The Pearly White

Puppies have two sets of teeth: deciduous (baby) teeth and adult teeth. The baby teeth fall out by the time your puppy is six months of age. Caring for your puppy’s teeth from the beginning can help make the adult teeth last a lifetime.

Helping your puppy get comfortable

It is recommended that you brush your puppy’s teeth, but most dogs won’t just open up and say “ahh” as you come towards them with a toothbrush. Just like bathing and grooming, use a gradual approach.
Start by handling your puppy’s mouth. Lift her lips and stroke her gums with your fingers. This is easier when you approach her from behind, with your puppy in your lap or on the floor between your knees. If she nibbles on your fingers, try making a high-pitched squeal to startle her and stop the behaviour. This will help her to learn not to bite.

Toothbrush and toothpaste

After a few days of practice, you can introduce a toothbrush and a toothpaste made for dogs (toothpaste comes in chicken or beef flavours).
If you have a large puppy, you can use a child’s toothbrush.

There are also toothbrushes made just for dogs that come in different sizes.
Do not use toothpaste made for humans on your puppy’s teeth; it can be harmful if your puppy swallows too much. Dogs tend to dislike mint flavour, anyway.

With a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush, slip the toothbrush under your puppy’s lip on one side. Stroke the outer surfaces of the upper and lower teeth on that side. You don’t need to brush the inner (tongue) side of the teeth. And don’t forget the front teeth!
Brushing your puppy’s teeth every day can make a big difference. But brushing twice per week is better than not brushing your puppy’s teeth at all. If you can’t bring yourself to brush your puppy’s teeth, there are special kibble foods you can give her that help fight plaque. There are also a variety of oral rinses that can help with dental health. Marti Hopson, DVM

How to Choosing a Veterinarian for Your Dogs

Your puppy’s veterinarian plays an important role in health and well-being.

Choosing a veterinarian

Here are some things to think about:

Can friends who are dog owners recommend a veterinarian?
Is the clinic located close to your home? Do the clinic’s hours work for your schedule?
How does the clinic handle emergencies after hours? There are after-hours hospitals in many large Canadian communities. In small communities, check whether the clinic partners with other clinics or hospitals for after-hours care.
Is the clinic or hospital clean and tidy? Does it smell fresh? Is it quiet and comfortable? Can you take a tour?
How long has the veterinarian practised?
Does the veterinarian keep her (or his) knowledge current (when it comes to new treatments, for example)? Does she have specialty degrees or special interests? Are there any conditions she won’t handle?
Is the clinic or hospital able to provide quick test results (either from an inhouse or outside laboratory)? Does it have adequate technological equipment? What does the veterinarian do when special services or exceptional care are needed?
Veterinarians are trained to examine and treat a variety of animals, but everyone has preferences. Does the veterinarian enjoy working with dogs, and does she work primarily with dogs?
Do you feel comfortable with the vet? Is she open to questions? Does she mind explaining things about your dog’s health so that you understand? Are staff friendly and helpful?

Trust your instincts. After you choose a veterinarian, try to develop a positive relationship. It’s good for your puppy’s health!

Your puppy should be examined by a
veterinarian as soon as you bring him home – ideally within 24 hours.
The vet will check for congenital defects, for major health problems that could be expensive to treat, or whether your puppy is generally unhealthy. If there are major problems, you may be able to go back to the seller.
You also need to make sure your puppy has no health problems that can affect the health of your family and any other pets.

The first time you visit the veterinarian, she will do a thorough examination. She will also want to know about your puppy’s health care todate. The vet will weigh your puppy, check tha this pulse and breathing rates are normal, andlisten to the heart and lungs. She will examine his eyes, ears, mouth and teeth, glands, genitals and anal region, and check for hernias.
The veterinarian will vaccinate your puppy and give deworming medicine or parasite control, if necessary.
After the first visit, you will need to return
for booster vaccinations every few weeks until four months of age. When your puppy has grown into an adult, he should be examined by the vet about once every year, unless health problems come up that need to be treated.

How to make grooming more pleasant

We have heard a lot about grooming and how important it is for your dog. Grooming not only keeps your dog in a good shape, but also concurrently gives dog owners a good opportunity to perform an overall check of their dogs so as to spot any unusual health symptoms. While there are many professional services that can definitely take care of the grooming, majority of dog owners still prefer to do it at home. Catching the trend of DIY grooming at home, many experienced groomers have established web pages or have written articles to provide information on grooming, from various techniques to tips for choosing the most appropriate dog grooming clipper, and so on. However, we are overflowed with information that we forgot the fun part of DIY grooming at home, which has been the reason why DIY grooming was preferred at the first place. Grooming should be a fun activity for both of you to enjoy your time together, so why don’t we set aside all the techniques for now and look into ways to make grooming more pleasant and enjoyable?

First thing first, get proper tools: dog grooming clipper, nail clipper, etc.

Okay, I know that you would think this is so contradictory because we just agree to set aside the techniques, and now the first thing is to get proper tools? But hey, grooming cannot be truly enjoyable if your grooming tools just don’t work on your dog. There are plenty of dog grooming clippers in the market, and choosing one for your dog requires some filtering. Depending on your dog’s type of coat, you can choose the most appropriate one. If you are unsure, consulting a sales associate or another more experienced groomer is always an option. In case you prefer trial and error to find out yourself which clipper works best on your dog, a dog groomer clipper kit would be a great choice as it includes various different blades for you to switch. There are tons of tips on purchasing a dog grooming clipper, so you can definitely check them out. The reason I want to discuss about the proper tools first is that some dog owners have not realized the needs of getting the correct tools. They think that human clippers work on dogs too, and that using human clippers on dogs can save their money and time on buying dog grooming clippers. This is a faulty thought. Although both are clippers and both have blades, dog’s fur or hair are thicker and has multiple layers, unlike our hair. Therefore, using human clippers on dogs will make the blades become dull and may cause discomfort or pain for your dog.

Hence, before we jump to the how-to-be-fun part, we must at least know the basics so that we don’t create more hassles for ourselves. If you have decided to clip your dog yourself, then having a dog grooming clipper is a must.

Have a nice little warm-up.

As humans, we do lots of different warm-up activities for many occasions. We warm up before a meeting, before a run, before studying, and so on. Warm-up time appears to be a great time for us to get ready, and slowly get started on the thing we want to do, so that our body and mind are fully prepared to effectively perform the task. Same concept applies to dog grooming. A nice little warm-up before clipping and grooming would be a great start for both of you to open up and familiarize with the space, the atmosphere, and the tools that you are going to work with. This not only helps to prevent your dog from anxiety, but also creates a fun moment for both of you.

A recommendation for the warm-up time is to give your dog a bath. Most dogs enjoy taking a bath and play with water, so take your time to enjoy this time with him. Additionally, giving your dog a bath is not only just for fun; it is actually beneficial for the upcoming grooming session as all the dirt should be cleared before clipping. For most of the time, we want to avoid clipping a dirty at all costs because the dirt will clog the clipper and make things more difficult. Therefore, you may want to be prepared to spend extra time on this before grooming.

Moreover, before you start turning on that clipper and get the job done, don’t forget to give your furry friend some warm touches, especially on the paws. We like to feel the love from our beloved ones, and so does our dog. You can start by petting your dog and play with him for a bit, and remain touching him regularly even during grooming session to help him relax.

Keep the session short and don’t forget the treats and compliments afterwards.

Dogs are sensitive to sounds, and clippers have quite loud noises. Although you may have purchased a good one with less noises, your dog may still not enjoy it that much. A shorter session lasting about 5 to 10 minutes would be more tolerable for you and your dog. The longer it takes, the more difficult it is for you to keep your dog stay still. Thus, instead of leaving the hair to grow out of control for a long period of time, you should do regular grooming so that each time you groom your dog, it takes less time to complete.

Last but not least, after grooming, don’t forget to give your four-legged friend compliments and treats. Your dog loves compliments and being praised, so throughout the session and even after that, tell them how well they are doing, and compliment them on their cooperation. In addition to compliments, it is suggested that you give your dogs special treats afterwards, which should only be used for grooming and not for other occasions. Your dog will associate grooming with a positive image, and definitely look forward to the next grooming session.

In conclusion, making a grooming session more enjoyable only takes you a bit more time and nothing else. When it comes to grooming, the focus has always been your dog, but actually you are also important too. Your dog does understand how you feel, and if you are stressed or unhappy, your dog will likely to spot that and be affected by your mood. Hence, be happy and have fun, and you will enjoy the time as much as your little friend.