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Santa Barbara Dog Health & Wellness Articles

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Articles for you and your pet to ensure a happy healthy life together.

By Barking Good Grooms, Nov 30 2014 03:46AM

“It’s a dog” seems to mean something different to many people. To some it’s an insult, a joke, or a lower class reference. I’ve had clients look offended when I called their beloved pet a dog as if I had just said they were less deserving. In reality for me “dog” is of the highest compliment.

While discussing neglected dogs with someone else in the industry I was shocked at how different our views were of a “neglected dog”. Matted for months and left to sleep outside in the cold was something I couldn’t imagine for my furbabies. No attention; just food. As I complained to this person of how they shouldn’t be treated this way I was astounded when her reply came. “Well, it’s a dog.” …Yes a living creature that depends on us and loves unconditionally. Yet she seemed to think that this is how they should be treated because they are dogs.

It’s frustrating that there are so many that feel dogs don’t deserve a place of their own in your home or someone’s company. People will say you smell like a dog, you look like a dog, he acts like a dog. Why not she loves like a dog, he’s loyal like a dog, and they’re brave as a dog.

More people that see them as a creature that deserves respect and happiness the more try to help. Spreading stories of the dogs that save lives, bring happiness to widowed owners, and joy to people watching their sheer passion for fun loving life; it all helps. People realize what a dog really is. Yes an honorable guard, a hardworking helper, an always there for you companion, a forgiving friend.

We can make as many people as possible understand the significance of a dog. The outlook of saying “it’s a dog” can mean something wonderful to everyone. A dog, just like any living creature deserves safety, health, and happiness. The human race regrettably is significantly responsible for if that happens or not. You can spread dog as a compliment and meaning of true friendship throughout the world to be passed down to even more generations than your own.

Calling a dog what it is should be seen as something good. I’m proud to say my four legged babies are dogs. They are spoiled, loved, fattened on thanksgiving, showered with presents on b-days, and forgiven after eating my irresistible sandwich, because they are even better to me, because they are dogs.

By Barking Good Grooms, Sep 9 2014 07:16PM

Healthy Coat for Our Santa Barbara Dogs

By Barking Good Grooms

A shiny coat is a sign of a healthy dog. Diet is a large part of your dog's routine that greatly affects his/her health. Although bargain brands save you money now you end up paying for that later in vet bills and supplements. If your dog's skin and coat seem itchy and dry be sure to check your dog food ingredients for essential fatty acids. Fatty acids can also help with arthritis, allergies, autoimmune conditions, yeast infections, and cancer; and are beneficial to the eyes and heart as well as the coat. Adding one tsp to a tbs of olive oil to your pet's food will help ensure a healthy coat. Coconut oil may also help with skin conditions.

When bathing your dog its best to use an oatmeal shampoo unless directed otherwise by your vet. Oatmeal contains vitamin E which is a natural softener. Conditioner will help as well. Be sure to massage into coat before rinsing it out. Shampoos and conditioners that are coconut based are recommended because they lather up naturally versus other products that have a chemical placed in to create an unnatural lather. Keep to a routine and pay attention to your dog's skin to know when it’s the best time for another bath. Talk to your dog groomer about what shampoos and conditioners could be used as well as how frequently your pet should be bathed.

Brushing your dog will assure the natural oils of the skin are spread throughout the length of the coat. How often you need to brush depends on the breed of the dog. Dogs that shed should be brushed about three times a week. Long haired dogs like Maltese should be brushed daily to prevent tangles and mats. Others would be fine with once a week; however brushing your dog everyday is perfectly fine for your pet. Brushing also stimulates the blood vessels in the skin, improving circulation so more nutrients can reach the hair follicle. This time spent with your dogs also strengthens your bond and gives you the opportunity to check the overall health. Keep an eye out for hot spots, other skin conditions that should be checked out by a vet as well as new lumps or bumps that would cause concern.

Exercise improves your dog’s circulation, which results in more beneficial nutrients reaching the hair follicles, leading to a healthier coat. Stress also contributes to a dull coat. Long walks and plenty of playtime significantly reduce your dog’s stress level. In addition, many dogs exhibit detrimental, excessive licking as a result of boredom and separation anxiety, both of which you can decrease by lots of exercise.

Fleas are another thing that could affect your dogs’ skin and coat as well as overall health. Left untreated it can cause a chain reaction of fleas, worms, mites, hot spots, digestive problems, anemia and more. Spot on treatments may work for your dog, but I have personally found that oral pills provided by my vet to be much more affective. A treated dog put into a flea infested environment makes it tough to resolve the problem. Be sure to keep carpets vacuumed, dog bed washed and clean, as well as any other fabrics your dog comes into contact with. If you did get an infestation I recommend treating your house and yard. All or most pet stores carry products that will rid fleas of your dogs’ environment. Remember each flea lays up to fifty eggs a day so the longer you put it off the more work you’ll give yourself to get rid of the infestation. Also remember that you usually only see one out of every hundred fleas that are actually present.

If you have been doing all of the above but your dogs’ skin and coat don’t seem healthy then get to the vet as soon as possible as it may be an indication of a deeper health issue. Your dog’s coat is one of the best ways to gain insights into your dog’s condition, be it physical or emotional.

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