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Dog Care 101: Tip #162 – Dog Water Safety Tips

Now that it’s warming up, Best Bully Sticks knows you’ll be flocking to the water. Any body of water will be teaming with folks looking to cool down. And why not take Fido along too? A lot of dogs enjoy the cool water too but owners need to be aware of the potential hazards of the water. Best Bully Sticks gets you and your dog ready for fun in the surf with these handy dog water safety tips!

Hang Out With Your Dog
Don’t leave your dog unsupervised. You brought your dog to the pool, lake or “swimmin’ hole” to hang out with you, right? Make sure you keep an eye on your dog. Not all dogs are good swimmers.

Buy & USE A Dog Life Jacket
Your dog might be an excellent swimmer, but he will eventually get tired, or be distracted or get a cramp. Buy and use a dog life jacket so your dog is always protected. Rip currents or undercurrents can also be a problem in larger bodies of water. You’ll always be happy you bought and put your dog in a life jacket.

Fun In The Sun & Surf
Best Bully Sticks offers a lot of great dog toys to bring out to the water. Floatable, durable and loads of fun, your dog will thank you for a great water toy! Check out BBS’s entire line of Balls for Dogs that will be great for the water. The West Paw Huck or Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Medium Orbee are both great choices!

Provide Shade & Comfort
Sun and therefore heat is more intense around bodies of water because of the sun’s reflection and humidity. Make sure you dog has a place to escape to, such as a towel on the beach (hot sand can blister paws), or shade to get out of the sun.

 

Water, Water Everywhere, But Not A Drop To Drink

Make sure you have fresh, clean water for your dog to drink. Chlorinated pools or lake water can both cause serious health issues for your dog. Chlorine is poisonous to dogs and natural water can contain parasites. Keep a gallon of water and a pop-up bowl for your pup when he’s romping outdoors!

BBS has a great portable water solution. Check out the Handi-Drink Portable Bottle/Bowl for your next trip out to the water!

More Water After The Water
After you and your pup with your fun in the sun and surf, rinsing your dog with clean water is important. This will ensure that your dog won’t keep any unwanted chlorine, salt or water parasites. Make sure to take off and let your dog’s collar dry as not to cause any hot spots.

Do your dogs like to romp in the water? Tell us your favorite water story in the comments section!

Dog Care 101: Tip #161 – How To House Train An Older Dog

Teaching a puppy to “go potty” outside is a normal part of raising a dog. However, what happens when your full-grown, older dog goes back into puppy-mode and decides it’s okay to go in the house again? Best Bully Sticks is going to address some ways you can deal with the behavioral issues that could be causing this puppy relapse.

Potential Medical Issues
Before you address behavioral issues, you’ll want to rule out any potential medical causes. Some of these could include: gastrointestinal upset, change in diet, incontinence, medications, old age or cognitive dysfunction. If your vet rules out these, mostly likely the cause is a behavioral issue you can deal with first hand.

Steps To Take
1. Have A Regular Schedule: Keeping your dog on a regular schedule will help create a time table when certain things happen throughout the day. Food should be given at particular times and be picked up between meals. Taking your dog outside to eliminate should happen at strict times as well such as right when you wake up, when you get home from work and before you go to bed.

2. Keep Tabs on Your Dog: Knowing where your dog is 24/7 is important because you’ll want to be looking for warning signs of your dogs potential to eliminate. If you see your dog whining, circling or pacing, take your dog out immediately.

3. A Pat On The Back: Every time your dog eliminates outside successfully give him a treat and speak kind words to your dog.

4. When You’re Away: When you can’t be around to watch your dog, confine them in an area, like a crate or gated off area, that gives them just enough room to stand up comfortably, lie down and turn around. Dogs eliminate away from the place where they create their den, or home. If your dog is confined comfortably like this, he most likely won’t have any accidents.

5. When Accidents Happen: You have to expect accidents to happen in the house as this training process progresses. If you ever see your dog in the act, make a loud noise, like clapping your hands, to startle your dog, but not scare them. This should cause them to stop long enough to get them outside.

6. Clean Up: You’ll want to very thoroughly clean your home and everything in it to prevent this behavior. Also, steer clear of ammonia-based cleaners. Urine contains ammonia and will just further the behavior. An enzyme cleaner works best. read more…

Dog Care 101: Tip #160: The Benefits of Coconut Oil For Dogs

Best Bully Sticks knows that when it comes to dogs, there’s no such thing as a miracle drug. There just seems to be some issues dog owner’s deal with sometimes. However, there’s been a lot of talk lately about supplements, oils and such. But how do you make sense of it all? This week BBS will take you through the amazing benefits of coconut oil and you just might be surprised at what it will do for your dog!

What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is produced in tropical regions like Jamaica, the Philippines, Thailand, Fiji and Mexico. There are few different ways in which coconut oil is produced, but we’re going to talk about “virgin” coconut oil, which is made from fresh coconuts. This type of oil is hand pressed using traditional methods of baking to dry, then pressed, then heated to remove all water. The mixture then ferments, which removes the natural oils from the water. Good quality coconut is colorless when liquidized.

Coconut oil’s health benefits are derived from the medium-chain triglycerides present in the oil. Former University of Maryland biochemist and dietary fats researcher Mary Enig, PhD says, “The lauric acid in coconut oil is used by the body to make the same disease-fighting fatty acid derivative monolaurin that babies make from the lauric acid they get from their mothers’ milk. The monoglyceride monolaurin is the substance that keeps infants from getting viral, bacterial, or protozoal infections.” read more…

April is Heartworm Awareness Month

April is Heartworm Awareness Month & Best Bully Sticks wants to make sure you’re protecting your pup from these nasty pests! Here are a few quick tips on how to address heartworm prevention and make sure your furry family member is getting the protection they need. But first, let’s look at what heartworms are and how your dog can contract them.

What Are Heartworms?

Mosquitoes are the carriers of heartworm larvae, called microfilariae. The mosquitoes pick up the larvae when they feed on an infected animal who already has the microfilariae in it’s bloodstream and then pass the larvae off on the next feeding host, which in some cases can be dogs. If your dog isn’t on a consistent dosage of heartworm meds, then the larvae mature into heartworms and will work their way to the heart and lungs. This process can take up to 6 months with no detectable signs and heartworms can reach up to 12 inches in length live up to 7 years in your dog’s organs.

Prevention

1. Prevention Starts at the Vet’s Office: Make sure you talk to your vet about which heartworm medication will be right for your dog. There are a few different forms of heartworm medication that are available, such as oral, topical and injectable preventatives. They will all have their pro’s and con’s, so talking to your vet is always the first step.

read more…

Dog Care 101 – Tip #159: How To Choose A Good Dog Groomer

When the air turns warm, we humans shed our winter coats and don filp-flops, tank tops and shorts with the intention being comfortable outdoors. However, humans aren’t the only ones shedding winter coats. Our pups are getting rid of that winter fur too and want to be outside as much as we do!

Best Bully Sticks knows that warm weather and thick fur don’t mix and so it’s up to you, the loving owner, to help your pup shed their winter coat. Many owners groom their pups themselves, but not all owners have the know-how, tools, experience or even physical ability to groom their dogs properly. That’s where a groomer comes in. But how do you know how to pick a good and trustworthy groomer? Best Bully Sticks will help the tips and tricks of choosing a good groomer!

Grooming can consist of brushing, combing, bathing, clipping nails, cutting out matted hair, cleaning ears and medicated baths or treatments. So, don’t just think of grooming as a hair cut. It can meet a lot of different needs.

Finding a groomer should start with asking your trusted friends, your vet, boarding kennel, dog trainer or local animal shelter who they might recommend. All of these people might have a good “go-to” groomer they trust. Checking online for “Pet Groomer” or the National Dog Groomers Association of America’s website is a good option, too. Calling the Better Business Bureau for any registered complaints is also a safe step to take. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #158: Preventing & Treating Canine Obesity

Best Bully Sticks knows that you love spoiling your dog, but you might want to reconsider feeding Fido those table scraps during dinner. It seems that pet obesity is a growing problem in the U.S., a fact made clear by a recent article published by WebMD, which listed obesity among the top five issues facing pets. There are a number of reasons why owners may unintentionally allow their dog to plump up; dogs may not get daily exercise, they could overeat, or they could be eating food unsuitable for a healthy animal diet.

Pet obesity can cause complicated medical problems if left untreated. It’s proven to be a contributing factor to heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems and bone and joint issues. An overweight dog is not a happy, healthy pet no matter how many treats you give him.

Unfortunately, many people remain ignorant about what their dogs can and cannot eat on a regular basis. This may simply be because dog obesity isn’t a widely covered issue and owners may not think twice about proper dietary and exercise for their four-legged friends. Let’s take some time to recognizing canine obesity and addressing basic preventative methods so you can enjoy your dog’s company for a long time.

How can you tell if your pet is overweight?
Too many owners confuse a fat dog for a healthy one. As stated before, pet obesity is serious business, so if you have any suspicion that your dog is overweight, check for these few key signs. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #157: Allergy Relief For Your Dog

Last week Best Bully Sticks covered how allergies affect our pooch pals and how a reaction will most likely look. (To find out more, read “Recognize Your Dog’s Allergic Reactions”) This week’s tip focuses in on how to treat your dog’s allergic reactions as they pertain to skin symptoms.

Allergy Testing
The first step may be figuring out exactly what is causing an allergic reaction. This usually entails a trip to the vet’s office and a blood or skin test to determine the offending allergen. The next step, of course, will be limiting exposure to that allergen.

Preventative Measures
After you know how to recognize the reaction and exactly what it is, there are some avoidance measures you can take to help cut down on your pet’s reactions. For instance, keeping your dog out of the room for several hours while vacuuming and changing furnace filters will aid against house dust allergens. When treating a dog with sensitivity to pollen, keep them out of fields, keep your grass cut short, rinse your dog’s feet after being outside and keep your dog inside when high pollen counts have been forecast. read more…

Loving On Your Dog Means Caring For His Teeth

Best Bully Sticks wishes you and your pup a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!  For this day of love we chose to talk about doggie dental care.  It may not seem to have any connection, but we know that truly loving your dog means really caring for them as well.  February 14th is the day of love, but the month of February recognizes National Pet Dental Health.

National Pet Dental Health Month is dedicated to educating pet owners about good dental hygiene for their furry friends. If you didn’t know, poor oral hygiene in dogs and cats can lead to serious health complications such as periodontal disease so upkeep of your pet’s teeth and gums is very important.

“Most people have no idea that dental health is so important to their pets, and that’s why Pet Dental Health Month is such a great idea,” explains Dr. Larry Corry, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “In fact, veterinarians report that periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem in dogs and cats.

Proper pet oral hygiene helps your dog & cat ward off bad breath, tarter build up, plague, sickness, periodontal gum and heart disease. If proper dental care is not taken seriously, dirty plaque can be the breeding ground for bacteria which can wreak havoc on your dog’s bodily systems and cause heart, liver and kidney problems. So, during your grooming & teeth brushing sessions check for pain, swelling, redness, abscesses, foul odors (halitosis), and loose or broken teeth in need of immediate vet attention. If your dog is having trouble chewing and swallowing then a dental checkup is in order.

Tips for Top-Notch Teeth!

Regular teeth cleanings are very important. You should clean your pets teeth 2-3 times per week. Purchase a special pet toothpaste & toothbrush. Never use human toothpaste since pets cannot spit or rinse. The key to successful teeth brushing is to start your pet off slowly so your pet can adapt. Teeth brushings aren’t normal for dogs, so be gentle and use positive reinforcement. To make teeth brushing easy for the both of you, it is important to acclimate your anxious & often fearful pet. Start by placing toothpaste on your fingers and gently rubbing them in your pet’s mouth. Not only will this get your pet accustomed to the taste of toothpaste and fingers, it will be a lot easier to introduce a toothbrush.

Also, plan a yearly physical which includes an oral checkup from your vet. Your vet will let you know of any oral hygiene issues you might have missed. Your vet might also suggests a professional cleaning if they deem it necessary. Consult with your vet further about any specific health risk for your pet prior to procedure since anesthesia will be used. Remember each pet’s circumstance is unique.

Another great and way to help your pup’s dental health is chewing bully sticks from BBS! Our bully sticks and most of our other treats act as natural flossers for dogs and help clean tarter and bacteria off of teeth and gums. We’ve pulled together a list of perfect dental dog chews for all shapes and sizes of pets at on our website to show how much oral health means to BBS.

 

101 Dog Care Tips: Tip 149 – Making Bath Time More Enjoyable For Your Dog

Here at Best Bully Sticks, we know that not all aspects of dog ownership will be enjoyable for you or your pet.  One of those could be bath time.  If your dog is anxious about getting a bath and is a pain to clean, chances are you aren’t enjoying the struggle involved either. If you’ve owned your dog from puppy-hood the process of making bath time stress-free may be a little easier, but no matter the age, your dog can still learn to like baths.  Here are a few ways to ease your dog into coping with bath time.

Creature Comforts: Creating A Comfortable Environment For Bath Time. If you think your dog is generally okay with baths, here’s a sure-fire test. If your dog doesn’t take food or a treat from you while in the bath, it means your pup isn’t comfortable.  There are a couple reasons why the physical environment of your bathroom isn’t calming to your dog.  One of the best ways to enhance a dog’s physical presence in the tub is a non-skid bath mat or even a towel.  If a dog doesn’t have traction, they won’t feel physically at ease in any situation. When bathing your dog, remember that hot water doesn’t always equal cleanliness.  A lukewarm temperature will be comfortable for your dog and won’t dry out their skin as hot water would.

Chaotic To Calm: Changing Your Dog’s Perceptions About Baths. After you make the dog physically comfortable in the bath, the next step is emotional comfort.  Anxiety about baths can change if a dog is eased into relating the bathroom to a place where good things happen.  Anytime you are in the bathroom, lead your dog in and give them a treat. Next, step into the tub and give your dog a treat. Even try feeding your dog in the bathroom and slowly move their food into the actual tub as they become more comfortable.  For dogs who get bathed in sinks, it’s the same idea. Work to slowly move toward the sink, putting your pup down and giving them a training treat each time you move a step closer.  Reiterate this practice until the dog is calm.

Water, Water, Everywhere: A Word On Water. When your dog gets comfortable with the idea of being in the bath, try turning on a small amount of water. If you begin squirting, spraying or dumping water on your dog, the fear of baths will return.  Pour just enough water to get your dog’s feet wet and see how they react. If it’s positive, very slowly add a little water to wet his legs more, then the body.  Again, go slowly with the head, ears and neck of your dog. During this first session, you might not even want to use shampoo.  The goal is just to keep your dog calm during this process.  If you did shampoo, it would mean rinsing and thus adding considerable time with water in the tub.

Slow & Steady Wins The Race: Being Patient With The Process. Conditioning your dog to thinking more positively about baths will take time.  Remember that this may not be an overnight change, but if you are persistent, you will reap the benefits of a stress-free doggie bath. Two of the biggest things to remember: go very slowly & reinforce with small dog treats (positive reinforcement.)  A clean dog just might truly become a happy dog.  Happy training!

 

101 Dog Care Tips: Tip 148 – How to Treat a Doggie Cold

Dogs can get colds just like their owners.  If your dog has a cough, runny nose and eyes, sneezing, general lethargy and loss of appetite, he or she might just have a cold.  Also similar to human colds, dog colds aren’t severe. Here are a few tips on helping your pup get back to romping around.

Comfy & Cozy: Keep Your Dog Warm & Dry. You’ll need to make sure your dog stays inside as much as possible. Cold air can further constrict a dog’s bronchial tubes if they are having a hard time breathing. Routine potty breaks outside should remain normal, but when inside keep your pup warm by adding blanket to their bed, covering them up or putting a hot water bottle in their covers.

Calories Every Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Making Sure Your Dog Eats and Drinks. If your dog seems indifferent toward their food, there are a few ways to get their calorie intake up.  If your dog won’t eat dry food, try a hot low sodium chicken broth, or mixing up a combination of veggies, boiled chicken and rice.  Your dog is certain to be interested. Making sure your dog stays hydrated is equally important. If they don’t seem to want to drink water, try a sports drink or add an electrolyte mix to their water. (Always check with your vet about the ingredients on these products!) This helps to replace fluids that your pup may be losing to mucus production.

Doggies In The Mist: Vapor & Moisture. There are a few ways to help break up your dog’s congestion. Turn on a very hot shower and sit in a closed bathroom with your dog. You can also use a humidifier, which creates the same effect.  Both of these will help loosen any mucus your dog has built up.

The key to helping your dog get over a cold is pretty simple–If it works for you, it just might work for your dog. If the symptoms become more intense, please take your dog to the vet. It could possibly be something more serious than a cold.  Illnesses such as Parainfluenza, Kennel Cough or Canine Distemper are all more serious ailments that could be disguised as a cold. If you’re an attentive dog owner, you’ll pick up on the difference in a common cold and something more serious. Never second guess taking your prized pup to the doctor. We hope these tips help if your pet experiences a doggie cold!

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