Category: Pet tip of the Week

Six Successful Grooming Tips for Your Pet

Do you ever struggle with grooming your pet; think it’s too much of a hassle to bathe your pet? Well, there are ways to navigate the difficulty of bathing and grooming. Here are some tips for a successful grooming session.

  • Proper rinsing is important to ensure that all of the pet shampoo is fully cleansed from your pet’s fur. If not, the remaining shampoo can cause excessive dryness to your pet’s coat.
  • Have a pet with sensitive and skin issues? Look for a shampoo that has oatmeal as an ingredient, as it is very soothing.
  • Have a white dog? Purchase a shampoo that’s specially formulated for them, so that their coat will not have a dirty or yellowish tone.
  • Keep your dog’s toenails trimmed accordingly.
  • Remember that certain breeds have special needs during grooming. Pugs, Bulldogs and other flat-faced dogs require specific attention to their facial area. I use baby wipes to clean out my Bulldog’s wrinkles. Make sure your veterinarian knows of these specific needs, as well as your groomer, if you decide to retain professional services.
  • Always remember to brush your pet! Brushing ensures a healthier looking coat, removes dead hair, and stimulates the skin; plus, most pooches and kitties love it 

Do you have any grooming tips that you have been successful with to add to the list? We’d love to hear from you!

Keeping Your Pet Healthy Benefits Your Family Too

Keeping your pet healthy is a necessity for not only you, but your family too. Also not caring appropriately for your pet can cause diseases, as well as a misbehaved pet being detrimental to the family. There are some guidelines that need to be implemented to properly care for your pet, as pet’s bring a source of well-being, peace and relaxation to a family or individual. In a recent study, the American Heart Association found that pets improve cardiovascular health. Pets are often seen as comforters in nursing homes, children hospitals, diabetes patients, blind citizens, and much more. The following guidelines will help those who want to pursue owning a pet, or need to modify and improve their pet’s behavior.

  • Know what kind of pet you are getting– Before you adopt a pet, it is important that one knows what kind of pet they are getting because of their activity level, time to devote to the point, along with their maintenance. It is important to know these upfront, yet, all pets are different, and need time to adapt.
  • Train your pet and train them properly– When you’re a pet owner, the biggest fear with a pet and having a small child, is not knowing if you’re pet will bite or not. Dogs bite out of play often times because that is how they play with each other, however, owner’s need to acknowledge this behavior and teach them that it is wrong, and continue to reinforce it.
  • Always clean up after your pet– Not taking care of a litter box filled with excrement and urine can lead to vicious diseases that you don’t want carried in your home. Also, if you have small children in your home, they’re at a greater risk because they have lower immune systems and are more likely to put their fingers in their mouth. If waste is not taken care of properly, human contact with animal excrement can cause E.coli, salmonella, and other bacteria. Always wash your hands before meals and after cleaning up and handling your pets.
  • Keep medical records updated– When you first get a pet, you have several veterinary visits to keep your pets shots up to date, and most vets recommend that you see them at least once a year for their well-being. Help your pet maintain healthy teeth, which is often where pets can have many problems, with chewing, bad breath and other health problems.
  • Feed your pet correctly– It is recommended to keep your pet’s feeding simple and usually feed them the same thing each day. It is encouraged that if you want to vary your dog’s food, be careful because it can upset their stomach. Watch the portion amount you give your pet too, so that your pets may live a long and healthy life with you. Never feed table scraps to your pet; it’s a bad habit, and much of our food is never good for a dog or cat.
  • Have you thought about pet insurance? – According to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, 1% of Americans have health insurance for their pets. It is important to have health insurance for your pet, if your pet was to get gravely sick, one would be covered with pet insurance. Make sure you use the pet insurance, though, to receive benefit out of it. Owners can locate pet insurance through 24 PetWatch, Trupanion or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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Pet Tip of the Week: Why You Shouldn’t Shave Your Pet

Many pet owner’s like to shave their pets, especially during the summer months, when it’s hot and muggy outside; it seems unbearable to you to watch your pet with all their fur on them. If you’re like me, you can only imagine that they must be miserable. Well, they’re not miserable and are actually much happier with their coat on. Why? According to several vet experts, they say it’s not good for your pet by any means and the reasons are:

  • Their fur coat is actually providing heat relief. How’s that? “A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Hospital. Because dogs’ coat have several layers, these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the blistering heat.
  • Their coat protects from getting sunburned and protects from skin cancer. As a pet owner you can help with this also; take your dog(s) for walk in the evening and purchase pet-specific sunblock to place on bridge on nose, where it gets burnt the worst, along with tips of ears and belly. Dogs with thin, light or white-colored coats are at risk the most from sun damage.
  • Instead of shaving, trim and brush your dog’s fur. it’s needed and necessary to trim your pet’s fur coat, but never remove a matted coat with scissors. With long-haired cats, don’t trim their fur, brush it frequently during hotter and summer months.

Always remember to keep your pets inside on an extremely hot days with plenty of water.

Do you agree with not shaving your pets during hot, summer months? If you do shave your pets, have you had any problems? Why or why not?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Pet Nanny’s Pet Tip of the Week: Homemade Tick Repellant

Summertime is mostly nice weather, with festivals, outdoor activities, walking, running and hiking, and also brings out those nasty bugs, like ticks, fruit flies, mosquitoes, and other nasty bothersome pesty bugs. Buying tick, flea and mosquito repellant can be costly, time-consuming, and at times not work the way you want it to. We have a cost-effective, natural and efficient homemade repellant for your pet, as well as one provided for your family to use. Read on:

  • Repellent for your pets:

For pets, add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar, and will be easily be repelled by this ingredient alone. Then, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, which both contain sulfur (another natural tick repellent).

To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil, any of which will repel ticks and fleas while also creating a nicely scented repellent. Spray onto the pet’s dry coat, staying away from sensitive areas including eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. When outdoors for an extended period, spray this solution on two to three times per day.

  • For you and your family:

In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. To make a scented solution so you do not smell like bitter vinegar all day, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Eucalyptus oil is a calm, soothing scent that also works as a tick repellent, while peppermint and citrus oils give off a strong crisp scent that also repel ticks.

After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors. Reapply every four hours to keep ticks at bay, and examine your skin and hair when back inside to make sure no ticks are on the body.

Do you have any other homemade repellants that are great for your pets and family during the summertime? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanks to our reader Dayna Peck for sharing the tip!

Dog-Park Etiquette 101

The Huffington Post says that while dog parks are excellent places for dogs to socialize, things can get out of hand quickly without careful supervision. “Luckily physical injury is relatively rare, but sometimes the damage delves deeper than skin. A few bad experiences in an impressionable pooch can progress to a lifelong fear of other Fidos.”

Here are five tips to help ensure you make the most of your dog-park experiences this summer.

Spay or neuter your pet.
ASPCA reminds us that most dog parks require it, and that “it just makes sense.” And according to PETA, “Male dogs will get along better, and female dogs will be spared a dog-park frenzy from being in heat. You’ll also help prevent animal overpopulation — just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years.

Be on top of vaccinations and medications.
According to the ASPCA,fleas and ticks spread fast at dog parks. “If you take your dog to play, be sure to give him a year-round flea control medication like PetArmour, the exclusive flea and tick sponsor of the ASPCA.” Also, besides controlling parasites, the APDT reminds us to also make sure our dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations

Be watchful.
The APDT says pet owners should never spend their dog-park time talking on a cell phone. “Supervise your dog at all times and be able to give your dog your full attention.” The ASPCA agrees, saying, “if you see signs that play’s not going well, you can step in to stop interaction before things get out of hand.”

Take along water but not food.
Although some dog parks have bowls available for dogs to drink from, don’t count on it, PETA advises. “Take along a water bottle and a small dish that you can use to help your hound hydrate. Avoid taking food, including treats, into the dog park, as this could provoke a food fight among dogs who don’t like to share.”

Prevent any bullying.
The ASPCA advises, “Sure, we know your pup is an angel…most of the time. But if you simply feel your dog is having a bad day, leave the park and plan to come back at a later time. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Leave younger dogs at home.
To quote PETA once more, “it’s not a good idea to take puppies to the dog park before they’re 4 months old. They don’t have the vaccinations that they need, which can put them and other dogs at risk, and they can also be frightened or even trampled by other, larger dogs.”

What other dog-park tips do you find useful? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Do-It-Yourself Grooming Basics For Every Dog Owner

Many dog owners opt for saving money by grooming their own pets rather than taking them to a groomer. And besides the economical reasons, grooming your dog also provides a unique bonding experience for you both.

If you’d like to become your dog’s one and only groomer, here are a few useful tips along with links to further information.

Make It Fun
Grooming sessions should always be fun,
according to the ASPCA. Give her lots of praise, and groom her when she’s relaxed. Also, keep the sessions short at first — around 5 to 10 minutes. You can start spending more time when the grooming becomes routine for your dog.

Know Her Hair Type
It’s important to take your dog’s
hair type into consideration. According to Nylabone, there are five general categories of dog hair types: Smooth Coat, Medium Coat, Long Coat, Wire Hair/Broken Coat, and Wavy Coat. Different types require different care, so you’ll want to use the above links to determine your dog’s type and the best way to care for it.

Brushing Her Hair
Again according to the ASPCA, regular brushing will help remove dirt, spread natural oils throughout her coat, prevent tangles, and keep her skin clean and irritant-free. As the American Kennel Club suggests:
Begin brushing at the neck, working toward the tail and down the legs, then brush the head last. Gently brush all the way down to the skin. Check closely for signs of fleas, ticks or skin irritations.”

Remember that bathing your dog too often, according to the American Kennel Club, can remove natural oils and make your dog’s coat and skin dry. The ASPCA recommends bathing her every three months (or more frequently in the summer months when she spends lots of time outdoors.)

To quote the American Kennel Club: “Be sure to brush your dog before giving him a bath, removing all mats and tangles. Wet your dog with warm water. Work a mild dog shampoo into a lather beginning at the neck and working back. Rinse with warm water. Be careful not to get shampoo in his eyes or ears. After your dog is dry, brush and comb him again.”

Nail Trimming
According to Nylabone
, you should familiarize yourself with your dog’s nails, and know exactly how to complete a clipping before getting started for the first time.

Inside the center of the nail is the ‘quick,’ which is easily visible through clear, white nails. You definitely do not want to cut into the quick. Cut the nail below the quick at a 45 degree angle. If you inadvertently cut into the quick, it will bleed profusely, so be sure to have a blood-clotting product on hand, such as silver nitrate. Once you get used to it, cutting your dog’s nails should be as easy as cutting your own, so you should be able to do it
quickly and easily, with no fear of hurting your dog.”

Hair Trimming
Many dog breeds have their own requirements, but Dog Training Central
lists the following general tips about trimming your dog’s hair:

1. Start with a guard blade that takes off less hair. You can always switch to a shorter guard, but you can’t put back hair already taken off!

2. Clipper with the way the hair grows, not against it.

3. To avoid clipper burn, don’t apply pressure on the clipper while clipping. Just lightly move the blade across your dog.

4. The metal parts do get hot and they can burn dogs, so always use a plastic guard when clippering.

5. Be very careful using the clipper on or around sensitive areas. The stomach and groin are two of the places you need to be the most careful. Watch out for nipples on the tummy, in both boys and girls.

6. Depending on how much loose skin your dog has, while clippering with one hand, hold your dog’s skin taught with the other. This way, the clippers run evenly over the skin/coat.

7. Don’t forget the feet! Many dogs have hair on the bottom of their feet that continues to grow. Use a smaller clipper or scissors to cut this hair off.

8. Never clipper through a tangle or mat. Your clippers will become stuck in the mat and pull against the skin. Always remove tangles and mats with brushing prior to clipping your dog.

Do you know of other important grooming tips not mentioned in this post? Let us know in the comments section!

10 Pet Photography Tips You Can Apply Right Now

Happy Valentines Day! Does one of your valentines happen to be your pet? If you’re looking for more ways to tell her that you care, why not start giving her the attention that only photography can bring?

Pet photography can be a wonderful hobby, and getting started might be easier (and more fun!) than you think. Here are 10 non-technical tips that anyone can use right now, with any kind of camera:

1. Be Patient.
If you’re new at pet photography, it won’t necessarily be easy at first. Don’t try to rush or force things. Just wait for the right situations to come to you, and you’ll have excellent results when you least expect them!

2. Schedule for success.
For formal portraits, it will help if you schedule your shoots during times when your pet is calm or tired. This might entail planning the session for after she’s been running around and her energy has been spent. And for successfully capturing her most energetic moments, take pictures right as she’s first entering the dog park and has the most energy!

3. Go for “personality” shots.
Is your pet known for being thoughtful? Playful? Sleepy? Cautiously suspicious? Catch her with a look that perfectly sums her up and makes everyone say, “Oh my gosh! That is JUST LIKE Princess to be giving that expression!”



4. Put her in the best light.
Although it’s not always easy to be outside in the cold winter months, sunlight is often better than a flash whenever possible. Flashes distract (and sometimes scare) pets. They also produce red-eye, which means you need to spend extra moments
editing their eyes afterwards with software.


5. Get down to her eye level.
When you’re taking a picture that looks down on her, there’s often a sense that you’re just too far away from your pet. Also, the top-down view can look a bit cold. Eye-level shots achieve more of a loving portrait look that most pet owners are after.


6. Go for candid shots.
You know she’s going to do something cute or funny at any moment, so spend some time aiming your camera at her until you see it! You can’t go wrong by catching her in a yawn, bark or meow. Take as many shots as you can, capturing her best moment-to-moment actions in the act.


7. Involve people!
Pet-and-people interaction always makes for a fun and loving picture. Experiment with shots that are planned and posed, as well as pictures of the candid moments.


8. Never lose focus of her eyes.
With people and pets, subjects with sharp, well-focused eyes show the most expression and personality. Your pet’s eyes can reveal an amazing amount of love, happiness and curiosity, so remember to take them into consideration.


9. Catch her in everyday playful motion.
To guarantee a wonderful picture every time, you can’t go wrong with animals in action — no matter what the breed or species. For excellent action shots, always have your camera handy when she’s doing what she loves best: Playing!


10. Spark cats’ interest with toys and laser pointers.
To quickly get cats to gaze at a certain direction or become instantly active, some pet owners break out the big guns: laser pointers and other curious objects! You know what works well with your pet, so do the things that pique her interest and create some photo magic!

Are you a photographer who’s got some more helpful tips? Leave us a comment!




Letting Young Children Take Responsibility With Pets

Flickr Mike Baird

Now that Spring is here and Summer is soon to follow, there are certain warm weather pet tips you should take to keep your pet happy and safe. And there is no better time than now to start getting your younger children involved in these pet responsibilities and safety.

1. Pet Safety

Safety is something that sometimes may be overlooked when teaching children about pet responsibilities. Make sure your child knows the importance of a pet i.d. tag in case your pet gets lost. Teach your children early about the dangers of medicines and cleaning supplies that can be deadly to your pet. Especially with puppies, small toys could easily be swallowed or chewed up, creating a dangerous health hazard.

2. Dog Training

Dog training is a perfect opportunity for your child to feel in charge. Whether it is using a treat to teach your dog to sit or to not jump up on guests, let your child gradually take over some of the dog training responsibilities under your supervision. Not only will your child will have a stronger bond with your pet, they will learn patience as well.

3. Add Pet Care to Chores

Your pet relies on you for everything and that involves time and money. Adding age-appropriate pet care to your children’s chores will not only help you out, but show your children how much work it is to take care of a pet. Measuring food and pouring water into bowls is an easy task for the younger children, brushing, and walking are just a few of the other pet responsibilities that your child can help with. Buy these interactive Pet Responsibility charts for a fun way to track your child’s pet chores.

3. Let Them Tag Along

Vet, grooming, and training appointments are often a regular part of a pet owner’s life. Letting your children tag along is a good teaching tool and will help them understand that just like humans, pets need some of the same things to stay healthy.

Getting your child involved in the pet duties will help them learn and develop necessary skills like respect, patience, and responsibility. How do you involve your children in pet care?

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