Caring For Your Best Friend's Feet

Written by Amber Kingsley

A friend of mine, a veteran of the military, shared this mantra with me, “Take care of your feet, because your feet take you everywhere.” I always remembered that fact and for us humans, it can often be associated with many types of medical issues, particularly those that are connected with a number of conditions like diabetes and circulation problems, since our lower extremities are the furthest from both our hearts and brains.

In another chapter from my personal adventures associated with my beloved canine companions, during the dog days of summer, in the quiet suburb neighborhood where I live, I always walk my dog with bare feet during the hotter months. Although my neighbors tease me about this  relentlessly, my mind tells me that, if the sidewalk or asphalt is too hot for MY FEET, it must most certainly torture my dog’s sensitive little paws. Anyone who has ran quickly across a hot beach with no shoes can certainly relate to this circumstance. OUCH!

The same is true for our pets, especially dogs, whose paws propel them everywhere in life. Taking care of these delicate extremities is vitally important for their mobility, health and overall welfare. When they have issues with these tissues, sometimes they can chew, lick and irritate these sensitive areas, which only makes the matter worse. Here’s some ways to watch and protect the paws of our beloved four-legged pets:

Paws Don’t Come With A Preventative Care Manual

Although there’s no such thing as “perfect” when it comes to preventative care, there are some steps that we can take to help our pets with better paw protection:

  • Trimming their nails is a daunting task at best, but taking some preventative measures when you’re a DYI kind of pet owner is essential. Consider taking some of these steps to prevent excessive bleeding from cutting too close to the quick.
  • Check your dog’s footsies regularly for signs of irregular abuse, cracking, peeling, redness, swollen areas and other areas of possible irritation and infection. Consult your veterinarian if these problems look serious or you see limping and excessive licking, chewing or favoritism, which can complicate matters.
  • Some dogs that have anxiety problems, or they are particularly stressed for some
    reason, others are aging with arthritis and other muscular conditions can be more prone to issues with their legs and paws. Again, see your veterinarian for solutions and relief that go beyond the “cone of shame.”
  • In extreme climate conditions, both hot and cold, pet owners should resort to protective devices such as booties, to protect their pets from unnecessary harm from the elements.
  • Younger dogs that are more fast moving and are therefore particularly vulnerable to paw injury and abuse, especially on rough surfaces. They should be monitored more closely and watched for signs of increased wear-and-tear that can occur with higher incidences with these more active individuals.
  • There’s another idiom for the care of feet and delicate paws that that goes along with our human endeavors that goes, “Take care of your feet because they’ll carry you for life.” Extend the years you spend with your pet by ensuring their paws, legs, heart and soul, will be with you for life. Both yours and theirs.

     

August Bathing Basics

Thank-you to all that attended August's Bathing Basics.  Attendees learned the importance and the basics of dog bathing from our groomer,  Kayleigh, accompanied by her dog Krystal.

The workshops cover how to maintain a healthy dog coat for furry family members including; brushes that will work best on your dog’s coat, how often dogs need to be bathed, proper ear cleaning,  brushing dog’s teeth, and properly drying your dog to reduce health issues.

One of the takeaways from the workshop was covering ears of dogs that may get scared of the loud noise. 

 

 

 

 

How to Potty Train Your Dog Using Pee Pads

    Potty training your dog is one of the most difficult yet most important things to train your dog for. This is the first thing you need to teach your dog the second you get home so that your dog doesn’t get used to peeing on your floors.

     For the first few months that you have your dog, limit the space that your dog has to roam when unsupervised. Your dog needs limited space like a crate or small playpen so your dog learns to hold in their business until it is time to go. If your dog has an unlimited amount of space to roam, they will be able to go about their business in any corner or space of the house and feel like they do not need to hold in their business. In your dog’s limited space place a pee pad. Your dog will learn to pee and poop on the pee pad when they really need to go.

     The most important things when potty training are: consistency and rewards. You must be consistent and insistent with your dog when potty training. Always place clean pee pads around the house and praise and treat your dog each time your dog does their business on their pee pad. If your dog goes on the floor or elsewhere pick up your dog and place your dog on the pee pad and remind your dog to pee on the pad. Be consistent and use positive reinforcement. Do not use negative reinforcement like shouting or hitting. That will only make the dog want to conceal their pee or hide when they go to the bathroom. Be consistent with their feeding schedule as well. Feed your dog food and water 4 times a day so that their potty schedule is predictable and regular.

This is just one of the many ways to teach your dog how to use the pee pad. Just be consistent and positive and always clean up any accidents in the house. 

Thank-you to www.puppyshome.com for providing us this useful information. 

July Mud Bath Special

Is your dog overdue for a mud bath to exfoliate the skin, coat, and open the pores? The minerals from the mud bath absorbs into the body to remove impurities. This adds shine and gloss to coat with soothing Tranquil Mist fragrance. The proven therapeutic properties in the mud bath have dog owners saying goodbye to their dog's itchy skin and appreciating healthy exterior! 

July's Prices/discounts:

Self serve:

Regular price: $10 + cost of bath

July’s price: $8 + cost of bath (20% off)

MVP July’s Price: $5 + cost of bath (50% off)

 

Full Serve:

(Cost depends on size and condition of coat)

Regular Price $10-25 + cost of groom

July’s Price $8-20 + cost of groom (20% off)

MVP July’s Price $5-12.50 + cost of groom (50% off)

(Please mention special when making your grooming appointment! ) Discount on mud bath not on full grooming. 

June's Bathing Basics

Thank-you to all that attended June's Bathing Basics. Our expert groomer, Kayleigh, accompanied by her lovely dog Krystal led the discussion. Attendees learned the importance and the basics of dog bathing to maintain a healthy dog coat for furry family members including; brushes that will work best on your dog’s coat, how often dogs need to be bathed, proper ear cleaning,  brushing dog’s teeth, and properly drying your dog to reduce health issues.

Help Fido Look Fierce

You’re not the only one who wants to look good–so does your dog! And doggie bath time can go a whole lot smoother if you take these expert tips into account. Our very own groomer at Dirty Dog, Catherine Conrad dropped by Studio 512 to share some tips we use every day. One of the first things to do before you begin grooming your dog is to do a quick check. Look over your dog’s teeth, ears, nails and foot pads to check for any sensitivity or anything that might seem off. Another thing to keep in mind is the type of brush you choose. One of their most popular brushes is a slicker brush (aka a sticker brush). These are great for getting stickers or burs out of your dog’s coat. A poodle comb is great for a long coat. The main thing is to be sure to brush deep into the fur close to the skin.  Visit Studio 512 to see more. 

Collection Bins for Austin Pets Alive

Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) is not a typical shelter setting. Their innovative programs save more than 6,000 animals from euthanasia annually, keeping Austin no-kill since 2011. A no kill community saves 90% of the animals that enter the shelter. The Austin Community has made huge strides in the no-kill movement,  becoming the largest no-kill city in the country within less than a year of the initiative. 

APA! Created specialized programs for adoptable pets in great need: puppies with parvovirus, orphaned kittens, cats with ringworm, dogs with behavior challenges, geriatric animals, and more.

Dirty Dog Self- Serve Dogwash will be collecting items at each of our locations to assist APA! in their efforts.  If wanting to help in the drive, please drop one of these items:

  • Treat logs (Natural Balance or Red Barn) 
  • Large Kongs
  • KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer)
  • Wet dog food

How can you help?

·        Donate: Your support directly determines how many lives can be saved each month. Consider joining the Constant Companion Club, donating online, writing a check, or donating an item from the wish list.

·        Foster: About two-thirds of APA!’s adoptable animals are in foster homes at any given time. Having temporary, loving homes available directly impacts the number of lives APA! is able to save each day. Fill out a foster application online to open your home and save a life.

·        Volunteer: APA! relies on a dedicated volunteer force to implement their ambitious vision and enrich the lives of animals in their care.

·        Adopt: When you adopt a pet from APA! you are saving not one, but two lives – the life of the animal you’re bringing in to your home, and the life of an animal waiting for a kennel to open up at APA!. Check out adoptable dogs and cats online to meet the newest member of your family.

Furminator Low- Shed Treatment

While nothing can completely eliminate shedding on your dog, there are things you can do to cut down on it significantly. We offer a specially formulated shampoo & conditioner that "release the undercoat" during the bath. We also have all the tools that will grab any additional loose coat after your dog is completely dry. 

Furminator promotes healthy skin and coat.
-The shampoo is enriched with Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids, Calendula Extract and Papaya Leaf Extract.  This proprietary blend of ingredients helps reduce excess loose hair from shedding by releasing the undercoat during the bath

-The conditioner helps reduce excess loose hair from shedding by releasing the undercoat during the bath and is enriched with Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids, Chamomile Extract and Aloe Vera.  This proprietary blend of ingredients conditions the coat and releases the undercoat during the bath to help protect against excessive shedding.                                                    

June's Prices/discounts:

Self-serve: 20% off the regular price of $13-$34 

Self-serve MVP: 50% off the regular price

(includes bath, special shampoo and use of furminator tool)

Full-serve grooming: $4 off

Full-serve MVP: $8 off

(please mention special when making your grooming appointment!)

*note: this does NOT stop your dog from shedding, just removes the coat that is currently loose) so we recommend that this is something that is done on a regular basis--monthly during most of the year. For extra-super-hairy-shedding dogs, it may need to be done once a week while they're blowing their coat (usually twice a year)!

 

Advice for Road Trips With Your Dog

Including your dog on your next road adventure can be an exciting time, but it is best to be prepared and plan ahead.  There are several ways to elevate the stress on your furry friends:

·        If planning on going on a long vacation, try going on a short trip and analyze what may be missing to make the experience enjoyable.

·        Visit the veterinarian for a check-up and make sure vaccines are up to date. Travel with updated records.

·    Avoid car sickness by having your dog travel on an empty stomach.  Your pet will need a good supply of their regular food and plenty of water. Bring any medication if needed.

·        Assure your dog gets plenty of exercise before starting the trip.

·        Pack your loveable pups favorite blanket or toy as extra reassurance.

·        Plan to take plenty of breaks during the trip and walk your dog during these times.  

2016 Incredi-Bull Race

Love-A-Bull, Austin Facial Hair Club, and local scavenger hunt guru, Clint Hansen are hosting the 2016 “Incredi-Bull” Race to benefit Love-A-Bull on June 18th! The “Incredi-Bull” Race is a downtown adventure race by foot with teams of 2-6 people who compete in a variety of challenges at different venues and bars in downtown Austin. Participants must be 21 years of age and it is a human only event  due to the streets are too hot for dog paws. The event will kick off at Fado Irish Pub at 214 W. 4th Street with a pint at 11:00-11:45 for registration and check-In.  Advanced registration is recommended. The race ends at 5 PM with an after party.  he Th cost to participate is $20/person or a discounted rate of $100 for team of 6. Registration includes an awesome event t-shirt, a free beer, awesome prizes and the best time for an awesome cause. 

Love-A-Bull promotes education, advocacy, and responsible guardianship on behalf of Pit Bull type dogs and their guardians. To find out more about the organization or to get involved, visit:  http://love-a-bull.org/ . For more information about the race and to know what the Bonus is, visit the ticket page http://tinyurl.com/jr5o3to .  

 

5 Top Tips for Helping Your Dog Beat the Summer Heat

Dog with summer glasses.jpg

The Texas summer heat can be ruff on our furry family members.  Here are a few tips to make this time of the year more comfortable for them:  

  1. Exercise your dog early in the morning or late at night for cooler temperatures. 
  2. Keep your dog hydrated by carrying water for them when out and about. 
  3. Never keep your dog in a parked car as vehicles retain more heat than an open area. 
  4. Incorporate swimming or replace a walk with swimming for exercise.
  5. Freeze chicken stock  into a pop bowl for a delicious cooling treat your dog will be sure to enjoy.