Brushing your dog’s coat on a regular basis benefits your dog in many ways and is highly recommended. Taking care of your dog’s coat will help keep it in good condition by removing loose fir, removing dirt, and spreading natural oils around throughout your dog’s coat. The type of hair that your dog has will determine how often your dog’s coat should be brushed. If you have a dog that has long/thick hair, they will need daily brushing. A slicker brush will remove tangles from long hair and a bristle brush will remove dead hair. If you have a dog that has medium length hair, they may be more likely to have knotted or tangled hair and should be brushed one or two times weekly. Dogs with short, smooth hair need to be brushed less frequently—about 1-4 times a month. Short haired dogs need a rubber brush to loosen dirt and dead skin, and then a bristle brush to remove dead hair.
A dog’s ears can be the perfect hang out spot for bacteria if they’re not kept clean. Because of this, it is important to give your dog a gentle ear cleaning every once in a while (about once a month). The first step to cleaning your dog’s ears is to choose an earwash that is made specifically for ear cleaning. Next, get your dog into a position that is comfortable for both of you. Your dog won’t want to stay in a position that is uncomfortable, and you want to be positioned so you can easily clean your dog’s ears. Once you both are in a comfortable position, soak a cotton ball in the ear wash solution. The cotton ball should be wet, but not dripping wet. If you find the cotton ball dripping, wring it out. Gently rub up and down the inside of your dog’s ear. Next, use a cotton swab and soak the tip in the ear wash and carefully run it along any areas along the cartilage of the ear that the cotton ball may have missed.
The frequency of baths you give your dog will depend upon the type and length of hair that they have. Dogs with long hair need to be bathed more often than dogs with short smooth coats. Other factors that affect how often you should give your dog a bath include the weather (people usually bathe their dogs more often in the summertime) and how often they go outside. Choose a mild shampoo for dogs. Before giving your dog a bath it is always a good idea to give him a good brushing. Using dish soap or human shampoo can dry your dog’s skin out which can lead to further problems. This will remove excess hair and help prevent your drain from becoming clogged. Fill the bathtub (or sink) to about the level of your dog’s knees. Use a spray hose or a cup or pitcher to thoroughly wet your dog. Carefully massage the shampoo into your dog’s coat starting from the back and working your way forward. Very gently wet your dogs head, face, and ears and lather those areas as well. Be extremely cautious as not to get any shampoo in your dog’s ears, nose, or eyes. Next rinse your dog off very thoroughly. Leaving shampoo on your dog’s skin can cause irritation to the skin. Once you have rinsed your dog off completely, you can dry him with a large towel to get rid of excess water followed by a hair dryer. If you chose to dry your dog with a hair dryer, be sure to keep the heat at a comfortable temperature and to keep it a safe distance from your dog’s skin.
Grooming Between Baths
There are also options for keeping your dog looking clean and smelling fresh in between baths as well. Pet grooming wipes are a great way to keep Fido clean in between baths. Sprinks offers our Wipers as a solution for pet owners who may be pressed for time, but still want to keep their dog nice and clean. For more information on Sprinks Wipers click here.
A good rule of thumb for gauging when your dog is ready for a nail trim is by whether or not you can hear their nails clicking as they walk across the floor. If you can, it is probably a good idea to give Fido a nail trim. Since most dogs aren’t the biggest fans of getting their nails clipped, the first step to clipping their nails is to make sure your dog is comfortable. To do this, you will need to make your dog comfortable with you touching their feet. You can do this touching their paws lightly. As they grow accustomed to this, you can begin to apply a little bit of pressure to their paws and nails. Once they have grown used to this, you can move on to beginning to trim their nails. Typically a guillotine nail clipper is used when trimming a dog’s nails. Before using a nail clipper on your dog, carefully read the instructions so that there are no questions on how the clippers are to be used. Avoid cutting the area known as the quick which is painful and can cause bleeding in dogs. One white nails the quick is distinguished as the pink section, but it is more difficult to see in darker nails.
Dental care is extremely important in dogs. Although people loosely throw around the term “dog breath”, dogs should not have dog breath! To help ensure that your dog maintains his oral health, it is recommended to take a look at your dog’s teeth between vet visits. Notify your vet if you find anything out of the normal like halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath or “dog breath”, inflamed, red, or bleeding gums, pain when chewing, or anything else that might appear to be out of the usual. To aid in preventing dental disease in dogs, one of the things you can do is to brush your dog’s teeth with a finger bush (made especially for brushing dog’s teeth) and dog toothpaste (human toothpaste can make dogs sick). Brushing your dog’s teeth and keeping your dog up to date with his vet visits is the best thing you can do to maintain his dental health.