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Miracle Care

 

Veterinarians: The Necessary Link

VeterinarianWithDog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 29th is World Veterinary Day, a shout out to the humans who help us treat and understand our animals better. Think about the world without veterinarians… It’s actually kind of terrifying. Think of all the times, especially as a new pet owner, that you consulted your veterinarian about important health matters and how to help your best friend. While we can never thank or appreciate these healthcare professionals enough, we can give a shout out to a few renowned vets that have helped forge new paths and really spread the word on pet care. But, in honor of World Veterinary Day, consider getting your vet a little something to say thank you for their dedication and patience in ensuring your pet lives a healthy life.

  • Louis J. Camuti – The first vet to dedicate his entire practice to cats, and is honored for doing such through the Dr. Louis J. Camuti Memorial Fund at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Feline Health Center, which continues his mission of focusing on feline health.
  • Robert Cook – Cook focused on equine health and found that bits contribute to both health and behavioral issues in horses and heavily endorsed the bitless bridle.
  • Paul Pion – This guy is the vet cardiologist who made the connection that cats need taurine to prevent hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, saving countless feline lives.
  • Buster Lloyd-Jones – During his practice he was among the most sought after vets in Great Britain. A gentle, big-hearted man, Dr. Lloyd-Jones took in and cared for sick, injured, and abandoned animals during WWII.
  • Marty Becker – Becker is considered “America’s Veterinarian” for his active role in advocating and educating people in quality pet care. In a time when information comes quick and continues to change, we need vets like Dr. Becker to communicate and access these developments.

Two paws up for these, and all, veterinarians who make the difference in the lives of our beloved animals. What do you love most about your vet? Tell us on Facebook!

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Does Your First Aid Kit Include Pets?

EnglishBulldogWithFirstAidKit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month! Time to make sure your home’s first aid kit is up-to-date and complete – and that, of course, includes your animals. While most pet first aid kits are pretty similar to human ones and are intended to treat minor injuries, there are a few animal-specific additions we recommend:

  • Kwik Tips™ are easy-to-use styptic powder applicators filled with our original Kwik Stop powder to stop bleeding and relieve pain.
  • Hot Spot Lotion. Soothes itchy, irritated areas and allows for proper healing.
  • 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.
  • Added wound care. A liquid bandage is easier to keep on and provides a waterproof barrier against dirt and germs.

In the event your pet needs to be treated for a small injury, remain calm. Wash your hands and make sure anything you’re using on the wound is also clean. Use mild soap and water or hydrogen peroxide to clean the area and dry it the best you can. Apply a bandage or liquid bandage and make sure your pet doesn’t fuss with it. Monitor the wound and, if necessary, consult your veterinarian for further treatment options. 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 (and, if it doesn’t, perhaps you should consider adding them to your travel kit.)

It’s always best to be prepared and educated – if you’re going somewhere an injury could occur, be sure to read up on temporary treatment options and, like we said, be sure your first aid kit is full and updated!

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Petting: A Sign of Respect

woman petting her cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 28 is Respect Your Cat Day and, while we know you adore your feline every day, we want to remind everyone that cats can be a little different when it comes to affection, which makes respecting them, and their space, really important in regard to their health and wellbeing. Proper petting is a perfect way to show your cat you love and respect them but, when it comes to cat caressing, it’s really important to read the signs, as their body language is the number one way they communicate things they welcome and things they reject. A relaxed cat’s ears and pupils appear normal and at ease, indicating neither fear nor aggression; if your cat’s ears are flattened against their head with eyes narrowed or dilated pupils, it’s an indication they’re nearing aggressive behavior and you should leave them be.
There are four places your cat should be okay with you petting: underneath their chin, on their cheeks behind their whiskers, the base of their ears, and (the all-time fav) the base of their tail. Then there’s the danger zone: their belly. Even a cat on its back doesn’t want their belly rubbed, so save your hands the scratches and leave their bellies alone. (Ok, some cats may be perfectly ok with it and you as their owner will be able to tell but, as a general rule, most cats really don’t like their stomachs touched.) Again, paying attention to their body language will tune you into what they like and what they don’t – and it’s imperative that all members of the family respect their wishes.

Other ways to care for your cat as a sign of your unwavering respect:

  • Proper identification. Make sure your cat’s tags and/or chip are up to date to show they’re a meaningful part of your family should you ever be separated.
  • Be aware. Your cat’s needs change as they age, so pay attention to any new lumps, bumps, or behaviors so you can promptly address them to ensure kitty stays healthy and happy.
  • Give them what they need. Cats have a natural desire to scratch, so be sure to provide them a scratching post in addition to access to clean, fresh water and a clean litter box. (These are non-negotiable necessities for a happy cat.)
  • Be prepared. Out of respect for your cat’s wellness, have some standard care products handy so you have them if you need them.
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Let’s Talk Pet Sitters

dog walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first week of the month marks Professional Pet Sitters Week, a shout out to the people who care for our pets when we’re gone, something that should be taken incredibly seriously by owners. There are a few benefits to hiring a pet sitter vs. boarding your pet, the biggest being they get to remain in their familiar surroundings at what can be an already strange time (some pets get really weirded out when their owners don’t come home.) On top of avoiding stress and exposure to any illnesses other animals may have, hiring a pet sitter gives your pet individual attention and a small dose of consistency, especially if you’re able to hire the same person (or couple people) each time. In fact, our pets adore the sitter we’ve used for the last few years and it gives us such an immense peace of mind knowing they’re with someone we all trust and like.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all to pet sitters – some people may favor cats over dogs or specialize in bird care, which all matters when considering the person caring for your animal, so it’s important to do your due diligence. Pet Sitters International (the guys behind this whole week) has an awesome list of considerations/interview questions you can print and reference when looking for a pet sitter; there are also some great online resources for finding people who want to care for your animal – like care.com, rover.com, or Pet Sitters International has a searchable database of licensed caregivers.

To ensure the whole process goes smoothly, you should also consider leaving detailed instructions to make sure your pets receive the same love and care they normally get when you’re home. Things like your pets’ walking schedule and where to find the leashes, proper feeding instructions, especially if your pet eats a raw diet, and the name and contact information for your veterinarian are good things to write down.

Not to be dramatic, but when it comes to handing someone the keys to your home and the well being of your animal, it’s nothing to be taken lightly. Be sure you leave your pets with someone you know will care for them almost as well as you do and respect your home the same way, too.

If you have tips or online references that have helped you find the perfect pet sitter, share with us on Facebook!

 

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We’re Talkin’ Teeth: Care Tips & Check-ins

cute dog with toothbrush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February is Pet Dental Health Month, intended to bring awareness to the importance of healthy teeth and gums when it comes to pets’ well being – because when it comes to optimal health, it’s more than just diet and exercise that matter.

Your pet’s teeth are like little icebergs: what you see is just a fraction of what’s beneath the gum line. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than half of all all pets (80% of dogs and 70% of cats) show signs of oral disease by age three; if left unattended, bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections in the lungs, heart, kidneys, and liver. But, knowledge is power! So here are some quick tips to help maintain your pet’s pearly whites before anything like that happens.

  • Brush Up. If your pet’s ok with it, try brushing their teeth. There are toothbrushes and toothpaste for pets that will scrape and prevent plaque buildup, or you can use a swipe or a spritz of an easy-to-use dental spray.
  • Regular Check Ups. Proper veterinary care is key. Your pet’s routine examination should include their teeth and gums and is recommended at least once a year.
  • Consider a Cleaning. Talk with your vet about any deals or discounts they may be offering this month and make the appointment.
  • Some pets can’t get enough chewing, which naturally strengthens gums and scrapes tartar, but others may need some prompting – consider a dental-specific treat, as their shape and ingredients are intended to do the same.
  • Diet Matters. Just like what we eat has a ripple effect on our health, pets’ diets do too. In general, wet foods tend to cause more buildup than dry ones and low grade ingredients can affect the strength of teeth over time. Consider a high quality diet with wholesome ingredients and, if possible, avoid giving your pet solely wet food.

 

How do you care for your pet’s chompers? Share your tips and tricks with our Facebook community!

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Choosing the Right Shampoo

bath tub

Just like with humans, dogs have different factors that contribute to the health of their skin and fur, and choosing the wrong shampoo can ultimately work against maintaining it (which completely defeats the purpose.) Not to worry; as the shampros, we’re here to help – so we’ve compiled a quick guide of main things to consider when purchasing your pet’s shampoo.

  • Skin condition is the main thing to keep in mind. If your dog’s skin is flaky and itchy, you’ll want to opt for a moisturizing shampoo and avoid those with scents, as they tend to have more chemicals. Instead consider shampoos with natural ingredients, like oatmeal and vitamin E.
  • Just like baby shampoos are designed for baby’s skin and eyes, puppy shampoos are gently formulated for what a young dog’s skin needs.
  • Definitely consider the smell you’re trying to combat while grooming; if your pet gets into the trash or likes to chase skunks, you’ll want a deodorizing shampoo, as they kill the cause of odor rather than masking.
  • If your pet’s coat easily tangles, consider a shampoo-conditioner to detangle and restore softness and shine.
  • Fleas and Ticks. If your pet has issues with fleas and ticks, you’ll need a shampoo intended to kill and fend them off. Remember that medicated shampoo is not an answer to treatment and regular prevention regime is necessary for the health of your pet.
  • Coat color. Some dogs with lighter or white coats may require a speciality shampoo that are formulated to avoid yellowing and keep white coats bright and lustrous.
  • Your grooming preference. Some people much prefer to ditch the bathtub, suds, and wet dog smell and opt for a waterless shampoo, especially if their dog hates water or gets ear infections easily.

 

Of course the main thing to keep in mind is your pet’s comfort; and grooming is a great way to keep your pet’s skin healthy, which ultimately makes their life (and naps) so much easier. If you have an impeccably groomed pet, show us! We’d love to see them [literally] shine!

 

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Winter Grooming FAQ

girl grooming dog

When the weather cools down it seems like coat care gets a little more complicated for owners, so we’ve compiled a quick FAQ to help guide you through winter grooming dos and don’ts.

Can I trim my dog’s coat?

Absolutely. If shedding or matting are an issue for your pet, you can certainly take longer coats down a bit to curb the issue. The trick is to not go too short or too thin if you’re in a place where temperatures reach freezing. Try grooming shears that are designed for light to medium trimming.

What about bathing? I worry it’s too cold to get my dog sopping wet.

While we’re sure your dog appreciates the consideration, washing their coat is good for their fur and skin and should be done at least once throughout the winter months. The key is to make sure they’re completely dry before heading back outside in the cold; you can opt for a blow dryer if your pet will let you, or even a waterless shampoo if you’re worried.

Fleas aren’t an issue this time of year, right?

We wish this were the case. While the threat is a lot less imminent, they can survive in warmer places like a barn or doghouse – so don’t abandon your regular prevention regime just because it’s cold out.

Can snow be harmful to my pet’s paw pads?

While walking on snow itself is perfectly ok, the melting salts some people put on the sidewalks can cause burning. Get into the habit of surveying your pet’s paws when they come inside and rid them of any clumps of snow or residual salt they may have walked through.

Will brushing promote or spread dry, itchy skin?

No. In fact, if you’ve avoided winter bathing then brushing is the second best thing you can do, as it spreads their natural oils while curbing shedding and matting. Try this double-sided brush to add shine and remove loose hair and tangles.

We’d love to offer any help we can in keeping your pet happy and healthy this winter – if you have any other questions about cold-weather coat care, feel free to ask us on Facebook!

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Considering a Puppy for Christmas? What to Know Prior to Purchasing

woman hugging her puppy

Alright, Christmas is around the corner and the kids have been begging you for a puppy since May – now’s the time to decide whether or not they’re really going to get one. It’s really easy to romanticize the idea of getting your family a puppy for Christmas without thinking about how much work they are once the holiday cheer and novelty’s worn off, so we’re here to give you a gentle dose of reality and remind you what you’re in for.

  • Time. Be prepared to devote a lot of time to your new family member, primarily in the way of training but there will also be some sleepless nights, lots of waiting outside for successful potty breaks, and some adorable impromptu cuddle times.
  • Messes. They’re an inevitable part of pup-rearing. We highly recommend crate training to aid in house training and limit where they’re able to go if they really need to. Make sure you read up on proper crate training, but it can be a huge aid in teaching your pup the proper places to pee.
  • Chewed Things. A major downfall to young dogs is getting them through their chewing phase, but prevention can really help. Keep shoes, magazines, books, chords, or anything you don’t want destroyed out of their reach and provide plenty of other appropriate options for them to file those razor sharp puppy teeth on.
  • Money. Think food, vet bills, paying someone to watch them if you go out of town – these are all things your pup will need and they all cost money.
  • The Best Friend You’ve Ever Had. The best thing about having a puppy is raising a dog that’s innately tailored to your family’s lifestyle. With proper training and bonding, you can turn a puppy into an amazing lifelong companion for the entire family.

If this sounds a little overwhelming, consider an adult dog that already knows the basics when it comes to chewing, housetraining, and how to behave. No matter what, we’re sure there’s a perfect pet out there for your family; but if you’re having doubts, just take your time! You don’t have to meet a holiday deadline when it comes to bringing a new family member into your home.

If you do get a pet this holiday season we’d love to see your pictures in our pet gallery!

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The Dos and Don’ts of Winter Grooming

clean puppy

It seems like summer grooming is a no-brainer – as the weather heats up, it makes sense to trim and thin your dog’s coat. But winter grooming can be a little trickier, as many owners feel they shouldn’t bathe or cut a dog’s coat when temperatures are low. So, what is the proper protocol for cold-weather coat care? Here’s a quick list of the things you should and shouldn’t do to keep Buddy looking his best this winter.

 

 

DO:

  • Give Baths. It’s okay to give your dog a bath in the winter, especially those with longer, fluffier coats that easily mat when wet. (Combined with snow and mud…? Yeah, baths may be necessary.) Just be sure your dog’s completely dry before going back into the cold outdoors. Or, you can always opt for a waterless shampoo.
  • Trim their Coat. Whether it’s a shedding/allergy issue or you simply like it better, it’s okay to keep your dog’s coat trim during the winter – especially breeds prone to matting (which can turn painful.)
  • Trim their Nails. Nails will still need to be trimmed, even if Buddy isn’t hitting the trail or playing as hard; in fact, that’s all the more reason TO trim his nails, as they’re not being naturally filed by the ground when he runs.
  • Brush Regularly. Especially if you’re someone who’s wary of bathing/trimming this time of year. Brushing will help avoid matting and shedding, and help distribute their natural oils, which is good for their skin during these cold, dry months. If your pup doesn’t like the sight of brushes, try a grooming mitt instead.

 

DON’T:

  • Go Too Short. While it’s perfectly fine to keep your dog’s coat tamed in the winter, we recommend going for a longer cut. If you or the groomer accidentally takes their fur down too far, consider a coat to supplement while it grows back.
  • Ignore their Paws. Get into the habit of wiping and surveying your pet’s paws after a winter outing; not only will it avoid a few muddy paw prints, but it’s a good opportunity to make sure there isn’t any ice or harmful salt wedged between their pads which could cause major discomfort.
  • Forget about Fleas. Pesky fleas can still live in a warm pet bed, barn, or doghouse for months into the winter, so don’t let your guard down. Maintain a regular flea prevention regimen to be safe – especially if you live in a place where winters are relatively mild. If flys are a bigger issue than fleas, No Fly Zone is a great, natural way to rid your dog of flys.

If you have any specific questions about your pet’s skin, coat, or ideal winter cut talk with a groomer or even your veterinarian. Just remember to stay warm!

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The Truth about Black Cats (or Lack Thereof)

black cat

November 17 is National Black Cat Day, a small shout out to one of one of the most misrepresented pets out there. It’s a sad fact that black cats get adopted out at a lesser rate than their peers, but we’re not exactly sure why. We all know the superstition that black cats are bad luck, but did you know there are so many other cultural rumors out there about these guys? As a tribute to the day, we’ve wrangled together some of the hearsay about black cats, both good and bad, in an attempt to show that nobody knows what they’re talking about and black cats are just like any other fabulous feline.

  • Black cats are lucky. (Asia & U.K.)
  • It’s lucky to own a black cat, but unlucky to have one cross your path. (England)
  • A black cat crossing a funeral is forecasting another death in the family.
  • If someone is sick, they’ll die if a black cat lies on their bed. (Italy)
  • A black cat on the porch brings prosperity. (Scotland)2
  • A black cat walking toward you is bringing luck; a black cat walking away is taking luck with it.
  • Because they’re nocturnal, black cats are supernatural servants of witches, if not the witches themselves.

Clearly there’s something captivating and special about black cats, as they’re pretty much the only pet people have been gossiping about since 3000 B.C. (and no, that doesn’t stand for Black Cat.)  But the bottom line is this: black cats are just like any other cat, which makes them purrfect companions in our book.

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