10 Tips to Whole Pet Healthcare: Because Your Dog’s #1 in Your Heart
What does caring for the whole pet mean? How can dog owners advocate for their faithful companions through every stage of life–from the rowdy puppy days through the slower senior years? As an integrative veterinarian, I’m a proponent of the team approach to caring for your dog’s whole health–your dog’s mind, body, and spirit. One memorable example of this team approach to holistic dog care occurred through a chance encounter with a dog named Rémedy (nicknamed Rémy) and her mom, Jamie.
While attending a dog-centric conference, I met Rémy. She was a gentle soul, a rescued cocker spaniel who “sees” life a bit differently than the average dog. She had no eyes. They were both removed to relieve her from a very painful condition called glaucoma.
As Rémy nuzzled my hand, Jamie peppered me with valuable questions.
“Are her nails too long?” Jamie asked. “I know they are important. I get them done every week, but they just take off the tips because we don’t want to hurt her.”
Reaching for Rémy’s paw and stroking back the fur to get a better view, I thought, “How long can they be if you get them done every week?”
“Eeek!” I exclaimed. “Those are really long nails!”
Jamie looked horrified. “I don’t know what to do differently.”
Along with all the other essentials a woman needs, I carry dog toenail trimmers in my purse at all times, and that pretty much says it all. Empowering pet parents is my passion, but the topic of nail trimming—why and how—is my soapbox.
“I thought because we do them every week that the quicks would recede,” Jamie confessed.
“Is it working?” I asked.
“No,” Jamie responded, “but they are black nails and we don’t want to hurt her.”
I explained that there’s a way to trim the nails, black or white, and actually know how far back you can get without causing the dog pain or making them bleed.
Jamie looked skeptical. “Can you show me?”
We sought out a quiet corner in the hotel, and what ensued was the highlight of the conference for us both.
I trimmed Rémy’s nails, explaining to Jamie why this was so important and how long nails impact posture and gait. I showed her how she could do this at home, looking for simple landmarks to guide her. As the lightbulb went on for Jamie, her excitement increased. Her enthusiasm for conquering nail trimming inspired me to pour my heart into this seemingly mundane affair.
That experience captured the essence of why I started ToeGrips—to build relationships with people who are passionate in seeking the best care for their dogs. Care that encompasses all aspects of dog wellness including mind, body, and spirit.
Whole pet wellness is a team approach
I believe that each dog should have his or her own individual healthcare team. Your dog’s team may be big or small. Perhaps that team includes a veterinarian, vet acupuncturist, or rehab practitioner. Or perhaps that team is simply your dog, your vet, and you. Your veterinarian is obviously a critical team player, but YOU are the heart and soul of that team. You know your dog better than anyone. And you care for your dog on a day-to-day basis. You are your dog’s biggest healthcare advocate!
Each member of my company celebrates your role, and it would be a privilege to join your team! Through the Buzby Bark blog posts, The Buzby Dog Podcasts, BarkWorthy weekly newsletters, our products, and our services, our mission is to educate, empower, and inspire pet parents in improving the quality and quantity of life for their canine companions.
Allow me to recommend a list of 10 resources to help you care for the whole pet: your dog’s mind, body, and spirit
If you’re a hands-on dog mom or dog dad, I hope we can be part of your pet parenting journey by sharing information that educates, empowers, and inspires you. Here is a list of 10 additional dog wellness resources that can help you enrich all aspects of your dog’s life, so that your dog has the healthiest, happiest, longest life possible.
Keeping your dog physically active: 4 tips for a healthy body
- Canine Body Condition Score: Find Your Dog’s Number
- A Vital Podcast: Learn Your Dog’s Normal Vital Signs
- Move it or Lose It–the Health of Your Dog’s Spine
- Help Your Dog Live Leaner and Longer
Keeping your dog’s brain cells firing: 3 tips for a healthy mind
- 7 Tips to Keep Your Aging Dog’s Mind Fit
- You Love Your Dog: 7 Caring Ways to Let Them Know It
- The Benefits of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids For Your Dog
A healthy lifestyle: 3 tips for making healthy nutritional, supplement, and treat choices
- Chews Wisely: Dental Health For Your Dog
- Homecooked Diets For Your Dog with Dr. Jackie Parr
- 8 Ways to Help Your Dog Live Longer and Better
And if you want to watch Rémedy’s nail trim (recorded live at the conference), here it is: