Blog

Dry Skin and Coat

May 18, 2016

A large amount of dogs that come to The Mutt Hutt suffer from dry skin and dry coat. There are a few things you can do to help ease the scratching, chewing, and flaking.
Let’s start off with nutrition. A good quality food will help with coat condition, but sometime you need to add a little extra omega into their diet. This can be done in the form of omega pills, fish oil, or even coconut oil. Always talk to you vet about adding supplements to your dog’s diet.


Consistent grooming, whether at home or at the groomers, will help remove dead hair and encourage healthy oils and coat growth. Think about how great your hair feels after you have had the split ends trimmed off.


Proper grooming product is also essential to your dog’s coat and skin. If you are bathing at home it is crucial that you use products formulated for dogs. Human shampoos and conditioners can confuse your dog’s pH levels and some of the ingredients are not pet safe. We also have a few add on spa packages that are designed to help with dry skin and coat.

Beating the Summer Heat

May 11, 2016

Summer time is such a great time of year to spend with your pooch! So many fun things to do and see.


Here are a few things you can do to help keep your pet safe and cool!
  • Always make sure your dog has plenty of water!
  • Avoid walking your dog during peak heat hours. Early morning or late afternoon/evening. Sidewalks and even sand can get very hot and burn your pooch’ pads.
  • If you choose to swim your dog in the river, be aware of your surroundings. How fast is it running, is it shallow or deep, is there a bend in the river?
  • If you plan to take your dog to the beach or lake for the day, make sure to make them drink water and take breaks in a shaded spot. It sounds silly, but lots of dogs suffer from dehydration and heat exhaustion. They get so busy playing that they forget to take care of their bodies.
  • Try freezing fresh knuckle bones and giving to your dog as a cool summer treat. Make sure to supervise them!
  • Freeze carrots and apples in vegetable broth in a medium sized container and let your pooch enjoy another cool treat
  • A wet towel for your pooch to relax on can help keep them cool
  • And for the broken record portion of our tip….Keep them well groomed! Remember that mats and undercoat trap heat!

Stinky Summer Dog

May 05, 2016

With this beautiful weather upon us we have a lot of clients telling us that their dogs love to swim, but they hate that dirty dish rag smell. The reason your dog starts to stink after a few weeks of swimming is because of improper drying. It is very important to dry your dog almost completely when they are finished swimming. The moisture sits between the skin and the coat and mildewy bacteria is formed. It is the skin that begins to stink, not the coat. I suggest having your dog brushed out well for summer(unnecessary undercoat and mats trap water), removing the collar when you get home, and blow drying trouble areas such as under the chin, bum, and groin, if your dog will let you. I also like to buy a super absorbent towel each spring to give my dogs a really good rub down with. Another home remedy I found that helps is mixing equal parts water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spritzing my dog before I dry them.

Ticks

Apr 28, 2016

Lets talk Ticks *Shudder*

Its that time of year again when those creepy, crawly, parasites are back. A few things you can do to help keep them off of your dog and out of the house.

Medication

Topical preventives such as Revolution or Advantage are a great product. The oil is applied in between the shoulder blades and soaked into the skin. When a tick bites onto your dog it slowly shrivels up a dies. I suggest going to your vet rather than the pet store. There have been a lot health stories relating to pet store brands. Do your research, read some reviews, and talk to your vet. There is also a newer oral pill that repels and kills the ticks as well.

Natural Repent Spray
In a spray bottle mix together 1 cup of water, 2 cups of distilled white vinegar(ticks hate the smell and taste), and 2 Tablespoons of vegetable or almond oil (both contain sulfur which is a natural repellent). Spray onto your dog's dry coat avoiding sensitive areas such as nose, mouth, and genitals. This mixture is also great for humans as well. You can mix up a separate bottle and add a couple teaspoons of lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil which will repel ticks and create a nicely scented spray

Well Groomed Coat
Keeping your dog mat free and properly brushed will also help make it easier when in comes to checking for ticks. Ticks like to attach around the muzzle, ears, neck, ribs and arm pits. If your dog will tolerate it I suggest taking a hair dryer with the pointed attachment, turning it on cool and low and slowly running it over your dog. The dryer will help separate the hair to the skin making ticks easier to spot. This only works if your pooch is well brushed.

I've found one! Now What?!?
So you have found a tick attached to your dog. We have all heard different ways to remove ticks.Burn the bum, cover in Vick’s Vapor Rub, click your heels 3 times, touch your nose and shout boogie boogie!The easiest way to remove a tick is by grabbing a pair of tweezers and get as close to the head of the tick as your can. Slowly pull the tick off. Avoid "plucking" the tick as this can cause the head to break off. I'm sure that everyone has heard different ways to kill ticks. Burn them, squish them, flush them, etc. The best and most effective way? Drop that little bugger into a container of rubbing alcohol! It sound disgusting, but I keep a sour cream container with a lid half full of rubbing alcohol under the sink ready to go. Once it gets full I flush it down the toilet and start again.

Retractable Leashes

Apr 20, 2016

In theory the retractable leash can sound like a great idea. Your dog is leashed, but still has the ability to smell the roses and wander. But in fact it can be very dangerous to you, your dog, and others around.

The length of retractable leashes, some of which can extend up to 26 feet, allows dogs to get far enough away from their owner that a situation can quickly turn dangerous. A dog on a retractable leash is often able to run into the middle of the street, for example, or make uninvited contact with other dogs or people. If your pet is being approached by an aggressive dog, it is nearly impossible to get control of the situation if the need arises. It's much easier to regain control of, or protect, a dog at the end of a six-foot standard flat leash than it is if he's 20 feet away at the end of a thin string.

The thin cord of a retractable leash can break. If a strong, good-sized dog takes off at full speed, the cord can snap. Not only can that put the dog and whatever he may be chasing in danger, but also the cord can snap back and injure the human at the other end. Dogs have also received terrible injuries as a result of the sudden jerk on their neck that occurs when they run out the leash. Some of these injuries include neck wounds, lacerated tracheas, and injuries to the spine.

If you get tangled up in the cord of a retractable leash, or grab it in an attempt to reel in a dog, it can result in burns, cuts, and even amputation.
Retractable leashes allow dogs more freedom to pull at the end of them, which can look like aggression to another dog who may decide to "fight back."

The handles of retractable leashes are bulky and can be easily pulled out of human hands, resulting in a runaway dog. Along those same lines, many dogs – especially fearful ones – are terrorized by the sound of a dropped retractable leash handle and may take off running, which is dangerous enough. To make matters worse, the object of the poor dog's fear is then "chasing" her, and if the leash is retracting as she runs, the handle is gaining ground on her – she can't escape it. Even if this scenario ends without physical harm to the dog (or anyone else), it can create lingering fear in the dog not only of leashes, but also of being walked.

Retractable leashes are an especially bad idea for dogs that haven't been trained to walk politely on a regular leash. By their very nature, retractable train dogs to pull while on leash, because they learn that pulling extends the lead.

Your best bet is a basic 6 foot flat leash!

Dog Park Etiquette

Apr 13, 2016

More and more people are heading to the off leash park with their dogs. And why not? What a great to exercise and social your pooch! But do keep in mind that the off leash parks are a shared area with other pet owners and dogs. Some dogs are a better fit for the park than others.

Ideal Candidates for the Park
  • Well socialized dogs
  • Young dogs (usually under 2)
  • Healthy Dogs
  • Spayed or neutered dogs
Not Ideal Candidate for the Park
  • Unvaccinated pups: at risk for Parvo, distemper, and disease
  • Females in heat/Intact males
  • Under socialized dogs: the park is a place to continue to socialize, not learn to socialize. Start with a smaller setting and build your dog’s confidence
  • Fearful, anxious, or aggressive dogs
  • Bullies
  • Dog Dorks: they don’t bully on purpose, they just don’t know better. They have great intentions, but are socially clueless to dog behavior. They are usually high energy and enjoy lively wresting, hard mounting, and crashing into other dogs and people like bumper cars.

If you do not have an ideal candidate it doesn’t mean you can’t go to the off leash parks. It just means you need to practice and work with your dog. Try avoiding the busy times at the parks. Early mornings tend to be a bit quieter.

Do your part to be a responsible pet owner and follow the rules.

Basic Rules
  • Your dog must be leashed going from your vehicle to the park and from the park to your vehicle. You must also have a leash on you while inside the park.
  • Pick up after your dog! If you forget or run out of bags there are always stations at the park entrances and usually throughout the park. When in doubt, ask a fellow dog owner if they have an extra bag.
  • Keep your dog in control. Off leash does not mean no rules.
Basic Etiquette
  • Don’t hang around the front entrance. Dogs tend to be wound up when they get to the park and have energy that can sometimes transfer into altercations. Once you‘re into the park get moving.
  • Pay attention to your dog and stay off your cellphone! You should always know where your dog is and what they are doing. Time and time again I will find a “lost” dog at the park only to find their parent half an hour later chatting on the cellphone and had no idea their dog was gone.
  • Do not let your dog mount other dogs. This is a dominant behavior and a situation can go south very quickly. Step in and correct your dog if this occurs.
  • Leave the toys at home. Toy obsession and aggression is very common with dogs. So avoid the toys all together at the off leash or at least choose to play with them away from other dogs.
  • Be responsible for your dog and their actions. Just like the playground with supervision accidents still happen. If you dog injuries another dog exchange information with that owner and go from there.

The off leash park can be a lot of fun for you and your pooch! Do your part to keep it fun and safe!

Why don't you recommend shaving double coated dogs?

Nov 02, 2015

Fur-bearing dogs are dogs that shed. The undercoat grows to a predetermined length and then falls out. Examples are Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Pyrenees, St. Bernard, Huskies, Samoyeds, Pomeranians, Chows, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Pomeranians, etc.

What you do when you shave your double-coated dogs is actually interrupting the natural shedding process. You are actually cutting into the top coat, possibly damaging it, and causing the undercoat to grow uninhibited, as the undercoat grows much more quickly than the top coat, or Guard coat. The guard coat is the coarser hair that separates the finer undercoat hairs, preventing it from matting. When this coat is clipped, the hair will appear to grow back softer because you are seeing only undercoat as it grows back. This hair is thick and will matt easily and possibly result in patchy, uneven growth until the guard hairs eventually regrow. By then the coat may be so damaged that it will need to be shaved down again. Also, by interrupting the natural shedding cycle, you can actually be producing MORE shedding. The exact opposite of what you want!

It is a well- known fact within the animal medical community and experienced groomers that shave downs of the fur-bearing dogs may lead to alopecia (hair loss) and skin disease. There are a myriad of skin disease, under the category of "Coat Funk" that are either caused by or triggered by the shave down groom of the fur-bearing dog. A dog's coat provides insulation from the heat and sun. Dogs do not perspire like humans do. They only perspire from the pads of their feet and their noses. A Husky, Golden, Lab, Malamute, and even a Newfoundland will be cooler with its coat on.

While shaving your pet seems logical, it is not a good idea for our furry friends and can, in fact, be dangerous. While shaving a single-coat dog is acceptable and may provide some relief, shaving a double-coat dog will actually have the opposite effect. The main concern is sunburn that can lead to skin cancer. Repeated exposure to sun rays stimulates Melanin production in human skin giving use a tanned complexion. Unfortunately, dog's skin cannot tan and Melanin production is used mainly for skin and hair coloration. A limited Melanin production (photo-blocking agent) combined with the shaving/clipping of the protective coats may be the perfect recipe for sunburns, skin cancer and heat exhaustion. The undercoat is the insulator and the topcoat/guard-coat acts as a light diffuser, breaking up the sun's rays as they bear down on the fur.

In addition, the topcoat prevents the undercoat from matting excessively. Clipping/shaving the topcoat can permanently compromise the quality of the re-growth of this layer of fur, while clipping/shaving the undercoat stimulates it's growth; leading to more shedding, to a reduced heat/UV-radiation protection and ultimately compromises the coat's quality in both appearance and health. In some cases, shaving a double coat can also cause alopecia and the fur can take years to grow back. A properly maintained double-coat dog should have a lustrous and free-floating top-coat without any appearance of bulk.

All of this brings us back to the question - what to do about the dogs as they face another heat wave? One could have the belly area thinned out. This would allow the dog to find a cool surface to lie on and soak up the coolness without the risk of sun exposure, while ensuring that the rest of their body still has its insulation coat and guard-coat. People of the deserts do not walkabout in T-shirts and shorts, they have layered clothing to protect them from the heat/UV-radiation and the cold.

A sensible solution to summer heat is a good grooming and brushing session by a professional groomer. Groomers can thin out the dense and often matted undercoat. They can execute a meticulous brush-out that will remove the old hairs from the guard-coat, while breaking apart any mats, thinning and removing excessive undercoat hairs. All this, followed by a warm cleansing shower with a pressurized professional shampoo, a high velocity drying session executed by a trained technician and the groomer's final trims. A professional pet styling session will transform any double-coat dog into a cool looking show dog.

We can assure you that you will see a big difference in quantity of shedding in your household and, best of all; your pet will feel cooler. A properly maintained double-coat dog will have an optimal heat/UV-radiation protection, a healthy & mat free undercoat and shiny topcoat. Finally, drying time after a cool summer swim will be greatly shorten while avoiding the onset of unpleasant odors and skin irritations (hot-spots) due to dense and often matted undercoat that can take days to dry out.