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March 26, 2014- Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Preparing your Pet for a Move

If you have ever had to plan a move from one residence to another, you know what a long list of laundry items there can be. We love our furry friends dearly and want to take them into consideration when tackling a large task like this. 

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March 12, 2014- Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Benefits and How-to of Dog Massage

Massage is a wonderful thing for both humans and pets, reducing stress and lowering blood pressure for the giver and receiver!

If you don't already make it a weekly or daily practice, Best Elk Antlers wants to share a few tips with you. After all, dog massage is easy and takes but a few minutes!

Maintenance massage

Use your flattened palm to gently touch all parts of Fido's body. Pay attention to the layers-- skin, fat, muscle, and bone. Your dog will enjoy the extra attention! Besides the quality time for you and your pet, massages will familiarize you with your dog's normal condition-- his temperature,  any sensitivity to touch, muscle tension or a change in his coat. When changes go undetected, they can lead to issues requiring veterinary care or medicine. When you are aware of what is normal and not normal for your pup's body and health, you can increase his overall health and longevity.

Stormy weather and other anxiety-provoking situations

Does your dog fear the sound of thunder and curl up to you, shiver and pant? One great way to calm his nerves is through massage. With your flattened palm, start at your dog's head or neck and pet in long strokes along his spine to the tail. If your dog enjoys this, you can increase the pressure. Be mindful not to use too much pressure on the lower back. When finished, rest one hand at the base of his head and the other over the pelvic area above the hips. These areas control responses for relaxation and rest. You can use massage to calm him when he's restless or in other anxiety-provoking situations, such as going to the vet, grooming or doggie care.

Massage for Active Dogs

If your dog plays rough, participates in agility training or competitions or accompanies you on runs and hikes, you can warm him up beforehand with an easy massage. First, pet your dog for a few minutes like you would do normally. Then use the heel of your hand to rub the large muscles in the body: thighs, buttocks, neck and shoulders. Lift and squeeze these muscles gently. Think of it as kneading dough for a pizza! For the lower legs, wrap your fingers around the lower leg and gently squeeze.

We hope that you are able to put dog massage into practice if you haven't already! You may find it's calming for both you and Fido and a great source of quality time.

start by petting the area around the joint to warm the tissue. Then place your hand(s) over the area and apply gentle compressions over the area. You can use your breathing or count slowly to establish a rhythm as you press and release the muscles. The pumping motion moves fluids through the muscles and takes tension off the tendons surrounding the joint. Never use sudden or direct force over a bone. Finish with more petting over the area to soothe the nerves. Keep in mind that regular massage throughout the life of your pet may help prevent the stiffness and pain that contributes to arthritis. Readers should note that massage is not a substitute for veterinary care. Severe conditions require diagnosis and treatment by your veterinarian. - See more at: http://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/how-massage-your-dog/2028#sthash.xj31eHPq.dpuf
start by petting the area around the joint to warm the tissue. Then place your hand(s) over the area and apply gentle compressions over the area. You can use your breathing or count slowly to establish a rhythm as you press and release the muscles. The pumping motion moves fluids through the muscles and takes tension off the tendons surrounding the joint. Never use sudden or direct force over a bone. Finish with more petting over the area to soothe the nerves. Keep in mind that regular massage throughout the life of your pet may help prevent the stiffness and pain that contributes to arthritis. Readers should note that massage is not a substitute for veterinary care. Severe conditions require diagnosis and treatment by your veterinarian. - See more at: http://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/how-massage-your-dog/2028#sthash.xj31eHPq.dpuf
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February 26, 2014- Wednesday, February 26, 2014

4 Ways to Dog Proof your home for your Senior Dog


Senior Dog Care Best Elk Antlers

As our furry friends age, they become less agile. You may see them bump into objects, take corners too sharply and walk at a much slower pace. Of course, we want to make this life stage as comfortable and happy for them as possible.

Here are 4 ways you can help Fido (and yourself) in his later years:

  1. Illuminate!

    Declining vision makes seeing in the dark harder to do. It’s important to have areas he frequents, like doors and entryways, the doggy door and his feeding spot well lit. If you observe him bumping into particular objects multiple times, you may want to move them or place a lamp nearby.

  2. Clear the Floor

    Also with Fido’s declining vision in mind, be more mindful about picking up small items off the floor. Coins and mouth-size items can be mistaken for treats. Don’t let this become an expensive trip to the vet! His toys can reside in a corner out of his pathway to avoid tripping.

  3. Make Resting Comfortable

    As dogs age, their tendency to nap increases. Less fat on older dogs makes lying on hard floors less comfortable, so provide him with a cushy bed or blanket to protect his bones. His sleeping area should be in a quiet place so that he isn’t disturbed. Rested dogs make healthy dogs!

  4. Give him a hand

    In this life stage, your dog’s agility is lacking. He may not be able to hop up on the bed or couch like he used to but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still want to cuddle! Help him up or down. If he goes up and down stairs, you may need to place food and water bowls on each floor so that he doesn’t have to travel far to drink or eat.

Putting this into practice can make for a more able-bodied senior dog!

Tags :  senior dogdog healthdog abilitydog tips
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October 2, 2013- Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bad Doggy Breath: What It Means and How to Improve It


best elk antlers bad doggy breathWhile we love our dogs, we don’t always love their breath. A stinky mouth can mean smelly kisses, and that can put a damper on up close and personal time with our pups. So what causes bad breath, also known as “halitosis,” in dogs? To help pup parents understand reasons for the reek, and how to lessen the odor, Best Elk Antlers has compiled a list of causes and solutions:

Oral health. One of the most common causes of halitosis is a dog’s oral health. Many pups, especially smaller, adult dogs, are more prone to dental disease and plaque and tartar buildup. Check your pup’s teeth for leftover food, tumors/growths or signs of gum disease, and speak with your vet if you find anything questionable. Even if you think your dog’s teeth look clean, try brushing them once a day with pet-safe toothpaste. Also, if possible, consider trying to floss your dog’s teeth as well. Lastly, an all-natural dog chew is also a great way to help regularly clean your pup’s teeth.

Diet. Diet is another potential cause of bad doggy breath. When coupled with intestinal symptoms, bad breath may be a result of your pup’s body reacting to the food they eat, especially if it contains low-quality ingredients or your dog has an allergy or sensitive stomach. If this is the case, talk to your vet about a diet change and possibly the addition of a supplement such as a probiotic. Additionally, eating indiscretions – such as trash or fecal matter – may also cause your pup’s breath to be not so pleasant, so keep an eye out for a sneaky Spot!

Underlying medical condition. After addressing the first two potential causes of halitosis, if your dog’s bad breath is persistent, it could be the result of an underlying medical condition. Some health issues that have been known to cause foul breath include:

  • Diabetes Mellitus – Unusually sweet/fruity breath, especially when coupled with excessive thirst and urinating.
  • Kidney Disease – Foul breath with a slight urine smell.
  • Liver Disease – Especially bad breath in conjunction with vomiting, loss of appetite, or jaundice-like symptoms.
  • Cancer – Halitosis accompanied by significant change in appetite/weight, personality, or the presence of tumors/growths.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues – Bad breath coupled with vomiting, diarrhea/constipation or flatulence could indicate a gastrointestinal problem such as colitis, gastroenteritis, pancreatic or other disorders.

If you suspect that your pup may have halitosis as a result of an underlying medical condition, contact your vet immediately for personalized treatment options.

Remember, a great start to keeping your dog healthy is a good diet, regular exercise, proper hygiene, and lots of love!

Has your pup overcome halitosis? Share your story on our Facebook page!

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