Dog’s Blogs

Brushing Teeth

Why is it necessary to brush your dog’s teeth?

Without brushing, plaque can build up causing bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay and even serious infections that can spread and cause life-threatening conditions. It’s best to start brushing your puppy’s teeth as soon as possible, they get used to it easier, but it is never to late to start.

Here are some tooth brushing steps.

1) Brush your dog’s teeth when they are calm and relax. I brush my dog’s teeth at night when she is tired and relaxed. Daily brushing is ideal but even 3 days a week can make a huge difference.

2) Make sure you use a dog toothbrush and toothpaste. Human toothpaste contains ingredients that will hurt your dog’s stomach.

3) Make sure you do it in a spot where your dog is comfortable. Don’t stand over your dog, hold them down or take a threatening stance. Try kneeling or sitting in front or to the side of them.

4) Test your dog’s willingness to touch her/his mouth. Start by rubbing just your finger along her upper gums and teeth so she can get used to feeling something against her teeth. You might need to do this for a few sessions to get her comfortable.

5) Put some doggy toothpaste on your finger and let her/him lick it so they can get used to the taste and texture.

6) Start brushing. Wet toothbrush, add toothpaste. Start by lifting the upper lip. Approach with the brush at an angle so the bristles reach the gum line. Brush in small circles, top, and bottom, and both sides. Slight bleeding may occur and is normal. Ongoing/heavy bleeding means your either brushing too aggressively or may be a sign of gum disease.

7) Start with the outside teeth and those at the back before attempting to brush the insides.

8) Be reassuring, give lots of praise, talk to her throughout the brushing.

Invest in your dog’s oral health today. Pannatural Toothpaste (195ml) is a safe and natural way to ensure strong teeth and gums, break down plaque buildup and protect against bad breath.

Pannatural Breath Freshener (195ml) is a natural spray, controlling the bad breath by fighting odor-causing bacteria. Cleans and deodorizes teeth and gums.

We also have doggy toothbrushes available, finger brushes for small dogs and /or puppies.

Have a look at our Basic and Executive kits which both contain a doggy toothbrush, toothpaste and breath freshener.

 

Dog’s Ears

One task that often gets overlooked is cleaning your dog’s ears.

Ear infections are a common ailment in dogs—particularly in breeds that have long, droopy ears (like cocker spaniels or basset hounds) or those that grow hair in their ear canals (as poodles do). A foul or yeasty odor in the ears is one quick way to tell if your pup might have an ear infection; redness and discharge, or frequent head-shaking or scratching, are some other signs that there might be an issue. If your dog seems to be in pain or cries when you touch around their ears, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your vet for as soon as possible.

Even if your dog doesn’t seem prone to ear infections, it’s important to keep their ears clean in order to keep it that way. You should be cleaning your dog’s ears anywhere from once a week to once a month, depending on the breed.

Here are some steps on how to do it:

1) Do it when your dog seems calm and relaxed.

2) Put some ear cleaner in the ear and massage on the hard bony part behind the ear to get it in as far as possible.

3) Use some cotton wool or gauze to wipe the ears clean. Do NOT use earbuds.

4) Give lots of praise and even some treats, then do the same with the other ear.

The ear cleaner in my first aid kit, doesn’t just clean the ears but can also help with mild fungal and bacterial infections.

The ear cleaner can be added to any of the other kits as well (at additional cost)

or ordered separately.

Dog’s Eyes

Eye discharge is a common problem for some dogs. It can be a sign of anything from an infection to glaucoma to allergies.

Learn more here about what to do if your dog has eye discharge.

Common Causes and Treatments of Eye Discharge in Dogs:

If your dog has clear eye discharge, chances are good it’s caused by allergies or something physical, like dust in the eye or wind blowing in the face. A watery discharge or mucus from one eye is often a sign of a foreign body, like an eyelash, while yellow-green or pus-like eye discharge could indicate a serious infection. Always talk to your vet to get at the root cause of your dog’s eye discharge, because some problems can result in blindness or loss of an eye if left untreated.

Conjunctivitis: Mucus, yellow-green pus, or a watery eye discharge can all be signs of conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the lining of your dog’s eye. There’s a wide range of causes for conjunctivitis, from allergies, injury, birth defects, and tear duct problems, to foreign matter, dry eye, distemper, or even tumors. Other signs of conjunctivitis include very red eyes, inflammation, blinking too much, squinting, crusty eyes, pawing at the eyes, or keeping the eyes closed

To treat conjunctivitis, it’s important to learn what’s causing it. Depending on the cause, treatment can include: removing the irritant and soothing the area with pain medication; antibiotics and saline washes to manage infection; surgery to treat duct problems or birth defects; antihistamines for allergies; or other medications.

Epiphora (excessive tearing). Watery, teary eyes — resulting in stained or smelly fur and/or infected skin — can also be the result of many conditions, including abnormal eyelashes, inflammation, allergies, corneal ulcers if the medicine is not effective, tumors, eye pain, and more.

Treating excessive tearing depends on what’s causing it and may include: topical antibiotics or steroids for tear duct inflammation; antibiotics and topical medication for cornea damage; or surgery for duct obstruction, ulcers, or abnormal eyelashes.

Dry eye. A sticky, tenacious eye discharge could point to the canine dry eye — a failure to produce enough eye-cleansing tears. Dry eye — symptoms can also include mucus and inflammation — may be the result of distemper, injury, a knock in the head near a tear-producing gland, or the body’s own immune system attacking the tear gland tissue. Infection is a serious risk for dogs with dry eye and can lead to painful, inflamed eyes. Ulcers on the cornea (surface of the eye) are also a serious risk since, without the lubricating effect of tears, the eyelid can scratch the surface of the eye just by opening and closing.

Treatment for dry eye depends on how severe it is and may include artificial tears for several weeks for mild dry eye; antibiotic eyedrops to help manage secondary infections; immunosuppressant drugs to help control the immune system; or surgery.

Glaucoma. This condition is caused by excessive pressure in the eye and can be spotted in a few ways, including a bulging eye or eyes, cloudy eyes, and sometimes tearing. Glaucoma causes a lot of pain; the vet may try to manage the ocular pressure with medications, but surgery may be recommended.

Breed issues. Flat-faced dogs like pugs, Pekingese, boxers, and bulldogs can be more prone to eye discharge than other breeds because their flatter faces often mean shallower eye sockets and protruding eyes. Called brachycephalic breeds, dogs with more prominent eyes may have tear drainage problems; eyelids that roll inward (entropion), causing great irritation by the lashes; or lids that don’t close fully over their eyes, a condition that can require surgery.

Breeds with loose facial skin, like bloodhounds, cocker spaniels, beagles, Saint Bernards, and some terriers, are more prone to eyelids that roll outward (ectropion), as well as cherry eye, a condition that occurs when a gland in the eyelid falls out of position. While antibiotics and steroids can help, surgery is often necessary for these conditions.

These are just a few common causes of eye discharge in dogs. Because eye problems can be a sign of brain or nerve injury, infection, or other serious problems, have your dog’s eyes checked by a veterinarian to find out what’s behind your dog’s eye discharge.

Steps for Applying Your Dog’s Eye Medication:

Treatment for eye problems sometimes requires eyedrops or ointments, both easier to administer with a few quick tips:

Have the eyedrops or ointment close at hand, then clean away any discharge around your dog’s eyes with warm water and a cotton ball.

For eyedrops, tilt your dog’s head back a little. Then, resting your hand on your dog’s head so you don’t hit its eye with the dropper if the dog moves, squeeze drops into the upper part of your dog’s eye.

To apply eye ointment, gently pull down your dog’s lower lid, creating a pocket for the ointment. Rest your hand on your dog’s head. That way, if the dog moves, you won’t hit the eye with the ointment applicator. Then squeeze a ribbon of ointment into the dog’s eye. Gently open and close the lids for a few seconds to help spread the ointment or drops evenly.

Preventing Eye Problems in Dogs:

First, take a good look at your dog’s eyes. The pupils should be the same size and your dog’s eyes should be bright, crust-free, with white around the iris. There should be little or no tearing, no squinting, and the inner eyelids shouldn’t be visible. Gently pull down your dog’s lower lids: they should be pink, not red or white. If you see tearing, discharge, tear-stained fur, cloudiness, a visible third eyelid, closed or squinted eyes, or pupils of unequal size, something could be wrong. It’s time to give your vet a call.

To help keep your canine companion’s eyes bright and healthy, keep long hair out of its eyes (take your dog to a groomer or use round-tipped scissors to trim the hair); keep irritants like shampoos, soaps, and flea medicine away from the eyes; and, finally, watch for signs that may indicate an eye problem, like pawing or rubbing.

Our Pannatural Eye cleanser helps to clean eyes, treat minor infections and keep eyes moist. To remove tear stains, our Pannatural Facial cleanser can be used. Contact us for more information/orders.

Cleaning your dog’s eyes.

If there is dirt or debris directly inside your dog’s eye and not just in the corners, you will need to flush it out with an eyewash. To use the eye wash, put the bottle near, but not in, your dog’s eye and squeeze the bottle gently. Be sure that the bottle is angled downward, so that gravity will assist you in flushing out the debris. Give your dog a treat afterward, as this can be quite stressful for him. The eye wash is available in my first aid kit, but can be added to any of the other available kits as well or ordered separately. Gently washes tear stains and bacteria away. Useful after swimming in chlorinated pools or saltwater.

Gently cleanses the eyes and surround to help relieve discomfort. Reduce irritation from dried mucus, foreign material, dust, pollen and ragweed after swimming in chlorinated pools or salt water.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Paws

Your pups paws aren’t just cute to look at – they also serve several important functions. Paw pads act as shock absorbers to protect your dog’s bones and joints, create a barrier between his feet and dangerous elements such as hot asphalt, and are essential to his balance and mobility. In addition, a dogs paw pads contain scent and sweat glands that are crucial for marking his territory. Given the significant role they play, it’s important to protect his paw pads from cracking.

Your dog’s paw pads may crack for several reasons, depending on your environment and the type of activity he engages in. Typically, paw cracks are a result of contact irritation, so paw checks after every walk are important. The earlier these injuries are detected, the faster you can help him recover. If you notice your dog’s paws pads are starting to crack, follow these helpful tips:

Minor cracks

A crack is considered minor if there’s no evidence of bleeding or limping. For mild or minor pad cracks, gently clean the area with a general antiseptic such as iodine pads or chlorhexidine. Dry thoroughly after cleaning.

Pannatural Paw and Snout (50ml) butter can be applied to moisturize the paw pads ( contact is for orders). Minor cracks won’t prevent your dog from enjoying walks or play, provided the activity isn’t too extreme. Remember to keep checking his paws on a regular basis and re-apply moisturizer as needed until you’re confident they’ve fully healed.

Open or bleeding cracks

In most instances, open wounds are best treated by a veterinarian. If you discover dried or oozing blood from cracks on your dog’s paw pads, take him to the vet as soon as possible.

Chances are, your vet will recommend a treatment similar to that used for minor cracks. In addition, he or she can also prescribe a topical medication to address any potential infection.

Severe injuries

Badly bleeding pads, missing sections or whole pads, excessive limping, putrid smell or infection are obvious signs of a severe injury. In these cases, it’s best to get your dog to the vet immediately.

Seasonal tips

Summer – Dogs living in warm climates have to deal with hot concrete, asphalt, and excessive sweat, which can also damage paw pads.  Let him walk on the grass instead of the hot sidewalk whenever possible, and avoid walking him during the hottest, sunniest times of the day.

Cracked paws can occur for a multitude of reasons. The best way to proceed is always with vigilance and caution. Don’t be afraid to call your vet or book an appointment if you feel his paws need some extra TLC!

Hot Spots

Dog hot spots are areas of infected, inflamed skin that are very uncomfortable for your dog. Often these spots get moist or itchy and can even ooze. Your dog will likely be tempted to lick or chew the area of discomfort, but doing so only makes those hot spots worse.

Hot spots on dogs are caused by a condition acute moist dermatitis. They are itchy, painful skin lesions that result from constant licking, biting, and scratching of one area. Inflammation causes these spots to become warm, which is how they gained the name “hot spots.” Irritants such as bugs and allergens can be the initial cause for your dog’s irritation, and excess moisture from rain or pools can sometimes amplify the effects.

Treatment:

1) Trim surrounding hair

Carefully trim the hair around the affected area with clippers or scissors. Your pup may get frightened or flinch as you clip around the area of pain, so it may help to have a second person to hold and comfort them as you trim. You can also seek professional help if you need assistance to safely remove the hair.

2) Clean the area

Clean the affected area with a pH-appropriate product, so as not to cause your dog any more pain or discomfort.

3) Cool the area

After the area has been cleaned, apply a cool face cloth or compress to soothe the area and relieve irritation, before patting it dry.

4) Treat the hotspot

Once dry, to treat the hot spot start by applying a hot spot ointment protect and soothe any lasting irritation. Continue to apply this treatment 3-4X daily and try to monitor how often your pet licks or scratches the area.

Pannatural Hot Spot relief (50ml) available to order from us. This Skin Soothing Balm is the perfect relief for itching, rashes, hot spots, ringworm, and other

skin problems. All-natural anti-itch compound made from Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter,

Castor Oil, Neem Oil, And Calendula Extract Help Heal Skin Irritations. Added essential oils

soothe the skin while acting to cool and relieve irritated skin immediately upon contact.

The Hemp Balm (50ml) quickly provides soothing relief! In just a few days you’ll see a noticeable difference in the health of your dog’s skin! The natural ingredients packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to naturally and safely moisturize, revitalize, and heal damaged skin. You can use our hemp balm for hot spots, rough, irritated, itchy, or chapped skin, skin conditions, scar reduction, wound healing, and bug bites, dry skin or hyperkeratosis on your dog’s nose, paw pads, and elbows.

Contact us for orders/enquiries.

Puppies, like children, can’t grow into healthy, well-balanced adults without our help and guidance. I say this often: “Good puppies aren’t born, they’re made.”

You’d never dream of restricting your child to your house or yard all his life, or suddenly decide to begin parenting him long after he’s developed objectionable behaviors or habits. Yet that is the situation many puppies grow up in, and then their humans can’t understand how their cute little pups turned into misbehaved, destructive or aggressive animals.

The explanation is simple: dogs are social animals and require regular interaction with the humans and pets in their immediate family, as well as with other people and animals, beginning very early in life, and continuing throughout their life. Puppies go through several development stages on the road to maturity:

 

Between 4 and 8+ weeks, they learn how to interact with other dogs

 

Between 5 and 10+ weeks, they develop the skills necessary to interact with humans

 

Between 5 and 16 weeks, they are most open to investigating new environments and stimuli; puppies not given a full range of socialization opportunities by about 10 weeks can develop a fear of the unfamiliar

 

It’s your responsibility as your pup’s guardian to take maximum advantage of each sensitive stage by providing age-appropriate social and learning opportunities. Puppies who aren’t properly socialized during their first 3 months are at dramatically increased risk for behavior changes like aggression, fear, and avoidance.

Dogs with problems stemming from lack of early socialization fill animal shelters and rescue facilities.

What’s Involved in Socializing a Puppy?

 

Socialization means exposing your little one to as many new people, animals, environments and other stimuli as possible without overwhelming her. Over-stimulation of a young puppy can result in behaviors that are the opposite of what you’re hoping for — such as excessive fear, withdrawal or avoidance — so knowing how much is enough is important. A well-socialized puppy:

 

Is handled from birth and learns to accept touching of all body parts

 

Receives positive exposure to as many people, other animals, places, and situations as possible

 

Is encouraged to explore and investigate her environment

 

Is allowed to experience a variety of toys and games, surfaces and other stimuli

 

Is regularly brought along on car rides to new environments with her humans

Socialization should engage all of your puppy’s senses though exposure to the sights, sounds and smells of daily life. This exposure will help her develop a comfort level with new and different situations, with the result that she’ll learn to handle new experiences and challenges with acceptable, appropriate behavior.

Dogs who haven’t been adequately socialized often develop entrenched fear responses and general anxiety resulting in behavior problems that can make them very difficult to live with. In fact, almost half of all dogs relinquished to shelters have at least one behavior problem — aggression and destructiveness are among the most common.

These behaviors are often rooted in the fear and anxiety that develops as a result of improper or incomplete socialization.

Top Tips for Socializing Your Puppy

 

1. Enroll your puppy in a professionally run, positive puppy class. These classes involve minimal exposure to health risks and can deliver tremendous benefits for both you and your pup, including increasing his responsiveness to commands, teaching him bite inhibition, and learning tips for successful housetraining and how to prevent hyperactivity.

2. Invite friends and family over to meet and interact with your puppy as often as possible (several times a week is ideal). Try to include people of varying ages and ethnicities, especially children if you don’t have any, and both genders. Also invite gentle, healthy dogs, puppies and cats to your home to meet and interact with your pup, and regularly take your puppy for visits to other friendly pet-owning households.

3. Make sure your puppy is exposed to unfamiliar or out-of-place objects around your house and outdoor environment, so he’ll be less likely to startle or be fearful of changes.

It’s also important to get him accustomed to hearing a variety of sounds, for example, the vacuum cleaner, the blender, the lawnmower, outside traffic, a blow dryer, a plastic or paper trash bag being snapped open, the TV, radio, video games, etc. The goal is never to frighten your pup but to expose him to new sounds. Life is noisy; he needs to learn that everyday sounds are no big deal.

4. Get your puppy accustomed to being bathed and brushed, having his nails clipped, his teeth brushed, and his ears and other body parts handled and examined. This will help him develop a healthy tolerance for human handling which will make future baths, nail trims, oral care, and visits to the veterinarian and groomer easier on everyone involved.

5. Keep things positive. You should start socializing your pup from his first day home with you, but don’t overwhelm him. Set the stage and then let him set the pace. Don’t hurry or force his progress, and keep socialization sessions frequent but brief, and always upbeat. Modify the type of socialization based on the response and personality of your puppy.

6.When your puppy shows hesitance or fear, resist the urge to reward fearful behavior with a lot of attention and affection. Stay close to reassure him he’s safe but take care not to inadvertently reinforce fearful behavior.

 

Always remember that socializing your puppy should be an enjoyable, satisfying experience for both of you — one that will pay dividends for the rest of your life together. There is no greater joy than a well-adjusted, balanced canine companion.

 

Socialization Should Continue Throughout Your Pup’s Life

 

Once your immediate puppy socialization tasks are complete and your dog is on her way to becoming a well-balanced adult, it’s important to continue to offer her opportunities for new experiences, socialization, and training for the rest of her life.

Even dogs well-socialized as puppies, if not given regular opportunities to interact with other dogs as adults, can lose their ability to mix comfortably with others of their species. And while some pets are naturally skilled at dog-to-dog dealings, many others need regular practice through activities that provide the chance to socialize with unfamiliar people and pets.