Miracle Care

 

Are Essential Oils Essential to my Pet?

essential oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems like lately

we’re hearing more and more buzz about essential oils. Essential oils can be administered through diffusers, topically, or even ingested. In fact, Humans are going a little nuts with these pure extractions as a way of relieving stress and preventing or curing disease. And because human trends inevitably make their way to our pets, we just had to ask: are these trendy tinctures safe for our pets?

Think twice about that diffuser:

Most research indicates that pure essential oils are too concentrated for pets to enjoy. Smells can be overwhelming to their sensitive noses which have hightened scent receptors.

Never use an essential oil product on your pet that isn’t specifically pet-friendly:

Remember, what is deemed safe for humans could be dangerous to your pet.  Certain non-beneficial compounds can be quickly absorbed into their skin and cause possible damage to their organs.

These oils can be especially toxic to cats and should never be ingested by pets as it can cause liver damage. If you think your pet’s ingested pure essential oil, call your veterinarian.

What that being said, some essential oils can aide in flea/tick prevention or help with skin irritations (meaning pet shampoos with essential oils are a-okay) but be sure to use them as intended.  Never use a dog shampoo product on your cat or vice-versa.

Do you have a story about essential oils and your pet? We’d love to know more about your experiences and concerns – post your story to Twitter and be sure to mention @StewartPet.

 

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Shelter Cats Turned Social Media Icons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

It’s a common misconception that shelter cats are misbehaved misfits, but nothing could be further from the truth. June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month and, to prove our point, we’re going to let you in on a little secret: some of the biggest viral kitties are adopted. That’s right! Cats like Lil Bub, Hamilton the Hipster, Colonel Meow, and Nala have more than their millions of Instagram followers in common: they all came from a shelter.

Not sure if a shelter cat is a good fit?

If you’re thinking of bringing a cat into your life but you want a kitten, or a pure breed, or a calm, behaved companion… guess what? Your shelter’s full of them. Not only are you saving a life.  You’re adopting your new best friend.  You’re making way for another kitty in need. Win, win, win!  Check with your shelter to see if they’re running any specials but just think… for around $50 or less you could bring home the next viral sensation! But even if they don’t garner thousands of followers we think you’ll be their biggest fan.

Just be prepared!

But don’t be ill-prepared! Make sure kitty comes home to fresh food and water, a litter box, a place to scratch, and a few toys for them to pounce and chase to keep them in shape. Don’t forget a collar so everyone knows they’re yours and be patient while they acclimate to their new space. And just because it’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month doesn’t mean you can’t wait if you need to.  You can go back to the shelter a few times before deciding which feline will complement your life best; just don’t discount adoption as a way of finding your purrfect cat!

Do you have a shelter cat turned love of your life? We’d love to meet them on Facebook!

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Four Tips For Safe Hiking With Your Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for safe hiking with your dog

Hello, June! This is the month where the weather tends to level out and be consistently warm with clear skies. Perfect for hiking!  The thing about hiking is that it’s often underestimated in the way of what to bring.  Most people chalk it up to a long walk. Sure, you’re walking, you’re also exposed to the elements for an extended period of time while exerting energy and calories. Needless to say, hiking takes some preparation… especially if your dog comes along.

We love activities we can include our dogs in, but it’s another common assumption that dogs are animals that don’t need ‘stuff’ on the trail. Wrong . In fact, almost everything you’d need on the trail, save for sunglasses (which actually do exist for dogs), can be applied to your pet.

Here are a few things you should have if your pet’s coming along for the adventure.

1. Water and a First Aid Kit. Buddy can even carry ‘em in his handy backpack which makes for a better work out and keeps you both prepared.

  • Pro-Tip: If you know it’s going to be a long day, feed your pet a little more in the morning so they have the extra calories to burn. Or throw some food or treats in their backpack so they can stop for snack time, too.

2. Don’t Forget a Leash. If you spot something that could pose a threat to your pet’s safety, you’ll need to keep them close to you somehow. We know one of the biggest perks for both of you is that it tends to be an off-leash adventure, but always bring one to be safe.

3. Poop Bags. Pick up after your dog and, if you see a reminder of pups past, consider picking it up or at least getting it off the trail – pet waste can be hazardous to the wildlife that eat and drink in the area.

4. Optional: Sunscreen. It exists! Primarily for their noses, but dogs with thin coats (meaning you can see their skin) may burn after prolonged sun exposure.

Happy hiking! We expect to see a picture or story from your summer hikes on our page!

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The Dog Paddle: Natural Instinct or Taught?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Swimming

With the hot weather comin’ in quick, it’s time to gear up for a favorite pastime of people and pups alike: swimming! But even if your dog likes the water, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can dog paddle- allow us to explain.

Can’t all dogs swim?

The dog paddle is a natural instinct, meaning all dogs will paddle their legs when submerged in water – but that does not necessarily mean they will stay afloat. Dogs with dense chests, short legs, and flat faces have a very hard time remaining buoyant simply because of their proportions and difficulty breathing when exerting energy (which can actually make it downright dangerous for them, if we’re being honest.) When it comes to teaching a pet how to swim, all you can really do is ensure their safety; if you have a pool in your backyard make sure your dog knows where the stairs are and how to use them, if you’re at a lake suit ‘em up with a life jacket and let them enjoy the cool down! But always monitor your pet near water and be sure to provoke bouts of relaxation to avoid exhaustion.

For pets who may not like water but spend time around it, start slowly; see if they’ll follow you into gradually deeper water, or place a favorite toy or ball out of reach and see if they’ll swim for it. Be sure to use positive language and rewards if necessary, as you want your pet to be confident and capable in and around water for their safety. (Pro-Tip: Once done, be sure to thoroughly dry your dog’s ears to avoid infection and consider a drying cream.

Show us your water dogs! We’d love to see photos and videos or your pups enjoying a summer splash on our Facebook page!  Don’t forget to tag them #SeasonOfPets

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Dry Skin? Tips for Treating Dog Dandruff

Yes, Dog dandruff is a thing.

Your pup can suffer from dandruff just like people do and, while it’s mainly just unsightly and not much of a medical concern, it is a sign that your pet’s skin is dry which may cause itchiness or discomfort. If you notice your pet has a few flakes and flecks in their coat, here are a few care (and prevention) tips.

Brushing!

Keeping your pet’s fur brushed isn’t just so they look nice, it evenly distributes their skin’s natural oils and stimulates the skin. It’s imperative to find the right brush, as anything too soft will be useless but too firm will aggravate the skin.

Bathing

Ridding your pet’s fur of dirt and debris removes irritants and, so long as you don’t overbathe, also helps to distribute and produce their skin’s natural oils. Be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly to avoid further drying out the skin and consider a shampoo with moisturizing and healing properties, like our Colloidal Oatmeal formula.

Moisturize.

Who doesn’t love a massage?  If your dog will let you, massage a moisturizer into their skin and coat that’s fortified with nourishing and healing ingredients, like Tea Tree Oil. Make sure to be gentle, like you’re giving them a little spa day. Note: Tea Tree Oil is fine for dogs, but not for cats. Be sure to use a product that is labeled appropriate for your pet.

Eating Right.

Sometimes dry skin is an indicator of a bigger issue, possibly a nutritional imbalance or deficiency. Your pet requires a certain amount of good fats to keep their skin healthy; if your pet’s dandruff doesn’t subside with regular grooming, consider switching to a higher quality diet.

Has your pet ever suffered from dandruff? What are some ways you treated it? We’d love to hear your personal tricks and tips on Facebook.

 

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DIY Hacks For Cats With Hairballs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hacks For Cats With Hairballs

If you’re a cat owner, you have experience with hairballs! Hairballs are literal balls of hair that accumulate in your cat’s belly or throat that they hack up.  What happens next? They wait to be stepped on with bare feet! We’re just kidding, but admittedly, hairballs are gross.

Cats spend up to 50% of their time awake grooming themselves.  This makes hairballs  common, but they’re also preventable. The issue comes from a combination things. Not enough fiber and insufficient lubrication in the belly to keep things moving in the right direction (like toward the litter box.) Here are a few at-home prevention tips to keep those hairballs at bay.

Regular brushing.

Brushing your cat will reduce shedding and the amount of hair being ingested when they groom themselves.

Olive Oil.

Adding olive oil to your cat’s diet can act as a lubricant to keep their digestive tract, and the hair inside it, moving.

Cat Grass.

Cat grass has fiber which can aid in digestion. For cats with sensitive bellies, or to help rid their stomach of indigetible items (like hairballs), cat grass can induce vomiting and settle their digestive system.

Specialized Food.

There are cat foods tailored to hairball reduction, with added fiber and other nutrients to both reduce shedding and keep the digestive tract lubricated.

Pay Attention.

Do you notice your cat grooming excessively?  If so, try to redirect their attention and ‘train’ them out of the habit. Just be sure you survey their skin and coat to ensure there isn’t any larger issue like hot spots or melanoma.

Hairballs are usually harmless, but they can cause an internal blockage if they aren’t expelled. If you notice your cat developing a swollen or hard belly, difficulty defecating, unproductive attempts to vomit, or repeated coughing, consult your veterinarian.

Facebook Fact Sharing: What are some at-home hairball remedies you swear by?

 

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Pet First Aid Awareness Month: Do you have a first aid kit for pets?

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April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month;

Pet First Aid Awareness Month serves as a reminder to include your furry family members when updating your at-home first aid kit. Of course, your kit should include gauze,  anti-septic wipes,  bandages, and peroxide for pets and humans alike, but what about styptic powder to stop bleeds? Do you have eye wash? Of course, we’re not here to make you panic or feel ill-equipped – in fact, it’s just the opposite! We want to let you know that Miracle Care has got you covered.

Here are a few pet-specific additions to add to your family’s first aid kit in the event of an emergency:

  • A liquid bandage is easier to apply and keep on animals and provides a waterproof barrier against dirt and germs.
  • Kwik Tips™ are easy-to-use styptic powder applicators filled with our original Kwik Stop powder to stop bleeding and relieve pain. ONLY APPLY TO NAILS, maybe powder
  • Eye Wash. Intended to safely remove uncomfortable debris from the eye, we carefully crafted our Sterile Eye Wash to have a non-stinging formula safe for daily use.
  • Hot Spot Lotion. Soothes itchy, irritated areas and allows for proper healing.
  • Or, just add our complete First Aid Kit to yours and know you’re covered.

In the event of a minor injury, it’s important to remain calm and clean. Wash your hands and make sure anything being applied to the wound is also free of dirt and debris. Use a mild soap and water mixture or hydrogen peroxide to clean the area and dry it as best as you can without causing irritation. Apply a [liquid]  bandage and try to your best to ensure your pet leaves it alone. Monitor the wound and consult your veterinarian as necessary. For a sprain, some first aid kits will have a wooden stick and gauze for a splint, which can work in a bind when on the trail (if it doesn’t, consider adding them to your travel kit.)

Does your first aid kit include pets? Have you ever needed a first aid kit to treat your pet? We’d love to hear your stories on Facebook.

 

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Dog Nail Trimming 101: How Long is Too Long?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No one likes it, but dog nail trimming is necessary

We’ve all seen (and heard) it: the dog whose nails are so long they’re clicking against the ground as they walk. Or maybe you’ve seen the dog whose nails are curling upward because they’re so long they literally have nowhere else to go. Our point is, there are far too many pets out there with nails that are too long to be safe or comfortable. We know the idea of trimming your pet’s nails can be daunting for both parties but suffering from a broken nail can be a painful, bloody, and traumatic event for your pet. Think about it, have you ever broken a nail down to the quick? Now, think about if your nail was twice as thick and went up into your finger. Yeah… ouch.

How long is too long?

The general rule of thumb (if dogs had them), is that your pet’s nails should clear the floor when standing. It’s as easy as that. When it comes to how often you should be trimming there are a few things to consider; pets who maintain an active lifestyle and frequently run on concrete or dirt will maintain naturally trimmer nails than those who live a more sedentary life; pets who walk on carpet are at a lesser risk for breakage but they will need more frequent trims because the carpet won’t file them as they walk.

If your pet hates having their nails trimmed, consider an anxiety wrap to help calm them, or you may have to bite the bullet and pay a professional to do it. For those who are able to do it themselves, the Quickfinder® was thoughtfully crafted to make trimming as safe and easy as possible; we still offer old school clippers, too – but don’t forget your styptic powder, just in case.

What are some tricks you use to clip your pet’s nails? Share your tips on Facebook!

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How to Deal with Winter Dog Shedding

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Winter Dog Shedding

Even though it’s probably still cold where you are, that doesn’t mean winter dog shedding isn’t lingering around the corner. For some dogs it may be considered a light shedding of thin hair, covering the furniture a little more than usual. If that’s the case, consider yourself lucky! Other breeds shed so much you could literally create another dog with the thick hair they’re losing.

While there’s no way to prevent it, we do have a couple tips for dealing with it.

Brusha, Brusha, Brusha.

Sorry, we couldn’t resist a Grease plug there, but seriously: brushing your dog is probably the most proactive thing you can do to catch the hair before it ends up absolutely everywhere. Some people prefer a grooming mitt while others opt for a more heavy duty brush but, whatever you choose, try to make this an almost daily habit ‘til that winter coat’s gone.

Baths.

Let us start by saying we recommend a dog wash or other public/professional bathtub for an end-of-winter bath because you don’t want all that hair going down your drain – BUT – a bath is a really effective way to loosen and eliminate the excess hair. Make sure to keep them as warm as possible during the process and brush the heck out of them when they’re done. If you can do this once a week or every other week, you’ll be really ahead of the winter shedding curve.  Also, look for products like Shed Reducer that helps to minimize shedding, while not disrupting the natural cycle.

Trim.

You can absolutely trim your pet’s hair in the winter as long as you don’t go too short, as you certainly want to leave some natural insulation as winter comes to a close. But, shorter hair is easier to bathe and brush, which really helps maintain the winter coat blowout.

Do you have a breed that sheds like crazy? How do you stay ahead of the hair? Share with us on Facebook!

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Is Your Dog Allergic To Their Shampoo?

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Dog Allergies

It’s an unfortunate truth that our four-legged loves can suffer from allergies and skin  irritations just like we can, only it’s a little harder to pinpoint the source when it comes to pets. It seems like food allergies are the most common but in the case of itching and hair loss it could be a more conspicuous culprit: their shampoo. Yep, the soap you cover their body in with the intention of ridding their skin of dirt and irritants could be causing dry skin, hot spots, and hair loss. Common signs of shampoo related dog allergies are:

  • Bald patches
  • Lesions
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Foot inflammation (look for perpetual paw biting)
  • Face rubbing
  • Rashes or hives
  • Swelling around the face
  • Head shaking (may be sign of ear infection)

Finding Relief

If you notice these symptoms, administer some relief by rinsing them in cool water, then call your vet to discuss giving them an antihistamine, like Benadryl, in the short term. Be sure to switch to a hypo-allergenic shampoo (or talk to your groomer about sensitive skin options for an allergic animal) and, if you bathe your pet at home, it’s really important to rinse thoroughly (avoiding their ears!) and dry them completely to avoid drying their skin out even further. Other at-home remedies to soothe irritated skin include an oatmeal bath, vitamin E, evening primrose oil, or even coconut oil – all of which can (and should) be administered topically. Of course you should always talk with your vet, they should be able to recommend or prescribe a medicated shampoo.

If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s shampoo, feel free to ask. We’re just a click away through our website or Facebook page.

 

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