Free Advice!

Your dog may experience some grooming issues that you can handle yourself.

Teeth, Smelly Dog, Skin Conditions, Fleas!

Teeth Cleaning - Just as with our teeth, pets can suffer from tooth decay. That's the bad news. The good news is it can be prevented, just as with our teeth. There are products available at most pet stores that allow you to brush and clean your dog or cat's teeth. We have found however that most pets don't particularly enjoy this process and some actively oppose it. If you can't manage this cleaning process at least once a week, your pet's teeth will likely get to a point where they require a cleaning and scaling process performed by your veterinarian under anesthesia.

Because my dogs are in that category of active opposition, I instead use a dental rinse that is added to their drinking water that helps with tartar control as well as freshens their breath. Most pet stores, including PetSmart, generally carry at least one such rinse. I supplement with a dental chew as well. They love getting their "toothbrush" every evening!

Deodorizing - There aren't a lot of things that smell worse than a dog who has just splashed in dirty water, or has rolled in something dead, or has been sprayed by a skunk. Other than the skunk spraying, they probably are very proud of themselves when they present themselves at your door. You of course don't want them in your house until they smell better. What to do?

You could call us and we'll be happy to come out and de-stink your dog. But it may be a few days or even a week before we can get there. Fortunately there are quite effective de-stinking products available at most pet stores. PetSmart for instance sells a product from Nature's Miracle called Skunk Odor Remover. It is a spray-on, leave-on treatment that removes the stink from the dog's coat as it drys. It also works on other stinky smells.

Scaly Skin Conditions - A skin condition similar to dandruff called seborrhea is common in dogs, especially older dogs or those with thyroid conditions. A veterinarian should be consulted about any skin condition and they may recommend medication and/or a medicated shampoo. If the condition is mild and does not require medication however, the condition can be managed with an over-the-counter remedy. Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength used regularly can help to keep seborrhea conditions under control.

You might not find this in your local grocery store. It is likely you will have to visit a drugstore. I know it can be found at Walgreen's and CVS for instance.

Fleas! - We seem to fight a never-ending battle with fleas and ticks in the Middle Tennessee area. There are solutions you can find at your vet's office, topical as well as a pill-form. These must be applied regularly and can get very expensive. DO NOT BUY FRONTLINE! This topical treatment is no longer working; fleas have become immune to it. Here are some cheaper solutions.

First, you should treat your yard so there are less fleas and ticks alive to jump on your pet (and you). Any general lawn insect control product will also kill fleas and ticks. It is spread just like a fertilizer. If you have overhanging trees and/or shrubs, treat those with a liquid insect killer with a pump sprayer. These products can be found at most big-box home improvement stores and garden centers as well as at Walmart, Kmart, etc.

DO NOT USE SEVIN! Sevin is highly toxic and is absorbed through the skin even when dry.

Please NOTE: Most of these products are safe once they dry or soak in to the surface but take precautions when applying. Keep kids and pets inside until dry. Apply in the early morning before the dew has dried off. Wear long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and goggles and a mask to cover your nose and mouth. Follow all label directions carefully.

Next, should you experience a flea infestation on your pet, you want them DEAD! as soon as possible. Again, you can call us and we'll be happy to come out and de-flea. If you can't wait for us and want a do-it-yourself solution, you can find flea shampoos at most pet stores. A cheaper, effective, and safe solution is Ivory dish detergent. It works by suffocating the fleas, so get your dog or cat all suds-ed up, leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. The fleas will be DEAD!