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Cleaning your dog’s teeth
As with us humans, keeping your dog’s teeth clean is very important to avoid plaque build-up and dental disease. Dental disease is very common in dogs, second only to ear infections, and can be extremely uncomfortable – much like we would experience.
And some breeds are more susceptible to dental disease than others, for example, Brachycephalic dogs, like Pugs and Chihuahuas, have poorly aligned jaws with crowded or absent teeth
As with everything its always easier to start teeth cleaning when they’re a puppy and brush their teeth every day to get them used to it. However, if you haven’t been able to do this then gradually introduce the activity by having your finger near their mouth. Maintain the habit and slowly introduce brushing until this is natural.
You’ll need a to buy a dog toothpaste as human ones aren’t suitable. A special dog toothbrush that goes over your finger can be used to brush their teeth, otherwise you could use a child sized toothbrush.
You should keep brushing their teeth as part of a regular grooming routine.
When to contact your vet
Regular brushing can keep plaque and dental disease away, but you must contact your vet if your dog has any urgent symptoms such as:
- Bleeding or damaged gums
- Mouth is infected giving off a fouler than usual smell
- Discoloured teeth that die and fall out
- Sensitive or painful teeth
- Noticeable difficulty in eating.
Emmi-Pet Ultrasonic Toothbrushing
- Stylish Fido uses an Emmi-Pet ultrasonic toothbrush to clean your dogs’ teeth. It is completely silent, non-vibrating and non-invasive as it is held against the teeth with no brushing action resulting in a much calmer experience for your dog. Find out more on the ultrasonic toothbrush blog.
Stylish Fido can now offer the following dog teeth cleaning service
Introducing the Emmi-pet system
- It is completely silent
- Non vibrating toothbrush
- You do not even need to move the toothbrush around so the dogs don’t mind
- It’s completely safe for all dogs, the ultrasound waves are just harmless air vibrations
- It cleans deep into the gum line so not just where you can see but where you cannot see….
An ultrasonic toothbrush?
Keeping your dog’s teeth clean is very important. It can help prevent a build-up of plaque and tartar as well as helping fight dental diseases like periodontitis. And it can help fight bad breath, tooth loss and gum inflammation.
Here at Stylish Fido, we use the Emmi-pet ultrasonic toothbrush system® when cleaning your dog’s teeth.
The Emmi-pet has a piezo chip in the brush head which creates up to 96 million air oscillations every minute. When these ultrasound waves are mixed with the special toothpaste and water it creates millions of nano bubbles which keep imploding on each other – this, in turn, creates a suction effect which removes impurities, plaque and tartar and kills germs and bacteria.
Emmi-Pet is totally silent, non-invasive and doesn’t vibrate. It is held against the teeth with no brushing action, all of which results in a much calmer experience for your dog.
It is suggested that for a new client, 3 separate 30 min sessions within 2 weeks should result in a really good clean mouth. Once the tartar has been removed, 15min sessions can be booked to tag onto your normal grooming routine, and this will keep the teeth from becoming built up again with tarter etc.
(You will be required to sign the following on your first teeth cleaning visit – I have them printed out)
Emmi-Pet Teeth Cleaning Disclaimer
Thank you for booking Emmi-Pet Teeth Cleaning for your pet.
Our Emmi-Pet teeth cleaning service is exactly that – a teeth cleaning service. It is suitable for dogs with mild to moderate tartar build up It can help heal gum disease, remove plaque and tartar and freshen breath. The operator is not a veterinarian and teeth cleaning is not a substitute for veterinary treatment where a dog requires dental work beyond cleaning.
Owners should be aware that:
- removal of even mild tartar build up can reveal conditions that could not be seen prior to removal that may need veterinary attention.
- Emmi-Pet teeth cleaning is effective at healing gum disease and removing plaque and tartar but is less effective at removing stating on the teeth. (Staining is cosmetic and has no ill effect o the dog’s welfare).
Fireworks, loud noises and things that go bump in the night!
I want to talk about Firework and loud noise desensitisation …yes, we need to start early, especially for our puppies who were born after last November, but also for our oldies that are noise sensitive. My Willow hates loud bangs and noises, fireworks week and New Year’s Eve is a stressful time for this house, so I invite you to join me on our journey to help him and your dog together.
I will break this down into two parts –
1- Puppies – Introduction of these noises to puppies who are currently happy energetic care-free souls.
2 – Helping dogs that already have a fear of fireworks/noises
We need to be good teachers and caregivers for our new puppies, so along with feeding them, walking them appropriately and playing with them, they need to be introduced to all manner of noises and experiences that they may encounter over their lives. If we can do this in a safe environment at a pace that they can cope with and with positive consequences, (eg without overloading them or causing distress) then we can help our puppies grow into very adaptable and well rounded adult dogs.
Try and think of puppies as sponges for knowledge and forever practicing for their adult life, but who need careful handling and positive experiences.
Just as we need to introduce puppies to children, adults, other dogs, the hoover at home, children running past them in the street, travelling in the car, going to the vets, having their first groom, we need to devote some time to introduction to things they may not experience for a few months. If we do not introduce these things early or in a controlled manner, by the time fireworks night comes around, we have sometimes lost that vital opportunity. Preparation is definitely our friend.
One of the best resources I have found for the introduction to fireworks (and indeed many strange noises that dogs may encounter but not always in your own home), is on the Dogs Trust website. Their Sound Therapy for Pets page includes downloadable guides and ‘scary sounds’ tracks with full instructions on how to introduce noises.
I can’t stress strongly enough that you start this process today. It only takes a little time each week, but will be a massive investment for your dog. He will thank you for it, and you will be so glad you did, as trying to comfort or distract a dog that is digging a hole in your carpet to hide from a week of fireworks can be very distressing for everyone.
Adult or already noise sensitive dogs
If you have a rescue dog (like my Willow), or older dog that has been scared at some time and is now fearful of fireworks, the Sounds Therapy for Pets at the Dogs Trust can also help your adult dog on a path to recovery.
How I am using sound therapy with Willow
As I am typing this blog, I am playing one of the tracks on my computer at a low level whilst Willow is sleeping and although I know he can hear them, because it is at a low level, it is below his threshold for jumping up and barking furiously. This is exactly what I need to do for him. Over time, I will play the noises a little louder every week, so that hopefully, by fireworks night I should be able to play quite loud fireworks sounds on speakers which he will be accustomed to, and more importantly will not react to. Which means we will all have a calmer evening.
Please do seek professional help if you are finding any problems with desensitising your dog to fireworks noises, it can be a very stressful and traumatic time for animals, but there is help out there. As a TTouch practitioner, I have worked with many noise sensitive dogs and had great results, but each dog is different and may need different training techniques.
Pest prevention – how I protect my cats and dog
I won’t bore you with all the different types of fleas, worms and ticks, there is plenty of information and scary pictures on the internet! I thought I might share with you what remedies I have used on my own animals to prevent problems and protect them from these dreaded pests.
Do speak to your Vet if you want recommendations as their products are, of course, very effective. I am not able to advise on treatments for your pets as I am not a vet, but I thought you might find it interesting if I shared with you what I do with my own pets.
Fleas can be found anywhere, in grass, on other pets, commonly on cats and bedding, so dogs often come into contact with them on a daily basis being out and about. It’s practically impossible for your dog to not pick them up, and some dogs seem to be more attractive to fleas than others. I had a dog years ago that never seem affected, but cats that always needed preventative action!
In the past, when I have had a problem with fleas, it’s usually the cats that bring them in. I have 2 cats, and so as soon as they start scratching, I have no choice but to give them a spot-on treatment (which they hate of course), but one is allergic to flea bites and ends up in a terrible mess if she is bitten and scratches.
Bill also had spot-on treatments, but we also tried the pill kind which was easier to administer and doesn’t leave product on the coat to be touched by humans. They both seemed to work.
There are collars that can be used – these types of collars can be left on for 6 months and can get wet if your dog likes a swim or goes out in the rain, although I always take them off when washing. Do your research on these too. They are chemical heavy, but I have used one in the past.
At the moment I use CSJ Billy No Mates herbal additive that I put into Willow’s food. This needs a few weeks to start taking effect, so I started this last month in good time for the season. This is available from all good pet stores, or online.
Another great anti-flea remedy I use is raw garlic, but this must be crushed and left for at least 10 mins before it can be put in the food. Again, please do your own research on this, but it seems to have other great benefits too.
For worms, I don’t regularly treat my pets with chemicals, but I do add some Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to their food to kill any worms and I routinely check if Willow has any using a fantastic service called wormcount.com that checks all bugs in his poop. Yes, you have to send poop in the post to them, but it’s very easy! I have never seen a positive result for worms, but if I did, the DE would be adjusted to kill them, then I would retest. Please be very careful with Diatomaceous Earth, as breathing it in is dangerous, but eating it is fine. I buy human grade from imbaliridgebacks.co.uk it can also be used as a dust for killing fleas, but again you have to be very careful.
For ticks, I use an herbal anti-tick spray that I spray on his legs if we are off walking in long grass that ticks don’t much like, and I have had very few instances of ticks.
I think using as much herbal and natural products as possible is definitely the way I like to go, I must admit, if there is a problem I will reach for more chemical products, but only as a last resort for me. I prefer the greener and more naturalistic route where I can.
Getting your dog used to being handled
Helping to understand what a dog experiences when at the groomer will help you prepare your dog.
I need to be able to be pick your dog up to be put into the bath and carried across to the table. Is your dog happy being picked up? Look for stress signs and work on happy handling.
Jumping – It would also help if your dog is able to jump into the bath (baths can be lowered to around the height of a sofa or car footwell). Or, if they cannot jump, be able to pop their front legs into the bath and I can then lift their back legs in for them.
Washing and drying
Being comfortable being washed with a shower, including being able to stand whilst being lathered with shampoo and being rinsed off, lifting up each paw and cleaning in-between the pads.
When on the table for drying and trimming, one of the trickiest parts is usually drying and brushing through.
We are very good at teaching our pups and dogs to sit. This is a lovely exercise for you and your dog and it teaches control and good manners, but do take the time to also teach a Stand command. It is one of the most time-consuming efforts for a groomer to keep gently encouraging a dog to keep standing, and must be tiring for a dog to continually sit, stand, sit, stand for half an hour or more!
The stand command is also very useful for when you are at the vets and they need to be examined, and also have their temperature taken… can you imagine sitting down with a thermometer in a delicate place! ouch.
You, your dog, your groomer and your vet will thank you for teaching a stand command.
How much brushing your dog will need will depend on the type of coat and length of coat they have? Whether you have a pug or a husky, all breeds will benefit from a regular brush; it helps not just the coat, but also your dog’s skin and tightens the bond between you.
In addition, brushing can help you identify potential problems, keep an eye on pests, and your dog will find their groom with me much easier. A happy dog equals a quick no-stress groom.
It’s a win-win for you and your dog. If you are not sure about your dog’s brushing needs, please ask me.
Depending on your dog, you may like to watch my YouTube video about line brushing – brushing a long wool coat – eg poodles and poodle crosses.
Puppies – Introduction
- The whole world is new to a puppy, so I always recommend letting puppies sniff, smell and look at all new equipment.
- Introduce the brush early – don’t let it become a game where they try to get away from the brush or play fight it! I suggest using treats or lickki mats or kongs to keep them occupied and to help them relate brushing to something ‘nice’.
- Keep your handling sessions short – little and often.
- Use it as training and bonding time
- Teach a ‘stand!’ command.
- Introduce noise gently, if you don’t have clippers, an electric toothbrush is a great realistic alternative to the noise of clippers.
- If you don’t have hair dryers, think of other noisy machines they can get used to, eg hoovers, but do this all slowly and controlled.
You can find my blog on introducing puppies to grooming here:
For all dogs
- Practice inspections of ears, eyes, mouth and nails at least weekly.
- Lift up ear flaps, hold muzzle and lift up lips to see teeth regularly to get your dog used to it.
- Handle paws and handle gently each nail and pads. – there is also a YouTube video on nail clipping for small and big dogs, white and black nails.
- Groomers and vets often need to hold a dog’s muzzle, and this is sometimes tricky for a dog to tolerate at start. Imagine trying to trim around the delicate eyes on a moving target.
…and did I mention teaching a stand command?! 🙂
Greening the Stylish Fido Salon
Climate change and environmental impact is something that is very close to my heart, and so I have been investing some time to be as green as possible in both my house and salon. I thought I would share some of the changes I have been making:
The biggest change I have made to the salon has been to install a solar PV system on my roof, generating electricity for as much use in the salon during the day as possible. I am now a mini-grid!
LEDs are the most energy-efficient bulbs. They use 90% less energy than traditional incandescents. So much so, my entire house is now LED.
I am running down my existing supplies to move entirely to Wildwash shampoos which are amazing. With no parabens, phosphates, petrochemicals, sulphates or PEGs and with 100% essential oils, they are suitable for all dogs and better for the environment. And as Wildwash are a UK based company, they make their products in England which means a smaller carbon footprint.
Recycling pet food pouches
I already recycle as much as is possible. There are more facilities now in Steyning thanks to Greening Steyning. In case you didn’t know, our blue bins cannot take pet food pouches or other pet food bags. To close this loop, I have started a recycling collection for these items and invite you to join in. If you could wash and dry your food pouches, and bring them to me when you have a full bag, I will send them to be made into something else. Let’s see how much we can recycle.!
I have moved to organic cotton wall balls, with no pesticides used in the manufacturing process. The company is called “simply gentle”, with excellent eco credentials.
This year I changed my disposal face masks to washable masks.
- Washing liquid – I currently use Ecover, or Method, and continue to monitor and find the best products.
- Safe4 disinfectant on surfaces and floors – I have been using this company for a few years now, Uk manufactured, kills Covid, and is fully compliant for all animal uses, but with the addition of being animal cruelty free and vegan friendly.
- less plastic bags for the salon bin – I am still trying to find larger bio-degradable and/or compostable bin sacks
Towels – what do you think?
I am debating a swap to Eco bamboo disposal towels. I would welcome any opinions on these. They are clear winner when it comes to washing towels and therefore energy saving, microfibres entering the water system from towels and use of detergents, however the jury is out on the waste. They are fully biodegradable, can be composted, and can be reused after drying your dog. They use no bleach or pesticides.
What happens to the poop?
I am on a personal mission to find out exactly what happens to all the poop from the dog poo bins. is it better to use bio-degradable poop bags or not?
More on this as I find the answers.
Q: Why do I need my dog groomed?
A: for both your dog’s welfare and your benefit. All dogs are health checked and observed with records made of findings so that your dog can be monitored and hopefully problems found early and brought to your attention. Feedback sheets are given after every groom for your information if requested.
You should benefit from a healthier animal (with maybe fewer trips to the vets), not to mention a happier calmer and sweeter smelling best friend.
Q: Do you hand strip dogs?
A: Yes – if your dog has a coat that can be stripped and the hair is ready we will hand strip. There is an additional fee for this as it is very time-consuming – but it gives a beautiful finish and keeps the texture, colour and quality of the coat, which clipping destroys in strippable coats.
Q: How do you keep everything clean?
Q: Why do I need to bring treats – I don’t want my dog getting fat.
Hello and woofs to you,
I hope you are keeping well and safe. Following the latest National Lockdown, guidelines state dog groomers can continue to work under welfare grounds. Our full safety procedures are on the website here.
Self-Isolating or vulnerable?
I would be grateful that if you are showing symptoms, self-isolating or are shielding, that you contact me to move your appointment accordingly and I will make sure I honour any urgent appointments as soon as we are able.
At your appointment time, please make use of the anti-bac gel on the outside of the gate. Please enter the garden, and just inside the gate remove all collar and leads and let your dog off. I will be waiting. If your dog is small and likely to bolt as you leave, please put your dog on the table and I will collect from there. Please make sure you wear a mask.
I would prefer direct payment by BACS where possible.
Thank you and do call if you are unsure, or want to check anything with me.
Caroline and Willow x