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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…

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: Skin and Coat Care

shutterstock_129944051 webAlthough all dogs probably don’t care about what there coat looks like, it is very important to keep a shiny, healthy coat!   Besides just looking and feeling better, healthy skin and coat can in most cases indicate the overall health of the pooch.  Sudden changes in coat can indicate underlying medical problems.  Below are several recommendations to ensure healthy, happy skin and coat:

Feed your dog a nutritious diet with the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, including omega fatty acids and Vitamin E. About 20-25 percent of the diet should be protein.

Add one teaspoon of flax seed or fish oil to your dog’s daily food.  This will not only add shine and help to reduce shedding, but also benefits your pooches cardiovascular system.

Brush your dog at least once a week, preferably even more, but we know it can be difficult.  If your dog is a shedder, do it more often. This distributes the natural oils, prevents matting and helps minimize dust and dirt, which can cause irritation.  We recommend the Furminator.   It is not only the best for removing extra hair, but they also love the feel.

Try different dog shampoos. There are moisturizing shampoos for a dry or brittle coat, oatmeal shampoo for itchy, irritated skin and dandruff and botanical or herbal shampoos for an overall healthier coat. Biotin helps with dry skin and panthenol adds shine to the coat.

Make sure to take your dog to a veterinarian for regular checkups, which should include inspection of the entire coat, including the tail and paws.  Sometimes skin problems can be hidden in places that we do not typically see, like between paws or under their belly.

Please let us know what you if there are any suggestions for future Dog Care Tips!

101 Dog Care Tips: Cleaning Your Dogs Ears

shutterstock_94289068Cleaning your dogs ears can be a bad experience for both the pooch and the owner.  However, keeping your dog’s ears clean is the best way to prevent against potential health hazards such as ear mites, ear infections and wax build up.  In addition, infections and build-up can affect their ability to hear.

To reduce your dog’s risk for experiencing any of these problems perform a routine ear check.  This is best done on a weekly basis. Below are some helpful hints as to what you should be looking for when checking your dog’s ears:

  • Check the ear for any dirt, wax, foreign objects, or redness in the ear canal.
  • Smell your dog’s ear; if there is a foul smell present, this is usually indicative of a more serious problem.
  • Mites, fleas and ticks like the dark, moist inaccessible area of your dog’s ear.
  • Check for a waxy substance in your dog’s ears, it will almost look like dark brown coffee grinds.

If you think your dog may have any of these symptoms listed above it is imperative that you call and make an appointment to see your Veterinarian. These things can cause serious issues and get worse as they progress.

There are many ear cleaners out on the market, some which are a cleaning solution and rinse aid.  They work great for in between vet visits and really make a difference.  We do not recommend the use of soap and water or Qtips because they can damage the ear canal.

We appreciate you all checking out Tip 3, if you have any suggestions for future tips, or new dog treats or dog related products you would like to see on the site please give us a shout!

101 Dog Care Tips: Dog Nail Care

shutterstock_113046964Many people have severe anxiety about cutting their pooches nails, but it might be easier than you think. Have a groomer or your veterinarian show you how to do it. Most pet stores sell a special dog nail clipper. In addition, there is a new tool out called the “Pedi-Paw” which is supposed to gently file your pups nails down over time.  We have tried the tool and found that the noise from the tool itself puts our boys on edge, so we just went back to the traditional method of clipping with clippers.  It is important to try a few things out and figure out which one works best for you and your pooch!

The blood supply to the dog’s nail is called the “quick”. If your dog’s nails are too long and you immediately cut to the length you think they should be, you will cut into the quick and cause your dog’s nail to bleed. Although this is not a serious problem, it can be painful for your pooch and can make for a royal mess around the house.  Most people keep some styptic powder or quick gel on hand to cauterize the bleeding if necessary.

The trick to trimming dog toenails is to train the quick to retreat backward. Remember, simply cutting a large chunk of the dog’s nail is risky and can cause the nail to bleed. Instead, use the following method to avoid cutting the quick.

Cut or file the dog’s nails only a little bit every couple of days. This will cause the blood supply to get shorter at the same time as the nail is being shortened. Many also recommend regular walks, which encourages the quick to retreat and will mean that you will have less of a chance of nipping it.  When you get the nail to the length you would like to maintain, clip every few weeks or as often as necessary to maintain that length. This will prevent the quick from growing too long and prevent the nail from bleeding.

Nail clipping can be a stressful for event your pooch so make sure to give them a reward like a dog treat or dog chew to encourage them.

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