Into a Dog’s Mouth

We often forget that along with brushing our own teeth, it’s important to take care of our dogs’ teeth too. Dental disease in dogs can cause problems ranging from bad breath to heart disease. Let’s take a peak into a dog’s mouth and see how dental disease develops.

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First, your dog eats his delicious meal (or some equally-delicious poop). Particles stick on the teeth and form a bacteria-filled film called plaque.  After a few days the plaque turns into tartar – that hard white or brown stuff you can sometimes see on teeth. Bacteria in the tartar then eats away at the enamel on the teeth, making them more susceptible to decay. It also makes its way inside your dog’s gums, causing inflammation and sometimes bleeding. At this point you may notice your dog’s breath smelling a little unpleasant.

If it continues to progress, the bacteria can break down your dog’s gums and even the bones below the gums. This eventually leads to tooth loss. Furthermore, bacteria can get into the blood stream and infect the heart, kidneys, and liver. Who would’ve thought? All that from a little bacteria in food particles!

So, what can you do to stop this bacteria from taking over?

  1. Brush your dog’s teeth daily to get  the plaque off before it turns into tartar.
  2. Give your dog bones, rawhides, and sticks to chew on. This helps scrape away any plaque that you missed.
  3. Remove tartar that has built up. You can do this by taking your dog to the vet for regular teeth cleanings. We also have an all-natural tartar removing product sold right here at Ollu, which can be used in addition to vet visits.

So buy a tooth brush, throw your dog a bone, and fight that plaque!

 

 

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The Dog Brush Guide

If you look at the brush aisle of a pet store, you’ll notice that there’s dozens of types to choose from. Specific brushes have specific purposes, so rather than grabbing the first brush you see, it’s important to choose one that works best for your dog. We’ve created this dog brush guide to help you do just that.

Brush Types

 

1. Slicker Brush: A slicker brush works for most coat types (except for very short haired dogs like Boxers or Dalmatians). Choose a firm slicker brush for dense coats or double coated dogs.* The softer slickers are best for puppies or small dogs with fine coats. Though this brush is a favorite among groomers and dog owners alike, on long-haired dogs it’s important to use it in conjunction with a comb because it can miss tangles deeper in the coat.

2. Comb: This is a must-have for dogs with medium to long coats. It tackles all the little tangles that other brushes could miss. Use in combination with slicker brushes, pin brushes, and more.

3. Undercoat Rake: This brush works well for getting out tangles as well as removing loose hair. As the name suggests, use on dogs with undercoats.*

4. Pin Brush: Choose a pin brush for long-coated dogs. Because it’s nice and soft, it minimizes possible breakage of the hair and keeps the coat looking luxurious.  It’s also gentle on your dog’s skin.

5. Rubber Brushes: This little rubbery thing looks like it could be a toy, but it’s actually brush. It’s best for fine-coated and short-haired dogs. When it comes to getting loose hair off your pup, this tool works wonders.

6. The Furminator: This guy is actually a clipper blade that is used to brush out loose coat. It should only be used on double coated dogs,* otherwise it will cause damage to the hair.  Because the edge is sharp, it’s important to be very gentle when using this brush. As long as you’re careful, though, it gets an amazing amount of loose hair off of your dog.

7. Dematting Rake: If your dog is really matted, use one of these guys. It cuts through the tangles that could otherwise be impossible to remove.

We hope this dog brushing guide helps you find the perfect tool for your dog. Feel free to pop buy Ollu or give us a call if you have any more questions!

*Certain breeds are double-coated, meaning they have a soft undercoat and a tougher outer coat. They typically shed a lot and don’t need all-over hair cuts. Click here for a list of double coated dogs.

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Matting Matters

Does it ever feel like massive tangles appear on your dog overnight? Although it takes time and effort to manage matting, it’s important to keep  your dog’s coat healthy and brushed out. Matting does more than just make your dog look scraggly, it can also cause health problems and extreme discomfort. Check out these 4 reasons why matting matters.

1. A matted coat is the home of grossness.

You may have heard the nursery rhyme:

“There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!—
Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard.”

limerick291110_scr1There won’t be anything as big as an owl living in your dog’s coat, but other, more disgusting things might. Bugs, larvae, maggots, fleas, and fungi all love the dark, wet environments that matted coats (or beards!) provide. Leaves, burs, and feces can also become embedded in the hair and irritate the skin. Not only will brushing regularly prevent the matting from occurring, it will also give you a
chance to examine your dog thoroughly and remove any unwanted visitors before they settle in and “build their nests.”

2. A matted coat can lead to skin problems.

The moist environment produced by matted hair is the perfect place for fungal, yeast, and bacterial infections. Even without these infections, the hair and skin can simply start to rot due to being constantly damp. Extreme matting can also cut off the blood supply to extremities and prevent regular air circulation. This causes unhealthy skin and can result in painful soars that emit a less-than-pleasant odor. To put it simply, a matted coat usually means unhealthy skin.

3. A matted coat can cause an unpleasant grooming experience.

If your dog’s coat is matted and you don’t want him shaved, it will mean a lot of brushing at the snarls. This can be uncomfortable and even painful for dogs. If they already tend toward nervousness during grooms it can increase their anxiety when they come in the next time. Many groomers will also charge an additional fee for the extra time it takes.

If your dog’s matting isn’t able to be brushed out, it may have to be shaved. Even this can be unpleasant for your dog. When matted hair is removed blood will rush back to the area and can cause irritation to the skin. Not too fun.

4. A matted coat may result in shaving.11746314-vector-sketch-dog-schnauzer-breed-hand-drawing-vector

As mentioned above, there are often times where the only way to remove matted coat is by shaving it off. That means your dog will either have random short patches, or a full-body buzz cut. This can be a shock to owners, especially
if they like their dog’s coat long and luscious. So not only is coat care important for your dog’s health and comfort, it’s also critical for keeping him looking good.

 

Now that you know that it’s important to prevent your dog’s coat from matting, the obvious question is how? First of all, get your dog groomed regularly. Groomers are experts at finding and eliminating those sneaky tangles.  Beyond grooming, brush your dog frequently at home to prevent matting from developing.   If you want more information on how brush your dog, come to Ollu’s free brushing clinic on Friday, 1/21. Click here for more information or to RSVP.

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Winter Safety

Minneapolis has had its first few snowfalls and temperatures are dropping. Along with the cold weather comes new safety concerns for our dogs. Here are a few to be aware of so you can enjoy the outdoors with your furry friend.dog-winter-snow-by-ktylerconk

Hypothermia

Dogs with short coats and little body fat are especially susceptible to hypothermia. Buy a coat for your pup if needed, and keep his outdoor time to a minimum. Keep an eye out for beginning signs of hypothermia, which include shivering, weakness, and drowsiness. If the hypothermia progresses, it can lead to muscle stiffness, difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, an inaudible heart beat, and eventually a coma.

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, get him somewhere warm immediately and wrap him in blankets. Put a towel around a hot water bottle and place it on his abdomen. Once you’ve begun warming your dog, get him to the vet immediately. Read here for more tips on what to do if your dog has hypothermia.

Frostbite

Another thing to look out for in the winter is frostbite. This often occurs on the tips of the ears and tail. When a dog is cold his body pulls blood to his organs, leaving the extremities with less blood to keep them warm. If the tissue freezes, it dies and frostbite occurs.

If your pet gets frostbite, soak the area in warm water (never hot water), and then dry it thoroughly. Never rub the affected area or allow it to be exposed to the cold after it’s warmed up. Like with hypothermia, take him to the vet immediately. Click here for more info on frostbite.

Antifreeze

Antifreeze often drips from cars, and leaves tasty puddles for pups to lap up. Despite it’s deceptively delicious flavor, if a dog ingests antifreeze it can be fatal.  Less than 3 oz can poison a medium size dog. The chemicals in antifreeze affect the brain, kidney, and liver. Signs that your dog may have gotten into some antifreeze include drunken like behavior, diarrhea, rapid heart beat, excessive urination, seizures, and even a coma. For more information on how to treat dogs who have been poisoned, click here.

dog-snow-bootiesSalt and Chemicals

Your dog’s paws can easily become cracked and irritated in the winter when they come in contact with salt and other chemicals on our roads. There are a few ways to solve this problem. One is using dog boots. Another is using Musher’s Secret, a barrier wax that both protects and soothes the paw pads. Both are available right here at Ollu.

Another way these substances can cause harm is that dogs may also lick them off their feet and ingest them. This can lead to stomach aches and diarrhea. It is easily prevented, however, by wiping their feet thoroughly after they’ve been outdoors.

Now that you know how to keep your dog safe this winter, get out there and enjoy the snow!

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Holiday Hours

Holiday season is fast approaching! Check out our holiday hours:mango-via-xeniya-jones

  • Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED
  • Christmas Eve: 10am-3pm*
  • Christmas Day: CLOSED
  • New Year’s Eve: 10am-6pm*
  • New Year’s Day: CLOSED

*Please note that we take our last self-serve wash an hour before closing.

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5 Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers

At a loss for gift ideas this holiday season? If you’re buying for dog-owners, your problem is solved! Find these 5 awesome items right here at Ollu.

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5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Boarding Facility

If you need to board your dog for the holidays, now is the time to start lookinghappy-dog-at-dog-boarding.  Before you choose a boarding facility, however, make sure to do your research. Here’s 5 questions to get you started.

  1. Is it clean? Go on a tour of the place. While you’re walking around pay attention to its smell and the cleanliness of the kennel areas. You can even ask the employees about their cleaning schedules.  Keep in mind that as a place that houses lots of pups, it’s nearly impossible for it to be spotless at all times. If it seems clean overall, but one kennel has a mess in it, don’t necessarily write it off.
  2. How are the dogs acting? Though the dogs may get excited as you come through for a tour, try to look for body language that may show nervousness or fear. These include pacing, panting, and licking lips. If, on the other hand, they seem to be happy and relaxed, you can pretty safely assume that they’re treated well.
  3. Is there space for them to be active? Especially if your dog is full of energy, make sure that the dogs have access to some form of exercise, whether it’s a large indoor run, an outdoor area to play in, or group play time.
  4. Is it interactive? Some boarding facilities allow dogs to interact with each other and make friends. If your dog is social, this could make his time a lot more enjoyable. On the other hand, if your dog dislikes other dogs, you may want to avoid these boarding facilities.
  5. Are there good reviews? Before you make your decision, check out reviews on Yelp, GooglePlus, and other sites where you can hear about the experiences of others. Better yet, if you know someone who boards their dog there, ask them what they like about it.

We hope that these tips will help you find a happy home for your dog during the holidays!

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Couple Costumes with the Canine

At a loss for Halloween costume ideas? Why not include your dog this year? Check out these couple costumes for you and your canine.

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  1. Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.  Put a bonnet on your dog to dress him up as a granny, and get a red hooded cloak for yourself.
  2. Scooby Doo and Shaggy. If you have a Great Dane, this one is for you!
  3. Punk rockers and punk pup. Leather jackets and wigs is about all you need.
  4. Agnes with her fluffy unicorn from Despicable MeGet a unicorn costume for your dog and put on a pair of overalls.
  5. Ariel and Flounder. Dress your dog up in a yellow Flounder costume, and get an Ariel costume for yourself. If you’re okay with sewing a little, here‘s how to make a flounder costume yourself.
  6. Wizard of Oz characters with Toto. This is perfect if you have a cairn terrier, but any little dog could work. You can choose to be Dorthy or any of her trusty companions.
  7. Dinosaur and caveman. Go back to the Stone Age and dress up as a caveman with your pet dino.
  8. Princess Leia and an Ewok. Because who doesn’t love Star Wars?
  9. Police dog and his prisoner. Has your dog captured your heart? Put on some black and white stripes and handcuffs, then plop a police hat on your pup.
  10. Cowboy and his trusty stead. Dress your dog up as a horse, with mane, ears, a tail, and saddle. Get some cowboy gear for yourself and you’ll be ready to conquer the Wild West.
  11. Bride and groom. All you need is a veil and dress on your pup and a suit for yourself, or vice versa.
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The Art of Brushing

dog-grooming-1Join us for this month’s free seminar: The Art of Brushing
What: Learn how to maintain your dog’s coat and keep those snarls under control. Complete with live demonstrations and practical tips, all at no charge! Bring your dog along and we’ll even give you coat care advice tailored specifically to your furry friend.
Adult beverages will be provided.
When: Friday, 10/28 at 6pm.
Where: Ollu Dog Wash and Grooming Salon
RSVP on our facebook event or to info@olludogwash.com

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7 Ollu Facts

Ollu is turning 7 this month! To celebrate, we’re sharing these 7 facts about your favorite grooming salon.

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