Tips

How rawhide chews are made

THE MOST DANGEROUS PET CHEW EVER: RAWHIDE!

11412103_883417478399802_3437776567911509406_n How rawhide chews are made

http://www.mytalk1071.com/rawhide-chew-toys-made/

How can one of the most popular chew sticks on the planet be so dangerous for your pets, you ask? I mean, most dogs chew on rawhide for hours on end, and not only does it keep them busy, but they seem to last forever.

Well if you understood what it took to make this toxic “raw” leather stick, you would quickly understand what the problem is.

Aside from the horror stories circulating all over social media these days, of pets needing emergency surgery after consuming rawhide, the majority of pet parents today, especially the newbies, believe that this chew is some sort of dried up meat stick. Let me debunk that myth right away!

A rawhide stick is not the by-product of the beef industry nor is it made of dehydrated meat. Rather, rawhide is the by-product of the “Leather Industry”, so theoretically it is a leather chew. Sounds awesome, right?

“Producing rawhide begins with the splitting of an animal hide, usually from cattle. The top grain is generally tanned and made into leather products, while the inner portion, in its “raw” state, goes to the dogs.” TheBark.com

So, how does this leather, which is conveniently rolled up into pretty shapes, actually get made into those rawhide chews?

Follow along my friends and I will enlighten you on how this hide travels through a leathery process where it transforms from hide to a not-so beautiful, colorful, chew stick. Here is a paraphrased tutorial that was explained by the whole dog journal several years back:

STEP 1: Normally, cattle hides are shipped from slaughterhouses to tanneries for processing. These hides are then treated with a chemical bath to help “preserve” the product during transport to help prevent spoilage.

(No one wants to purchase a black, spoiled rawhide stick!)

Once at the tannery: the hides are soaked and treated with either an ash-lye solution or a highly toxic recipe of sodium sulphide liming. This process will help strip the hair and fat that maybe attached to the hides themselves.

(No, no one wants to see a hairy hide…)

Next on this glorious journey, these hides are then treated with chemicals that help “puff” the hide, making it easier to split into layers.

The outer layer of the hide is used for goods like car seats, clothing, shoes, purses, etc. But, it’s the inner layer that is needed to make the rawhide. (Oh and other things like gelatin, cosmetics, and glue as well!)

STEP 2: Now that we have the inner layer of the hide, it’s time to go to the post-tannery stage! Hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and/or bleach; this will also help remove the smell of the rotten or putrid leather. Bonus!
(Research also shows that other chemicals maybe used here to help the whitening process if the bleach isn’t strong enough.)

STEP 3: Now it’s time to make these whitened sheets of this “leathery by-product” look delicious! So, here is where the artistic painting process comes in.

“Basted, smoked, and decoratively tinted products might be any color (or odor) underneath the coating of (often artificial) dyes and flavors. They can even be painted with a coating of titanium oxide to make them appear white and pretty on the pet store shelves.” – whole-dog-journal.com

“…the Material Safety Data Sheet reveals a toxic confection containing the carcinogen FD&C Red 40, along with preservatives like sodium benzoate. But tracking the effects of chemical exposure is nearly impossible when it’s a matter of slow, low-dose poisoning.”– thebark.com

Ok, now that these hides have been painted, it’s time for the final process.

STEP 4: Getting it to last forever!

Because the FDA does not consider these chews to be food, really it’s a free for all when it comes to the manufacturers of these leather strips, and the products they may want to add to these chews, to get them to last forever. Any sort of glue can be added here to get these bad boys to never come apart.

When tested: Lead, arsenic, mercury, chromium salts, formaldehyde, and other toxic chemicals have been detected in raw hides. So it’s safe to say that any sort of glues can be used as well!

Finally, it’s time to package and attach all the glorious marketing labels to the product.

Check out the fine print warning that’s attached with some of these rawhides:
“Choking or blockages. If your dog swallows large pieces of rawhide, the rawhide can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract. Sometimes, abdominal surgery is needed to remove them from the stomach or intestines. If it isn’t resolved, a blockage can lead to death.“

(Oh, how lovely…)

And there it is! It’s now ready to be shipped to store shelves where it can be purchased for our loving animal companions.

How do proactive veterinarians feel about these chews?

Here is world-renowned veterinarian Doctor Karen Becker’s take on the matter:

“The name ‘rawhide’ is technically incorrect. A more accurate name would be processed-hide, because the skin isn’t raw at all. But the term “rawhide” has stuck.

Rawhide chews start out hard, but as your dog works the chew it becomes softer, and eventually he can unknot the knots on each end and the chew takes on the consistency of a slimy piece of taffy or bubble gum. And by that time your dog cannot stop working it — it becomes almost addictive.

At this point, there’s no longer any dental benefit to the chew because it has turned soft and gooey, and, in fact, it has become a choking and intestinal obstruction hazard.“

P.S. Ready for the jaw dropper?

An investigation by Humane Society International stated in their report, “In a particularly grisly twist, the skins of brutally slaughtered dogs in Thailand are mixed with other bits of skin to produce rawhide chew toys for pet dogs. Manufacturers told investigators that these chew toys are regularly exported to and sold in U.S. stores.” –

http://www.mytalk1071.com/rawhide-chew-toys-made/

Written by Planet Paws

A step by step guide to cutting a puppy’s nails

Puppies aren’t known for staying still for very long and if you’re trying to give their nails are trim they can seem impossibly small to cut without causing them harm. It’s a task that should form part of every puppy’s grooming routine to prevent their claws from tearing, splitting, or affecting your puppy’s gait as they run around.
Luckily, learning how to trim your puppy’s nails is more than manageable with our easy step-by-step guide. 

puppy-nails A step by step guide to cutting a puppy’s nailsOnce you’ve followed the guide through a few times, both you and your pup will be used to the whole experience and experts in how to cut puppy claws in no time at all. It might be stressful for the both of you at first but building it into their grooming routine now means they’ll quickly get used to it before they reach maturity. We promise wrestling with a wriggly puppy is much easier than with a fully-grown dog!

When and how often do puppy nails need cutting?

You can start to trim your puppy’s nails from around six weeks and it’s advisable that you do. Even if there isn’t much there to cut, it’ll get them accustomed to the routine and means that by the time you need to give them a proper trim, they’ll be used to sitting still for you. It might be tempting to wait until their six months old but it can mean that it’s harder to get them into a routine.

When you bring home your furry bundle of joy, expect to be trimming their claws once every three to four weeks to keep them short and prevent mishaps. How fast your puppy’s nails grow will depend on the breed and how much time they spend outside. Pups that go for regular walks on concrete, for example, will have their nails naturally worn down and they won’t need trimming as frequently.

The complete guide to clipping puppy nails

Clipping puppy nails doesn’t have to be a troublesome or even a time-consuming task. In fact, with our complete guide, it’ll be a part of your routine that’s complete in record time with minimal fuss.

1. Understand puppy nails

Before you even start looking at how to cut a puppy’s nails, make sure you understand how they’re made up. Unlike trimming nails on a human, a dog’s claws have tissue growing in part of the claw, known as the quick. If you accidently cut the quick, it’ll bleed a lot and hurt your puppy. If your pup has light coloured nails you’ll likely be able to see the quick if you look carefully, but it’s more difficult with darker nails.
While painful, cutting your puppy’s quick doesn’t cause any lasting damage but be sure to cuddle, fuss, and reassure them if it does happen. Styptic powder should also be used to prevent excessive bleeding.

2. Gather your equipment

You don’t want to prepare your puppy ready for their nails to be trimmed only to find you don’t have everything you need to hand. You should have a good pair of nail clippers, a file and some styptic powder to hand just in case.

3. Cutting puppy nails

Hold your puppy’s paw gently but firmly and trim the tip of each claw one at a time. Go slowly and keep talking to your puppy to keep them calm.

If you can see the quick through your puppy’s nails, cut just below the pink line. If you can’t see the quick then the general rule of thumb is to trim just below where the nail starts to curve. If you’re worried, start by trimming a little at a time initially.

4. Finish with a file

If you choose, you can finish the nail clipping process with a quick nail file, ensuring that it’s smooth and doesn’t have any sharp edges that could catch. Some pet owners choose to use a file over trimming if their dog is afraid of clippers or isn’t comfortable with the process. However, it’s far more time consuming and inefficient to rely on filing alone.

5. Heap on the praise

Once you’ve finished trimming their nails, make sure you give your puppy lots of praise and a treat.

cute-puppy A step by step guide to cutting a puppy’s nails

The professional option

Of course, if you’re really worried about clipping your puppy’s claws, you can turn to a professional and get them trimmed at the vets or by a groomer. You can even get them to show you how to do it so next time you’ll be well prepared for cutting your dog’s nails at home.

Tips for cutting puppy nails

If you’re still worried about clipping your puppy’s nails, these handy tips can help make the process smoother:

  • Get puppies used to the process early – as soon as you can, get your puppy used to sitting still and letting you touch their paws. The less they fidget the easier the task will be
  • Trim the fur on their feet – keeping the fur around your puppy’s paws trimmed gives you a better view of where you’re cutting and reduces irritants sticking to their delicate feet
  • Take a break – you don’t need to clip all your puppy’s claws in one go. If either you or your pup is getting irritable take a break and come back to trimming later
  • Offer a reward – make a fuss if your puppy and offer them a treat after you’ve finished trimming their nails. They’ll be more relaxed next time and are more likely to behave in anticipation of the reward
Products for trimming your puppy’s claws

If you’re looking for some tools to make your cutting your puppy’s nails easier, choose:

Guillotine clippers – make it easier to slice through the nails without crushing them. With a retractable blade that’s activated by squeezing the handle, they’re tough enough to cut through even a large dog’s claws. They’ll typically come in multiple sizes, allowing you to match them to the size of your puppy

Rotary sander – great for smoothing the edge of a trimmed nail once it has been clipped, although some dogs dislike the sound of them. You’ll need to replace the parts frequently but they’re a good option if you’re not keen on clipping

Styptic power – keep this on hand just in case you cut the quick. You can pick up this handy powder at most pet shops and vets.

https://groomarts.com/student-advice/cutting-puppy-nails

Winter care tips for your dog

Many dog owners live with the misconception that because their pets have a coat of fur, they can tolerate the cold better than humans. This isn’t necessarily the case. Like us, these fur-coated creatures are used to the warmth of indoor shelter and cold weather can be as hard on them as it is on us humans. Whatever your viewpoint on winter, one thing remains certain: it’s a time when our beloved pets need a little extra care.

Preventing Winter Health Risks

We have 15 winter care tips to keep in mind as you explore the winter landscape with your faithful four-legged friend. But first … let’s talk about two serious cold weather conditions that you should take care to prevent.

Frostbite

Frostbite begins when the dog’s body gets cold. The body automatically pulls blood from the extremities to the center of the body to stay warm. The dog’s ears, paws or tail can get so cold that ice crystals can form in the tissue and damage it. The tricky thing to remember about frostbite is that it’s not immediately obvious. Watch for signs of pale or grey skin; the skin may also turn hard and cold. As frostbitten areas warm, they can be extremely painful. Severely frostbitten skin will eventually turn black and slough off.

Hypothermia

A second serious winter weather concern is hypothermia. This occurs when a dog spends too much time in the cold, gets wet in cold temperatures or when dogs with poor health or circulation are exposed to cold. In mild cases, the dog will shiver; ears and feet may grow cold. As hypothermia progresses, she may show signs of depression, lethargy, and weakness. As the condition worsens, her muscles will stiffen, her heart and breathing rates slow down, and she will not respond to stimuli. Severe hypothermia is life threatening.

Preventing your dog from frostbite and hypothermia is essential, so learn how to recognize the signs that your dog needs to come indoors to warm up.

Is your dog cold?

If it’s too cold for you to stand at the door without your coat, it’s probably too cold for your dog too, so pay attention to his behavior while he’s outdoors.

If you notice your dog whining, shivering or appearing anxious, or he stops playing and seems to be looking for places to burrow, then it’s time to bring him in.

15 Ways to Protect Your Dog in Winter

1. Let’s talk temperature!

Some dog breeds are blessed with thick fur that keeps them warm naturally, even in very cold temperatures, but dogs with thin coats may need to wear a sweater or coat when out for winter walks. A good coat should reach from the neck to the base of the tail and also protect the belly. But remember that coats will not prevent frostbite on the ears, feet or tail … so even with a cozy coat, don’t keep your short haired dog out too long in freezing temperatures.

2. Go outside when the sun shines

If your dog feels the cold, try to walk him in the late morning or early afternoon hours when temperatures are a little warmer, and avoid early morning or late evening walks. Spend time playing outdoors while it’s sunny; sunshine brings the added benefit of providing both you and your pet with vitamin D. Play fetch with toys, not sticks, which can cause choking and other injuries. So, if your dog likes to chew and chase, pack a Frisbee, ball or other safe toy and play together in the sun.

3. Indoor pets are happiest

Our family pets need to be indoors with us. The happiest dogs are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but live inside the rest of the time. Don’t leave pets outdoors alone when the temperature drops. A good rule of thumb is to go out with them and when you’re ready to come in, they probably will be too.

4. Cozy bedding

In addition to limiting your dog’s time outdoors on cold days, don’t let your pooch sleep on a cold floor in winter. Choosing the right bedding is vital to ensure your dog stays warm. Warm blankets can create a snug environment; raised beds can keep your dog off cold tiles or concrete, and heated pet beds can help keep the stiffness out of aging joints. Place your dog’s bed in a warm spot away from drafts, cold tile or uncarpeted floors, preferably in a favorite spot where he sleeps every day so that the area doesn’t feel unfamiliar.

5. Protect your dog from heaters

Dogs will often seek heat during cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heating sources. Avoid space heaters and install baseboard radiator covers to avoid your pet getting burned. Fireplaces also pose a major threat so please make sure you have a pet proof system to keep your heat-seeking pal out of harm’s way!

6. Moisturize

Dry and cold weather can do a number on your pet’s skin. Help prevent dry, flaky skin by adding a skin and coat supplement to his food. Coconut and fish oils are easy foods that can help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. If you find your pet’s paws, ears or tail are dry or cracking, you can also apply coconut oil topically as needed.

7. No overfeeding please!

Although dogs may need an extra layer in winter, make sure it comes from a coat and not a layer of fat. Unless your dog lives outdoors during the winter, he usually won’t need any additional calories during the winter chill. Cold temperatures may even bring on lazy behavior and the need for fewer calories. Be attentive to your dog’s activity level and adjust his calories accordingly. A high quality, whole foods, preferably raw meat based diet will help ensure a healthy coat and good energy for the cold winter months.

8. Keep your dog hydrated

Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in winter as summer. Although many dogs eat snow, it’s not an adequate substitute for fresh water. If your dog spends time outdoors in your yard, make sure he has access to a water bowl, check it often and break ice that forms on top.

9. Groom your dog

Your dog needs a clean, well-groomed coat to keep him properly insulated. This is especially important if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. After bathing, dry your dog thoroughly, especially before allowing him outside

10. Paw care is a must

Just as we tend to develop foot cracks in winter, dogs can also suffer from cracked pads. If your dog has furry feet, trim the hair that grows between his pads to prevent ice buildup between the pads. Winter salt on city sidewalks can also burn your dog’s pads and is toxic, so after walks around the neighborhood, rinse or wipe your dog’s paws to remove any salt – you don’t want him licking it off. If your dog shows signs of discomfort when walking outside on frozen or salted surfaces, consider using dog booties to protect his paws

11. Snow removal

Snow can be a lot of fun but also dangerous for your dog. Snow piled near fences offers your dog escape routes that even well trained dogs often can’t resist. When you clear snow in your yard, pile it away from fences to prevent your dog from climbing over. Snow and ice often accumulate on rooftops and if the sun is out or as temperatures rise, this accumulation can slide and injure your dog. If you can’t clear the snow from the roof, keep your dog away from the roof overhang to prevent injury.

12. Watch where your dog plays

Although your dog is likely to be having a great time outdoors, take frequent indoor breaks for water and warming and don’t ever stay out too long. If you’re walking or playing in unfamiliar areas, keep your dog close. It’s easy for him to venture onto unsafe surfaces such as frozen ponds or lakes. These may be covered in snow and not easily visible.

13. Avoid exposure to toxins

With winter comes antifreeze. Antifreeze tastes sweet and dogs (as well as some children!) will readily lick or drink it. Antifreeze is extremely toxic and just a small amount can be fatal. Keep your dog out of the garage and off the driveway where she may encounter antifreeze or other harmful chemicals.

14. NEVER leave your dog unattended in the car, no matter what the season

Just as cars can get dangerously hot in summer, freezing cold temperatures are equally dangerous for your dog in winter. Leaving the car running involves additional risks, including carbon monoxide poisoning if the car is parked in a garage. Leave your dog at home when you go out to run errands.

15. Special care for seniors

Cold weather will often aggravate existing medical conditions in dogs, particularly arthritis. It’s very important to maintain an exercise regimen with your arthritic dog, but be mindful of slippery surfaces and make sure your dog has a warm soft rest area to recuperate after activity. If you don’t already give your senior dog a natural joint supplement to lubricate the joints and ease the discomfort of arthritis, you may want to consider adding one in winter. Just like people, dogs are more susceptible to other illnesses during winter weather.

Harsh winter weather brings a wide variety of concerns to responsible dog owners. Bitter cold, numbing wetness or biting winds can cause discomfort for that special dog in your life. Paying special attention to your loyal friend’s wellbeing during the winter season will insure that you both enjoy the season to the fullest.

And don’t forget that winter cuddles with your canine buddy are a great way for everybody to keep warm!

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/15-winter-care-tips-for-your-dog/

How to bath your dog

Before you begin bathing your dog, there are a few things you must do to prepare. Proper preparation can make the process easier for you and your dog.

how-to-get-your-dog-to-love-bath-time How to bath your dog

Choose a Location

A bath tub is usually the easiest place to bathe your dog, though very small dogs may be bathed in a sink. If you will be using your bath at home, it might take a toll on your back and knees so consider kneeling on a cushion.

If you choose to bathe your dog outside, remember that cold water is no fun for most dogs. You may want to hook up the hot water so your dog can get a nice warm bath.

Gather Supplies

  • Soft, absorbent towels. Beach towels work well for larger dogs.
  • Shampoo — should be intended for dogs and soap-free. Products containing natural ingredients are often best
  • Have the collar on so you have something to hold on to
  • TOP TIP! Put a towel in the bottom of the bath to help stop your dog slipping and getting frightened and use LOTS of treats to  make it a really pleasurable experience.
  • Brushes and combs — choose the appropriate tool for your dog’s hair type
  • Apron and / or old clothes — you are going to get wet!
  • Some treats to give your dog as you bath him to make it a pleasanter experience.

Tip: Brush your dog out before the bath begins. Be sure to remove any tangles or matts as these are harder to deal with once your dog is wet.

1.Soak your dog from head to toe with warm water using a hand- held sprayer.

Always test the temperature on your arm before spraying your dog.Be sure to avoid the eyes and the inside of the ears.Many dogs have water resistant coats,so a thorough soaking is usually necessary to penetrate the coat.

Tip: Your dog will instinctively want to shake the water off. Keeping a hand on your dog’s head may help prevent this. Don’t wet your dog’s head till you have shampooed the rest of his body – they don’t like getting their faces wet. Avoid getting water and shampoo in his eye and ears.

  1. Apply shampoo to your dog’s coat. Avoid the eyes, face, and genital area. Use enough shampoo to create a lather. Apply small amounts of shampoo at a time to avoid using too much.

You can use a small bucket and sponge – fill the bucket up with water and add the shampoo and use a sponge to apply the diluted shampoo – it us quicker to get the shampoo distributed through the dog’s coat this way.

Tip: Mix two parts shampoo with one part water so a more liberal amount can be applied. Add the mixture to a spray bottle or large plastic cup for easier application. Remember to use caution around the face and eyes.

  1. Rub, scrub and massage your dog for several minutes. You can use your fingers, just like shampooing your own hair. Your dog will probably actually enjoy this part. Remember to clean the feet, too. Ideally, you should allow the shampoo to remain on your dog’s coat for a few minutes before rinsing. If it is a big dog by the time you get to the end you can start rinsing where you started!

Tip: You can also use a rubber tool with small nubs made especially for bathing a dog. It provides an extra massage for your dog.e.g. a Zoom groom 

  1. Apply a stream of warm water to your dog’s coat, avoiding the eyes and ears. Thoroughly rinse all shampoo out of your dog’s coat. It is very important to remove all shampoo residue from your dog.

Tip: Do not forget to rinse the feet and any skin folds or crevices on your dog.

  1. If you can get your dog out doors for a good shake – stand back and let your dog have a few good shakes.

Then, towel-dry any excess water from your dog’s coat. Lay a towel on the ground and let your dog go for it. Many dogs will instinctively rub on the towel and continue to shake off the water.

If your dog tolerates it, your may want to try blow-drying. Be sure to use a dryer with very low or no heat. Only turn it up as high as your dog tolerates, and stay away from the face, eyes and ears. Once completely dry, thoroughly brush your dog out.

Congratulations — you’re done! Give your dog a treat, and you’ll probably get a nice wet kiss in return. Your dog might be a bit tuckered out, so a nap may be warranted. Put your feet up and relax, too.

How Often to Bath a Dog
If your dog’s hair is dirty with the faeces of other animals, you should clean him immediately. But it is not necessary a complete cleansing. You can leave the mud in his hair till it dries, and then brush it out. It’s not recommendable to wash the hair frequently, because it eliminates the waterproof natural agents, and tends to tarnish the skin.

If your dog is muddy you can rinse it off with plain water and towel dry.

Over shampooing will dry out your dog’s natural oils in his coat and could cause skin irritation. Regular grooming is important – every day preferably to stop matting occurring and to check that all is well with your dog’s body – even short haired dogs.

Copyright Tip Top Dog School 2009 at tiptopdogschool.blogspot.com

 

Dog bites

In the UK approximately a staggering 250,000 people each year go to an emergency department because they have been bitten by a dog.There are very likely even more unreported bites as not everyone will present at a hospital so statistics are vague in this area.Most bites are caused by the owners own dog. Boys get bitten more than girls. Children under the age of 5 are most commonly affected.

Bites are measured on a bite scale from 1 to 6.( see table below – resources Dr Ian Dunbar &  Dr Sophia Yin)
Level 1. Obnoxious or aggressive behaviour but no skin-contact by teeth.Snapping,air-biting etc
This bite does not touch the skin. It’s air biting or snapping. This bite shows that your dog has Superior bite inhibition.Often owners will say “he tried to bite me but he missed” – no he didn’t miss! This is a warning ( very likely preceded by growling and other warning signs that have been ignored by the owner.Punishing a dog for this behaviour may progress to the dog biting without any warning,

Level 2. Skin-contact by teeth but no skin-puncture.
This bite makes contact with the skin, but doesn’t break the skin. This can still really hurt and leave bruising, but no abrasions. This bite shows that your dog has fabulous bite inhibition.

Level 3 A. One to four punctures from a single bite with no puncture deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth
Level 3 B. Skin punctures multiple bites with no puncture deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth.Multiple bites mean that the dog is reacting and not thinking ( loss of inhibition)

Level 4VERY SERIOUS One to four punctures from a single bite with at least one puncture deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth.
The dog is putting great pressure into the bite. 1 to 4 puncture wounds with or without tearing, more than ½ the depth of the eye tooth. This is usually accompanied with bruising and likely to require medical attention. At this point, although the dog certainly has intent to cause harm, he/she may still be showing some bite inhibition depending on the size and strength of the dog.

Level 5.VERY SERIOUS Multiple-bite incident with at least two Level 4 bites or multiple-attack incident with at least one Level 4 bite in each.

Level 6. Victim dead.

dog-bite-levels1 Dog bites

Brushing your dog’s teeth

Yes! Home dental care is one of the best ways to help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. Start as early as possible in your canine friend’s life so he or she will become accustomed to the brushing process.

What should I use to brush my dog’s teeth?

Use a moistened dog toothbrush with soft bristles. If you do not have a specially designed pet toothbrush, you can also use a child’s toothbrush, a finger toothbrush, gauze around a finger or a cotton swab.

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Do I need to use a special toothpaste to brush my dog’s teeth?

Pet toothpaste, often flavoured like poultry, malt and other dog-friendly varieties, is your best option. Never use human toothpaste, baking soda or salt. While safe for you, these cleaning agents can be harmful to your dog if swallowed.

At-home teeth cleaning tips

Keep the following tips in mind to make the process easier for you and more comfortable for your dog.

  • Use a specially designed dog toothbrush or a recommended alternative.
  • Never use human toothpaste. Instead, use pet-safe toothpaste with a flavor favourable to your dog’s taste buds.
  • Give your dog a small sample of the toothpaste to introduce the taste.
  • Lift the lip to expose the outside surfaces of your dog’s gums and teeth.
  • Brush with gentle motions to clean the teeth and gums, as you would your own.
  • Clean the outside (cheek-facing) surfaces, as most pets will not allow you to brush the inside surface of the teeth.
  • Be sure to reach the back upper molars and canines, as these teeth tend to quickly build up tartar.
  • Reward your dog with play, petting or a favorite activity to positively reinforce the brushing process.

How often should I brush my dog’s teeth at home?

Your dog’s teeth should be brushed as often as possible, ideally every day. There are numerous dental care products, pastes, solutions, brushes, chew toys and dental diets that help you provide your dog with the home dental care he deserves

Are All Your Affairs In Order? Making sure your dog will be cared for if you die

It is one of the sadder facts of life that our beloved dogs have a much shorter lifespan than us and the chances are that your best friend is going to pass away long before you. But I have come across instances where a dog’s owner has unfortunately gone first; in fact I am trying to re-home a dog whose owner has passed away. And this got me thinking; how many of us have actually made arrangements for the care of our pets after we’ve gone?

As responsible dog owners we love our dogs and want to do our best for them; we feed and water them, walk them, care for them when they are ill. Wouldn’t you want that to continue should anything happen to you?

Make sure everyone is aware

We have all heard tragic stories of where a person has an accident outside the home and is killed, or where someone tragically dies alone in the house and that nobody knows that the person has a pet, or pets alone in the house. It could be a good idea to carry a card or notification of some kind to alert emergency service personnel of this. You could also fix to your house doors, windows or gates a notification which tells people that your pet is inside the house. That way at least the emergency services will know to look out for your pet and take steps to recover it from the house.

Put arrangements on a legal footing

Many people, especially if they are terminally ill, take steps to make sure a friend or family member agrees to take care of the dog after their death. But sometimes, for any number of reasons, these plans can fall through. So it’s best to put things on a proper footing.

If you’re lucky enough to have someone who will take care of your dog, have the arrangements written into your will. You could leave an amount of money specifically for the care of your pet or set up a trust fund.

You could entrust your beloved pooch to a caring organisation like the Dogs Trust. They run the Canine Care Card Scheme. If you sign up for this it means they will collect your dog and take him to the nearest rehoming centre where he will be cared for until he’s found a new home.  Or leave instructions for this in your will.

You don’t know what’s round the corner, and whilst we know it’s not pleasant to think of, for peace of mind, make those arrangements sooner, rather than later.

By Derek Chambers