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Dog Care 101 Tip #211: Grooming Tips for Flea and Tick Prevention

Springtime Dog Grooming!Spring is now in full swing and BestBullySticks wants to make sure you and your dog get the most from the sunny months ahead. We’re discussing Springtime Dog Grooming Tips because a well groomed dog doesn’t just turn heads, it helps keep them healthy too!

Reasons to Groom

Grooming is an activity pets regularly conduct by themselves. They still need your help, though! There are a few reasons why grooming should be high on your list of dog-related priorities this spring. Regular grooming habits will not only decrease your pets chance of developing epidermal and oral health problems, it’s also a great way to create a strong bond, monitor your dog’s health and even help to prevent disease.

Lyme Disease

The first step to protecting your pet from Lyme disease is making sure they’re on the correct preventative medications. BestBullySticks suggests all-natural flea and tick medications as an alternative to the toxic ingredients found in many common medications. Spot treatments are filled with chemicals and have been proven to pose a threat to both pets and owners.

Caused by a bacteria from the genus Borrelia, the chance of contracting Lyme disease is much higher between May and August — the height of tick season. Here are a few early warning symptoms: read more…

Why’s My Dog Eating That?!

Whether it’s shoes, crayons or trash, we’ve all seen our pets eat some pretty strange things. But why do they do it? Although pets can’t tell us why they engage in certain behaviors, experts have studied some of the common behaviors in pets like eating poop and grass and drinking toilet water and feel as though they have a not-so-strange answer for why pets act the way they do. If your dog is engaging in one of these behaviors, find out why here.

Cat Nip for Canines

Dogs react to anise seed the same way that cats react to catnip! Anise seed comes from a flowering anise plant. The seed’s licorice-like taste is common in Mediterranean cooking (maybe that’s why dogs love em!). According to WebMD, the seed has medical benefits, too. It is believed to aid digestion, treat coughs, menstrual cramps and helps alleviate the symptoms of Scabies and Psoriasis. Strangely enough the plant is also used as an insecticide against species of termites and cockroaches. Do not confuse this seed with Star anise. Unlike anise seed, Star anise comes from the star-shaped flower of a small evergreen and is an ingredient in Chinese 5-spice powder. Make your pooch homemade anise seed dog treats or secure seeds into their favorite toy!

Poop

Eating feces is a common dog behavior. Theresa A. Fuess, Ph.D. of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine explains that feces eating, also known as coprophagia, is not done because of a dietary or enzyme deficiency, but that it is more commonly a behavioral habit picked up when dogs are just puppies.

Dr. Jo Ann Eurell, a veterinarian and animal behavior specialist, states that dogs are scavengers, and that this behavior is common. She also notes that mother dogs often eat their puppies’ feces in an effort to clean their den and keep the smell of the puppies away. This behavior can be picked up by puppies, although most shake it off when they are weaned. If a dog has this habit, be sure to regularly clean up feces in the yard and to keep litter boxes out of reach, as Eurell explains that fixing this problem is more of a prevention than a cure. read more…

BBS Recognizes Pet Dental Health Month

February is the month of love! And BestBullySticks.com knows that one of the best ways you can love your dog is caring for his mouth! Yes, you read that right! Unfortunately pet dental health is often overlooked, and if left untreated can lead to serious health problems such as heart, lung and kidney disease.  Today, BBS will show you how to monitor and treat your dog’s dental health.

Warning Signs

  • Abnormally Bad Breath: By nature, dogs don’t have the sweetest of breath, but when something is wrong, your dog’s breath will be particularly bad.
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Swollen Gums
  • Tumors or cysts on gums or under the tongue
  • Loose Teeth

Problems
But what do the symptoms mean? Here are some of the most common dental problems your dog can encounter. 

Periodontal Disease: This is an infection that occurs between a tooth and the gum that causes tooth loss and can even spread to the rest of the body. This disease is very painful for dogs.

Gingivitis: Just like humans, dogs can get gingivitis, which is an issue caused by the buildup of plaque, tartar and bacteria on the gums. Swollen, reddened and bleeding gums and bad breath are all symptoms.

Halitosis: Bad breath can mean bad health. This is one of the first signs of many different oral issues and can be caused by stuck food or tartar build up.

Inflamed Gums: This is also caused by tartar build up or getting food particles stuck in teeth.

Mouth Tumors & Cysts: Lumps can begin forming on your dog’s gums because of neglected oral hygiene. These can sometimes be malignant and have to be surgically removed. Salivary cysts can also appear in your dog’s mouth. These large, fluid-filled blisters show up under the tongue or corners of the jaw. These sores require drainage and the damaged saliva gland must be removed. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #199: High-Five Trick Dog Training

Yes, your dog is cute. But how cool would it be to give your dog a high-five?! “Good Boy, Fido!” followed by a head pat can quickly become “Good Boy, Fido! High-Five” followed by interspecies coolness. What’s more awesome than that?

BestBullySticks.com knows once your dog has mastered standard training commands and a few tricks, your dog will not only be the cutest and best behaved at the dog park, but the most talented as well! 

Teaching the High-Five Trick

Need: Training Treats, Training Treat Pouch & a Clicker

If you’re not familiar with clicker dog training, read up on it here. Also, your dog must have the “sit” command mastered before teaching this trick.

Step 1
Have your dog sit in front of you. Place a desirable treat in your hand and make a fist. Let your dog sniff your hand to let them know the treat is there. Move the hand with the hidden treat above your dog’s head, just out of reach. Have the clicker ready in your other hand. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #198: How To Choose A Dog Trainer

January is National Train Your Dog Month and one way to have the best-behaved dog on the block is to find a great dog trainer! BestBullySticks.com is here to give you some tips and tricks to find the best trainer out there.  

Referrals
Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of dog trainers you find in the phone book or online. Go to happy customers that you know will give you an honest opinion: your friends and family. Even ask your favorite animal shelter or vet whom they would recommend.

Qualifications & References
It’s obviously important that your dog trainer be experienced and competent. Most likely a trainer will have multiple sets of initials after their name. But what do they even mean? A quick check on Association of Pet Dog Trainers can tell you the trainer’s qualifications by the initials after their name. Since there is no required certification or licensing for a dog trainer, it’s even more important to know what formal knowledge a dog trainer possesses. Also directly ask the trainer how long they’ve been training and ask for references. Any legitimate dog trainer will have no issue putting you in touch with their past clients. You can also double check if a trainer is truly a part of a professional organization by checking the entity’s website.

Methods
Not all trainers will use the same methods to train your four-legged best friend. Research Dominance, Positive, Balanced and Specialized training methods and know which method your trainer could use. If you’re ever uncomfortable with a trainer’s method, find another trainer. Every trainer is different and so is every dog. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #196: Successful Dog Training

January is “Train Your Dog Month,” so BestBullySticks.com thought we would help you “feed two dogs with one bone” if you will. Training is not only highly beneficial to building a strong relationship with your dog, but is also a great resolution for the New Year! So, train your dog and check something off your list! This week we’ll cover simple ways to make training successful for your dog.

Train Early & Often
The sooner you start training your dog, the more natural positive behaviors become in later life. Beginning at 8 weeks, start simple commands with your puppy. Training guru, Victoria Stilwell says early training trumps any genetic disposition. Working with your dog a little every day will ingrain positive behaviors as well.

Speak Your Dog’s Language
See the world through your dog’s eyes. Use what you know about your dog to train them. Also use a common language that can last. Clear hand signals and voice commands are necessary and remember to reward behaviors you want repeated.

“Listen” Carefully
Knowing your dog well is important for the training process. Paying attention to your dog’s facial expressions, ear, eye and body movement will tell you how not only your dog is responding, but how you determine your counter response.

Be Confident
All dogs need to feel secure and as their leader, you must espouse a calm, confident demeanor that lets your dog know they’re in safe hands. Training should be about encouragement and strengthening positive behavior, not about submissiveness.

Diet & Active Lifestyle
Keeping your dog on a wholesome diet and letting your dog get plenty of exercise will help your dog behave positively. Just like in your life, eating well and exercise improve demeanor and mood. Exercising especially prevents a dog from becoming bored, and thus potentially destructive.

BBS--PLL-Lamb-Lung-2lb-1Stay Positive
Never use harsh tactics to train your dog. It’s much more beneficial to you, your dog and your relationship to use positive reinforcement methods. Use Lamb Puff Dog Treats or any of BBS’s other great dog treats to make Fido enjoy the training process.

Keep Training
Training is never over! By consistently working with your dog, no matter how long you’ve owned them or how old they are, training always promotes positive behaviors. It also allows great one-on-one quality time with Fido!

Have Fun!
Always remember to enjoy your dog! You chose the companionship of a dog because they bring joy into your life! Playing with your dog reduces stress. Snuggling with your dog is just plain wonderful. And, taking your dog on a walk makes both of you feel better.

Happy Dog Training Month! Use these techniques to start your successful dog-training journey! 

Dog Care 101 Tip #195 – Quick Tips for Holiday Dog Safety

 If you haven’t already started your holiday festivities, BestBullySticks.com knows there will soon be a whirlwind of places to be and people to see. We urge you not to leave your dog out of the holiday happenings! However, there are a few things to remember to keep Fido happy and healthy during this busy time of year. Here are a few quick tips for holiday dog safety!

1. Stay Calm! Your dog can feel your stress. Spending a little quiet time with your dog during this busy time will help both of you de-stress.

2. Keep to your Daily Routine. Dogs thrive on a predictable routine, so don’t throw him for a loop just because it’s the Holidays. 

3. Wear him out! If you’re worried about your dog being rambunctious before your big holiday get-together, play hard right before the party! This will ensure Fido will be too tired to get into too much trouble.

4. Food Prep & Food Precautions. Food prep and presentation objects like toothpicks in food or cooking bags can easily become foul play when your dog is trying to sneak a bite. Make sure your food is out of reach or free of anything that could cause Fido harm. Make sure you also keep a tight lid on the garbage can!

5. Pretty Poisonous Plants. Toxic holiday plants include holly, mistletoe, ivy, Christmas cactus and poinsettias. Call your vet or poison control immediately! National Poison Control can be reached at: 888-426-4435 and 900-680-0000

6. Visitors & Guests. If your dog isn’t used to being around large groups of people, a major holiday isn’t the time for socialization training. Keep Fido nice and cozy in a crate or his favorite room of the house. Visit your dog every once in a while to let him know everything is okay. If your dog is out, make sure you tell all your guests not to feed any table scraps! Also make sure your dog won’t bolt out the door every time a new guest enters your home.

BestBullySticks.com hopes these quick tips will help you remember Fido’s needs during the Holiday season.

Happy Holidays to you and your four-legged friend!

Dog Care 101 Tip #192: How To Have a Happier Dog

When your dog wags his tail, you know that he is excited, but is he content? BestBullySticks.com knows that you try to provide your dog with the absolute best, but your dog’s happiness is more than just two meals a day and a belly rub. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a way to look at human motivation by piecing out essential physical, emotional and mental needs. With dogs being highly social creatures, many of these principles can be applied to develop a more complete four-legged best friend. Read on to find out how you really can have a happier dog.

Physiological (Pyhsical Needs)
Fresh Clean Water – Your dog’s water should be refreshed daily and free of debris. If a water bowl is kept outside, make sure it’s not stagnant (this can breed disease), frozen in winter or overheated in summer.

Good Nutrition – Every dog owner will have a different recipe for success with their dog’s food. There is no one right answer, but feeding your dog healthy and nutritious meals is important. Talk to your vet about good feeding options for your dog. Make sure your dog is in a healthy weight range as well; overweight dogs are very unhappy. Treating your dog is something that shouldn’t be hard either. A good bully stick or all-natural chew from BBS will guarantee your dog is getting a healthy, nutritious treat.

Exercise – Is your dog getting enough exercise? For the best health, your dog needs to expend their energy (which they always have plenty of). Exercise will make your dog’s life longer and fuller and prevent compulsive disorders or unwanted behavior. Breeds are different in their exercise needs, but all dogs do need it.

Hygiene – As much as possible, your dog needs to stay clean so they are comfortable in their own body and skin. Little things like dirty ears, long nails or tartar on teeth can lead to very serious and painful problems. Keeping a clean, brushed coat, trimmed nails, clean ears and teeth are one less potential discomfort your dog has to feel.

Chewing – Unlike humans, dogs have a need to chew. Providing the proper toys and chews will help them meet this desire without taking it out on your belongings.

A Place to “Go” – It’s very important for dogs to have a consistent place to use the bathroom away from their “den.” A highly normal dog will eliminate away from where they eat and sleep. Doing otherwise means they feel as if they aren’t given proper time or a place to do so. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #187 – Dog Comfort & Safety on Halloween

If you live in a neighborhood in America, the night of October 31st is busy! All Hallow’s Eve is night full of great costumes, flashy yard ornaments and maybe a future cavity or two. However, BestBullySticks.com knows Halloween can still be spooky and scary for some family members, particularly your dog. So whether you decide to stay in or go out, here are a few tips on keeping your pooch calm and safe.

Staying In
If you decide to stay in and hand out yummy goodies to trick-or-treaters, make sure your dog isn’t frazzled by the end of the night from frequent doorbell rings or door knocks. Here are some handy tips to work on ahead of time.

The Doorbell: Teach your dog to stay quiet when the doorbell rings by having a friend stand outside and ring the doorbell or knock. If your dog starts to bark, give them the “quiet” command and as soon as the barking stops, treat and praise your dog. Over time your dog will equate the doorbell with receiving treats and barking will become less and less.

Kid-Friendly: If your dog isn’t well socialized with children, make sure you keep your dog away from the open door. Halloween isn’t the time to learn. However, you should introduce your dog to children slowly and by giving him positive reinforcement, your dog will become kid friendly in no time. But remember, even dogs that are very kid-friendly can still be overwhelmed on a very kid-centric holiday like Halloween.

Simple Commands: It’s always good to remember the simple things like “sit”, “stay” and “leave it”. Work with these commands more than normal leading up to the 31st to reinforce your dog’s ability to take commands. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #178 – Natural Dog Care: Herbal Remedies

Herbs make your best recipes burst with flavor and flowers and plants help spruce up our yards each spring. But these plants have hidden health benefits as well. Naturally occurring plants and herbs have been aids to good health for hundreds of years. Best Bully Sticks compiled a list of great herbs and plants that you can use to boost your pet’s health and can help with ailments from itchy skin, cuts, digestive problems and more!

Aloe Vera
This soothing plant has great health benefits for humans and dogs alike. Break off an Aloe plant’s spiky tendril and use the “juice” on minor cuts, scrapes and even sunburns.

Calendula Flowers
A pretty flowers, with powerful health benefits, the Calendula is a handy plant to have in your yard. This flower has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities that you can use in a few different ways. The petals can be directly applied to a wound dressing or even brewed into a tea for an antiseptic wash. You can also add the Calendula flower’s petal tea to Shea Butter or Vitamin E lotion to make an ointment. These mixtures are great for cuts, scrapes, burns and even minor ear infections. 

Ginger
This knotted root is a great way to solve your dog’s tummy issues. Whether it’s motion sickness or nausea, ginger tea and dog biscuits are great ways to give your dog ginger. To make ginger tea, simply peel and slice ginger into roughly one-inch x 1/4-inch x 1/8-inch slices. Put 5-8 slices into a pot with ¼ cup water, bring to boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Let this mixture cool and add to your dog’s food. You can even feed your dog ginger slices by wrapping them in a slice or lean meat. If you’re on a trip, pack ginger snaps for your dog. 

Goldenseal
Despite its lofty name, Goldenseal is a fairly ambiguous looking plant with a small red, berry that blooms on top. This plant inhibits bacteria from latching on to cell walls and is particularly good for body parts with mucus membranes, such as the respiratory system and mouth. Mostly just the root is used in treatments and can be used to make poultices, teas and tinctures.

Chamomile
Hyper dog? The flowers of the chamomile plant work to soothe and calm your dog’s hyperactivity, upset stomach or even nervousness. This mild and gentle plant can be used in a tincture, water or oil infusion, salve or ointment. You can grow Chamomile yourself or purchase it in any health food store.

Echinacea
This handy plant can boost your dog’s immune system when he’s feeling a little under the weather. The root of this plant is what is used most often, but the leaves, stems and flowers can be used as well. Although Echinacea is most beneficial for the immune system, it can also be of help for urinary tracts and lymph systems. But no matter how it’s given to your dog, it give your dog the boost he needs!

aloe veraHerbal Remedies are wonderful tools, but you should always contact your vet before starting any herbal treatment. These remedies can be toxic if not given the correct way or can cause allergic reactions. Every dog is different, so use talk to your vet prior to any herbal treatment.

Visit back next week when we talk about Supplements For Your Dog and be sure to read our simply Home Remedies For Dogs! 

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