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Locating a Reputable Vet

It can be a pretty daunting challenge locating a reputable veterinarian when you move to a new location. With more and more billboard and newspaper ads today, it’s very hard to decide which veterinarian is best for your pet. The last thing you want is to gamble and leave your pet in the hands an incompetent vet. 

Tips For Locating a Reputable Veterinarian

 

  1. Do it early: it’s never wise to make quick decisions, but you might have to if you’re desperate. This is why locating a reputable veterinarian before an emergency is better. Doing so early also gives you time to evaluate different options in the area before settling on the choice you find best.
  2. Evaluate the entire team: your pet’s care involves a lot more than just the veterinarian themselves, the entire team works together to provide the best care. If one aspect of the institution doesn’t please you, then move on to the next option. And don’t be afraid of traveling for a few extra miles, remember it’s all about quality service and care.
  3. Don’t depend on ads: most vets will advertise their services on Yellow Pages to attract customers, and most people assume this is the best option. The truth is, some of these big institutions serve numerous pets, and yours will be just another one on the list. Instead, finding a smaller, reputable veterinary will ensure your pet gets personalized care from a smaller team which will be more dedicated.
  4. Find what suits you: information about hours, services and staff is usually available even at the reception desk of any animal hospital. Find out if they offer the services you prefer for your pet as well as the hours you are comfortable with. For example, if the vet requires an appointment beforehand, you would know to do this before making an impromptu stop. Having this information upfront will help you schedule the visits more easily without having to change your schedule. 
  5. Ask for accreditation: if for any reason, you become suspicious or unhappy with the quality of service, don’t be afraid to ask for the vet’s board certification. Remember you’re putting your pet’s life into their hands and you ought to cover all the bases and know for sure nothing fishy is going on.

How to Go About the Selection Process

 

Begin by asking around – inquiring from your friends and neighbors about their recommendations can help you land a great vet. 

Call ahead and make an appointment – It is also important to schedule an appointment with the vet you intend to work with but don’t bring your pet along this time. Use this opportunity to observe the premises and assess the vet and staff. These first impressions will be a good indicator toward the quality of their service.

Interact with the people there and ask questions – this will help determine if you see yourself having a good relationship with the people there or not.

Locating a Reputable Veterinarian can sometimes be a painful experience but as long as you know what you are doing, things will work out just fine.

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Signs That Your Dog Needs a Bath

Giving your dog a bath is indeed a vital step to the welfare of your pet. But deciding when and how you bath your animal is usually difficult. The reason is because bathing your canine frequently depends on several factors. These may include the breed of your canine, amount of time the animal spends outdoors, age of the pet, as well as any existing medical conditions. But the fact is that when and how you bathe your animal will vary with time and lifestyle of your dog. Outlined in this article are sure signs that your dog needs a bath.

  1. The Dog is Smelling

Your dog might have rolled on something and smells. This is one of the reasons you might consider bathing your animal. Consider using a good and strong shampoo that will completely expel the smell. If you do not have the right shampoo or lack time to bath your pet, consider taking her to a professional dog grooming center.

  1. A Doggy Smell

This is usually caused by certain skin infections, such as yeast infection. Any dog that has a strong odor coming from the skin should be checked by a professional vet. For those with simple doggy smell, consider using a general shampoo in order to give them a thorough bathe.

  1. The Animal Has Dandruff

Dandruff is caused by dry, oily or irritated skin. But these conditions can be taken care of by using the recommended shampoo and thorough bathing. You may check with a good groomer or vet to determine the cause of the dandruffs in order to know the right shampoo to use.

  1. The Animal Has Allergies

Bathing a dog that has itchy skin caused by allergies can be soothing and helps reduce the itching. It is advisable to seek advice from a professional grooming service or veterinary officer to know the most appropriate shampoo to use.

  1. the Dog Has Mites, Fleas or Lice

Bathing is the best way to get rid of external parasites from your canine. You are advised to use pH-balanced shampoos in order to eliminate the problem of fleas and ticks on your animal. You should work with your vet or groomer in order to get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Conclusion

Once you determine the primary reason for giving your dog a bath, consider choosing the appropriate shampoo. Make sure you work hand in hand with your vet. Also, a professional dog groomer need to be involved.

This post was brought to you by our sponsor and local car dealership, Auto Connection.

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Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Dental care is as important to your dog’s overall health as it is for your health. Our pets too feel the pain of a toothache and sore gums as we do when we fail to take proper care for our teeth. Though there is a common belief that dogs’ teeth are cleaner than human teeth, they also need cleaning to prevent buildup of plaque and tartar and prevent bacteria from causing problems.

Plaque is a thick substance consisting of food particles, saliva and bacteria, with bacteria forming the largest percentage. It forms within 6-8 hours after brushing teeth. When plaque sticks to the teeth and is not removed, it collects below the gum line around the teeth. This can eventually cause gingivitis, gum recession and bone loss. This process can also happen in our mouths, but we brush 2-3 times a day to avoid these problems.

Tartar, also known as calculus is a brownish yellow substance formed when plague accumulates into multiple layers on the dog’s teeth. More plaque forms on tartar as it loves to stick on rough surfaces, creating a new environment for harmful bacteria to thrive. It only takes 2-3 days for tartar to form and cannot be removed by tooth brushing only. It requires your veterinarian’s professional help. Periodontal(gum) disease is common in dogs before they are 3 years old. Bacteria from gum disease can spread to other body parts like the liver and heart and cause deadly problems.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is the best preventive measure to ensure dental health. There is no time too early to start brushing your dog’s teeth. In fact, veterinarians say that the earlier you start the better. You can start brushing them 8-12 months after birth. It should be done on a daily basis if the dog allows. The only time that you may stop brushing the dog’s teeth is when he or she has lost baby teeth as the mouth might be a bit sore and painful. Once all permanent teeth have come, resume the daily tooth brushing routine.

REMEMBER: Before brushing your pet’s teeth the first time, let a veterinarian check them as there may be need to do a dental cleaning or extraction of a severely affected tooth.

 

What do you need?

– A pet toothbrush or human baby toothbrush that is of an appropriate size. If the dog doesn’t tolerate a toothbrush, look for a small piece of washcloth.

– Pet toothpaste

– A reward that your dog really likes such as favorite food

 

How to brush your dog’s teeth

Your dog needs to be prepared for the tooth brushing experience. Teaching the dog to accept it can even take weeks so you need to be patient. Play with the pet’s mouth, making it fun and using praise to make the dog love the touching. Touch his/her lips, rub the teeth and gums with your fingers as you hold her muzzle. To make her long for these sessions, put a few drops of water that is flavored with low-sodium beef or chicken bouillon. Make it a daily routine and try to perform it when it is quiet and when both of you are relaxed such as late in the evening. You can also try it after the dog has been playing and just wants to rest. If your dog is highly motivated by food, you can try playing with her mouth before a meal so that the meal acts as reward for cooperation.

Let your dog get used to the toothpaste and toothbrush by letting her taste them or keeping them outside and seeing whether she will sniff them. You can make the dog taste different flavors of toothpaste to identify the one she likes. When the dog becomes comfortable with the toothbrush, toothpaste and your touching, gradually put some toothpaste on the toothbrush. Let the dog lick the toothpaste off the brush and get used to the taste in her mouth. If your dog doesn’t like the toothbrush, use a clean washcloth to rub over the surfaces of the dog’s teeth. Brush the teeth along the gum line on each side of the mouth. Work with moderate speed or quickly if she allows it. You may not be able to clean the entire mouth the first time but make sure you try to do it every day for at least 30 seconds.

If you notice problems like bad breath, red or bleeding gums, call your veterinarian to check and treat any problems.

 

CAUTION: Do not use human toothpaste as it contains fluoride which is poisonous to dogs. Only use recommended toothpaste found in pet stores.

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Training Your Dog to Heel

The competitive and distractive environment outdoors makes it difficult for owners of dog pets to enjoy walking moments together. This requires that the dog undergoes proper training to heel instead of pulling or dragging. Nevertheless, it is a difficult undertaking and most people fail to do it appropriately and have their dogs adequately trained.

 

A civilized, well-mannered and disciplined dog must learn to walk quietly and patiently alongside his master while avoiding obstacles with wisdom and agility. He must not sniff everything in his path or bark at people without a reason. If you are a pet owner looking for helpful information on how to train your dog to heel without seeking the services of special dog trainers then you may find it in this post. Here is how you can go about it:

 

Step 1: Learn the right training technique 

It is not possible to start training your dog to heel without first learning how to train a dog in the first place to obey your commands. There are a few things to take into account to learn how to adequately train your dog.

 

  • Pick a quiet place to carry out the process of training. This is important because it eliminates distractions allowing your dog to concentrate on you. If your home has a backyard then that is the best place. In case you do not have a backyard then you should find a quiet corner is a local park with few pets or humans.

 

  • Make sure your dog watches your actions and reactions. Many people think that using a leash is enough to train a dog to be obedient. You must train your dog to watch you in the eyes and learn what is expected of them. Do not pull the leash unless it is absolutely necessary to correct a wrong move.

 

  • Help the dog learn to obey a command until you release it then praise it. To establish a behavior, you must reward the dog with praise but do not let it do disobey you until you release it from the command. For example, if you tell your dog to sit and it does so, praise it. If it disobeys, then stop the praise.

 

Step 2: Teach the Dog How To Heel

This is the step where you train your dog exactly how to properly heel. If you miss to do this step well then you are most likely to fail.

 

  • Decide the right positioning 

You must choose whether you want your dog to heel on your left or right. For most people, the left side is appropriate. You should hold the leash with your right hand and let it cross in front of you. You should not keep switching sides as this will confuse the dog.

 

  • Use paved walkways to start the heeling process

This is important because your dog will have straight line to guide him along as well as help with the retrieval process. Furthermore, the paved ways to not have interesting smells found in vegetative paths leading to fewer distractions.

 

  • Train the dog to heel when asked 

To do this, you have to ensure your dog give you all attention. Make your dog sit down then mention the word ‘heel’ just once. You can use other words such as ‘right here’ telling your dog where to start. This will get your dog well positioned and less confused. It is more effective to combine words with signs.

 

  • Reinforce that your dog should not forge ahead

One of the most difficult things when training your dog is to stop them from forging ahead because dogs are naturally faster and people often heel slowly. To rectify this, just ensure you keep your dog on leash short or tight enough to allow you to step in front of it and restrain it.

 

  • Practice heeling in all possible situations 

When you realize your dog has developed the habit, ensure you try all other possible heeling situations. Make sharp let turns abruptly and unexpectedly to keep him alert. This will also remind him the reasons why he has to remain behind you. To put it simple, ensure every walk you have with your favorite pet is a heeling practice.

 

  • Remember to praise and reward

Praising your dog for a job well done is the best way to establish behavior. Every time the dog does something he is expected of successfully or obeys your command, you need to praise or reward it appropriately. A praised or rewarded dog is unlikely to forget what he learned.

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How to Choose the Best Dog Food

The best thing that you can do to keep your dog healthy, is feeding him a well balanced food. The right food will strengthen your dog’s immune system and keep his hair coat glossy and silky. It will improve his digestive system. However, choosing the best food for your dog may be confusing. The options are too many. Here, you will learn the basics of how to choose the best dog food for your dog.

 KNOW THE INGREDIENTS

Read the list of ingredients. These ingredients are listed by weight. Those which contain large amounts of moisture are usually listed at the top. More key nutrients such as proteins are offered in this list.

 CONSIDER THE FACTS ON THE BY-PRODUCTS

Most pet food ingredients labeled by-products only include highly nutritious and digestible organs. They hardly include things like hooves and the hair. You should choose food from a dog food company having a good reputation.

 ALLERGY

There are various breeds that are susceptible to food intolerance. These breeds include: English Springer Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, Dalmatians, Miniature Schnauzers, Cocker Spaniels and Labrador Retrievers among others. 

 It is important to record the kind of food you feed your dog, the ingredients and how your dog feels. If there is an indication that any ingredient sparks off bad reactions in your dog, choose foods that do not include that particular ingredient.

 LOOK FOR SUFFICIENCY

Adult dogs have different needs from puppies. You should check the dog food label for a nutritional statement and choose accordingly.

 COMPARE FOODS ON CALORIC BASIS

You should consider the caloric content of your dog’s food. If it is energy-dense and your dog is not very active, prevent him from getting fat by cutting his daily ration.

 Due to the wide range of energy requirements exhibited by dogs, you may require higher or lower – calorie food based on the attributes that affects your dog’s energy needs. These attributes include:

– Activity level

– Lactations

– Reproduction

– Age

– Illness

– Environmental conditions

– Individual factors

 CONSIDER GRAINS AND GLUTENS

Grains provide carbohydrates in many pet foods. Dogs metabolize these carbohydrates easily to use them as energy source.

 Dogs hardly suffer from gluten allergies which are common in human beings. You should not subject your dog to gluten free foods for fear that canine species are vulnerable to these allergies.

 HUMAN FACTORS

Human factors such as availability and cost may influence the choice of the food for your dog. You need to understand that, there is a relationship between the health of your dog and the quality of his food, and do everything possible to achieve the best for your dog.

 You should also consider the convenience of the manufacturer’s customer service. It is usually costly and disappointing if the customer people are either unhelpful or rude, your order is late on regular basis or the company produces terrific food but you cannot reach them

 SEEK VET’S ADVICE

Lastly, you should understand that the age, lifestyle, reproductive status and genetics affect the choice of food for your dog. Ask a veterinary doctor to perform a body condition test for your dog and ensure that you learn the basics. Don’t forget to keep the weight of your dog on track.

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