Benefits of Grooming Your Dog

Benefits of Grooming Your Dog

Grooming your dog is about more than making him look more attractive. While that’s an obvious benefit, regular grooming offers many health benefits as well. For starters, it reduces the grease level in your dog’s fur. When grease builds up too much, it blocks pores and can cause your dog to develop cysts. Brushing his coat often also helps to improve the proper circulation of blood.

Many dogs shed, leaving loose hair all over the house and their own bodies. Unfortunately, the loose hair can also cause your dog to develop mats. This pulls the skin down and can cause significant skin problems. When mats develop between your dog’s paw pads, it makes it difficult for her to walk comfortably because of the accumulation of grease and dirt.

Although your dog might protest your grooming efforts initially, he will come to accept it if you’re persistent and offer lots of praise. He will also enjoy the extra attention from you. This is just one way that you can deepen the bond you have with your dog.

Tools for Home Grooming

You will naturally complete some grooming tasks more than others. For example, you might brush your dog daily and clip her nails once a month. We encourage you to establish a schedule for grooming to encourage your dog to get used to it and to keep these items in a central location:

  • Coarse metal comb
  • Ear and eye wipes
  • Fine comb
  • Non-slip rubber mat
  • Shampoo made especially for his breed
  • Soft slicker brush

You can bathe smaller breed dogs with shampoo and a damp washcloth, but larger breeds will need to go in the bathtub or you can use a hose outside. This bathing process loosens your dog’s fur and makes it easier to comb. We recommend purchasing a grooming comb based on whether your dog has coarse, curly, straight, or thick fur.

Trimming the nails is the most challenging part of home grooming for many dog owners. In fact, some skip this task altogether and schedule an appointment with our grooming salon instead.

You will need to use a hypo-allergenic wipe to clean your dog’s ears and eyes. This is better than using a Q-tip for the ears because you may push dirt and wax further into his ear canal. Dogs typically don’t require ear drops unless they have a diagnosed infection.

If you don’t have the grooming supplies you need at home, check out the skin and coat category in our online store. You can even set up automated shipments so you never run out.

Professional Grooming is Also Important

Regular professional appointments help to complement the care you give your dog at home. Our groomers will let you know about specific concerns and can also work with you go achieve better cooperation from your dog when it comes to home grooming. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in Grantsburg, Wisconsin at 715-463-2536 or Pine City, Minnesota at 320-629-7474 if you have additional questions.

Photo Credit: Chalabala / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Print Email

Safety Notice: Why It's Important to Get Your Pet's Medications Through a Licensed Veterinarian

Safety Notice

Back in 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an official warning for pet owners to exercise caution when ordering veterinary medication from an online pharmacy. That is because it had received multiple complaints about some online businesses dispensing medication for animals without the necessary qualifications to do so. This resulted in pet owners receiving expired drugs, counterfeit drugs, the wrong dose, medication for the wrong species of pet, and several other complaints. One way that online veterinary companies attracted customers was by claiming they could receive medication for their pet without a prescription.

Federal Law Requires Veterinarians to Examine a Pet Personally Before Writing a Prescription

Although the FDA requires all veterinarians to personally examine an animal before writing a prescription and dispensing medication, some online pharmacies have found a way around this requirement. The people who own these websites often have no training in veterinary medicine at all. Because of this, they ask the pet owner to complete a health history form and claim they will evaluate the animal that way. This might offer a false sense of security for pet owners, but the illegal online pharmacy owners usually don’t even read these forms. That is what causes so many dispensing errors in the first place.

Another typical complaint received by the FDA is that these online pharmacies send non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or heartworm medications without the benefit of a prescription. This is crucial since animals taking an NSAID or receiving heartworm treatment require careful monitoring from an actual veterinarian. Additionally, a veterinarian needs to obtain a blood sample from an animal before starting him on either of these medications.

Keep Your Pet Safe and Get Your Prescriptions from Us

When you bring your sick or injured pet to Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic, a veterinarian will personally examine her and hand you a prescription for medication if she needs it. You can then get the prescription filled by us. Should you need refills or maintenance medication, you can obtain them from our licensed online store MyVetStoreOnline. We offer manufacturer-guaranteed products for pain management, preventive care and several other categories.

In addition to FDA approval, all medications we offer in our online store come with a quality guarantee from the manufacturer. Ordering from an unlicensed online veterinary pharmacy may save money upfront, but the risk to your pet’s health is too great a cost to pay. Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions about how we write prescriptions or dispense medication at either of our hospitals.

Photo Credit: Tatomm / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Print Email

Preparing Your Pets for the 4th of July

Preparing Your Pets for the 4th of July

Most people look forward to the 4th of July holiday. There’s parades to see, carnivals to attend, time off work, and frequent displays of colorful fireworks. However, dogs and cats don’t understand the reason for the disruption in their regular schedule or why they’re hearing loud noises from fireworks so often. Some pets develop severe anxiety because of it. Dealing with the anxiety caused by fireworks can be especially challenging because you can’t control whether other people or groups choose to light them off. You can only try to make fireworks season more comfortable for your pet.

Independence Day Safety and Comfort Tips for Pet Owners

The loud noise caused by fireworks doesn’t seem to bother some pets. It might startle them for a second, but then they return to what they were doing before the loud boom. Other dogs and cats, especially those already prone to anxiety, will run away from the sound to find a place to hide. If your pet is like this, you might not see her until after the fireworks are over. Some other behaviors your pet might display that indicate anxiety include whimpering, trembling, growling from dogs, or hissing from cats. If your pet responds in this manner, try these tips:

  • Play soothing music as loud as you can to drown out the sound of fireworks
  • Plug in a Feliway or Adaptil diffuser for cats or place a thundershirt on a dog
  • Make sure that your pet has plenty of accessible places to hide if desired
  • Consider placing your pet in a separate room with food and comfort items until the fireworks end
  • Do your best to distract your pet by talking to him or playing a game

For fireworks events in the community, plan to leave your dog at home if you attend. The noises will startle her and cause her to act in unpredictable ways, including possibly running away. Her barking and whining could also be an annoyance for other people trying to watch the fireworks display.

If you’re traveling or hosting people for the Independence Day holiday, try to keep your pet’s schedule as normal as possible. Continue feeding him the same food and ask that others don’t feed your pet anything. Although they may mean well with sharing a treat, the major shift in diet could cause stomach upset and other health issues for your pet.

Let Us Know if You Need More Help with Your Pet’s Anxiety

Some pets are so prone to anxiety due to fireworks that none of these tips will help them for long. They will also react poorly to thunder and other loud and unexpected noises. Please don’t hesitate to contact Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic if you need additional help managing your pet’s anxiety this summer.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Print Email

Mental Stimulation is a Critical Need in Pets

Mental Stimulation

The need for mental stimulation is deep and instinctual in both people and companion animals. The difference, of course, is that you can seek you own mental challenges while your dog or cat depends on you to do it for him. You already do a great job caring for your pet’s physical health needs. We encourage you to consider his need to solve problems and socialize with other people and animals as well.

A pet will quickly let you know if you’re overlooking this need by her behavior. A dog or pet who feels bored can become destructive, depressed, or both. People who don’t make the connection between their pet’s behavior and lack of mental stimulation sometimes punish their pet or even give her away. While it’s understandably frustrating to deal with behavior such as excessive barking or meowing, inappropriate elimination, biting, scratching, or chewing, try to look at the situation from your pet’s perspective and provide her with the stimulation she’s trying to tell you that she needs.

How to Stimulate the Mind of a Dog

Dogs require exercise daily and interaction with people and other dogs as often as possible. The good news is that physical exercise helps to stimulate the brain as well. For example, your dog can learn to catch a Frisbee and bring it back to you, how to hike on a trail, or how to swim. Once it’s clear that he’s caught on to a specific exercise, try to change things up a bit to prevent boredom. Exercise is also a good way to bond with you and to see other people and pets out in the community.

Providing your dog with a toy that requires her to solve a problem to get a treat is also a good idea. We carry food puzzles and other such items in our online store for your convenience. Since dogs are very motivated by treats, play a game of hiding your dog’s treat in a different location in the house each time so he has to figure out how to find it.

How to Stimulate the Mind of a Cat

Cats have a need for mental stimulation, as well. Your cat loves spending one-on-one time with you as you pet his tummy, talk to him, and play games together.

We recommend taking some time each day to play simple games with your cat that require him to use his mind. For example, place a gloved hand under a sofa cushion and move it around. Place toys in various places around your home, to help your cat feel like he's seeking out prey. Cats also enjoy treats and might like a toy like the egg-cercizer that requires batting it a certain way for the toy to release a treat.

Need more ideas to help keep your pet’s mind sharp? Just call Grantsburg Animal Hospital at 715-463-2536 or Wild River Veterinary Clinic at 320-629-7474.

Photo Credit: YakobchukOlena / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Print Email