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Itchy Skin

Nothing is more frustrating than an itchy pet. And there are few things that look more miserable. There are many causes for a scratching animal, but here are some of the more common offenders:

  • Bugs!  Fleas are the most common offenders, but other organisms like mites can also cause your pet to scratch.
  • Irritation: That shampoo you bathed Fido with or the lavender scented detergent that you washed Fluffy’s bed in may smell great to you, but for some pets these things can be very irritating.  You are often best off to use fragrance-free products and gentle shampoos.
  • Allergies: Pets can be allergic to anything that people can, and most of the time their allergies rear their ugly head as itchiness. Food, grass, dust, even cat dander can cause your pet to be itchy.  If you suspect your pet may have an allergy, consult with your veterinarian for the best was to relieve the symptoms.
  • Skin infections: Infections can occur for a variety of reasons, but they most skin infections are irritating! Often medications are needed to get rid of infection and make your pet comfortable.

If your pet is scratching, it might be a good idea to have a vet take a closer look

Clipping your dogs nails – It’s that time again

If you keep your pet’s nails trimmed on a regular 4-week schedule, bravo! Not only are you filling your home with sonic balance (we always vote for less clicking on hardwood, laminate, or tile floors), but you are servicing your pet in other tremendous, healthful ways. Of course, not all pet owners are able or willing to trim their pet’s nails (it can be off-putting at first for all involved), and that’s where we come in!

We’ll show you our tricks of the trade and you can bone up on the benefits of trimming your pet’s nails below.

Why Your Pet’s Nails Need Trimming

Pets that receive daily, brisk exercise outside require less frequent nail trimmings because nails get worn down on pavement or trailways. Otherwise, 4-6 weeks is a good goal to shoot for. Why, you ask? Simply put, the health advantages of trimming your pet’s nails are elemental to his or her overall well being.

Nails left alone will continue to grow and eventually curl into the paw pad beneath the foot. Pets will try to overcompensate and shift their weight to the back part of each paw. This painful shift changes natural alignment, causes walking difficulty, creates joint stress, and often leads to arthritis.

Be One With The Quick

The quick is the blood and nerve supply to your pet’s nail, and inspires fear and dread among many pet owners. The nail typically mimics the color of the fur closest to the nail, so black nails can hide the pinkish color of the quick. It’s best to ask your groomer or veterinarian for tips on how to find the quick – even if the nails are lighter in color.

If you clip the quick accidentally, your pet is not only in a world of hurt, but it’s a bloody mess (not to mention he or she will have serious trouble allowing future trims). We can show you the best ways to avoid the quick, but even the most seasoned groomers keep Kwik Stop styptic on hand, just in case.

The Right Stuff

The next step is acquiring the right clippers. Guillotine or scissor-type clippers are your best bet for control and precision. Restraining your pet will reduce accidental injury for both of you.


  • Trim one nail a little at a time
  • Be cautious of the quick which will feel slightly spongy
  • Give treats and accolades to reinforce a positive association with nail trims


If you wish (and your dog is willing), a nail file will nicely finish the job and you can even polish the end of the nail if you’d like!

Trimming Pet’s Nails and Regular Grooming

If your pet has a broken nail or painful infection stemming from an ingrown nail, contact us immediately. Along with nail trimming, your pet may benefit from a grooming appointment, that includes treatment of the coat, eyes, ears, and skin.

Shedding Season – So much Fur

Shedding Season

If you’ve decided there aren’t enough brooms and vacuum cleaners in the world to handle all the dog or cat hair under your furniture, on your furniture (that why they call it furniture in the first place, right?), and probably in your soup, take heart. There are things you can do to make shedding season a little easier on everyone.  

Fur vs. Brrrrrrr

While all mammals constantly shed old hairs and replace them with new ones, many mammals also experience heightened seasonal shedding. Before heated houses – and free food all winter – animals that didn’t hibernate had to hunt, or starve.

To avoid freezing their sweet patooties off, these animals needed extra insulation. A fine, fluffy undercoat beneath their normal coat trapped their body heat, much as a down vest does for humans. In the Spring all that hair was a liability, hair follicles went dormant, the hair loosened, and gravity and scratching did the rest.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature hasn’t caught up with plug-in pet beds and central heating, so seasonal shedding is alive and well, even if the need for it has become somewhat obsolete.

De-Shedding Your Fur-Baby

Dog, cat, and human hair will fall out. And, the more you remove on purpose, the less you’ll find in places where it doesn’t belong. Luckily, routine washing and brushing with an ordinary pet brush will help eliminate a lot of hair. There are also several deshedding tools on the market that promise to reduce shedding by up to 90%.

The popular FURminator® line lets you choose from short hair, long hair, dog, cat, rabbit, as well as small animal, large animal, and combinations thereof. These tools feature a serrated comb combined with a stainless steel blade that reaches under the topcoat to remove the fine undercoat.

But, be prepared for a lot of combed-out hair – brush pets on tile floors or outside where you can sweep or vacuum. Keeping the vacuum cleaner turned on nearby to grab stray puffs of fluff is a good idea.

To use the tools, especially the first time, we recommend washing andcompletely drying your pet. Remove tangles and mats, and check for cuts or bruises, small cysts and skin tags. (If you notice anything amiss, consult your veterinarian before using the tool.) Hold the tool like a brush, stroking with hair growth, using long, gentle strokes. Start at the head and work back, being extra careful around your pet’s face, stomach, genitals, feet, anus and anywhere you know a problem exists.

If your pet seems unduly distressed by the process, or if his or her skin becomes red or irritated, stop using the tool and give us a call. (If you become distressed, red, or irritated; we’re sympathetic, but you’re on your own…)

Further Benefits

Besides a cleaner home, regular pet de-shedding, especially during the annual Spring fur-shedding festivities, will make your pet look and feel better. De-shedding can improve circulation, discourage skin diseases and parasites, brighten his or her coat, and lighten your pet’s weight load.

Humans in the vicinity will appreciate reducing their own weight load by not carrying pounds of pet hair on their own coats. And skirts. And pants. (While people have been known to spin their pet’s fur into yarn and knit scarves with it, we assume you’ve already been wearing all the pet hair you care to, so throw the combings into the bin.)

Less hair under the furniture means fewer dust mites, too, so allergy sufferers get a break, as do home air conditioning and heating system filters.

Watch “Fur” Problems

If your pet seems to be losing too much hair, scratching excessively, has dry or brittle fur, or if open sores or bald patches show up, he or she needs to see a veterinarian. Many skin and coat problems, including excess or unusual shedding, can be solved by changing food or supplements. Regardless, of the cause, we are here to help, so if you have questions or need to make an appointment, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

If you need help in keeping your pet’s coat under control, our Grooming experts can bathe and trim your pet’s fur for a cooler summer look.