When it comes to your dog, you’ll go to great lengths to care for your pet. Unless it is clear that your dog is in pain by way of a physical cut, noticeable limp, or lack of mobility, often times dogs must signal distress in other ways. When dogs are stressed, their personality can change, which you as the owner should be able to pick up on.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is my dog acting unusual?
- Does my dog seem overly anxious or depressed?
If your answer is yes to either question, your dog may need your help to identify what’s causing the stress, so that you can quickly seek out the best way to bring them relief.
Animals communicate differently from us humans. They are not able to verbally express how they are feeling and what caused their pain. Babies can cry out to their mothers and children can tell us when their tummy aches. However, our pets cannot come right out and tell us what hurts and where.
Instead, a dog’s exaggerated body language or unusual behaviors can signal to its owner that it is hurt and in need of medical attention. Because many of the signs that your dog is in pain are subtle, it’s much easier to recognize them when you understand which behaviors are normal for your pet. When these signs of distress are recognized in your dog, you can take immediate steps to diffuse the situation and bring comfort to your pet.
Let’s examine five common signs to look for when your dog is in pain.
Animals communicate differently from us humans. They are not able to verbally express how they are feeling and what caused their pain.
1. Excessive Grooming
Have you ever noticed your dog repeatedly lick the same area over and over again? It may be somewhere on the dog’s side or paw? Chances are your dog has been bitten on that very spot. Your dog is excessively grooming in order to help soothe and bring comfort to that area. Think of your natural instinct when it comes to a bite mark on your body.
For example, if you were bitten by a mosquito, you would most likely be tempted to scratch the bite mark to bring relief from the pain. This is what your dog is doing. When your dog is bitten by an insect, for instance, the animal’s natural instinct is to clean the wound and bring relief by licking over it. If you notice your pet engaging in excessive grooming habits such as this, particularly when such a behavior is out of the ordinary for your pet, you can help your dog find immediate relief through cold therapy treatments. By applying ice water to the area that your dog is continuously licking, you are helping to reduce the pain by taking the sting away.
2. Personality Changes
One of the easiest signs to spot is when your dog’s personality changes. Instead of being the carefree, loving pet you’ve grown to love, when your dog is stressed, the animal’s personality can change from avoidance to aggression. More specifically, your dog may avoid contact because it doesn’t want to be picked up.
If your dog is hurt, moving the animal will only cause your pet more pain. On the other hand, your dog may act out and become noticeably aggressive toward other animals or people. Aggressive signs may be accompanied by a fearful body posture and facial expression. This personality change can happen if your pet doesn’t have anywhere to hide, increasing the chances that you may move them. Or if the injury is visible, your dog may also exhibit aggressive behavior.
It’s best to consult your veterinarian before the aggressive behaviors continue. These specialists can help assist your dog with its anxiety and anger by focusing on behavior management techniques.
3. Excessive Panting
It’s common for dogs to pant or breathe with short, quick breaths to cool off after being outside for long periods of time on a hot summer day or after they have been running around in a park playing fetch or chasing other dogs. However, heavy panting is different. When your dog appears out of breath excessively, this is a sign that your dog is dangerously overheated, coping with a serious health problem, or experiencing high levels of stress. In fact, maybe you have noticed your dog panting excessively in stressful situations such as in a veterinarian’s office. This is your dog’s way of alleviating stress.
Depending on their size, dogs take between ten to thirty breaths per minute. If you notice an unusual change in your dog’s breathing patterns, it’s best to seek medical attention. Heavy panting may indicate that your dog may be suffering from heatstroke or may have consumed a toxic substance. If it’s not obvious for why you are observing a sudden change in your dog’s breathing patterns, take your pet to a veterinarian immediately. It’s ALWAYS better to play it safe than sorry when it comes to noticeable changes in your dogs breathing.
Depending on their size, dogs take between ten to thirty breaths per minute. If you notice an unusual change in your dog’s breathing patterns, it’s best to seek medical attention. Heavy panting may indicate that your dog may be suffering from heatstroke or may have consumed a toxic substance.
We all tend to get restless and dogs are no different. If your dog seems to be always pacing or moving about from one spot to another, which is not typical behavior for your pet, this can be a sign of pain. Your dog may exhibit an inability to get comfortable and lay still or may be constantly readjusting their position by getting up and down and repeating the cycle again.
You may also begin to notice a change in your dog’s sleeping habits. You may observe your pet sleeping more than usual or showing difficulty in getting to or staying asleep. These are all causes for concern and should not be ignored. Restlessness or impatience can be your dog’s way of signaling to you that they are in pain, discomfort, or distress.
5. Eating Grass
Maybe you have noticed the unusual behavior of your dog eating grass. This is a common sign your dog is in pain and often takes place when they need to vomit. This is because when your dog has an upset stomach or is dealing with digestive issues, the dog eats grass to help them relieve the pain.
Eating grass helps your dog vomit and/or poop. There are also other reasons why your dog might be eating grass, including as a way to improve digestion, to treat intestinal worms, or to fulfill some unmet nutritional need in their diet. This can be overcome by switching to a dog food of a high-fiber variety to help alleviate the problem.
How To Help A Stressed Dog
It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian if your dog’s behavior changes suddenly, so that he or she can address any underlying medical issues. You can also take action to lower your dog’s stress level. Just like us humans, dogs also need to have a healthy diet and get regular exercise. Ensuring your dog is getting the proper nutrition is essential. Playing fetch, taking your dog on walks, or going on a run together is a great stress reliever for both your dog and you.
Finally, consider creating a safe space in your home for your dog to escape to during high-stress events like thunderstorms or Fourth of July firework parties. Be sure to check in on your dog often during these stressful moments. Your physical presence can bring great comfort during these stress-inducing times. The sooner you can identify what’s causing the stress, the sooner you can bring your dog relief from whatever type of pain or distress your pet is feeling.
Related: The Health Risks Of Dirty Dog Ears
For dog owners on a tight budget, frequent visits to the groomers can be a tough expense to afford.
However expensive, proper grooming can make a huge difference in your dog’s life. Luckily, you can take care of many of your best friend’s grooming needs right in your own home. Many dog salons even encourage home upkeep grooming between visits.
Here are 5 tips to get you started dog grooming at home.
Get the Right Tools
Dog grooming at home can save you a lot of money over time, but it might require some up-front costs.
If your dog’s grooming includes a haircut, you’ll need to pick up a buzzer made special for dogs. Human hair clippers aren’t built to cut through thicker dog fur. They also tend to run too hot, which can burn the dogs.
Dog clippers are an investment, often costing more than $100. But you’ll make that money back over time by keeping your dog grooming at home.
Start With a Bath
Before you get to trimming your dog’s fur, you’ll want to give him a bath.
Bathing your dog is an essential part of the grooming process. It removes the dirt and oils that can cause problems like skin irritation, bacteria growth, and bad odor.
Clean hair will be much easier to cut. This will ensure your dog’s comfort during the process. It will also benefit the longevity of your clippers.
Use a Dog Shampoo
While washing your dog, not any soap will do.
You need to use a special dog shampoo. Dog skin is more sensitive than human skin, and harsh human shampoos can cause irritation. Find a milder dog-specific shampoo.
In a pinch, baby shampoo can be used on dogs, although it’s not recommended on a regular basis.
Cut With the Grain
Once your dog is clean and dried off, you can pull out the clippers and start buzzing.
Start from the dog’s neck and work your way down along his body. It’s very important to cut this way so you’re cutting along the grain — meaning the direction the hair is growing it.
Cutting against the grain might allow you to lop off more hair in a given pass. But it’s also dangerous as it’s easier for the hair to catch on the clippers and pull, hurting your dog.
For the head, eyes, ears, and other sensitive areas with thinner fur go very slowly and take great care. It may even be best to hold off on grooming these areas and wait until you see a professional.
Incentivize Your Pup
For many dogs, the grooming process is initially a huge nope, especially when you pull out the scary, noisy clippers.
As your dog gets regular experience with the process over time, they’ll calm down and won’t freak out. For inexperienced pups, it helps to incentivize their cooperation.
Slice up small slices of cheese or grab a spoon of peanut butter to give to them as rewards throughout the grooming process.
Supplement Dog Grooming at Home with Professional Grooming
Home grooming is a great way to save money and keep your dog happy and healthy.
That said, it’s still smart to take your best friend to the pros at least a few times a year. Professional groomers have the tools and expertise to take care of the sensitive areas you may not be able to finish.
Can’t make it to the salon? Let Lucky Dawg Pet Services come to you with our mobile groomers.
Pet grooming is becoming incredibly popular, as more owners recognize that their pets are worth the attention. Have you ever heard of mobile pet grooming? Well, if not, you’re missing out on a great service.
This type of grooming service moves from pet owner to pet owner to help them out at a convenient location and time. OK, there are pros and cons to each type of service.
Here’s all you need to know about mobile pet grooming – both the positives and the drawbacks. This way, you can make up your own mind on what’s best for your pet.
Mobile Pet Grooming is So Convenient!
If you choose mobile pet grooming, you don’t need to go anywhere. The service comes to your house, or another location that’s easy for you.
However, there’s only so much fit that a mobile service can take with them at once. A grooming parlor is likely to be better equipped.
For this reason, a more limited set of services may be on offer.
A Fast and Efficient Service
If you take a dog or cat to have a makeover at a static pet grooming service, some may keep them onsite for days waiting for their slot.
That might suit your needs if you’re taking a weekend break, but otherwise, it could make your day difficult to organize.
With mobile grooming, you don’t have to bundle your cat or dog into a cage and then sit in traffic with an unhappy companion. Pick a slot, get the grooming done and dusted, and then carry on with your day.
Your Pet Won’t Miss You – And You Won’t Miss Your Pet
We know you don’t want to be separated for a moment from your beloved pet.
You don’t have to be. Since mobile pet grooming services come to you, you can hang out with your furry friend, no problem.
At Lucky Dawg, we can allocate you the same groomer every time so that your pet doesn’t have to acclimatize to a new face.
It’s Less Stressful for Your Pet
Mobile grooming takes place in a familiar and quiet environment. Salons, meanwhile, can be quite noisy – and full of animals and people that your pet has never met.
Every pet is different. Some cats and dogs love to meet each other and thrive in the company of their new friends. Others are more reserved and may prefer to be in a more familiar environment.
Some pets may not deal with this well at all and stress out.
It depends on the personality of your pet.
Hire Pet Grooming Services Today
Is your tabby’s hair is less than tidy, or your dachshund’s coat is in disarray, call us today.
Our friendly pet grooming services offer both in-salon and mobile options, so you can pick whichever suits you best.
We’ve been making pets (and their owners) happy for over two decades, and we have experience of interacting with a wide range of pet personalities.
Call us today on 310-784-0566, or fill in our online form to book an appointment.
Worried your dog isn’t ready for the catwalk?
A dog’s coat is an indicator of overall health. If you’re concerned that it’s looking dull or lifeless, it’s time to find out why.
There are a few changes you can make to help promote a healthy dog coat. Let’s take a look at them below.
Most good health tips start with nutrition.
After all, food is how our body repairs and rebuilds itself. The same is true for dogs. If you notice your dog’s coat looks dull, try looking at their diet first.
Much of the dog food you can buy off the shelf is poorly balanced. It’s loaded with empty calories and additives. Look for alternatives that contain a balance of nutrients and come recommended by vets.
You won’t see improvement in your dog’s coat instantly. But give it a few weeks and you may get that sheen back. Better nutrition can fight skin conditions that contribute to a dull coat, too.
Dogs can get just as smelly and gross as we do. Over time, dirt and oil build-up in your dog’s coat will dull its sheen.
Bathe your dog at least monthly to strip away the dirt. Use this time to treat them with a shampoo that nourishes their skin and adds luster to their fur.
Try not to bathe your dog too regularly, though. If you wash them every few days, you’ll strip out the natural oils in their fur, which will leave it looking frizzy and lifeless.
Still not satisfied? Consider a professional grooming service. They’ll know what promotes a healthy coat.
Fatty acids are the building blocks mammals use for healthy skin, among other benefits. They’re also key to a healthy dog coat.
Fresh fish is one of nature’s best sources of fatty acids like Omega-3. You can incorporate fish like tuna into your dog’s food to give them a treat and promote a healthy coat.
Omega-6 is another essential fatty acid. Poultry and vegetable oil are both great sources of Omega-6. Some dog foods contain vegetable oil. But you can also treat your dog with the occasional chicken breast to give them a boost.
If you don’t want to go to the source, you can always buy supplements of Omega-6 and Omega-3 to add to your dog’s food. But generally, it’s better to get them from natural sources where possible.
Fresh Air and Exercise
Like humans, a dog’s biology thrives on exercise.
Dogs experience all the same problems we do with a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of exercise can lead to weight gain, and cause knock-on problems like skin conditions and a loss of sheen in their fur.
Make sure you’re taking your dog out for regular walks in the fresh air. Give them time to play and stretch their legs outside. This stimulates the body and ensures it’s operating at peak efficiency.
Small Steps for a Healthy Dog Coat
A healthy dog coat doesn’t have to be hard work.
By making these few lifestyle tweaks, your dog’s coat can shine like their personality.
Want more grooming tips? Be sure to follow our blog!
How often are you brushing your cat’s teeth?
If you are like many cat owners, the answer is probably “I’m supposed to brush their teeth? Ha! How?” But cat teeth cleaning is incredibly important to your kitty’s overall health.
Like humans, cats can get gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and may even require surgery in advanced stages. Luckily, regular teeth cleaning can treat and prevent gum disease.
Of course, any cat owner knows that it can be hard to get your cat to do what you want, even if it is what’s best. Read on for cat teeth cleaning tips and tricks.
Everything You Need to Know About Cat Teeth Cleaning
Make brushing your cat’s teeth is a part of the regular grooming you already do with your cat. This guide will help get you started.
What to Use
Use a cat toothbrush to brush your cat’s teeth. These have soft bristles and are specially designed for cats’ mouths.
There are also pet toothbrushes that you can wear on your finger, and in a pinch, a soft child’s toothbrush will work.
Never use human toothpaste, salt, or baking soda for brushing your cat’s teeth. These are dangerous to their health.
Instead, use a pet-friendly paste. These are flavored with fish or chicken to make them more palatable for your pet.
How to Brush
You may have to start slowly over the course of a few days to get them comfortable with the process. Begin by letting your cat taste the toothpaste. See if she will let you rub a little into her gums and teeth.
Once you’re ready, follow these steps:
- Hold your cat on your lap in a comfortable spot. Spend a few minutes petting her.
- When she’s relaxed, lift her lips to expose her gums and teeth.
- Brush in a gentle downward motion, away from the gums. Clean the outside-facing portion of the teeth. Your cat likely won’t let you clean the inside.
- Continue until you’ve brushed all her teeth. Be sure to get the very back ones as plaque builds up there.
That’s it! There is no need to rinse as cat toothpaste is safe to ingest.
How Often Do I Brush?
Ideally, you’ll brush your cat’s teeth on a daily basis. However, if this isn’t possible, brush them as often as you can.
Brushing a few times a week will still be beneficial and help prevent gum disease. The more regularly you brush, the more accustom to it your cat will become, and the easier it will be.
What Do I Do if My Cat Resists?
Cats aren’t exactly known for being cooperative, especially when it comes to cat teeth cleaning. Don’t give up if your cat is resistant to brushing at first.
You can try wrapping your cat in a blanket or towel before brushing, which will make it harder for them to fight or escape. You might have to brush only a few teeth at a time.
For some cats, you may also need to take it very slow at first. As we mentioned above, let them taste the toothpaste. Spend some time petting them, and then gently try to lift their lips and expose their teeth.
Do this over the course of a few days or weeks until they are used to you touching their mouth. Make sure to give them lots of pets afterward to make it a positive experience!
Time to Call the Professionals
If you have a really resistant cat, or if you think your cat’s teeth need a deeper clean than you provide, calling in a professional cat groomer may be the solution. Lucky Dawg can brush your cat’s teeth for you, along with the usual bath and nail trim that comes with a professional grooming.
Does your cat hate the car? In addition to our salon, we also offer mobile grooming. That’s right! We come to you!
Contact us today to schedule an appointment or set up a time for mobile grooming.