There are many different ways that veterinary surgeons and nurses use to help pets get better. Read on to find out 7 ways that can assist you at home, all used and suggested by surgeries all over the country.
Many surgeries get dogs coming in with skin complaints, whether they be dry flaky skin, red and inflamed or skin that has been scratched because it is irritated. On speaking to the owners it sometimes transpires that the dog has rolled in something disgusting! One of the worst things the owner then does is wash the dog with human shampoo, sometimes ones that also contain conditioners. The problem here is there could be a reaction with the dog’s skin and the chemicals used might be doing more harm than good. The only human shampoo a dog should be cleaned with is baby shampoo, because if it is mild enough for a baby it should be fine on a dog. To be completely safe it is always best to use a shampoo developed specifically for dogs.
One thing guaranteed to scare dog owners is trying to cut their nails. Many will be afraid to cut them, for fear of trimming them too short and making the blood vessel inside the nail (called the quick) bleed. If this does happen most dogs will remember and hate having their feet touched. This is especially true for terrier breeds. One tip which is commonly known is to walk your dog on hard surfaces such as concrete; another tip used in surgeries by vets and nurses is using a nail file. It may seem strange giving your dog a pedicure, but it is one way to get them used to having their nails treated. The best time to use a nail file on your dog is when they have eaten in the evening and have settled down. They may be sleepy, on your lap or sofa or even on the floor. Initially use the file for a minute or so on each foot, to get the dog used to the idea, then build the time up over the next few days. Many owners have been pleased with the results and the dogs are much less stressed.
If you have an animal that has to wear a bandage and they are constantly trying to bite or lick at it, there are a number of things that you can do. Firstly they could wear an Elizabethan collar (a plastic cone over their head) although this is not always either practical, or stops them. There are sprays that can be used on the bandage, including bitter apple to stop them wanting to bite at the area. However one cheap alternative some owners have found to be just as good is using a small amount of Tabasco sauce, on top of the bandage. This will have the same effect as the bitter apple spray and should stop your dog in its tracks! Bear in mind that this must only be used on a bandage and not on the skin itself.
Among the common problems dogs are bought to the vets with are anal gland issues. These scent glands often become impacted and blocked causing discomfort and the dog to bite around the tail base. One good tip is to use a tablespoon of plain bran on their food. It doesn't matter where the bran is bought from; it can be normal cereal bran (as long as there are no pieces of fruit in it!) By doing this the dogs faeces are bulked out more and help the anal glands work properly, by expelling the material when the dog defecates.
If your cat or dog gets into a habit of urinating in an inappropriate place, the thing to clean up with is NOT disinfectant! The problem with disinfectant is it contains ammonia, which to a cat or dog smells like another animal has scent marked that area! By using biological washing powder made into a weak solution with water and using that to clean area, will have far more effect. The washing powder has to be biological because it contains enzymes which break down the urine. Any cheap powder will do! Once the area has been cleaned with a solution, then it should be washed down with clean water and left to dry.
If your animal and particularly relevant to cats loses their appetite it is a good idea to warm their food. 15 to 20 seconds in a microwave is normally sufficient for cat meat (always check the food will not burn before serving!) The reason behind this is that cats and dogs use their sense of smell far more than we do, therefore if something smells appetising they will more likely want to eat it. Sometimes you might even be able to just put nice warm gravy over their food, to have the same effect.
A good tip if you need to put treatment such as drops into your animals eyes, is not to approach them from the front! It is just the same as us, if somebody went to put something near our eyes we would flinch back. The best way is to go over the top of the animal's head and drop the medication in from above, in this way you should be much more successful.
These are only seven tips that are used up and down the country by owners of cats and dogs, after speaking to their vet or veterinary nurse. If you have a particular problem with anything regarding the health of your pet or even behaviour, then it is definitely worth speaking to your local veterinary practice staff. There are not a lot of things they have not come across and it is amazing the amount of hints and tips that they pick up in their day-to-day working lives. In fact many of these tips come from other owners!