February is Pet Oral Health Month! Clean teeth and gums are an important part of keeping your dog happy and healthy but it’s one area that a lot of pet parents let fall to the side. As daunting of a task as brushing your dog’s teeth may seem, it’s doesn’t have to be! Below are some tips and tricks to help make developing an oral care routine an easy, fun task for you and your dog!
Let’s first start with the supplies:
Don’t have a dog toothbrush? Dog toothbrushes designed for dogs are great but in a pinch you can also use a soft bristled children’s toothbrush, a finger toothbrush or a clean sock wrapped around your finger.
Worried about the chemicals/ingredients of dog toothpaste you find the pet stores? There are multiple DIY dog toothpaste recipes available online all of which contain ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen.
Thinking about using human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth? Don’t do it! Never use human toothpaste when brushing your dog’s teeth- it contains ingredients that are harmful to your dog when ingested.
On to the actual teeth brushing:
We’re new to teeth brushing, where do I start? Start off with letting your dog lick the toothpaste off your finger for a couple teeth brushing sessions. Graduate to rubbing their teeth/gums with your finger for a couple sessions. After that let them lick the toothpaste off the toothbrush for a couple sessions. Then you can try and brush a couple teeth working your way up each session to brushing more teeth. If your dog protests at a certain step then review the previous step. We want to make sure that it’s a positive experience so always make sure to end any session with positive reinforcement i.e. treat, toy or attention.
My dog won’t let me brush all his/her teeth! Don’t get discouraged, if your dog is already comfortable with letting you brush only a couple of teeth at a time, do short sessions making sure to end each one with positive reinforcement i.e. toy, treat or attention and work your way up. There’s no rush and no need to force teeth brushing on your dog; take your time and it’ll pay off in the end!
How often should I brush my dog’s teeth? Vets suggest daily brushing of dog’s teeth but brushing 3-4 times a week will help prevent the buildup of plaque.
Are there certain areas to focus on when brushing the teeth? Yes! Make sure to get the canine’s and the upper back molars where food tends to get caught.
Lastly, the entire oral care routine:
Do I have to do more to maintain good oral health for my dog? Yes, in conjunction to regular teeth brushing you also want to get a veterinarian to checkout your dog’s teeth. Some dogs even with regular teeth brushing will need a professional teeth cleaning to remove built up plaque. There are also more you can do at home to aid in good oral health, see question below.
What else can I do at home to maintain good oral health for my dog? In addition to regular teeth brushing, you can feed supplements (check out your local pet store for options) or provide treats/chews that help reduce plaque buildup. When purchasing chews and toys make sure to take into account the size of your dog and how active of chewer they are. Not sure which one to get your dog? Ask your local pet store and they’ll be able to give you the best toys for your dog.
Lastly and most important, make sure whatever your oral care routine includes, to make it a positive experience for your dog! Incorporate toys, treats and playtime as rewards and it’ll make developing as well as maintaining an oral care routine a breeze!
Still have questions about dog oral health? Leave your comments below!
Do you know everything you should about Canine Influenza?
We at Central Bark have not had any cases of the Canine Influenza H3N2 (dog flu) but want to make sure that all our clients are well informed and have all the knowledge to keep their dogs safe. Below is some general information; we are encouraging all dog owners to speak with their vet about preventative care.
What is it?
Canine Influenza H3N2 is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is caused by Influenza A virus in dogs.
Is my dog at risk?
Dogs who are routinely around other dogs in daycare, dog parks, grooming salons or social settings are at a higher risk for exposure to the virus. H3N2 is a relatively new virus in the United States, therefore dogs, regardless of age or breed, lack immunity to this specific influenza virus. The American Veterinary Medical Association says almost all dogs who are exposed to the virus will become infected and approximately 80% will show symptoms. Much like the human influenza infection, dogs who are puppies, older or with health issues are most susceptible to showing severe symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
There are two groups of symptoms: mild and severe. There is a 2-4 day incubation period for the virus before dogs generally show symptoms.
•Soft, moist cough lasting 10-30 days
• Reduced appetite
• Discharge from nose and/or eyes
• High Fever
• Clinical signs of Pneumonia:
o Increased respiratory rate
o Trouble breathing
Is there a vaccine for Canine Influenza H3N2?
A very effective vaccine is available through your veterinarian; the vaccine does require a booster before full immunity is obtained. Central Bark is not requiring a vaccine for daycare or boarding but is strongly encouraging everyone to get their dog vaccinated if they regularly attend dog parks and/or daycare/boarding.
Should I be concerned about my dog coming in for daycare/boarding at Central Bark?
Everyone at Central Bark is keeping a very close eye out for symptoms on all dogs who come in for daycare, boarding, and/or grooming but we are urging parents to also keep an observant eye out and not bring in any dog(s) who are exhibiting symptoms and to call their vet immediately.
Want more information? Check out American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Website for more information:AVMA WEBSITE
Central Bark now has two groomers on staff to meet your grooming needs!
Andrea has been sprucing dogs and cats up with her gentle and caring touch for 13 years. Her passion for all dogs- big, small, fuzzy and hairy has been with her since childhood but rescue dogs hold a special place in her heart. You’ll regularly see Andrea around Central Bark with her sidekick, Oopsy Chihuahua Mix who is one of her 3 rescue furkids. Andrea is available Tuesday-Saturday for full grooms & bath n’ blowout appointments every week!
Amanda has been making over dogs for 7 years and has returned to Central Bark after a year long maternity leave. She has a passion for grooming all different breeds and loves getting to know each of the dogs’ personalities. Her expertise includes standard breed cuts as well as more creative ones including mohawks, adding feathers or even bling for the dog to wear. Amanda is available on Sundays for full grooms & bath n’ blowout appointments every week!
Call us (206)325-3525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment with Andrea or Amanda.
November is National Senior Pet Month! If you’re looking to add another family member, adding a senior dog is a great option. Dogs graduate into the “senior” age group after 7 years old so don’t think that just because they are senior that they don’t have any life left in them. Below are some reasons as to why senior dogs rock!
1.) Senior dogs are not like onions… meaning you’re unlikely to get surprises in their behavior. As dogs socially mature they undergo behavior changes which as a new dog owner, these can be exciting or unwelcomed changes. However, a senior dog has already gracefully matured into themselves so no worries about sudden personality changes.
2.) Despite the popular saying, you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks! Senior dogs generally have some basic obedience under their belt so there’s less work you have to do in order to get a well behaved dog.
3.) Netflix & Chill? Senior dogs are down for some good napping and lounging. Unlike their younger counterparts they need less exercise and are very happy spending quality time with you around the house. (Less exercise does not mean no exercise though! Moderate exercise will keep them happy & healthy).
4.) Save the shoes & carpet. Another benefit of senior dogs is they are already potty-trained and have gone through their chewing phase so your carpet and shoes are spared from the regular puppy potty accidents and puppy teething phase.5.) Save money on the puppysitter. Senior dogs don’t need 24/7 supervising like puppies do. When you are adopting a senior dog you’re getting a mature dog that can be left alone for a whole day at work or if you want to go out for a couple hours on the weekend.
Lastly, you will be saving a life. Senior dogs are not pet rejects and deserve a loving home just as much as the younger dogs in shelters but many times they are overlooked for the stereotype of being an “old dog”. Senior dogs don’t mean they are can’t still romp around and be a fantastic pet. Next time you’re looking to add a new family member consider getting a senior pet, they just might steal your heart.
Happy Howl-O-Ween! This spooky time of year brings candy, costumes and a haunting good time but not always for our dogs. Below are some quick tips to ensure you and your dog have an enjoyable Halloween.
The best part of Halloween is dressing up in whatever costume you choose! We may enjoy dressing up but our four-legged friends may not. If you are dressing your dog up and they are not used to wearing outfits try and make it as an enjoyable experience as possible; make sure the costume doesn’t restrict movement, breathing or barking and remove the costume if they are showing sign of abnormal behavior or stress. Start trying on the costume days before Halloween, only having the costume on for 5-10 minutes at a time and praise them for cooperating with treats and lots of pets. Build the time up over a course of a week and your pet will be much more inclined to keep their costume on if they know it’s not a scary experience.
Trick or treaters:
Some dogs are protective of their home and their family; making trick or treaters coming to the front door a stressful experience. If your pup isn’t comfortable with strangers regularly coming to the front door, have them rest in a crate or room away from the busy commotion. Add their favorite toy or treat (as long as they don’t need to be supervised while enjoying it) and put on some classical music or television to help them relax.
A great option for keeping their minds preoccupied would be a Kong filled with peanut butter or their favorite wet dog food.
Don’t forget chocolate is poisonous to dogs so Halloween candy needs to be put out of reach. Chocolate contains components that humans can quickly breakdown but dogs break these components down much slower which can result in a built up to a toxic level. Although non-chocolate candy may not be poisonous to dogs, the high sugar content isn’t good for them to digest. Best to get your dog their own dog-friendly Halloween treat like pumpkin dog treats.
With all the fun of Halloween comes the pranksters too; most of the pranks are harmless but keep an eye out for dangerous ones. Keep your dog (and all pets) inside the night of Halloween. For outdoor pets, bring them in a couple days prior to Halloween and a couple days following just to be safe. Check your yard the morning after Halloween for anything out of the ordinary that could be dangerous to your pet.
Pumpkins and corn stalks are fun Halloween decorations but can be harmful for pets if ingested in large quantities leading to blockages. When decorating keep in mind of the height of your pet; tails can easily knock things over and paws can trip over electrical cords. Always keep open flames away from being knocked over, hide exposed electrical cords and monitor your pet closely when they are around decorations. <>/body>
It’s Pet Wellness Month! This month is focused on educating pet owners on the importance of annual wellness checks and preventing disease. Our pet’s health is important and we’re responsible for keeping them healthy all year long. Unfortunately for our pets, allergies are not just limited to us. Our four-legged pups are susceptible to common allergies as well, so here are some of the most common allergies for dogs:
Seasonal allergies: Just like human seasonal allergies, dogs are vulnerable to seasonal pollen allergies. These allergies usually present a bit differently in our four-legged friend than with us though.
Other allergens: This category is vague because almost anything can be an allergen; it can vary from your dog being allergic to specific plants, mold, dander, prescription drugs, dust mites, etc. There is such a wide variety of allergens that if your pet is experiencing allergy symptoms is it beneficial to discuss it with your veterinarian.
Food based allergies are very common in dogs but sometimes hard to pin down to exactly what ingredient is causing the allergy symptom. There are multiple low-ingredient dog food brands on the market that allow you to try different protein and grain sources. Testing different ingredients of dog food is a long process since results can take weeks or months to present themselves but it’s worth it in the long run for a healthy pup!
Spider and other insect bites
These allergies can come out of the blue and you probably won’t know until your pup experiences bites or stings and see the allergic reaction. The severity of the allergic reaction can vary just like it does in humans from mild to severe.
Common Allergy Symptoms:
Increased licking of paws/swollen paws
Itchy, watery eyes
Skin rashes (Red, itchy or scabed patches of skin)
Many mild allergies can be treated with some benadryl or hydrocortisone cream but severe allergies may require more intense treatments. Of course food or drug allergies once diagnosed can easily be fixed with avoiding the allergy causing ingredient in your dog’s diet. If your dog is presenting with symptoms of allergies, it is best to discuss this with your vet; treatments vary greatly depending on the severity of your dog’s allergies and the type of allergy.
We want to hear from you! Do you have a dog that has an allergy? How’d you narrow down your dog’s allergy? Do you have a non-traditional method for keeping your dog’s allergy under control?
As dog owners we always want to keep our dog happy and healthy; one easy way to do this is regular nail trimming. Below we are going to answer some of the most common nail clipping questions we get asked!
My dog’s nails are really long, why can’t you just cut them really short?
This requires a bit of nail anatomy; dog’s nails have blood vessels that run down the length of the nail called the quick. The quick feeds the new nail growth with nutrients; as the nail grow out so does the blood vessels in order to continue to ‘feed’ the new nail. The length of the quick limits how short you can trim the nails but with regular nail trimming or dremels you can make the quick recede allowing you to get the dog’s nails shorter.
How often should I trim my dog’s nails?
The exact time varies on the dog so there isn’t a concrete answer. There are a lot of factors that affect nail growth: nutrition, exercise, health and age just to name a few. Some dogs needs nail trims every 2-3 weeks while some need them only every 5-6 weeks and some rarely need them. Easy way is to ballpark about 4 weeks and then adjust based on how short/long your dog’s nails are.
What’s the difference between getting a nail trim and a nail dremel?
First and foremost, the tools that are used are different. Nail trims use nail clippers while a nail dremel uses a handheld sander to file down the nail. As you can see from the diagrams, nail trims cut the nail up to the quick and you’re left with a flat cut. Nail dremels on the other hand allow you to sand the nail down without leaving a flat cut and get a bit closer to the quick while sanding out any rough edges.
Which is better a nail trim or a nail dremel?
That’s really up to your dog, nail trimming is important for the health of your dog so either method your dog is comfortable with is going to be the better option. As a heads up, a lot of dogs who don’t get nail trims often are scared of the dremel and it takes some regular use to get them comfortable with it. If you’re unsure, talk to your groomer or pet grooming professional to see which is the best method for your dog.
Help! My dog won’t let me trim his nails, what should I do?
We see this a lot so you’re not alone; plenty of dogs will not let their owners trim their nails. This depends on how dedicated you are to wanting to trim your dog’s nails yourself. You can train your dog to sit patiently for nail trims using positive reinforcement training but it does take some time and you won’t be able to do all four paws let alone all eighteen (twenty if your dog has rear dew claws) nails at once. There are a plethora of dog grooming salons and dog daycares that offer grooming services that will be more than happy to do nail trims for you. Pricing for these are pretty reasonable and usually range from $10 to $20.
We love answering your pawesome questions! Leave a comment down below if you have another nail care question or dog-related question.
Fall has arrived! Unfortunately fall brings more than just Seahawks and PSL’s; there is also a higher risk of Giardia. Below is the quick & dirty facts every dog owner should know about giardia.
What is it?
Microscopic parasite that inhabits the intestines of their host for part of their lifecycle. It has a multi-form lifecycle including the cyst form & reproducing form.
The reproducing form stays in the intestine of their host, while the cyst form is shed through feces and goes on to infect new hosts.
What are the symptoms?
Diarrhea (sometimes bloody diarrhea), gas, vomiting, nausea, weight loss and abdominal discomfort.
It is possible to have giardia and be asymptomatic (showing no symptoms at all).
How did my dog get it?
Bad news here, it’s hard to figure out because the dog just has to ingest the giardia cysts. Giardia can survive long periods of time in certain conditions; here are the numbers the CDC gives us:
Cold Temperatures (approx. 39.2°F) = 7 weeks
Room Temperatures (approx. 77°F) = 1 week
Dry, warm surfaces experiences direct sunlight= few days
Moist, cool environments = several weeks
Less than 50°F (lake water, winter-time puddle water) = 1-3 months
Greater than 50°F (fall-time river water, puddle in summer) = less than 1-3 months
Greater than 98.6°F = 4 days
Can I get it from my dog?
It is unlikely because there are multiple types of giardia and the type that infects dogs doesn’t infect humans. However, the type of Giardia that does infect humans can be transmitted to dogs which then can be transmitted back to humans.
How is it diagnosed?
Vets will test a fecal sample for the presence of giardia proteins using the ELISA test. This generally isn’t a standard test including in the annual fecal testing suggested by vets so if you are concerned ask your vet about it.
How is it treated?
Good news! It’s fairly easy to treat, the common treatment is a broad spectrum de-wormer and an antibiotic usually lasting 5-7 days. Sometimes there are multiple rounds of treatment needed in order to clear the giardia. There is no over the counter (OTC) medication available so a visit to the vet is required for treatment.
For further information check out the CDC website for reliable information: CDC Giardia
In this edition of the Central Barker, we are gearing up for Bark to School! Kids head back to school in the next couple weeks which means the dogs that have been staying at home with the kids during the summer are now going to be home alone during the day. For some dogs this is great: more naptimes and less bribing the kids for extra treats; but for some pups this is just means more unsupervised time to cause mischief!
So parents when you’re buying all the school supplies for your kids, let’s also think about gearing our four-legged kids to get ready for their ‘bark’ to daycare!
If your pup has never gone to daycare, there’s a couple additional steps you should be aware of. Most daycares require some sort of behavioral evaluation or interview for new dogs before they can come in. Plan ahead of time for this and call ahead to set up an appointment as well as know the requirements the daycare has. These tend to book out 2-7 days ahead of time so keep that in mind when you’re planning.
For both ‘freshmen’ and ‘senior’ daycare dog goers it’s important to make sure they are up-to-date on all vaccines, flea preventative and/or fecal tests. Call the daycare ahead of time to make sure they have all the records and if something is missing call your vet to get it taken care of. There’s nothing worse than dropping your pup off for the day and then learning they cannot play due to an expired vaccine.
Now you’re ready! Your pup rocking their new collar, ready to make some new friends or see some old ones. There might even be a teary goodbye the first day but you’ll be reassured when your pup is passed out on the car ride home that they had a blast at daycare!
Customers in need of dog grooming in Seattle often wonder how they can maintain their canine’s fabulous looks in between professional appointments. Fortunately, our knowledgeable pet lovers have some great tips, and we will bring a few basics to your attention here.
The first home beauty treatments should be short. Beginning with a 5- or 10-minute session will allow your furry friend to adjust to this new experience.
Keep Tangles at Bay
One simple and enjoyable treatment is the brushing of your dog’s coat. This may need to be done daily if he or she has a long or easily matted coat. Short, smooth fur may only need to be brushed weekly.
Keep the bath sessions to every few months unless your pal is truly dirty, and use appropriate pet shampoo. This will prevent skin irritation.
Watch the Nails
One tricky aspect of canine care is the clipping of the nails. This may be best left to professionals, but if you would like to do it yourself, purchase high-quality dog clippers, and follow the directions faithfully. Note that dog nails contain a vein that can easily be nicked if the cutting is not done carefully.
With these grooming tips, Fido will be looking and feeling fabulous. Use these “spa” treatments as a relaxing bonding time for you both.