Top tips for pooch hygiene – even your pooch can be spring cleaned!

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If there is one thing we know about dogs, its that they love to get messy. Constant exposure to the elements however can leave a build up of dirt on your beloved canine. Here at PetLondon HQ, we have some great tips on how to keep your pooch clean and healthy, even if they insist on playing in dirt every day!

It is important to wash your dog regularly! Ideally, introduce your dog to bathing from as early an age as possible. We suggest that you bathe your pooch at least once a month using a specialized dog shampoo. If you wish to clean your dog more often than this its recommended that you just use water, as using dog shampoo too often might irritate your dogs skin. To make bath-time less of an ordeal for you and your furry friend, its worth trying to make a positive association for your dog. For example, make sure that bath-time involves lots of their favorite treats and affection. A great tip is to practice letting your dog sit in the empty bathtub for a while, giving them a treat so that they associate being in the tub with treat time! You can then gradually add lukewarm water to ensure it is less of a shock to the system! When bathing your pooch, be sure to keep the ears, eyes and mouth dry, therefore its best to wash from the neck downwards. Ideally, a little cotton wool over the ear canal is perfect for keeping water out, but we understand some pooches absolutely won’t stand for that!

 

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Here at PetLondon HQ we have some great recommendations for safe and effective dog shampoos. For example, one of our personal favorites is the Soothing Oatmeal Shampoo, available on our PetLondon website! Oatmeal based pet products are great for sensitive skin, and help to keep your pooch’s coat lovely and soft. When rinsing the dog shampoo or dog soap out, make sure that all of the product has been washed out. For a pooch with longer hair, perhaps opt for the Detangling Apricot Spray, a perfect product for helping to prevent matting of the hair after bath-time. This spray is great as you need only spray it directly on the knot, and then brush it through. It’s a good idea to also brush through your dog’s long hair before the bath to minimize the tangles.

The location of pooch bath-time is completely up to you. Small breeds can be bathed in sinks or purpose bought tubs, whereas larger breeds can be bathed, weather permitting, outdoors or in the bath. Its always good to use as many towels as you can spare when drying off your soggy hound, preferably one for the floor, one for your dog’s body and another to ensure the face and ears are bone dry. Pay special attention to drying your dog’s feet and paws so avoid any slips! After drying is the time to completely brush through your dog’s hair to avoid tangling, this grooming will also help you to bond with your pooch as it shows how much you care! When drying and grooming your pooch after bath-time, be sure to look out for any ticks or fleas.

Don’t forget the paws! Your pooch’s precious paws need taking care of too! Bath-time can be a great opportunity to carefully clip your dog’s nails. Guillotine clippers tend to work best.

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When it comes to pooch hygiene, its not just all about the exterior! Your dog’s dental hygiene needs taking care of too! That’s where we, as devoted owners, have to help our furry friends out! The most important way of looking after your dog’s dental hygiene is to brush their teeth. The ideal doggy toothbrushes are those at a 45-degree angle, and with bristles on both sides to brush smaller and larger tooth surfaces, like our Double-Headed Dog Toothbrush.

In addition to brushing regularly, there are a range of products that can be utilized to maintain great canine dental hygiene. For example, Fresh Breath Drops, available on our website, are a wonderful way to keep your pooch’s breath consistently fresh. Suitable for dogs and cats, simply add three drops to your pet‘s water bowl, they’re also made with natural ingredients!

 

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Keeping your pooch clean is all about ensuring that doggy hygiene is part of your routine. Factor in even just an hour a week to give your dog a good pamper session! Bath-time for your pooch may seem like a recipe for disaster, but if you start early and get them used to it, your squeaky clean pooch will thank you in the long run!

Chia Seeds: Super Food for Super Dogs

Chia seeds have risen to prominence in the health and fitness community, becoming one of the most sought after superfoods for its numerous nutritional benefits. They have been linked to improved digestion, lowering blood pressure and have recently been discovered to aid in treating and preventing diabetes.

Luckily, chia seeds can also have massive benefits to doggie health too. Packed full of nutrients, the seeds are safe for your dog to eat, either raw or baked into meals or treats. They are also gluten free, meaning even dogs with gluten allergies and intolerances can enjoy the benefits too. Although small in size, chia seeds are jam packed with nutrients, making them a fantastic ingredient to add into your pup’s diet: one ounce of chia seeds contains 12 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein and 5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids. To put that into context, that is 3 times the Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, which are essential for balancing out Omega-6 fatty acids, and also aids in helping maintain healthy joints, brain development and strengthening the immune system, in addition to a wide range of other things that keeps your pup healthy.

If that wasn’t great enough, chia seeds also contain around 5 times the calcium of whole milk, 2 times the potassium of bananas, 3 times more iron than spinach and more magnesium than broccoli, showing the benefits on chia seeds in comparison to other foods. It is clear to see why they have become such a staple in the health community, offering huge benefits for both you and your dog to enjoy!

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Here at PetLondon we have the easy and tasty solution to all your chia seed needs! We have recently began stocking a range of treats by Einstein Pets, made in the USA, which are infused with the wondrous chia seed, meaning you can rest easy knowing your pups are experiencing all the benefits chia has to offer. The treats contain only natural and organic ingredients, and contain no chemicals, artificial flavours or preservatives, and if that wasn’t great enough, they are only one calorie per treat! We currently stock four flavours, which are Peanut Butter, Pumpkin & Cinnamon, Coconut & Apple and Carrots & Tumeric, so even the pickiest pups can enjoy the treats.

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Our range of Einstein Pet treats, infused with chia seed, are available on our website

 

You can also add chia seeds to regular doggie meals, either by sprinkling the seeds over the food raw to act as an extra supplement, or soaking the seeds in water to create a gel that can be mixed into food. This is especially useful for overweight pups, as when soaked, chia seeds are able to absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. These then expand in the stomach to create a feeling of fullness, which means dogs who love to eat feel full despite consuming less calories.

 

Dinner With Poppy

Feeding your pup is a meaty affair. Supermarket aisles are chockablock with dog food and treats, claiming to do everything from cleaning your pups teeth to teaching an old dog new tricks. A lot of what is on offer is heavily processed, and not as natural or healthy as the packaging would have you believe! A quick Google of dog food ingredients is enough to put you off the tinned stuff for life.

Every dog is different, and there is no perfect answer, but one of the easiest ways to know what your dog is eating is to put it together yourself. If the idea of cooking for your canine gets you into a cold sweat, don’t fear! PetLondon are here to give you a helping hand. It is not as tedious and messy as you might think, so put your nicest pinny on and rustle up a little gourmet feast for your pup tonight.

(Just a quick reminder before we get into the good stuff, PetLondon wouldn’t recommend overhauling your dogs diet overnight, any big changes can make their tummies funny. Take the time to slowly tweak their diet)

Choosing the ingredients for your dogs meal is as easy as 1, 2, 3. You need the energy, the greens and the protein. We’ve jotted down Poppy’s favourites to give you an idea:

The Energy: Brown Rice or Sweet Potato

The Greens (and the orange): Poppy loves kale, green beans, brocolli and spinach. Feel free to pick and mix your veg of choice, just avoid garlic and onions. If in doubt- Google! There are lots of lists of dog friendly fruit and veg, and we’ve got a couple saved to our Pinterest page.

The Protein: Turkey, beef or chicken.

The Extras: Poppy gets an adult multi-vitamin, and Pro-fibre (available from all good veterinarians).

You can rustle up a batch of your energy on a Sunday afternoon, if you have a spare thirty minutes pop a big pot of rice on the stove or throw a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven to bake. Once cooked, let it cool down before storing in your fridge.

Poppy has all her veg steamed, but choose whatever method works for you. You want it soft enough to dice up with the rest of the dinner, whether that means boiling your carrots or sautéing your spinach, do what works for you!

You can cook up your protein in advance too, Sunday afternoons are the perfect time to get busy in the kitchen and will make it easier for the rest of the week. If you’re making a Sunday roast for yourself, cook a little extra meat and put it aside for your pup. (Do make sure you don’t put any seasoning or sauce over the meat you’ll feed your pup though!) Meat won’t last the whole week, but you can prep enough for a couple of days.

Each evening muddle together your energy, greens and protein. Mix it together in the same way you would for a small child, and your pup will never notice they’re chomping down on kale.

Poppy also has an adult dog vitamin and Pro-fibre with her meal, they both go down easily by smashing the vitamin into a fine powder and stirring  them both through her dinner.

Have fun getting creative in the kitchen, and if you do decide to cook for your pup take a photo and tag us @PetLondon– Poppy would love to see your doggy dinners!

Sunglass Style for Dogs

It may seem at first quite amusing, the thought of a dog in sunglasses! However, just as they can help humans there are ways in which they can help dogs….This can be to protect your dogs eyes from  wind, sand and the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Summer in London, well it must be coming soon ?!? Let’s not give up hope.

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Older dogs with eye conditions or age-related cataracts will especially benefit from improved vision outdoors on a sunny day if they are wearing sunglasses. Its also something to consider if your dog likes to ride on a bike or with their head out of a vehicle window because it provides some protection against blowing particles.

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We have tried and tested many different models on our own office CEO, Poppy the Morkie. A frequent traveller to Florida and also a senior girl, makes her an excellent candidate for benefiting from some eye protection. She really seems to enjoy wearing them when its sunny, we think she can feel the effects. Poppy certainly seems to tolerate wearing them very well and there is a noticeable difference when she goes indoors that she knows it is time for them to come off.

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Ever the Fashionista, Poppy co-ordinates hers with a hot pink, crystal embellished hair bow

 

 

The current model that we carry is available in pink and smoke We have found this model to be the best on the market. The design has really improved in the past few years from some of the original models and its now both very lightweight and very easy to fit. These dog sunglasses are designed especially for the shape of a dogs face to have a comfortable fit. They have a wider nose bridge, offer 100% UV protection and shatterproof polycarbonate lenses. An adjustable strap goes underneath the dogs chin and around the back of their head. We *love* the added touch of the bone on each corner that acts as an adjustable touch and the pink shades have a tiny crystal heart in the corner as an added design detail.

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An Added Bonus… you can take some SERIOUSLY CUTE Selfies!

Most dogs take very well to getting used to their sunglasses. They tend to appreciate the experience more when they can actually feel the benefit so use them for the first time outdoors when its actually sunny. It may feel a little weird for them the first couple of times but build up their usage gradually over time.

Other tips for safety in the sun include;

-Keep pets inside during the hottest part of the day, from 12-2pm

-Ensure they have access to a shaded area when outdoors

-Always have cool, fresh drinking water available

-If you are going to be in the sun for extended periods, think about a pet sunscreen for you dogs delicate areas like nose and ears. Even a dog with a dark black nose, can experience long term sun damage and loss of pigment on their nose through extended exposure.

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To Brush or Not To Brush?

Yes, I know, in today’s busy world you probably barely have time to brush your own teeth so the thought of having to do your pets too might sound like a lot of work but seriously when you think about it….. It is just about 180 seconds of your day that could make a huge difference to the health and life span of your furry friend.

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Try to get into a routine where you brush your animals teeth in the evening after they have finished eating for the day. It’s a good idea to do it around the same time as you do your own nightly brush. That way you are more likely to remember. Keep your pets toothbrush in your bathroom where you will be likely to see it each night as a reminder.

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You can use a special pet toothbrush. There are lots of different kinds available to suit different types of dog or cat. The main choices are; finger toothbrush, tiny toothbrush or a dual headed brush that covers both at once. Then you need to select a pet toothpaste. Make sure you check the scent of this, meat flavoured ones might not lead to very pleasant breath! Its best to look for one that is minty or vanilla for sweeter puppy kisses.

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Brush your pets teeth just as you would your own. They don’t need to rinse . However make sure you carefully rinse out their brush under water each time you use it to avoid it getting stiff and also to keep it clean.

 

In an ideal world you would brush your pets teeth EVERY day but if you can manage even 3-4 times a week then you are doing better than most. For those of you who want another option, on nights when you cannot manage a full brush you can use a pet tooth wipe which is a 20 second quick solution that is better than doing nothing at all.

 

Once you start teeth brushing into your dog or cats routine you should notice a number of key benefits. Your dog or cat will have cleaner teeth and plaque will build up less quickly. This should mean better breath and less visits to the veterinarian for teeth cleaning over their lifetime. The teeth and gumline affect the whole health of your pet and most people are unaware that bad teeth can cause pain (which your pet cannot tell you about) and lead to other dangerous conditions such as heart problems.

 

Do your pet a favour and try to start today!

Dinner with Poppy

Feeding your pup is a meaty affair. Supermarket aisles are chockablock with dog food and treats, claiming to do everything from cleaning your pups teeth to teaching an old dog new tricks. A lot of what is on offer is heavily processed, and not as natural or healthy as the packaging would have you believe! A quick Google of dog food ingredients is enough to put you off the tinned stuff for life.

Every dog is different, and there is no perfect answer, but one of the easiest ways to know what your dog is eating is to put it together yourself. If the idea of cooking for your canine gets you into a cold sweat, don’t fear! PetLondon are here to give you a helping hand. It is not as tedious and messy as you might think, so put your nicest pinny on and rustle up a little gourmet feast for your pup tonight.

(Just a quick reminder before we get into the good stuff, PetLondon wouldn’t recommend overhauling your dogs diet overnight, any big changes can make their tummies funny. Take the time to slowly tweak their diet)

Choosing the ingredients for your dogs meal is as easy as 1, 2, 3. You need the energy, the greens and the protein. We’ve jotted down Poppy’s favourites to give you an idea:

The Energy: Brown Rice or Sweet Potato

The Greens (and the orange): Poppy loves kale, green beans, brocolli and spinach. Feel free to pick and mix your veg of choice, just avoid garlic and onions. If in doubt- Google! There are lots of lists of dog friendly fruit and veg, and we’ve got a couple saved to our Pinterest page.

The Protein: Turkey, beef or chicken.

The Extras: Poppy gets an adult multi-vitamin, and Pro-fibre (available from all good veterinarians).

You can rustle up a batch of your energy on a Sunday afternoon, if you have a spare thirty minutes pop a big pot of rice on the stove or throw a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven to bake. Once cooked, let it cool down before storing in your fridge.

Poppy has all her veg steamed, but choose whatever method works for you. You want it soft enough to dice up with the rest of the dinner, whether that means boiling your carrots or sautéing your spinach, do what works for you!

You can cook up your protein in advance too, Sunday afternoons are the perfect time to get busy in the kitchen and will make it easier for the rest of the week. If you’re making a Sunday roast for yourself, cook a little extra meat and put it aside for your pup. (Do make sure you don’t put any seasoning or sauce over the meat you’ll feed your pup though!) Meat won’t last the whole week, but you can prep enough for a couple of days.

Each evening muddle together your energy, greens and protein. Mix it together in the same way you would for a small child, and your pup will never notice they’re chomping down on kale.

Poppy also has an adult dog vitamin and Pro-fibre with her meal, they both go down easily by smashing the vitamin into a fine powder and stirring  them both through her dinner.

Have fun getting creative in the kitchen, and if you do decide to cook for your pup take a photo and tag us @PetLondon– Poppy would love to see your doggy dinners!

Trimming your dog’s nails: A Guide

Keeping your dog’s nails neatly trimmed is so much more than a manicure- it is an essential part of their grooming routine! Overgrown nails can be painful and awkward for your dog, and they can break which risks infection and more health problems. Did you know you should check your dogs paws once a month- if they’re overgrown they need a chop! Sadly, we often don’t realise how much time has passed, and how much your pup’s claws have overgrown. Have a check now- with their paw on the floor, check to see if your dog’s nails touch the floor. If they do- they need to be trimmed!

Doggie manicures are not always a fun task, and can make both people and dogs worried. Although it seems a little daunting, we have outlined a few guidelines to keep in mind to make trimming your pup’s nails as stress free as possible!

Before you get stuck in, remember you can teach your pup to tolerate, and maybe even enjoy, nail trimming. If they learn that it leads to exciting things, like treats or new toys– they could learn to love it. So whenever you trim your dog’s nails, immediately follow up with things they enjoy. For example, clip a nail and then feed your dog a delicioustreat. Clip another nail or two and feed another treat. With repetition and a little time, your dog will probably decide that getting their nails done is fun, not frightening.

Take a little extra time to slowly introduce the nail clippers, as well as the sensations involved in trimming. The first time you use clippers, don’t give your dog a full pedicure. Instead, just clip one or two nails, and remember to give your dog treats or play a game right after trimming. Keep it slow and easy so the paid of you don’t get overwhelmed. Also, approach calmly and speak in quiet, soothing tones. If you want your dog to relax, you’ll need to be relaxed too.

Okay, so now to the nitty gritty:

1) Get some treats and your clippers, and take your dog to a quiet area. Keep a clotting powder nearby when you trim your dog’s nails so that you can quickly stop the bleeding if you accidentally cut the quick (more details below!).

2) Choose a nail to trim. Take your dog’s toe and hold it firmly but gently between your fingers.

3) When trimming your dogs nails, you need to avoid the quick. This is the pink bit at the base of your pup’s claw where the blood vessels and nerve endings are. PetLondon have got their paws on an amazing product to help you out, these nail clippers will scan your pup’s nails to find the quick for you as you go.

If your dog has clear nails, you can see the live quick, which looks pink. Cut the nail no closer than about two millimeters from the quick. If your dog has dark nails, you can avoid cutting into the quick by trimming one little sliver of nail at a time, starting with the tip. As you cut slices off your dog’s nail, look at the exposed edge of the cut nail. Eventually, you’ll see a grey or pink oval starting to appear. Stop trimming when you see the oval. Another option with black nails is to have a helper use a torch to back-light each of your dog’s nails while you trim. The light from behind the nail allows you to clearly see the pink quick.

4) If you’re using a guillotine-type trimmer, insert the very tip of your dog’s nail into the hole, holding the trimmer perpendicular to the nail so that you cut from top to bottom, not side to side. When you’ve positioned the trimmer in the right place, squeeze the handles to cut through your dog’s nail.

Take it all super slowly and carefully, and ease your pup -and yourself- into the routine and remember to keep an eye on your pup’s paws!

Happy Grooming!