Miracle Care

 

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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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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