The importance of grooming your dog properly on a daily basis

 

12654499_10153406034140754_5189231663032031003_nDOODLES! (And others)
The perfect photo (from another groomer) to show how matting happens at the base (or at the skin). So many doodle owners are saddened to hear the only thing I can do with their pups coat is a shave because they thought brushing the top coat was enough. By looking at this dog, you may not see the knots and you may not feel them as you would a knot on the ends of the fur but once it starts its very difficult/ impossible to brush/COMB out… Not to mention it would be cruel to put the dog through.

Often times I feel like owners don’t believe groomers when they say the dogs has to be clipped. I always hear “I know he/she is matted, but leave as much as you can”… this photo shows, the only way to get UNDER the matting is nothing left.
I promise you, I’d rather not clip your baby naked either! I also don’t want to hurt my reputation when the clients go around complaining about how the last groomer “scalped” their dog. But doodles are easily one of the highest maintenance dogs in reference to their coats. The combination of the soft coat of a golden, or aussie, or newf, or wheaten, or whatever they are mixing poodles with these days is a coat that is SO prone to matting. And even more so are the new “double doodles” that i like to call “double maintenance”.

I even find some doodles on a regular schedule need to be clipped once or twice a year (maybe not shaved, but maybe teddy bear length for a fresh start) because after all of the brushing and de-matting, the damaged coat seems to become even MORE likely to matt.
If you like a fluffy pup, you probably need to consider no more than 3-5 week intervals between grooming and set aside time for regular COMBING at home.

AND!!!!! “breeders” who say they can’t/shouldn’t be clipped and OR not to give them a hair cut until they are 1 year are out of their minds and setting you up for a SAD SAD SAD day when you finally take your pup to the .

Sit Stay Style Mobile Spa & Pet Photography with Kat Laney.

 

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Microchipping your dog

microchip-sign-on-dog_0The Micro chipping of dogs becomes  compulsory in England from 6 April 2016.
It is important that you ensure your dog is chipped or, if already done so, the details on the chip are up-to-date. It is already a requirement in Wales, where dogs have to have been chipped from March 2015.

As a dog owner, you will have many questions about this new law and what it means for you, and your doggy best friend.

Does micro chipping denote ownership?

If a dog strays, bites or causes unjust damage, the phrase used in law is ‘legally responsible’. As the keeper of the dog, you are liable for it and thus if the dog does stray, bite, cause a nuisance and so on, you are held responsible.

There is an exception and this is when the dog attacks a burglar or trespasser on your land.

How long after 6 April 2016 do I have to microchip my dog?

From this date onwards, all dogs must be micro chipped and registered on an approved database by the time they are 8 weeks old. In other words, don’t wait until April to have your dog chipped – go and do it now!

Are older dogs exempt?

No, there are no exemptions from the Micro chipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014. Vets can exempt a dog if they feel that it will unduly suffer as a result of being chipped but there are very few health reasons why micro chipping cannot go ahead. If you are unsure, talk to your vet.

What will happen if I do not microchip my dog?

It is important to know what micro chipping means. Under the regulations it means implanting a chip in the dog and registering your details on a database. By not micro chipping your dog, or not registering on an approved database, you are not compliant with the regulations. In the first instances, you will be served a notice and within this 21-day timeframe, you must get your dog chipped and registered. If you do not, you could be liable for a £500 fine.

If you do not keep your details on the database up to date, you could face another £500 fine too.

What should I do now?

Microchips are available in a number of places, including at your local vets, some animal shelters as well as some of the national pet store chains. Remember, you must have your dogs chipped and your details registered!

 

Article by Derek Chambers of Finchley Dog Walker and Edited by Sue Goulden of Tip Top Dog School

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Improving your Dog’s Mental Health

 

We like to ensure that our dogs are well looked after. Two meals a day, a walk and a warm bed to sleep on and the odd stroke is not enough. Nor is exercising the dog till it is exhausted a good idea.

A balance is needed between physical exercise and mental stimulation and love and affection.

Do dogs get bored?

Yes they can is the answer! Puppies and dogs need a balance of exercise, play, mental stimulation and also rest. We need to recognize when a dog does need to sleep. It is a fact that dogs sleep for around 50 percent of the day. Approximately 30 percent of the day is rest (mostly awake but inactive) Dogs are active only about 20 percent of each day.

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Something to remember about puppies is that they need sleep – lots of it, just like babies. Your puppy will need about 18-19 hours’ sleep in every 24. So only expect 4 to 5 hours of being awake and only about an hour at a time. If they’re kept awake and playing, you could both be heading for a stressful time. Young dogs and puppies can get over excited too easily and then it can all end with an over exuberant and boisterous dog.

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If left to their own devices for too long a dog will end up finding something to do and it may well be not what you want! A dog unless trained  and guided  by you will end up making the wrong decision.

Also bear in mind that a dog tends to repeat what gets it a reward! For example : if a 4 month old puppy barks and jumps at the back door to be let in and as soon as you open the door in it bounds jumping up at everyone and all over the settee. He needs to know that being calm will get him back in. The same as jumping up – people say “oh I don’t mind he is only a puppy “and  then stroke him. Jumping up is now being reinforced and becomes a habit and a problem

 

Dogs can become bored for any number of reasons.

  • Lack of exercise
  • Being left alone for too long or crated for too long
  • Lack of play
  • Lack of training
  • Lack of appropriate chew toys
  • Lack of stimulation

Brain Activity Toys

Dogs are curious animals. They love games that they have to figure something out. There are a number of toys on the market that allow your dog to think through a situation. One of the most popular toys available is toys in which the dog has to figure out how to remove a treat from the inside of the toy. These toys usually come in the form of a Kong. Use the dogs own food to make it work for its dinner – they love them!

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Interactive Games

Game play is one of the best ways to keep your dog entertained and develop a stronger bond. It only takes a few minutes of game play each day to provide your dog with the attention they need. Be sure not to play the same game every day so that your dog does not get bored. Vary things up and research new games to play to keep things interesting. You can find a  great range of toys by Nina Ottosson

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Training and Fun

Learning something new assists your dog with his mental health development. It also helps them because they will notice that you are happy with their development and want to learn more to see the smile on your face. Why not buy a Trick Training book?

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Dog Sports and Classes

The number of classes and sports that are available for dogs is ever growing. If you live in an area that is known for having these activities allow your dog to participate. If your community does not have these opportunities, it may be a good idea to start some yourself to get the community involved. Dogs love to interact with others and these sports and classes are a great way to get everyone out and playing with their dogs. Agility,flyball,Cani-Cross to name but a few dog sports

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Doggie Day Care

If you are out all day why not consider “ doggie day care  “ as this will ensure that your dog is properly cared for throughout the day and will not get bored. It will also give him the opportunity to interact with other people and dogs.

Local Dog Walker

There are times where doggie daycare may not be available or may not be within your budget. There is no need to fret if you cannot afford daycare. Your dog can still get human interaction throughout the day and be properly cared for it you employ a credible dog walker such as Finchley Dog Walkers. This will give your dog some exercise and keep your home from getting messed up throughout the day while you are at work.

Varied Walks

Walking is a great way to keep your dog from becoming bored. Many people walk their dog, but often fail to vary up the places they walk. Dogs like variety and varying up walks gives the dog something new to look at. It also gives you the chance for some sun and exercise.

Go for a hike in the woods. Hide food in tree stumps. Hide toys for him to find. Teach him to retrieve. Use your imagination!

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Dog boredom can be avoided with these simple tips. You will notice that your dog will be happier than he ever has been and will rest better at night from all the stimulating activity throughout the day.

 

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Breaking up a dog fight

Sometimes dogs fight – it doesn’t happen very often but when they do you need to be very careful before breaking it up. It is quite common to get bitten, even by your own dog if you put your hands in.

Remain Calm

When a fight occurs it is important that you approach the situation in the calmest way possible. Dogs are amazing creatures and can settle their differences largely without fighting. Dogs give off calming signals (appeasement signals) to help calm down situations and 9 times out of 10 the situation will diffuse.

When the Fight Occurs

There are a number of tactics that can be used in order to break up a fight, but it is important to remember that when a dog is fighting they are in that moment and not easily distracted. Yelling the dog’s name or screaming “NO” at him may not to have any effect.

Water –A simple solution is to throw water on them. A bucket of water is fine, but a garden hose is your best bet to effectively break up the fight.

Object Redirection – Dogs are easily distracted and objects they love can often distract them. Wedging an object between two fighting dogs can distract them enough to stop fighting. This should be done with extreme caution to avoid being drawn into the fight. The use of a broom handle or throwing a ball can sometimes be effective. You could throw in a rucksack or even your car keys – it may be enough to get them out of “the zone”

Pull Them Apart – If you are fortunate enough to have others around you, you may be able to pull the dogs apart. One person takes on one dog and pulls them apart by grasping onto the hind legs of the animal. Do not jerk the dogs apart because you could end up injuring their back legs in the process. With a firm hand pull the dogs far apart, but be careful because the dog can quickly whip around and come after you.

Prevention

Prevention is always the best way to not have to worry about breaking up dog fights. If you pay attention to your dog and the surrounding dogs you can see the aggression in their body language. Most fights occur over territory and a dog standing up for his territory will have fixed eyes, stiff body and often lower their head and glare at the intruder.

Training is also a way to avoid a fight situation. A good recall is important as well as social skills and etiquette. Dogs require social skills just like humans do and depriving them of the vital social skills can leave them nervous and vulnerable to attack.

All fights may not be able to be prevented, but a little know how can save your dog from injury and allow him to be able to be around other dogs whilst out dog walking without incident.

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Dealing with minor cuts and scrapes

 

Dogs are always going to get into scrapes and the more adventurous among them are likely to show up with cuts and grazes now and then.So what should we do when if and when we discover pour pooch has a cut?

First of all you need to examine your pet thoroughly. Dogs are good not at complaining and you may find that the injury is worse than you thought.  Start at the tail and check all the way to  nose on both sides and underneath your dog.

Secondly if you do discover any gashes or grazes, carefully wash the affected area with a damp cotton wool soaked in a solution of Hibiscrub which  is readily available from chemists. Your vet would be using this as well.Be careful as your dog’s endorphins may have kicked into protect it from the pain, or they may have an endorphins rush simply from the exercise, but as it starts to settle down you may find it becomes more sensitive to pain and might lash out if it becomes agitated.

To ease pain and swelling try and add a cold compress, and ice pack is the best if your dog will let you close enough. If not then just add a cold wet cloth.

If the cut is quite deep and you may need to seek medical attention. A good way to reduce the risk of infection is to apply Medical Strength Manuka Honey (available from Amazon)

Another alternative is mix a little salt and water and rinse the wound twice a day assuming it is a minor wound.

Dogs Saliva does contain a mild antiseptic, but you should discourage licking as they invariably will make matters worse.

Arnica 30c is very good at aiding healing and bruising.Bandages are good a good idea but have to be applied correctly.See here for a good tutorial

You will need to have lint and Vet Wrap (co-hesive bandages ) micro – pore tape. A dog boot is a good idea to help offer protection when out and about. It’s never a  bad idea to have an Elizabethan Collar at home as part of your medical kit.

Of course if things don’t improve then get your dog to a Vet as soon as possible.

PLEASE NOTE THAT TIP TOP DOG SCHOOL OR FINCHLEY DOG WALKER ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR  YOUR DOGS HEALTH.THE ABOVE IS ONLY MEANT TO BE HELPFUL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT REPLACE PROPER VETERINARY CARE

We are not Vets and this info is not intended, in any way, to take the place of the advice from your Vet.   If you have concerns please contact your vet or Vetfone

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Canine Massage – could your dog be trying to tell you they need it?

You might be surprised to know that Canine Massage is not a pampering session for your dog. The best person in the world to give your dog fuss and strokes is you! Canine Massage is a drug-free, natural and results driven therapy that can significantly improve a dog’s quality of life when performed by a skilled practitioner. This blog post aims to give you the low-down on Canine Massage and how you can spot muscular issues in your dog and seek help if you need it.

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So what is massage exactly? Massage helps the body to perform at its best, by influencing every single system from nervous to digestive, as well as aiding healing and encouraging relaxation. In Greek the word ‘massō’ means ‘to handle, touch, work with the hands, to knead dough.’ With the same care and skill that a baker kneads dough to create bread, a masseuse will use their hands, fingers, elbows and forearms to work on a body, using varying amounts of pressure to feel for temperature, tension, tenderness and texture in the soft tissues. When you bash your elbow, what’s the first thing you do? Rub it hard to make you feel better of course. It is a natural instinct to rub or touch an area of pain.

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The dog has around 320 bones and approximately 700 muscles which account for 45% to 50% of their bodyweight. It makes sense then that many mobility problems relate directly back to the muscles, however muscular issues and injures are often overlooked. Think about how much your dog does in a day – running, jumping, playing, sleeping, eating, perhaps some obedience, agility or canicross – everything your dog does is made possible by the muscles pulling on the bones to move and so it’s inevitable that injury or two will happen occasionally. Muscles work together with the skeleton and the joints, so muscular issues are often closely related to orthopaedic conditions like Hip Dysplasia and Arthritis, but in many circumstances medication will be suggested rather than muscular therapy. Granted, muscular issues such as strains and trigger points are mysterious little things as they can’t be found on MRI scans or X-Rays, but this makes it all the more important to seek out a professional who can not only find these issues but treat them too.

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So what can you do as a responsible and loving dog owner? First and foremost you can easily become familiar with the warning signs to look out for. Your dog could be tying to tell you there is a problem without you realising it! Why not spend 5 minutes this evening with your dog to run through the following and see how many you get;

  1. Gait: is your dog often lame or moving differently to usual?
  2. Stiffness: struggling to get up and down or to move around easily? Visibly in pain?
  3. Posture: standing differently, perhaps the tail carriage is different or you’re noticing an arched or dipped back?
  4. Coat flicks: is your dog’s coat flicking up in a place it doesn’t usually?
  5. Twitching: when you stroke, groom or touch your dog, does their skin appear to twitch, particularly down their back? You might have always thought they have a tickly spot?
  6. Change in Activities of Daily Living: maybe your dog used to be able to go up and down stairs, jump on/off the sofa or in/out of the car and they can’t anymore. It may be that they have really slowed down on walks or seem old before their time?
  7. Reluctant to be stroked or groomed: is your dog running away from you or whipping their head round when you touch them in a certain place?
  8. Grumpy with other dogs: snapping or general irritability can result in a dog ‘guarding themselves’ from further muscular injury and pain but it is good to speak to a behaviorist first to rule out other issues.
  9. Performance change: agility/obedience/working dogs who are not performing as they once did, for example knocking poles?

If you recognise some of the signs in your dog, then visit the Canine Massage Guild website to find out more and visit the therapist register to find your local practitioner. All Guild members have completed two years of training as well as taking part in continuous development every year so your dog will be in the very best hands.

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I see dogs of all different shapes and sizes every week and can honestly say that Canine Massage has transformed lives – not only for dogs but for their owners too! My passion in life is dogs and their wellbeing and it’s so rewarding to see happy owners who know their dogs don’t have to live in pain.

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Carly Vincent is a Canine Massage Therapist and owner of Wholesome Hound Canine Massage Therapy, covering London, Surrey and Berkshire. Carly credits her much loved career to Sue and Barbara, as she discovered canine massage whilst volunteering for them many moons ago. For more information see www.wholesome-hound.com or to contact Carly call 07919 387319 or email carly@wholesome-hound.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get comfy whilst dog walking

Rain or shine, our dogs need their exercise – many will even appear to be very down in the dumps if they miss out, and most will become more than a little hyperactive, bouncing off the walls of the living room, or presenting countless tennis balls and his lead as a hint. The daily (or twice daily, or thrice daily…) walk is just one of the many commitments we make when we decide to take on a dog, and while we may not be overly keen on cold, wet or windy weather, to our dogs, it doesn’t matter in the slightest. What can we do to make winter dog walking less of a chore?

Firstly, make sure you’re as warm and comfortable as possible:

Warm, shower-proof and breathable lightweight coat with Gortex (or similar) lining, as a traditional winter coat will have you sweating within minutes.  The Keela range of coats are very good

  • A hat and scarf – following the principles of layering, these can easily be removed as you warm up.
  • Gloves – fingerless are handy for fiddling with the lead or a poo bag, but if it’s just too cold for that, thin sport ones should do the job.
  • Sturdy, waterproof shoes or boots with a good grip.  Again Gortex lined boots are good or you can get some very good neoprene lined wellingtons for very mucky days (you are looking at paying around £100 for boots or wellingtons – Remember it is important to look after your feet) – if you take care of your boots they will last for a long time
  • Don’t forget your dog may really feel the cold, too – smaller, thin-skinned and short-haired breeds won’t enjoy it at all, so get a suitable and unrestrictive coat. Equafleececoats are very good for dogs of all sizes 20130119_101411
  • Snow, ice and grit can all cause problems for a dog’s feet – petroleum jelly can help prevent that.

Take care when winter dog walking

Remember, it’s not just the discomfort of the cold than can be an issue – you’ll need to take extra care while out and about, too:

  • If you’re walking in the evening, it gets dark early, so invest in some high visibility or LED gear for you and your dog, and keep a small torch in your pocket
  • Make sure you have a fully charged phone in case of Emergencies and contact numbers – you may also want to read  Your Safety Whilst Out and About – Paws for thought
  • Don’t allow your dog to pull – if it’s slippery, this could be lethal. There’s no substitute for training, but a gentle anti-pull harness should have an immediate effect and can help reinforce what you teach him.

Have some designated dog towels waiting at home, and get him dried off straight away. Hopefully, your waterproof coat and sturdy boots will have saved you from the worst of it.

Come on, let’s get out there! Wrap up warm – you may even enjoy it. If not, well, I’ll be happy to help!

Article by Derek Chambers of Finchley Dog Walker and Edited by Sue Goulden of Tip Top Dog School

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