Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How Do I Know If My Dog Has An Ear Infection?

So, you think your dog may have an ear infection. Do you know the signs? If you are going to a good dog groomer, they should notify you if they find any of the following symptoms.
·         Scratching or rubbing their ears.  A scratch here or there is nothing to be concerned about. However, if you dog is scratching the ears constantly, chances are it has a infection. Also, watch for your dog rubbing the side of his face on the floor. This is another sign.
·         Shaking his head.  My Cocker used to do this a lot. Constant shaking of the head, followed by scratching. This combination is enough to drive both the dog and myself crazy.
·         Strange Odor. When cuddling with your 4 legged fur baby, you may notice a strange odor. It is hard to explain the odor. It smells bad. Lift your dog’s ear and it will be an instant odor that tells you, your dog has an infection.
·         Redness and Swelling – I have seen it, where a dog’s ear will be swollen. Not only on the inside but on the outside as well.  When you lift your dog’s ear the inside will be really red and possibly swollen.
·         Hot to the touch. Along with the redness and swelling, you may notice the dog’s ear is also very hot.
What Causes Ear Infections?
In older dogs, the biggest cause is yeast and bacteria. In puppy’s it could be ear mites. (a blog for another day)  Dog breeds with long droopy ears, can get a lot of ear infections. A couple examples are, Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds. With the droopy eared dog the air flow is limited. Anything that gets in their ears, will remain there until you clean them. That is not to say that other breeds do not get ear infections. If your dog is a swimmer there is a high chance water will get in the ear canal, if you don’t remove it with a cotton ball, this can also cause infection.
How do I prevent an ear infection?

The answer to this is keeping your dog’s ears dry and clean. If water gets in the ears, put a dry cotton ball in the ear canal and rub at the base of the ear. This helps absorb the water.   I suggest you use a gentle ear cleaner. I put the ear cleaner on the cotton ball and wipe out the inner ear. I never put liquid into the ear. These few steps once a week should keep your dog healthy and happy. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Why Your Dog Groomer Needs To Know Your Personal Business.

Groomer's and Their Questions.
Groomers ask a lot of questions, usually about your dog. Questions may be, how do you want your dog groomed? Has he had any surgeries, since we last saw him? Is he good with other dogs? These are some examples. After the other day I will be adding a very important question. You might find it to be personal, but the answer could surprise you.
Great Questions.
That question would be… Has anything happened with your life that we should know about? This could mean, a break up with your significant other? Was there an emergency at your home? Anything like this. You might find it to be plain nosey. You might be thinking that this is really none of my business. Why will I be asking these questions? The simple answer is, because these circumstances could affect your dog. If you dog is going through something, it could affect his time here, at the Dog Wash.
The Story and Why We Need To Ask More Questions.
Tuesday morning, 3 of my favorite clients came in. Two Elkhounds and a Border Collie. I give myself a few hours to get these dogs done because of their thick coats. Everything was going fine. These dogs have been coming to my shop for years. They have never had an issue with other dogs.  My 11 am dog happened to be a Mastiff, who was coming for his monthly grooming. He is still a puppy at 155lbs. We put him in the back room away from the older dogs. As soon as this Mastiff got to the front door, my Elk Hounds and Border were barking in a not so pleasant tone. This is not normal for them. I thought maybe the giant Mastiff was too much for them. Like I said he went to a separate area. There is only a door splitting these 4 dogs up. The three dogs were at the door going crazy, which got the Mastiff going too. I finished brushing the 3 dogs out and called their owner. I explained what was going on with his dogs. Not only had they had a problem with the Mastiff. But they went after our groomers, Wired Hair Terrier. After explaining the situation and asking him to come and get his dogs. He told me that a Coyote or Wolf had gotten into his yard and killed a goat. This completely explains the pack mentality that we are seeing now. I am not sure if this is the way it will be from now on. Had I asked the appropriate questions, we could have helped them to stay calm when other dogs were around. It would have alleviated stress all the way around.
Why You Should Share More With Your Groomer.
What I want you to take from this story is that little things to us could be big things to our dog. We don’t know what affects them or how. If anything like this happens with your dog, please let your groomer know. Here at the Dog Wash we like to make sure that all our clients are happy all of the time they are here with us. Not only can it affect how they react to other dogs, it could affect their bath, their grooming. Everything while they are away from their owners, especially if something big happened at home.
Please let your groomer know if anything has happened since your last visit. It will only help the groomer and your dog deal with any situation.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Sticky Situation. The Best Way To Remove Poop From Your Dog's Rear End.

Let’s talk about a sticky situation. This may be a little uncomfortable. But, it needs to be discussed. So, here it goes.
Your dog has a mess on his rear end. Maybe you switched his diet, or he managed to get some poop stuck in his fur. Either way, he needs some help. The best way to help your four legged friend is to clean it when you first notice it.
Helpful Tip
When you first notice the poo stuck to your dog’s rear end, take a washcloth (only to be used for your dog) run it under some warm water and clean the area where the poop is found thoroughly. If this doesn’t get it all off. Run a tub full of warm water. Set your dog in the tub. The warm water will help loosen his poop off him.  Voila! You have a fresh dog again.
My Dog Hates His Rear End Being Touched
Let’s say your dog doesn’t like having his rear end touched. Then what? You put your hand under the dog, towards the back legs, just below bottom of rib cage. This lets your support the dogs hips, It also, keeps the dog from sitting down. If your dog has a long tail, you can hold the tail to the side with your hand. Just be careful, if you don’t have a god grip, the tail may end up in your face.

Oops! I didn’t Notice
What happens if you don’t notice this right away? You may end up with a bigger problem. The poop may stick to your dog’s skin. When this happens,  it is not only embarrassing for you, but uncomfortable for your dog. If poop is stuck around your dog’s anus, there could be more issues. Depending on how long it has been there, it will cause redness and irritation. It could also keep your dog from being able to go poop and possibly cause a blockage.
What’s That Smell?
We won’t discuss the odor of a dog, who’s having this issue.
Where Are These Flies Coming From?
In some cases, if this is left for too long, flies will leave larvae in the poop. This makes me cringe.
Best Friends
This dog is your best friend. If you see poop stuck anywhere, give your dog a bath at home, or bring him in for our self dog wash services, dog grooming, or a quick sanitary treatment. Either way we don’t want you or your dog to suffer.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Why Do We Charge A Daycare Fee?

We get this question a lot. We say that a groom will take 3-4 hours. We know people are busy running errands and it may take a while to get back to Tempe. We give a total of 6 hours, including the groom time, before we charge daycare. 

Let me explain why we charge the $10 daycare fee per dog. When your dogs are finished with their groom, they don't just get shoved in a kennel and forgotten. They are out playing with all our other clients. We also take the time to play with them. We let them outback to take care of business. They get treats and tons of belly rubs. The $10 fee is all that extra attention they get while they are patiently waiting for you, their parent to come get them. I know I would rather have my dogs being loved than just shoved in a kennel. Wouldn't you?