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Groom Your Horse Like A Pro!

Top level horse grooms have some simple secrets that you can easily duplicate on your own horse.  There’s no magic to be had here, just good grooming habits and simple tools.  Daily grooming is the key here!

How to keep your horse shiny and healthy!

Use clean grooming tools!  Dirty brushes just don’t get your horse clean.  Weekly cleanings are probably just fine for your grooming tools, but if your horse is especially muddy, clean your tools more often.  HandsOn Grooming gloves can easily be washed with gentle soap and water, and you can even toss them into the laundry, but not the dryer.

Keep your horse on a healthy and balanced diet.  This, combined with your horse’s genetics, creates that healthy bloom.  An Equine Nutritionist and your Veterinarian can help you come up with the best plan for your horse.  High quality feeds and hay, with fresh pasture if it’s safe for your horse, is a great place to start. 

Let you horse be a horse!  The dirty horse that rolls and plays and enjoys himself will be healthier and happier.  And, all of that dirt and dust helps him fight flies and loosens hair that is ready to shed. 

Bathe your horse when needed, but not too frequently.  Your horse’s own skin makes that shiny oil, and frequent shampooing will strip that protection away.  Your horse’s own shine will also help repel stains!

Make elbow grease the number one grooming tool that you use.  When you use HandsOn Grooming Gloves, you have just doubled the tools that you have, which means you can double the elbow grease! Using your hands to groom your horse brings up the dirt, massages your horse’s muscles, helps to spread his natural oils around, and makes grooming quite a treat. 

Use sprays and conditioners as needed to soften your horse’s coat and help with that shine.  Grooming sprays can help keep manes and tails untangled, help to repel stains, and make brushing easier. 

You may also want to clip your horse.  Clipped lower legs, which are common on show horses, keep white bright and are easy to clean.  Clipped horses in the winter are also easier to clean, as well as regulate their sweat.  It’s not for every horse, but might help yours! 

Notice where your horse likes to be scratched. New itchy places may indicate the beginnings of a skin issues, as does hair loss or sensitivity when being groomed. 

If you use blankets, make sure the undersides of them stay clean!  Daily care to keep your horse’s blankets clean go a long way to keeping your horse clean.  

If you are prepping for a horse show, bathe the day before or two days before and double up on the curry combing. You can absolutely use HandsOn Grooming Gloves in the wash rack.  They are perfectly wonderful to use to lather up your horse.  

If shampoo has made your horse a bit dull, the extra curry combing and elbow grease can bring back the shine before your horse. 

Cornstarch or baby powder on white legs is another show ring secret to making your horse shine in the ring. 

Keep using HandsOn Gloves through all seasons to keep your horse beautifully groomed and happy! 

Holiday Safety Tips for Your Four-Legged Friends!

This holiday season, keep your festivities and decorations safe around your pets!  It’s more than just keeping your dog from knocking over the tree, it’s keeping your dog from eating and playing with things he shouldn’t!

How to make the holidays safe around your pets!

The best place for your holiday tree is a corner. 

This limits how many angles your pet can attack from.  Anchoring the top of the tree to the corner will help to keep it upright in the event of a curious creature climbing the branches.  Find ways to keep your pets out of any water at the base of your tree, as fertilizers or chemical residues can taint the water.  Promptly clean up any pine needles, as well, as these can irritate your pet’s digestive system. 

Decorations are so tempting for pets to play with!  And eat! 

Keep the lights, ornaments, tinsel, and ribbons away from pets.  This might mean that you are only hanging pretty holiday trinkets and lights on the upper branches of your tree.  You could also get creative and put a decorative fence around your tree, or even hang it from the ceiling.

There are a lot of holiday plants that are dangerous to pets as well. 

Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and lilies all pose a threat.  Holly, when eaten by curious pets, causes vomiting and diarrhea and general gastrointestinal problems.  Mistletoe can either be mildly bad, or horribly bad.  American mistletoe is somewhat toxic, but European mistletoe is highly toxic.  Poinsettias are rarely poisonous, but why risk your pet having an irritation.  Lilies are truly dangerous to cats, and can cause severe kidney failure. Most dogs will only have a little bit of an upset stomach when lilies are eaten.

When it comes to all of the lush holiday food, keep your pets on their regular diets!

Bones are dangerous, as is chocolate, xylitol, and fatty foods or meats.   Also, keep the doughs and alcohol away from your pets.

Fireworks are sometimes part of the holiday season, so keep your pet safe!

Let them stay in a safe area of your home, making sure it’s escape-proof.  Provide a bit of music to cover noises if your pet is ok with that.  You can also use specialty shirts and blankets for your pups if the fireworks startle your pet.

Follow these tips for a happy holiday season with your pet.  Be sure to keep your Vet informed if you suspect your pet has gotten into something they shouldn’t! Concentrate your time on filling their stocking with pet friendly treats and grooming supplies – like the famous and wonderful HandsOn Gloves!

Cold Weather Tips for Dog Owners

It’s beginning to look a lot like cold weather! Keep your beloved pets protected from the cold and wet this fall and winter with these tips:

  • Keep your dog comfortable with a nice place to sleep. Your dog’s bed should be soft, well ventilated, and elevated off the ground if outside.  Shelter is also key if your pet is outside.  
  • Your pets weight and overall health also play a part in how your dog stays safe in the cold.  Your Vet can help you determine if your dog needs some extra calories or exercise in the winter.  There should always be fresh water available without any risk of freezing.  
  • What does your car have to do with pets in winter? Dogs and cats love the taste of anti-freeze, and unfortunately it’s quite dangerous to animals.  Ethylene glycol is the ingredient to look out for, and seek prompt veterinary attention if you suspect that your buddy has ingested anti-freeze.
  • Protecting their feet is really important, especially as sidewalks and streets get dusted with sand, salts, and slush.  When your pet is exposed to salts, their feet need to be cleaned and dried.  The safest thing to do is rinse your dog’s paws and legs or anything else that got salty, like his belly, and dry.  Do this with warm water and inside!  
  • You will also want to pick out any snowballs.  This is partly to help your flooring, but also to help your pup!
  • If your dog gets dry skin and dandruff in the winter, you may want to skip the baths.  Alternatively, you can have your vet suggest some soothing and moisturizing shampoo to try.  You can also step up your grooming glove game during the winter.  This not only feels great, but it helps your dog’s natural skin oils do their job.  
  • You might also consider dressing up your dog!  There are countless coats, sweaters, and even rain slickers that your dog can wear to fend off cold weather.  Protecting his paws can also be done with boots or special socks.  

Caring for your dog in winter and cold weather is best with daily care, exercise, good food, fresh water, and lots of grooming.

4 Tips on Keeping Your Dog Calm For Trick or Treaters on Halloween!

Is your dog’s barking boosting your fright factor for Halloween? There’s no reason to shake or shiver – with these tips you can make sure that both you and your pup are prepared to handle Halloween without fear!

1. Exercise Your Dog Before Trick-or-Treaters Show Up!

If your dog is filled with pent up energy, she’ll have a much tougher time keeping calm and quiet when the doorbell starts going off.

Make sure you take your pooch for a long walk or jog before trick-or-treating time. Studies have shown that a large number of dog behavior issues can be remedied – or at the very least, reduced – by increasing exercise.

Once your dog is good and tired, she’ll be better behaved and more receptive to training and commands.

2. Use Trick-Or-Treat Time to Train

While having a bunch of kids ringing your doorbell all night can seem a bit stressful if you have a dog that barks up a storm, trick-or-treating time can actually be a great training opportunity if you plan a bit ahead. 

You’ll need a partner with you, as answering the door while keeping your dog under control is really a two-person job.

First, you’ll need to evaluate why your dog barks at the door. 

If she’s scared or nervous about the doorbell and/or visitors, you’ll want to start off just desensitizing her to the doorbell sound and teaching her that the doorbell means good stuff is coming!

Begin by simply providing treats whenever the doorbell rings. Don’t worry too much about the barking initially – your first goal is just to create positive associations with the doorbell (or door knocking). 

Next, it’s time to try to get your dog to hush up when the doorbell rings. For many dogs, simply holding a tasty morsel in front of you will get them to be quiet. Hold the treat up and reward your dog as soon as she stops barking. Initially, you may only get your pup to be quiet for a few seconds, but that’s OK. Start with a few seconds and slowly work your way up.

If you’re having trouble, try a more enticing treat like hot dogs or boiled chicken. Many owners decide for themselves that their dog isn’t food motivated when really they might just not be using smelly enough treats!

Ideally, practice this before Halloween when the stakes are a bit lower, and then use trick-or-treating to reinforce those initial lessons.

3. Have an Anxious Pooch? Try Some Dog CBD Oil

If you’re concerned that your dog won’t be able to handle all the door ringing with any amount of grace, try giving her some CBD dog treats before the trick-or-treaters begin arriving at the door.

While there aren’t many official studies evaluating the effectiveness of CBD oil for dogs, there are tons of owners out there who have remarkable stories about their dogs making great improvements with the help of CBD. For some dogs, CBD seems to go a long way towards soothing anxious doggy nerves. 

4. Don’t Lose Your Cool!

Having a barking dog in your ear while the doorbell rings off of its hinges can be a stressful situation for any owner, but do your best to keep calm.

While instinctively it can be tempting to yell at your dog to shut her trap, it won’t make her quiet down. In fact, it can have the opposite effect as your dog may become convinced that the yelling is your way of joining in and she might interpret as encouragement! 

When your dog is barking up a storm, it can be tempting to yell at him, especially when you’re feeling frustrated yourself. However, your dog might think that your yelling is an attempt to join in, inadvertently encouraging his barking. 

Instead of yelling, if your dog’s barking becomes too much to handle, simply put your dog in another room, turn on the radio to drown out the door ringing, and provide her with some yummy dog chews (bully sticks and cow ears are my dog’s favorites) or some engaging puzzle toys.

With these tips you can make sure that the trick-or-treaters won’t overwhelm you and your dog on Halloween night! 

About The Author: Meg Marrs is the founder and head of marketing for K9 of Mine, a dog care resource website dedicated to helping owners take the very best care of their four-legged pals!

How to groom the double coated dog – the easy way!

Double coated dogs are fluffy, shed their coats twice yearly, and leave a wake of hair in their path. Staying ahead of grooming your double coated dog can leave your house and car a bit cleaner, as well as provide your dog with some wonderful bonding time with you.

The undercoat of a double coated dog is soft, fluffy, and is the insulating layer. This serves to keep your dog warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The outer layer is more coarse, and serves to weatherproof your dog, keeping water and the elements away from the inner layer.

There’s also the “blow out” to contend with as well. The change in length of daylight hours tells your dog to start replacing his winter coat for a lighter summer coat, and his summer coat for a heavier winter coat. When your dog blows his coat, he’s literally letting go of the old one so a new one can come in. And there’s tons of hair!

A dog with a double coat can have short hair, like a Labrador, or even medium or long hair. German shepherd dogs and Newfoundland dogs have longer double coats. Collies have much longer double coats.

Double coated dogs are traditionally groomed with metal combs and rakes, but many dogs find this to be uncomfortable. Grooming gloves work to make grooming fun and comfortable for your pup.

Double coated dogs are traditionally groomed with metal combs and rakes, but many dogs find this to be uncomfortable. Grooming gloves work to make grooming fun and comfortable for your pup.

The nubs of the grooming gloves are gentle and provide a massage, as they work to bring up the undercoat that is ready to shed. Using a circular motion helps this process, and dogs love how this feels! When your gloves fill with hair, give your hands a shake and the hair will release.

To use grooming gloves for your dog’s top coat, simply stroke your dog. Working nose to tail in the same direction of your dog’s coat will tidy up the top coat.

Regular use of the grooming gloves will also allow your dog’s natural skin oils to cover his hair coat, creating a nice shine and glow. You don’t have to wait for your dog to “blow his coat”, as they are shedding on some level all year long. Keeping up with regular massage and grooming and your dog (and vacuum) will appreciate it!

How to Simplify Your Horse’s Grooming Routine and Grooming Kit

Time!  It’s what we want more of.  To groom, to ride, to relax. One way to create more time for your horse is to streamline your grooming routine and your grooming tools. 

For horses, their sensitive nature indicates often means that we need a bunch of tools.  Different brushes and curry combs for the body, the legs, the face, the neck, and even under the tail.  This is ridiculous!  

Curry combs come in hundreds of sizes, shapes, materials, and flexibility.  Which means that you often have to switch between a bitter and harder curry comb for the body, or a softer and more flexible version for your horse’s legs and face. 

So switch to a grooming glove!  Your own hands determine the pressure, location, and sensations that your horse gets to enjoy. 

Now you can ditch those curry combs and streamline your horse’s grooming kit. 

You can do the same thing in the wash rack – get rid of all of the sponges and mitts, your grooming gloves work equally well wet as dry. 

The best way to use your grooming gloves while bathing your horse, or dog, is to just pour your dollop of shampoo onto your glove, and then start to massage your horse, or dog.  If you find that you need a bit more water to get the lather going, your gloves won’t hamper you.  Our grooming gloves are designed to allow you to turn the faucet, operate a hose nozzle, and open and close shampoo bottles.  Easy peasy. 

When you make the switch to grooming gloves, you will save time. You will also save space in your grooming box! 

Here are some more tips to making sure your horse grooming routine is streamlined and easy. 

  • Do things in the same order, every single time.  When it becomes habit, you save time. 
  • Keep your grooming tools clean.  You’ll be able to have a cleaner horse with clean tools. 
  • Groom your horse daily.  When you use grooming gloves, the daily grooming allows your horse’s natural shine to come through, and your horse will be easier to clean.
  • Keep your horse’s stall clean!  This means less rolling around in muck. 
  • Use your grooming gloves!  Two hands is much better, and easier, than one.  

Dog bathing hacks – Dog bathing tips to make everything easy!

The best dog baths start with the best prep. Having all of your bathing tools handy, as well as grooming your dog before you begin makes for the easiest and less stressful bath for your dog.

Get set up before a bath.

Find a bath rug, towel, or non-slip tub liner for your dog to stand on while being bathed. Giving him security under foot makes for a happier dog when getting a bath. If you are bathing your dog outside, make sure he’s standing on a surface with a little grip.

If your dog sheds a lot in the bath, you can use a drain mushroom or drain filter to catch all of the hair as you bathe.

Use an appropriate shampoo. If your dog has skin issues like allergies or is very sensitive, your Vet can steer you to the best shampoo for your pup. Otherwise, stick to shampoos and conditioners made for dogs, so you know they are balanced correctly for dogs.

Groom your dog before you begin! This is a great idea for a few reasons. Your dog will relax, get a massage, and a lot of loose hair will come out. This makes bathing easier for you and less stressful for your dog. Grooming gloves are best, as you can easily shake out any collected hairs. Grooming gloves can also get wet and help with bathing.

If your dog usually wiggles and gets bubbles and water in his eyes and ears, you can ask your Vet for help on this. A Vet suggested ointment for eyes can protect against wayward shampoo bubbles. You may also want to use cotton in your dog’s outer ear to guard against water. Your Vet can also give you ear cleaner if you suspect suds and water are getting into his ears.

Have plenty of towels on hand! If you need to squash a shake to avoid getting shampoo flung all over the place, drape a towel over your dog after shampooing and before rinsing. Or just embraced the bubbles!

You may also want to put a little warm water in the tub before your dog hops in to lessen any stress over the faucet.

Get going on your dog’s bath!

Start with getting your dog wet. Avoid his face and ears to keep him comfortable. Using warm water is the best idea, not too cold and not too hot.

Your most efficient way to suds up your dog is with your grooming gloves. You can place a dollop of shampoo right in the palm of your hand, and start to massage your dog. The grooming gloves will evenly distribute the shampoo, and continue to work out loose hair.

When you are ready to shampoo, start around your dog’s neck. Leaving a sudsy necklace for your dog means that any fleas that try and escape the bath by running up will jump right into suds. Not so lucky for the fleas!

Carry on with the rest of your dog!

After rinsing, you can dry your dog a few different ways. Towels are great, and so is letting your dog shake it out to get most of the water away. Blow dryers should only be used on the cool setting, and only if your dog isn’t afraid. Professional dog dryers are also an option, these serve to use the air in the room as a blow dryer.

How often are you bathing your dog?

Show Ring Ready: Grooming Tips for Your Next Horse Show

Horse show season is officially in full swing, and it’s time to look your best and feel your best so that you can perform your best!

Grooming is something that should not just begin in earnest because you have a show coming up, though. As a matter of fact, good grooming habits will, over time, reap much longer lasting benefits. And the maintenance of a healthy coat is something that takes time — you cannot realistically expect your horse to come out of his stall gleaming and shiny with zero effort prior.

So what are some of the best ways to tune up your grooming as your next show approaches? Use these best practices for show grooming and watch your horse blossom as you put that extra layer of elbow grease on!

Get Down to the Skin

Simply brushing surface dirt from your horse’s coat won’t do much. To really get that healthy shine, no amount of shine spray will replace a good, meticulous grooming. To accomplish this, you must get all the way down to the skin to help circulate healthy skin oils and remove excess dirt and dead skin cells. This process encourages healthy hair growth and lays a foundation for that shiny look we all want to see.

HandsOn Grooming Gloves are a great solution for really getting down to the skin, where healthy oils need to be distributed to encourage healthy coat growth. The five-finger design gives you even more control and articulation, as opposed to a rigid curry comb that can’t contour with the horse’s body.

Don’t Ignore the Hard-to-Reach Spots

A horse has a large body, there’s no denying that. This can make it easy to overlook spots that are difficult to reach, but this doesn’t mean you should just ignore those trouble spots.

Spots that can be tougher to groom include behind the ears, the head, between the legs, right above the hoof and fetlock area, and under the tail. Some horses don’t love having more “ticklish” areas touched, so you need to be aware of what your horse prefers and what he doesn’t. However, there are still ways to give these areas the attention they deserve!

Use your HandsOn Gloves to really get into the nooks and crannies during grooming time. Since you have the use of all five fingers while wearing the Gloves, you’ll find that you can get into those smaller or difficult to reach areas with ease.

And these areas should not be neglected! Behind the ears, sweat and residue can build up from wearing a bridle or halter. Dirt and mud can accumulate between the legs and around the fetlocks, which can lead to skin irritations. And sweat builds up due to friction between the hind legs, so this area should always be thoroughly cleaned after a good workout.

Bath Time Matters, Too

Of course, you may not give your horse a full-on bath each time you ride — if anything, this could cause a problem by removing too many natural oils from the skin with too-frequent bathing. However, baths should still be a regular part of your grooming routine. But how you bathe makes a big difference.

Take the time to properly wash each part of your horse’s body. This includes their face! Many riders skip a proper face wash if their horse prefers not to get sprayed in the face, but there are alternatives. Using your HandsOn Gloves comes in handy during bath time, enabling you to give your horse’s face a good, gentle scrub. A wet sponge or towel can be used for rinsing if the horse does not appreciate water to the face.

Bath time is a great opportunity to get a good, deep clean using your HandsOn Gloves. In a circular motion, evenly distribute the shampoo or conditioner to really work down to the skin and remove that built-up dirt and dander. When rinsing, be sure to rinse thoroughly, until the water runs clear. Using the “shower” setting on the nozzle, spraying against the growth of the hair can help lift the hair and allow for a full rinse down to the skin, which is important. You can also use your HandsOn Gloves to lift the hair and allow the rinsing water to remove all the dirt it can.

Good grooming takes time, and it’s not something you can just skimp on if you expect your horse to be shiny and, more importantly, have a healthy skin and coat. Set aside a proper amount of time for grooming and bathing, and over time you will see the results and have a shiny, happy horse in the show ring!

Spring Has Sprung: Dog Grooming Tips for Spring, Part One

Spring has officially arrived, and along with it comes shedding season. Dogs, particularly those who spend time outdoors, also are prone to skin-borne allergies and itchy hot spots during high allergy season. These irritations can add up quickly for any dog owner, so it’s best to stay on top of your daily grooming grind to keep your pup comfortable.

HandsOn Gloves are a great tool for daily grooming and even for professional groomers. How can you utilize HandsOn Gloves in your everyday routine? No matter if your dog is itchy, sheds a lot, or simply just hates grooming sessions, HandsOn Gloves can be a huge help. Here’s how:

Spring Dog Grooming for the Heavy Shedder

Most breeds of dog shed, even if the internet says otherwise. What many dog owners don’t realize, however, is that different breeds of dogs have different coat types. Therefore, it can be hard to find a “one size fits all” solution for removing excess hair. However, HandsOn Gloves are a great option for all coat types.

HandsOn Gloves provide a close feel, and the added flexibility and articulation of fingers gives you the chance to really get down to the skin. By using HandsOn Gloves in your de-shedding routine, you’ll find that excess hair is removed easily while stimulating healthy hair growth and shine by massaging the skin.

Another important thing to remember is that every dog’s coat has a shedding cycle. Professional dog groomer Hope Carlin elaborated on this subject.

“Every dog goes through a hair cycle, which can vary in length of time from one dog to another, that includes a growth phase, a resting phase, and the exogen stage which is when the hair starts to shed,” she says.

Itchy Skin? How to Make Your Dog More Comfortable

Skin gets itchy, especially if it’s improperly cared for. Things like dander, extra winter hair, and dryness can lead to itchiness and hot spots that make dogs uncomfortable. By using HandsOn Gloves in your daily routine, you’ll naturally encourage healthy skin and hair growth while the gloves stimulate the spread of natural oils on the skin. Use of the gloves stimulates the spread of natural oils (known as seban) from the skin all the way through the coat.

And allergies can be the culprit for a variety of symptoms. Hope also points out how some allergens may not be detectable at first, but they are plentiful.

“Allergies are definitely a concern,” she said. “I come across a lot of dogs who lick or chew their paws raw from skin allergies, often to grass or other weeds that are starting to pop up in their yards or dog parks. One huge thing that people often forget or don’t know about, which is more common in late summer or fall, but can become an issue again as snow melts and the remainder pops through, is grass seeds. Grass seeds are absolutely awful and can wreak havoc on your dog. These are most often found between the paw pads, in the webbing of the toes, or in ears. They are a small seed that can latch onto the skin with a tiny barb and then with movement from the dog work their way into the skin and cause infections and abscesses. The most common one I find is called a foxtail.”

Regular checks of the skin and in between the toes can make a big difference for your dog’s level of comfort, especially during itchy spring allergy season.

In addition, make sure that you’re bathing your dog regularly for the best results. Working through mud, dirt, dust, or other unmentionables your dog may find outside can be difficult. HandsOn Gloves also work well for bath time!

Looking for more spring dog grooming tips? Stay tuned for part two of this series, coming next week!

The Benefits of Grooming Your Horse After Exercise

A horse that uses a horse curry brush.Groom after your horse exercises!

Most of us diligently groom our horses before we tack up and ride. After a ride is a particularly nice time to do this, for several reasons!

You horse might like a post exercise massage. Who wouldn’t?

You will be able to notice any cuts or nicks on your horse’s legs that he may have picked up while being ridden.

You might also find some sores or rubs from your horse’s tack.

You have another chance to stir up some loose hair to keep his coat tidy!

You will me bringing up more natural oils from his skin, helping to bring out that shine!

The footing or arena dust needs to come off.

You can check your horse for sore muscles after his exercise.

Many horses get a little itchy from the tack, this is a nice way to take care of that for your horse.

His body will need to come back to a normal temperature – in the summer he might need to cool off with a shower, in the winter he might need to wear a cooler for a bit.

It’s one more chance to bond with your horse.

It’s just plain good horsemanship!

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