Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring is in the Air

After the last few months of hiding under layers of clothes, and snuggling on the couch eating bon-bons with Tito, my Pomeranian, it’s official, we are both ready for warmer weather. But, not so fast! Slipping into spring means more than unpacking the wardrobe from the closet. It means shedding that winter weight, breaking out the bronzer and putting personal grooming habits back into high gear! Tito has spent the winter swaddled in sweaters, trudging through mucky weather, and missing out on lots of active playtime, so, just like lots of dogs, getting ready for spring means diet, exercise, and a groom overhaul.

When winter jackets come off many dogs natural coats have become snarled and knotty. Brushing is a key part of canine care and begins by choosing the proper brush for your dog’s coat type. Mist on a leave-in conditioner, or a few drops of conditioner diluted in water, before starting. Hair is elastic and when it is moistened becomes more manageable and easier to brush out. A nice brushing is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your pet and, if done properly, should make every inch of your pup’s skin visible. Meaning, brushing is also an important tool in early detection of many types of skin issues. Early detection often means more affordable solutions, and I know we’d all like to keep those vet bills down!

Chances are the winter months haven’t kept Fido’s weight down though. Unfortunately, our dogs suffer the same weight gain consequences of comforting winter portions, and not enough activity, that we do. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercise habits are key to a long happy life for your dog. With longer daylight hours take an extra lap around the block, or meet up with your friends and their pups for a social hour at the park. When it’s snack time swap out your dog’s usual treats for vegetables, chances are your dog will beg for a carrot or a blueberry just as much as he does for a share of the bacon. Small changes will make it easier for him to get into slinky springtime shape in no time

Getting your puppy pal ready to prance next to your new spring Louboutin’s is really important to his well-being and vital to doing justice to your new spring wardrobe. What’s the best way to get yourself into shape for that wardrobe? Don’t ask me! Get a trainer.

Much Love and Good Hair,

Jorge Bendersky

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Red Carpet Ready for Rover

Oscar fever is in the air as they approach on Sunday February 26th, and even I can’t help but get excited to see the show. Of course my vote is for The Artist, with that adorable Jack Russell terrier stealing every black and white scene. But it’s not the days of Lassie, when her soft hued “bedroom eyes” could make the other dogs swoon. Today’s high definition cameras show under eye tear stains that can make a dog look more like your last hangover! While we can dab on some cover up, your dog’s tear stains can be a little bit trickier to handle.

A dog’s tear stains are caused by a number of factors; nutrition, external irritations, or even simple genetics. The discoloration that happens under the eyes is most often caused by bacteria growth. Each dog is different, so the remedy for each will be different as well.

Your dog’s diet could be affecting bacteria growth in their system, so changing their food could help. I believe natural is always better, so make sure to check ingredients. Sometimes a daily dose of calcium carbonate, like that found in an antacid, will be enough to adjust the pH of their tears, making it harder for bacteria to grow.

It’s not hard to imagine the environmental issues that could affect your pint-sized companion, walking side by side with your fabulous Manolo Blahnik’s puts Fifi right on level with dust, dirt, and car exhaust! All of that debris could cause even the happiest pup to shed some tears. Wiping her face after each walk will help to keep the tear ducts clean and ready to work properly, keeping your pup’s eyes clear and bright. When tearing does occur an all natural way to kill bacteria and microbes is colloidal silver water, found at most health stores. Daily application with a spray bottle or cotton pad can prevent staining from ruining an otherwise great face.

Whatever the reason for your dog’s tear stains, these tips should help you and your dog leave that runny mascara look in the past and, just like the pros, be ready for your close up in no time!

By Jorge Bendersky,

Celebrity Dog Expert and Groomer

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bright Lights, Dog City: Westminster Dog Show is Here Again

In New York City this Valentine’s Day, you might see the Empire State Building glowing purple and gold. Celebrating gay marriage rights? Lovely thought, but no. Purple and gold are the Westminster Kennel Club’s colors and a sign that the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is back again. This competition is a chance for the best breeders in the world to show off their breeding program, and compete for a title. A dog with champion parents or even having a celebrity owner, doesn’t mean he’s a sure thing though, because this show is reserved to dogs already holding American Championship titles, and competition is fierce.

A prancing poodle with perfect bracelets and a nice round pom might look more like something seen on Toddlers and Tiaras, but that primping is about more than looks. A pretty face but imperfect specimen of dog need not apply, because being picture perfect goes deeper than a nice coat and a hot trot. Grooming is, of course, a key element, but the right diet, trim look, training, and relationship with the handler are important factors when it comes time for a dog’s turn in the ring. Who better to understand the pressure of being physically perfect than former dancers from the New York City Ballet, Heather Watts and Damien Woetzel? They were owners who could understand the pressure, but that doesn’t necessarily help when a dog takes a twirl in the ring, facing being compared to the standards of perfection for the breed. Tutus aside, crowning a champion is serious business.

That serious business will get a little more interesting in its 136th year, as the WKC is making sure the competition isn’t getting predictable by introducing six new competing breeds, in a variety of shapes, sizes, and show groups. From fluffy, like the Finnish Lapphund, a reindeer herding dog, or hairless, like the Xoloitzcuintli, the national breed of Mexico, this change shows dedication to preserving purebred recognized breeds.

A champion dog’s show life might be short, whether bred from a Westminster winner, or with a celebrity sugar daddy, like Bill Cosby, and eventually, each dog will retire to the ease of a pet dog’s life. But while the lights are bright at Madison Square Garden on February 13th and 14th dog lovers everywhere have the chance to see what this sport’s favorite spectacle is really all about.

Much Love,
Jorge Bendersky

Heart to Heart

This year, as Valentine’s Day nears, I have been thinking a lot about relationships, well, the relationship between a dog and his person that is. (What can I say, I’m not a romantic and my life has literally gone to the dogs!) My own Pomeranian, Tito, for example, is not just my dog, he lets me watch trashy tv, and wakes up to get coffee with me in the morning. Tito listens when I just feel like talking – we all know texting can be exhausting! - and he is always happy to see me after a long day of work.

It’s not just me though. In my line of work, grooming the dogs of New York’s elite, I see that whether you live uptown or downtown, everybody gets stressed. But when a little pup comes in the room, even a fashion diva or a big shot lawyer can’t help but smile. What if you don’t have a career in high fashion and carry your dog around in Gucci? Well, my experience says the positive effects of a dog are universal.

This is not just my opinion. Many studies, by doctors and psychologists, prove that owning a dog can actually help make you a happier and healthier person. Petting your dog calms you down and reduces your anxiety, which helps lower blood pressure and reduces heart related diseases. Having a dog to come home to, play with, and take walks with can help fight off depression or loneliness and will lead to a more active lifestyle. Being out with your dog could even help you get a date!

When it comes down to it, having Tito around might actually be making me a better person. Don’t tell Tito though, we don’t need his ego getting any bigger!

With Love,

Jorge Bendersky

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