Miracle Care

 

Can Dogs Experience Psoriasis?

Crossbreed puppy scratching itself (2 months old)

If you’ve noticed
your pet scratching recently, you may be wondering if it’s simply a passing
phase or something bigger – but what? Just like with humans, dogs can experience
psoriasis when a compromised immune system attacks normal skin cells. This
causes an accumulation of t-cells that surface in the form of red (or silver)
itchy patches on your pet’s skin. While it can be genetic, psoriasis is most
commonly the physical manifestation of an allergy. Here’s a brief breakdown on
the symptoms and treatments.

Symptoms of
psoriasis include excessive itching and dandruff and dry red or silver scaly
patches on the skin, usually on the scalp, legs, and elbows. If you observe any
of these or see signs of bleeding due to excessive scratching it’s time to
consult your veterinarian, as a physical examination is needed for an accurate
diagnosis.

The good news is that treating psoriasis is totally doable with topical treatments, an improved diet, and nutritional supplements like zinc, vitamin C, and omega fatty acids. Talk with your vet about other natural treatment remedies but, most likely, switching up their diet should do the trick.

Has your pet had a run-in with psoriasis? Share your story on our Facebook page!

Posted in Blog | Tagged | Comments Off on Can Dogs Experience Psoriasis?

Should Dogs be Shaved in the Summer?

German shepherd dog laying down on grass

As the weather
warms up, more owners become concerned with their pet’s comfort. That’s because
to us it seems like they’re wearing a mink coat in the heat of summer but, for
them, it’s just business as usual. So, it begs the question: should you shave
your dog during summer?

Think of your
pet’s fur as a natural thermostat, maintaining a comfortable temperature by
absorbing or diffusing heat through its layers. When you shave their coat too
low, it not only rids them of this natural regulation but increases their
chance of getting sunburned (which can cause skin cancer.)

That’s not to say
you can’t give your buddy a sweet summer cut, as a shorter coat is certainly
cleaner and more manageable (especially for those water dogs.) If you haven’t
groomed your pet at home before, it’s probably best to leave it to a pro; but
if you feel comfortable giving your pal a trim, it’s important to have the
right tools so we’ve carefully crafted all of our shears to be consistently sharp for
touch-ups around the face, paws, and tail. Be sure never to shave down to the
skin or rough cut the fur with scissors.

And, of course, it’s
fine to leave their coat alone – we’re sure you’re well aware that they’ll shed
the bulk of that undercoat as the weather warms up. But, if you opt to keep it
longer, just be sure to keep it cleaned and brushed to enhance air circulation
and keep skin healthy.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , | Comments Off on Should Dogs be Shaved in the Summer?

Pet Bathing – Mistakes to Avoid

pet bathing

For pets who
require regular grooming, learning to do so at home is obviously the most
economic way for owners to keep up with their needs. But, like all things, you
run the risk of doing it wrong when you don’t enlist the help of a
professional. Not to worry, though! Not only do we make every grooming tool you could possibly
need, but we’re rattling off the most common bathing mistakes you should do
your best to avoid.

  • Water in their
    Ears.
    Do everything in your power to avoid water going into their ears, even
    if it means skipping the shampoo and using a washcloth to rinse their head.
    Even if you’re careful, do your best to dry inside their ears with a dry towel
    when finished. (And, of course, avoid their eyes too!)
  • Not Rinsing
    Thoroughly.
    It’s important to make sure their fur is totally devoid of any soap or
    shampoo by thoroughly rinsing them.
    We know it can be a challenge to keep them in the tub, but it’s important in
    preventing skin dryness or irritation.
  • Not Brushing them
    Before Bathing.
    Giving your pet a good brush before bathing will help
    reduce shedding and matting.
  • Clipping the
    Quick.
    A painful and easy mistake to make is clipping their nails too short
    and causing bleeding. It’s important to use the right tools when clipping their nails or
    leave it to a professional if needed. If your pet will let you, just clip a
    little bit at a time to push the quick back which makes for trim, comfortable
    nails.

We know at-home
bathing can be a challenge, but knowing what NOT to do can only make you
better! What are some of your grooming tricks and tips? Tell us more on Facebook!

Posted in Blog | Tagged , | Comments Off on Pet Bathing – Mistakes to Avoid

When Dog Breath Becomes a Problem

cute dog with toothbrush

Ah, the evolution of dog breath. It starts with that sweet puppy scent we can’t get enough of and slowly turns to… well, dog breath. As an owner, it’s important to pay attention to this evolution because your pet’s breath can be a strong indicator of underlying health issues. Of course their mouths aren’t going to be minty fresh, but their breath shouldn’t be noticeably foul. If you notice a funk coming from your animal’s mouth (think rotten-smelling), it could be:

  • Periodontal
    Disease.
    80% of pets over the age of 3 show signs of periodontal disease
    (which can cause organ damage in worst-case scenarios.) It’s caused by plaque
    buildup, making it preventable with an at-home dental routine.
  • Metabolic
    Disease.
    Caused by an imbalance allowing for abnormal levels of certain toxins,
    metabolic disease (the most common being kidney disease) can cause some
    seriously sour breath.
  • Oral Disease. Rank breath could
    also be signs of other oral diseases like stomatitis (painful inflammation of the
    gums and mouth common in felines), oral masses, or gingival hyperplasia (an
    overgrowth of the gums.)
  • Gastrointestinal
    Disease.
    While not nearly as
    common as periodontal disease, illness in the stomach, esophagus, or intestines
    can certainly cause foul breath.

The best way to monitor oral health and prevent plaque build up is to brush, wipe, or spray your pet’s teeth as regularly as you can – and pay attention to that breath!

How do you care for your pet’s teeth?
Post your tips and tricks on Twitter and mention us @miraclecarepet!

Posted in Blog | Tagged | Comments Off on When Dog Breath Becomes a Problem

Winter Dog Hygiene: Do’s and Don’ts

dog hygiene clean puppy

When cold weather hits it can bring up a lot of questions regarding what’s okay to do with your dog’s coat. Many people are hesitant to bathe or cut their dog’s fur because of the chill in the air, which is an understandable (and expected) concern. Not to worry folks, below is a quick checklist of acceptable winter dog hygiene – but we’ll give you a hint: you should be keeping up with everything regardless of the temperature.

Baths: Yes!

It’s okay to give your dog a bath in the winter, especially those with coats that easily mat. Just be sure your dog’s completely dry before going back outside. (Or, you can always opt for a waterless shampoo.)

Short Cuts: No!

Of course it’s recommended to keep your dog’s coat contained in the winter. But, we recommend going for a longer cut as their coat doesn’t just warm them. A dog’s coat also regulates their temperature in both directions through insulation and release, making some fur necessary.

Brushing: Yes! 

Remember to brush! Brushing helps avoid matting, reduce shedding, and distribute their natural oils. These oils can help keep skin moisturized in these drier months.

Paw Care: Yes!

Get into the habit of wiping your pet’s paws after a winter outing; not only for your carpets, but it’s a good opportunity to make sure there isn’t any ice or harmful salt wedged in their paw pads which can cause discomfort. And, of course, don’t forget to keep their nails trimmed enough that they clear the floor when walking.

PS – Fleas shouldn’t be forgotten. It’s important to maintain a regular flea prevention regimen to be safe – especially if you live in a place where winters are relatively mild. Remember that pesky fleas can still live in a warm pet bed, barn, or doghouse for months into winter, so don’t let your guard down.

What’s your winter regimen for grooming? Show us your pet’s
cold-weather cut on Facebook!

Posted in Blog | Tagged , | Comments Off on Winter Dog Hygiene: Do’s and Don’ts

5 Tips – Year-Round Coat Care For Dogs

coat care for dogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coat care for dogs is important – Even when they don’t look dirty!

Different breeds have different grooming needs, but they all require regular maintenance to keep their skin and coat clean, healthy, and mat free. Depending on where you live and what outdoor activities you prefer may dictate which season requires more attention, but we know one thing: mud and snow make for one dirty, matted mess. Regardless of the time of year, below are a few tips for routine maintenance of your companion’s coat.

1. Bathe, of course.

Dogs should get regular baths (even in the winter), especially those with coats that easily mat. In cold weather, make sure your dog’s completely dry before going back outside – or you can always opt for a waterless shampoo.

2. Trim, if necessary.

Even in the winter it’s fine to keep your dog’s coat trimmed, but always leave some length throughout the year, as their coat doesn’t just warm them, it regulates their temperature in both directions through insulation and release.

3. Brush regularly.

If you’re wary of grooming when it’s cold outside or want to skip a bath during the summer, brushing is your biggest aid. Not only does it reduce shedding, it distributes their natural oils which can help keep skin moisturized in dry months.

4. Remember their Paws.

Get into the habit of wiping your pet’s paws after any outing where snow or mud can accumulate. It’s not just for the carpet, it’s a good opportunity to make sure there isn’t anything wedged in their paw pads which can cause major discomfort and matting.

5. Don’t Forget about Fleas.

It’s important to maintain a regular flea prevention regimen year round to be safe – especially if you live in a place where winters are mild. Remember that these pests thrive in the summer and can live in warm pet beds, barns, or dog houses for months in cold weather, so don’t let your guard down.

What are some ways you maintain your pet’s coat throughout the year? Tell us more on Facebook!

Posted in Blog | Tagged | Comments Off on 5 Tips – Year-Round Coat Care For Dogs

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!

 

Posted in Blog | Tagged , | Comments Off on Do You Hear What I Hear? Dog Ear Cleaning Tips

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!

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Oldies but Besties: 5 Reasons Senior Dogs are the Best

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!

Posted in Blog | Tagged , | Comments Off on Is that a Flea?! A Quick How-To for Identifying and Treating

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!

Posted in Blog | Tagged , | Comments Off on Puppy Grooming 101