Pet Expert Ali McLennan on How to Be a Responsible Dog and Cat Owner

I have been a pet lover my entire life, and can honestly say that my house would not a home without my dogs and finicky cat! Each one has their own unique personality, from my easy going yellow lab, to my feisty yet lovable Yorkie, to my uber intelligent Weimaraner who suffers from separation anxiety, to my appreciative rescue dog and the cat who adopted us, and just can’t be tamed. Owning a pet is not only a blessing but a huge responsibility. I don’t think I fully grasped how difficult it could be until I got two puppies (the Weim and Yorkie) within months of each other- try potty training two puppies at one time, and you’ll see what I mean! 😉

If you’re thinking of purchasing a dog or cat for mom this Mother’s Day or would just like more information on how to be a more responsible pet owner just in time for National Pet Month (the entire month of May), you’re in luck. Renowned pet expert and NYC pet stylist, Ali McLennan shared some quick tips and info for fur-moms and fur-dads!


Pet expert and NYC based pet groome Ali McLennan shares tips on how to be a more responsible pet owner.

Pet expert and NYC based pet groome Ali McLennan shares tips on how to be a more responsible pet owner.


Before you go out and pick out an adorable puppy or rescue a dog at the shelter, there are three things Ali suggests you do. For starters, find a trustworthy and reliable veterinarian, this is absolutely crucial. She also shared the importance of simple obedience exercise and to make sure your home is pet friendly. Dogs of all ages love to explore, and get into things whether it’s your favorite shoe, or food off the table.

Do you brush your dog’s teeth? Believe it or not but that bacteria doesn’t just cause dog breath or the much cuter “puppy breath”. McLennan stated that “about 80% of our household dogs have some sort of gum disease or periodontal disease” and “that bacteria can affect their immune system, their internal organs and also affect your pet’s ability to play and groom themselves properly.” Vets across the U.S. recommend brushing your pet(s) teeth twice a week (which if you’ve tried it can be a daunting task). If your precious pooch won’t let you brush his/her teeth, Ali recommends giving him or her Milk Bone Brushing Chews once a day. They have the “Veterinary Oral Health Council’s Seal of Acceptance, which is like the seal on our toothpaste from the American Dental Association.”

It’s now officially backyard barbecue season. Does your dog love begging or stealing hamburger patties off your plate (can you tell I have a Weimaraner)? We all know that we shouldn’t feed our dog food off the table, not just because it creates bad table manners, but because it can wreak havoc on their health. Ali suggests you keep items like garlic and chives away from your dog or cat because it can compromise their health. If your pup can’t get enough of the bbq, Ali has a great suggestion for Fido – Kibbles ‘n Bits American Grill because “it has chewy meaty bits and crunch kibble, USA beef steak, Wisconsin Cheddar, vegetables – potatoes.”

And last but certainly not least, we cannot forget about the cats! I thought I had the most finicky cat in the world, but after chatting with Ali, I’ve come to realize that Grayson is just as picky as his fellow felines. Ali recommends “Meow Mix Tender Centers with Vitality Bursts. They have minerals, antioxidants “that are going to promote a healthy immune system in our cats – healthy teeth, a good coat.”

Also, we know how much moms love flowers, but before ordering flowers for your favorite mom this Mother’s Day, make sure to search online to see if that beautiful plant is toxic or not!

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