Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First Time Parents 3

Welcome to the third instalment of "First Time Parents!"
I'd like to start out by talking about grooming. Grooming needs will depend on what type or breed of pet you adopt. For example; Persian cats require much more grooming than a Domestic Short Hair Cat; an English Bulldog, more than a Labrador.

Your dog should be bathed about every 2-3 weeks. You do not want to bathe a dog too often as they need the oil their skin produces for a healthy coat. Cats bathe themselves, and dogs need their teeth brushed, but both cats and dogs require their ears cleaned and nails trimmed.

If you do not feel comfortable doing these things yourself, I recommend bringing in the help of a professional. In time you may feel more comfortable.

When clipping your dog or cats nails it is VERY important not to 'quick' them. Dogs and cats have a vein that runs through their nail, so we must be very careful not to cut it. It is very painful for the animal and it's almost impossible to stop the bleeding. (Get Quick-Stop.)
Do not use 'human' toothpaste on your pet. Buy pet specific paste and brush.
Ears should be cleaned with cotton balls and an ear cleaning solution.
Make sure you see your veterinarian at least once a year for yearly vaccinations and tests. Your dog should be on a heart worm preventative that they take once a month to prevent heart worm disease. (Cats can have this too.)
Also make sure that your pet is on appropriate flea prevention.
Cats will want to be on a hair ball preventative. Most actually like the taste, but if they don't just smear it on their paw and they will have to lick it off!

Get your new pet set up with some training. Decide how much or how little. Will you do your training in home or at a class? Make sure to get the whole family involved, be open to new ideas and know when to ask for professional help.
Make sure to train using only positive reinforcement. (See previous Blog on the subject.)

Come back next time for common household toxins/poisons and developmental stages in the final instalment of First Time Parents.

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