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Madison Dog Blog

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Learn more about our pet services by reading our weekly articles.

By Doghaus University, Mar 27 2017 07:37PM

How to Untangled Matted Dog Hair

Alongside that dopey face and friendly disposition, a dog’s smooth coat of fur is among their finest qualities. Unfortunately, while some dogs are naturally predisposed to a constantly smooth coat of fur, others have bad hair days to rival your very worst one. Longer coats have the tendency to easily accumulate tangles and mats which are not only pleasant to your eyes and touch, but feel none too comfortable for the dog either. However, dealing with dog tangles typically rise above the talents of the dog owner, but can be easily dealt with by employing a few dog grooming tricks from the pros.

Treat Mats Before Bath Time

Typically we deal with mats at the same time we deal with other grooming tasks like bathing. However, it is important to always tackle mats and tangles before the bath. The water will just get caught up in the tangles, not only trapping soap and dirt in there, but tightening the mat up and making it harder to untangle. That being said, you shouldn’t go at tangles completely dry either. A little spritz of water or deta

Pre-Treat Tangles

As tangles are such a widespread problem in dogs, almost every single pet store will stock some sort of detangler to aid in your venture. While most products help, if you are in a fix and don’t have any, a little water and cornstarch will have a similar effect.

Have the Right Tools

If you try to go at a mass of mats with your typical dog brush, you are going to cause your dog a lot more pain than you have to. Parting the hair with a rat tail comb and brushing with a pin brush in small sections of a time is the best method. That should do the trick with small to medium-sized mats. However, if your dog is prone to larger mats, it may be best to invest in a specific de-matting brush.

Use those Fingers

Combs are handy and everything, but if you don’t have a lot of skill with them or your dog has a bit of a phobia, your best option is to get your finger in there and pull the mat apart until it can be easily brushed out. However, to avoid pain make sure you are always pulling on the mat and not the fur attached to the skin.

Avoid Spending Too Much Time on One Area

Most dog groomers will follow the rule of ten when grooming a dog. This means that you should only do ten strokes in one area before moving to another. This helps minimize discomfort and will prevent the dog’s skin from becoming irritated. So if you can’t get a particularly difficult mat loose in ten strokes, spritz it with detangler and come back to it later.

When In Doubt, Shave it Out

While you shouldn’t cut out individual tangles without the help of a groomer to make the fur look even, sometimes a dog’s fur can get so bad that it is a lost cause. You see this more often with strays, but sometimes you can miss a mat that just gets insanely out of control if your dog has a lot of fur. In these cases, it would be too painful for the dogs to try to get all the mats out. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to get the clippers out and sheer a dog down. However, sometimes that drastic of a measure might be best left to professional groomers.

If you find your dog’s tangles a little too much work for you or you just need some other grooming services, contact us. Dog Haus University specializes in everything from doggie daycare to doggie bath time.

By Doghaus University, Jan 24 2017 03:33PM

How to Bathe a Difficult Dog

If your dog hates bath time, it is likely that you do, too. If you have to practically wrestle your pooch while also trying to effectively wash them, it is a wet, messy, and tiring affair. Unfortunately, some dogs just don’t like water. They don’t like to be wet, they don’t find bathes soothing, and they may never find them enjoyable. However, for other dogs, they have been traumatized by bath time already. If your dog hates bath time, when it comes to grooming, it may be best to give these tips a try to get them to hate it a little less.

Take a Long Walk Beforehand

If your dog is already hot, they may appreciate a nice dip in the water to cool down. However, much more likely, if they already have a lot of pent-up energy released during a walk, they will have less energy to fight you. If you need to conserve your energy, consider employing a dog walker to put in the leg work for you.

Make Bath Time Fun

For many dogs, bath time feels like a punishment. They don’t want to be there, you don’t want to be there, and there is a lot of negative energy around. Instead of rushing just to get it over with, take your time with it and try to make bath time into a game. If your dog has a special relationship with a toy, consider taking it into the bath with them. It requires you to be ambidextrous, playing with them with one hand while causally bathing them with the other, but it can give your dog a more positive bath experience.

Make Sure the Water is Comfortable

Hot dogs that love water might appreciate a cold hose bath, but smaller dogs might not be so appreciative. However, on the complete flip side, a water temperature you find soothing might not be great either. Dogs can find hot water to be a little bit of a shock to the system, so it is best to keep the temperature lukewarm. This ensures that temperature isn’t part of the equation for your dog’s ardent hate of bath time.

Try Bringing in Another Dog

Sometimes, all it takes for a dog to get comfortable with something is to see another dog do it first. If your dog has a friend that is just fine with bath time, why not try bringing them together in the water for a bit. Not only will the dog be more distracted, but the other dog can be there to show them that water is okay.

Bring Food Time to the Tub

This sounds strange, but a dog that is afraid of baths is afraid of the tub. Consider moving feeding time into the tub every so often. There is no water involved, they just eat their meal in the tub. It might be a struggle at first, but eventually they will begin to build positive connotations of the tub as a place where they will occasionally find a full food bowl. At first, you might need to guard them to make sure they don’t jump out, but once they start eating, they typically calm down.

Still Struggling?

If your dog is completely water-phobic, they may never be able to adjust to bath time well. In such instances, it might be better to save your energy and frustration by visiting a dog groomer instead. If you are in the Madison, WI area, contact us. We at Dog Haus University love dogs and have the grooming tools to make bath time easy even with by the most resistant dogs.

By Doghaus University, Jan 7 2017 09:01PM

Getting Lice Off Of Your Poor Pup

Dogs are often affected by a variety of parasites that hide in their fur and suck their blood. One of the most common of these is lice, which are a dangerous and quick spreading parasite that will affect the health of your dog in negative ways. Here's what you need to know about managing your dog's lice problem.

Watch Your Dog's Behavior

The first signs that your dog has lice is a change in their behavior. Typically, you'll see them scratching, biting, and rubbing the infected area where the lice are living. Sometimes, this scratching behavior can become so intense that your dog pulls hair out of their body. Often, mated fur will show up as lice spread.

Other symptoms include behavioral changes that aren't related to lice crawling on their skin. A severe lice infection can actually cause a series of health problems that can make your dog behave in a variety of ways. Look for symptoms such as:



Weight loss



Resistance to eating

If you spot your dog behaving like this, there's a chance that their lice problem is severe. You need to check their fur immediately to gauge the infestation. Don't worry about getting any lice on you, as dog lice can't feed off humans.

Run Your Hand Through Their Hair

If you suspect that your dog has lice, run your hand through their hair to part it to the skin. Look for small white or gray pests crawling across their skin. They are typically fairly quick, unless they've just eaten.

You should also look for eggs, or nits, stuck into their skin. When lice eggs hatch, the newly hatched lice will begin feeding as soon as possible. Within a few weeks, they are capable of breeding. If you spot them on your dog, you need to get them off as soon as possible.

Using A Comb To Break Up The Nits

The first step in managing this problem is getting the nits off. The best way to do this is to run a small dog comb through their hair. The nice thing about this treatment is that it will also make your pup's coat look smoother and break up any mats that have been caused by the lice. It will also feel nice.

Make sure to comb all their skin to break up as many of the nits as possible. After finishing, make another inspection for nits you may have missed. Pull them off your dog's skin and squeeze them between your fingers to pop.

Wipe your fingers off with a paper towel and disinfect with soap to keep from catching any diseases that may be lingering on the nits. After getting rid of them, it's time to manage the adults.

Getting Rid Of Them

The first step in getting rid of lice is to give your dog a bath in anti-lice shampoo. Try to find one that includes lime-sulfur, pyrethrin, or prethroid for the best results. Let them soak in the shampoo for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse your dog to wash off the shampoo and inspect them for any lice.

If there are any left, it might be necessary to shave your dog's fur. This sad process is one that your dog may resent, but it is necessary for dogs that have long or curly hair.

Lice are very good at hiding near the roots of hair and, as mentioned before, will mat it up as a way of hiding. Shaving gets then out in the open and makes it easier for you to identify and destroy them.

By following this simple process, you can get lice off of your dog. If you need help with this process, or need a place for your dog to stay when you're out of town, please don't hesitate to contact us.

By Doghaus University, Dec 7 2016 09:39PM

Managing Your Dog's Cracked Paw Pads

Dog paws are designed to support a pup's weight and give them balance and strength. Unfortunately, many dogs suffer from a problem known as cracked paw pads. This is caused when the skin breaks open and creates light cracks in the skin. This can be a painful condition that makes it hard for your dog to walk and feel joy in life.

Thankfully, it's possible for most dog owners to handle this problem and keep their pup safe from injury. Understanding this health condition, what causes it, and how it can be avoided will give your buddy the leg up they need to stay on their feet and be happy and comfortable.

What Causes Cracked Paw Pads In Dogs?

Your poor pup's paw pads crack for a wide variety of reasons. For example, some dogs react to chemicals, such as garden sprays and floor cleaners, as well as ice melting salt. This is particularly true with dogs who have little fur to protect around their feet. Conversely, some breeds with excessive fur might be at risk if the chemicals absorb into their hair and stays close to the skin of the paw pad.

However, paw pad cracks are sometimes caused by allergies in food. The allergies themselves don't cause the problem, but the incessant itching they cause may cause the pads to break. Dogs that chew on their paws nervously or to remove burrs and other irritants often cause their pads to crack.

Other causes include deficiencies of zinc in their diet (common in Siberian Huskies, Samoyed, German Shepherds, Poodles, Great Danes, Beagles, and Pointers) old age, wear and tear caused by excessive playing, and a problem known as hyperkeratosis. This problem causes too much production of a chemical that causes corns, which can break open.

Cracked paw pads aren't necessarily dangerous to your dog's health, but if they remain untreated, they could get infected. This can cause dangerous health problems, including a loss of skin on the paw or complete amputation. That's why it's best to protect your dog from this problem by avoiding cracked paw pads all together.

Avoiding And Managing Cracked Paw Pads

Thankfully, it's not too hard to avoid cracked paw pads, as long as you're willing to put in a little time with your dog. The following treatment methods will not only help eliminate cracks that have already appeared, but prevent cracks from appearing:

Vaseline – carefully apply this substance to your dog's cracked pad until they heal: you can also add it at the end of the day to avoid cracking

Cracked pad products – pet shops stock a variety of items that help keep your dog's paw moist (dryness being another contributor to cracked pads

Wipe their paws when they come in – during the winter, you should wipe your dog's feet with a damp wash cloth, especially if ice melting spray was just applied

Change their diet – add Omega 3 fat acid supplements to your dog's diet to boost their Zinc level

Antibiotics – antibiotic spreads (such as Neosporin) can help soften the paw and help avoid cracks

You don't necessarily have to perform these care techniques every day. Doing them too often will annoy your dog and make them avoid you. However, you should do them at least once or twice a week to keep them protected.

By following these simple, you can help keep your best friend from this simple injury. If you have any more questions regarding this topic or any other pet grooming or care concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us today. We will walk you through the problem and find a solution that works for you.

By Doghaus University, Nov 21 2016 01:26PM

Getting Ready For Puppies!

In a basket in front of the grocery store, in a pet store in the mall or maybe staring at a picture posted on social media, we have all fallen in love and taken the leap. Puppies are hard to resist. When you've been chosen to care for someone's new baby, make sure you are ready! It's time to puppy-proof your dog day care! Use this list to make sure the homecoming and weeks to follow are easier on you both!

A new, young puppy is easy to train and wants to learn.

The younger the puppy, the fewer bad habits or behaviors they will have gotten used to, so you have a clean slate to mold. Talk to owners to share any commands they've adopted and ideas of how they want their puppy to behave.

It's up to you whether you want to puppy-proof your entire space or block areas from the new pup and decrease the spaces you have to prepare for him or her.

Make the puppy areas just as much their home as yours. If they have plenty of their own toys, blankets and space, they are less likely to even notice, much less destroy everyone else's.

Puppy-proofing is a lot like baby-proofing. You want your puppy safe and healthy.

Keep anything small enough for a puppy to swallow or choke on, out of their reach. Even keep their bag of food up where they can't get to it and overeat.

Don't leave puppies alone with other animals or small children that they are not yet accustomed to.

Cover or hide cords, wires and other stringy things that a puppy could get entangled in, use to pull a heavy object down or suffer electrocution.

Secure any furniture that could fall on top of a puppy if bumped into or shaken

Put down puppy pads indoors, even if you have a system of potting training or taking the puppy outside. Puppies don't master their bladder control immediately and accidents will happen. Better to protect your floor and avoid an angry reaction for something they cannot always control at first.

Toys and treats, bedding and bow ties.

Luckily, pet toys manufactured with the safety of animals in mind are common, but pay attention to labels which will indicate appropriate age. The rule remains true never to let a puppy play with something smaller than their mouth or throat.

It's tempting to give a sweet new puppy a lot of treats. Remember to check with an owner concerning treats since they'll be using them as reinforcements for training. Also notice nutritional information. Treats are often not very healthy. Research and find healthy treats and reserve them for training and special occasions.

Cute custom beds for dogs and cats are a big trend on the market today. Most look nicer than anything we humans sleep on. The only deterrent to these little nests are making your puppy feel sequestered or punished. If your new little guy or gal has already gotten comfortable in a bed or sofa at home, you might not have much luck with a fancy replacements. Ultimately animals choose where they like to sleep. When choosing bedding material keep in mind temperature and moisture. Animals are naturally conditioned to have nothing, pillows or blankets aren't really necessary. Wait and see what they need and never over do it.

Unless you have some very long-haired pups or live in a really warm climate, there's nothing wrong with dog clothing or little novelty pull overs. Just remember that they have fur that is naturally meant to insulate their bodies. Don't sacrifice their comfort or health for the sake of cuteness. Keep an eye on skin and fur covered by any cloth.

Caring puppies means having new friends for life, maybe some you'll love more than any human! The puppy stage is rough, but the rest is well worth it! Contact us for all of your canine challenges!

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