As a responsible pet owner, you want to do everything you can to make sure your dog has a long, happy and healthy life. You take your dog to the vet for checkups and vaccinations, you treat him for fleas and ticks, you groom him and keep him clean and brushed – but one area you may be missing is your dog’s ears.
Besides impacting your dog’s hearing, dirty ears can have an effect on his general health. Ear wax build up, ear mites and ear infections can occur if you don’t properly care for your dog’s ears. Basic cleaning and care will eliminate these problems before they occur. Think of cleaning your dog’s ears as preventative maintenance. The same as brushing their coat daily will prevent mats from forming, proper ear care will stop ear problems from happening.
As cooler weather moves in, there are certain things that responsible pet owners should take care of before winter hits. Autumn is the ideal time to do several basic pet maintenance tasks to ensure that your dog has a warm and comfortable winter.
Bath and Treatments – I always give my dog a good end-of summer-bath, followed by all the basic grooming and treatment applications. Fall seems to be a time when dogs experience some itching and allergic reactions that affect their skin. Finding and treating itchy hot spots, applying flea and tick prevention medication, cleaning ears, and clipping nails are all part of fall bath time around my house.
Check Equipment – Fall is a good time to do an end-of-season check of all collars, leashes, harnesses, fences, leads and runs. You don’t want to end up chasing your dog through the cold of the winter weather when he escapes from a broken fence or when his leash breaks. That is definitely not on my to-do list; I prefer to hibernate in the winter. Making sure these items are all in good condition before the snow flies is a good way to prevent having to wander the streets calling for Fido in cold temperatures.
Trimming a cat’s nails regularly is an important aspect of responsible pet ownership, because it can keep them from injuring themselves, other pets and you. Trimmed nails are also much kinder to your furniture, curtains and carpeting. Left untrimmed, a cat’s razor-sharp talons are capable of inflicting serious damage, both intended and accidental. Trimming your cat’s claws is not terribly difficult, but there are things I’ve learned that can make it easier, especially if your cat doesn’t like to be messed with.
Tools for Trimming a Cat’s Claws
There are several different styles of trimmers available, so check them out at your local pet store. Some people find that regular human nail clippers work too. I have a pair of small scissor-shaped trimmers with a sliding “guillotine” blade. I prefer them to nail clippers because they’re easier to hold and don’t slip out of my hand if my cat squirms.
You’ll also need a nail file for smoothing jagged edges, and styptic powder in case you accidentally cut into the quick (more on that later). An optional accessory that’s good for feisty cats is the Klaw Kontrol Bag. It’s basically a kitty straight jacket that keeps everything except the paw you’re working on tucked inside a zippered bag. You can also burrito-wrap your cat in a towel or blanket, leaving one leg out.
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