Miracle Care

 

Do You Hear What I Hear? Dog Ear Cleaning Tips

dog ear cleaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While dogs’ ears certainly can’t be beat when it comes to hearing, they can absolutely get dirty and infected. If you see your dog digging at their ears more than normal, take a peek inside; if there’s dark buildup and an odor: chances are, your pet has an ear infection. In the case of an infection, your pet should be taken to the vet to gauge the severity and get a thorough cleaning. From there (or if it’s not a full-blown infection and just some build up) then it’s up to you to perform routine maintenance to keep their ears clean. Not to worry, here’s a quick how-to with the help of some carefully crafted MiracleCare products:

  • For starters: have everything ready. Gloves, cotton balls or tissues, cleaner, and treats.
  • Open your pet’s ear and squeeze the cleaner deep into the ear canal; try to massage it into the base of the ear before your dog shakes their head – you should hear the cleaner squishing around in there. Feel free to distract them with low-calorie treats throughout this process.
  • Close your eyes, cover your face, and wait for the inevitable head shake.
  • Re-open the ear and detail it with the cotton ball and/or tissues to really get the buildup out.
  • You can follow up with a drying cream to get rid of any residual moisture and thwart odor.
    • Pro-Tip: Use the drying crème after baths and swims, too, to help avoid odor and infection.

As a general rule, it’s recommended to clean pets’ ears at least once or twice a month. Of course this process isn’t just about the wax and odor, it contributes to their overall health. If left untreated, ear infections can cause permanent damage to the ear that may require surgery to correct… not to mention your pet’s in pain, and nobody wants that this holiday!

Do you have a foolproof trick for keeping pets’ ears clean? We’d love to hear more on Facebook or Twitter – mention us @miraclecarepet!

 

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Oldies but Besties: 5 Reasons Senior Dogs are the Best

sweet senior dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Dogs are the Best!

Maybe it’s just us, but we find older pets to be the most endearing animals on the planet. November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, intended to bring these classics to the forefront and get them into loving forever homes. It’s a sad fact that not only are older animals given up for adoption, but they’re often overlooked for the younger pups – giving them a sometimes sad and heartbroken final chapter. But you can change that! We know that caring for an older animal can be difficult, but we’re dishing up 5 reasons you can’t say no.

1. What You See is What You Get.

There’s no guessing with older pets, their personalities and physical traits are already established and anything you need to know about them is already known and available.

2. They Know their Manners.

Older pets have already learned what’s appropriate to chew, pee, and snack on, making them easier to incorporate into your household than a puppy or adolescent dog.

3. They Enjoy Relaxing, too.

A senior pet won’t be bouncing off the walls for a morning walk or breakfast. All they really want is to relax. And we think that’s perfect.

4. Affectionate and Loving.

Not only do older pets have years of experience in being buddies, they are some of the most appreciative adoptees at the shelter. Most senior pets have experienced a loving home at some point in their life so they recognize and appreciate the chance at another one.

5. Truly Gratifying.

Knowing you gave a senior companion a loving last chapter is a special and fulfilling feeling. While it’s may not be for everyone, adopting a senior pet is saving a life… and we have no doubt that it means everything to that animal.

Check with your shelter to see if they’re running any sort of special on adopting or fostering senior pets, it could be the best thing you do all year.

Like we said, we’re suckers for senior pets so show us your gray-faced babes on Facebook!

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Is that a Flea?! A Quick How-To for Identifying and Treating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though the weather’s cooling down, that doesn’t mean fleas are a non-issue. Fleas are teeny, tiny bugs that can be a big pain for your pet so, as their owner, it’s important to be able to recognize and remove these pests. If you don’t have the first idea about fleas, not to worry, here’s our quick how-to guide for identification and removal.

  • It Might Be Fleas If… You notice your pet excessively scratching, licking, and biting at their skin. If they’re suddenly itching, licking, or nibbling more than usual it’s time to inspect.
  • Look For… Small red dots, flea dirt, and/or flea eggs. Look closely at your dog’s skin to see if they have any small red bites. Plus fleas typically leave behind “flea dirt,” which looks like dark grains of sand; there may also be small eggs that resemble tiny grains of white rice.
    • Pro-Tip: For dogs with dark fur, run a flea comb through their coat then tap the comb on a white paper towel to see if any flea dirt or eggs fall off.
  • Immediate Treatment… Once you’ve confirmed they’re fleas, check with your veterinarian to discuss treatment options. Depending on the severity (like if your pet has adult fleas that are visible and jumping off the skin), you may need a prescription. Typically, though, a flea shampoo and fine-toothed comb will rid your pet’s skin of the infestation (for now.)
  • Long Term… Your pet will need a long-term prevention plan like an oral supplement or topical treatment to thwart another infestation.
  • At Home… Clean all of your pet’s bedding, toys, and bowls with pet-safe detergent and vacuum the heck out of your carpet and upholstery. If your pet has had repeated or severe infestations, you may need flea traps or a flea bomb for a quick pest evacuation. Lastly, there are also natural preventative remedies available online.

Fleas are more of an annoyance than a major health risk, so don’t panic – just be proactive. Do you have a fool-proof flea removal trick? Do tell!

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Puppy Grooming 101

girl grooming dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puppy Grooming 101

When it comes to pet care, regular grooming is simply part of it. Some breeds require more upkeep than others but skin, teeth, and nails must be taken care of no matter what type of dog you’re dealing with. If you recently got a puppy, guess what? They’ll need to be groomed too. The good news is they’re young and open to new experiences! So, you can gently introduce them to the process because, let’s face it, buzzing clippers and loud blow dryers can be scary. Here are a few puppy grooming tips to help set the stage for great grooming in the years to come.

Introduce the Tools. 

Leave the brushnail clippers or dremel, toothbrush, and (if needed) hair dryer out and let your puppy explore them. Be sure it’s a calm environment so nothing startles them.

Practice in Advance. 

Brush them, put your fingers in their mouth to look at their teeth, handle their paws, pet their belly and tail. Get them used to, and trusting of, being handled.

Start Slowly. 

Once your pet’s sniffed the tools and doesn’t seem wary (and keep in mind this should be over the course of a few days), hold one tool in your hand and pet them with the other. Slowly put the brush or nail clipper up to the desired area and use soothing tones and treats.

Pro-Tip: If your pet pulls away, let them. Just continue to use calming tones and come back to it until their anxiety subsides.

Get Help. 

At-home grooming is best as a two-person job so one person can hold and soothe the animal while the other slowly and carefully completes the mission.

Anytime you’re training a puppy positive reinforcement is key and this is no different. Treat and praise your puppy any time they show bravery whether it’s exploring the tools, letting you hold their paw for an extended amount of time, or just throughout the process to keep them calm.

Do you have tips for first-time groomers? Share with us on Facebook!

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Mission Impossible? Give Your Cat A Bath In 6 Easy Steps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Baths 101: How to give your cat a bath

It’s quite true that most cats don’t like getting wet… but it’s also true that they’ll sometimes need a bath. For the most part, cats will bathe themselves and a nice brushing will keep their coat looking fresh and maintained, but for the times that simply won’t work here’s a step-by-step guide on how to quickly and safely give your cat a bath at home.

First, you’ll need to grab your favorite shampoo, some thick rubber gloves, a large pitcher (or, even better, a gentle spray nozzle), a large towel, cotton balls for their ears, and a washcloth for their face. Now take a deep breath and follow these steps:

1. Prepare The Water

Fill the sink with 2-3 inches of warm  (not hot) water. (Pro-Tip: It’s a lot easier to bathe them in a sink rather than bending over a bathtub, so keep that in mind.)

2. Time To Get Wet

Either holding them or if they’ll stand still, wet kitty from their shoulders to their tail and apply a small amount of shampoo.

3. Lather and thoroughly rinse.

Rinsing may require setting kitty down or getting in the tub and holding them with one arm while using your other hand to maneuver the pitcher or spray nozzle (we’ll admit this step is easier with two people.)

4. Cleaning Their Face

Dampen the wash cloth and clean their face, avoiding their ears.

5. Don’t Forget Their Ears

Apply ear cleaner to the cotton ball and clean the inside of their ears.

6. Towel Dry

Wrap your cat in the towel and try to rub as much water out of their fur as possible. Some long-haired cats may tolerate a blow dryer on low if needed, but brushing when damp should prevent mats as it dries.

Do you have a foolproof trick to cat baths? Or a cat that loves water? We want to meet them! Post their picture on Facebook or Twitter – be sure to mention @miraclecarepet!

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Can My Pet Benefit From Coconut Oil?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can My Pet Benefit From Coconut Oil?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock,  chances are you’ve heard about the popularity of coconut oil for people. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties, beneficial fatty acids, and a not-too-shabby taste or smell. People are using coconut oil in their kitchens, on their skin, and even as a dental regimen! Naturally, we had to ask: can my pet benefit from coconut oil?

And the answer is…

Yes! Coconut oil can improve energy levels, skin and coat conditions, digestion, and reduce allergies thanks to medium-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are absorbed in the GI tract and go directly to the liver to be metabolized by the body. These fatty acids are medically proven to help cognitive function and with both physical and digestive issues. Also, it’s all natural!

How do I give coconut oil to my pet?

First, we always recommend chatting with your veterinarian before adding any supplement to your pet’s diet.  Coconut oil is generally administered with pets’ food at mealtime.  The amount will vary by dog size, but most experts suggest ¼ teaspoon per day for small dogs and 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per day for large dogs.

Administered topically

There is also the option of administering the oil topically for flaky skin or to add shine to their coat. Simply put a bit of coconut oil on your hands and massage into the skin. The best part is there’s no worries if they lick it off!

Can coconut oil be dangerous to my pet?

Too much coconut oil can cause diarrhea or weight gain and isn’t recommended for dogs prone to pancreatitis due to its high-fat content.  Otherwise, it is a safe, natural addition to your pet’s diet or bath time routine. As we stated earlier, chat with your vet first, but if your pet is scratching or having digestive issues we always appreciate an all-natural option first.

Has your pet benefitted from coconut oil? Or maybe it wasn’t the right choice for them? Share your stories on our Facebook page or mention us on Twitter, @miraclecarepet.

 

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Cat Health Reminder: Cats Need Check Ups Too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 22 is National Take your Cat to the Vet Day.

This is a friendly reminder to show the love you have for your cat by keeping them as healthy and as happy as can be. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says dogs visit the vet an average of 1.5 times per year while cats averaged less than once. With that said, just because cats visit the vet less than dogs doesn’t mean they naturally maintain better health. Here are some cat health tips and things to look for to indicate that it’s time to make an appointment.

Routine Check Ups.

Nothing substitutes proper veterinary care. Allow August 22 to remind you to make your cat an appointment at least once a year or if you begin noticing abnormal behaviors.

Digestion.

Keep an eye on their litter box to make sure they’re using it regularly and that their stool is consistently firm. If you notice your cat avoiding the litter box or irregular excrement for an extended amount of time, consult your veterinarian.

Skin and Coat.

Your cat’s skin and coat play a large part in reflecting their overall health. Their coat should be soft, smooth, rich in color, and free of flakes or matting.

Dental Health.

To help maintain optimal health, teeth should be free of tartar and plaque.  You can check to see if these are developing by checking out their back teeth. Their gums should be bright pink and breath shouldn’t be noticeably bad. Consider at-home dental care, like a twice-weekly cleaning with an oral spray or dental wipe.

Your cat’s energy and playfulness is a wonderful indicator of how they’re feeling. If you notice your usually-playful cat acting lethargic or out of character, consult your veterinarian.

Be Prepared.

Being prepared can be the difference between an injury and an emergency, so consider some safety and relief products, like a first aid kit, to help you help your cat at home.

We’d love to know more of the at-home care products you’d like to see – feel free to share your ideas on our Facebook page!

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Opinion, What Do You Think Of Acupuncture For Pets?

acupuncture for pets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opinion, What Do You Think of Acupuncture Therapy for Pets?

Acupuncture has been a part of Eastern medicine for thousands of years.  Acupuncture is a practice that involves placing needles in certain ‘energy channels’ of the body.  It’s used in an attempt to promote circulation and in the release of hormones to bring healing and balance back into the body.

For those with an aversion to needles, it sounds horrific. Why on earth would I want needles stuck in me?  In contrast, many humans feel that acupuncture is a trusted (and calming) form of pain relief and healing. There are always two sides, right?

So, lets talk trends. We all know that human trends inevitably move towards pets. We see it in clothing, bedding and even more in food and treats.  Will acupuncture follow?  The answer is yes, there are several certified veterinarian acupuncturists performing services for pets.  This has prompted us to ask the question: What do you think of acupuncture for pets?

The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine will say first of all, that there isn’t enough evidence to recommend or reject acupuncture for pets. They’ll also say that most evidence in support of it is unreliable. With that said, more and more pet owners are exploring it as a natural treatment option for their beloved animals.

If you consider exploring this option, it’s important to know the various types of acupuncture:

Acupressure

Administration of pressure to acupuncture points; used for hard-to-reach places or hard-to-calm pets.

Aquapuncture 

Injection of homeopathic liquids to push tissue out of the way and promote healing.

Moxibustion 

The application of a heated Chinese herbal compound to the needles; may be beneficial for older pets or those suffering from joint stiffness and/or muscular soreness.

Electrostimulation  

An electric current courses into the body between needles; this treatment is said to relax muscle spasms and can help repair nerve damage.

Laser  

Using laser energy to stimulate acupuncture points;  an option for pet patients that don’t easily tolerate needle insertion.

We’re all about finding natural ways to treat our pets and give them a better quality of life. Likewise, we always recommend talking with your veterinarian to hear their experiences, both good and bad, before exploring any treatment options.

Now we want to hear from you.  What do you think about acupuncture?  If you’ve tried acupuncture for your pet, we’d love to hear your story on Facebook!

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5 Tips For Eliminating Bad Dog Breath

dental care dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even as pet lovers we struggle with dog breath, both with our own animals as well as others’. While offensively bad breath could be an indicator of a bigger health issue, there are certainly ways to beat the stink and thwart periodontal disease – the biggest being prevention. Here are 5 tips to help eliminate bad dog breath.

1. Brush their teeth.

Just like humans, regularly brushing your dog’s teeth prevents plaque and tartar buildup which can cause bad breath and keeps their teeth and gums healthy, as gum disease can also cause bad breath.

2. Provide plenty of chews.

Chewing is how many animals ‘brush’ their teeth, as it naturally scrapes teeth and strengthens gums which can help keep breath fresh.

3. Quality diet.

A quality diet is fully processed by your pet’s body and doesn’t leave unnecessary ingredients in their gut which can manifest into smelly burps and stinky breath.

4. Brushing alternatives.

If your pet simply won’t let you in their mouth, consider a swipe or spritz of an oral spray, like Oxy-Dental oral cleaner, which reduces plaque and tartar build up and immediately freshens breath.

5. Annual cleanings.

Just like humans, pets should undergo an annual dental exam and deep cleaning to keep their mouths in optimal condition. Between these appointments is when you should be executing the aforementioned preventative actions to keep their breath fresh all year.

How do you keep your pet’s mouth fresh and people friendly? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter! @miraclecarepet

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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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