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Nail Trimming

It helps if you frequently touch and hold your dog’s paws (gently and cheerfully), so they won’t become sensitive to having their feet handled.

Day 1: Let your dog sniff the nail clipper or grinder. Give a treat and praise.

Day 2: Touch the nail clipper or grinder lightly on each paw. Give a treat and praise.

Day 3: Touch the nail clipper to each paw and squeeze the clipper so the dog hears the sound, or turn the grinder on and let the dog feel the vibration. Don’t actually trim a nail. Give a treat and praise.

Day 4: Touch the nail clipper or grinder to your dogs feet again. Give a treat and praise.

Day 5: Try trimming off just the very tiniest tip from one front paw nail. Only trim one nail. Offer lots of happy praise and a treat if your dog lets you. Even if he lets you, just do one. Repeat every day until he lets you do this and doesn’t seem to mind.

Day 6: Try trimming just the tip off of just two nails.

Day 7: Keep working your way up, trimming additional nails each day, until you’ve got them all and your dog doesn’t mind. Practice even when you don’t need to clip a nail. Even pretending you are clipping and going through the motions helps your dog get used to the whole process.

Ear Cleaning

Before you begin, take a moment to inspect your dog’s ears. If they appear red & inflamed, they smell bad, or your dog shows signs that they itch, stop what you’re doing and contact The Pets I Love. Your dog may have an ear infection.

Things You’ll Need: 

  • Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner
  • Cotton balls or pads
  • Treats

After getting your pup to sit, reward them with a treat and allow them to inspect the bottle of Epi-Otic Advanced ear cleaner.

Hold the ear flap upright and carefully fill the ear canal with cleaning solution.

Keeping the ear flap out of the way, gently massage the base of the ear with your fingers for about twenty seconds.

Release the ear and allow your dog to shake his head if he desires. 

Use a cotton ball or a cotton pad wrapped around your index finger to gently wipe the visible part of your dog’s ear canal and outer ear. 

Reward your pup with another treat and then repeat these steps for the other ear.

Don’t use hydrogen peroxide on your pup.

Do not use cotton tip applicators (Q-tips®), due to the risk of perforating the eardrum or causing trauma to the ear canal.

Removing a Tick

Using a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the animal’s skin as possible.

Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you cannot remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by:

  • Putting it in alcohol
  • Placing it in a sealed bag/container
  • Wrapping it tightly in tape
  • Flushing it down the toilet

After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water.

Applying Eye Drops

Your furry friend may require eye drops at some point in their life, be it for a chronic condition or a one-time occurrence. This process need not be a hassle for you or your pet. Follow these simple steps to make administering eye drops to your dog a breeze:

Gather the necessary items:

  • Positive reinforcement and distraction tools, such as food or toys
  • A spoon with a dab of peanut butter for your dog to lick (optional)

Get comfortable. For smaller dogs, you may choose to use a table, chair, or your lap, if your pet is comfortable. For larger dogs, leave them on the floor.

Uncap the eye drop bottle or ointment tube.

Have your dog seated or standing, looking at you or at a right angle. Large dogs can rest their chin on your leg, the edge of the couch, or a chair to reduce downward motion.

Avoid bending over or toward your pet. It is best to crouch to the side or behind the pet.

Position the bottle near your pet’s eye. Hold the bottle or tube horizontally or tilted up so it is not dribbling on the pet.

Position your hand from underneath and behind the ear, as if you are petting the dog. Rest the outside/pinky edge of your hand on the dog’s head, behind their eyebrow. This should preferably be just outside of their peripheral vision. 

Make a kissy or smoochy noise, or say their name in a high-pitched happy tone to get them to look up. This opens their eyes wider for you.

Quickly drop in the drop/ointment without touching the lid or the eye – gravity does most of the work for you.

Follow with food from your other hand, or use it for the entire duration of the process if needed. If you need to put drops in both eyes, some dogs will allow you to shift immediately to the other eye. Others may need a short break, and the process may need to be repeated.

With these steps, administering eye drops to your dog will be a stress-free process for both you and your furry friend.

Administering Subcutaneous Fluid

Administering supplemental fluids can benefit dogs and cats with a variety of medical conditions. This entails giving fluids to pets in order to keep them hydrated and their electrolytes balanced. Most commonly, home fluid therapy is recommended for dogs and cats with kidney disease.

Get comfortable. For smaller dogs, you may choose to use a table, chair, or your lap, if your pet is comfortable. For larger dogs, leave them on the floor. Be sure both of you are in area that will be comfortable for about 10-15 minutes.

Hang or hold the fluid bag above your pet’s head. You can create a hanger using a coat hanger as well.

Using your nondominant hand (Your left hand if you are right-handed), lift an area of loose skin (“tenting” the skin)

With your dominant hand, hold the needle near its hub (where it attaches to the fluid line). Position the needle parallel to the spine with the tip aimed toward your pet’s head.

Advance the needle slightly forward while pulling the roll of skin towards the needle. This motion should be firm and steady, not shaky, and will position the needle just under the skin.

Release the roll of skin, but keep the needle under the skin.

Grasp the fluid set lock with one hand and begin the flow of fluids by rolling the roller upward.

A fluid pouch will swell under the skin where you are administering fluids. This is normal and will gradually be absorbed.

When the desired amount of fluid has been given, close the roller clamp, withdraw the needle, and recap it. It’s common for a small amount of fluid to leak from the injection site.

Never use a needle twice due to the loss of sterility and sharpness. Place a new sterile needle on the drip set as soon as you are finished. This prevents bacteria that were picked up on the old needle from migrating up into the fluid bag. If you wish, you may return used needles to The Pets I Love for proper disposal.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Our team of veterinary professionals will be glad to answer any questions you may have about safely administering fluid injections to your pet.

Ask your veterinary team to teach you how to administer fluid injections safely. If you aren’t comfortable giving injections, ask about scheduling outpatient visits for the fluid injections to be given.

Administering Oral Medication to Dogs

Your furry friend may require medication at some point in their life, be it for a chronic condition or a one-time occurrence. While some dogs and cats take their medicine without any issues, many require some persuasion. It’s important to stay calm during the process, no matter how many attempts it takes to be successful – your pets can sense your stress, which will only make them more nervous. Remember to praise and reward your pet after they have taken their medicine to encourage good behavior.

One of the best ways to get your dog or cat to swallow a pill, is to disguise it in food. Pills can often be hidden inside pieces of canned food, peanut butter, cheese or some other delicacy; however, some pets will simply sniff out the pill and refuse to eat the treat or eat around the pill. 

Administering Oral Medication to Your Pet: A Step-by-Step Guide

With one hand, grasp your dog’s muzzle from above. Position your hand so that the tips of your fingers are at the corner of the mouth on one side and your thumb at the corner of the mouth on the other side. 

While gently tipping your dog’s head back so that the chin points upward, squeeze behind the canine upper teeth with your fingers. This should cause the lower jaw to open a little bit. With your other hand, push on the lower front teeth to open the jaw further.

Quickly place the medication as far back in the mouth as possible. Preferably on the back of the tongue. Do not place your hand too far into the mouth, however, as this may cause your dog to choke and gag. 

Gently lower your dog’s head and keep his mouth closed by wrapping your fingers around his muzzle. Gently rubbing your dog’s nose may stimulate swallowing. 

In addition to the steps outlined above, there are a few more tips to keep in mind when administering oral medication to your pet:

  • Make sure to check with your veterinarian about any specific instructions for administering the medication, such as whether it should be given with food or on an empty stomach.
  • Use a pill pocket or a small amount of wet food to help your pet swallow the pill more easily.
  • If your pet is particularly difficult to medicate, you may want to consider using a pill syringe or asking your veterinarian about alternative options such as liquid medication.
  • Always follow the prescribed dosage and schedule for the medication to ensure your pet’s safety and effectiveness of treatment.

If you encounter any problems or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact The Pets I Love for guidance and assistance.


Administering Oral Medication to Cats


Giving Pills to Cats

‘Grease’ the pill with a very small amount of gravy from canned food or a piece of a soft treat so it does not stick in your cat’s mouth or throat and will be easier to swallow. This is very helpful with the administration of capsules.

Hold the pill between your dominant hand’s thumb and index finger.

Gently grasp your cat’s head from above with your other hand by placing your thumb on one side of the upper jaw and your fingers on the other. Tilt your cat’s head back over her shoulder so that her nose points to the ceiling. Her jaw should drop open slightly. With your pilling hand, use your little finger and ring finger to open your cat’s mouth further by gently putting pressure on the lower lip and front teeth.

Quickly place the pill as far back over the tongue as possible. Try to place it on the back one-third of the tongue to stimulate an automatic swallowing reflex, then close your cat’s mouth and hold it closed while you return her head to a normal position.

Gently rub your cat’s nose or throat or blow lightly on her nose. This should stimulate swallowing. Usually, a cat will lick its nose with its tongue if it has swallowed the pill. In some cases, it may help the cat swallow the pill better if you follow the pill with a little tuna juice, flavored broth, or water gently squirted into the mouth with a syringe or offer the tuna juice or flavored broth in a teaspoon or a bowl.

Right after pilling your cat, give her some positive reinforcement (e.g., treat, brushing, petting, or playing). Be sure it is something that your cat enjoys.