How to Get That Healthy Winter Fur Coat (for your dog, not you)!

Yorkshire terrier

What is a dog owner to do with the havoc this weather wrecks on your dog’s fur coat? This winter the temperature is swinging between sunny/60  and windy/17 degrees! Here are three things to consider for a healthy fur coat: bathing, grooming, and diet.

Dogs should really only be bathed twice a year – overbathing drys the skin and coat.
You can always go the easy route and do a quick wash-cloth wipe down for your furry baby. One commercial wipe is Earthbath All Natural Hypo-Allergenic and Fragrance Free or use plain old baby wipes.

When washing, use either a dog shampoo or a baby shampoo. These won’t hurt their eyes and is non-toxic. Vet’s recommend shampoos like: Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo,  Halo Cloud Nine herbal shampoo, Vet Solutions Aloe and Oatmeal Shampoo, and 1-800-Pet meds even has their own moisture shampoo!

The ASPCA has the following statement:
” Because of their activities, breed types, or individual skin or coat types, some dogs need baths more often than others. Other dogs spend lots of time outdoors and get dirty fast. However, if you bathe your dog too often, you might cause skin irritation and flaking, so be sure to check with your dog’s veterinarian to find out how frequently you should give your dog baths”.

It is recommended by Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer) that you “bathe a dog with normal skin once a month with dog shampoo or human baby shampoo. If you want to bathe more often than that, use a soap-free or moisturizing shampoo to prevent the skin from becoming dry. Unless a dog has skin problems, there is no specific need to bathe the dog except to make him a more enjoyable (smelling) companion.”

Your dog’s coat has natural oils on his skin, and brushing every day helps spread those oils throughout the coat,  keeps it shiny, and removes any dirt/burrs. Bristle brushes can be used on all fur. For short fur, Four Paws Magic Coat Red Pet Love Glove or a close-spaced bristle brush. For Medium fur, a pin brush to get the strays or a slicker brush with fine wire bristles to remove mats and tangles. For Long fur, a wire pin brush or medium bristle work best, although, there is the Furminator Deshedder if you really want to get the undercoat fur.

You don’t want a dull coat or dandruff, so making sure your dog EATS well is important. Healthy fats play an important role in keeping your dog’s coat in good condition. If your dog has dry skin in the winter, try adding Olive Oil to his food. Vegetable oils are also a source of omega-6 fatty acids. Pet stores sell omega-6 supplements, but “honestly, sunflower oil or safflower oil works fine,”Veterinary says. For a small dog, stir in one teaspoon of oil per meal. For a large dog, give one tablespoon per meal.

If you need pet sitting in the Raleigh, Cary, Apex, NC area…

Call Four Paws Pet Sitting Services (919) 388-PAWS

Our Vacation visits include lots of love and brushing too!

Thank you Nicole B., one of our pet sitters in Cary, NC for writing this article.

Choosing The Right Dog Breed For Your Home

puppiesAre you considering bringing a new dog into your home, but can’t decide which breed best suits you?

Here are some things you need to consider:


What size dog are you looking for?

Pocket: Under 5 lbs.

Tiny: 5 to 12 lbs.

Miniature: 13 to 25 lbs.

Small: 26 to 39 lbs.

Medium: 40 to 59 lbs.
Large: 60 to 89 lbs.

Very large: 90 to 105 lbs.
Enormous: 105 lbs.


The size of your home should be a large part of what type of dog you decide on.

Apartments or Condos are more suited for smaller breeds.

A home with a fenced in yard is ideal for larger breeds.

Activity Level

How much time do you have to devote to the exercising of your ‘Furry Friend’?

Dogs need to have plenty of daily outdoor time and exercise.

Be sure you are ready to put in the time.

Regular exercise can help prevent aggression, insecurities and boredom for dogs.

Coat Type and Length of Hair

What texture type and length are you looking for?  Straight, Wavy/ Wiry, Curly/Corded, Soft, Bristly or Silky?

What length do you want? Short, Medium, Long or Double Coated?

How much a dog sheds depends on the breed.


Care for a dog requires regular Veterinarian visits, baths, nail trimming, teeth cleaning and extra grooming for some breeds.

These are higher maintenance and need to be combed daily and groomed on a regular basis.

Be sure you are ready to commit to the breeds requirements.

Children Appropriate

Is the dog “Kid Friendly” or are the Children “Dog Friendly”?

Some breeds are best suited for children above the age of 4.

Be sure to research the breed you are considering to make sure they are “Kid Friendly” if you have small children.

Reason for Getting Your Canine Friend?

Companionship for you?

Companionship for another pet?

Guard Dog?

Popularity of Breed?



Are you looking for a breed that is more sociable or more independent?

Reviewing these points can help you make the best choice of dog breed for your family and situation.

We at Four Paws Pet Sitting Services are here for your dog walking and pet sitting needs.

Does Your Dog Have A Routine?

DSCN0372-copy-300x225Routine is a critical part in developing an obedient, stress-free dog.

Dogs need a structure to feel secure and to behave appropriately.

Knowing when they will be fed, walked and played with on a regular basis is key to making your dog feel more relaxed and secure.

Without routine your dog will not adapt well to life changes.

Some situations that could disrupt your dog’s routine and cause stress are:

  • Traveling
  • New Home/New Owner
  • Boredom
  • Your Absence
  • New Family Member or Visitor
  • Thunder/Fireworks/Loud Noises
  • New Pet
  • Environmental Changes

You can look to pet sitters to help with your dog’s routine when you can’t be there.

Pet sitters can come in and walk your dog and provide exercise as well as feed your dog on a timely basis when you have to work long hours.

Here are some ways you can help your dog in stressful situations:

  • Crate Trained. Once accustomed, a crate becomes a place your dog can always count on to feel safe in
  • Confinement. If you are having a gathering, or introducing new people into the home, confine your dog to one room where they have a bed or crate. This makes them feel safe, especially if they are territorial.
  • There are some new products out (Shirts) for dogs that have anxiety caused by loud noises. Examples: fireworks, thunder etc. These shirts wrap the dog as if they were being held and help them feel more secure. Some dogs react well to these products.

By maintaining the daily routine in your dog’s life and keeping them healthy, active, mentally stimulated and well fed, you will go a long way toward preventing or treating any stress they may encounter.

If you are in the Raleigh, NC area, we at Four Paws Pet Sitting Services offer mid day dog walks at a discounted price for 5 days a week.

We will be glad to help you keep your pets in a routine!

Give us a call. 919-388-7297 or Request Info