Ali McLennan, New York City pet groomer and star of the Animal Planet series “Underdog to Wonderdog” and her trusty pal, Mutt Damon stopped by to share tips on protecting our dogs from the dog flu, preventing excessive shedding and how to fight off tear stains and other ailments just by brushing their teeth!
Mutt Damon: “Hi, Candace, this is Mutt!”
Candace: Hi, Mutt Damon! How are you?
MD: “I’m very good; how are you?”
Candace: Doing great, thanks; great to be with you this morning.
Ali McLennan: “You too.”
MD: “Thanks for talking to us.”
Candace: What are the basics every pet owner needs to know about?
AM: “Well, as you know when you bring an animal into your life, you make a deal; the animal agrees to love you unconditionally and you in return have to take care of everything else which I think is a fair trade.”
MD: “Yeah, me too.”
AM: “Well, I was going to say one of the things I get asked all the time as a professional groomer is why does my pet shed? And the answer is because they’re healthy. Shedding is a natural part of the growth cycle of a coat. Even humans shed a little bit. But as you know it can be really annoying in your life. If your pet starts shedding excessively, all the time, you’re going to want to see the vet but for most of us it’s just part of life. But as a professional pet hair magnet I have a tip for you- if you just put a little bit of Bounce into your dryer it actually repels pet hair so you don’t get that what I like to call ‘a second sweater’ after you’ve spent time with your cat or your dog; this is the greatest tip. And if you have a multi-pet household or you work with animals like I do or spend time around a lot of animals, there are these Bounce dryer bars and you just stick these to the side of your dryer. And they last for two months, and in two months is about the time you should be calling, every two months your professional groomer for an appointment, so every two months change the dryer bar (your Bounce dryer bar). Also, call your groomer and hopefuly shedding won’t be that big of a part of your life anymore.”
MD: “Shedding is a big part of my life.”
AM: “I know!”
Candace: It’s a big part of mine! I have a lab that sheds like crazy.
AM: “A yellow lab?”
AM: “Yes. 24/7 you are in for it.”
AM: “So you could definitely use this tip.”
Candace: Oh gosh!
AM: “And if you’re like you and you frequent grooming salons, take care of that excessive shedding, there’s something that I want you to be aware of and that is the dog flu.”
MD: “Yeah, yeah.
AM: “You should be aware of the dog flu, especially if you also go to doggy daycares, boarding facilities, anything like that.”
MD: “You go to dog parks or just any dogs who are really social with other dogs are at risk for the dog flu.”
AM: “Mutt recently recovered from the dog flu. Now how did you catch the dog flu?”
MD: “Oh yeah, well this labradoodle sneezed on me; didn’t even cover her snout. Yeah well listen, this dog flu is something you don’t want to mess around with. The symptoms to look out for (the ones I had) were a cough, runny nose and fever. If your dog has those symptoms they might have the dog flu but now the good news is that you don’t have to get the dog flu, right now.”
AM: “You can talk to your vet about the Nobivac canine flu vaccine which will help prevent the dog flu, so you continue to socialized your pet, use your groomer without any fear of getting your dog sick because left unchecked, the dog flu can turn into pneumonia and can be a really serious situation for your pet.”
MD: “I wish my owners had talked to my vet about the Nobivac canine flu vaccine.”
AM: “Me too!”
MD: “Every year!”
Candace: Is this a new vaccine? I’ve got a small puppy and I haven’t heard anything about it.
AM: “Well, actually the canine flu is a bittle bit new to us, it’s now confirmed in 38 states.”
MD: “Yeah, it’s been around since 2004. It’s a virus, it’s a highly contagious virus for dogs and most dogs have no immunity to it, so you should definitely talk to your vet about the Nobivac canine flu vaccine for more information. You can also check out the website at DogInfluenza.com. Of course I’m not allowed to use the web, I get in trouble if I touch the computer.”
AM: “Not anymore.”
Candace: Yeah, don’t use it.
The Nobivac vaccine prevents dog influenza- Image courtesy of DogInfluenza.com
Candace: And Ali, as an expert dog groomer yourself and cat groomer; my dogs absolutely despise getting baths-
Candace: Do you have any tips?
AM: “Well, you can definitely utilize your local groomer; mobile grooming salons are great for that, so quick in and out. But there are three things I want every pet owner to do for their own pet, even though it can be kind of intimidating, and that is taking care of their nails. For you, a daily brush out; usually I’d say once a week or every other day; your’e going to want to do it every day. And the last thing if you can do one thing for your animal, I would say brush their teeth which I thinks is (from a professional groomer) that’s the most important thing to affect their dog health. And here’s the easiest way to do it- get a little bit of gauze; medical gauze has a little grip to it and then you get a dab of liver flavored toothpaste; beef, they make chicken, your pet will love it.”
MD: “So many great flavors!”
AM: “I know!”
AM: “Grab him by the scruff with a dab of this. Also, this has enzymes in it so even if you just get it in the mouth you’re already killing bacteria. And you do little circles around their teeth and gums. This waynot only do you get the plaque off and kill the bacteria, but also you can feel for loose teeth, abscess, very important. It controls everything from tear stains to bacteria in their internal organs to their ability to groom themselves and eat properly. So, that to me is the most important thing.”
Candace: I had no idea it has anything to do with tear stains.
AM: “Oh yeah, if the gums swell they block the tube that goes up here to the tear duct and then if that is blocked, they tear stain down; and that’s a big reason for tear stains is abscessed teeth and swollen gums.”
Candace: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
AM: “Absolutely. Well, if you want more information on Nobivac you can go to-“
MD: “Oh yeah, the Nobivac canine flu vaccine- check out www.DogInfluenza.com.”
AM: “And if you want to learn more about Bounce, you can go to BounceEverywhere.com. And I want to remind everyone that if you’re looking for a shaggy mutt or even a pure breed, you can find everything you’re looking for at your local shelter.”