Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Preventing Canine Obesity

How can you prevent canine obesity when everyone loves to feed treats to the family dog. No one is keeping track of who is doing this when, how many times a day, how much each time. Soon your little dog is dragging it's tummy on the ground.

Hmm. How did this happen?

Some think it's cute to see a fat dog. The truth about canine obesity is this: There really is nothing cute about something that will shorten a dog's life. If a fat dog does not die young, it will at least be unhealthy compared to a trim, well exercised dog. Determine to get your dog back on track to living a healthy life. How do you begin?

Check the food you are using. Is this the one recommended for the breed you own? Also, check to see that you are feeding the dog the amount of dog food and treats recommended. If you have an obese dog that is supposed to have 1 cup of dry food each day, and you are giving it just 10% more daily, expect it to gain weight on a regular basis.

What about the treats you buy? Ask your dog's veterinarian what type of treats are good, and how often it is okay to give the dog a treat: Once a day, or once an hour?

Exercise is important for your dog, and it is important for you. Don't allow the dog to miss it's daily walk, or it's chance to run outside each day. If you can't fit dog walking into your schedule, find someone in the neighborhood, or in your family to do it.

Exercise is especially important if your dog has been in a pet crate all day. It's funny how people who have overweight dogs are sometimes themselves dealing with weight issues.

For the health of your pet, for the life of your pet, give your dog's health serious thought. If your dog is obese, fat, pudgy, deal with it now.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Creating A Dog Grooming Station

Photo copywritten property of T. Anthony

Creating A Dog Grooming Station

If you are currently reaching over the family bathtub to bathe your pet, think about making your life a little simpler. With a reasonable amount of money, and some expertise, you may be able to have a pet grooming station in your home.

You will need a money, a laundry tub, a plumber, or handy family member.

Determine where you have space to locate a laundry tub. This can be near the plumbing in your laundry room, bathroom, or any other part of the house. It does not have to be in the same room; It can be on the other side of the wall where plumbing exists in a wall, so that a plumber can tap into the existing pipes. This gives the option of installing a pet grooming station outside the house if needed.

See Lowe's for a good deal on a laundry tub with cabinet. Purchase the laundry tub you have room for. Lowe's has several that start around $100. A simple laundry tub works great to begin building your pet grooming station. This might not be as high class as the one your favorite groomer has, but will be all you need at home. The one we used included the cabinet, and the spay faucet, which you will want.

A plumber, or handy family member, will tap into the existing plumbing, connecting the laundry tub you purchased to the water supply. This can be quite easy, or very complicated, depending on the structure of your home. We have been able to accomplish this easily in several homes.

Your pet grooming station can be as simple, or glamorous, as you prefer. Once you have your laundry tub installed, find a used table to place near the laundry tub. Your pet grooming station can be as simple, or glamorous, as you prefer. Place a hamper for the dog's towels near your tub. Keep grooming tools and shampoo in the cabinet. Think about purchasing a hair dryer just for the dog. These are easy yard sale finds.

Choose pet grooming tools from online sources, or at your favorite pet supply store. You do not need to buy professional dog grooming supplies, because you are not a groomer. Inexpensive tools should last several years if you only have one or two dogs. See resources below.

You are ready to groom your pet at home. No, you won't be ready to open a pet grooming business, but you will be able to save a few dollars each year doing some of your pet's grooming. Also, you have the convenience of rinsing or completely grooming your dog as you see fit-not when you can get an appointment.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

How To Groom Your Dog At Home

If you want to groom your dog at home, but don't have a clue where to begin, think about this: If you take the time to learn some of the basics to groom your dog at home, you could save several hundred dollars each year.

Saving money is something most of us are interested in these days, but face it-we don't know how to do everything. We may have to hire someone to dig a well if we don't have the equipment. But, grooming a dog? The basics should be fairly easy to comprehend. This does not mean you will not use a professional several times a year. However, with the economy the way it is, we are all being forced to do more things than we did before.

The groomers we usually use are great. They have expertise no one in our family even begins to have. However, with our pet bills being close to our monthly utility bills, we had to make some adjustments.

We do have a dog washing tub, which is a welcome addition to our Florida room. We have the correct shampoos, some clippers, and the proper brushes and combs for our dogs.

If you have dogs that have long hair you may feel they need to be bathed weekly. Some vets say this is fine as long as you are not using a shampoo that is not for dogs. The vet we use told us to rinse the hair, but don't shampoo every time. Rinsing is enough to get the mud and dirt out of the dog's hair. This vet also recommended oatmeal shampoo to prevent dryness when we do shampoo. Your vet may have a different recommendation, depending on the breed of dog you have.

The dog washing tub we installed is sold as a laundry tub. The tub is deep enough that most dogs can't see what is going on outside of the tub. This tub has a spray faucet, which is ideal. With a cabinet under the tub for supplies, it was a bargain at Lowe's Home Improvement for a bit more than $100.

If you use a tub of any sort, place a shower mat under the dog so it does not slip. Be sure all shampoo containers have tight seals so they will not leak if dropped while washing the dog.

Before we wash our dogs, we are sure to brush and comb them thoroughly. When washing the dogs, we do not allow water to get into their ears, or use the spray of water to get near their eyes. We wash the eyes and ears with a wash cloth, and plain water. We haven't found a need to use anything other than water in these areas, and have never asked our groomers what they use.

We use a standard hair dryer set on medium. We dry about half of the hair, and let the rest of the hair dry naturally.

Once the dog is dry, we comb and brush the hair again. If we feel the dog's hair should be trimmed, we have a table near the washing tub that is just for this purpose. It allows the dogs to be at the height needed so that we do not have to bend over the table. Learning to trim long haired dogs seems to be an art. We give trims, not styles-that the groomer will do.
The dogs may not look perfect, but we feel the $400 or so we saved in the last 12 months is worth these pets looking a little less then Hollywood.