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Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog in the Rain

The highlight of your dog’s day is going for a regular walk each and every day. Not only is it an exciting opportunity for adventure for your dog, but a daily walk is also a way to get the necessary exercise that keeps your dog happy and healthy. Unfortunately, the weather may not always be perfect for walking your dog every day. Although spring does bring warmer temperatures to the Nashville area, strong storm systems with thunder, lightning, hail, and even tornadoes are common, which is why 5 Points Animal Hospital recommends that dog owners regularly check the daily and weekly weather forecast. While you should never go outside with your dog when a thunderstorm, tornado, flood, or other severe weather warning has been issued by the National Weather Service, you can still take your dog on shorter versions of his daily walk on rainy days. We would like to share with you a few tips to keep you and your dog safe when walking in the rain. 

Couple Wwalking their dog in the rain

Be aware of low visibility dangers.

Think about how hard it can be to see when you are driving in the pouring rain. To keep your dog safe around cars in low visibility, PetMD recommends avoiding going for walks during heavy rainstorms. If rain is in the forecast, try to take your dog on his daily walk before the storm arrives. If a rainy walk is unavoidable, keep it shorter than usual.

Seek shelter if you hear thunder or see lightning.

Many dogs can get spooked by thunderstorms, which is why you should always avoid walking your pet during a thunderstorm warning. However, these types of storms can pop up suddenly in this area, so if you ever see lightning or hear thunder, you should quickly seek shelter. Be sure to stay away from trees and high points to stay safe as you are on your way to the closest shelter.

Avoid puddles.

Although your dog may love to jump into puddles when you are on your daily walks, standing water can contain infectious bacteria or harmful chemicals that can make your dog very sick if he came into contact with it. To keep your dog from being tempted to drink from puddles, always offer him plenty of water before and during your walks. If your dog does step in a puddle during a walk, you should immediately clean his paws when you return home to keep him from ingesting any of the water when he licks his paws. Soak each paw for 30 seconds in antiseptic mouthwash that is diluted with water, and towel the paws dry. 

Stay alert to symptoms of pneumonia and other illnesses.

Just like humans, dogs can be more susceptible to developing respiratory illnesses when exposed to cold, rainy weather for too long. You can keep your dog from getting sick by drying him with a warm towel or blanket as soon as you come home from a rainy walk. If you notice him wheezing, coughing, or having any other type of difficulty with breathing, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital immediately. Pneumonia can be life-threatening, so you can count on us to provide the best veterinary medical care to your pet in our comprehensive full-service East Nashville clinic.

Nail Trimming Tricks

Although it can seem very intimidating, cutting your dog’s nails is actually easier than you may think. Knowing the best steps to take is key for getting comfortable enough to take on this routine grooming task. You should also have the right tools for a safe and proper job. While you can always bring your dog into our office at 5 Points Animal Hospital to have us cut his nails for you, it can be more convenient for you to do this at home. This is especially true if you have a breed that requires a weekly cut. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to make trimming your dog’s nails easier for you and for your pet.

Never underestimate the importance of a good trimmer.

You need to find a sturdy trimmer that you find easy to use. After you have practiced using the trimmer enough to feel comfortable, PetMD recommends getting your dog used to the trimmer. You can do this by holding it close by his feet and giving your dog treats and praise. Do this again the next day, but also squeeze the trimmer so it makes a noise. Do this another day, and your dog should be used to the sight and sound of the trimmer.

Cut from underneath.

You should always cut the nail from underneath and not from the top downward like you would trim your own nails. Stay in the whitish part of the nail and away from the pink area, which is the quick. The quick has blood vessels throughout its part of the nail, which is why a dog bleeds so heavily if his nail is cut too deeply.

Check carefully for the quick if your dog has black hair and nails.

Look at the end of the nail, and you should see that the dead area is whitish or grayish. As you cut deeper, the nail gets darker, and that is where the quick begins. You can also look for a triangular shape with two outer “walls” on the underside of the nail at the tip. This is safe to cut off as there should be no quick in that triangle.

Have some tissue paper handy.

If you should accidentally cut your dog’s nail too short, place a small piece of tissue paper against the bleeding part of the nail. You can also use clotting powder, or even just let it bleed as it should stop within five to seven minutes. If it bleeds longer than that, call us at 5 Points Animal Hospital.

If you would like to get a lesson from our staff on how to cut your dog’s nails, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital. We are more than happy to help you be able to do this grooming task without fear.

The Importance of Proper Dog Hygiene

When you own a dog, keeping him clean should be a very important part of your routine. You want your pet to be comfortable and healthy. Good hygiene plays a big role in achieving this goal! Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital is often asked about the best hygiene routines for dogs. So, now we would like to share with you a few tips on how to easily keep your dog’s ears, teeth, and skin clean. Following these maintenance practices will make your dog happy and prevent future health problems.


Keeping your dog’s ears clean is essential. It prevents parasites as well as bacterial, yeast, and fungal infections, according to VetInfo. 5 Points Animal Hospital can recommend a mild cleaning solution you can use once a week. You will squeeze a bit of the solution into your dog’s ears and then massage the base of the ear for about 30 seconds. Wipe away any excess solution and discharge with a cotton pad. Never stick anything far into your dog’s ear canal to avoid damaging the eardrum.


Starting a daily dental routine with your dog is important to keep infection and inflammation from developing into periodontal disease. Choose a dog toothbrush that fits his mouth comfortably. You might find that a finger comb is easier to use. Beginning with the back teeth, use circular motions to scrub the teeth and gums. You will want to keep these teeth cleanings as short as possible to keep your dog comfortable. Always use positive praise to help your dog learn to enjoy this routine.


Skin infections, such as hot spots, can make your dog miserable. Insect bites, allergies, wet and matted hair, and excessive scratching can all lead to both irritations and wounds. These can become infected. Knowing how to maintain your dog’s skin and fur can prevent these problems. You should keep your dog trimmed and groomed, especially during the summer months when it is hot, to avoid knotted and matted hair.

While bathing your dog regularly is important, you should only bathe your dog once a month as frequent baths can cause dry and itchy skin, which can become infected more easily. After giving your dog a bath, make sure you dry him off completely. Nutrition is very important in maintaining a healthy coat and skin, so make sure you are feeding your dog a balanced diet. 5 Points Animal Hospital can help you find the right food for your dog, and we can also recommend the best flea and tick prevention medicine to keep your pet safe from insect bites.

A clean dog is a happy and healthy dog. February is Pet Dental Health Month. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for a professional teeth cleaning this month and save 15 percent as part of our celebration of this month.

The Importance of Keeping Your Dog’s Nails Trimmed

Trimmed Dog Nails If you are like many dog owners, you dread trimming his nails, but your dog’s health depends on you doing this grooming task regularly. Fortunately, you do have other options to make sure your dog’s nails are kept short. You can always take your dog to your favorite groomer, or you can stop by 5 Points Animal Hospital to have one of our techs do this job. We can also show you the best way to trim your dog’s nails yourself to help you feel more comfortable doing it yourself. We would like to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get about trimming dog’s nails to let you know why this task is necessary.

Why is it so important to keep my dog’s nails trimmed?

If your dog spends a lot of time outside, his nails are kept short because they get worn down from running on hard surfaces, like concrete. However, if you have an indoor dog, he most likely does not get enough time on the right surfaces. According to The Whole Dog Journal, untrimmed nails can cause your dog harm. If the nails become so long that they touch the ground as your dog walks, they are forced back into the nail bed, which is very painful. This also puts pressure on the toe joint which, over time, can realign the joints of the foreleg. This compromises the distribution of weight and the natural alignment, which makes it easier for your dog to get injured. If the nails get too long, they can grow into the foot pad.

How short should I be cutting my dog’s nails?

You have trimmed the nails to the right length if the nails do not make contact with the ground when your dog is standing. If you can hear the nails clicking on the ground, you need to trim the nails shorter.

Should I trim my dog’s dewclaws?

Found on the inside of your dog’s leg, the dewclaw does need to be trimmed. Since this nail never touches the ground, it does not get worn down at all. The dewclaw tends to be much pointier than the other nails, and because of its loose attachment to the forelimb, your dog will probably not mind your trimming it as much as the other nails.

Make sure you are keeping your dog’s nails trimmed on a regular basis. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital for any questions and help you may have about this important grooming routine.

Signs Your Dog May Need to See a Vet

Signs Your Dog May Need to See a Vet Image - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal HospitalYour dog is a treasured member of your family, and you would never want him to be suffering from an illness or any other ailment. However, your dog cannot complain to tell you what is wrong, which is why it is important to know the signs that tell you your dog needs to go see the vet. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to tell you about some of these warning signs so you will be aware of any symptoms that need medical attention.

Changes in eating routines

According to HealthLine, it can be normal for your dog to skip a meal or two, especially in the summer when it is hot outside. However, missing more than two meals is a sign of something wrong. You should also take your dog to the vet if he begins eating more than normally.

Changes in coat

If you notice any rough, bald, or dry patches on your dog’s fur, your dog could have a problem with his food, an allergy, or a skin disease. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to find out what the problem could be.

Changes in energy level

When your dog is sluggish and lethargic, it is a clear sign that something could be wrong. Although fatigue and sore muscles can be normal in hot weather, you should bring your dog in for an exam if these symptoms last for more than two days in a row.

Changes in stool

Your dog should have moist stools that are small and firm. Dry, hard stools are signs of dehydration, dietary problems, and other sicknesses. If your dog is straining, having diarrhea, or bloody stools for more than two days in a row, you need to contact us to schedule an exam as soon as possible.

Changes in eye appearance

If you notice cloudy or red eyes, excessive discharge from the eyes, or squinting, this could indicate an infection. Bring your dog into the vet to get medication to clear up any sort of infection before it worsens.

Be alert to these warning signs to keep your dog healthy and happy. Contact us st 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an exam whenever you notice any of these signs.

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