Cryptocurrency investors tend to be dog lovers, while gold bugs prefer cats, study shows

Screenshot 2021 03 26 at 12.01.49
  • Crypto holders are more likely to be dog lovers – and gold investors tend to be cat people, a study found.
  • Only about one-fourth of all crypto investors are women, highlighting a massive gender disparity.
  • More gold investors are likely to be married with children, while crypto holders tend to be single.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Cryptocurrency holders are more likely to be dog-friendly, while those who lean on gold tend to be fans of cats, according to research by crypto exchange Xcoins.

As many as 45% of gold investors were found more likely to own a cat, and about 44% of crypto investors had a tendency to have dogs, data showed.

Screenshot 2021 03 26 at 12.48.23

Another notable highlight of the research is that only 28% of people that hold crypto are women, confirming the wide belief that the industry is male-dominated – with 72% of them being men. Meanwhile, gold investors are almost evenly split between men and women.

Data published by eEtoro last month showed only 15% of bitcoin traders are women. Although that’s a slight increase from the beginning of 2020, it still highlights the massive gender imbalance in the cryptocurrency world.

Xcoins’ CEO said it was important to bridge the gap between gender groups to facilitate mainstream adoption. “If bitcoin is to succeed in the mainstream, then it needs support from all demographics,” CEO Rob Frye said. “No-one is stopping women from entering, or investing the crypto space, but little is being done to encourage them either.”

Xcoins’ study also found that younger people aged between 16 and 34 are more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies, while those inclined towards gold are older than 34. This highlighted differences in investors’ marital status, showing gold investors are more likely to be married with children, while crypto investors tend to be single with no children.

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The 5 best dog nail clippers and grinders in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Trimming your dog’s nails with clippers or a grinder keeps them healthy and prevents painful overgrowth and breakage.
  • We tested 15 models to find the best nail clippers for dogs of all sizes, guillotine-style clippers, and nail grinders.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Karie Johnson, veterinarian and co-founder of VIP Vet Visit, a mobile vet service in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is more important than you might think. Although some dogs wear their nails down naturally if they are very active outdoors, most dogs need regular trims. Too-long nails can curl back and grow into the paw pad – a painful and dangerous condition that requires swift treatment from a veterinarian. Not to mention, long nails can damage wood floors and scratch your arms and legs when your dog jumps up on you.

Nail clippers for dogs come in several different styles. Plier-style nail clippers work for most dogs. Guillotine clippers are generally best for small- and medium-size dogs. Nail grinders are great for gently filing down the nail rather than cutting through it.

To find the best nail clippers, I tested 11 different pairs of trimmers and 4 grinding tools, using them on three dogs with different-size nails. You can read more about our testing methodology and the features that make up a good pair of clippers at the end of this guide.

I consider myself a bit of a nail-trimming expert – check out my guide on how to safely trim a dog’s nails. During my eight-year stretch working as a veterinary assistant, I trimmed the nails of thousands of pets. I’ve also regularly trimmed the nails of my own dogs and cats over the last few decades. For additional expertise on nail trimmers, I consulted both a veterinarian and a pet groomer.

Here are the best dog nail clippers you can buy:

The best budget nail clippers

millers forge pet nail clipper

Simple and affordable, the Millers Forge Pet Nail Clipper works well for small and medium-size dogs and cuts the nails cleanly.

Pros: Affordable, sharp stainless-steel blades, simple but functional design, safety lock for storage, exceptionally quiet 

Cons: Small blade opening is not ideal for very large dogs or very thick nails, rubber grips sometimes slip down the handle

If you’re just starting out trimming your dog’s nails, a basic, inexpensive nail clipper is a good option. The Millers Forge Pet Nail Clipper stands out for its simplicity, effectiveness, quality, and affordable price. These were the quietest of all the plier-style clippers I tested, something anyone with a skittish dog will appreciate. The blades are sharp and cut smoothly and easily. The metal handle has slip-on rubber grips — not a lot of frills here, but I found them comfortable to hold, although in my experience the grips sometimes slipped down on the metal handles. 

I’ve used these clippers a lot over the years, especially back when I worked in the veterinary hospital. Even with lots of use, the stainless-steel blades always held up great, maintaining their sharpness for many years. Compared to the similarly priced Furminator Nail Clipper, the Millers Forge Pet Nail Clipper is more comfortable to hold, quieter to use, and easier to maneuver around each nail thanks to the size and thinness of the blades. These nail clippers also have a quick-guard safety feature and safety lock for safe storage.

These clippers are small with a narrow blade opening, so they aren’t the best choice for very large dogs or dogs with very thick nails, but they worked great when I tested them on a miniature poodle with medium-size nails and a 10-pound mixed-breed dog with small nails.

The best for small dogs

jw pet grip soft pet nail clippers

JW Pet Grip Soft Deluxe Pet Nail Clipper‘s small handle and cutting blades are perfect for toy breeds and dogs with small or thin nails. 

Pros: Small size perfect for smaller nails, very comfortable to hold, sharp stainless-steel blades cut the nail cleanly

Cons: Not ideal for people with large hands

The JW Pet Grip Soft Deluxe Pet Nail Clipper in size medium is a great option for little dogs with small or thin nails. I used these clippers on a miniature poodle with medium-sized nails and a 10-pound mixed-breed dog with small nails. JW Pet’s gel-like nonslip handle is exceptionally comfortable. The stainless-steel blades are sharp and cut the nail easily and smoothly, and the clippers are fairly quiet. The clippers have a quick guard and lock for safe storage. I always lock my nail clippers after using them to protect the blade. 

Cassie Edmond, an animal care specialist at the San Diego Humane Society, likes using small nail clippers for puppies or dogs whose nails have grown too long and are curling back toward the paw pad because the smaller cutting blades are easier to maneuver around curled nails. 

The JW Pet Grip Soft Deluxe Pet Nail Clipper is also helpful if you have small hands. On the flip side, if you have large hands you might find the handles difficult to hold. I have medium-size hands and had no problem operating them.

The best for large dogs

andis dog nail clipper

With sharp stainless-steel blades and a large tension spring, the Andis Pet Nail Clipper smoothly and easily cuts through big, thick nails. 

Pros: Sharp stainless-steel blades cut smoothly, rubberized grips for comfort and control, quick-stop guard for safety, lightweight, easy to hold, locking mechanism for safe storage, one-year warranty

Cons: None

Big dogs often have thick, large nails, and even some medium-size dogs might have thick nails. The Andis Pet Nail Clipper in size medium easily cuts through large nails, is well constructed, and comes with a one-year warranty. 

I used these clippers on a Labrador retriever. The sharp blade cut her thick nails easily and smoothly, with no shredding or splintering of the nail. The nonslip grip felt good in my hand and the handles are easy to squeeze closed thanks to a large tension spring. These clippers also worked well on a miniature poodle with medium-size nails, so they are versatile. The safety guard prevents overcutting and hitting the quick, and it can be locked in the closed position for storage. 

Interestingly, the Andis Pet Nail Clipper, and our runner-up — the Safari Professional Nail Trimmers — are very similarly constructed. Side by side, they look nearly identical (outside of color), and they are also nearly identical in performance. Both are also very versatile, working well for large as well as small nails. However, the Andis nail trimmers won this category because the brand offers a one-year warranty, and Safari does not, but both are an excellent choice for almost any dog.

The best guillotine clippers

resco dog nail clippers

Equipped with replaceable blade technology, Resco Original Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers cut smoothly and quietly. 

Pros: High-quality American steel, sharp blade for a smooth cut, easy to hold and squeeze closed, blade can be replaced with purchase of kit, made in the United States, limited lifetime warranty

Cons: No quick-guard safety feature, not appropriate for very large nails or thick nails

Resco is the inventor of the guillotine-style nail trimmer, which debuted in 1937. I used these clippers on a miniature poodle with medium-size nails and a 10-pound mixed-breed dog with small nails. The Resco Original Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers in size small/medium outperformed the other guillotine-style clipper we tested (the Millers Forge Guillotine Style Pet Nail Trimmer). The Resco blade was very sharp and cut the nail smoothly. In comparison, the blade of the Millers Forge trimmer didn’t seem as sharp and didn’t cut as smoothly. 

Even though the Resco clippers have no rubber grip on the handles, I found them comfortable to hold and easy to squeeze closed. In comparison, the Millers Forge handles felt a little sticky each time I closed them, which I found distracting.

Designed to last, Resco’s chrome-plated American steel nail clipper is manufactured in the United States. When the cutting blade becomes dull, you can purchase a kit that allows you to replace the blade instead of buying a new set of clippers. 

Guillotine clippers cut with less force than is needed with plier-style clippers, but they aren’t as strong so don’t choose these for dogs with very large nails or very thick nails. They work best on dogs with small or medium-size nails (they are also great for cats). The clippers are very quiet, so dogs that get upset by the loud snapping sound of some plier-style clippers might appreciate these.

Guillotine clippers don’t have a quick-guard safety feature, so don’t make big cuts; slowly snip off small amounts of nail to avoid cutting the quick. Exercise caution because a dog’s nail can get caught in this style of clippers, and if they pull away, they can damage or tear out their nail.

The best nail grinder

dremel nail grinder for dogs

With a nail safety guard, paw guide, and wide variety of grinding attachments, the Dremel 7760 PawControl Cordless Pet Nail Grinding Kit is easy to use and works well for professionals and novices alike.

Pros: Quiet, gentle, enhanced safety guards that block all spinning parts, good for novices and professionals, rechargeable cordless operation

Cons: Needs to fully charge before use, instructions require careful review for safe setup and use, grinding heads need occasional replacement

Some nail grinders are marketed specifically to pet owners and others are best for professionals, but our top pick for the best dog nail grinder, the Dremel 7760 Paw Control Cordless Pet Nail Grinding Kit, is ideal for both novice pet owners and professional groomers. 

This cordless grinder is quiet and gentle. I particularly liked the grinding disc (recommended for novice users), which quickly and easily sanded down the nails. The grinding disc is used with both guard attachments, which block all the spinning parts of the tool — something that made me feel quite safe when using it. The enhanced safety afforded by these attachments are main reason this grinder beat out the next closest competitor in the category: the Wahl Battery Nail Grinder

The Dremel also comes with band attachments that offer more maneuverability but require more skill and confidence as they cannot be used with the guard attachments. I used this grinder with both options and preferred both the performance and peace of mind of the grinding disc. 

Nail grinders can be used on dogs of all sizes and are effective even on thick nails. I used this grinder on a miniature poodle with medium-size nails and a Labrador retriever with large nails. Nail grinders are great for dogs that don’t love clippers as well as dogs with black nails since you can’t see the quick. 

“When grooming, 9 times out of 10, I will just grind a dog’s nails instead of trimming,” Edmond said. “Nail clippers can leave a jagged rough edge on the nail, but a nail grinder can buff out the sharpness and round the nail all the way down to the quick.”

I liked the variety of sanding bands and discs that come in the Dremel kit, but the product’s real standout is the nail safety guard and paw guide, which helped me attain a good nail trimming angle. Nail grinders do have a learning curve, but Dremel’s Quick Start Guide is helpful and clearly recommends specific attachments and speeds for beginning users. As with all nail grinders, the grinding heads need occasional replacement. Professional groomers will need to replace these more often; for pet owners, they should last a long time.

What else we considered

other dog nail clippers we considered
  • Safari Professional Nail Trimmers (Medium/Large): This clipper and the Andis Pet Nail Clipper are nearly identical in appearance and performance. In this guide, the Andis nail trimmers beat out the Safari trimmers because Andis offers a one-year warranty and Safari does not.
  • JW Pet Grip Soft Deluxe Pet Nail Clipper (Large):  Like other products in JW Pet’s GripSoft line, the handle is extra comfortable to hold, but these clippers stick a little after squeezing them. Both the Safari Professional Nail Trimmers and Andis Pet Nail Clipper are superior. 
  • Millers Forge Nail Clipper: These trimmers are similar in construction to the Safari and Andis clippers, but they feel lower quality — reflected in the lower price. The handle on the Millers Forge clippers doesn’t have a nonslip grip and the clippers lack a quick-guard safety feature. 
  • Furminator Nail Clipper for Dogs and Cats: The blade opening of these clippers is somewhat narrow, the handle is small, and I didn’t love the nubby grip. Although the safety guard has a unique, adjustable design, I found the guard itself got in the way too much and was hard to move out of the way if I didn’t want to use it.
  • Four Paws Magic Coat Professional Series Nail Clipper: Although these clippers are perfect for the smallest dogs with the smallest nails, like Chihuahuas and young puppies, the JW Pet Grip Soft Deluxe Pet Nail Clipper is more versatile, working for dogs with small as well as medium-size nails. The handle of the Four Paws scissors-style clippers is very small, so if you have larger hands they may be difficult to use.
  • Andis Nail Clipper (Small): These clippers work well for small dog nails and are very comparable to our winner JW Pet Grip Soft Deluxe Pet Nail Clipper, which won out due to its extra-comfortable nonslip grip for an easy hold. 
  • Millers Forge Guillotine Style Pet Nail Trimmer: The rubber grips on the handles make the clipper stick a little and the grips also slipped down while I was using them. Our top choice guillotine clipper from Resco outperformed this trimmer, which didn’t cut the nail as smoothly.
  • Wahl Battery Nail Grinder: Comfortable to hold and easy to use, this grinder was a close runner-up to the Dremel 7760 Paw Control Cordless Pet Nail Grinding Kit. The nail safety guard has multiple openings of various shapes and sizes, making it easy to find the ones that worked best for each individual dog’s nails. This grinder comes with a grinding stone with a concave top that makes it simple to round the tops of the nails, plus coarse and fine grinding bands. 
  • Conair Pro Professional Dog Nail Grinder: This grinder is not cordless, but the cord is sufficiently long and you’ll never get caught with an uncharged battery. It’s less powerful than the other grinders I tested, so it takes a little longer to grind the nails. However, this could be a positive for novice pet owners who feel intimidated using a powerful grinder. 
  • Andis Cordless Dog and Cat Nail Grinder: This nail grinder was easy to use and worked well, but it lacks a nail safety guard, which is a helpful feature, especially for novice users.

What we’re looking forward to testing

We’re testing three new tools for an update to this guide in fall 2021:

How we tested

Best dog nail clippers and grinders in 2021

I tested 11 different pairs of nail trimmers and 4 grinding tools, using them on three dogs with different size nails: a Labrador retriever with large, thick nails; a miniature poodle with medium-size nails; and a 10-pound mixed-breed dog with small nails. I received editorial review samples from the manufacturers with the exception of the Millers Forge and Resco clippers, which Insider Reviews purchased.

All of the clippers and grinders were tested on the miniature poodle with medium-size nails. Additionally, I tested the small clippers on the small mixed breed and the large clippers and nail grinders on the Lab. In our initial round of testing in fall 2021, each tool was tested at least once per dog, but the front-runners were tested multiple times to narrow down the category winners. I waited several weeks in between testing for the dogs’ nails to grow back. 

To gauge long-term durability, I continued to use the nail trimmers that received the highest marks to trim my own dog’s nails (the miniature poodle). In the five months since this guide was originally developed, I’ve trimmed my dog’s nails approximately every two weeks and rotated clippers. I used the nail grinding tool after each trim to buff the nail edges.  

Here are the main attributes we looked for and how we tested them:

Ease of use:I assessed how controlled the clippers felt in my hand and whether they were easy to squeeze closed. When cutting a dog’s nails, you don’t want to struggle or feel uncomfortable while using a nail trimmer. For nail grinders, I assessed how easy they were to set up, hold, and use. 

Performance: I evaluated each pair of clippers to make sure they worked as advertised. For instance, large dog nail clippers should easily and effectively clip through tough nails, and small clippers should be appropriately sized for smaller nails. For nail grinders, I evaluated how well the grinding bands or discs smoothed out the nails and how loud each grinder was.

Sharpness: Although the cutting blades will inevitably dull over time, they should be very sharp to ensure a swift, clean cut through the nails. Inferior, dull blades tend to shred or splinter the nail rather than slicing clean through. 

Safety: I evaluated the presence and effectiveness of any nail safety guards, as well as the presence of a locking mechanism that allows the clippers to be stored safely in the closed position. For nail grinders, I evaluated the tool’s safety options and how safe it felt to operate the tool.

Quality: I assessed the quality of each clippers’ materials and construction. A good pair of clippers should feel study and appear to be well made rather than cheap and poorly manufactured, and all parts should function as intended. For nail grinders, I assessed the assembly of the tool and how it felt when using it.

Frequently asked questions about nail trimming

How to trim a dog's nails dog nail anatomy

We spoke to Edmond and veterinarian Melissa Smits, DVM, medical team coach for Blue Heron Consulting, about the most common questions about trimming a dog’s nails. 

How often should I trim my dog’s nails?

This depends on your individual dog. All nails grow at different rates, and dogs wear their nails down differently, too. Big, heavy dogs that run around outside may naturally wear their nails down, requiring less frequent trimming. “A Yorkie that barely touches the ground most days might need a nail trim every two weeks,” Smits said. “An Iditarod training or marathon running pal might never need one.” Rule of thumb: Trim your dog’s nails before they grow long enough to click on the floor.

How far down do I cut the nail?

Trim the nail as short as you can without cutting into the quick, which is the vein that runs down the center of the nail. If your dog has white nails, it’s easy to see the quick. If your dog has black nails, it’s harder to know exactly how far to cut. Conservatively clip just the hooked part of the nail to be safe. You can also ask your veterinarian for a demonstration on your dog.

When should I start trimming my puppy’s nails?

Start nail trimming as early as possible so your puppy learns to accept it. Even older dogs can learn to accept nail trimming if you approach it the right way. “Introduce the dog to the nail trimming procedure in a slow, fun, rewarding manner,” Smits said. “This will enable the dog to fall in love with the attention that comes with getting a pedicure and time with you.”

Which is better, nail clippers or a nail grinder?

Nail clippers cut through the nail whereas nail grinders file the nail down to a shorter length. Some dogs prefer the sensation of nail grinding over clipping, and you’re less likely to cut into the quick with a grinder. On the flip side, some dogs dislike the loud sound and vibrations of nail grinders. These tools also have a learning curve to be able to use them safely and comfortably. Smits recommends using the tool you feel most comfortable with, which will make your dog most comfortable.

What is the best nail clipper for my dog?

In general, a good dog nail trimmer should be easy to hold and have a sharp blade for smooth cutting. If your dog has very small or very large nails, choose a nail clipper that correlates. Look for clippers with blades made of stainless steel, which is strong and resists rusting. For timid dogs or those that are reluctant to have their nails trimmed, a quiet nail clipper is a bonus. At the end of the day, though, choosing the right dog nail clipper comes down to how you like using it.

Does nail trimming hurt my dog?

As long as you don’t cut too far down, it hurts no more than trimming your own nails. However, be very careful not to cut the quick. The quick is extremely sensitive. Cutting into it is painful and will cause the nail to bleed. It may also cause your dog to become resistant to nail trimming in the future. 

What should I do if I cut my dog’s nail and it starts to bleed?

If you accidentally nick the quick, use styptic power to cauterize it and stop the bleeding. Scoop up a small amount of powder onto your finger or with a piece of gauze and press it gently but firmly against the nail. Hold for a minute or so until the bleeding stops. If you don’t have styptic powder, you can use use flour or corn starch instead. 

I’m too nervous to trim my dog’s nails. Who will do it for me?

If you are not comfortable trimming your dog’s nails, or if you are concerned your pet might bite if you try to trim the nails, seek professional help. Most groomers include nail trimming in their regular services. You can also make an appointment to have your dog’s nails trimmed at your veterinary hospital. “If the dog is an amiable sort, groomers are a phenomenal option,” Smits said. “If the dog is a holy terror, they might need sedation, at which point the veterinarian is your best option.”

How do I care for dog nail clippers and grinders?

After each use, wipe your clippers clean. When not in use, close the clippers and engage the safely lock to keep the blade protected. If your nail clippers get wet, dry them thoroughly before storing them indoors in a plastic or cloth bag with all of the grinding accessories. If nail clippers or grinders are left outside and exposed to dampness and temperature extremes, the metal can rust and plastic can warp.

Our sources

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A popular flea collar is linked to nearly 1,700 pet deaths. Now Congress is pushing the company to recall the product.

seresto flea tick collar
A display of Seresto flea and tick collars at a pet store in Rochester, New York.

  • A Congressional subcommittee is calling for a temporary recall of Seresto flea and tick collars.
  • A USA Today investigation found that 1,700 pet deaths linked to the collars were reported to the EPA.
  • Elanco, the company that sells the collars, told Insider it doesn’t think a recall is warranted.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After a damning USA Today investigation linked a popular flea and tick collar to nearly 1,700 pet deaths, a Congressional subcommittee is calling for the products to be temporarily recalled.

“I think that it’s only appropriate in this case that the manufacturer do a voluntary recall,” Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, chairman of the House subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, told CBS News. “And I think that it’s appropriate, out of an abundance of caution, that we step back, we look at the situation, investigate and proceed from there.”

USA Today revealed earlier this month that more than 75,000 incidents involving Seresto collars had been reported to the EPA between 2012 and June 2020. These reports linked the collars to tens of thousands of animal injuries; 900 of the incidents involved people.

According to the EPA, which approved the collars in 2012, the Seresto collars “are made of plastic impregnated with insecticides,” which are released into an animal’s fur over a period of eight months. The agency does not consider those insecticides, flumethrin and imidacloprid, to be harmful to pets or humans. But a 2012 study by Bayer found that the two have a “synergistic effect” and are more toxic to fleas when paired together.

Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, told USA Today that “synergistic effect” likely applies to animals, too.

Krishnamoorthi sent a letter to pharmaceutical giant Bayer – which developed the collars – on Thursday requesting more information about the products’ toxicity. He sent another letter to Elanco, the company that sells the collars, asking it to recall the products and issue refunds.

‘I know these collars killed my dogs’

charlie and muffin
Karen Huffman’s dogs Charlie and Muffin.

When Karen Hufman read the USA Today report, her family was still grieving for their dog Charlie, who died in August.

“I was floored,” she told Insider. “I said, ‘Oh my god, now I know these collars killed my dogs.'”

Hufman said she bought Seresto collars for Charlie and her other dog, Muffin, in October 2018 and June 2019. After that second instance, Muffin, a 12-year-old Petit Basset Griffon Vendée, stopped eating. She died a month later.

Charlie, an English pointer-Beagle mix who was also about 12, got his third Seresto collar in February. Weeks later, he was diagnosed with a bladder infection, and then cancer. One study has linked dogs’ exposure to certain topical insecticides – though not the ones Seresto uses – to an increased risk of bladder cancer.

karen huffman
Karen Huffman on a paddleboard with her dog Charlie near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, September 2018.

“This month I finally put it together: It was the collars. It was just too much of a coincidence,” Hufman said.

She added that before their deaths, both of her dogs had been in excellent health – they got exercise and ate high-quality food. Still, she doesn’t have any evidence the collars were the cause of their deaths, and hasn’t filed any reports to the EPA.

According to Elanco, of the 25 million Seresto collars sold since 2012, less than 0.3% have been linked to incidents.

“The recent media reports were based on raw data and cannot be used to draw conclusions on what may have actually caused the issues,” Tony Rumschlag, senior director for technical consultants at Elanco, said in a statement to Insider, adding, “it is critically important to understand that a report is not an indication of cause.”

Keri McGrath, a spokeswoman for Elanco, told Insider that the company is cooperating with the House subcommittee’s request for information, but that “no market action, such as a recall, is warranted.”

“Elanco continues to stand behind the safety profile for Seresto,” she added.

The 1,700 deaths could be an undercount

Before the USA Today report, the House subcommittee members hadn’t heard about any issues with Seresto products. But now they’ve asked Elanco and Bayer to disclose any communications they’ve had regarding the collars’ toxicity with regulatory groups like the EPA.

small dog
A dog in a bar on February 19, 2019.

The subcommittee members think there are probably far more Seresto incidents than the number reported to the EPA, since those reports only represent pet owners who’ve realized there could be a link between the collar and their pet’s issue and then filled out a form or called the agency.

“We believe that the actual number of deaths and injuries is much greater, since the average consumer would not know to report pet harm to EPA, an agency seemingly unrelated to consumer pet products,” Krishnamoorthi wrote in his letters.

Hufman could be one such consumer.

“My two dogs aren’t included in that 1,700 number,” she said.

McGrath said the onus isn’t on pet owners to report incidents related to Seresto collars to the EPA: “That’s not the expectation,” she said.

Rather, Bayer or Elanco should pass information about incidents to the EPA after customers or veterinarians call the companies’ hotlines. Veterinarians can also reach out directly to the EPA, she said.

seresto flea tick collar
A flea and tick collar display at a pet store in Rochester, New York.

The EPA has not issued any warnings to consumers about the collars, but an agency spokesperson told Insider earlier this month that it takes “every incident reported seriously and review these data to see whether action is necessary.”

Seresto flea collars are still among the top products of their kind on Amazon and other sites like Chewy.com. Amazon spokeswoman Mary Kate McCarthy told USA Today, however, that the company will now be “looking into the product in question.”

Although the Seresto collars have 4.5 stars on Amazon, some customers have left reviews describing their pets’ adverse reactions. Many involved rashes on dogs’ backs and necks, or behavioral changes like loss of appetite.

“They’ve got to stop putting these collars on the dogs,” Hufman said.

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How dogs can smell epileptic seizures before they happen

  • Dogs can detect epileptic seizures up to 45 minutes before they occur.
  • In a study in Scientific Reports, researchers revealed that dogs can detect seizures through smell.
  • In some cases, the pooches were 100% accurate in picking up the odor of a seizure.
  • That’s thanks to the incredible canine nose, which can sniff out odor molecules in the parts per trillion.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: There are good boys, and then there are very good boys like these dogs here. They’re searching for a scent that no human can detect: the scent of an epileptic seizure. We’ve long known that dogs can detect seizures in humans in some cases 45 minutes before they occur. That’s one reason why organizations like Handi’chiens in France provide service dogs for people with epilepsy. And in some cases, this can prove lifesaving.

It might give people time to take medication that could prevent or reduce the severity of a seizure or move somewhere safer where an injury is less likely to occur. Incredible? Yes. But proven? Not until French researchers teamed up with Medical Mutts, a US-based organization that trains seizure alert dogs.

That marker, they believed, was a scent that dogs can detect. So in 2018, they set up an experiment. First, they collected dozen of samples of breath and sweat from people with different forms of epilepsy. Some of them were taken during or right after a seizure, while others were collected after exercise or at rest.

Then they distributed them among seven different steel containers in this room. Finally, they let out, or, they let in the dogs. One by one, Casey, Dodger, Lana, Zoey, and Roo walked into the room. They were trained to stop and stand still if they think they detected the scent of a seizure. And if they were right, they got a treat, good dog! To the researchers’ excitement, the canines excelled.

Three of the dogs, Casey, Dodger, and Zoey, sniffed out the odor associated with seizure with 100% accuracy. The two other pups, Lana and Roo, who had less time to train, weren’t quite as accurate. But they still correctly identified two-thirds of the seizure samples on their first try.

What makes these results even more remarkable is that the scent samples were from different people and also produced by different kinds of seizures. And what exactly is that marker made of? Here’s the thing: We still don’t know. It’s likely that seizures trigger a change in the body’s electrical activity, the researchers say. And those changes can affect the composition of odor molecules that we emit through our sweat, breath, and, likely, urine.

Now, whether people emit these odors before a seizure in time to reduce its worst effects is still in question, and it’s not something that the researchers tested. But some experts claim that people emit a specific group of odor chemicals 15 to 45 minutes prior to seizing, which dogs can detect. So what exactly makes canines such smell superstars? It’s their incredible noses.

With as many as 300 million olfactory receptors, a dog’s nose is up to 100 thousand times stronger than our own. That means they can detect a few scent molecules among trillions of them. Scientists are now trying to build electronic noses that are just as powerful. The idea is that they too could be used to sniff out diseases. But for now e-noses are nowhere near as good as dogs, and in some ways, doesn’t that seem like a good thing?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in April 2019.

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A cyberpunk scene at SpaceX’s launch facilities: A robot dog inspected the wreckage of a Starship rocket prototype

spacex robot dog zeus starship sn10

SpaceX created a futuristic tableau at its Texas rocket-testing facilities on Thursday, when a robo-dog wandered the wreckage of its latest Starship prototype.

SpaceX launched the rocket prototype, called Starship serial No. 10, or SN10, on Wednesday. Like the last two prototypes before it, SN10 climbed to nearly 33,000 feet above the company’s facilities in the town of Boca Chica. Then it shut off its engines and plummeted to Earth in a belly-flop position, controlling its fall with four wing flaps.

Unlike its predecessors, which both slammed into the ground and exploded immediately, SN10 successfully re-fired its engines to flip itself upright and touch down softly on the ground. But then it exploded spectacularly 10 minutes later.

sn10 starship explosion landing spacex
SpaceX’s SN10 Starship rocket prototype exploded on the landing pad minutes after touchdown on Wednesday.

With the air cleared and the roads reopened, photographers and SpaceX fans flocked to the company’s facilities on  Thursday morning to watch the clean-up from a distance. That’s when they spotted a fascinating four-legged robot wandering the wreckage.

Spadre.com shared videos of the agile bot on Twitter.

 

The life-like machine is a Boston Dynamics “Spot” robot dog, which SpaceX has apparently renamed Zeus, according to photos that show the name printed across a red doghouse where the robot lives.

Zeus has been spotted inspecting SpaceX landing sites before. It’s not clear what exactly the mechanical pooch was doing at the SN10 explosion site, but Zeus is likely outfitted with cameras and sensors to collect data, since approaching wrecked rockets can be unsafe for humans.

SpaceX did not respond to Insider’s request for further details.

 

The rocket Zeus was inspecting is designed as the upper stage of a two-part system; a roughly 23-story booster called Super Heavy would one day heave the Starship spaceship toward orbit. But eliminating these explosions from the vehicle’s landing process is crucial, since SpaceX is designing Starship and Super Heavy to be fully and rapidly reusable. A spaceship that blows up after it lands is, of course, tough to relaunch.

If the system works, though, Starship-Super Heavy could slash the cost of reaching space 1,000-fold, since it would eliminate the need to build new rockets and spaceships for each spaceflight. Musk wants to eventually construct a fleet of reusable Starships to power round-the-world hypersonic travel on Earth, fly astronauts to the moon, and one day carry people to Mars.

Musk has said that he is “highly confident” SpaceX will launch an uncrewed Starship to Mars in 2024, followed by a crewed mission in 2026.

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A popular flea collar was reportedly linked to nearly 1,700 animal deaths, but the EPA hasn’t issued any warnings about it

seresto flea tick collar
A display of flea and tick collars at a pet store in Rochester, New York.

  • Seresto flea and tick collars have been linked to 1,700 animal deaths, according to a USA Today investigation.
  • Despite 75,000 incident reports between 2012 and 2020, the EPA hasn’t issued any warnings about the collars.
  • Elanco, the company that sells the collars, told Insider “a report is not an indication of cause.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A popular flea and tick collar has been linked to nearly 1,700 pet deaths in the last seven years.

According to a USA Today investigation published Tuesday, these Seresto dog and cat collars have also injured tens of thousands of animals and harmed hundreds of people.

The report relied on documents acquired through a public-records request, which revealed that more than 75,000 Seresto collar-related incidents were reported to the Environmental Protection Agency between 2012 and June 2020. Many involved pets having allergic reactions in the spot the collar touched their fur. Some animals had seizures.

More than 900 incidents involved humans – one severe case involved a 12-year-old boy who was hospitalized with seizures and vomiting after sleeping with his collar-wearing dog.

The EPA regulates pesticide-containing products, but it has not issued any warnings to consumers about the potential risks associated with the collars. Karen McCormack, a retired EPA employee, told USA Today that Seresto collars have the most incidents of any pesticide pet product.

“The EPA appears to be turning a blind eye to this problem, and after seven years of an increasing number of incidents, they are telling the public that they are continuing to monitor the situation,” she said.

An EPA spokesperson told Insider that it takes “every incident reported seriously and review these data to see whether action is necessary.”

“The EPA encourages pet owners to read the entire label before using the pesticide product and follow all directions carefully, including monitoring your pet after application to see if side effects occur,” the spokesperson added. “If side effects develop, the label tells the consumer to consult the pet’s veterinarian immediately.”

‘Plastic impregnated with insecticides’

The Seresto collars were developed by pharmaceutical giant Bayer and sold by Elanco, a US pharma company.

small dog
A small dog in a bar on February 19, 2019.

Keri McGrath, a spokeswoman for Elanco, told Insider there is no established link between pet deaths and animals’ exposure to the active ingredients in the Seresto collars. The EPA first approved the product in March 2012, determining that the collars are safe for dogs older than seven weeks and cats older than 10 weeks.

“The article is misleading and misses several key pieces of information, leaving a skewed impression for readers,” she said of the USA Today investigation. “The numbers referenced in the original article represent the number of reports received and do not reflect causality.”

“A report is not an indication of cause,” McGrath added, noting that “if a dog were to be wearing a collar and experience any sort of adverse event, the collar would be mentioned in the report.”

According to the EPA, Seresto collars “are made of plastic impregnated with insecticides” that are released over a period of months and coat the animal’s fur. Those insecticides are flumethrin, which repels and kills ticks, and imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid that targets fleas.

A 2012 study by Bayer found the two insecticides have a “synergistic effect,” and are more toxic for fleas when paired together.

But Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, told USA Today that “synergistic effect” likely applies to animals, too. The center is the nonprofit that filed the public records request.

“For whatever reason, this combination is just really nasty,” Donley said. 

cat collar

The EPA does not consider either insecticide harmful for pets or people, though neonicotinoids are linked to bee die-offs around the globe, so some states have restricted their use.

McGrath said that more than 80 regulatory authorities around the world have “rigorously reviewed” the pet collar’s safety data, since Seresto is a globally marketed product.

‘He could barely walk without yelping in pain’

Seresto flea collars for dogs are among the top products of their kind on Amazon and other sites like Chewy.com. Bayer reported $300 million in revenue on Seresto products in 2019, according to USA Today.

The collars have 4.5 stars on Amazon, but some customers have left reviews describing their pets’ adverse reactions. Many involved rashes on dogs’ backs and necks.  

One reviewer said her toy poodle’s behavior changed after the dog wore the collar for two weeks.

“He could barely walk without yelping in pain and was extremely lethargic. Within 24 hours of removing the Seresto collar, the symptoms started to subside,” she wrote.

Another reviewer said their Boston Terrier had a reaction after having the collar on for a day: “Red and raw spot on her neck that she won’t stop scratching, trembling, lethargic, no appetite,” the customer said.

dog collar scratch
A dog scratching its neck in Tokyo, Japan, in December 2013.

According to McGrath, less than 1% of all collar users filed incident reports in 2020. 

“The significant majority of these incidents relate to non-serious effects such as application site issues – reddening of the skin or hair loss below the collar,” she said.

But Donley told USA Today the number of reported incidents for Seresto is likely an undercount, since any pet owner who has filed a report with the EPA has first realized there could be a link between the collar and their pet’s issue, then reported it over the phone or using an online form. 

“The fact that EPA has not done anything to alert the public that there might be an issue here, it strikes me as bordering on criminal,” Donley said. 

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The 4 best no-pull harnesses recommended by dog trainers, walkers, and rescuers

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • A good no-pull harness can reduce your dog’s leash pulling without causing them pain or discomfort.
  • A professional dog trainer teamed up with shelter workers to test nine popular no-pull dog harnesses.
  • The Blue-9 Pet Products Balance Harness is the best option to prevent pulling without causing discomfort or restricting range of motion.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Sorin McKnight, DVM, a veterinarian at Wellborn Road Veterinary Medical Center in College Station, Texas. The purpose of this medical review is to ensure accuracy and does not imply any product endorsements or recommendations.

Being pulled down the street can turn a relaxing dog walk into a frustrating battle. As a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, more than half of my clients ask for help training their dog to walk nicely on a leash. I typically recommend that dog owners purchase a quality front-clip no-pull harness to assist them in training their dog how to walk on leash without pulling.

For this guide, I partnered with five shelter workers and volunteers at Family Dog Rescue in San Francisco to test nine of the most popular no-pull harnesses. Harnesses were tested on walks with more than two dozen medium and large untrained rescue dogs. I also interviewed professional dog walkers and trainers about their favorite harnesses. With each harness, we evaluated how well it prevents pulling, whether it causes discomfort or impedes a dog’s movement, overall fit, adjustability, durability, and washability. Read more about our testing methodology at the end of this guide.

Why you should walk your dog with a harness

Dog harnesses are more than just a training tool to discourage pulling. Even if your dog doesn’t pull, a harness is safer than walking with a leash attached to a collar. Traditional neck collars should never be used for restraining or controlling your dog, as they can cause tension and stress on the dog’s neck. In a 2020 study using canine neck models with pressure sensors, Anne Carter, PhD, a researcher and lecturer in animal biology at Nottingham Trent University, concluded that all types of dog collars have the potential to cause harm to a dog’s neck. A flat neck collar’s only purpose is for attaching your dog’s ID tags or for decoration. 

It’s important to remember that front-clip, no-pull harnesses are not a magical quick fix. They are, however, an excellent management tool that makes it easier to train a dog to walk nicely on leash.

Here are the best no-pull dog harnesses you can buy

The best no-pull harness overall

best no-pull dog harnesses in 2021

The Blue-9 Pet Products Balance Harness significantly reduces pulling without impeding a dog’s movement, sagging, or twisting.

Pros: Deters pulling better than other harnesses, six points of adjustment for appropriate fit, good for dogs that dislike putting their head through a harness, machine washable, 90-day chew replacement policy

Cons: More expensive than most other harnesses, no padding, can be confusing to put on at first

The Blue-9 Pet Products Balance Harness is a favorite among dog trainers and dog walkers alike. We were impressed by how much easier it was to walk our untrained shelter dogs when they were wearing this harness. The dogs pulled less and were easier to control.

When used with a leash attached to the front D-ring, this harness offers superior control for dogs that pull. Its Y-neck design does not cross the dog’s shoulders or pinch under the armpits, offering a level of comfort not found with other harnesses. Like all the harnesses in this guide, the leash can be attached to either the chest D-ring to reduce pulling or to the back of the harness for dogs that don’t pull.

If you’ve had trouble finding a harness that fits, this is an excellent option. There are six different points that can be adjusted for dogs of all shapes and sizes. The harness has a band that clips around the torso and another band that clips around the neck. While the neck band is ideal for dogs that resist putting their head through a harness, this design can make it confusing to put the harness on until you get the hang of it. The colored top strap on the back will help you keep straight what goes where.

Robyn Socarro, a professional dog trainer at Beyond the Biscuit in Bentonville, Arkansas, swears by the Balance Harness. “It is great for daily performance, and it doesn’t interfere with the dog’s shoulder movement,” she said. “I do a lot of swimming and water activities with my dogs, and this harness doesn’t need to be removed when using a doggie life jacket, and it dries quickly without irritating the skin.”

“The Blue-9 Balance Harness is my go-to recommendation for my clients,” said professional dog walker Clare Hart-Slattery, based in Oakland, California. “It has a higher level of adjustability than other no-pull harnesses, which helps eliminate loose spots that may encourage pulling or irritate the skin.” 

The Balance Harness has a minimalist design that includes unpadded nylon straps and comes in eight different colors and five sizes. I toss mine into the washer and let it air-dry, with no damaging effects.

Although the soft nylon has a 3,500-pound test strength, if your dog chews this harness, Blue-9 offers a 90-day replacement for half price — just pay shipping to mail in the damaged harness. Because of its design, however, most dogs cannot reach the straps with their mouths and I’ve never had a dog chew through one.

The best no-pull harness for versatility

2Hounds Freedom No-Pull Harness

With front and back clips and a double-connection leash, the 2 Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Harness is versatile enough to use with any dog, even serious pullers.

Pros: Works well for serious pullers, straps do not loosen or sag, velvet-lined straps prevent chafing, machine washable, available in 7 sizes and 23 different colors and designs, double-connection leash included

Cons: Can be confusing to put on, straps are difficult to adjust

The 2 Hounds Design Freedom No-Pull Harness has something of a cult following among dog trainers. With both a front and back D-ring, it’s comfortable for walking dogs who are pullers and those who are not. Diane Livoti Perlman, owner of Metro Dog day care and boarding in Richmond, California, recommends this harness to all of her clients.

Users are frequently amazed at how quickly the Freedom harness reduces tension on the leash for dogs that pull, especially when paired with the included double-connection leash. By connecting the leash to the D-rings at the chest and back, the harness evenly distributes pressure, preventing a dog from feeling discomfort at a single point on their body and providing more control than most other harnesses. The martingale strap at the back tightens in response to pulling to help prevent a dog from squirming out of the harness and escaping. 

Several of our testers found it tricky to put the harness on the first few times because the straps are fitted tightly in the stainless steel hardware. However, once the four points were properly adjusted, they got the hang of it. The straps stay secure and don’t loosen up like some harnesses. There is also a buckle at the neck, so it doesn’t need to be pulled over the dog’s head. The velvet lining on the strap behind the legs is a nice touch for sensitive-skinned dogs.

2 Hounds has put a lot of thought and care into their product. Available in seven different sizes, the Freedom Harness works well for dogs of all sizes and shapes and is the only one in this guide that offers two different widths: 5/8-inch wide straps for smaller dogs and 1-inch straps for larger dogs. One of my clients could not find a harness that fit her low and wide Corgi-Labrador mix until she tried the 2 Hounds Freedom No-Pull Harness. It comes in 23 different colors and patterns.

This harness can be machine-washed on delicate cycle and air-dried. I accidentally put it in the dryer, and it came out fine. 2 Hounds will also replace a chewed harness for $12.99 with free shipping.

The best affordable no-pull harness

Petsafe 3-in-1 Harness

The Petsafe 3-in-1 No-Pull Dog Harness is a durable, no-pull harness that won’t break the bank. 

Pros: Five points of adjustment for good fit, reflective stitching, some padding

Cons: Limited color options, heavy plastic buckles may be uncomfortable

With both a front and a back D-ring, the Petsafe 3-in-1 No-Pull Dog Harness is a solid choice. Attach the leash to the front of the harness to reduce pulling or secure it to the back ring for casual walks or running with your dog.

Beth DiMeccio walks shelter dogs most weekdays at Family Dog Rescue in San Francisco and tested this harness on several untrained shelter dogs that were difficult to walk. She was impressed with how well it worked for serious pullers. “There’s little chance a dog can wriggle out of this harness, which is a big concern with shelter dogs,” she said.

This Y-shaped nylon harness does not restrict a dog’s movement, unlike Petsafe’s other popular no-pull harness, the Easy Walk, which has a horizontal chest strap that sits too low on some dogs. The 3-in-1’s five different adjustment points allow for a comfortable and snug fit, and with a buckle at the neck, it doesn’t need to be pulled over a dog’s head. It’s also easy to put on and take off after a few tries, but the tiny tags on the straps labeled “shoulder,” “girth,” and “center chest” are only slightly helpful. The light neoprene padding and reflective stitching are a nice touch.

With 1-inch wide straps, this harness is heavier than similar styles, creating too much bulk for smaller dogs. Although the wider straps mean less chafing, there is no padding to cover any of the large plastic clasps. Your dog may have some discomfort if they wear the harness all day.

The harness comes in four different sizes. Unfortunately, the color choices are limited to black, plum, and teal. It also comes with a built-in adjustable car control strap, which attaches to a car’s seat belt. Neither the strap nor the harness are crash-tested, but when used together they will keep your dog restrained in the backseat while you are driving. Petsafe recommends only hand-washing the 3-in-1, which can make it difficult to get out the dog stink that most harnesses collect.

Petsafe offers two sweet guarantees: If your dog chews their harness, the company will ship a replacement for $14.90 (no need to send the damaged harness back). Bought the wrong-size harness? Petsafe has a Perfect Fit Guarantee: They’ll send a new harness free of charge, with a suggestion to donate the first harness to a local shelter.

The best no-pull harness for extended wear

Ruffwear Front Range Harness

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is a comfortable harness for active dogs and will hold up to years of use.

Pros: Padded, wide straps that won’t chafe, can be worn all day, comes in 13 different colors and 5 sizes, easy to put on and take off, durable

Cons: Chest piece twists and gaps with serious pullers, not quick-drying

Designed for outdoor adventures, the Ruffwear Front Range Harness can take a lot of punishment while keeping your dog comfortable. The foam padding on the chest and belly prevents rubbing and chafing, and the built-in clasps are covered with fabric so they don’t touch any part of a dog’s body.

With only two clasps and two adjustment buckles, the harness is easy to put on and remove. It has two leash attachments: an aluminum V-ring on the back and a reinforced webbing attachment on the chest plate.

The Front Range doesn’t reduce pulling as well as the other harnesses we recommend. Although it is normal for a front-clip harness to move when your dog pulls, the Front Range has more twist than our other top picks, causing it to shift to the side with consistent pulling.

But, if your dog tears through bushes or plays rough with other dogs, this harness is a durable option. After seven years, the Front Range is the only intact harness my dog still wears from his younger days. The polyester shell fabric is durable and doesn’t fade over time, and the reflective stitching is a bonus for nighttime dog walking. The harness is available in 5 sizes and comes in 13 different colors to match every possible preference because, of course, your dog needs a hibiscus pink harness.

San Francisco-based professional dog trainer and dog sport enthusiast Scarlett Cermak, owner of Embark Today, loves the size range and color options as well as its comfort and versatility. “The padding is nice because it doesn’t rub on my thin-coated dog,” she said. “I also really like that there is a back-clip option because there are times, believe it or not, when I want my dogs to pull, like in sports like canicross or joring.”

Hand-washing is advised, but I’ve had to put my dog’s harness in the washer and dryer many times. It’s held up, but the edges are now slightly curled. The chest vest can take a while to dry, so it may stay damp for a while after washing or if your dog swims in it.

Ruffwear’s warranty covers manufacturing defects, but there is no chew replacement policy. In my experience, only the most acrobatic chewers can reach the straps with their teeth.

How we tested

no pull dog harnesses we tested

We considered the most popular harnesses on the market and solicited opinions from professional dog walkers and dog trainers who were already using the brands under consideration.

Three shelter staff and two volunteer shelter walkers then tested the harnesses on walks with more than two dozen rescue dogs at Family Dog Rescue in San Francisco over a period of eight weeks. The dogs were all medium and large-size (over 50 pounds) and chosen because they were known to be difficult to walk due to overexcitability, lack of training, or reactivity. Dogs were walked with the tester harnesses for 30 to 60 minutes on city streets and in local parks.

Unmanageable leash pulling is typically a problem for dog owners with larger dogs, so we did not test these harnesses on dogs under 25 pounds. Many small dogs strain while on leash, but owners do not struggle with being pulled off their feet.

We also did not test head halters, as most dogs initially find them uncomfortable and will resist wearing them. The no-pull harnesses in this guide are a better choice for anyone looking for the least intrusive, minimally aversive (LIMA) approach to dog training and behavior modification. If you’d like to learn more about head halters, read about them in our guide to the best dog harnesses.

 We rated each harness according to the following criteria:

  • Prevents pulling: We assessed how well it prevented dogs from pulling on leash while walking. Dogs were walked for a minimum of 30 minutes on 4-foot leashes.
  • Does not impede or restrict movement: Harnesses were tested on dogs of different sizes and shapes to check for sagging and straps that lay over the dog’s front legs and shoulders.
  • Does not chafe or rub: We tested harnesses on both long- and short-haired dogs to check for chafing or rubbing.
  • Dog cannot slip or back out of the harness: Because these harnesses were tested on shelter dogs who tend to be flight risks, this was a crucial consideration.
  • Easy to put on and take off/ease of adjusting: Putting on or adjusting your dog’s harness shouldn’t be frustrating. Our shelter volunteers and testers were asked to record their impressions when first putting the tester harnesses on dogs.
  • Durability and washability: We asked professional dog walkers for their opinions on how well these wear over time and whether they hold up after multiple washes.
  • Initial cost and replacement cost: We considered whether the price of the harness is justified and how easy it is to replace if chewed.

What else we considered

Kurgo Tru Fit Harness
  • Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Walking Harness: This is an affordable harness with a padded chest plate and both front and back leash attachments. It’s a solid choice as an everyday walking harness for larger dogs that pull moderately.
  • Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness: This is a somewhat effective no-pull harness, with a vest-shaped design similar to the Ruffwear Front Range. Unless your dog is barrel-chested, the front of the harness twists to the side whenever the dog pulls. The straps also require constant tightening as they loosen too easily. 
  • Petsafe Easy Walk: This popular front-clip harness is inexpensive and easy to put on and adjust. The front chest strap, however, tends to sag more than any other harness we tested, causing it to hang across the dog’s front legs and impede movement. With no padding and thin straps, the Easy Walk may also rub and create abrasions. The buckle ends up under the armpit on many dogs, which can be uncomfortable.
  • Wonder Walker Body Harness: This is a sturdy front-clip harness that works well to prevent pulling. Unfortunately, the horizontal chest strap tends to sag significantly and ends up laying across the dog’s shoulders or front legs.
  • Bolux Dog Harness: One of the most inexpensive harnesses available, this harness does nothing to prevent your dog from pulling, as it only has one leash attachment on the back. Squirmy dogs can easily back out of this harness and escape.

How to get the right fit

Finding the right harness for your dog is like choosing the perfect running sneakers. The right fit is crucial. There’s nothing scarier than your dog wriggling or backing out of a loose-fitting harness. An ill-fitting harness will also be uncomfortable, and if it’s too tight, it can cause chafing. Sagging harnesses can impede a dog’s full range of shoulder or leg movement.

A well-fitting harness should be snug but not too tight, with enough room to fit two to three fingers under all the straps. Check the sizing charts and read the instructions on how to measure your dog. When buying online, measure carefully and check the return policy before ordering. If you have a puppy, prepare to purchase more than one harness as they grow.

Dogs come in different shapes and sizes, so what fits well for one dog may not work for another. You may have to try a few different harness styles if your dog has an atypical body shape.

Why do dogs pull on leash and how can you stop it?

No dog is born innately understanding how to walk on a leash. Most dogs will pull unless loose leash walking is taught and reinforced.

Dogs pull because they naturally walk faster than we do and because they want to get to the park or greet another dog or sniff something interesting. They pull because they’ve never been taught not to pull. Dogs also strain on the leash because it works for them: They pull, and they get to move forward. Tension at the end of the leash is a learned behavior.

The best way to stop your dog from pulling is to train loose leash walking using positive reinforcement. If your dog is a veteran puller, there is no humane piece of equipment that you can just put on them to instantly stop the pulling. Carlo Siracusa, DVM, director of Animal Behavior Medicine services at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, explained that neck collars do not prevent pulling and put too much pressure on the dog’s neck.

Although front-clip no-pull harnesses are not a magic bullet that will instantly stop your dog from pulling, they are a management tool. A good harness will help you manage and control your dog while teaching them leash manners.

Although we tested these no-pull harnesses on medium and large dogs, pulling on leash can be a problem for dogs of any size. While some handlers may tolerate leash pulling with a small dog, a no-pull harness is just as helpful for them.

How do front-clip no-pull harnesses work?

2 Hounds Design Freedom Harness

Front-clip harnesses are designed to discourage forward pulling by pivoting the dog toward you whenever the leash is taut. There’s no magic — that’s it. This spinning toward you provides a training opportunity while your dog focuses on you. If you keep walking whenever your dog pulls, you are not only missing out on the chance to train loose leash walking, but you are also reinforcing pulling.

Not all front-clip harnesses are created equal. Harnesses come in two basic designs: A Y-shaped chest strap or a strap that lays horizontally across the chest. Y-shaped harnesses better allow for full freedom of movement.

“Any product that forms a Y shape around the dog’s neck and under the chest is non-restrictive,” said Chris Zink, DVM, a canine sports medicine consultant and researcher at Johns Hopkins University.

The best no-pull harnesses have both back- and front-clip rings, and some brands now sell cleverly designed leashes that clip to both rings simultaneously, giving the handler better control and balancing leash tension across the body instead of at a single location.

Leashes that attach to the back of a dog’s harness are a safe and comfortable option for dogs that don’t strain on the leash. Back-clip harnesses are also useful for attaching a dragline when teaching recall (“come”).

Why we don’t recommend prong, choke, and e-collars

We only considered no-pull equipment that does not cause pain or discomfort for a dog. Prong, choke, and shock collars are all designed to punish a dog by inflicting pain around the neck whenever they pull. Prong collars and choke chains can also cause damage to a dog’s neck.

“As a general rule, I don’t like anything that puts too much pressure on the neck,” said Siracusa. “Definitely no prong or shock collars. Even a martingale-type collar, which I do like, will not prevent the dog from pulling [and] will apply pressure on the neck.”

Punishment and pain create fear, stress, and anxiety in dogs also have no place in modern dog training. Studies show that e-collars (shock collars) produce behavioral and physiological signs of stress when used on pet dogs. As of October 2020, Petco, the second largest retail pet company in the United States, discontinued the sale of all shock collars online and in stores. Shock collars are banned and illegal in many countries, including England, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. To train your dog more humanely, effectively, and successfully, use science-based positive reinforcement and rewards-based training and handling methods.

No harness is chew-proof

There is no such thing as a chew-proof harness. A chewed-up harness is not a manufacturer defect or the fault of a poor design. It takes less than 30 seconds for a determined dog or teething puppy to destroy a brand-new harness, so take it off them when unsupervised. Be sure to also remove harnesses to prevent injury when dogs rough house, as teeth and limbs can get entangled. 

If your dog is a veteran harness destroyer, check the manufacturer’s chew guarantees before purchasing. We were pleasantly surprised by how generous some of the replacement policies are.

Who we consulted

Anne Carter, PhD, is a researcher and lecturer in animal biology at Nottingham Trent University.

Chris Zink, DVM, is a board-certified specialist in veterinary pathology and veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation. Chris is one of the world’s top canine sports medicine and rehabilitation veterinarians and researchers. She is a professor and researcher at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Carlo Siracusa, DVM, is the director of Animal Behavior Medicine services at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

San Francisco SPCA Training Department

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How to care for your dog’s cracked or dry paw pads step by step and the supplies you need to do it

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

dog with dry and cracked paw pads
Dry and cracked paw pads are especially common in fall and winter months.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • An injured paw pad can really dampen the spirit of an active dog.
  • My dog has had multiple cuts and cracks on his pads, so I’ve learned how to tend to injured and cracked pads at home.
  • Further injuries can be prevented by investing in a nice pair of dog boots and washing your dog’s paws after walks.
  • Before administering any treatment to your dog, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Karie Johnson, veterinarian and co-founder of VIP Vet Visit, a mobile vet service in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Picture this: It’s a cold November day. The sun is reflecting off a fresh layer of snow, and the family is gathered together for Thanksgiving. Everyone is watching the dogs play outside before heading in for dinner. It’s a beautiful fall scene – until someone notices bloody paw prints in the snow. Leave it to my German Shepherd Silas to slice open the pad on the bottom of his paw on Thanksgiving Day. 

So what did I do? What any self-respecting dog mom would do in this situation: freak out. After I calmed down, we corralled Silas into the bathroom to assess the damage and contain the blood. Then we called the vet and got the lowdown on what to do for an injured paw pad. Unfortunately for Silas but fortunately for you, this wasn’t the last time he cut or cracked his pads, so I’m now an expert in injured dog pads. Below, I’ll walk you through the steps to take care of your dog’s pad and get it back to playing fetch in no time.

Call the vet

Every situation and every dog is different, so the first thing you should do is call your dog’s vet. If bleeding is severe or the pad is completely cut off, you might need to take your dog to its vet or to the nearest emergency vet if it’s after-hours. Taking Silas to the vet usually causes him more anxiety and trauma than whatever is bothering him in the first place. Luckily, we were able to save a trip, and his vet talked us through what to do over the phone. 

Clean the injured paw pad

Run your dog’s pad under warm water or use a saline solution to clean out any dirt or debris. (Note: The American Kennel Club advises against using hydrogen peroxide because it can be damaging to healthy tissue.)

Superglue the cut

How to care for a dogs pad 3
Apply superglue to larger cuts.

You read that correctly. It seems strange, but this is what our vet advised us to do, and it worked perfectly. For smaller cuts or cracks, you can skip this step, but for a larger cut, manually hold the cut together and apply superglue. Hold the cut together until the glue dries. This acts in the same way a surgical glue would to hold a cut together. 

Apply a balm

A pet balm or dog paw cream like Vermont’s Original Bag Balm can help the cut heal and soften its dry pads. Make sure the superglue is dry before this step. 

Bandage the paw

In a pinch when this first happened to Silas, we used a paper towel and a clean sock, but once we were able to get the proper materials (gauze and self-adhering tape), we found they worked much better. Securely wrap the gauze around the cut and the dog’s entire foot. Then wrap the tape around the foot and partially up the leg. Self-adhering tape works well because it won’t pull your dog’s fur. Make the wrap tight enough that it won’t slip off, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation. If you notice that your dog’s leg or paw looks swollen, the bandage is too tight and should be loosened or removed.

Optional: If your dog is biting at the dressing, you can cover it with a sock or buy your dog a dreaded cone of shame

Change the dressing

At least once a day, change the dressing and clean the injury again until the wound is healed. If you stop wrapping it too soon, it could reopen or get infected. 

Try to keep your dog off the injured paw pad

How to care for a dogs paw 4
Wrap your dog’s injured paw in surgical gauze. Or in a pinch, use a paper towel and clean sock.

For an active dog like Silas, this is the hardest step. One of the most effective ways to do this is to work on mentally stimulating activities to tire your dog out. 

How to prevent this from happening in the future

  • Keep your yard free of sticks and other sharp objects.
  • Use dog boots if walking in hot weather or on salted surfaces in the winter.
  • Rinse your dog’s feet regularly in the winter. Cleaning Silas’ paws is so easy with our MudBuster.
  • Use a paw protection wax on your dog’s pads before taking it out in the elements. 

Products that can help you take care of your dog’s paw pad

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The 6 best dog brushes, combs, and grooming gloves we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • A high-quality dog brush is gentle, effective, and easy to use.
  • Your dog’s coat type will determine the type of brush you use, whether it’s a pin, curry, or slicker brush, a deshedding tool, or a grooming glove.
  • Our top pick for the best dog brush is the Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Brush, which is ideal for dogs of many different coat types.  

Brushing your dog may feel like a chore, but regular brushing prevents tangles and mats – the snarled knots of hair trapped in the coat. Mats are not only uncomfortable for your dog, but they can be painful and irritating to the skin, even causing infections. Frequent brushing also distributes healthy oils and removes loose hair from the coat before it sheds all over your clothes and home. 

To help you narrow down the best brush for your dog, I tested 23 different grooming tools over a three-month period with two dogs, a Labrador retriever with short, straight hair and a miniature poodle with long, curly hair. I received editorial review samples from manufacturers with the exception of Millers Forge, Chris Christensen, and ConairPro brushes, which Insider Reviews purchased.

I’m no novice when it comes to brushing dogs. I’ve been brushing, bathing, and clipping my poodle for his entire life (more than a decade now). I also brushed and bathed thousands of pets during my eight-year stint as a veterinary assistant. For additional expertise on dog brushing, I consulted with pet groomer Cassie Edmond, who is an animal caregiver at the San Diego Humane Society

Dog brushes come in different styles for different coats. To know which type of brush is best for your dog, first identify their coat type.

Smooth: This type of coat consists of short, close-lying hair that grows in only one layer (no undercoat). Some breeds with smooth coats include bulldogs, Dalmatians, Boston terriers, Doberman pinschers, greyhounds, and Weimaraners. 

Double coat: Dogs with double coats have two types of hair. The outercoat (outermost layer of hair) is longer and the undercoat (which lies close to the skin) is shorter and usually wooly or soft. Some breeds with double coats include Australian shepherds, border collies, golden retrievers, and Labrador retrievers.

Long hair: Long-haired dogs may have silky or coarse hair. Some long-haired dogs have an undercoat while others do not. Breeds with long hair include Afghan hounds, Maltese, shih tzus, and Yorkshire terriers.

Curly or wavy hair: Curly-haired dogs must be brushed regularly to prevent mats. Generally, they do not have an undercoat, although some mixed-breed dogs, including doodles, might have an undercoat. Breeds with curly coats include Bedlington terriers, bichons frises, poodles, and Portuguese water dogs.

To avoid skin irritation, choose the right brush for your dog’s coat type and avoid overbrushing. “There can be such a thing as too much brushing,” Edmond said. “Overbrushing causes something called brush burn, which is an irritation of the skin. Slicker brushes used on short-haired dogs can cause brush burn faster.”

Edmond recommends brushing your dog daily. Beyond grooming and hygiene, there are additional benefits. “Brushing regularly gives pet parents the opportunity to touch their pets all over, which can help identify possible health concerns early,” she said. “As a groomer, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered lumps, bumps, cuts, or skin issues.”

Here are the best dog brushes in 2021

The best combo brush

hartz combo brush

Equipped with two brush styles and a nonslip handle, the versatile Hartz Combo Brush is ideal for dogs of many different coat types.

Pros: Stainless steel pins with safety tips, good for dogs of most sizes, antislip grip for comfort and control, affordable price, two brushes in one

Cons: Might be too large for toy dogs

A combo brush is two brushes in one: a pin brush on one side and a soft-bristle brush on the other. Use the pin side to brush out tangles and remove loose hair. The bristle brush works well for short-haired dogs such as dachshunds, pit bulls, and Chihuahuas. “It can be helpful in removing dead hairs during shedding season and redistributing the dog’s natural oils on its body,” said Edmond.

Our top pick for the best combo brush for dogs is the Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Brush. This brush is great for dogs of many coat types and also convenient if you have two dogs with different types of hair. I tested this brush on a miniature poodle and a Labrador retriever. Only the pin brush side was useful for the poodle coat, but the Labrador coat benefited from both sides.

Overall, this is just a really nice brush. It’s lightweight at just under 5 ounces, yet sturdy and comfortable to hold. The stainless steel pins have safety tips for safe and gentle brushing, and the nylon bristles are soft but stiff enough to do some good hair removal while brushing. Measuring 12.2 inches long and 3.2 inches wide, this brush is well-sized for small to large dogs. It’s not suited to the job of grooming toy breeds (for that, consider the Burt’s Bees Double Sided brush under “What else we considered” at the end of this guide).

Hartz also offers a satisfaction guarantee on all its grooming tools if they have not been misused or abused. Simply return the brush with a copy of your receipt within one year of purchase for a replacement or refund.

The best deshedding tool

furminator dog brush

The Furminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool safely and effectively removes loose, dead undercoat hair as well as dirt and debris.

Pros: Reduces loose hair from shedding, doesn’t damage topcoat, skin guard protects from digging into skin, works for dogs of all sizes and most coat types, money-back guarantee

Cons: Not for use on nonshedding breeds, dropping tool can damage the teeth, overbrushing or applying too much pressure can irritate skin

Deshedding tools have one purpose: to remove as much loose hair from your dog’s coat as possible — before it ends up in your house and on your clothes. Although designs vary, deshedding tools often look like metal rakes or fine-tooth combs.

“Deshedding tools are a groomer’s best friend,” said Edmond, who has a Furminator in her personal grooming tool kit. “It is so satisfying to use this on a husky or German shepherd during heavy shedding seasons.”

The Furminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool landed in the top spot for this guide. I tested it on a Labrador retriever that sheds very heavily. The amount of hair I was able to remove from her coat was astonishing. It was far more than I could remove with any of the three other deshedding tools I tested.

The magic is in the stainless steel deshedding edge that reaches through the topcoat to safely and easily remove loose hair and undercoat without damaging the topcoat. The curved edge of the blade and skin-guard design help the tool glide over a dog’s body to prevent digging into the skin. 

The Furminator’s ergonomic handle offered a comfortable grip, and the release button made it easy to collect hair from the tool and continue deshedding. For storage, a special edge guard protects the metal teeth. The manufacturer is so sure you’ll love the Furminator that it offers a money-back guarantee as long as the product is used and stored as directed. 

The best slicker brush

jw pet gripsoft slicker brush

The JW Pet Gripsoft Soft Slicker Brush’s flexible, ideally angled stainless steel bristles minimize skin irritation while lifting out loose hair. 

Pros: Made for pets with sensitive skin, angled stainless steel bristles minimize irritation, rubberized grips and curved handle provide comfort and control

Cons: Not as effective for smooth-coated dogs with no undercoat (may cause skin irritation), might be too large for toy breeds

A slicker brush is made from very thin, closely set wire bristles that are good for general brushing and removing loose fur from long-haired dogs. A high-quality slicker brush should be stiff enough to untangle the coat but still gentle on the skin.

“I would not advise any pet parent to use a slicker brush for short-haired dogs as they can cause brush burn,” Edmonds said. “I would use this for long-haired pets and double-coated shedding dogs like Siberian huskies, German shepherds, and golden retrievers.”

We like JW Pet’s Gripsoft Soft Slicker Brush because it effectively detangles the coat and removes loose hair. With its flexible stainless steel bristles turned 90 degrees away from the skin, it also minimizes “raking,” which makes brushing more comfortable for your dog. The 5.5-inch-wide bristle area makes it a good fit for small to large-size dogs.

I tested this brush on a miniature poodle with a long, curly coat and a Labrador retriever with medium-length hair. Even though these two dogs have very different coats, the Gripsoft Slicker worked well on both types of hair. Before testing, I also ran each of the slicker brushes along the inside of my forearm to make sure they felt comfortable and found this one is very gentle on the skin. Owners of toy breeds will likely find this brush too big. For the smallest of dogs, I recommend checking out the Millers Forge Slicker Brush under “What else we considered” at the end of this guide.

The JW Pet Gripsoft is also durable yet lightweight and comfortable to hold with nonslip rubber grips on the front and back of the curved handle. When I was done brushing, I used my fingers to easily lift the hair out of the rounded brush head. 

The best pin brush

Chris Christensen Oval Pin Brush

The durable, high-quality Chris Christensen Oval Pin Brush glides through the coat and gently detangles hair without painful pulling.

Pros: Stainless steel pins with rounded, polished tips for comfort; durable design; firm cushion with air vent for flexibility; comfortable wooden body and handle

Cons: More expensive than similar models, not ideal for smooth-coated dogs

For dogs with medium to long hair, a pin brush is a good option for removing loose hair and detangling. This type of brush consists of metal pins that are more widely spaced than the bristles of a slicker brush, which helps prevent hair breakage. The pins are also set into a rubber cushion, and a high-quality brush will have pins with rounded ends to prevent scratches on the skin.

We chose the Chris Christensen Oval Pin Brush as our top pick. I’ve used several Chris Christensen brushes and combs over the years because they came highly recommended by my poodle breeder. This brush lived up to the standard I’ve come to expect from the brand’s grooming tools. 

I tested this brush on a miniature poodle and found it glided through his coat easily and gently detangled without scratching his skin or breaking off any hairs. The high-quality stainless steel pins have rounded and polished tips, and the pins are set into a durable, firm cushion that has an air vent hole for extra flexibility.

The wooden body and easy-grip handle are constructed from lightweight solid beech, making it comfortable to hold. The brush is available in three different pin lengths: 20mm for short coats, 27mm for medium to long coats, and 35mm for long, thick full coats.

The best curry brush

bodhi dog brush

The easy-to-grip Bodhi Dog Bath Brush is like a loofah for your dog, and it’s effective for bathing or dry brushing.

Pros: Dry or wet use; effective yet gentle; handy strap for a comfortable hold; increases shampoo lather; massaging soft rubber bristles; natural, unrefined rubber limits chemical footprint; money-back guarantee

Cons: Not ideal for all coat types; strap might be too tight for larger hands; brush can be slippery when wet

This type of brush, which is also called a curry comb, is made of rubber or soft plastic. It has flexible nubs that remove dirt and loose hair from the coat. Curry brushes are also great in the bath when used to work shampoo deep into the coat, all while giving your dog a nice massage.

These brushes are best for dogs with smooth or short coats. “I use a curry brush on short-haired dogs during or right after a bath,” Edmond said. “I like to use it on dogs that are heavily shedding.” 

Our pick for the best curry brush is the Bodhi Dog Bath Brush. I tested this brush on a Labrador retriever with a medium-length coat. I like how the strap makes it easier to hold the brush even when wet, although like all the curry brushes I tested, it can still get slippery when wet. The 5-by-3.5-inch brush’s strap fit my hand well, but people with large hands might find the strap a bit tight.

When used on a dry coat, the soft, split-ended rubber tips gently loosen and remove shedding hair and dirt. The Bodhi brush serves the same function in the bath and also increases the effectiveness of shampoo lathering for a deeper clean while turning grooming time into massage time.

The best grooming glove

handson dog grooming glove

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Grooming Gloves whisk away shedding hair as you give your dog a gentle massage. 

Pros: Soft rubber nubs gently remove hair, flexible design for brushing all parts of body, massaging action ideal for dogs that dislike brushing, Velco wrist straps provide secure fit, available in three sizes

Cons: Not ideal for nonshedding dogs, sizing may not accommodate all hand sizes, somewhat difficult to clean hair off the gloves

Grooming gloves are great for shedding dogs that run away when you bring out the brush. They allow you to brush your dog by petting them, and most dogs love the soothing massage this provides. The rubber grips on the palm and fingers are good for removing loose hair.

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Grooming Gloves are the best of the four styles we tested. I used these gloves on a Labrador retriever that isn’t a big fan of being brushed. Not only did the gloves remove a lot of loose hair, but she lay down on her side and was happy for me to continue brushing all over her body.

The five-finger design allowed me to gently brush all over, including her head, face, body, legs, and tail, while the soft rubber nodules gently collected fur. The Velcro wrist straps kept the gloves secure on my hands. For best results, brush in the direction of hair growth. 

To clean these gloves, peel the hair off. Pro tip: It’s easiest to remove the hair when the gloves are full. The gloves come in three sizes to fit most hands: medium, large, and extra-large. I ordered the medium according to the size chart, and they fit well — snug but not too tight. 

What else we considered

dog brushes

Combo brushes

Slicker brushes

  • Millers Forge Designer Series Soft Slicker Brush: The soft wire bristles on this brush worked well to detangle and remove loose hair from the coats of a poodle and a Labrador retriever. Although this brush is labeled “designer series,” I actually found it to be quite basic. It gets the job done, but the JW Pet Gripsoft Soft Slicker Brush is much more comfortable to hold. 
  • Four Paws Magic Coat Dual Mat Remover: Although the slicker side of this brush was nice, the dematting tool on the flip side just didn’t compare to the Furminator. However, this would be a good choice if you only wanted to purchase one tool that is both an everyday brush and a dematting tool. 

Pin brushes

Deshedding tools

Curry brushes

  • Furbliss Pet Brush: I really liked the Furbliss, which is made from a soft and flexible rubber that gives a gentle massage. However, I slightly preferred the more rigid Bodhi Dog Bath Brush and the fact that it has a strap to help keep it on your hand in the bath.
  • Four Paws Magic Coat Dual-Purpose Curry Brush: A nice curry brush (although I can’t really attest to its purported antimicrobial properties), but it didn’t perform as well as the Bodhi or Furbliss brushes.
  • Kong ZoomGroom: This curry brush is soft and flexible with a cute design, but it just didn’t beat out the other curry brushes I tested.

Grooming gloves

Dog grooming FAQs

how to brush a dog

How often should I brush my dog?

If you have time, brush your dog every day to remove shedding hair, untangle knots, and redistribute coat oils. If you can’t brush daily, once a week is sufficient for most breeds. Dogs with long coats that tend to mat should be brushed two to three times a week.

How can I make grooming pleasant for my dog?

First, make sure the brush you choose is gentle on your dog’s skin. Test it against your forearm if you’re not sure. Give plenty of treats during brushing sessions, and stop if your dog is showing signs of stress. It’s better to break brushing up into mini-sessions rather than stress your dog out.

How do I know what kind of brush to buy for my dog?

Slicker brushes and pin brushes are good for most hair types other than very thin, smooth coats. Soft-bristle brushes and curry brushes are best for short, smooth coats. Deshedding tools are only for coats that shed. Grooming gloves can work for most coat types other than non-shedding breeds like poodles and Yorkshire Terriers. If you’re not sure what kind of brush to use, ask your veterinarian or groomer for advice. 

How do I care for my dog’s brush?

Keep your dog’s brush dry and clean the hair out after each grooming session. To easily remove hair from a brush, slip a comb into the bristles near the base of the brush and lift all the hair out in one solid piece.

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The best dog dewormers in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • The best dog dewormers should treat four of the most common intestinal parasites in dogs and should be easy to administer.
  • Guaranteed to treat multiple species of hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, and whipworm, Safe-Guard 4 Canine Dewormer is our top pick for the best dog dewormer overall.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Karie Johnson, veterinarian and co-founder of VIP Vet Visit, a mobile vet service in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Intestinal parasites are extremely common in dogs of all ages, and most can’t be seen with the naked eye, which means you might not know if your dog is infected. Some worms can be transmitted to humans (children are especially vulnerable), so it’s important to keep your dog parasite-free.

When choosing the best dewormer for your dog, you need to know what type of worms your dog has. If you suspect that your dog might have worms, bring them to the veterinarian for a physical exam and fecal test. Treatment is generally easy with over-the-counter dewormers for dogs. 

 You can purchase a dewormer for specific types of worms, or you can choose a broad-spectrum product that kills many different types of worms. Dewormers come in several forms including tablets, granules, powders, and liquids, so talk to your veterinarian about the option that is best for your dog. Once you know what kind of dewormer you need, take a look at our top picks for the best non-prescription dewormer for dogs.

Here are the best dog dewormers you can buy:

The best dog dewormer overall

safeguard 4 canine dewormer

Safe-Guard 4 Canine Dewormer (fenbendazole) is a broad-spectrum dewormer that kills four types of intestinal parasites commonly seen in dogs.

Pros: Kills four common types of worm, easy-to-mix granule formulation, safe and effective, kills two species of roundworm and hookworm

Cons: Large dogs may require more than one package, only kills one species of tapeworm and whipworm, three once-a-day doses required, not for puppies younger than 6 weeks of age

If you’re looking for a quick and effective solution to intestinal parasites, a broad-spectrum dewormer may be the way to go. These dewormers contain active ingredients that kill four types of common worms, including multiple species, and generally come in an easy-to-administer form. For efficacy, convenience, and affordability, Safe-Guard 4 Canine Dewormer is our top pick for the best dewormer for dogs overall.

Made with the active ingredient fenbendazole, Safe-Guard 4 Canine Dewormer kills two species each of roundworm and hookworm as well as the most common species of tapeworm and whipworm.

Generally recognized as a safe and effective dewormer for dogs, it comes in an easy-to-administer granule formulation that can be sprinkled on or mixed into your dog’s food and is safe for dogs and puppies 6 weeks or older. This dewormer is given once a day for three days. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends annual fecal tests to check for internal parasites at least once a year or as recommended by your veterinarian.

The best liquid dewormer for dogs

nemex 2 dewormer

With pyrantel pamoate as the powerful active ingredient, Nemex-2 Liquid Dewormer is a safe and effective treatment for roundworms and hookworms in dogs and puppies as young as 2 weeks of age.

Pros: Highly palatable, liquid formulation is easy to administer, safe for puppies as young as 2 weeks, safe for pregnant females, good for dogs that don’t like tablets

Cons: Only treats roundworms and hookworms, large dogs may require a higher dosage

Many dogs dislike taking tablets and even powdered dewormers may be difficult to disguise in your dog’s food. If you’re looking for an alternative, a liquid dewormer might be a good option. Nemex 2 Liquid Dewormer for Dogs is our top pick because it is approved to treat roundworms and hookworms in dogs and comes in an easy-to-administer liquid.

Nemex 2 Liquid Dewormer for Dogs only treats roundworms and hookworms, so if your dog has tapeworms or whipworms, this medication will not be effective. The active ingredient pyrantel pamoate is highly effective and widely recognized as safe. Simply add the liquid to your dog’s food or feed it directly by mouth. One treatment should kill all worms. Follow up with a fecal test from your veterinarian to make sure the worms have been eliminated.

The best dewormer for puppies

bayer_quad_dewormer

Made with three powerful active ingredients, Bayer Quad Dewormer Chewable Tablets is a broad-spectrum dewormer safe for puppies and small dogs weighing at least 2 pounds and less than 25 pounds.

Pros: Three powerful active ingredients, broad-spectrum dewormer, kills four types of intestinal parasites, safe for puppies 2 pounds and over, palatable beef-flavored chewable tablet

Cons: Heavy infestations may require multiple treatments, some dogs dislike taking tablets

You may be surprised to learn that most puppies are born with worms. Fortunately, worms are generally easy to treat. Puppies should be treated with a dewormer at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 weeks of age, followed by additional treatments as needed. Our top pick for the best dewormer for puppies is Bayer Quad Dewormer Chewable Tablets.

Specifically designed for puppies and small dogs weighing between 2 and 25 pounds, Bayer Quad Dewormer Chewable Tablets features three active ingredients — praziquantel, pyrantel pamoate, and febantel — to kill four types of worms commonly seen in dogs: roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. A single dose is enough to kill common worms and it comes in a highly palatable beef-flavored tablet. Follow up with a fecal test from your veterinarian to make sure the worms have been eliminated.

The best dewormer for small dogs

sentry de wormer small dogs

Fast-acting and cost-effective, this Sentry HC WormX Plus 7-Way Dewormer for Small Dogs kills seven species of roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.

Pros: Broad-spectrum dewormer, made for dogs 6 to 25 pounds, easy-to-administer tablet form, two powerful active ingredients, cost-effective

Cons: Doesn’t kill whipworms, not ideal for dogs over 25 pounds, not for use in puppies younger than 12 weeks, should not be used in pregnant or nursing females

Products designed for dogs of all sizes and dosed by weight can be tricky to divide for small-breed dogs, especially if they come in tablet form. For a safe and effective dewormer designed specifically for small dogs, we recommend Sentry HC WormX Plus 7-Way Dewormer for Small Dogs.

This Sentry Dewormer is formulated specifically for small dogs 12 weeks and older that weigh between 6 and 25 pounds. The two active ingredients, pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel, quickly and effectively kill two types of tapeworms, two types of roundworms, and three types of hookworms. It comes in an easy-to-administer tablet form that can be fed whole or crushed and mixed with your dog’s food. Only one dose is needed to eliminate worms. Follow up with a fecal test from your veterinarian to make sure the worms have been eliminated.

The best dewormer for large dogs

triple wormer for dogs

The Durvet Tripler Wormer for Medium and Large Dogs is an effective option for big dogs. 

Pros: Broad-spectrum dewormer, two powerful active ingredients, made for dogs 25 to 200 pounds, palatable chewable tablet form, easy dosing instructions, works quickly

Cons: Doesn’t kill whipworms, not for dogs that weigh less than 25 pounds, not for puppies under 12 weeks of age

Large-breed dogs require different amounts of medicines, and that is definitely true for dewormers. If you purchase a regular dewormer, you may find yourself purchasing several boxes to get the right dosage for a large-breed dog. Depending what brand you choose, the costs to treat your dog could add up quickly — especially if the product requires multiple treatments.

For a fast and cost-effective solution designed specifically for medium and large breeds, we recommend Durvet Triple Wormer.

Durvet Triple Wormer features a broad-spectrum formula made with two powerful active ingredients: pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel. This product is proven to kill two species of tapeworms, two species of roundworms, and three species of hookworms.

It comes in a highly palatable chewable tablet. Simply feed it directly or mix it into your dog’s food. For the maximum efficacy, repeat the dosage after two weeks. As with the other dewormers on this list, follow up with a fecal test from your veterinarian to make sure the worms have been eliminated.

What you should know about intestinal parasites in dogs

Four different types of worms commonly infect dogs and puppies: roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. Puppies are also commonly infected with a single-cell intestinal parasite known as coccidia. Adult dogs can become infected with coccidia as well, but many dogs develop an immunity to these parasites.

Dogs can become infected with intestinal parasites in different ways. Puppies often become infected with roundworms prior to birth or when nursing from their mother. Tapeworms can be transmitted if a dog swallows an infected flea (treating flea infestations goes hand in hand with treating tapeworm infections). Dogs can pick up hookworms and whipworms from their environment, often from the feces of infected dogs, or contaminated soil or water.

Some of the most common symptoms of worms in dogs included digestive upset (vomiting or diarrhea), gas, bloated belly (pot-bellied appearance), increased appetite, unexplained weight loss, weakness, and bloody stool or diarrhea. In puppies especially, intestinal parasite infections can cause anemia and poor growth.

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