Dog Dewclaws – Does Your Dog Need Them?

First, what are dog dewclaws? Dog dewclaws are small, toe-like appendages with a toenail located slightly above a dog’s feet on the inside of the legs. Some breeds have them on the front legs, some on the back legs and some have dewclaws on both the front and back legs.

The “Dewclaws Have no Purpose” Argument

Many authorities say that dog dewclaws have no purpose. Dogs are thought to have evolved from a tree climbing ancestor some 30 – 40 million years ago, the miacis, a cat-like carnivore that used this fifth toe to live a somewhat arboreal life. As dogs adapted to living on the ground, they needed speed to catch their prey. They began to run on their toes and their dewclaws no longer touched the ground.

Some breeders routinely remove dog dewclaws when puppies are 2 – 3 days old. Reasons for removal include:

  • Appearance – show dogs may lose points if they have dewclaws. (But some breeds will be disqualified from shows if they don’t have dewclaws!)
  • Injury Avoidance – Dog Dewclaws can get caught in brush outdoors and carpet indoors, resulting in a lot of pain and blood.
  • Care – Dog dewclaws need to be trimmed regularly.

The “Dewclaws Have a Purpose” Argument

Other authorities claim that dog dewclaws do have a purpose. They say that dewclaws help dogs to grip bones and other toys. Dewclaws are also thought to help dogs in agility trials and racing dogs to corner more efficiently.
dog nail clippers
It’s okay if your dog doesn’t have dewclaws. He’s probably not missing them. If your dog does have dewclaws, they sometimes need regular care to maintain your dog’s health. Dog dewclaws can grow rapidly and you or your vet will need to trim them to keep them from snagging on branches or fabric. Another problem is that some dogs’ dewclaws grow in a circle and can dig into the toe pads.

It’s important that you use special clippers to trim your dog’s dewclaws or the other claws. Human clippers or fingernail scissors do not work well for this job and can cause pain. You can find more information on nail clippers or scissors for dogs here.

2020-02-12T15:15:24-06:00August 21st, 2018|

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo

John Paul Pet Oatmeal ShampooI first tried John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo by chance when a hair salon owner gave it to me in return for a favor. It really helped with my beagle’s itching problem. Both of my dogs have beautiful silky fur after I bath them with it. It is really concentrated so only a small amount is needed each time and the 16 ounce bottle lasts a long time.

The label states that it is “specifically formulated to moisturize dry, flaky, sensitive skin.” The ingredients include aloe vera, oatmeal and sweet almond oil.

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo is cruelty free and tested first on humans. And it smells nice, too!

Have you tried this product before? Let us know what you think.

2020-02-12T15:22:30-06:00August 7th, 2018|

Does my Dog Need an Orthopedic Dog Bed?

Is your dog older? Does he or she suffer from arthritis or have joint pain? If you answered yes to either one of these questions, you should invest in an orthopedic dog bed. An orthopedic dog bed is also a good idea for a dog with hip dysplasia or a thinner dog with less fat to cushion his bones.

orthopedic dog bedA good orthopedic dog bed should consist of memory foam which conforms to the dog’s body, and supports aching joints and back. It is important that the foam is high-quality, high-density and distributes weight evenly. It should not flatten under your dog’s weight. An orthopedic dog bed can be up to 7 inches thick. It needs to have a removable, washable cover which should also be waterproof if your dog has issues with incontinence.

The size of your orthopedic dog bed will depend on the size of your dog. Most size charts depend only on the dog’s weight, but your dog’s length and height are important, too. Measure your dog’s length from the end of his or her nose to the base of the tail. Measure the height from the top of his or her head to the ground when standing. Then shop for a dog bed that is at least those dimensions or larger.

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2020-02-12T15:23:05-06:00August 7th, 2018|

Blueberry Pet 3M Reflective Stripe Dog Harness

Blueberry dog harnessLily loves this dog harness! She eagerly walks right into it when it is held out to her. And it’s very easy to put on. The soft, spongy padding in the chest, back and belly areas is a big improvement over the thin, nylon straps on the old dog harness. And I love the reflective stripes. Lily is mostly black and invisible to cars when we walk in the early morning hours. At least drivers can see the harness now!

We bought the Chest Girth 22-26.5″, Neck 17.5-26″, Chest Strap 11.5″, Medium Vest and were able to adjust the chest and neck straps to fit perfectly. Lily weighs about 35 pounds, but each dog is unique so you may want to take your dog’s measurements before deciding on a size.

We’re thinking of getting one for Buddy, our beagle, but while Lily loves wearing clothes, Buddy, not so much. We tried to dress him in a little coat once on a very cold day. He stood like a statue and refused to move until we took it off. This dog harness is not really clothes, but it does cover a lot more than a regular non-padded harness. Still, we might give it a go. If Buddy refuses to wear it, we can always give it to someone whose dog will like it.

If you or someone you know has bought this harness, please let us know what you think of it!

2020-02-12T15:23:48-06:00August 2nd, 2018|

Does Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats Help Stop Itching?

zesty paws salmon oilThis salmon oil really seems to work. Buddy, our ten year old beagle, was always scratching and biting himself. His skin was red and irritated. It was a vicious cycle. The fish oil capsules bought from the grocery store did nothing to help his condition. Then one day our next door neighbor mentioned that she fed Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil to her Labradors to help with their skin problems.

So we tried it. I was a little skeptical about the pump, but it’s easy and convenient to use. No mess. Following the instructions on the bottle, just three squirts on each dog’s food once a day. They love it!

Maybe it’s only a coincidence, but Buddy’s itching has dramatically decreased. And Lily, our twelve year old Labrador-Dachshund mix, no longer has dandruff. Her coat is now shiny and silky. I really love this product. The 8 ounce bottle lasts about four weeks. We keep it in the refrigerator as it says in the instructions. Of course it does smell pretty fishy (that’s probably why the dogs love it so much) if you get it close to your nose, but the smell doesn’t permeate the air. I think we will buy the 16 ounce bottle next time and save a little money.

The omega-3 fatty acids in Salmon Oil are thought to support heart and joint health as well as the immune system. Salmon Oil is supposedly responsible for many cardiovascular benefits including reduction of inflammation. I’m wondering if we should take it, too! Somehow, I don’t think we’d enjoy it as much as Buddy and Lily do, though.

Have you tried this product for your dog or cat? We would love to hear how it works for you. Let us know!

Zesty Paws manufactures their Salmon Oil in the USA.

2020-02-13T13:44:37-06:00July 27th, 2018|

Dentastix Might Save Your Dog a Trip to Dentist

DentastixBuddy and Lily live for these treats! I had tried Greenies in the past with no success. And they were super expensive. So I tried brushing their teeth which helped a little, but you have to do it regularly.

Then my brother told me about Dentastix. His dog, Bella, refused to have her teeth brushed. Any fingers that got near her mouth had a good chance of being bitten. Dentastix was the answer. My brother says the vet praises Bella’s teeth on her annual checkups.

So I bought Pedigree Dentastix Large Dog Treats and broke them in half for my dogs. This worked for Buddy, my beagle. But Lily, my dachshund-lab mix, swallowed them whole. Obviously, this defeats the purpose and is not good for her. So Lily gets a whole Dentastix and Buddy gets a half. A box with 32 treats lasts about 3 weeks. Their teeth are visibly cleaner and their breath is better.

There are a few questionable ingredients in the original flavor and even more in the bacon and beef flavors. So if your dog has allergies or you are a purist, you may want to check them before buying.

2020-02-13T13:45:21-06:00July 20th, 2018|
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