Tag Archives: tips

Hot Weather Tips for Dogs – What You Need To Know

24 Jun

The Friday Hydrant Crew

Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating. And if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately.

  • Overheating (heat prostration) can kill an animal. Never leave an animal alone in a vehicle, since even with the windows open, a parked car, truck or van can quickly become a furnace. Parking in shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day. When traveling, carry a gallon thermos filled with fresh, cold water.
  • Don’t force your animal to exercise after a meal in hot,humid weather. Always exercise him or her in the cool of the early morning or evening.
  • In extremely hot weather, don’t leave your dog standing on the street, and keep walks to a minimum. He is much closer to the hot asphalt and his body can heat up quickly. His paws can burn since they are not protected by shoes.
  • Never take an animal to the beach unless you can provide a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for her to drink. Rinse her off after she has been in salt water.
  • Always provide plenty of shade for an animal staying outside the house. A properly constructed dog house serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day and let her rest in a cool part of your house. Always provide plenty of cool, clean water for your animal.
  • Please be sensitive to old and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs (especially bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus) and those with heart or lung diseases should be kept indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible.
  • Keep a current license and identification tag on your dog or cat and consider tattooing or microchipping as a means of permanent identification.
  • Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals, as poisonings increase during the summer when gardens, lawns and trees are sprayed. These chemicals can sicken or kill an animal. Call your veterinarian or The ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA/NAPCC) if you suspect your animal has been poisoned.
  • Be alert for coolant leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste of coolant and ingesting just a small amount can cause an animal’s death. Consider using animal-friendly products that use propylene glycol rather than those containing ethylene glycol.
  • A clean coat can help to prevent summer skin problems, so keep your dog or cat well groomed. If he has a heavy coat, shaving your dog’s hair to a 1-inch length will help prevent overheating. Don’t shave a dog’s hair down to the skin; this robs him of protection from the sun. A cat should be brushed frequently to keep his coat tangle-free.
  • Take your companion animal to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer checkup, including a test for heartworm if your dog isn’t on year-round preventative medication. Have the doctor recommend a safe, effective flea and tick control program.
  • Never tie an animal outside on a correction collar. He can choke to death. If you must tether him, use a buckle collar with identification tags instead. (This applies in any season.)
  • Never let your animal run loose. This is how an animal can contract a fatal disease, including rabies, or be injured, killed or stolen. Be sure there are no open, unscreened windows or doors through which your animal can fall or jump.

Courtesy of
ASPCA National Shelter Outreach
424 East 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128-6804

How To Trim Your Dogs Nails

5 Mar

Dog nail trimming instructionsTrimming your dog’s nails is not just a part of grooming, but is important for your dog’s health and comfort.  Untrimmed nails can cause a multitude of problems including broken nails that are painful and bleed.  A good indication that your dogs’ nails are too long is that  ‘click-click-click’ sound when walking on uncarpeted areas; that’s when it’s definitely time to trim those nails!

You may be hesitant to trim your dog’s nails because you are afraid of cutting the quick of the nail, which may cause pain or bleeding. Once you learn how to do it, clipping your dog’s nails is almost as easy as clipping your own.

When you are trimming your dog’s nails, you are only cutting away the excess. Recognize where the nerves and blood vessels begin is what you need to know to make nail trimming a painless process for both you and your dog.

How to trim dog nails

Assemble what you will need – a high quality pair of trimmers and some styptic powder, such as Kwik-Stop, CutStop Styptic Pads, or other product to stop bleeding if you nick the quick.

  • You may want to sit on the floor with your dog, hold your dog in your lap.  Hold your dog’s paw firmly and push on his pads to extend the nail. Locate where the quick ends. With clear or light nails, it is easy to see the pink color where the quick ends.
  • Using a nail trimmer for dogs, cut the nail below the quick on a 45-degree angle, with the cutting end of the nail clipper toward the end of the nail. You will be cutting off the finer point. In dogs, especially those with dark nails, make several small nips with the clippers instead of one larger one. Trim very thin slices off the end of the nail until you see a black dot appear towards the center of the nail when you look at it head on. This is the start of the quick that you want to avoid. The good news is that, the more diligent you are about trimming, the more the quick will regress into the nail, allowing you to cut shorter each time.
  • In some cases, if the nails are brittle, the cut may tend to splinter the nail. In these cases, file the nail in a sweeping motion starting from the back of the nail and following the curve to the tip. Several strokes will remove any burrs and leave the nail smooth
  • If your dog will tolerate it, do all four feet this way. If he will not, take a break. And do not forget the dewclaws. On most breeds, if they have not been removed, dewclaws are 1-4″ above the feet on the inner side of the legs. If not trimmed, dewclaws can grow so long they curl up and grow into the soft tissue , like a painful ingrown toe nail.
  • If you accidentally cut the quick, wipe off the blood and apply Kwik-Stop or styptic powder to stop the bleeding. It is not serious and will heal in a very short time.
  • Remember, it is better to trim a small amount on a regular basis than to try and remove large portions. Try to trim dog nails weekly, even if long walks keep them naturally short. The ‘quick,’ a blood vessel that runs down the middle of your dog’s nail, grows as the nail grows, so if you wait a long time between cuttings, the quick will be closer to the end of the nail. This means more likelihood of bleeding during trimming.
  • Trim nails so that when the dog steps down, nails do not touch the floor.
  • Invest in a good pair of nail trimmers in an appropriate size for your dog. They can last a lifetime.
  • Make trimming time fun and not a struggle. Trimming your dog’s nails does not have to be a chore or unpleasant. If your dog is not used to having his nails trimmed, start slowly and gradually work up to simply holding his toes firmly for 15-30 seconds. Do not let him mouth or bite at you. It can take daily handling for a week or more to get some dogs used to this. When your dog tolerates having his feet held, clip just one nail, and if he is good, praise him and give him a tiny treat. Wait, and then at another time, do another nail. Continue until all nails have been trimmed. Slowly, you will be able to cut several nails in one sitting, and finally all the nails in one session.
  • With black nails, trim dogs nails slightly frequently since you cannot see the quick. Make small trims each time to make the blood vessel retract slowly.

Logan’s pretty nails. I take his pawdicure’s to the next level!

Dog Chin Acne. Yep, they get it, too.

3 May

I’ve noticed a few of my dog clients are suffering the joys of spring. With that, comes the lovely chin acne!
But don’t fret. You’re not alone, in fact, Logan gets it every time at this year, and it usually sticks around for the warmer months.

What is Canine Acne?
Canine acne is a benign self-limiting disease of the chin and lips of young dogs. Short-coated dogs, such as boxers, bulldogs and rottweilers, are at increased risk for acne. The condition starts at puberty around 5 to 8 months of age. Most dogs improve with age and the condition typically resolves after one year of age. But commonly enough, it’s something that continues through during the lifespan on the dog.

Acne on a Bulldog. It is clearly visible on the middle of the chin and on his left flew.

Logan: Red bumps (papules) are usually noted on the chin and lips.

In simple terms: It is clogged pores from oil and bacteria which causes pimples – just like people get.

The exact pathogenesis has not been established. Genetics, hormones and trauma have been hypothesized to play a role.

  • Red bumps (papules) and blackheads (comedones)  are usually noted on the chin and lips of young dogs. They may become infected and pus can be expressed from these lesions.
  • When infection is present itching may develop and the dog may start rubbing his face against carpet and furniture.

Treatment Tips

Warm compressing the chin with a warm washcloth will help open pores. Try to express any pustules that you can. Then scrub the chin with a gentle cleanser like Phisoderm.
Then warm compress again. Try to do this twice a day for the first few days, then once a day thereafter until it is healed.
I inspect and squeeze Logan’s on a very regular basis. He is very accustomed  to it now. Make make sure  you follow up with a good cleaning of the area; mixture of peroxide and water, Listerine, apple cider vinegar and water, etc.
Last night I used an anti bacterial facial wash on Logan’s chin.

If the chin isn’t improving, you may have to go ahead and get antibiotics from your vet.
Some of those pustules can be deep and get infected, which is irritating and painful, and systemic antibiotics are sometimes required to take care of the issue from the inside-out.

To prevent future break-outs, make sure you are using stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowls – NOT plastic. Plastic is too porous and holds bacteria which your dogs chin rubs against during eating, depositing food oil, residue and bacteria onto the chin. Even with the other bowls, make sure you are washing them with mild soap and water every day. Scrub the chin with a warm washcloth periodically (every few days) to remove any oil/debris that may be lingering there.

Clean your dogs’ face after every meal with warm, slightly soapy water or diluted apple cider vinegar.
Note: This document is provided for information purposes only.  Under no circumstances should this information replace the advice of your verterinarian.


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