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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.

 

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.

All Natural Tick Repellent for Dogs & Humans: 101 Dog Care Tips- Tip 49

campgroundsIs your dog being constantly tormented and irritated (pun intended) by ticks, mosquito, fleas and tail biting bugs?  With summer just around the corner its time to tick & bug proof you and your dog prior to those fun filled hikes, outdoor excursions & camping trips. Ticks are carriers of many disease including Lyme Disease and dogs and humans can fall victim. Like anything, the best cure is prevention. But before you start praying yourself  & your furry buddy with harsh insecticides, we have a safer & healthier solution. All natural tick repellent is a great alternative to chemical repellents because it is safe, non-toxic and has no adverse side effects.Our friends at ehow came up with an all natural tick recipe to take the bite out of the dog days of summer.

All Natural Tick Repellent Recipe for You & Your Dog

1. Place a funnel into the top of a 12-ounce or larger bottle.

2. Pour 10 oz. of jojoba oil or aloe vera gel through the funnel into the bottle. The jojoba oil or aloe vera gel will serve as a base to dilute the neem oil. The oil is more effective at making the natural tick repellent stick to the skin or fur, but some people find the oil to be too greasy. If you prefer, substitute the jojoba oil for a different base oil, such as almond or olive oil.

3. Pour 1/2 oz. of organic neem oil through the funnel into the bottle.

4. Fasten the spray nozzle lid onto the bottle and shake the bottle for five minutes to combine the ingredients.

5. Shake the natural neem tick repellent before each use. Spray it lightly onto your dog’s fur, avoiding eyes, ears, nose or genitals, once every two weeks.  You can even apply the neem oil liberally onto your skin before hiking or going into wooded areas. In the event that an allergic reaction occurs, such as irritation or rash, wash the Neem tick repellent off using soap and water.

 

7 Ways To Care For A Vomiting Dog

sick-dogAt some point in time as a pet owner, your dog will experience vomiting, and you will be on clean up duty. Dogs are notorious for eating things they are not suppose to and often times, their poor judgment can get them in a lot of trouble and cause them to become sick. But sometimes vomiting can be a sure sign of a serious illness that needs immediate vet attention, so keep your eyes on alert within the first 24 hours. Here are a few at home tips to treat and care for a vomiting dog. It is important to show your dog some tender loving care.

1. Enforce a Food Fast. It is important to give your dogs digestive system some time to recoup and rest from the vomiting by not feeding your dog for 12-24 hours. You can give your dog small amounts of water to keep them hydrated. Food and large amounts of water will only aggravate your dogs upset stomach.

2. Keep your dog’s blood sugar levels in check. Since you will be withholding food from your dog, it’s important to monitor your dog’s blood sugar levels. Your dog may experience hypoglycemia or low blood sugar during the fasting phase.  Prevent low blood sugar levels by rubbing a small amount of a sugary fluid such as honey, karo syrup, maple syrup, or sugar water on your dog’s gums. Repeat this every several hours.

3. Monitor Dog’s Hydration. Vomiting can cause dehydration, so make sure your dog remains hydrated in small amounts on a constant basis.  Monitor his intake and don’t let him drink to excess. Excessive, fast drinking is a common response to nausea in dogs, but the problem is that it triggers dog vomiting and makes the upset stomach worse. If necessary, limit the water available to the dog by doling it out in hourly rations. Offering your dog ice cubes will prevent dehydration and keep him from gulping down large amounts of water which can cause more vomiting.

Once your dog has gone 4 hours without vomiting, then you can give him Pedialyte. Unflavored Pedialyte in small amounts (no more than 1/4 cup for a medium sized dog every 20 minutes) will help replenish your dog’s fluids and counteract dehydration. Mix a small amount of water 50/50 with Pedialyte. If the dog will not drink unflavored Pedialyte, try flavoring it with chicken or beef broth (onion-free) or add watered beef or chicken bullion for an appealing flavor.

shutterstock_1410371714. Bland Food is Good. Normal dog food will only upset his stomach further. Once your dog has stopped vomiting for 12 hours, feed your dog a homemade bland diet in small amounts for several days to gradually reintroduce food. It’s good to make your dog a batch of rice, white chicken meat with the skin removed, and cottage cheese. You can also use plain hamburger meat that has been boiled and drained from fat. Initially feed your dog small amounts of this bland food and once 4 hours has passed without vomiting, then you can give your dog a little more. The hope is that eventually your dog will be back to eating his normal meal size. Once you see that your dog is feeling a lot better and is holding down his food, over the next 3-5 hours, mix in the dog’s normal food, while gradually phasing out the homemade bland food. This gradual transition is vital to prevent a relapse of the dog’s vomiting.

5. Give Your Dog Some Pepto-Bismol. Make sure to ask your vet if you can give your dog a soothing dose of Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate. This will help to calm your dog’s stomach and keep the fluids down. If you get the okay from the vet, make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle. The usual dose for a dog is 1 tsp per twenty pounds of body weight. For less cooperative dogs, you can use a syringe or eyedropper to administer the Pepto-Bismol.

Important Note: ALWAYS Check with your vet before giving any over-the-counter medications to your pet, especially if he or she is on other medications.

shutterstock_255228976. Observe your dog’s vomit. Although looking at vomit is never an appetizing sight to see, its important to know what your dog was throwing up and the look of it in case a vet visit is in order. Check to see if stool material, blood (could be a sign of an infection, parasite or more serious ailments) or what looks like coffee grounds are present– if so seek vet help ASAP. You also may want to take a look at your dog’s stool and bring in a sample to the vet. Also monitor your dog’s weight to make sure it is normal.

7. Examine your dog’s gums. If your dog’s gum are very pale, this is a sign he or she is anemic and needs immediate medical attention.

Contact your dog’s veterinarian immediately if your dog vomits blood, appears to be in pain, acts weak and lethargic, has a fever or does not improve after 24 to 48 hours.

 

Matters of the Heart -Symptoms of Doggy Heart Failure: :101 Dog Care Tips- Tip 43

dogvetDogs are not immune to matters of the heart. Just like humans, dogs can experience heart difficulties or canine congestive heart failure. Canine congestive heart failure may be due to birth defects, age degeneration of the heart valves, heart worms and diseases of the heart. Before you can seek proper vet treatment, pet owners must be aware of the signs and symptoms of heart failure. Knowing the symptoms could mean the difference between life or death.

1. Excessive panting. We all know that dog’s pant as a way to regulate their body temperature, since they do not have sweat glands like we do. However, if your dog is constantly panting this could be cause for concern. Your dog may be having a build up fluid in the lungs because the heart is not circulating blood properly, which can cause trouble with the circulation of body fluids, hence the fluid buildup in the lungs.

2. Cough that won’t go away. If your dog is coughing incessantly but their is no evidence of a airway blockage this could be a sign of fluid buildup in the lungs.

3. Difficulty breathing. If your dog is having a hard time catching his breath or breathing then heart failure could be the issue, causing poor circulation. Inadequate circulation will affect the lungs ability to function and receive oxygen, preventing the lungs from contracting and expanding, leading to difficulty in breathing.

4. Loss of Appetite. If your dog is known for having quite a hearty appetite but is just not interested in eating then they could be suffering from heart failure. You, see dog’s experiencing heart failure often become fatigue and loss interest in food.

5. Fatigue. Dog not up to his old tricks, and has no energy for a good game of fetch or chase the squirrel? Well, there could be a more underlining problem beside boredom. If your dog’s circulation becomes impaired because their heart is no longer pumping blood effectively through the arteries then this is where the problem lies. Poor circulation means the muscles are not being properly supplied with enough oxygen. As a result of the onset of heart failure your dog may become fatigued & tired.

Oatmeal Rice Dog Food Recipe for Sensitive Pups: 101 Dog Care Tips- Tip 26

pugfaceIs your dog experiencing  diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain after eating? Then your dog probably has a sensitive stomach. Belly aches are come complaints among the canine community and belly rubs may be in order.

Some dogs are prone to sensitive stomachs and require a stricter diet. Luckily, we came across a wonderful Oatmeal Rice Dog Recipe from ehow that is perfect for dogs with sensitive tummies & digestive problems.

Ingredients:

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup of cooked brown rice

1/8 cup wild rice

1/4 cup pinto beans

2 tbsp. honey-sweetened peanut butter

2 tsp. sunflower seeds

1 tsp. flax seeds

1 tsp. canola oil

Instructions:

1. Place the oatmeal in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of hot water and let it sit for five minutes. While the mixture is standing, mash the pinto beans in a small bowl. Add the pinto beans and peanut butter to the oatmeal and rice mixture and stir well.

2. Grind the sunflower and flax seeds in a grinder. Add to the mixture along with the canola oil and stir.

3. Microwave for one minute just before serving.

4.  Serve:  This recipe feeds one small dog for a day. For larger breeds, double or triple the recipe.

Please make sure to check out our growing selection of dog treats, dog chews, and of course our bully sticks .

 

Bully Sticks vs. Rawhide: The Great Debate

As more and more pet owners search for treats and chews that their pets will enjoy and are good for them at the same time, the debate between two popular types of dog treats is raised once again.  Which is better – bully sticks or rawhide?  While each dog treat has supporters and detractors, a more in-depth look at both may help to make the decision easier when you’re looking at both in the aisles of your local pet supply store.

shutterstock_63936460Rawhide

 

Rawhide treats and chews have been around seemingly forever.  Lining the aisles of pet supply stores, rawhide chews are available in a huge variety of sizes for both puppies and larger dogs, shapes that range from bones to twists and ties, and flavors including chicken, beef, lamb and duck.

The biggest appeal of rawhide is how affordable it is.  Available both individually and in bulk, rawhide dog treats can cost less than a dollar a piece, while lasting for weeks and sometimes even months at a time.  Considered suitable for dogs both small and large, compressed rawhide is generally reserved for smaller breeds as it can become a choking hazard for larger dogs when they attempt to swallow pieces of it whole.

Rawhide dog treats are often criticized for a number of different reasons, not the least of which is the choking hazard they can present if broken into smaller pieces through use and the inability of most dogs to actually digest the rawhide they do ingest, instead having pass through their digestive tract where it can cause damage if there are sharp ridges on the ingested piece.  Because of this, more and more dog owners are turning to dog treats that don’t present a choking hazard and that can be digested by their pets as they would their food.

bully sticksBully Sticks

 

With the panic caused by contaminated pet food in 2007, there grew a huge demand for all natural dog chews and treats.  Because of that, bully sticks have grown in popularity with pet owners all over the country in search of dog treats that they feel comfortable with and that their dogs will enjoy.

Unlike rawhide treats, bully sticks are made from the beef of the cow, not the hide, allowing for it to be digested and processed by the dog as it would their food instead of passing it through their system like rawhide.  Much like rawhide, bully sticks are available in numerous sizes, from just a few inches for smaller breeds to nearly a yard long for larger dogs, styles including braided bully sticks as a way to work the teeth and jaw muscles, and flavors that include chicken treats for dogs and lamb treats for dogs among others.

Much like rawhide treats, bully sticks can last from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the treat given to the dog, and while with larger breeds and rawhide you have to be wary of the choking hazard from broken pieces, bully sticks are easily digested by breeds both large and small and won’t chip and break to present a choking hazard like rawhide.

Which One to Choose

 

While technically neither choice is incorrect, when it really comes down to it, the trend of dog treats and chews seems to be moving more towards bully sticks simply because of their status as an all natural treat that can be digested just like food without any worry of contamination.  With plenty of flavors, sizes, and styles to suit every size and type of dog, bully sticks are quickly taking the place of rawhide on the aisles of pet supply stores around the country.

About the Author

 



Avrum Elmakis CEO TDBBSAvrum Elmakis is the president of Best Bully Sticks, a leading provider of dog treats, bully sticks, beef trachea, and other all natural dog chews and treats. He and his family own two adorable pugs named Espy and Sushi, the canines who were the motivation for affordable natural dog treats!

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