Tag Archives: dog grooming

Doggy Dental Products

February is Pet Dental Health Month! This is a very important topic for those of you with dogs. Dental problems are quite common in our canine pals. Fido can develop many issues, including gum disease, abscesses, and cracked or broken teeth. These issues can become very painful, and can really impact your pup’s quality of life.

Many can also lead to dangerous infections. Keeping your furry buddy’s teeth healthy is very important! Of course, you’ll need proper tools to care for your pet’s choppers. A Roanoke, VA vet lists some doggy dental products below.

Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes are helpful with pups for the same reason they are for people: they’re very helpful in removing plaque and tartar. Be sure to get ones made specifically for Fido. The ones made for us aren’t angled the right way for dogs’ teeth. You can also try a finger toothbrush.

Toothpastes

As with toothbrushes, you’ll need to stick with products made just for dogs. Fido will probably be more agreeable to having his choppers cleaned if he likes the taste of his toothpaste. Beef and chicken flavored ones are both pretty good bets!

Dental Flakes

Dental flakes, or dental powders, are additives that you would sprinkle on your furry pal’s food. Many of these products contain seaweed, which helps clean Fido’s mouth and freshen his breath.

Oral Rinses

There are a few types of oral rinses. Some you use to flush Fido’s teeth, much as you would use a mouthwash. Others you would add to his water. Ask your vet for more information.

Dental Chews

Some dental chews will work better than others. There are plenty to choose from. Just be sure to let Fido weigh in. Even the best brands won’t be very effective if your pooch doesn’t like them! You can also try adding toothpaste to a Nylabone, and just letting your canine buddy have at it.

Dental-Formula Treats

As the name suggests, dental-formula treats and kibble are formulated to fight plaque. These can also be an effective weapon in your doggy dental care arsenal.

Tips

Doggy dental products can be very helpful, but they’re not one-size-fits-all. Every pooch is different! Ask your veterinarian for specific recommendations. Also, be sure to get Fido’s teeth checked regularly.

Please reach out with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care. As your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, we’re here to help!

Shopping For A Senior Dog

November is Adopt A Senior Dog Month! If you are considering giving an older dog a wonderful forever home, you definitely have our support! Of course, you’ll need to make a trip to the pet store before bringing Fido home. Keep your canine pal’s age in mind as you go shopping. Pups in their golden years have different needs than puppies do. A Roanoke, VA vet offers some tips on this below.

Beds

One of the best things you can do for your canine buddy is get him a good bed. We generally recommend orthopedic beds for older dogs. They offer great support and help keep Fido warm on chilly nights. Incontinence isn’t uncommon with older dogs, so you may want to get one with a waterproof, washable slipcover.

Food

Good nutrition is a key part of your pet’s care regimen. Your furry pal will need a good, high-quality dog food that is formulated for senior pooches. You’ll want to get some specific tips from your vet on what to feed Fido. If he has any medical issues, he may need to eat or avoid certain types of food. Supplements may also be beneficial.

Toys

Fido may be in his golden years, but he’ll still want to let his inner puppy out sometimes. Playing is fun and beneficial for dogs, both mentally and physically. Just look for things that will be soft on your pup’s mouth. Puzzle toys can be a good option, because they provide more of a mental challenge than a physical one.

Grooming Supplies

Good grooming will help keep your furry friend looking and feeling great. The exact supplies you’ll need will depend on what kind of dog you have, and what type of fur coat he’s wearing. Dental care is also important. Many senior dogs have gum disease or other issues. You may have a hard time getting your pooch to accept a toothbrush, so look for dental-formula treats and chews. Fido will also need some paw care products, such as balm and clippers or a nail grinder.

Senior-Friendly Items

Depending on your dog’s age and overall health, you may also need to get him some pet ramps or stairs. These are very helpful for dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia.

Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, we’re here to help!

Spring Grooming for Dogs

Spring has officially sprung! As the weather warms up, many of our canine patients are changing out of their winter clothes, and stripping down to a lighter coat of fur. You know what that means: pet fur everywhere! A local Roanoke, VA vet offers some tips on grooming your four-legged friend below.

Brushing

How often your pooch needs to be brushed will depend on the type of coat he has. However, many pups shed most heavily in spring. If your furry buddy is losing a thick winter coat, try to brush him daily. The shedding process will go more quickly, and you won’t find as much fur all over, well, everything. Take Fido outside for his beauty sessions when the weather is nice. That way, the extra fur will just blow away, instead of getting stuck to your sofa. And your chairs. And your rug. Plus, birds may even use it in their nests.

Bath

Most of our canine buddies don’t get bathed very much in winter. After all, you don’t want to take a wet dog out for a drying-off walk on a frigid day. By the time spring rolls around, Fido might be a bit stinky. Bathtime! Before getting started, gather everything you need in one spot. Some things that may come in handy are a rubber mat for your tub, towels, a pitcher for rinsing, and a washcloth for your furry pal’s face. You may also want to get a clear shower curtain with ‘arm holes’ cut into it. This works great as a splash guard. Use a shower caddy for storage, so you can store everything in once place. Don’t forget to give your pooch a yummy treat after!

Paws

Dogs’ paws often need some extra attention at this time of year. Winter’s dry air and cold temperatures can cause Fido’s paw pads to get rough, dry, and cracked. Running around on salt, sand, and ice doesn’t help matters any. Use paw balm or wax, olive oil, or coconut oil to soften your pet’s paw pads. As for your canine pal’s nails, give them a good trim too. You can use clippers or a grinder: just take care that you don’t cut into the quick, which is where your four-legged friend’s nerves and blood vessels end.

As your local Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic, we are here to help. Please contact us anytime!

Cold Weather Dog Care

Winter officially starts next week. We know that some of you love the cold, while others are already crossing off the days until spring. This also applies to dogs! Some pups, like huskies and other snow dogs, absolutely love to run and play in the snow. Others will spend the next few months snuggled up in their doggy beds. No matter which camp your furry pal falls into, he will benefit from some extra TLC. Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on keeping your canine buddy happy and healthy in cold weather.

Beds

Fido will need a good bed to curl up in! Make sure that your pet’s doggy bed is thick enough to offer good support and insulation. It also shouldn’t be in a drafty area, or too close to a heater or fireplace. If your pooch has thin fur, he may appreciate a thermal bed or blanket, or even a heated one.

Grooming

Did you know that Fido’s fur will protect him from the cold? However, dust, dead fur, and dander can interfere with its insulating properties. Keep up with your canine pal’s grooming needs!

Paw Care

As you can imagine, going barefoot on snow and ice isn’t much fun. Snow, salt, sand, and ice are all rough on Fido’s furry feet. Get some pet-safe de-icing products. We also recommend keeping your canine companion’s toenails clipped. If your pup has toe fur tufts, cut these as well: they can collect ice balls which, as you can imagine, aren’t very comfortable for dogs.

Dehydration

Many dogs don’t care to drink cold water. Dehydration can become an issue in winter. Don’t put Fido’s bowls in a chilly place. 

Coats

Does your furry bff have a thin coat? If so, Fido will need a doggy sweater or jacket to keep him warm on those frigid winter days. Make sure that your pup’s things fit him well, and are not tight, hot, itchy, or restricting.

Food

Some pooches need to eat more in winter, as they will burn extra calories just staying warm. Your furry friend may also benefit from certain supplements. This can be especially helpful for older dogs, as well as for pups with bone/joint disorders. Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!  

5 Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Skin Healthy

Your skin is your body’s largest organ. The same is true for your dog! So, it makes sense that keeping your canine companion’s skin in good shape is the right thing to do. Read on for five tips from a Roanoke, VA veterinarian on keeping Fido’s skin healthy.

Feed the Proper Diet

One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your dog’s skin healthy is to feed them a great diet. What your dog eats has a lot to do with how his skin and fur looks and feels! When Fido is receiving the proper nutrients through food, the skin and hair follicles stay healthy. Poor nutrition, on the other hand, makes for dry skin and a coarse, dull coat of fur. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on a great food choice for your pooch.

Groom Your Pup

Regular grooming is another simple way to make sure your dog’s skin stays healthy. Brushing your dog ensures that grime and dirt is removed from the coat and doesn’t start to irritate the skin. And the occasional bath is a great way to keep the skin clean and moisturized. Just make sure not to bathe Fido too frequently, because this can backfire and wind up drying out the skin and coat.

Protect Against the Sun

Just like you, too much exposure to the sun isn’t a good thing for your dog’s skin. Dogs can get sunburnt just as easily as you can! It’s not likely to happen on areas of the body that are covered by thick fur, but it can easily occur on areas with thin fur or no fur at all, like the bridge of the nose or edges of the ears. If your dog will be spending time outdoors, try applying a canine-specific sunscreen.

Keep Up With Preventatives

Of course, a flea or tick infestation isn’t good for your dog’s skin, or their health in general. Prevent the problem entirely by keeping your dog up to date on a heartworm preventative and a flea and tick medication. Call your veterinarian if your dog is in need of these medications.

Schedule Veterinary Checkups

Last but not least, having your vet evaluate your dog’s skin and fur health on a regular basis is a fantastic way to give yourself peace of mind. Schedule your pooch’s next office visit with your Roanoke, VA animal hospital. We’re here to help!

6 Things Your Dog Probably Isn’t Thankful For, But Should Be

Thanksgiving is coming up fast. At this time of year, it’s important to think about the things we are grateful for. Pets are definitely on that list! But what about Fido? While there’s no doubt that your canine pal is thankful for bacon, belly rubs, and car rides, there may be some things he may not appreciate as much as he should. A local Roanoke, VA vet lists some of them below.

Baths

Fido isn’t generally a big fan of being bathed. In fact, he may actually run and hide at the mere mention of the dreaded B-word. However, we suspect that our furry pals do enjoy that salon-fresh feeling of being soft and clean!

Us

We know, visiting the veterinary clinic can be unsettling to dogs. There are a lot of strange faces and smells, plus the presence and scents of other nervous pets, some of whom aren’t feeling very well. We do all we can to make appointments easy on our canine patients. That said, we’re pretty sure that most of them would rather be napping or playing Fetch.

Leashes

Leashes are very important to your four-legged friend’s safety. You don’t want your pup dashing off every time he sees a squirrel. That could be very dangerous! Fido, however, probably sees them as more of a nuisance.

Fences

Fences also make the list of things Man’s Best Friend would happily go without. Your furry friend doesn’t necessarily understand how many dangers are waiting beyond his yard. He just wants to explore and chase squirrels!

Parasite Control

There are quite a few options for parasite control available now, from topical drops to pills to shampoos and collars. No matter what product you choose, your furry buddy probably won’t be very enthusiastic about his regimen. However, he will definitely be both healthier and more comfortable if he’s safe from dangerous parasites like fleas and heartworms.

Vaccinations

When Fido gets vaccinated, he doesn’t know that he’s being protected from deadly diseases, such as rabies. He just feels that little pinch. (That accusing look pooches sometimes give us after they get a vaccine will never stop being adorable.) Sorry, Fido: it’s for your own good!

Happy Thanksgiving! Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs … even the ones he isn’t grateful for.

Coat Care Tips for Your Dog

Our canine companions aren’t quite as good at grooming themselves as our feline friends are. It’s up to you to make sure your dog’s coat of fur stays in tip-top shape! To keep your dog’s coat healthy and pristine, use these tips from a Roanoke, VA veterinarian.

High-Quality Diet

One of the easiest but most effective ways to keep your dog’s coat in top form is by feeding them a high-quality, well-balanced diet. Your dog’s skin and fur will remain healthy and moisturized when he receives the proper nutrients through food, and shedding will be kept to a minimum. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on a diet choice that suits your dog’s age, weight, and breed.

Brushing

At home, brushing your dog on a daily basis is one of the best ways to ensure that the coat stays healthy; it’s particularly important for dogs with longer hair. Brushing does many things: for one, it removes loose and dead fur from the coat, and it helps to pick up grime from the skin. Plus, brushing spreads natural skin oils through your dog’s fur, effectively moisturizing it and cutting down on shedding in the long run. Choose a brush and bristle type that will work best on your dog’s coat; ask your vet if you need help.

Bathing

The occasional bath is also effective for maintaining your dog’s coat quality. Plus, it helps your dog smell their absolute best! Always use a canine-formulated shampoo, as human shampoo isn’t made for use on your dog’s sensitive skin. Additionally, be sure not to bathe Fido too frequently. Bathing too often can actually backfire, drying out the skin and fur and resulting in an increase in shedding.
If you would like to know how often your beloved pet could use a bath, contact your vet’s office to learn more.

Pest Prevention Tips

Pests like fleas and ticks can wreak havoc on your dog’s coat of fur, even resulting in hair loss, bald patches, and painful scabs under the hair. Keep your dog on high-quality pest preventatives to avoid the issue entirely. Most dogs will do well with a flea-and-tick medication and a heartworm preventative to keep all pesky critters at bay. If your dog isn’t already set up with these medications, contact your vet’s office.

Would you like even more great tips for keeping your dog’s coat healthy? Call your Roanoke, VA animal hospital!