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Stickers in Your Dog Fur: How to Tackle the Prickly Beasts

Dog Fur Goat HeadIf you live in New Mexico than you have likely stepped on your fair share of stickers and Goat Heads. It can be hard enough getting stickers out of your shoes, much less your pets fur. Getting burrs out of your dog’s fur can be tedious for both of you so here are some ways to go about it without hurting either of you!

  • When you pet gets home from the outdoors go over his or her entire fur by gently patting the sides, back, legs, tail and neck. Make sure not to forget the small crevices (ears, armpits) – that’s where they like to nest best!
  • Use a METAL comb to pull the loose stickers from your dog’s fur. Again do so gently starting from the affected hair above the stickers, so they will slide down the hair shaft until you can remove it a bit easier.
  • Put on a pair of leather work gloves to carefully remove stubborn stickers by hand. Hold down the roots of your dog’s hair with one hand and gently pull the sticker burrs out with the other. The leather gloves will help you grab the sticker easier and prevent it from hurting your fingers.
  • Gently pull the matted hair apart with your fingers, starting at the tips of his fur and working your way down to the roots. Once the fur is untangled, extract the sticker by hand.
  • Use a little vegetable oil to loosen and lubricate the fur around the severely tangled stickers so you can slide it out with your fingers. Make sure to give your doggy a bath afterward using warm water and dog shampoo to remove the vegetable oil.
  • Do not cut stickers out of your dog’s fur unless they are extremely stubborn and only do so as a last resort. Make sure to use blunt-tipped scissors to prevent injuring the skin and angle the scissor blades perpendicular to your dog’s skin instead of parallel to it so any resulting bald spots aren’t quite so noticeable. Scissors are best in areas that are hidden (such as the belly, toes or ears). If you start cutting away on the back or neck, you might end up with lots of bald spots, so avoid it unless you have no other choice.
  • Finally smooth out your dog’s fur by grooming them with a slicker brush after removing all of the stickers. This helps also remove all of the burrs.

It may sound tedious and time consuming but in the end its best to remove them because stickers can burrow into the skin and cause a lot of pain and irritation to your pup. Keep them happy and take the time to make this a pleasant after walk experience. They will love the attention if you do it right.


Is Your Dog Dying of Thirst? Signs of Dehydration

Symptoms of dog dehydrationDoes your dog need water? Don’t let them get dehydrated.

The lack of water in the body affects both humans and animals. Make sure your dog or cat has plenty to drink this summer as the heat increases. Dehydration can cause serious complications because water is essential to maintain appropriate health.

Dehydration not only occurs when the water intake drops but also when there is an increased fluid loss. Fluid loss can be due to overheating in hot weather or a bout of vomiting or diarrhea, especially in puppies!

Did you know that your dog can quickly dehydrate in your car? Read about car safety and your dog during the summer heat, what you don’t know could actually kill your dog.


  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Depression


If you suspect that your dog is suffering from dehydration take him or her to the vet immediately as it may indicate a serious underlying problem. Besides the symptoms mentioned above another way to detect dehydration is by gently lifting the skin on the back of the dogs neck or between the shoulder blades and it should immediately return to a normal position (unless your dog is overweight or very thin). However taking them to the vet is the best way to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Dogs with kidney disorders, cancer and infectious diseases tend to be more prone to dehydration but all dogs are at risk especially with such warm weather!


A vet will administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids, and run additional tests if needed to determine the cause of the condition.


Make sure your dog has CLEAN water at all times. Change it frequently to ensure freshness! Also wash it every day to prevent bacteria from forming.

Watch your dog’s water intake. They need at least one ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day. If your dog is not drinking enough water then ask your vet about what to do…

A weighted bowl will keep the dog from knocking it over so less water is lost!

Carry water for your dog with you when going out with them.

Make sure there are no sores or burrs or sticks in your dog’s mouth – inhibiting him or her from drinking enough water.

Don’t chain them up! The dog can get tangled and won’t be able to reach the water bowl.

Don’t let the dog drink from the toilet! It may seem funny but it is full of bacteria that can harm them so keep that lid down!



Homemade Dog Treats: Best and Worst Ingredients

Ingredients for dog treatsTreat your dog right with the right treats!

Sharing food with your dog under the table is a long time habit from childhood which can make your best friend fat! Since most commercial dog treats are loaded with fat and sugar they don’t really make the best substitute for table scraps… so let’s stick to the low fat end of the table for now and see what else can be used. (Make sure you read the commercial dog jerky recall post so you dont make your dog sick.)

Good Ingredients for Dog Treats

  • Dried chicken strips.
  • A shocker: baby carrots. It comes with a dogs love for chewing and what better than an orange stick all juicy and sweet!
  • Banana: great for muscle and blood vessel function as well as for regulating the acidity of body fluids and much more.
  • Rutabaga (boiled and mashed).
  • Sweet potato (boil, mash and add a bit of good oil)
  • Flaxseeds: Whether grounded or as an oil add it to the dogs food to increase the nutrient density of any meal. (Store in refrigerator to maintain freshness)
  • Non-fat yogurt: great way to disguise medicine!
  • Salmon: full of Omega-3 (it’s good for both of you so share it together!)
  • Nori: dried edible seaweed that can be found in the Asian food items isle.
  • Blueberries either fresh or frozen. Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential here since blueberry “trots” are most unpleasant (and you’re the one who will be cleaning up!).
  • Rosemary
  • Swiss chard: It is best maintained by blanching (not boiling) the leaves and stalks to mush. This sweetens the leaves and frees up some of the oxalates, which can bind minerals. Optional: use the water in which the chard was blanched too to “lap up” any leeched nutrients.

Dangers to Dogs!

Common human and household foods that are toxic to dogs:

  • Chocolate
  • Onion and garlic
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Green tomatoes and the tomato plant itself because of the tomatine they contain. As the tomato ripens and turns red the tomatine disappears so the tomato becomes safe for the dog to eat.

Nothing beats home cooking! A few favorite recipes’ use Dog Treat Mix since it has no wheat, no soy, no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no hydrogenated fats and no preservatives. But feel free to try something else instead!

Preheat oven as indicated in the flavor chart.  Spray cooking pan with non-stick spray.

Pet treat cooking chart

**Oven times are appropriate as individual ovens will vary.

For even browning – turn treats over after 25 to 30 minutes.

Go shopping:

One thing to remember for your dog if you do decide on store bought treats is their overall caloric intake. A general recommendation is that treats should not make up more than 15% to 20% of the pet’s total diet. In other words don’t give them too many and if it looks like junk food it most likely is junk food!

Cesar the dog whisperer has some good recipes you can follow.

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.