The best site I've seen for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel health matters, specialists and other topics is www.cavalierhealth.org. Its a great site and provides all kinds of information about Cavalier health issues.
The question is...what can we do to keep our Cavaliers healthy every single day besides annual exams, vaccinations as needed, heartworm medicine and possibly some other medicines for fleas, worms and ticks, if needed? First of all - feed them a high quality dog food. The grain-free craze is about over for the show community, although there a several limited ingredient dog foods that are good. Just avoid the grocery store brands. Most of them are full of "chicken meal" and "by-products" and other stuff that is rendered from animal body parts that we won't talk about. Look at the ingredients...is meat the first thing? What are all of the additives? Can you pronounce them? Look up your food on the internet - ratings, comments and independent quality reviews.
Careful on those chewable medicines for fleas and other parasites...some of them are very strong and can cause serious reaction....research these medicines before you use them and talk to your vet.
Then there are the supplements. Our community generally doesn't give pet tabs (i.e. vitamins for dogs) because if the food is good quality they should get everything they need from it. But there are some supplements that might do some good, such as Omega 3's (like those fish oil capsules), royal jelly capsules or supplements for coat health. We give those sometimes to our show dogs to keep their coats in peak condition.
But with our older cavaliers (over 12 months)...especially those with heart issues or living with pain....there is a new product out there for pets that may help if your pet is suffering from some ailment. New in the dog world is CBD oil for dogs (not the human kind - its too strong for dogs). I tried a health-blend supplement (omega 3's for heart health and antioxidants, yucca root for digestion, hawthorn berry for circulation and CBD oil for pain, inflammation and anxiety) for the first time a few months ago for one of my girls who has a chronic disease - and it changed her life! You would never know that she has any issues (I have to remind myself sometimes) because she runs, plays and carries on as if she was a puppy. It's really amazing. If you are interested in learning more about this supplement, I am offering it to anyone who might benefit from it....follow this link and read a little more about it. You can also order it from this site. It lasts about six weeks per bottle. You can call me too if you want to talk about it and see if it would benefit your pet. Its the best CBD-based pet supplement on the market (no pesticides, mercury-free, fully organic and THC-free)
Cut and paste this link into your browser: https://lauriewyatt.primemybody.com. There are some other human-grade products there too....and they are also excellent...but for now we will focus on the PET product. Select that option and read more about it.
Send me a note, too, if you have comments or questions about any of this at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cavalier Grooming Tips and Tricks
I thought some of you might be interested in some of the grooming tips we use for preparing out dogs for the show ring. Here they are:
- Many shampoos are very drying to Cavalier skin, so pick one that is a dog shampoo. Many of us use Isle of Dogs shampoos for our show dogs.
- We might groom our dogs every week - 2 weeks maximum, and some of the more vigilant show breeders and dog handlers will wash ears 2X/week as Cavaliers tend toward oily ears and they will get greasy and smelly, and may get yeast infections.
- One handler I know uses Selsun Blue shampoo for whitening, medicating skin at the same time.
- Creme rinse helps a lot with tangles and loosening dead hair - some of us use Pantene as its a really good detangler and won't dry out skin (get the Moisturizing version)
- I use Greyhound slicker (like cat brushes) and pin brushes (the metal pins sticking out 0f the brush). They are the best, but any good quality brushes will do
- When you get a mat, don't cut it off horizontally close to the skin, cut through it vertically from the skin side outward using blunt end (kids) scissors, and pull the knot apart, pull out the dead hair and comb it out. It blends in better with the coat around the area.
- Don't forget to trim nails and hair under their pads! Grinders are good if your dog is scared of clippers. Don't get too close to the pink part of the nail unless you want a disaster on your hands!
- Get a grooming table and the accessories to keep the dog safe on the table
- If you blow them dry - use room air - no heat. It takes longer but they will be a lot more comfortable
- If you want their ears to be a little fluffier - add some mousse to their ears to add volume
- Dry ears brushing UPWARD, not down - gets the moisture from under their hair better and adds volume to their ears. Blow both the outside of the ear, and the inside of their ear so that the ear is dry underneath too - don't let them get an ear infection!
- If you've got a Cavalier with a fluffy coat, there are things called "drying coats" that will flatten their hair. Try looking at cjcraftsandgifts.com for their drying coats. They can really make your dog look great!
Feel free to email me at email@example.com with any of your grooming questions.