Giving the discerning dog owner the "upper paw" on the best products, nutrition and training tips.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Revisiting DIY: Make this ear cleaning solution YOURSELF!

Cleaning your pup's ears is most likely NOT one of your favorite tasks, however, it is important and essential to good health.  With Spring upon us, those hot sweaty days will turn into prime ear infection season for your dog and you need to be prepared.

So, how do you go about this aspect of grooming and maintenance?  Do you use a cotton ear swab with soap and water...eeek we hope not!  Do you use pre-medicated pads?  A solution purchased from your veterinarian?  The possibilities are endless and there are thousands of products on the market, but in our opinion....NOTHING beats this homemade solution.

This is a powerful, yet safe solution, that will last you for months and ensure your pooch never gets another ear infection.

1. 1 bottle of rubbing alcohol 16 oz.
2. Boric Acid Powder
3. Gentian Violet
4. Plastic bottle with applicator 4 oz. - 8 oz.

Step 1:

Pour the bottle of rubbing alcohol into your plastic bottle.

You can find these for $2 - $3 at any beauty supply store

Step 2:

Measure 2 oz. of Boric Acid Powder, approximately 2 tablespoons, and add to your alcohol.  

You can purchase at your local drugstore or online.  A 6 oz. bottle should be around $5

Step 3:

Add 8-10 drops of Gentian Violet to your solution and shake well.

Like the other ingredients, you can order from a drugstore pharmacy or reputable online source.  The price should be around $6 for 1-2 oz. bottle.

Did you know?  Both Boric Acid Powder and Gentian Violet are powerful antiseptic and anti-fungal agents used in many of our everyday products.

Step 4:

You final solution should have a lovely dark lavender hue and look something like this...

Add a small squirt of the solution into your pup's ear, massage and allow to sit for a few minutes.  Then take a gauze pad to clean out the gunk.

This is the only ear solution I use to clean my dogs' ears and I have never had another ear infection since we incorporated this into our routine.  The ingredients are easy to find and the solution is so simple.

We hope you give this DIY remedy a try!


A & A

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Products We LOVE! TropiClean Clean Teeth Gel

As an addition to last week's post, we wanted to highlight one of our favorite products this week....TropiClean Clean Teeth Gel!  Truly, we cannot say enough about this product.  In our opinion it is a true miracle worker.

When it comes to teeth cleaning, we have tried NUMEROUS products and none seem to work as well as Clean Teeth Gel from TropiClean's Fresh Breath line.

Did you know that even the label sleeve is made of corn?! making this product natural, biodegradable, and 100% recyclable!!
The product works by applying the gel directly to your dog's teeth and gum line.  You then allow the gel to be absorbed and work it's magic.  Be sure to not allow eating and/or drinking for 30 minutes after application in order to maximize the gel's effect.  That's it!

The recommended application frequency is daily, but if your dog's teeth are especially covered with tartar and plaque may want to apply twice a day.

Another reason we really love this product is due to the ingredients.  TropiClean's products are made completely from all natural products and contain no harmful chemicals, such as xylitol, which is commonly found in dental products.  And, not only is the product full of natural ingredients, the packing is environmentally-minded too.  The bottles and labels are made from PCR (post consumer resin) recycled materials.  Way to go, TropiClean!

We can tell you first hand that this product has improved the dental health of our dogs by drastically reducing the amount of yucky build-up on the teeth, as well as, reduced our frequency of dental cleanings with the veterinarian.

Don't forget to check out other products in the TropiClean Fresh Breath product line, such as their Mint Foam, Water Additives, Fresh Breath Chews, and Liquid Floss!

We know you will LOVE this product as much as we do!


A & A

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Truth about Dental Care for your Pooch

So, this week I am headed in for my regular dental cleaning and got to thinking about dental care for my boys.  Truthfully, this has always been an area I have struggled with for many reasons.  First of all, I  have a breed that is braceocephalic (flat-faced), which is naturally predisposed to oral diseases and halitosis.  Second, let's be honest...commitment to daily brushing is not always in the cards for me due to busy work schedules in general.

With that said, I decided to find some answers to my questions and share them with you this week.

1.  How often should I brush my dog's teeth?

According to my veterinarian (and the American Veterinary Medical Association), you should be brushing your dog's teeth daily.  Brushing daily is best, but managing to brush every other day will still be sufficient enough to prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque on teeth.

Our vet recommends C.E.T. products and the poultry-flavored toothpaste

2.  Is there any product out there that can replace brushing teeth?

For this question, I have received mixed reviews.  The majority of veterinarians (including our own) believes that certain products can help, but nothing can truly replace brushing.

If using an actual toothbrush is a significant struggle with your dog, like it is with mine, you can utilize gauze wipes to apply the toothpaste and get better, less abrasive traction on the teeth.

My secret weapon and product of choice is TropiClean Gel...look for this to be featured soon in Products We LOVE!!

3.  Are these products and oral additives safe?

This question has also received mixed responses.  The vast majority of veterinarians believe oral additives can be safe and a great way to minimize tartar buildup between brushings.

Be wary of products that contain high levels of xylitol.  In uncontrolled doses it can cause liver damage or even fatalities.  Therefore, if you decide to use a water additive be sure to follow the instructions provided on the package for dilution measurements.

My vet recommends the C.E.T. products, however, I prefer the TropiClean products because they are made with all natural ingredients.

4.  Are anesthetic dental cleanings safe?  Recommended periodically?

In general, anesthesia poses less risk than most people think.  In the past 2 decades, anesthetic agents have become safer for use and with the appropriate preparation and care your dog should be just fine.

HOWEVER!  It is important that your dog receive a thorough check-up and blood work before going under anesthetic.  Dogs can have undetected heart murmurs, blood diseases, and additional health issues that could be fatal when under anesthetic.

5.  What are the signs of unhealthy teeth?

The most common signs of unhealthy teeth are bad breath (i.e. doggy breath) and yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line.

An example of tartar buildup

More serious signs are change in eating/chewing habits, pawing at the face or mouth, depression, excessive drooling, bleeding gums, discolored/broken teeth, and bumps or growths in the mouth.

These are all serious symptoms and need to be evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible!

We hope you found this post helpful.  Remember, dental health is important and essential for your dog's overall well being.  Poor dental health can lead to a number of serious health issues, such as cardiovascular failure and loss of eye sight.

I know we learned a few things about proper dental care when it comes to our beloved dogs.  Happy brushing!!


A & A