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General Grooming


Ear Cleaning

  1. Hold the pinna of your puppies ear upwards and fill the ear canal to the brim with the ear cleaning solution from your veterinarian. Your puppy may try shake their head but do not let them do this just yet.
  2. Very gently massage the base of the ear. This will help to break up any debris or wax that is inside the canal.
  1. Put the towel over your dog’s head and allow them to shake their head. The towel will catch any cleaning solution that may go flying out.
  2. Using the gauze squares or cotton balls, gently wipe away any debris that is in the external pinna. Be careful not to push the gauze too deep into the canal, as often this can result in packing the debris in even deeper.  NEVER use cotton swabs or Q-tips to get deep into the canal. You can accidentally perforate your pet’s ear drum this way. This is extremely painful and can cause deafness.

Nail Trimming

Gently take one of your dog’s paws between your fingers and massage for no longer than the count of three. If your dog pulls their paw away, don’t squeeze or pinch, just follow their gesture keeping in gentle contact. When they’re still again, release the paw and immediately give them a treat. Do this every other day on a different toe until you’ve gotten to know all twenty. When you and your pet are comfortable with this routine then you can begin trimming their nails.

To trim your dog’s nails you should have a set of nail clippers and a bottle of quick stop to stop the bleeding in case you hit the quick. Start by clipping a little bit off the tip. You can cut bit by bit until you feel you are down as far as you can go. If you hit the quick do not panic, just apply the quick stop to the vessel and hold for a few moments so that it can clot. Hitting the quick is uncomfortable for your dog and it feels just like getting a hangnail. Try to avoid this as much as possible especially while your pet is young as they can remember this and may be more resistant next time you try to trim their nails.

Time to Clip
If your puppies nails are grown past the pad of their foot or they are making ‘clicking’ sounds on the tile it is likely time for a nail trim. A nail-trimming every ten days to two weeks is a nice routine to settle into. If your pet refuses to let you clip their claws, ask your veterinarian for help.

What Not to Do
- If your pet resists, don’t raise your voice or punish them.White Dog
- Never attempt a clipping when your pet is agitated or if you’re upset.
- Don’t rush—you may cut into the quick
- If your pet is resisting, don’t try to trim all of their nails at one time.
Do a few and then go back to it later

Dental Health

Did you know that your pet’s dental hygiene is very important to their overall health? Poor dental hygiene can lead to serious consequences for your pet such as severe pain, bad breath, tooth loss and in severe cases chronic infections that can spread to the major organs. Brushing your dog’s teeth can not only help them prevent this unfortunate outcome but it can help save you money down the road by avoiding the need for a dental prophylaxis under anesthesia.

Steps to begin brushing:

  1.  Allow your puppy to become used to having their mouth touched. Get them used to having their mouth open and closed, having their gums rubbed and their lips lifted.
  2. Introduce them the taste of the toothpaste by putting a small dab of pet-friendly toothpaste on your finger. Allow them to lick it off. If they seem to like it you can rub a little bit onto their gums and teeth. Do this once a day for a few weeks.
  3. If they tolerate this well then you can introduce the toothbrush. Put a dab of pet-friendly toothpaste onto their own designated toothbrush and allow them to lick it off. They may want to chew the brush. Once they are used to the feeling of the brush in their mouth you can move on to brushing.
  4. Start by lifting their lip and beginning on the incisors and canine teeth at the front of their mouth. Brush their teeth the same way you would brush your own. If their tolerate it well then you can move on to the molars at the back. For now only focus on the side of the teeth that faces outwards.
  5. Once they are used to this you can start brushing the inner side of the teeth and the grinding surfaces. You want to be sure to brush all sides of the teeth otherwise plaque will build up in those areas.

You should brush your pet’s teeth daily to avoid periodontal disease. This can become an enjoyable experience and can act as bonding time for both you and your pet. Other options to maintain your pets dental care, if brushing is not possible, includes special dental diets, chews, water additives and rinses or gels. Talk to your veterinarian or veterinary technician for more information about these options.

Anal Glands

The anal glands or anal sacs are small glands found near the anus in many mammals, including dogs and cats. They are paired sacs located on either side of the anus between the external and internal sphincter muscles. Glands within the lining secrete a scent liquid that is used for identification of members within a species.

These glands normally secrete when your pet has a bowel movement. The pressure of the feces will cause the glands to secrete an oil which gives their feces a distinct scent that is individual to your pet. Sometimes if your pet has loose stool or infrequent bowel movements these glands are not expressed adequately and they can become impacted. Signs that your pet may need some assistance from the veterinarian with their anal gland expression includes:
- scooting
- licking/chewing/swelling around the anus
- severe odour
- problems passing stools or swelling around anus
Impacted anal glands can potentially rupture which is very painful. It is in the best interest of your pet not to ignore these signs. Anal gland expression is a simple and quick procedure that can be done by your vet or vet tech. 

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Morningstar Pet Hospital