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Homemade Dog Food Recipes

It’s important to follow homemade dog food recipes exactly as they are instructed. Please do not attempt to substitute ingredients as you might for yourself or your family. Dogs have different nutritional needs than humans do. It’s important to cook all animal products thoroughly to kill all harmful bacteria. Thoroughly cooking all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables will make the food easier for your dog to digest. Make sure to watch out for these foods that can harm your dog.

All of us at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique want the very best for your pup.homemade dog food natural

Why make homemade dog food?

One of the most beneficial parts about making your own dog food is the comfort in knowing exactly what your dog is eating. Dogs are apart of the family, they should be treated like family. You wouldn’t want anyone in your family eating harmful food, why would you let your dog?

The truth is, dog food isn’t well regulated. Feeding your pooch commercial dog food consistently results in massive recalls, sick pets (or worse), and even potentially increasing food allergies from the dog’s commercial brand food. Also, there is no one size fits all type of food for a dog, they come in many shapes and sizes and need to be fed accordingly.

Commercial dog foods make use of non-human grade food ingredients. If you look at a common dog food product’s label, you’ll notice ingredients such as meat protein which actually include parts of an animal which you would never eat yourself.

The problem with feed-grade dog food is that they often contain organ meats such as feathers, hooves, entrails, and other animal by-products. The worst thing about these feed-grade ingredients is that the FDA actually allows animals that have died by causes, such as ailments and diseases, to be included in dog foods. Dogs can’t just eat anything that is put on their plate, they need a healthy diet just like humans do.

homemade dog food natural

Dog Nutrition

Making homemade dog food and homemade dog treats may sound like a daunting task at first, however after going through this guide you’ll realize how easy of a task it can be after educating yourself further. Just like we have the food pyramid showing us the specific food groups and guidelines we should follow, there is an entirely different food pyramid required for dogs to get the correct nutrients they need to be healthy pups.

Depending on how much time you’re willing to commit, homemade dog food can completely substitute any other type of supplements, while still feeding them all the nutrients they need to be healthy dogs.

The basic nutrients needed for a healthy dog are:

  • Protein (Basic building blocks for cells, organs, and are essential for growth)
  • Fats (The most concentrated form of food energy)
  • Water (Essential to life, water accounts for 65-70% of an adult dogs body weight)
  • Carbohydrates (No minimum requirement for carbs, however glucose is needed to supply energy to critical organs such as the brain.)
  • Vitamins (Tiny amounts of vitamins are necessary in dogs for normal metabolic functioning)
  • Minerals (Nutrients that cannot be synthesized by animals and must be provided in the diet)

natural dog food homemade

Artificial preservatives in commercial pet foods

Commercial pet food products contain ingredients that you can’t pronounce just so that they can artificially preserve their dog food for as long as possible to ensure minimal loss of profits. There are many dangers with processed dog food, one of the main ingredients found is propylene glycol, which is used to maintain moisture (also a chemical used in car anti-freeze).

This type of practice may be good for their bottom dollar, but it can be very harmful for your dog. The truth is that the slow accumulation of these toxins will eventually lead to serious damage on your dog’s kidneys, liver, and heart.

All of us at Splash and Dash believe dogs should be fed the very best, they are family after all. Which is why we only use 7 Human-Grade Ingredients or less in our Keepin’ It Simple dog treats.

All of our treats are sourced in the USA and USDA approved.

Dog Recipes that We Love

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

Looking for a doggie digestive aid? Pumpkin is easy on sour stomachs and can help alleviate your dog’s digestive issues. These homemade dog biscuits are a great way to introduce an all-natural tummy aid into your pup’s diet.

Ingredients

1/3 cup extremely cold water

2/3 cup pumpkin puree (canned or home-made)

2 cups whole grain brown rice flour

1 large egg (you can omit this if your dog is allergic to eggs)

2 1/2 tablespoonful flax-seed oil or olive oil

Total: Makes approx. 24 1 oz balls (or 24 fluid ounces)

pumpkin dog bisquits homemade

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 320 – 350 degrees.
  • Use two baking sheets and baking paper to avoid sticking.
  • Mix lightly beaten egg and pumpkin in a separate container until smooth. If you don’t want to use egg then just smooth the pumpkin puree separately and proceed to the next step.
  • In a larger bowl, combine flax-seed oil and brown rice flour.
  • With constant stirring, add the pumpkin mixture to the rice mixture and slowly add water. Be sure to leave some of the rice to be used as some sort of toppings for the cookies.
  • Hand mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Using two pieces of baking or waxed paper, roll dough out to desired thickness.
  • Remove the top baking paper.
  • Evenly pour rice flour onto the top of the dough and lightly press it to the waxed baking paper.
  • Remove the paper and cut to desired sizes.
  • Place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is completely dry.
  • Cool and store in a dry plastic or glass container until ready to be served.

Don’t have the time to make these treats? Try the Pumpkin Patch flavor of our Keepin’ It Simple All Natural Dog Treats!

Frozen Banana Treats

After a long walk in the hot sun, what pooch wouldn’t want a refreshing treat? We absolutely love this simple recipe – yogurt, banana and peanut butter. It’s a frozen smoothie for your dog. Need we say more?

Ingredients

4 cups plain yogurt

2 tablespoons peanut butter

3 bananas, ripe, peeled & mashed

Total: Makes approx. 8 1 oz treats

frozen banana dog treat

Directions

  • Blend all ingredients together into a puree.
  • Pour into 4-ounce plastic cups (ice trays or toddler popsicle trays work well).
  • Freeze until firm.
  • Can be kept in freezer for up to two week

Don’t have the time to make these treats? Try the PB N’ Jelly Crunch Flavor of our Keepin’ It Simple All Natural Dog Treats!

Don’t Forget the Fruits & Veggies

While your dog doesn’t need to choke down a big salad everyday, it’s still vital to their health to eat a few well-chosen veggies. We recommend using a wide variety of frozen vegetables because it’s the easiest and most economical way for me to make sure your pups are eating their vegetables. (Veggies for dogs = fiber for healthy poops and fat-soluble vitamins.)

We recommend buying frozen California Medley veggies (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli). Three 12-ounce bags is the perfect amount for this homemade dog food recipe.

If you can’t find the California Medley or you want to mix it up a bit, combine any or all of these vegetables, either fresh or frozen, to equal 5 cups:

  • zucchini
  • green beans
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • celery
  • cabbage

Fruits contain vitamins, antioxidants, and valuable fiber for our pups. So we recommend 12 ounces (or 1-1/2 cups) to each batch of food. You can choose one of the following, fresh or frozen, and stir it in after cooking:

  • blueberries
  • diced apple (but not the seeds)
  • banana

dog food keepin it clean natural

Although less common, these fruits are also acceptable add-ins for your homemade dog food:

  • fresh pineapple (with all spines and skin removed)
  • mango (without the pit)
  • watermelon (rind and seeds removed)
  • peaches (pit removed)
  • strawberries
  • raspberries

*Do NOT Add These Foods To Your Homemade Dog Food*

  • grapes
  • raisins
  • cherries
  • avocado
  • anything with chocolate or cacao
  • onions or leeks
  • anything with xylitol
  • macadamia nuts
  • garlic (unless directed by your vet)
  • brewer’s yeast
  • raw bread dough

For the most natural dog products visit Splash and Dash, every dog treat is sourced in the USA with 7 human-grade ingredients or less.

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Does My Dog Have Worms?

Intestinal parasites often referred to as “Worms” can cause severe and life threatening diseases. Much to the surprise of many pet owners, several canine parasites are transmissible to humans as well. This is why understanding these parasitic health symptoms, hazards, and treatments are important to set preventative measures for the whole household.

It is important to realize there are many more parasites other than just roundworms and tapeworms that commonly come to mind. Whipworms, Hookworms, and many other worms can cause serious life threatening complications.

How do dogs get worms

How do dogs get worms?

Most tapeworms require an intermediate host, which means most of the time they aren’t passed from pet to pet. Common intermediate hosts include fleas and small rodents. It’s important to note that dogs will become reinvested with tapeworms if these hosts aren’t controlled.

Dogs can become infected with roundworms by eating worm eggs from contaminated soil or stool. Although more common in cats, dogs can also become infected by eating infected rodents.

Although human infection occurs rarely, it can cause significant health issues depending on where the worms migrate to. If you have been exposed to a pet with worms, we recommend talking with your physician to discuss any potential problems.

Types of worms

my dog has worms

Roundworms

Usually spread in feces or during pregnancy or nursing, the roundworm causes a serious infection in dogs and puppies. The roundworm eats the food of its host and may cause diarrhea and other symptoms. It’s important to note that roundworms in puppies can be fatal. Human infection of roundworms can cause even more serious symptoms and implications.

Hookworms

Hookworms suck the blood out of their hosts, mostly in the small intestine. Mothers can infect their puppies, and adult dogs can be infected through their skin or when cleaning themselves. Infection causes many symptoms, mostly weakness and malnutrition which can lead to death in puppies. Humans can also become infected with hookworms from unwashed vegetables or by walking barefoot on sand and soil.

Heartworms

One of the most dangerous worms, heartworms are spread through mosquito bites. They can be up to 14 inches long, and commonly live in the heart and arteries. Heartworms can affect how the heart functions and can cause blood clots which are likely to cause death if untreated. Monthly heartworm preventatives are are effective and Splash and Dash recommends to use a monthly heartworm treatment.

Whipworms

Whipworms live in the area where the small and large intestines meet. Similarly to hookworms, whipworms also suck the blood of their hosts. Dogs commonly pick them up from contaminated soil or by grooming. Whipworms can be quite serious and symptoms include bloody diarrhea especially when there are a large number in the intestine.

Tapeworms

Dogs most commonly are infected with tapeworms from fleas, which carry them. Tapeworms absorb dog’s nutrients from the intestine where they often attach. Tapeworms are each about the size of a grain of rice. These are commonly passed in stool and can be seen around the dog’s anus. Humans can also get tapeworms, but can’t get them from an infected pet.

Ringworm

Despite its name, ringworm is actually not a worm at all. It is a skin infection caused by a fungus. In dogs, ringworm is often seen as a dry, gray, and scary patch. Although it may cause no symptoms at all, it is still important to take your dog to the vet if you notice anything abnormal. Humans can become infected in ringworm as well, however they usually cause a red lesion with a ring-like appearance (hence the name). Infection comes from spores which are commonly found in the soil or on cats, humans can become infected by touching an infected pet. Treatment for ringworm can involve medicated shampoos and ointments. More commonly, an oral medication will be needed for a couple of months. It is important to take extra measures to clear ringworm from the environment to prevent the spread.

How can I tell if my dog has worms?

Although there is no obvious outward signs of infection when it comes to your dog having worms, normal bowel movements don’t rule out the possibility of a parasite infection. However, when signs are present they can include diarrhea, bloody stool, mucus in the stool, change in appetite, weight loss, and vague signs of abdominal or rectal discomfort.

Other signs are abdominal enlargement, scooting of the hindquarters, and excess licking or irritation around the anus. Some parasites even can cause severe blood loss and even death, especially in young, weak, or old and malnourished pets.

Can I see worms in my dog’s stool?

One way to see if your dog has worms is examining their stool. Adult roundworms and hookworms will appear as small to large, off-white to tan, spaghetti shaped parasites. Human infection can be examined in stool as well.

Tapeworms will often appear in stool or clinging to hair around the genital area. Fresh segments will be white, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, and may expand or contract. Dry segments resemble sesame seeds or rice grains and will be darker in color.

Treatment for worms in dogs

Treatment for Worms

Tapeworms and other variations of worms are not effectively treatable with over-the-counter dewormers, which means a veterinary examination is necessary. All of us at Splash and Dash want the very best for your pet, please don’t take any symptoms lightly.

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Can Dogs See Color?

Is everything in a dogs world black and white? We get asked this question almost everyday at Splash and Dash Groomerie and Boutique. This idea has been widely accepted for decades, but in all reality, this theory is completely untrue. Another misconception is that Dogs only see in shades of grey, this is incorrect as well. The simple answer to this common misconception is that people often misinterpret the meaning of being color-blind.

Can Dogs see color? The answer isn’t so “black and white” as many think. 

What is Color Blindness?

This topic actually dates back to the 18th century when English scientist John Dalton conducted some of the first studies on congenital color blindness. Dalton became aware of the phenomenon of color-blindness because both he and his brother weren’t able to recognize some colors, confusing red with green and pink with blue.

The most common color-blind defect in humans is the red and green perception. It is mainly caused by abnormalities in color-detecting molecules known as cones in the retina (but we’ll talk about that more later).

This truth is, dogs do in fact see colors, but the colors that they see are neither as rich nor as many as those seen by humans. Look at the example below to understand the colors your dog is seeing.

Can dogs see color

The figure above shows the color spectrum of Human sight compared to Dog sight

 

The Science Behind It

You weren’t just going to take our word for it, were you?

Alexandra Horowitz – author of “Being a Dog” – told us that it’s difficult to know exactly what colors a dog sees, but it’s probably similar to what we see at dusk.

In the eye are light receptors called cones and rods. Cones help us distinguish different colors, while rods help us see in dim lighting. Well it also turns out that dogs just happen to have fewer cone receptors in their eyes than humans. This means that they can’t see as many colors.

Human cones are able to detect 3 different colors: blue, red, and green. Dog cones can only detect 2 colors, and no one is exactly certain which colors they are able to detect, however some experts believe it could be blue and yellow.

In What Ways are Dogs Eyes Better Than Humans?

Dogs actually do have a wider peripheral vision than that of humans. This is credited solely to eyeball placement! It’s simply because dogs’ eyes live on either side of their heads, they can see an impressive 250 degrees. This is 60 degrees wider than their human friends, who max out at 190 degrees. Of course, there’s a range somewhere in the middle — a Labrador, for instance, has a much different facial structure than a pug.

The pro to having close-set, front-facing eyes? The central field of vision where both eyes intersect, which helps with details and depth perception. Where humans have a large amount of this binocular vision, dogs do not.

dogs see better than humans

The image above shows how a Dogs peripheral vision is better than Humans

 

How Well can Dogs See?

This is a common question when Dog owners go to the local vet with eye concerns. The truth is, if your dog was to walk into an eye doctor today he would probably be prescribed some form of eye ware! If a human’s comfortable seeing 20/20, dogs are down at around the 20/75 range. No need to worry, dogs are still getting a general picture idea of the object or scene in front of them. It’s not like your dog needs reading glasses anyway.

can dogs see color

Can Dogs See in the Dark?

Dogs eyes actually have more rods than their human counterparts, which is also the reason why they see much better at night time than we do. Dogs also have an extra layer of eye tissue that humans lack called the ‘tapetum lucidum’, which reflects light into the retina. This extra layer of eye tissue boosts dogs night vision even more, and is a reason why your dogs eye might shine in the dark.

Dogs see very well in the night time because of the ability to adapt to low-light vision. No one is exactly sure how much better dogs can see in the night time, however it is a noticeable advantage. Dogs have evolved to see better in both bright and dim lightning, whereas humans do best in bright light.

How do Dogs Perceive Color?

Researchers at the University of Santa Barbara conducted an experiment where they taught dogs to pick the odd-colored circle out of a choice of three circles. If the dogs were showed colors that they could not distinguish, they would fail the task.

Dr. Gerold Jacobs, Professor of Psychology at the University of Santa Barbara, lead much of this color vision research in dogs. He is careful to point-out that while we cannot determine exactly what the dog perceives the color to be, we think what humans see as a red, orange, yellow or green appears as different saturations of yellow to a dog. While blue-green, blue-violet appear as different saturations of bluish gray to a dog.

Can dogs see color

Scientists experimenting to see if dogs recognize certain colors better than others. The Dog on the left has a reaction when seeing blue and yellow, compared to the dog on the right who has no reaction to the colors green and red.

 

What Colors do Dogs See Best?

If you were to throw a green tennis ball in high grass do you think your dog would be able to find it? It’s possible, although it would be much easier for your dog to find that tennis ball if it were blue or yellow.

Dogs can see best if the color is either yellow or blue, this would mean a lot of what dogs are seeing in the world is grayish-brown. That lush green lawn that us humans see looks more like a field of dead hay to a dog.

Now that you know that dogs don’t see certain colors in the way humans do, it would make sense to purchase products based on what would be more pleasing to your dog, rather than yourself. Buying a toy that is easier for your dog to see should be a top priority when you decide to shop for your pup.

can dogs see color

The picture above shows the comparison from Human to Dog eye sight. Keep this in mind when buying certain colored toys for your pup

Our ‘Cycle dog’ toys are very colorful and Eco Friendly. Help reduce you and your dog’s carbon paw print with our line of eco-friendly toys and accessories, all of which are made in the United States out of high quality recycled materials.

Our Motto at Splash and Dash Groomerie and Boutique is to play dirty and live clean, which is why we offer Eco Friendly Dog Supplies & Accessories.

Can having a dog improve your health?

After the end of a stressful day you come home to your dog wagging their tail and running towards you, that sudden feeling of calmness and relief isn’t just in your head, is it? No, that feeling isn’t just in your imagination, recent research suggests that your fluffy friend truly is good for your physical and mental health.

“Pets often provide unconditional acceptance and love and they’re always there for you,” says Gary A. Christenson, MD, chief medical officer at Boynton Health Service at the University of Minnesota. “There is a bond and companionship that makes a big difference in mental health,”

Not to mention all the extra exercise you get from walks and playtime. Dogs improve out health in many ways, whether it’s though physical or mental health, pets can be very calming and have been scientifically proven to lower stress levels.

“We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets,” says pet researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD. Who is a professor of psychology at Miami University.

Happy dog health mental physical

A dog can be your heart’s best friend

Recently, a panel of experts from the American Heart Association (AHA) have weighed all the available evidence. The conclusive finding has been that having a pet, a dog in particular, likely lowers the risk of heart disease, but why?

“People who have dogs live longer than people who have cats, and the assumption has been that dogs naturally cause their owners to be more active,” suggests Dr. Thomas Lee, Co-Editor in Chief of the Harvard Heart Letter. “The emotional benefits of having an affectionate creature are also one of the theories for why dog-lovers live longer.”

Much of the evidence reviewed by the AHA Indicates that dog owners are more likely to exercise. They also found that they are more likely to have lower blood pressure, be less vulnerable to the effects of stress, and more likely to survive a heart attack.

Can having a dog help with anxiety and depression?

Dogs can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. However, don’t just take our word for it.

Dog helps with depression anxiety

“I finally realized the answer to my decade long question of how to manage anxiety and depression – exerciselaughter and love – all things that were unattainable for me before, were achieved by getting a dog.” Says pet owner Kathryn Oda from the Huffington Post.

The reason that these three things are so key, is they all trigger the release of the chemical serotonin – the feel-good chemical in our brains (also released by working out or exercising). By having increased levels of serotonin every day, symptoms of anxiety and depression can dramatically decrease.

Hey, what about cats?

It’s true, both dogs and cats are positive influences and can have an additive calming effect on their owners when compared to other animals. Doctors aren’t exactly sure why, but researcher think that cats and declining stress may have more to do with the personality of the cat owner than anything else. Cats commonly become the focus of their owner’s attention and interest, which can divert their stressful worries into positive thoughts.

Though this article giving you the top 10 reasons why dogs are better than cats may disagree.

More relationships and connections

One key to a healthy mind is to stay engaged with other people. Pet owners tend to want to talk with other pet owners compared to people who don’t own any pets. Basically having a dog is a conversation waiting to happen, people are more likely to stop and talk with you when they see you walking your dog.

Dog helps you get a relationship girlfriend boyfriend

Having a dog even makes you more likely to find a partner believe it or not.

“They see you with a dog and all their defenses go down,” said Dr. Helen Fisher, “They assume you must be a decent human being. How could you have a dog and be a bad person?”

All of us at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique agree with Dr. Fisher, dog owners are often perceived to be more approachable and happier than people without dogs.

“Having a dog really says something about you,” said Dr. Fisher. “It says you can care for a creature, that you can follow a schedule and get home to feed it, that you can walk it and love it and spend time with it.”

“It’s a signal that a man or woman may not only make a good friend but also a good parent”, Dr. Fisher said.

Is it time to get a dog?

As we stated above, getting a dog can dramatically change the way you’re able to manage anxiety, depression, or simply your overall mental health. However, owning a dog comes with many responsibilities. There are many things to consider before deciding to get a dog.

Remember, thousands of dogs are abandoned at shelters every year, especially in the first year of their lives. This is common phenomenon because people are unaware of how much time, money, and responsibility a dog requires. When it comes to food, Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique offer trusted brands in our stores that we feed to our own dogs at home.

Dog can help with depression

Some important things to consider before deciding to own a dog:

  • A dog requires at minimum two hours of your time each day for attention. A puppy requires even more at around four hours each day. If you can give at least two hours consider rescuing/adopting a dog in need of a home, there are thousands of dogs that would love to have you in their lives.
  • Keep in mind that there are many different breeds of dogs that all have their unique requirements when it comes to exercise and diet. Different dog breeds also mean different personalities, try to pick a dog that will match well with your personality. We suggest taking this quiz at My Real Personality to find the perfect match for you.
  • Although you don’t have to be a millionaire to own a dog, being able to afford everything a dog requires is important. Dogs, especially puppies, can be very expensive. Keep in mind you have to buy all of their accessories, food, treats, toys, and the most expensive: vet bills. The ASPCA estimates that it costs between $580 and $875 per year to take care of a dog’s routine needs.

Don’t forget about your dogs health either! Treat them to a spa style grooming every month if you can, your dog (and furniture) will appreciate it.

The last thing to remember is that owning a dog is not a miracle cure for any type of physical or mental illness. Owning a dog will only be beneficial and conforming for those who love and appreciate animals, and for those who have the time and money to keep a dog happy and healthy. Please consider all of these things before deciding to get a dog.

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Summertime Guide to Walking the Dog

How to Exercise Pet Safety While Walking the Dog in the Heat of Summer

Walking the dog is one of the best ways for our four-legged companions to get exercise and explore the world. Dogs both love and need to be walked. Walking provides great exercise and allows dogs to partake in their favorite ancestral habit—peeing on everything. With the heat indexes rising, it’s important to know when it’s too hot to walk your dog. Also important is knowing the best ways to keep them from experiencing heat stroke (hyperthermia).

According to a British Veterinary Association study, 48% of vet clinics had to treat dogs for heat stroke during the summer months. The two prevailing reasons heat stroke occurs is because owners neglectfully leave their dogs in cars and dogs overheat due to vigorous exercise while on a walk. Many pet parents aren’t even aware that their dog is severely overheating. Even when the air temperature is only 86-degrees F, the asphalt temperature can swelter to 135-degrees F—hot enough to fry an egg in five minutes. Imagine this on your dog’s paw pads!

Dogs also have a different way of cooling down than humans. Humans regulate heat by sweating. The primary cooling method for a dog is, of course, panting. The way it works is a dog’s tongue swells up—fills with warm blood—while air is forced rapidly over the tongue. As a dog pants, their breathing matches the natural resonant frequency of the airways. This allows warm moisture to evaporate from the tongue which is exhaled while cooled blood returns from the tongue into the body. Dogs have small sweat glands on their feet but these sweat glands are not enough to be a thorough heat losing mechanism.

Heat Strokes (Hyperthermia) in Dogs

The veterinary definition of hyperthermia is when a dog’s body temperature is elevated beyond an accepted normal range. The temperature typically associated with hyperthermia is 106-degrees F. At this temperature, inflammation of the body occurs with a possibility of brain damage and even fatality. This makes it very important to be observant while walking the dog in hot temperatures.

Symptoms of Hyperthermia:

  • Red Gums
  • Non-Production of Urine
  • Sudden Kidney Failure
  • Shock
  • Heart & Lung Failure
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Blood in Stool
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Uncoordinated Movement
  • Unconsciousness

The two most common factors behind dogs overheating are easily preventable. Being aware of the environmental temperature and your dog’s body language can help prevent them from getting hypothermia. When walking the dog in the heat, the increased muscle activity generates an exorbitant amount of body heat. The rise in environmental heat puts dogs at risk during long walks, without shade or access to water. As you walk the dog, continually monitor their behavior and make sure you take breaks if they are excessively panting. Providing water for them to drink at these breaks is also important.

Leaving a dog in the cark is another easily prevented situation that leads to dogs overheating. Even on a fair day, it only takes minutes for a parked car to turn a car into a brick oven. Even with the windows cracked it is not safe. On a 78-degree day, the inside of a parked car will swelter to 100 degrees in a few minutes. If you need to run errands and cannot bring your dog, please leave them at home in the air conditioning, instead of in a parked car.

Dogs that are Susceptible to Overheating:

  • Young puppies & senior dogs have a harder time regulating their internal body temperature
  • Obese dogs have extra layers of insulation in the form of fat which prevents them from cooling
  • Brachycephalic dogs (squishy faced breeds) have a more restricted breathing pathway which hinders them from cooling down
  • Dogs diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis (narrow breathing passage) also have a more difficult time breathing and consequently harder time dissipating heat
  • Dogs with dark coats who absorb more solar radiation instead of reflecting it

How to Avoid Heat Stroke While Walking the Dog

Timing of the Walk

A little bit of common sense goes a long way for your dog’s safety. The middle of the day, when the sun is highest in the sky, is, of course, going to be the hottest time of day. Try and take your dog for a walk either early in the morning, or late at night, when the temperature isn’t quite as scorching. If you have a dog-walker take your dog out while you are at work, ensure they are walking your dog at an appropriate time.

Route of the Walk

Try and pick a route that avoids asphalt and concrete. Find a route that is shady. This will avoid any unnecessary heat that your dog experiences. Also, make sure they have access to plenty of water. Bring a collapsible water bowl and water bottle for frequent breaks where your dog can re-hydrate.

Dog Boots & Socks

A pair of dog shoes can help protect a dog’s paw pads from the heat radiating from the ground. They also protect a dog’s paws during any season from elements like rocks, broken glass, burrs, snow salt, and other debris which can be dangerous.

Go for a Swim

Dogs need plenty of exercise, even in the summer, but hot temperatures make pet owners consider other ways for dogs to get some exercise. Instead of walking, or going to the dog park, why not visit the dog beach? Swimming is a great form of exercise and helps cool a dog off.

Moisturized Dog Paw Pads

A dog’s paw pads are naturally tough but were never meant to walk over the hot asphalt and concrete. Paw pads can become cracked, irritated, and collect debris from the ground that can damage the paw pad. If your dog is vulnerable to damaged paw pads you can apply coconut oil to their paws to help alleviate any irritation. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique also offers a ‘pawdicure’ service that moisturizes your pup’s paw pads—preventing cracking, peeling, and cleansing away bacteria with an effervescent scrub.

Trimming the Nails and Hair Between the Toes

Having your veterinarian or groomer trim the hair between a dog’s toes helps them gain traction. It also prevents dirt, twigs, and other debris on the ground from getting lodged into their paws. Maintaining a dog’s paw-fur also helps with a dog’s natural temperature regulation.

Trimming a dog’s nails might not help with keeping them cool but it is equally important for their health.

 

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wish you luck while walking the dog this summer. Please be safe and make sure your dog has plenty of water and shade. In the worst case scenario, if your dog does experience heat stroke, know how to cool your dog down.

For tips on bringing your dog’s body temperature down, click here.

 

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How to Prevent Injuries to Your Dog’s Paw Pads

When is the Heat Dangerous for Dog Paw Pads?

On scorching summer days, humans have the privilege of wearing flip-flops and shoes to protect their feet from the asphalt or concrete ground. Asphalt absorbs the sun’s rays, making a perfect surface area to fry an egg, or cause injury to a dog paw pad. Air temperature can be misleading. At only 77 degrees Fahrenheit, asphalt temperature can reach 125 degrees—hot enough for skin destruction to occur after 60 seconds of contact. At this temperature, asphalt is only six degrees short of being able to fry an egg in five minutes. Since air temperature is not always an accurate reflection of ground temperature, it’s important to be aware of the heat index to protect your dog’s paw pads!

Dogs are what’s known as a digitigrade species. This means that they walk on their toes, unlike plantigrade species, who use the entire sole of their feet to move. The part of a dog’s paw that makes the most contact with the ground is the pads.The metacarpal,  metatarsal, and digital pads function as the load-bearing, shock-absorbing pads. Although these dog paw pads are tough, they can only take so much heat before injury can occur. The carpal pad makes less contact with the ground and is used for skid and traction when a dog is on an incline or stopping.  

A dog’s paw has five basic parts:

  • Claw
  • Digital Pads
  • Metacarpal Pad (front paws)
  • Metatarsal Pad (rear paws)
  • Dew Claw
  • Carpal Pad

The Five Second Rule

If you live in a hot climate, with temperatures that reach into the 90’s then you need to know the ten-second rule. Veterinarians agree, this is one of the simplest and best gauges to discern if the ground is too hot for a dog paw pad.

To assess the heat level, place the back of your hand against the pavement. If you cannot hold it for five seconds, it’s too hot to walk your dog. If the back of your hand is uncomfortable, it can be painful for your dog to walk on this surface. When the pavement reaches this temperature, many dogs will whimper or begin ‘high-stepping’ on the pavement.

If this is the case, stop the walk. Try and find shady areas or routes that are not in direct contact with the sun. Grass and dirt paths won’t absorb as much heat, so you can try sticking to these walkways.

Dog Boots Or Shoes

Some awesome pet supplies you can get for your dog are dog shoes. A dog paw can only withstand so many of the elements and dog shoes come in handy for more than one season. Dog boots, or shoes, can protect dog paws from rain, snow, salt, and heat. Also, any sharp debris, burrs, or salts that can injure a dog’s paw pads cannot pierce through the material.

High-quality dog shoes made with durable moisture-resistant materials, keeping sharp objects and water out. They also are equipped with reflective straps for extra visibility and protection during night walks.

If you live in a hot climate or a major city with tons of concrete, consider getting your dog some extra protection.

Let Your Dog Dig

Yes, dogs do tear up our backyards as a form of entertainment but many are also doing this to keep cool. Soil further from the ground surface-level is less hot and your dog’s digging efforts may be an effort to reach this cooler soil. If it’s possible, locate a shady area where you allow your dog to dig.

If you want to keep your backyard pristine, it’s better to just keep your dog inside with the A/C cranked. Remember if your dog gets dirty you can take them by your local Splash and Dash for unlimited bathing, brushing, and loving!

Summer Swimming

We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique believe that exercise for dogs is very important! When the heat is unbearable, your dog still needs to get all their energy out. Instead of a walk, why not head down to your local dog beach or lake for a swim?

If neither of these is an option for your doggo, you can think of buying a paddling pool for your dog to splash around in. A paddling pool helps them cool down without presenting the danger to their dog paw pads.

Keep Dog Paw Pads Moisturized

A dog’s paw pad is naturally tough but dogs aren’t meant to walk over the hard, hot surfaces like concrete and asphalt. Combined with frequent walks overtime, it may be necessary to moisturize your dog’s paw pads. Moisturizing their paw pads can help prevent cracking, peeling, and minor injuries. Even more helpful, Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique offers a pawdicure treatment that not only moisturizes a dog’s paws but removes bacteria through a cleansing effervescent scrub.

More Tips to be Safe in the Heat

Not only should dog owners be cognizant of their dog’s paw pads but be aware of heatstroke in general. Nordic dogs with double coats have a natural insulation process but have a higher chance of overheating when the heat index is over 100 degrees. When you are not home, the best practice is to leave your dog inside with the air conditioner running. Never leave your dog in a parked car! Temperatures can reach fatal levels in minutes.

Start a walking schedule that is either early in the morning, or late at night, when the pavements had time to cool off. When walking, stick to pathways that are not asphalt or concrete and remember the five-second rule. Bring a water bottle and collapsible bowl for your dog to drink from. If your dog starts exhibiting any signs of heatstroke, stop walking immediately and help cool him down.

Dog Heat Stroke Signs Include:

  • Red Gums
  • Non-Production of Urine
  • Sudden Kidney Failure
  • Shock
  • Heart & Lung Failure
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Blood in Stool
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Uncoordinated Movement
  • Unconsciousness

If your dog begins symptoms of heatstroke, contact emergency veterinary services. In the meantime, there are some things you can do at home to help them reach a healthy temperature.

Steps to Cooling Your Dog Down:

  1. Place them in a bathtub or a cool (not cold) body of water. If this is not an option run cool hose water over their coat.
  2. Allow water to fill up the tub, keeping their head elevated to prevent aspiration pneumonia.
  3. Apply a cold pack to your dog’s head to lower body temperature.
  4. Massage their limbs. This helps circulate their bloodstream and reduces the risks of shock.
  5. Let him drink as much water as he wants and add a pinch of salt to replace minerals lost from panting.

For more information of dog heatstroke, click here!

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Using Cooling Pads for Your Dog Will Help Him Get Through the Summer

The heat of the summer can be tough on your doggo. As the mercury rises and the sun’s rays belt down, some dogs have a harder time keeping themselves cool. New technology found in a dog cooling pad can make it easier for all our four-legged friends. Instead of your dog plopping down on your floor, they can have their own cooling pad to keep the sweltering temperatures at bay.

Keeping your dog cool during the summer is a simple process that is also very important. We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique recommend keeping your dog inside when you’re not home. This keeps them out of the hot temperatures in the comfort of air conditioning. If this is not an option, make sure your dog has access to shade and plenty of water while outside. Providing a cooling pad can also help your dog from overheating, which can lead to heat-related illnesses.

Nordic dogs with thick double coats are especially vulnerable to maladies caused from overheating (hyperthermia). Huskies, Australian Shepherds, and Pomeranian are just a few of the breeds of dogs that will benefit from a cooling pad. Many cooling pads significantly lessen the chance of heat stroke and hypertension. Also, dogs who have cushing’s disease, arthritis, and skin conditions benefit from having a cooling pad against their skin.

This article will discuss the different types of cooling pads found on the market and which ones we think are the best for your dog.

Different Cooling Pad Designs

Depending on your budget and your dog’s needs will affect what kind of cooling pad you will want to buy. There are cooling pads designed to go in a crate, outside, or as an addition to a dog bed.

Automatic Cooling Gel Pad

Most pet stores recommend this cooling pad design because it is the most effective and inexpensive option for your dog. An automatic cooling gel pad comes pre-filled with a cooling gel that is usually activated by pressure. When your dog lays on the pad, the pad will lower in temperature anywhere from 5-10 degrees lower than the outside temperature. Some brands will cool down even lower. Many automatic cooling gel pads will stay at this range for three to four hours before automatically recharging.

Water Filled Cooling Pad

These cooling pads are on the lower-tech side but are relatively cheap. Water filled cooling pads are good for temporary use when traveling with your dog. The design is simple. Just fill the pad with water and place it in the freezer or refrigerator. When the cooling pad reaches the desired temperature, place it out for your dog. The tricky thing about these cooling pads is finding the most suitable temperature for your dog. They will only stay cool for around 2 hours before you will need to place it back in the refrigerator.

Simple Gel Cooling Pad

This is probably the cheapest option for pet owners. The pre-filled gel remains at a constant temperature that is usually between five to ten degrees lower than the outside temperature. If you live in a climate that is not overwhelmingly hot, this might be the best option for your dog.

Our Top Five Favorite Options

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique considered tons of cooling pads on the market and whittled the list down to our top five favorites. We considered price, effectiveness, and features to find the best cooling pads.  

Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat Pad for Kennels by Arf Pets

Features:

  • Automatic Recharging Cooling Relief for up to Three Hours
  • Flexible Mat Design
  • 100% Safe for Animals made with Non-Toxic & Latex Free Materials
  • Durable Gel Construction
  • Three Sizes

Price: $69.99–$104.99

 

Premium Pet Self Cooling Pad by The Green Shop Pet

Features:

  • Pressure Activated Cooling System
  • Cooling Relief for Up to 4 Hours
  • Automatically Recharges After 15 Minutes of Non-Use
  • Durable Gel Construction
  • Five Sizes

Price: $19.98–$59.99

 

Cool Bed III by K&H Pet Products

Features:

  • Water Saturated Cool Core Which Absorbs Pet’s Heat
  • Fill Once With No Tools Necessary
  • Durable Construction from Nylon & Vinyl
  • Recommended for Outdoor/Indoor Use
  • Three Sizes

Price: $27.22–$49.99

 

Coleman Pet Cooling Mat by Coleman

Features:

  • Maintained Five to Ten Degrees Less than Outside Temperature
  • No Refrigeration Necessary
  • 100% Non-Toxic
  • Three Sizes

Price: $17.88–$25.99

 

Chillz Pad Comfort Cooling Gel Pad by Hugs Pet Products

Features:

  • Rechargeable 100% Non-Toxic Gel Technology Absorbs Body Heat
  • Recommended for Indoor/Outdoor Use
  • Puncture Resistant Material
  • Three Sizes

Price: $12.98–$29.98

 

More Cooling Options for the Summer

Living in a warm climate and having a dog with a thick coat is not always an ideal situation for their comfort and health. It is important to maintain a grooming schedule during the summer months to ensure coat length is optimal. We recommend having your groomer trim down a dog’s belly fur so they have more skin contact with a cooling pad. Brushing is also especially important to keep a dog’s shedding hairs from getting trapped in their coat.

 

Besides setting up a cooling pad for your dog, you might consider taking them for a swim. If you don’t have access to a dog-friendly beach or lake, you can always get a paddling pool for your backyard. If your dog loves the water, they’ll love a paddling pool! Your dog can splash around in fresh water, giving them a break from the heat. Backyard misting systems are also a fun option that supplies your dog with refreshing water.

 

Also in this vein are cooling vests that you can wrap around your dog’s body. Many of these vests reflect solar radiation while evaporating, which draws heat away from a dog. Activating a cooling vest is as simple as soaking the vest in water, wringing the vest out, and placing it on your dog.

 

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique urge you to be mindful of the scorching temperatures when it comes to your dog. Preventing overheating is as simple as making sure your dog has enough water, access to shade, and is inside when alone. Getting a cooling pad or any other cooling system can help your dog be their most comfortable this summer!

 

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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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Hands Down The Best Dog Chew Toys of 2017

 Get the Safest and Best Dog Chew Toys for Your Doggie Nibbler

Some dogs are diggers. Some dogs are chewers. But all dogs are lovers! Chewing is a healthy behavior for dogs. If you have a new puppy that is making good-work out your furniture and shoes, then adding some of the best dog chew toys to his routine will help in his training. Giving a dog an alternative to chew on will help them differentiate between wanted and unwanted behavior.

Chewing is also healthy for a dog’s oral care. When dogs gnaw on chew toys, the friction can reduce plaque by 70%, according to WebMD. The mechanical action of chewing scrapes the plaque and prevents it from turning to tartar by isolating the calcium in the mouth. Dental chews and chew toys both promote this healthy chewing behavior.

Chew toys are also good for a dog’s mental stimulation. Dogs are naturally inquisitive creatures and can get bored while alone in the house. Chew toys help curb boredom which will also curb unwanted behavior—chewing things that aren’t chew toys.  Dogs who are fanatic for the chewable side of life will be plenty happy with the best dog chew toys to play with while you’re gone.

Play it Safe

Before we dive into our favorite chew toys we want to discuss good practices that will keep your doggo safe.

Some less durable chew toys can break into small pieces and can become a choking hazard. Tennis balls are great for fetch but won’t stand up to the bite strength of your dog. Tennis balls don’t make the cut for the best dog chew toys. Squeaker toys are also widely popular. Dogs do love them. But make sure the toy is sturdy. Dogs may try and ingest the plastic squeaker buried in the toy.

Size and material also need to be taken into consideration. Make sure any dog chew toys are non-toxic and do not contain chemicals like lead. Also, plush toys are great for small dogs, but the larger breeds—aggressive chewers—will need something that is long-lasting. Some plush toys have cotton stuffing which can be messy and problematic if ingested.

What Kind of Dog Chew Toys are Out There?

There are several different styles of chew toys out there. Each one is unique with different purposes.

Plush Toys

Plush toys are great for fetching, snuggling, and for smaller breeds chewing. You will definitely want to get a stuffing free chew toy for safety. If the toy is machine-washable this is also a plus. Plush toys tend to get gross after some playtime. The reason dogs love plush toys so much is because the toy retains the dog’s scent. Dogs feel an ancestral ownership over their toy. Plush chew toys are also great for tug-o-war!

Rubber Chew Toys

Rubber chew toys are very safe and completely durable. Some have squeakers or can be filled with treats and peanut butter for an extra incentive to gnaw on. Many of these toys come with an indestructible sales pitch. Take this with a grain of salt. ‘Indestructible’ has yet to meet my dog.

Fibrous Rope & Knot Toys

Rope style toys are great for durability. It takes a lot for a dog to chew their way through the fibers and the curvature of the knots are great for scraping away plaque.  These toys are washable and if your dog swallows a few threads they’ll be able to pass through.

Rawhides

Rawhides are great! They’re half treat, half toy. The best part about a rawhide is that they have a single ingredient. The chews provide glucosamine for healthy joints, and a variety of other vitamins like calcium, zinc, manganese, and potassium. The only downside to these is they do have an odor, but your dog will love it.

Top Five Best Dog Chew Toys

The KONG Wubba. The Wubba is made of durable reinforced nylon fabric that covers a tennis and squeaker ball. The nylon tails make the toy interactive—great for tug-o-war and fetch! This toy is more for playing than chewing but is durable enough to stand the test of the canine’s canines. KONG is a durable brand that is a trusted name in the pet industry.

Petstages Stuffing-Free Toys. Petstages are great squeaker toys for smaller dogs who love to cuddle and are drawn to that squeaker like Labradors to the water. The toy will keep squeaking even if it’s punctured and comes with two different squeaker pitches to signal to your dog. Two chambers within the toys maintain the sound even after vigorous chewing and shaking. Your dog will love it!

Bionic Bone. Bionic chew toys are great! They can bounce, float in water, and are dishwasher safe. They are also completely non-toxic and free of lead, BPA, and phthalate. The bones are strong and the hollow tube on the inside allows owners to hide treats or peanut butter inside for added deliciousness. Putting a treat inside the bone will give your dog some deserved mental stimulation and a treat.

RedBarn Filled Bones. Dogs go absolutely bonkers for these! RedBarn pet products have one toe in the best dog chew toys category, and one toe in most delicious treats for pups category. Best of all, the slow-roasted bones are naturally clean. No added flavors, colors, preservatives, or chemicals! Filled bones are a nutritious approach to chewing.

Simply American Beef Trachea Chew. These are five-star steaks for dogs. All Simply American chews are great including the Bully Sticks and Femur bones, but the trachea grooves are great for a dog’s oral care. Again, no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or chemicals here—all natural. With these, your dog will chew his way to high heaven.

If you are still unsure about the best dog chew toys for your dog, speak with your groomer and veterinarian. Take into account your dog’s size and what makes them happy. If your dog isn’t much of a nibbler, get them a toy that can also be used for fetch. If your dog could chew his way to kingdom come, go with a rubber chew toy that will last!

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wants you to remember, Play Dirty, Live Clean!

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