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My Dog Just Got Skunked!!     

Dr. Al Townshend The age-old adage “curiosity killed the cat” can also hold true for our canine companions. Skunks are somewhat friendly until another animal comes too close, and then all hell can break loose.  The skunk has two glands around the rectum (similar to the anal glands of a dog or cat) that have […]

Fleas and Ticks – And All-Too-Common Problem for Pets and Their Guardians      

Dr. Al Townshend Both fleas and ticks are a world-wide problem for many different species of animals including beloved pets and their human Guardians. They are much more than an irritation or nuisance. Both fleas and ticks are carriers of some of the most serious diseases seen in humans and pets.   Fleas Fleas are […]

Between Annual Veterinary Visits    

 Dr. Al Townshend The veterinarian is a trusted advocate for the health and well-being of every pet. They have the training, knowledge, expertise, and tools to examine an animal on the outside and the inside. They recommend vaccination schedules, check for parasites, and draw blood to ensure all organs and bodily functions are working efficiently […]

Managing Feline Hairballs    

Dr. Al Townshend No one likes to hear the hacking and regurgitation sounds that occur when a kitty is bringing up a slimy hairball. We hate to have our treasured feline experience such distress, and cleaning up after a hairball is no fun for the Guardian. Because cats are usually fastidious groomers, and their tongues […]

Eyes, Ears, and Smell Keep Our Pets Safe     

Dr. Al Townshend Our canine and feline companions have evolved as predators. Sharp eyesight, a keen sense of smell, and acute hearing were essential for survival. While the domestic dog and cat no longer rely on these senses for survival today, they are still critically dependent on them. Vision, smell, and hearing are essential for […]

Slippery Elm, One of Nature’s Best Remedies     

The Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva) is a tree native to North America. The inner bark has been used for centuries and is a soothing medicinal remedy.     The Elm’s inner bark contains substances that become a thick gel when mixed with water. When taken orally, it coats, soothes, and protects the mucus lining of […]

What Comes Out the Rear is Just as Important as What Goes in the Mouth    

Dr. Al Townshend The butt of a dog or cat is not the typical discussion Guardians have about their pets, but it can be an important consideration for their health and well-being.   A Little Anatomy The rectum and anus control the removal of fecal waste from the body.  Numerous nerve endings around the rectum […]

Skin and Coat Problems Can be the First Sign of Bigger Problems     

Dr. Al Townshend The skin is the largest organ in the body and one of the most important when it comes to protecting the body. The skin and hair are good indicators of the health of a pet. The hair should be shiny and smooth, and the skin should be supple and clean. Selective breeding […]

Pet Hygiene and Health   

By Dr. Al Townshend We define the word hygiene as the practice of maintaining health and preventing disease, primarily through cleanliness. Our pets are no exception, their health and happiness are, in large part, dependent on hygiene and the sanitation of their environment. Keeping our pets clean and healthy is also an essential factor in […]

Personal Hygiene for Both Dogs and Cats    

Dr. Al Townshend When it comes to the hygiene of dogs and cats, understanding the importance of addressing proper hygiene issues begins with a basic understanding of the significance of each item. Oral Hygiene Oral Hygiene is an essential part of the care for every pet. The mouth is a gateway to the body. Diseased […]

Nail Trimming   

Dr. Al Townshend Like our nails, the claws of dogs and cats grow, and if they are not worn down or trimmed, they will cause problems. Without regular care, a pet’s claws can alter an animal’s ability to walk comfortably. Eventually, they can grow into the pads of the feet, causing pain, infection and lameness. […]

Do I Need to Clean My Pet’s Ears?   

Dr. Al Townshend It is estimated that approximately 20% of dogs have some form of ear disease. Fortunately, cats have far fewer issues with their ears. The most common ear problems for dogs and cats is infections. Preventing problems begins with your daily observations of the pet and regular inspection of the ears. Dogs Problems […]

The Canine Biting Louse – Trichodectes Canis    

Trichodectes Canis Is your dog scratching a lot? Are they having trouble sleeping (restless)? Is the coat dry and “scruffy” looking? They may have Alberta’s most prevalent canine parasite – lice! Canine Biting Lice are very common in Alberta, especially during the winter and spring months. Recent years have been especially ‘good’ years for lice, […]

Understanding Grooming Scissors    

When grooming your dog at home, your most important tool is a pair of scissors. Scissors are to a groomer what a paintbrush is to an artist. Scissor style, quality, size, weight, cutting ability and tension vary, and each variation results in a different “feel” in your hand. When contemplating the purchase of scissors, consider […]

The Shedding Challenge     

Does your dog or cat shed like mad? Is hair all over your house, your car, and your clothes? Let’s face it, pets shed. At least once a year, dogs and cats “blow” their coats, losing old hair and growing new. Female pets often blow their coats following a heat cycle, pregnancy, or nursing. Many […]

The Importance of Grooming     

All pets require regular grooming for their comfort and well being. Each pet’s coat type will determine the amount and frequency of grooming, but some elements are common to all pets, such as nail trimming, tooth brushing, ear cleaning and brushing. Monitoring Health through Grooming Regular grooming also has some less obvious but no less […]

Grooming Tips for Winter    

Hair Care There is a common misconception that your dog needs to keep all of its hair for warmth in the winter. However, most of our canine companions don’t need this protection from the cold, as they spend a majority of their time inside where it is warm, with us. For those times when your […]

Common Grooming Supplies    

Here are some common grooming supplies that you should keep close for your pet. Ear Cleaner Be sure to use cleaners that are specifically made for your dog or cat’s ears. Do not use alcohol, which can dry and irritate the delicate skin inside the ear, or mineral oil, which can create a greasy mess […]

Common Grooming Equipment    

Combs There are many types of combs, with or without handles, teeth widely spaced or close together, long or short teeth, etc. While many of these are acceptable for home use, the comb most recommended is the steel half fine, half coarse comb. It is durable and can be used for all stages of grooming. […]

Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears    

By Dr. Al Townshend Signs of a Problem Your dog’s ears should be free of debris, dirt, or excess wax with no odor, sores, or inflammation. A quick inspection of your dog’s ears can rule out any surface area issues. If your dog is shaking his head, tilting his head, or rubbing the ears, it […]

Choosing a Hairstyle to Suit Your Lifestyle    

There are four basic categories of grooming styles, and most dogs will belong to one of these. When getting an idea of what you would like your dog to look like, keep in mind the amount of at home maintenance each clip requires, your dog’s health and attitude towards grooming, and the amount of time […]

The Basics of Bathing Your Dog    

Bathing your dog at home can be an adventure, especially if you are ill-prepared. This article can offer a few useful tips to help you along the path to a cleaner companion. Water Temperature Water temperature plays an integral part in the safety and enjoyment of bathing your dog. Unlike humans, dogs cannot tolerate hot […]

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