Archive for the ‘Health & Grooming’ Categoryby Northernmost on December 18, 2013 in Health & Grooming, Leia with No Comments
If you have a long coated Malamute that easily develops mats and tangles, or perhaps a normal coated dog that isn’t too keen on being brushed (the tail area for example), try Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine to make the grooming session easier for both of you. We use this excellent product on Leia to prepare her coat for a bath. We start by working through her coat with a comb and our fingers and when we find tangles or mats we rub Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine directly into the affected area. It takes just a small amount to break up mats and brush out tangles and the grooming session becomes a lot more pleasant for the dog. We always do this before bathing, as when the coat is wet the mats and tangles will be even harder to get out.
Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine is a popular horse grooming product but works equally well on dogs and on human hair. It contains no water or alcohol and doesn’t dry the hair. There are some other good products in the Cowboy Magic product line, such as the Rosewater Conditioner and the Greenspot Remover. You can read about them here. We buy ours from Hippotique in Sweden.
I love products that make grooming easier and the Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine smells really nice too. Now when all that old coat is gone, Leia is finally ready for a bath!
Leia as a baby puppy in Finland. Photo courtesy of Virve & Teemu Kaivola. She will be 9 years old in February. I’ll get some fresh pictures of her after her bath :)
This year everyone seems to be talking about the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for dogs. Below are ten common claims about ACV:
- Eases the pain of arthritis
- Improves digestion
- Clears up urinary tract infections
- Gives a shiny coat
- Kills bacterial and fungal skin infections (good for hot spots and itchy skin)
- Cures dandruff
- Is a natural flea, tick and insect repellent
- Neutralises dog odours
- Softens calluses
- Boosts the immune system
It sounds like a miracle cure so we decided to see what apple cider vinegar could do for a mild fungal infection (Leia) and dry and flaky skin during shedding (Gemma). Since June we have been adding a teaspoon of unpasteurized ACV to their food twice daily and in addition to using ACV as a dietary supplement we have also used it diluted as a rinse after bathing.
Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar from House of Hafi in Sweden.
Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar from Bragg.
After four months, Leia’s coat has less pink discolouration from licking and her skin seems to be in overall better condition (more calm, less red). It also seems to be working for Gemma, as her dry skin is gone and the new coat that is coming in looks shiny and healthy. We are happy with the results and if we don’t see any negative side-effects we may continue using apple cider vinegar as a regular supplement. The flavour is quite strong but our girls don’t seem to mind, and compared to the medicated dog shampoos you can buy at the vet’s, ACV is a completely natural product and is relatively inexpensive too.
Always consult a vet
Before trying natural remedies to treat skin disorders, you should always consult your veterinarian. If you want to do your own research, the website WebMD has an excellent slideshow where you can see images of some of the most common canine skin problems. For more info about the possible health benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs, I recommend the following pages:
Three products that we like and always try to have at home are Dr Baddaky’s Fish Oil, Diarsanyl and Allerderm Spot-On. Like most dog owners we have tried a number of different products over the years but always come back to these three, as they really work.
Gemma, with three products we recommend.
Diarsanyl from Ceva is the only product we use for an upset tummy and we bring it along when we travel and have it at home when we have puppies. Since our dogs like the taste of this paste it is easy to administer it directly in their mouths. We find that it stops loose stools and diarrhea really fast and works better than any other product that we’ve previously tried.
Dr Baddaky’s Fish Oil is an Omega-3 supplement that we add to our dogs’ food during autumn and winter. The results are clearly visible; paw pads that were dry and cracked have healed and their coats look really healthy and glossy and the colour is richer than ever. As the saying goes – beauty comes from within.
Allerderm Spot-On from Virbac is a skin lipid complex that we use on our girl Leia who for many years was troubled by recurring hot spots (moist dermatitis) due to her house dust mite allergy. Since we created a special living quarter for Leia (and her buddy Thunder) in our barn, and started applying Allerderm, she has been virtually free from hot spots. If your dog has itchy skin, hot spots, seasonal allergies or other types of skin problems, this product is well worth a try. You can read more about Allerderm in the Allerderm Spot-On Detailer
We buy these products from our vet or order them online from www.vetzoo.se Dr Baddaky’s Fish Oil is currently available in Scandinavia while the products from Ceva and Virbac are available in many countries worldwide.
Titan’s coat has a lovely shine this winter. He’s a dark sable & white and this year his colour looks richer than ever. We’ve been adding omega-3 fish oil to our dogs’ food on a regular basis since the summer and are really happy with the results. Not only do their coats look great but their paw pads are also more supple and we no longer have any issues with very dry or cracked pads. However, something we’ve learnt about fish oil is that it needs to be introduced gradually in small doses as a too sudden introduction can cause diarrhoea, especially if the dog has a sensitive stomach. After a gradual introduction it is important to give the recommended dose (and not less) as this is critical to achieving the desired results.
When selecting a fish oil, we look for an oil that is free from detectable traces of mercury and unsafe levels of PCBs, and that contains a high percentage of the omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. We recommend that you read the label carefully when selecting a fish oil and also compare different products.
Our boy Titan is so used to the taste of his fish oil that when we forgot to add it to his kibble yesterday, he didn’t touch his food until the mistake was corrected. Our dogs have us well trained! ;-)
In pet shops you will sometimes also find omega-3 made from ground flax seed. However, the omega-3 fatty acids present in flax seed oil are in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and dogs cannot directly use the ALA but must convert it to the type of fatty acids that their bodies can use, i.e. DHA and EPA. Since many dogs do not make the conversion effectively, most experts on canine nutrition recommend fish oil as the best source of omega-3 for dogs.
We buy Dr. Baddaky’s Fish Oil from our veterinarian or order it online from www.vetzoo.se The product is currently available in Sweden, Denmark and Norway and will soon also be available for dog owners in Finland and the UK.
The dogs’ fall shed always takes me by surprise. Just when I think our Malamutes are starting to look good after the summer, and are growing their coats in preparation for winter, they start shedding again. Luckily the fall shed isn’t anything like the shedding they do in spring, often they will just shed the undercoat and keep the guardcoat intact. Still, some grooming is needed also during fall.
A grooming tool that I really love is Chris Christensen’s 27mm T-Brush. This lightweight pin brush is made of beechwood and the clever design means you don’t have to work with your wrist at a constant angle but can relax the hand and wrist while brushing. When you have more than one dog to groom (in our case seven) using an ergonomic brush makes a huge difference.
I really like this brush and what’s even better – the dogs love it! The polished pins glide through the coat nicely and are gentle on even the most sensitive skin. We use it on short coats like Titan’s and on long woolie coats too. You can buy this excellent tool directly from Chris Christensen or from online retailers. In Sweden the brush is available from www.hallon.info
Check out the video below to see how much our boy Titan enjoys getting brushed