How To…

toothbrushHow to brush teeth:

As with everything it’s best to start things when your pet is young so they will grow up used to getting things done to them. For brushing teeth it’s best to start small. Put a small dab of pet toothpaste on your finger and gently swipe it along their teeth and gums. You can even do this without anything on your finger just so they get used to you poking around in their mouth. Afterwards give them lots of praise and a treat. Continue doing this until they start to accept it. You can then move up to a finger brush and then eventually a real toothbrush. Always give lots of praise and never force them to accept it. Holding them down and forcing a toothbrushing will just make you both miserable. Take things step by step and know that it can take time.

dogbathHow to clean ears:

Again we want to start slow. Handle their ears a lot and get them used to feeling your fingers in there. Praise and treats are encouraged. Next you’ll want to introduce an ear cleaner. We sell very effective ear cleaners that cut down bacterial growth and have built in drying agents because wet ears are breeding grounds for infection. For a homemade remedy try using a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution. Moisten a cotton ball with the solution and gently wipe out the ears. You can slowly get the cotton ball wetter and start dribbling some of the solution into the ear. This gets them used to the feeling of having wetness in their ear. Always allow them to shake their head. This will bring up any wax and debris down in the ear canal you can’t get to otherwise. Never use q-tips to clean inside! Q-tips should only be used to clean the visible portion of the ear. Using them to push inside can cause damage to the eardrum. When your pet is used to the very wet cotton ball you can start filling the ear with the solution. When you see the solution start to dribble out of the ear canal, gently massage the base of the ear where the cartilage is. This helps to break up the wax down inside. You can often hear the liquid squishing in there. Then allow your pet to shake their head, wiping out the remaining solution and ear wax with a dry cotton ball. Remember lots of praise and treats! It’s a good idea to do this in a bathroom or outside. It can get a bit messy.

nailtrimmersHow to trim nails:

Trimming nails can often be the most challenging procedure especially if the pet was not desensitized to it early on. Simply playing with your pet’s feet and nails is an important first step. They need to be comfortable with people handling their feet. Some pets need sedation or even full anesthetic for a simple nail trimming just because they were never used to having their feet handled, so try to get your pet used to it by playing with their feet and flicking at their nails. Treats and praise, as always, work better than rough handling and negative reinforcement.  Next you can bring out your nail trimmers and simply click it near their nails so they become used to the sound. Tugging at their nails slightly while making the trimmer sounds will help to desensitize. Once you start to actually trim you can just take off the very tip of the nail so they get used to it. You don’t have to get all the nails done at once. You can always pause for periods so as not to stress them and give them playtime or treat rewards. As they gradually get used to it you can start to trim off more of the nail. Dark nails can be the hardest to do because you can not see the blood supply or the “quick”. The best way you can tell is that it’s safe to trim where the nail starts to curve. You will learn better with practice and don’t panic if you cause a nail to bleed. You can easily stop bleeding with Quick Stop or other similar products found in pet stores, or even a small dab of cornstarch.

How to administer subcutaneous fluids: Please follow the guidelines in our handy pdf  Here.

How to nebulize your animal: Please follow the guidelines in our handy pdf  Here.


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