Time To Groom: With Spring Comes Shedding

FOCUS ON PETS

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The temperatures are rising and the trees are budding. It is that time of the year when our pets are shedding like mad and hair is everywhere. This is the time for a thorough grooming for both dogs and cats. The more we brush out, the less will be on the furniture and our clothes.

If you put your pet on a table, grooming is much easier on the back and for our dogs. An outdoor picnic table works very well. Cat grooming is best done on a lap where you can get a good grip with one arm and brush with the other hand. Buy an assortment of good quality grooming supplies geared to your pet's coat. Wire slicker brushes come in all sizes for large to small dogs and for cats. These work great for most any kind of coat. The short wire needles are great for removing dead hair, stickers, foxtails and snarls. A great new item is a rubber brush, which works wonders on Lab or shepherd types of coat. Work in a circular motion and the dead hair goes flying. Do this outside.

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Cheryl Holland starts early with her new puppy, Cinders, getting her accustomed to standing nicely on the table for grooming.

Afterward, brush with a softer bristle brush to get rid of the dust and dander. A metal comb is good for putting the final touches on a longhaired dog's ears, leg feathering and tail.

Also needed in the grooming bag is a nail clipper. There are several varieties, but my preference is the guillotine type. You will recognize it when you see it.

Get in the habit of clipping just the tiny tip of the nail and do it often. The dog learns that it does not hurt and you do not have to worry about cutting into the quick.

Many do not want to clip their pet's nails because they are afraid of cutting into the quick. It hurts and it bleeds profusely, but if you just cut the tips, you will not have a problem. However, it is good to keep a vial of powdered styptic with the clippers. It stops any bleeding immediately and it is comforting just to know that you have it.

Do you have a new puppy? Begin getting him or her accustomed to grooming from the beginning. Gently brush him, handle his feet and nails and open his mouth and run your fingers over his teeth and gums. Look into his ears. All these things done early and gently will prepare him for visits to the veterinarian and the groomer.

Regular grooming will ensure that you notice any kind of wound, swelling or abnormality on your pet. Many serious problems can be avoided if discovered early. Both long- and short-coated dogs do better during the hot summer months if they are well-groomed and it is a great way to spend time with your pet. A well-groomed dog looks and feels better.

The spay/neuter mobile clinic, sponsored by the Payson Humane Society, scheduled to come to Payson on March 29, has been canceled. There will be a rescheduling as soon as possible. Call the shelter at (928) 474-5590, if you would like to be notified of the reschedule date.

The shelter is almost full with pups and kittens. Make sure your pet is not adding to this overpopulation problem. Make an appointment right away for this simple surgery of spaying or neutering. You will be glad that you did and your pet will be healthier and happier.

A box of puppies was found in the Wal-Mart parking lot last week. What a shame. However, it is better that they show up at Wal-Mart with some hope of finding a home than just being dumped to die. Pet-loving homes are needed for these dogs.

The breeding season is approaching. Call the Humane Society at (928) 474-5590, for information about their two special programs to assist with the cost of spaying or neutering. Do it now before it is too late.

Sign up for the "Walk A Hound, Lose A Pound 5K" event sponsored by Payson Parks and Recreation. The walk will be Saturday, March 31, and will begin in Rumsey Park. The fee is $25 for those who sign up ahead of time and a T-shirt for both dog and human will be provided. The fee is $35 on the day of the event and you will not be assured a T-shirt. This walk is an effort to promote healthy living. If you do not have a dog, loaner dogs will be available from the Payson Humane Society. You can sign up at the parks office or on line at www.paysonparks.com.

-- Christy Powers can be reached by e-mail at cpwrather@earthlink.net or by snail mail at HC1Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.


Pet food recallCertain canned pet foods are causing kidney failure and death in dogs and cats. This is a serious situation. Fifty-one brands of dog food and 40 brands of cat food have been recalled. Among these are premium brands such as Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba, as well as store brands sold under their own labels such as Safeway and Wal-Mart. The products were manufactured in a plant in Canada and have been distributed throughout North America. For more information and the brands affected, go to http://www.msnbc..... For information directly from the company, Menu Foods, go to its Web site at www.menufoods.com.... If you have bought any canned pet foods in the past two months, you should go to one of these Web sites and make sure the product you bought is safe. Kidney failure kills. Connie, owner of Payson Feed, said they have gone through all their canned products and removed all that were suspect. The products now on their shelves are from totally different manufacturing plants, and they are safe.

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