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3 Natural Remedies for Pets

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Everyone loves their pets. Dogs and cats are some of our most beloved friends and family members. So, we always want to make sure that our favorite friends are taken care of. But with so many people spending so much of their hard earned money taking care of their pets, we think that there has to be another way. Here are a few suggestions for those hard working dog moms and cat dads on how to take care of their pets naturally.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is one of the best remedies for dogs and cats, especially on their noses. Dogs and cats noses are extremely sensitive, especially after a long hard run or a hot day. Vitamin E oil rubbed on dry parts is a great option to prevent their dry skin, or by feeding them vitamin E oil (through pill form) to help soften their skin and hair.

Yogurt

Another great way to keep your pet healthy on the outside and the inside is to feed them yogurt. Plain yogurt is a great way to keep the good bacteria in their stomach healthy and happy. And the plus is that dogs love yogurt. Not only will good bacteria abound in their stomach, but they will love you even more!

Epsom Salt

Lastly, pets are messy, crazy, and rambunctious. But we love them anyway. Sometimes though, pets will get into a lot of trouble and may get a little scraped up. If your pet suffers from the occasional wound or has some swelling, whether on their feet, ears, or anywhere else, an Epsom salt bath can help. Either soak your dog in an Epsom salt bath, or soak a towel in a salt bath and drape it over your dog’s wound.

If you want to take care of your pet, be sure to use the options you have in your home!

How to Introduce a New Pet to Your Dog

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Adding another furry friend to your house is adding another dollop of joy. However, be mindful of how you introduce your new pet to your dog so as not to disrupt the harmony of the home.

Furry Critter

If you bring home a guinea pig, hamster, bunny, or the like, keep the cage where it won’t be disturbed by the dog. Many dogs have a high prey drive, so never leave them together unsupervised. Eventually, your dog will become accustomed to the new pet’s scent and will likely not pay it much mind.

Cat

With the dog on a leash in a down stay, bring the cat crated into the room. Do this for increasing intervals of time so they get used to each other’s scent, and otherwise keep them in separate parts of the house. After a few days, you can let the cat roam free during these meeting times, maintaining the dog in a down stay on a leash. When you begin to let the dog off-leash, it should only be for short intervals. Gradually work toward longer periods of off-leash time.

Dog

Dog to dog introductions should occur on neutral territory so that the established dog does not feel territorial. Take your dog out for a walk while a friend takes the new dog. Casually stroll by each other and then begin walking together. Most dogs will sniff each other and begin to play. If there is tension, never allow them to fight. Instead, keep them in separate areas of the house, but continue trying to walk them together as this will form a bond.

Bringing more pets into your household can add immeasurable joy, but be sure to do your pet introductions carefully, so that your dog is accepting and welcoming of your new fuzzy friend.

How to Choose the Right Pet Sitter

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Is your dog a member of the family? If so, then you know hard it can be to leave Fido at home while you travel. Choosing a qualified and experienced pet sitter can help ease your mind and ensure that your pet is well cared for while you are away. Use our following guide to learn some helpful tips for choosing the right pet sitter for both you and your dog.

Get Referrals

The first step in choosing the right pet sitter is to obtain referrals from reputable sources. Ask your friends, neighbors, dog trainer, or veterinarian for referrals to pet sitters they know and trust. You can also search online referral websites like angieslist.com, care.com, or petsittersnetwork.com for listings and reviews on pet sitters in your local area.

Check Qualifications

Next, check the qualifications of each potential sitter to ensure that the sitters have the necessary training and experience to properly care for your dog. Look for a sitter that has experience working with dogs like yours and can handle your pet’s schedule. It is also important to verify each candidate is properly insured and bonded against any accidents that may occur. Finally, make sure that each pet sitter can provide references and contact information from previous clients.

Schedule an Interview

After narrowing down your list of potential providers, schedule an in-home interview with several different sitters to find one that you can trust with your best friend. Begin the interview by discussing your dog’s schedule and needs, what type of services the sitter offers, and what type of care you expect. Next, let the sitter interact with your dog to ensure that your pooch and the sitter feel comfortable with each other. Finally, discuss the sitter’s fees. Taking the time to carefully research and interview several different candidates will help ensure that you find the right pet sitter for you and your dog.

Tips for Bathing Your Dog

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If you’re a dog owner, chances are you have experienced just how miserable it can be to bathe your pet. The constant fight to keep Fido in the tub and the physical exhaustion you experience afterwards will eventually leave you looking for ways out of this chore every time.  In order to make bath time a pleasant experience for both you and your dog, read on.

Tub Association

One of the most important parts of bath time is, of course, the tub! Whether you are using an outside pet bathtub, or your own inside, it’s important to get your pup used to the tub without water. Associating the tub as something safe and fun is the key to making bath time enjoyable. The way to do this is to lure your pooch to the tub with treats and toys. Do this on a daily basis until your pup starts going to the tub without the bribes. Once Fido is in there, continuing the bribe process with treats and toys as you introduce water to the tub. The result will be you and your dog happy and comfortable in this new situation.

Avoid the Face

Like children, dogs are not fond of water in the ears, eyes, or nose. Focusing on your pet’s body from just the neck down when cleaning and rinsing with soap and water will keep your dog happy. Gaining your pup’s trust by avoiding the face and ears at all costs is very important. After the bath, clean the face and outside of the ears with a wet cloth.

Drying

Using a more absorbent dog towel will help you get as much excess water off before your dog performs the inevitable shake! Keep in mind that it does not matter how much you dry your pet with a towel, Fido will shake it off afterwards!

Bathing your dog can be a great experience for pooch and pet owner if you follow these steps. It will result in no negative feelings and help maintain your physical strength afterwards.

Why Your Dog Really Has Bad Breath

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Dog breath is far from smelling like roses, which isn't a secret to anyone, especially not to any dog owners. But sometimes, exceptionally bad breath in your dog can be a sign of a bigger problem. If you feel like your dog's breath has been getting progressively worse lately, then you should be on the lookout for these problems, which could lead to larger health issues.

Major Plaque Buildup

Some dogs are just more prone to plaque buildup than others, and that hard, yellowish buildup on their teeth will grow much more quickly than you realize. If you notice that your dog has very bad breath, check their teeth for plaque. It's pretty easy to spot. It will usually start by the gums and extend down the teeth as it grows. You may even be able to pick some of it off if you scratch at it. If you notice major plaque buildup, get your dog's teeth cleaned to fix the problem.

Infected Tooth

Dogs chew on pretty much everything--yet another thing that's not a secret to dog owners. Sometimes, they will chew on things that can injure them, and may end up with a splinter or other foreign object stuck in the gums. They may even crack a tooth on a hard item. When this happens, the tooth can become infected, and it will begin to emit a very foul smell. In addition to the smell, you may notice your dog being very hesitant about chewing or even eating, because the tooth will cause them pain. If you notice this, take them to a vet.

3 Great Products to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

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Your dog's dental hygiene is actually a lot more important to their overall health than you might think. Serious dental problems can lead to overall health problems, and so it's important that you care for your dog's teeth. We'd like to recommend a few products for helping to keep your canine companion's teeth healthy and clean. As an added bonus, their breath will smell better too!

Dental Chews

This is the easiest way to help improve your dog's dental health. Certain chew toys and treats are designed to get your dog's teeth clean as they gnaw on them. Just make sure that you select toys that are healthy and designed specifically for dental care. Some toys, like rawhide bones, claim to help your dog's teeth, but they can be very unhealthy.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste

That's right, these exist for your dog just like they do for you. This is a more hands-on approach, as you'll have to actually clean your dog's teeth yourself, but it helps to make sure that their teeth are getting totally clean. Be sure to purchase a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for dogs. The toothbrush will better be able to stand up to any chewing it might encounter, and the toothpaste will be safe for your pet to ingest.

Sprays and Water Additives

If you want a quick and easy way to protect your dog's oral health, try dental sprays and water additives. Sprays can quickly be squirted onto your dog's teeth, while water additives can just be added to their water bowl. The ingredients in these sprays and additives will help to protect your dog's teeth.

6 Steps to Your Dog’s Dental Health

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There are many ways you can take care of your dog’s health, including dental hygiene. Here are 10 steps to improve your dog's dental health.

  1. Brush their teeth. They are definitely not going to like this, but it is very important. A dog's mouth is not exactly a clean place, and just like humans, the bacteria in their mouth needs to be brushed and rinsed away.
  2. Get them a hygienic snack. There are many products out there for dogs that contain the necessary cleaning abilities of a toothbrush, but they are in the form of treats. This might be a better option, because getting a dog to stay still while you brush their teeth is a tricky task, but all dogs love treats.
  3. If you don't like the first three options, then wipes are available. Sometimes you might not have the time or patience to brush your dog’s teeth, or let them finish their treat. If that is the case for you, then there are wipes that allow you to simply wipe residue from their teeth or gums. It is quick and easy.
  4. Make sure you know what kind of food you are feeding them. It may be the case that the food you feed your dog is bad for their teeth. Know your dog, and know what is good for them. Try to stay away from foods that linger on teeth, like wet foods.
  5. See a veterinarian. If you feel as though you don't know how to clean your dog's teeth, or if they are in bad shape, then a veterinarian can help.
  6. See a veterinarian (but this time for a professional cleaning). There might not be anything wrong with your dog’s teeth, but you can still go to a pet clinic to have their teeth cleaned, just like you would go to the dentist.

Pet Insurance: Why It’s a Good Idea

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Everyone loves their pets and loves to take care of them. But many are unfamiliar with the idea of pet insurance. And when your beloved Scrappy eats a sock, you’ll have to take him to the vet. While $1,000 later your Scrappy will be better, your pocketbook will be lacking. Pet insurance in these kinds of instances is extremely beneficial and can help you care for your dog while saving the money you need for other expenses.

Pet insurance was first offered in 1982 and now most health insurance companies offer pet insurance. But there are a few things that you’ll have to realize before deciding to buy health insurance for your dog. This type of insurance is very similar to our health insurance, so be sure to play by the same rules as you do when purchasing health insurance for yourself. Also be sure to read through the exclusions in your policy; if you have a pet, for example, that has a condition that a pet was born with, it might be excluded in pet insurance.

Although there are some problems with pet insurance--as there is with any insurance--pet insurance is generally a good idea. Most pets will need checkups, and those should be covered with any pet insurance. And if your pet is accident prone (and let’s be honest, what pet isn’t), pet insurance will cover a lot of the cost of these accidents. One of the best things about pet insurance is that it makes it easier to decide whether or not you want to provide care for your pet. If you don’t have pet insurance and you don’t have the ability to pay for a problem your pet may have, you may be forced to do the unthinkable: nothing.

Dog Care: Tips for Healthy Teeth

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Protecting your dog’s teeth and keeping them healthy is super important, although it is a task that many pet owners frequently neglect. Our team at ABC Pet Clinic brings you the following 5 tips to keep your canine’s teeth healthy.

Talk to Your Vet

Your dog might require specific care based on the breed and the diet you are feeding him, so your vet is the best person to talk to about your dog’s needs. Always ask your dog’s vet about appropriate dental care at each checkup, and make sure you have a checkup at least once per year.

Get Them Used to Dental Care

Your dog may be nervous about having people’s hands in their mouth and may instinctively try to bite. This prevents many people from taking care of their dog’s teeth, which is bad news. Work in baby steps towards making your dog feel safe during dental checkups. First touch the lip area, work towards lifting the lip, then opening the muzzle, etc., until your dog no longer feels the need to bite.

Brush Their Teeth

The single most important thing you can do is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Just as with your teeth, your dog’s teeth will develop a film of bacteria, which turns to plaque, which then leads to tooth loss and gum disease. You simply cannot afford to not brush your dog’s teeth regularly, and if you cannot do it, then take them to a vet who can give you some tips.

3 Signs a Puppy Is from a Puppy Mill

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Puppy mills create a variety of problems for pet owners and the animals themselves. Puppy mill dogs are often less healthy than their peers from reputable breeders and often exhibit some less-than-desirable dog characteristics. Perhaps worst of all, buying a puppy from a mill--or often a pet store which sources its animals from a puppy mill--creates an incentive for more puppy mills and adds to the population of pets in shelters.

If you’re in the market for a puppy, here are 3 signs your prospective best friend is the product of a puppy mill.

You Can’t Meet the Parents

A reputable breeder will allow prospective pet owners to meet a puppy’s parents, preferably in the family home where the puppies were or will be born. If a breeder asks to meet you in a parking lot or a park, it should raise a red flag.

Poor Dog Health

Puppies born to reputable breeders are well-kept, groomed, and clean. If a puppy smells very strongly of a kennel, that’s a sign the puppy is being kept in a small area, likely with limited room to walk, stand, or play with other litter mates. A puppy’s coat and paws can also give you a clue as to its living condition. Its coat should be clean and shiny, and its paws should also be fairly clean. Dirty paws and a matted, dull coat should serve as warnings.

Puppy Personality

Poor puppy health isn’t the only danger in buying a dog from a puppy mill. Your puppy is going to be a member of your family, so from the outset, it is in your best interest that your prospective pooch began its life in a family home. Puppy mill pooches often are unfamiliar with the sights and sounds of a family home. They may fear normal house noises like the sound of a vacuum cleaner, the phone ringing, or a hair dryer. A puppy that seems unusually afraid of common sounds or people may be the product of a puppy mill. Fear can lead to aggression.

Puppy mills are commercial breeding operations that breed the same female repeatedly with no rest between pregnancies. Raised in tight spaces with limited opportunity to move or even stand, these puppy mill survivors shouldn’t be discounted as potential pets. Even dogs with this kind of background can overcome their former existence. Watching as they blossom and find happiness with a family is well worth the effort for many people.

There are many things to consider when seeking a new family member and best friend. If you’re seeking a particular breed, know the signs of a puppy mill breeder and of puppy mill pups. Your vet can help you find a reputable breeder. Also, remember you can find specific breeds at rescues and in shelters as well.