Every weekend I go to work, I get asked a lot of common dog caring questions from grooming to feeding amounts to dog and cat skin problems. Its very interesting to see how people react to the answers I give them. From tricks and cost effective solutions I feel like everyday I learn something NEW which is why I LOVE my career.
Shampoos and Conditioners~
I always believe that unless you have a dog breed that needs HIGH grooming attention, let your dog be a dog. First and foremost dogs don't like the flowery scents we humans enjoy on them. It's the main reason that after you bathe them in that expensive shampoo that makes them smell less of a dog, they immediately run to the grass or/and dirt and roll all around in it. The strong scent of florals and cologne really messes with their natural scent which irritates them. So before you spend your money spoiling your pooches on name brands like Pet Head, Kong, Bobbi Panter or even Martha Stewart's Line of Shampoos & Conditioners, SMELL THEM FIRST!!!! If they smell fruity and of a garden of flowers, your dog WONT like it. I can guarantee. Stick with the more generic brands such as Top Paw or Grreat Choice. Oatmeal is the best for ALL dogs with Short to Long fur. The Oatmeal helps with detangling and moisturizing your pets skin and coat. Its has a more subtle scent that wont irritate their sense of smell and has a nice scent for us humans as well. Remember dogs will be dogs and sometimes that means having to deal with their DOG smell.
I own 2 amazing Labradors with two very different fur textures. Bella my Golden/Lab Mix, has short hair that is a mix between soft and coarse. During the winter is when her beautiful Golden retriever coat comes in. Its thick, soft and luxurious. She sheds once a year on the Summer to Fall season change. Those 2 weeks are shear HELL! I have calculated that I sweep up a new puppy every other day. Buddy is my full breed Black Lab who has a silky medium length gorgeous coat. He sheds for 1 month EVERY season change and with black hair it shows everywhere. Over time I have learned how to deal with their very different shedding situations. First I changed their food to better suit their skin and coat. Having an All Natural and Hollistic Blue Buffalo Basics Large Breed Turkey and Potatoe. Starting from inside it's better to feed your dog the best Natural and wholesome diet to help with their coats and any other issues they may have. Then I moved to type of brush. There are TONS out there and its so hard to choose what is really going to work. I soon learned that like humans they require 2 types of grooming tools. A deshedding tool and a soft brush. The FURminator the is #1 leading deshedding tool. I use this on my labs in shedding season and it takes a full week off their shedding process. The soft brush is just to keep their fur looking soft and smooth.
How much should I feed my dog?
If I had a nickel for every time I was asked this question I wold have $100,000 dollars. Its a common question with one simple answer: Feed to their TARGET weight they SHOULD be not the weight they ARE. That simple instruction can help with managing their weight. Read all the labels on your dog food bag and follow the feeding suggestions.
Look at the following picture below
The band wagon of Grain-Free diets:
The new grain free dog foods have hit the animal industry with a storm and has only helped so many pets from weight problems to skin conditions. I for one highly approve of grain free diets for pets. If you don't know what a grain-free diet is just think of Low Carb/ High Protein diets for humans. It's the same concept with removing the grains that may cause some skin irritation and unwanted weight gain. Different proteins have been newly introduced in the past 5 years. Venison, Duck, Salmon, Lamb and Turkey are the newest proteins that are making a huge positive effect on canine diets. However if you are going to feed a high protein diet that has Duel Proteins as the main ingredients make sure your dog will get the proper exercise so they wont gain weight.
Its always best to do your own research and ask your Veterinarian if medical problems so occur.