’s coat. Most groomers say fur, stating that hair is on humans—fur is on dogs. Another misinterpretation is that hair will grow forever unless it is cut or damaged, while fur has a growth threshold. Not true. The debate rages on.  It’s just one of those semantic arguments that rival the ridiculousness of whether cats or dogs are truly better. Still, we just need an answer.

Many people also believe that dogs who have hair, instead of fur, are hypoallergenic. Or, that their dog does not shed because he’s furry, not hairy. Others believe that a dog with “hair” is more sought after because it makes the dog unique. This gives pet owners a mistaken point of pride. We’re here to dispel the myths. We sought out to finally put the debate to rest and finally establish the true difference. So, do dogs have hair or fur?  

Technically hair and fur are the same things.  The truth is there is no chemical difference between hair and fur. They are 100% biologically the same thing. The reason there is a distinction is that there are some key differences when it comes to our four-legged friend’s coat but not on the biochemical level. The real differences are the descriptions we use to categorize different dog’s coats.

Hair and Fur are the Same

Both fur and hair are made up of the same chemical—keratin—which is also present in skin and nails. This means that both fur and hair are chemically indistinguishable. The implications of this is that the reason a dog might be considered hypoallergenic is not that a dog has either hair or fur. It’s actually due to the texture of their coat and how much grooming the dog receives.

Each strand of hair begins at the root whether on a human scalp or in the coat of a dog. Each individual strand goes through a cycle of either growing or not growing. The actual part of the strand that is growing is underneath the skin pushing the hair further along. The variation of the cycle is different for each animal. Uncut hair grows at the same rate as recently groomed hair. What deters or stimulates hair growth is a disturbance at the hair follicle, which is beneath the skin.  

The Growth Cycle

What we consider to be “hair” does have a longer growth cycle than what we consider to be “fur.” Outside of the indistinguishable biological factors. This is one of two key differences. The time it takes hair to complete a growth cycle is longer than fur. The hair cycle happens in four different stages—Anagen, Catagen, Telogen, and Exogen.

  • Anagen—This the phase of new hair growth.
  • Catagen—This is the transitional phase when hair stops growing and an outer sheath attaches to a hair strand.
  • Telogen—This is the resting phase.
  • Exogen—This is when hair stops growing and begins falling out to make room for another strand moving into the anagen phase. With dog’s this is what we refer to as shedding.

Hair grows as long as the hair follicle is in active growth during the anagen stage. Depending on genetic factors, a dog can be predisposed to be in the active growth stage from anywhere from years to only a few weeks. Dogs with coats that are genetically programmed for a brief growth cycle are more common. Longer growth cycles of a dog’s coat mean they will shed less. Environmental factors can also affect the growth cycle. Double-coated dogs will have longer exogen phases during the summer to prepare them for insulation during the cold winter.

The telogen phase on human arms and body are much longer than scalp hair. For dogs, and all other mammals, different hair follicles will be in different stages. Some hair follicles are in anagen while others are in catagen or telogen. This is why some dogs are constantly shedding.

Texture: Hair Vs. Fur

Coat texture is different from dog to dog, and from breed to breed. Pet groomers describe texture in terms of silky, wiry, wavy, or corded. Each texture is groomed accordingly.

Fur is considered to be shorter and denser. If a dog is double-coated, the undercoat will be a finer texture than the overcoat. This makes the shedding process easier after the cold months.

Hair has a tendency to be longer and finer or can veer toward wavy or curly. Curly hair is more likely to trap dander and dead hairs inside the coat. This why many believe dogs like the Poodle to be hypoallergenic.

Dealing with Allergies

The main source of allergic reactivity stems from a pet’s saliva. A sensitivity to a certain protein which is found in a pet’s saliva and skin causes the symptoms of allergies. This protein covers a dog’s coat.

Dogs with curly hair like Poodles appear to shed less and don’t have an undercoat. Not only do the tight curls lock carriers of common allergens inside the coat—dead hairs and dander. These dogs also have longer stages of anagen than other breeds. This is why many think these dogs will not irritate those with allergies. Breeds that shed less or have a coat that retains loose or dead hairs are an allergy sufferers best bet. Kerry Blue Terriers, Schnauzers, Bichons and Lhasa Apsos all fit this category. These dogs also have less water resistant oils on their skin than other sporting breeds.

However, just as there is no real chemical difference between hair and fur. There is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog. Maybe ‘allergenic-resistant,’ but the only case of a true hypoallergenic animal is isolated to a cat. A company called Allerca developed a single line of cats with a natural genetic mutation that held no Fel d 1 protein—the protein found within cats that fires up allergy symptoms.  However, the company stopped operating under the Allerca domain in 2015. Some breeds of cats are considered low allergy because they do not produce enough Fel d 1 protein to be considered allergenic.

Unfortunately for the dog lovers with allergies, all dogs produce dander and have proteins in their saliva that will make your eyes itch and your throat scratchy. The best way to keep your allergies at bay with a dog is regular bathing and brushing. This removes dander and dead hairs. Bathing your dog at least once a week helps maintain their skin’s pH balance, keeps your furniture clean & you allergy free, and is the best preventative care for their overall health.

The Final Verdict

Fur is the more correct term to use when referring to dogs. The term “hair” does not account for dog’s long period of growth. Fur meets this criterion and more accurately describes the plushness of a dog’s coat.

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10 Things To Do Before Taking a Nervous Dog to the Groomer

Use These Tips to Get Your Nervous Dog to Enjoy Grooming

At Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique we understand the needs of a nervous dog. Many adopted or rescued pets come from a  difficult past. Dogs like this need special devotion to help them overcome their anxiety.

Some dogs love the pet salon while others fear it. A reputable grooming salon takes strides to make a dog’s time there a luxurious and soothing experience. Understandably, for a dog, even this pampering experience can be scary. A pet salon is full of loud noises from the clippers and blow dryers. Dogs can become fearful of other dogs that are also there for a grooming even when dogs are kept separate. All these foreign stimuli can make grooming a traumatic experience for a nervous dog. In some severe cases, dogs can have a full-blown panic attack from not being properly acclimated to the situation.

The issue with nervous dogs is that, for their safety, a professional should be the one doing their grooming. Every dog needs grooming. Without regular brushing, washing, and a trimming a dog’s coat can develop matts. Dogs that are neglected—without grooming—can develop skin irritations. Not to mention a dirty dog means a dirty house. Even though your dog may have some anxiety, she’s still going to need the pet care that comes with grooming.

No matter your dog’s situation, follow these ten steps to help prepare your dog for a positive grooming experience.

Step 1: Massage

When a dog goes to the groomer, a specialist will attend to areas of her body that need to be cleaned—even the sensitive areas. Her ears, groin area, paws, and glands will need to be handled. To get a dog ready for this, you can give your dog a full-body massage. Gently pet your dog from head to toe. Play with her paws and make sure you spread her toes apart. Play with her ears and scratch her bum. Making sure your dog is used to being handled is the first step.

Next, give her a massage on a raised table. This simulates the experience she will have at a grooming salon. Take baby steps with a nervous dog. Whatever you can do to make your dog more comfortable is a good idea. Plenty of soothing languages, treats, or a blanket will help her association with these foreign experiences a pleasant one.

Step 2: Bathing, Brushing, and Supplies

Try exposing your dog to as many of the sensations of grooming as possible. Re-create these experiences in baby steps at home first. Then when your dog is ready, take her to the groomer.

If you can safely give your dog a bath at home, give this a try. Constantly brushing your dog every day is also good for them. Get them used to as many sights and sounds as possible. Turn on a blow dryer so she can hear the sound then give her a treat. Hold up a pair of nail trimmers next to her paws without clipping—then give her a treat.

It might seem excessive, but for a nervous dog, this will help.

Step 3: Make Sure She’s Plenty Exercised

That old expression, “A tired dog is a happy dog” is very true. Not only do dogs crave exploring the world by peeing on everything, they need to get plenty of exercise. Before taking your dog to the groomer make sure she’s had a walk. This will give her time to relieve herself and workout any nervous energy.

Step 4: Find an Understanding Groomer

Not every groomer has the resources or the professional skills to handle an extremely nervous dog. If your dog suffers from anxiety or aggression, inform the groomer of the situation. Some groomers actually specialize in dogs with special needs.

Splash and Dash groomers are thoroughly trained with the professional skillset to accommodate for any dog. Our trained staff will work with you and your pup to ensure a safe and comfortable grooming experience.

Step 5: The Car Ride

When your dog is still a puppy is the best time to start acclimating them to car rides. Car rides can be very stressful for a dog. A car ride is a foreign experience. Your dog may anticipate a stressful destination like the groomers or vet. Take your puppy on car rides while they’re young. This can get them used to the motion of the car and the sounds of traffic. Drive around without a set destination. If your dog is older, you can still counter condition them to make car rides a more pleasant experience.

Bring your dog’s favorite blanket or toy. Make sure they are comfortable. Doggie car seats and restraints will ensure their safety. If your dog has stomach issues during the ride, this is most likely due to motion sickness. If this is the case, discuss anti-nausea medication with your veterinarian. Drive around without a set destination so that your dog will not relate a car ride to a stressful visit to the groomers or vet. This will curb their apprehension. Continually reassure your dog with a calm voice and plenty of treats.

Plan a trip to the groomers after your dog has mastered stress-free car rides.

Step 6: Training Visit

After finding a groomer you and your dog are comfortable with, ask if you can schedule a training visit. On this visit, you can walk around with your dog and help them slowly adjust. Your dog can see the facilities, hear the loud clippers & blow dryers, and can practice standing on a grooming table.

This also presents an opportunity for your dog to meet the groomer. A principled groomer will take the time to meet your dog and help her to relax. During this time a groomer can help coax her nervousness away.

Step 7: Special Equipment for a Nervous Dog

Dogs with anxiety are common. Over the years specialty grooming supplies have been made to adjust the grooming process for a nervous dog.

Scaredy Cut was developed with this purpose. Scaredy Cut are serrated blades with 7 comb attachments—1/2 to 1 or #1 to #6. This allows a groomer to trim a dog’s coat with the same precision of an electric blade. This silent clipper is a less abrasive way for a groomer to trim down a nervous dog’s coat.

Another specialty item that you can consider are Mutt Muffs. This headgear covers your dog’s ear to help them protect their ears against loud noises. Mutt Muffs fits the contour of your dog’s head and straps comfortably in place. The sound-reducing headgear was designed for airplanes but can be useful for dogs at the groomers. Another noise reduction product is the Happy Hoodie which wraps around a dog’s ears and head. This device was made specifically for dogs to help protect and calm them from the loud noise and high-pressured air from a blow-dryer at the grooming salon. The swaddling effect is similar to one that is produced from a Thunder Jacket.

Step 8: Aromatherapy

Many groomers, including Splash and Dash, have adopted aromatherapy into their pet salon treatments. The way aromatherapy works for dogs is through conditioning. You can train your dog to associate the calming scents with peacefulness. The ingredients of aromatherapy dog shampoos are typically botanicals like lavender, chamomile, and essential vitamins. These formulas are designed to induce a calm state.

Splash and Dash has a shampoo dedicated to getting nervous dogs to calm down. The shampoo treatment is aptly named—Relax.

Step 9: Acepromazine

Acepromazine is an over-the-counter tranquilizer and nervous system depressant administered for nervous dogs. The drug works as a dopamine antagonist. It is used to prevent anxiety during thunderstorms, fireworks, and vet or groomer visits. The effects of acepromazine last 6-8 hours and can combat nausea, stabilize heart rhythm, and lower blood pressure.

Before you give your dog any medication, consult your vet first! Your vet will be able to give you directions on a proper dosage for your dog and any expected side effects. Use of Acepromazine should be for a worst-case scenario option.

Some dog’s adrenaline will kick in under stress resulting in a more ‘drunken’ state where their behavior may become erratic. If your dog has been diagnosed with extreme anxiety, you may need to use prescription sedatives or have a veterinarian administer sedation.

Step 10: Take Your Time and Ease Into It

Allow your dog to adjust in baby steps. After a training session, maybe just have your groomer do a bath and brush. Next time, your groomer can try a nail trimming and ear cleaning. Your groomer will work with your dog toward getting a whole grooming session done in one appointment. Each time your dog gets a treat, and plenty of reinforcing loving approval. Over time, your dog will be less nervous and hopefully begin to associate the groomers as a relaxing part of their life.

If you are looking for a special place to bring your fur-baby click here! Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique is more than happy to offer their services toward nervous dogs who need accommodations and a loving touch to ease their way into grooming. Splash and Dash is not simply a grooming shop. The company offers a pet spa and salon experience that pampers your pets in sudsy luxury.

Finding a groomer is like finding a babysitter. You will want to leave your dog in trusting and professional hands.

 

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Should Senior Dogs Still See the Groomer?

Of the ASPCA estimated 78 million dogs owned in the United States, about one-third of these guys are senior dogs. For dogs, aging into the golden years looks similar to human aging. Some dogs stay active and spry-minded while others become arthritic and senile. This is just the natural process of growing older. We loved them from puppyhood through becoming a senior so their care should never diminish.

Should Senior dogs still see the groomer? The answer is unabatedly yes! Grooming is essential throughout a dog’s whole life but can be especially important as a dog gets older. A grooming session is the best time to note any changes in a dog’s health. Daily grooming routines transition into recognizing health issues your dog may be facing. Often, underlying health issues are revealed through the state of the skin and coat. Coats can begin thinning, and skin irritations, growths, or lumps begin to appear. Senior dogs are also susceptible to arthritis, joint issues, and dementia. Depending on the dog, some dogs gain extra weight due to lack of mobility. Others may lose weight and begin to look emaciated.

Your senior dogs can look and feel their best by maintaining their proper grooming routines!

The relationship between a groomer and their doggie clientele is special. Many Splash and Dash groomers began working with dogs starting as puppies and watched them grow over the years. Grooming older dogs can be a tedious chore. Stiff-jointed or overweight dogs may have a hard time standing. Sometimes, pet owners have neglected their dog’s coat and severe matting occurs because they were too scared to keep brushing—thinking they might put their dog in pain.  Matting is exponentially more painful for a dog than a healthy coat brushing. Also, senior dogs have those senior moments where they might nip at their owner or groomer, displaying objections. Sometimes it’s cranky old man syndrome, sometimes it’s canine cognitive dysfunction.

Grooming Maintains Comfort

Typically senior dogs who come in for their grooming resist the process—even when they have been groomed here their whole life. Groomers will take the time to ensure a dog’s safety and do everything possible to make the experience enjoyable. Still, the geriatric dogs squirm and bark. Almost every time we go through this we get a call from their owners saying their dog went home prancing like a puppy.

Older dogs truly appreciate the effects of grooming. A good bath will relieve those itchy areas they can no longer reach. Senior dogs also welcome the extra attention they get, sometimes during their grooming and always afterward. It’s a beautiful sight to watch a freshly groomed old guy swagger away refreshed. Dogs know they look good and they appreciate it when their parents fuss over them. No one’s too old to be pampered!

Hair Brushing

First, you will want to inspect your brush and combs to make sure they are in good condition. If your brushes teeth are damaged or bent it’s time to get a new one. Bent teeth can scratch a dog’s skin and damage a coat causing breakage. Older dogs will need a softer, gentler, brush. In old age, dogs lose skin elasticity and brushing will need to be done slow and delicate.

Arthritis and joint pain can also inhibit a dog’s mobility. Sometimes they won’t be able to stand for long or will need to lay on their side while being brushed. This is fine. Have your dog lay on the side you are not brushing and then switch when they are comfortable. Matted, tangled hair does not insulate a pet as effectively as clean tangle-free hair will.  

Just as groomers are, be on the lookout for any abnormal coat-loss patterns that have appeared. Also feel around for bumps, lumps, sores, or warts that have raised on your dog’s skin. Signs of aging like this could merit a trip to a veterinarian so be mindful while you brush your dog.

Bathing

We advise that you take your senior dog to a professional groomer who have the resources, equipment, and training to accommodate for any dog. But if you prefer washing your dog at home there are some things you can do to safeguard your dog’s well-being.

If you are using a tub or sink, make sure there is a no-slip mat that will secure their footing. If you give your dog a bath outside with hose water, make sure the water is a warm temperature and the weather is warm enough to have a wet dog outside. Dogs should never be shivering during a bath, especially the old guys. Many geriatric dogs will need a medicated shampoo for skin conditions. Speak with your veterinarian to find the most suitable shampoo for your dog. Always use a mild non-abrasive dog shampoo that will cleanse your dog’s coat. Soak, massage, rinse, repeat. When it comes to dogs, you can never do too much rinsing.

After a bath, take a few warm towels to absorb as much water as you can. Let them shake out the remainder before using a blow dryer. Never put a blow dryer set on hot. If your blow dryer has a cool setting, this is the best. Splash and Dash use blow drying sparingly and all blowers are equipped with non-heat air flow.

Nail Trimming

Older dogs will need their nails trimmed more often than their younger counterparts. Healthy nail lengths are important for dog’s who are already arthritic or have joint problems. Nails affect a dog’s posture and nails that are too long will force a dog to torque their spine or develop a compensatory posture. This will lead to trouble climbing up steps or getting into the car.

If you can hear your dog’s nail clicking on the ground, they are too long. During their younger years, those long walks on sidewalks naturally filed nails down. Now, with their shorter-golden walks, they need some extra help keeping nails trimmed.

Also, if you begin to see your dog sliding around on the floor, check to see if they have fur growing between their toes or paws. Trimming this hair back will help them regain traction.

Eye & Ear Health

Have your groomer inspect your dog’s eyes each time they go in for grooming. At Splash and Dash, groomers will always conduct wellness checks with your doggo as they work.

If any gunk or debris is collected in the corner of a dog’s eye this needs to be wiped away. Take a cloth, or gauze pad, soaked in warm water and gently soak the area, then wipe away the build-up from your dog’s eye.

Make sure there is no discharge or odor coming from your dog’s ears. This could be a viral or yeast infection.

Teeth Brushing

Keeping up with a dog’s oral hygiene is important their entire life. Regular brushing could mean the difference between a healthy smile and cracking teeth or gingivitis as a senior dog. An overabundance of bacteria in the mouth (flora) can also secrete into internal organs causing kidney disease. Getting rid of plaque and tartar on a dog is easier in the younger years but a senior dog can still have fresh breath.

Sanitary Areas

The glands and the groin area are spots dogs clean themselves but with old age, they might need some help. Regular trimming to the groin area will help avoid any urine or feces getting trapped. All dogs express their anal glands as they defecate but senior dogs may need to have a groomer or veterinarian express the glands for them.

Where Can You Take Your Senior Dogs?

Not every grooming salon has the capabilities to handle a geriatric dog. If you don’t already take your dog to a reputable groomer, finding the right pet salon for you is important.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique are more than happy to pamper your old man with lavish spa treatments that will make him look and feel younger!

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Stylish Puppy Haircuts for the Fall

The Cutest Puppy Haircuts for Your Pup This Season

Regular grooming is absolutely essential for a pet’s overall health. Grooming keeps your dog and house clean, regulates body temperature, and is preventative care for overall health issues. A groomer will provide a wellness check to spot any issues like skin irritations, fleas & ticks, hotspots, or hernias. Puppy haircuts are important! Timid puppies need to get accustomed to foreign experiences like grooming visits. A puppy who is used to grooming is much easier to handle and the experience becomes enjoyable for them.

Think of your regular puppy haircuts as an essential step for their wellness. Many pet owners forego grooming during the cold months and shave their dogs down during the summer. This is not always the healthiest approach for your dog’s coat health. Shaving a dog with a double coat can interfere with the coat’s natural growing process and insulation. The coat might not grow back fully. The reverse of this is letting a coat get too long. Depending on your dog’s coat texture, longer fur is more susceptible to matting—painful knots that form in a dog’s coat.

The key to good puppy haircuts is discussing everything with your groomer. Know what you want stylistically for your dog, allows you and your groomer to discuss healthy options for length and maintaining schedule. The rule of thumb is to choose a length and let that be the standard despite the season. Another thing to keep in mind is that terms for puppy haircuts are often used interchangeably from pet salon to pet salon. A ‘kennel cut’ might mean one thing to a groomer in New York and a different thing to a groomer in California. Showing your groomer a picture and having a thorough conversation with your groomer will help avoid any miscommunications.

This article walks pet parents through the popular puppy haircuts to help you find the perfect look for your fur-baby!

The Puppy Cut

The puppy cut is accepted by the American Kennel Club for show puppies. This is a basic cut with a short crop often used with younger dogs. Older dogs can get a puppy cut too and may even look younger afterward. Pet parents love the puppy cut because it is super easy to maintain. Trimming a puppy cut doesn’t take time-consuming precision and looks good on smaller dogs and toy breeds like Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, and Shih Tzus. The fur is cut in rounded fringed layers. This brings the coat down evenly across the body.

The Teddy Bear Cut

This cut became famous after an adorable Pomeranian named Boo first got it and went viral on the internet. Although the look is popular for Pomeranians many different toy breeds look terrifically cuddly with this trim. Larger breeds like Standard Poodles can get the cut but it might look a little goofy. The teddy bear cut is similar to a puppy cut. The cut trims down the dog’s coat on the body, keeping fur even. The difference is the face. The hair around the face will keep its length with a rounded trim that blends into the body coat. The result is your dog now looks like an adorable little teddy bear!

The Lion Cut

This is another of the super cute puppy haircuts. The lion cut is good for dogs with thick coats whose hair can be tamed to give off the appearance of a lion’s mane—very fierce on Wheaten Terriers, Pomeranians, or any dog with a thick coat. We’ve even seen the lion cut on a Shar Pei. The lion cut has a short body-coat with the hair around the head and neck left longer and brushed out. Many groomers can trim a dog’s tail down except for the end where a brushed-out pom will look just like a lion’s tail.

The Topknot

The topknot; popular on hip humans but looks better on hip puppies. This haircut is more of a hairstyle. Many dog owners love having their dog’s coat long but worry that they can’t see through the fall—the hair covering a dog’s eyes. A dog’s topknot is made with a pup’s long facial hair around their forehead, eyes, and nose. This hair is brushed and pulled back toward the top of the head. The knot is cinched with a rubber band or even cuter, a bow. It’s a sweetheart look that’s practical. The most popular breed to sport a topknot is a Shih Tzu. Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Lhasa Apso, and Poodles who all pull of the look elegantly.

The Mohawk

If your dog has more a punk puppy personality then you could consider giving them a mohawk. There are several variations of the mohawk from a true strip of hair running straight down the middle to stylized strips of hair that are parted. You can style the hair any way you want and this shows off a dog’s spunky and punky personality.

A Pet Owner’s Job

Grooming is not just about style–choose humanity over vanity. We urge you to find a reputable grooming salon that practices ethical grooming techniques. Grooming extends beyond coat care. A dog’s teeth brushing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and other hygienic treatments are taken care of at the groomers. Skipping out on a grooming visit is like skipping the pediatrician for your two-legged child.

Also important is to maintain brushing between visits. Brushing keeps mats from forming and distributes a dog’s natural skin oil throughout their coat. Daily brushing also removes dead hair and dander that is trapped in the coat. Not only is this healthy for your dog but it reduces symptoms of allergies for allergy-sensitive people and will keep your house clean.

If you are in search of a loving professional groomer, click here!

 

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Best Grooming Styles for Dogs that Live in the Snow

Best Grooming Styles for Dogs that Live in the Snow

With the arrival of winter for pet owners in snow states comes a change in the dog’s grooming routine. Disrupting your dog’s grooming routine during the cold months can actually do unintentional harm to your dog. Dogs in snow will need additional tending to compensate for the cold temperatures but a longer coat in the snow is not the answer.

This is especially true for dog breeds that need more grooming maintenance like Maltese, Shih Tzu, Poodle, or Bichon. Nordic dog breeds with double-coats will also still need regular grooming to maintain their coat’s health. Pomeranians and Huskies both have a double-coat, but for the natural insulation process to work their coats need to be cared for.

The worst mistake a pet owner can make is to neglect grooming for their dogs in snow. When dogs walk through the snow they are more likely to collect debris. A longer coat doesn’t do much to keep a dog warm. Worse, it escalates the likelihood of severe matting.

Often in late February pet owners are scheduling appointments and their dog hasn’t been groomed in months.  A few months worth of matting can severely damage a dog’s coat. It will take tedious brushing to remove the mattings and depending on the severity, your dog may need to be shaved down. Removing matts by brushing is painful for a dog and shaving is the most humane alternative. To prevent this, keep up with your regular grooming schedule during the winter months. If you choose to let your dog’s coat grow long, please brush them daily!

Grooming Style For Dogs in Snow

Depending on the temperature outside, we typically recommend maintaining the same regular cut you get during the rest of the year. If you get a “puppy cut” or “kennel clip” stick with this. Since every dog is different, speak with your groomer about the best winter trim options. The fact is, your dog will mostly be inside during the winter—cuddling up with you inside a toasty central-heated house. Unless you have a sled dog, keeping a “winter coat” isn’t practical.

If your dog is outside for an extended amount of time (we don’t recommend this) you can get them a sweater and booties to protect them from wind chill and snow melting agents on the ground. The rule of thumb for the winter is keeping the length around an inch. At this length, your dog will be warm enough while he’s outside and has a coat-length that is easily maintained.

A convenient way to stay on top of your dog’s grooming is to become a Splash and Dash signature service member. You can drop your dog off at your leisure for unlimited brushing and bathing.

Brushing is Essential!

As always, brushing is the simplest way to keep your dog’s coat in pristine condition. Brushing removes tangles, dirt, and dead hair. The process also increases skin circulation and distributes natural oils.

Even short-haired breeds will need daily brushing. We recommend a slicker brush, which can get down to the root of the hair. Thick coats trap dander and dead hair that needs to be removed. A good slicker brush can clear this away.

If your dog is starting to matt, be careful! If the matting is excessive you should let a professional groomer handle the situation. Matting is a painful experience for a dog. It’s a massive tangle of hair that is under constant pulling and pressure. Brushing stops matts from forming.

Protect the Paws

Walking through the snow is strenuous on our dog’s paws. Issues like cracked paws, irritation, infections from snow, salt, mud, gravel, and the overall low temperatures can develop from exposure to the snow. Also, snow melting agents like rock salt can be very harmful. Not only can they burn a dog’s paws but if a dog licks the substance off their paws it can upset their stomach or even be toxic.

If you see driveways or sidewalks with a blue or green colored substance poured over the walkway it’s best to avoid walking your dog over this area.

A good habit to establish for dogs in snow is to wipe off their paws after every outing. This will dry their feet and remove any debris. Watch out for snow or mud balls between the pads.

Winter Bathing

It is perfectly fine to have your dog washed during the winter. For a dog, walking through the snow is like walking through a freezing cloud of dirt. The snow is their new toy that gets them just as dirty as the mud. Dogs love it!

When you take your dog to the pet salon they should never leave wet. Dogs must be thoroughly dry before going outside into the cold temperatures to prevent hypothermia. Even during the warm month’s dog groomers should fully dry every dog.

Between baths, you can sprinkle dry shampoo or cornstarch into your dog’s coat. Be sure to brush the powder out completely. This will refresh your dog’s coat and remove any foul odors. Since your dog will be spending more time inside, in close proximity of the family’s noses, bathing will be vital.

Don’t Fleas Die in the Winter?

Fleas are less prevalent in the winter and ticks are mostly dormant while it’s cold out. For this reason, pet parents and dogs alike rejoice the snow.

However, fleas are resilient creatures and can still live for months in your dog’s bed or your furniture. Maintain your dog’s flea treatment and stay vigilant for ticks.

 

Most dogs love, love, love, the snow and watching a dog play in the slushy-cold warms the heart. Whether you live in sunny Florida or are shacking up for the winter in Minnesota, please exercise good pet care for your dogs in snow!

 

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How Proper Brushing Can Control Plaque on Your Dog’s Teeth

Learning How to Remove Plaque On Dog’s Teeth Prevents Disease and Brightens Smiles

Do you wake up with your dog’s face inches away from your own? This is part of the nuzzling behavior that is their way of saying, “I love you.” The only thing that makes this moment less precious is when you begin noticing plaque on your dog’s teeth. Not only does this make their breath smell horrible but it can raise alarming oral hygiene flags.

Dental issues like gingivitis, periodontal disease, abscesses, and lost teeth all stem from a lack of oral care. When plaque is left to harden on a dog’s teeth it becomes tartar. As tartar accumulates along the gum line, it forces the gums away from the teeth. Eventually, this will expose the roots of teeth which were once covered by protective enamel. This can be incredibly painful for a dog. A dog will develop eating sensitivities and have chronic pain and discomfort.

Plaque and tartar can also build up underneath the gums. This is problematic too. Plaque build up underneath the gums causes the gum to pull away from the teeth, creating small pockets for bacteria to form. Internal diseases can also arise from plaque on a dog’s teeth.  When plaque builds up in a dog’s mouth it leads to an overabundance of bacteria. This bacteria can secrete into your dog’s bloodstream causing medical complications like kidney disease.

Excessive Plaque on Your Dog’s Teeth

Some dogs are predisposed to plaque accumulation. Toy breeds and brachycephalic (squishy faced breeds) often have issues because of their teeth have abnormal alignments or crowding problems. Although every dog will need regular teeth brushing, extra precaution should be given to the toy breeds.

Pets with chronic medical conditions are also susceptible to medical complications associated with bad oral hygiene. Animals with abnormal saliva quantity, gum health, an overabundance of flora (oral bacteria), and a disrupted pH balance in the mouth are predisposed to plaque on a dog’s teeth.

Plaque forms while your dog eats. Both canned foods and kibbles form into plaque that sticks to your dog’s teeth. The pre-domesticated dogs did not have an issue with plaque is that they chewed the bones of their prey. Chewing is a dog’s natural defense against plaque.Wild dog ancestors also weren’t eating a kibble diet and for this reason, we recommend the rotational diet.

Signs of Oral Disease:

  • Bad Breath
  • Brownish Crust on Teeth
  • Crust on Gumline
  • Red & Swollen Gums
  • Pain
  • Sensitive to Bleeding
  • Flinching When Area is Approached

How Can we Prevent Plaque Buildup?

The first and best way to promote healthy oral care is to brush your dog’s teeth. Veterinarians advise brushing at least twice a week, more depending on the severity of plaque buildup. Some vets even state that daily tooth brushing is imperative. If your dog already has a serious case of plaque and tartar buildup you might need a professional dental cleaning administered by a veterinarian.

If you establish healthy teeth brushing habits with your dog as a puppy, this makes the whole experience much easier. A dog that is accustomed to having his teeth brushed will respond better. A dog can even perceive this time as a treat if he likes the flavor of the toothpaste. Vigilant teeth brushing is the best method for plaque control but there are other efforts pet owners can do between brushings.

Giving your dog a chew is helpful. The mechanical action from the friction of chewing scrapes plaque away. Dental chews and rawhides are your best bet. A raw hide is one of the best natural ways to prevent plaque. Raw hides are usually one ingredient so you don’t need to worry about introducing your dog to harsh chemicals. There are also other health benefits that come with chewing raw hides for dogs. Not only do raw hides contain enzymes that are helpful in breaking down plaque, they contain vitamins like calcium, zinc, manganese, and potassium.

There are dividing schools of thought in the veterinary community when it comes to dry kibble food. Some vets state that large kibble food promotes chewing and this is an effective deterrent of plaque. Others believe this does nothing for a dog’s oral care. Arguably, a raw diet is the most beneficial food choice for a dog. Raw meat is unprocessed with tons of proteins and natural enzymes. Giving a dog a solely a raw meat diet is not always practical. With the rotational diet—raw, fresh, canned, dry—your dog’s diet has diversity with multiple deliveries of nutrition.

Steps to Begin Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Again, the best time to start doing this is early, as a puppy, but it’s never too late to teach an old new tricks by preventing some major health problems.

  1. Find the Right Time. Setting a routine with your dog will help them get conditioned to having their teeth brushed. Begin when your dog is relaxed and properly exercised—after a walk.
  2. Get the Right Tools. Get a dog toothbrush that you are comfortable handling and fits your dog’s mouth. Dog toothbrushes have softer bristles that should point downwardly at the gum line at a 45° angle. Dog toothpaste typically come in two flavors, peanut butter, and poultry. Find one your dog likes. Never use human toothpaste, it is toxic for dogs!
  3. Introduce Brushing in Baby Steps. Begin just by holding the toothbrush by your dog’s mouth. Let him sniff it. Also, practice lifting your dog’s snout and rubbing your fingers over his gums with light pressure. This helps gauge your dog’s willingness for the procedure. Let your dog taste the toothpaste. If they like the taste, stick with this one. You want your dog to perceive teeth brushing as a treat.
  4. Find a Comfortable Position. Your posture should be relaxed and your dog should be calm. Kneel or sit to the side you’re planning on brushing. Don’t stand above your dog or hold them down in any way. This will exacerbate their stress levels.
  5. Begin Brushing. Once your dog is accustomed to the separate parts of brushing, put the steps together and go for a trial run. Apply toothpaste and brush with the bristles facing toward the gum. Start slow. Apply gentle pressure in a circular motion. Focus on the areas where plaque build up is the worst.
  6. Gentle Coaxing. Remember, this is a foreign experience for your dog. Soothe them with a calm voice and give them treats afterward for a positive association.
  7. Stop if Bleeding Occurs. It’s normal for a little bleeding to occur but if the gum line starts bleeding heavily, you should stop. Try again later, but if the gum line continues to bleed profusely you should seek veterinarian support.

Veterinarian Dental Cleaning

If you are attentive to your dog’s oral care and brush regularly you may escape ever needing to schedule a visit for a professional dental cleaning.

Some pets who are naturally susceptible to plaque on their teeth may need to visit a veterinary dentist twice a year. This will prevent oral infections, inflamed gums, and other medical complications right in their tracks.  

If your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms of oral disease it’s time to visit the dentist. A veterinary dentist will take digital dental x-rays and perform any necessary procedures like a tooth extraction. All medical procedures like this require anesthesia for your dog’s safety. Recently, anesthesia-free dentistry has been gaining popularity in the U.S. as a result of pet parents trying to avoid the costs of sedating their pets. In many cases, this is unsafe and inhumane. Veterinary clinics are mandated to anesthetize and intubate patients for dental procedures.

For more information on teeth cleaning and scaling, procedures click here.

What Splash and Dash Can do to Help

Accomplishing a dog’s oral health routine is difficult, especially if your dog is not accustomed to having their teeth brushed. Plaque on your dog’s teeth will only get worse if you don’t take measures against it. If plaque and tartar build up becomes severe enough, this can lead to very expensive veterinarian procedures and your dog can suffer through the whole process.

The key to avoiding this is good preventative care—daily teeth brushing and providing dental chews.

Many pet parents simply do not have enough time. Dog’s require a ton of maintenance between walking, grooming, and now add on brushing their teeth. Attention to your dog’s health is vitally important. You may consider finding a reputable groomer like Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique to help you and your dog.

Splash and Dash is unique in the grooming industry. They are the only pet spa to offer an unlimited bath and brush service. You pay a low monthly fee and can take your dog in for grooming at your leisure. Let Splash and Dash do the banal parts of taking care of your pets for you. This leaves you time to get back to the fun parts of owning a dog! Say goodbye to bad breath forever and rest easy knowing your dog’s oral health is in condition.

 

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Help! My Dog’s Breath Smells Like Fish

No More Suffering When Your Dog’s Breath Smells Like Fish; Know How to Get Rid of it!

I think at most, the longest my dog’s breath ever smelled truly minty was for a few hours. Just like humans, a dog’s breath will return to its natural state of less than fresh scent. The difference between us, and our dog’s, is we don’t explore the world with our tongues. So, depending on what your dog is getting into, will determine what his breath smells like. If your dog’s breath smells like fish, there are a few identified culprits of this potent problem.

Where are the Fish, Seriously Where?

Is it the Glands?

Many of us dog owners live miles from a lake or sea and our dog’s breath still smells like fish. It’s incomprehensible. One of the main reasons a dog’s breath smells like fish is actually even grosser than the fish possibility. Dogs have two anal glands bordering their anus—one at five and one at seven o’clock. When these glands ‘are expressed’ they empty out a very pungent fishy odor. As your dog proceeds to clean himself with his tongue, this odor transfers to their mouth.

The scent is like a Twitter update for dogs. Chemical information about a dog’s age, gender, emotional state, and more are picked up when your dog smells another dog’s anal secretions. Dogs will naturally express their anal sacs as they defecate. However some dogs—small breeds in particular—have trouble expressing and pressure builds up. To relieve the pressure they’ll scoot their butt across the floor or nip at their hind regions. Some dogs have transparent anal expressions while other’s fluid is brown and viscous. This makes it harder for a dog to naturally express them.

If you’re a brave soul, you can express the anal glands yourself by applying pressure to the glands. The best place to do this is in the bathtub—right before a bath. Wear gloves and use paper towels to keep the secretion contained. Pick up their tail, reach around the gland and pull forward. Or, you can have your dog groomer or veterinarian perform this procedure. We don’t blame you!

Is it the Plaque?

Dogs need regular teeth brushing too. The inside of a dog’s mouth is teeming with bacteria. When plaque buildup turns into tartar an overabundance of bacteria can lead to bad breath. Halitosis, gingivitis, and periodontal disease all stem from bad oral care for dogs.

An internal disease could also be the culprit. Kidney and liver failure can cause bad breath with a fishy smell. A sweet-rotten smell could indicate diabetes and breath smelling like urine is consistent with kidney disease. If your dog is having urinating or defecating issues this is a sign it’s time to visit a veterinarian immediately.

Is it what he’s Eating?

Some dog owners give their dog fish oil which contains omega-3 and omega-6 which are great for dogs for healthy cell growth. Just know dogs do burp and that burp will be invasive to the nostrils. Salmon and Whitefish are also typically used as ingredients in kibble dog food. Check your dog’s food ingredient list for fishmeal, Docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid. These can also be a likely source of the fishy smell.

How Do I Get Rid of It?

Depending on the issue most causes of bad breath can be easily treated. Again, small breeds do have the most issues with anal gland expressions. Have your groomer take care of this for you. It’s cheaper than a veterinarian visit and your dog gets a bath afterward— ridding all the smells. Once their glands are good that fish odor will disappear.

If it’s a matter of oral hygiene, proactive measures are the best way to handle this. Make sure you’re brushing your dog’s teeth at least twice a week. Groomers can also take care of this process for you. Between teeth brushing sessions give your dog a chew toy or rawhide. The mechanical action from the friction scrapes away tartar by 70%, according to WebMD.

If it’s a more serious medical issue, seek out veterinary services immediately. Once your vet diagnoses the problem they can assist you with doggie lifestyle changes to make. If your dog’s breath smells like fish as a result of gastrointestinal abnormalities or other internal organ failures, more drastic steps may have to be taken. All this is preventable with good pet care.

If you’ve tried all of the above then it’s probably his food. Speak with your vet about the best high-quality food to provide for your dog. Splash and Dash recommend the rotational diet. This diet provides kibble, fresh, raw, and canned food for diverse sources of nutrients. Larger kibble dog foods also promote chewing which helps scrape plaque. The rule of thumb is the more protein the better. Cheap dog foods contain fillers and other unhealthy additives that may not only be making your dog’s breath smell like fish but is not providing an adequate amount of nutrition.

Besides all the above pathways to fresher breath, there are also water additives and minty dog chews that can help rid the smell. We hope your dog’s breath improves so you don’t have to be disgusted when they go for those tongue-filled kisses on your face!

Play Dirty. Live Clean!

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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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