TODAY   |  March 10, 2014

How to keep your pets looking (and feeling) good

Beth Stern, spokesperson for North Shore Animal League (and wife of radio personality Howard Stern) joins TODAY to offer grooming and exercise tips to get your pets in shape for spring.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> with "today's pets." animals getting ready for spring. she's the national spokesperson for the north shore animal league . beth, good morning.

>> hi, matt.

>> people think about grooming pets and think it's all for esthetic reasons, it's for health reasons, also.

>> health reasons and i also say it's a bonding experience with your pet. really, when you groom your dog, you know this was mela.

>> this is tamron's dog here.

>> but for overall health and well being , it's springtime. let's get off that winter grime of new york city streets. let's bathe our dog. let's get your dog into shape. perfect time .

>> all right. now, we've got little dogs here. it's a little different if you're talking about a german shepherd or something like that. what about water temperature?

>> warm water. except in the summer when your dog has skin issues. maybe the cooler water is more soothing.

>> dip her in?

>> put her in.

>> does she like this, first of all?

>> no, but i need to groom her at home because she's sensitive to other people touching her.

>> i prefer a spray nozzle attachment. but she's a small dog, little chihuahua. let's get her wet, completely wet.

>> what kind of shampoo?

>> do not use human shampoo, dog only shampoo.

>> a lot of dogs don't like getting their heads wet. you have to be a little careful there, don't you?

>> the head should be the last part of the body.

>> really?

>> and the first part you rinse. right now, let's not wash her head. people at home, wash your dog's head last. be careful of getting soap in the eyes. i always like cotton balls to put in the ears so not to get soap in there. you can use the solution for the ear cleaning. i like to brush a dog prior to a bath to loosen the follicles. and there's also the bath, but i think you need a softer one. and use circular motions.

>> we're giving a general bath here, but there are things you need to know . some dogs get like chewing gum in their fur.

>> my dog stepped in chewing gum last week and i told them to try peanut butter . you put it on the gum, loosens it, pulls it out, if that doesn't work, ice cubes and pick it out.

>> and she's doing very well, by the way.

>> i say rinse your dog completely of all shampoo. and once all the soap's off, rinse again. that's -- and then you can use conditioner. 24 hours after the bath, flea and tick season, use topical treatment, follow the directions on the back of the --

>> you grabbed this, let's not grab that water.

>> well, you can use that hair dryer to dry your dog. we're going to let her dry naturally.

>> great.

>> fresh and clean. and wrap her like a burrito. get the excess water.

>> she's about the size of a burrito, too.

>> smells good.

>> next thing is brushing a dog's teeth. is this pepper?

>> this is pepper.

>> this is baby howard from long island bulldog rescue. it's imperative that you keep your dog's teeth clean. and you're actually prolonging their lives. because bacteria in the teeth can enter the bloodstream and create very horrible things for your dog.

>> human toothbrushes?

>> no. these are for dog specific at your pet store . and dog-specific toothpaste. do not use human toothpaste. it could be horrible or fatal. so let's get a little bit on your finger, first. is pepper familiar?

>> yeah, she's had it done.

>> does she like the peanut butter variety. i say let them taste it. put a little bit on the end of the toothbrush. how is pepper doing over there? she likes it.

>> yeah.

>> lift the jowls up if you have a bulldog. come here, buddy. and make sure you angle the toothbrush to the gum line and just make sure you get every single tooth. here, buddy.

>> there's a good girl. that's a good girl.

>> and then does the bulldog then go.

>> and dogs a lot of times have bad breath . this helps the breath situation. you're not falling over from the breath of your dog. and you're helping your dog to live a longer life.

>> let me help you up. come on up.

>> thank you, baby howard.

>> and move over to keeping your dog in shape. natalie's dog is here. she runs with her dog. how do you know if your dog is in shape to run.

>> well, i think the point of starting your dog, getting your dog in shape. this is actually really good. and you can't just put your dog on a treadmill. you have to start slowly. this is the first time. she's doing great. put treats on the treadmill. i know that defeats the purpose. until they're comfortable. start at a slow pace. and look at -- look at her. she's doing amazing. and always keep a leash on the dog. and always be here. don't put the treadmill on and attach the treadmill. always supervisor.

>> and there are apps you can use that kind of help you keep your dog in shape in three seconds, two seconds.

>> a really cool app, it monitors, through the collar and called the whistle. and you can check your dog's activity all week long.