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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!

101 Dog Care Tips – Tip 147: Keeping Your Canine Companion Warm This Winter

At Best Bully Sticks, we believe snuggling up with a dog on a frigid winter night is one of the greatest joys in life.  However, during the winter months your dog might need a little extra warmth.  Shivering, curling up into a tight ball, or getting closer to heat sources are a few signs Fido is cold.  Here are a few tips to help your dog stay nice and cozy this winter.

More Dreaming, Less Shivering: Keeping Your Dog Toasty Through the Night.

One thing to keep in mind is the placement of their bed, so make sure it’s out of the way of drafty windows or doorways.  As owner’s we wear socks in the winter to keep our feet off the cold floor, but the floor being where you pup sleeps, he might need a little extra padding as well. So if your dog’s bed is thin, provide an extra bottom layer by placing a towel or blanket underneath.  Also, some dogs like to burrow into blankets and by giving them an extra blanket on top of their bed, they’ll be able to stay warm through the night.

A Home of My Own: Winter for Outside Dogs.

If your dog is outside in the winter months, make sure they have good shelter and can stay out of wind and precipitation. The shelter needs to be sturdy, with no possible areas for leaks.  A good bed of fresh straw or cedar chips make good bedding.  If it ever becomes exceptionally cold for prolonged periods of time, bring your dog in for added warmth.


Chilly Dog Navy Alpine Handmade SweaterAn Extra Layer of Fur: Dog Sweaters & Jackets.

Whether your dog is out for a walk or needs a little warming up around the house, a sweater is the right answer.  Bundling up your dog is just as important as bundling up yourself during the winter months. A good knit weave is a favorite option among dog owners but if you live in a snowy climate, a nylon material will keep the moisture at bay.  If winter brings ice your way, all-weather doggie booties, like Rubber Dog Boots, will keep your pup’s paws warm. Even something as simple as Mushers Secret Paw Protection will help protect your dog’s paws and pads on the harshest winter day.

A Little Can Go A Long Way: Feeding Your Dog A Bit More.

Dogs burn extra calories throughout the winter to maintain warmth. By feeding your dog a little extra, they keep warmer easier. A little bit means a little bit.  You don’t want to overfeed your dog.  As always, keep your dog’s water bowl filled up too. They always need a good amount of water each day.

 

Does Your Canine Display Signs Of Phobias?

Does Your Canine Display Signs Of Phobias?

A lot of dogs display fears without seeming to have a reason. Similar to the way in which some people react when they observe a spider, many canines react suddenly to a host of stimuli. The reasons vary and can range from a negative episode experienced early in life to a lack of proper training and socialization. Whatever the cause, canines can – and do – suffer from phobias that influence their behaviors.

For owners, these phobias can become deeply frustrating since they may prevent them from enjoying their canines’ company. In severe cases, many owners give up, abandoning their pets to shelters. This article will briefly describe several phobias that affect millions of dogs.

Fear Of Being Separated From You

Separation anxiety is a heartbreaking disorder to observe in canines. When left alone, they become distraught, barking, whining, drooling, and pacing the ground, waiting for their owners to return. Sometimes, the fear motivates them to escape in an attempt to rejoin their owners.

This is one of the most difficult fears to address. It involves desensitizing the dog to his owner’s absence, a process that requires substantial time and patience.

Anxiety Over Thunder

A lot of dogs are easily frightened by sudden, loud noises, such as gun shots and car backfires. Distress over thunder is slightly different. Experts believe that canines can sense a change in atmospheric pressure, causing them to be more on edge than normal. When claps of thunder occur, the animals become frightened. In response, they might hide or display destructive behavior.

Distress About Car Rides

Many pets become anxious when riding in vehicles. Some will refuse to even enter a car, backing away from it or barking when their owners attempt to force them in. This might stem from an early experience during which the animal was taken to a place he disliked. Or, the rumble of the engine and sensation beneath his paws while on the road may have seemed unpleasant to him.

Apprehension Around Kids

Young kids can scare dogs, creating a phobia in them that lasts for years. This can happen for a variety of reasons. For example, a child may pull on a dog’s tail or ears, causing him pain. Or, a child may not realize that approaching a canine suddenly may be misinterpreted by the animal as an act of aggression. Or, the pet may have had little to no exposure to young people early in his life, and is thus unfamiliar with them.

It is important to always supervise the interaction between a dog and child. Otherwise, the animal’s fear could prompt a reaction that results in the child’s injury.

shutterstock_53488045Anxiety About Visiting The Vet

For dogs, a veterinary clinic is rarely a pleasant place to visit for the first time. Not only is everything unfamiliar, but the animals are usually subjected to poking, prodding, and on occasion, vaccination shots. It’s common for canines to develop an aversion, often to the point of recognizing the roads taken to the vet’s office. With time, however, this phobia tends to dissipate as dogs become more familiar with their veterinarians.

Fear Of Unfamiliar People

A lot of canines become tense whenever strangers are nearby. Sometimes, their stress is mild, causing them to remain alert. Other times, the stress is severe, prompting the animal to bark and growl at the person.

This problem often develops in dogs that receive little to no exposure to new people. It may also develop as the result of mistreatment by strangers in the past.

Most canine phobias can be treated successfully with desensitization training. Although the process is long and sometimes exasperating, owners are rewarded with less anxious companions.

Cleaning Your Dogs Ears : 101 Dog Care Tips- Tip 107

Listen up! Thorough and regular ear cleaning and maintenance can help your dog avoid ear problems and infections. Also it will help you familiarize yourself with your dog’s ears so you can recognize abnormalities. But many dogs dread getting their ears cleaned, making it difficult for you. Here are a few tips to make the ear cleaning experience a positive one for you both!

1. Trim or gently pluck hair inside dog’s ears. Some dog breeds have a great deal of hair inside their ears. Begin by plucking or trimming the hair inside the dog’s ears to improve air flow and visibility while cleaning the dog’s ears. It is generally not painful to pluck a dog’s ear hair, but pluck small bunches of hair at a time to avoid discomfort.

2. Apply ear cleaning solution to a cotton ball or Q-tip. To make the actual ear cleaning process quicker, begin by moistening several cotton balls/cotton pads and several Q-tips.

3. Wipe away ear wax and build up. Using the damp cotton pad or cotton ball, gently wipe away the dog’s ear build-up and ear wax. This will remove large portions of  ear gunk.

4. Clean the nooks and crannies of your dog ear gently with a Q-tip. To get in all those little nooks and crannies of the dog’s ear, use the damp Q-tips to clean away any remaining visible ear wax and ear build-up. Only clean the parts of the ear that are visible –  DO NOT stick the Q-tip down the dogs ear canal, which can damage your dog’s ear and hearing.

shutterstock_942890685. Give the dog a treat! Reward your dog with a treat for good behavior during and at the end of the ear cleaning process. Positive reinforcement with treats and a kind, encouraging voice will make for a positive experience for your pup.

6. REPEAT ear cleaning once a week. Regular ear cleanings are vital to prevent ear infections in dogs. This also enables pet owners to spot an infection and act quickly if the dog does develop an ear infection.

**If your dog has floppy ears then you will need to clean them more often due to poor air circulation, which can serve as the breeding grounds for ear infections.

***Ease your dog into ear cleaning by gently massaging their ears and rewarding with treat. Then once they are used to their ears being touched, attempt an ear cleaning.

What are signs your dog needs a to see a vet? If your dog is scratching ears constantly, ears are smelly & odorous, red or inflamed,  or if your dog is constantly shaking his head, seek vet assistance to rule our existing ear infection or other ear problem.

 

How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth: 101 Dog Care Tips- Tip 88

Animals teeth need love, too! Give your dog something to smile about by celebrating National Pet Dental Health Month all year round. Dental health is an important part of your canine’s overall health and well-being that oftentimes goes neglected until serious health issues arise. Dog’s teeth are much like a human’s, and just like you and me, they can develop bad breath, tarter and plaque buildup which can lead to gum disease. It is important that you brush your dogs teeth at least 2-3 times a week to maintain those pearly whites. Here is a short “How To” videos on brushing your dog’s teeth.

 

How to brush your dog’s teeth

Check out our selection of Dental chews & products!

We brush them, bathe them and buy them tons of toys. But often we overlook one of the most important things about our dogs: their teeth. Celebrate February Pet Dental Month with us and get brushing!

Here are just a few of our pet dental products that will make cleaning your dogs teeth a breeze!

PlaqueOff

Bully Sticks

Gullet Chews

Dog Bones

You may choose thinner or thicker bully sticks or other chews depending on your dog’s size and level of chewing.

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