Hello, and welcome to your November Smarter Wags newsletter.
A quick reminder about our possible rewards for our lovely customers:
Get £5 off your dog’s next groom – Refer a Friend Scheme
If you refer a new customer to us for the full groom package, then you can both benefit – you will get £5 off your dog’s next groom, and they will receive £5 off their first visit. Just ask them to mention your full name when making their first appointment, then you can both take advantage of this offer. And please feel free to refer as many people as you like!
Customer Loyalty Scheme
As a thank you to all of our lovely, loyal customers, do remember that we operate a Customer Loyalty Scheme. You will earn a stamp each time that you visit, and after you have received six stamps, you will then get £5 off your dog’s next groom.
Remember that it is possible to book your appointments through the website – www.smarterwags.co.uk – it couldn’t be easier! Plus you may be able to see photos of your adorable pets on our gallery page! Additionally, many of you already know that we have a Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/smarterwags/ – on which we put photos of your lovely dogs, plus updates and reviews, so do please take a look at this as well. We would really appreciate it if you would “like” this page.
If you have not done so already, it would be great if you could leave a brief review of the service that you have received from Smarter Wags Dog Grooming. You can do this on the Facebook page and we also advertise on yell.com, so if you are able to leave a review on there, or indeed on Google itself, then that would be fantastic. I have linked all of the above options as an aid for those customers who have not yet left a review – meanwhile, a huge thank you to those who have already done so.
Understanding your dog
Your dog’s actions tell you a lot about his mood, so it can be very helpful if you can learn how to interpret dog behaviour. Once you pay attention to his behaviour and understand what it means, then you’ll be able to help him.
1. Bad Breath
If you notice a distinct change, with even just a little bad breath, it might be time to take a trip to the vet. There could be something wrong with your dog’s oral health or it could be a cause for concern with respect to his gastrointestinal tract, liver or kidneys. If your dog’s breath smells of urine, for instance, he could have a kidney problem. Sweet-smelling breath is a sign to vets that your dog may have diabetes (especially if he’s drinking more water and urinating more often). His overall dog mood may appear happy, but if his breath has changed, pay attention.
Puppies may nip at you as they learn how to communicate but grown dogs bite out of anxiety, fear or aggression. Can you identify which is motivating your pet to do so? Is his mood influencing his actions? If you’re having trouble teaching your dog not to bite, consider working with a professional trainer or a veterinary behaviourist.
Dogs who can’t stop walking in circles may have a health issue. Yes, sometimes it’s fun to chase your tail, but if your dog is doing this compulsively, there’s possibly a problem beneath the surface, so it is best to consult a vet to check this out.
Dogs dig in the ground for many reasons: to escape, to track animals, to make a cool spot to lie, or to hide something important to them. However, some dogs “dig” inside as well. Have you ever noticed your dog scratching at the blankets or couch in order to find the perfect place to lie down? This dog behaviour happens most often at night and during nap times, and it is completely normal.
5. Eating poo
Dogs eat faeces for many reasons; it can be a normal dog behaviour. Young dogs may watch their mother clean them and copy her. On the other hand, your dog may just be curious – he may smell certain scents in the faeces and wonder what it tastes like.
Eating poo can also, however, be an instinctive solution to a nutritional deficiency, so try to ensure you feed your dog a well-balanced food, so that you can completely rule out malnutrition as a reason for his eating waste.
6. Head pressing
If you notice your dog pressing his head against the wall or another firm object, there’s a need for your immediate attention as this is a common sign of numerous serious problems, such as toxic poisoning or brain disease. Make an appointment with your dog’s vet right away.
Have you ever watched your dog drag himself across the floor . . . with his bottom on the ground? It may seem funny (or kind of disgusting). But it is also called scooting, and it means there’s something irritating your dog’s anus – it’s possible that his anal sacs are full and need to be expressed.
If your dog’s anal sacs aren’t backed up, the problem could be irritation for some other reason. Allergies may only show up as an itchy rear. While it’s common to blame worms, it is an uncommon reason for the behaviour.
Finally, a dog who is a grass-eater, or likes to lick around the house, could have strands of grass or hair trapped in his anus that he’s rubbing the ground to get out. This is the least-severe reason for scooting but the easiest for you to help him take care of.
If your dog is house trained, it may come as a surprise if you see him urinating in your home. Dog behaviour doesn’t usually change without reason. Formerly reliable dogs who suddenly begin urinating inside need your attention! This is a sign that something may be very wrong and when he relieves himself frequently – even if he is in the correct location – it can be a sign of a urinary tract, bladder or kidney infection. In an older dog, it may even be a sign of dementia.
Although you might think he needs some sleep, a dog yawn doesn’t usually mean he’s tired. He may be interested in napping, but he could also be showing a sign of fear or stress. If your dog appears to yawn at an increased rate around a new person, don’t rush the introduction. He’s either picking up vibes he doesn’t feel comfortable with or is fearful for a less-obvious reason. No matter what the case, a forced introduction isn’t a good idea.
10. Anxiety Shows in Many Ways
Signs of anxiety include shaking, tail tucking, escapist behaviour, defecating in the home, biting or injuring himself, barking, and many more.
Because they’re technically pack animals, your dog may become fearful when left alone. If separation anxiety is a chronic issue for your dog, you’ll both need to learn how to create a relaxing environment when you leave the house. Consider taking your dog for a long walk or play a rigorous game of fetch in your back garden to tire him out before you go. Don’t make a big deal out of your departure, either. If you’re still having trouble with separation anxiety, consider involving a professional who can work on behavioural training.
If your dog is experiencing any of these behaviours, and it’s not normal for him, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with his vet to rule out any systemic medical issues. Your once social, extremely energetic dog won’t suddenly become lethargic and withdrawn. If he does, he’s asking for some help.
Products for sale
As the colder, wetter weather approaches, we all know that our dogs need more regular grooming and attention to keep them in good order, in between their visits to the Smarter Wags studio. With this in mind, I have started to stock the basic grooming tools that you can use at home to keep your dogs as matt-free as possible, so please take a look during your next visit.
Have a great month and we look forward to welcoming you and your precious pet back to our studio very soon.