Grooming your dog is very important to your dog’s overall health and can help prevent serious health problems as a result of poor hygiene. Basic grooming consists of coat brushing, nail trimming, teeth brushing, checking their ears and bathing. But don’t take it from us! This month, we consulted our furry friends at The Dog Stop® to see what they have to say about why grooming is so important.
Brush Our Coats: One of the most basic forms of grooming is giving your dog a good brushing. Brushing their coat not only gives them a kept appearance, it’s a way to keep an eye on any skin conditions like dry skin or pests such as fleas and ticks. Dogs with longer hair should be brushed at least once a day with a slicker brush, while dogs with shorter hair need only a once-a-week brushing with a rubber brush.
Brush My Chompers! Good dental hygiene is just as important for your dog as it is for you. Over time dogs can suffer from plaque and tartar buildup, gingivitis, gum disease and even fractured teeth causing more than just bad breath. Keep your dog out of the doggy dentist chair by brushing his teeth at least twice a week.
Pooch Pedi’s. Many find trimming a dogs nails intimidating, but with proper instruction from a vet or dog groomer you can maintain their nail health with ease. Guillotine-style clippers are ideal for home-use. Be sure to always have a styptic stick on hand should you clip the quick of the nail as it will help stop any bleeding. If trimming your dog’s nails just isn’t for you, you can always make an appointment at The Dog Stop® for our signature Padicure!
Clean Our Ears. You Heard Right! Checking Rufus’s ears regularly is a very important part of the grooming regiment. Healthy ears are pale in color, odorless and cool to the touch. If you notice dirt in their ear flaps, wipe their ears with a vet recommended ear cleaning solution and cotton ball. If you notice a foul odor, redness or they feel warm, your dog may have a more serious condition or something lodged within the ear canal which requires a trip to the vet. Never shove anything into the dogs ear canal as you may do harm to the ear drum.
Swimming and the Importance of Bathing. With the swimming season upon us, many of us look forward to enjoying the rivers, lakes and pools around us. If you let your dog partake in the fun, it’s a good idea to rinse them with fresh water or fully bathe them after each swim. While chlorinated pools are cleaner than a river or lake, they will dry a dog’s hair and skin out just as it dries out a human’s. It’s best to always rinse your dog off with fresh water to rid the skin and hair of pool chemicals.
And while it seems natural for dogs to dive right in to a river or lake, it’s a good idea to bathe him after a dip. Natural waterways are not always dangerously dirty, but they may contain some levels of industrial pollutants, sludge and even leeches. Not to mention, it’s very common for dogs to pick up ticks when out in the wild. Don’t let this sway you from enjoying the great outdoors, just be sure to give your dog a bath afterwards and feel around for any parasites.
Never let your dog swim in stagnant water and if you’re bathing them regularly buy a shampoo that won’t strip their coats of their natural oils.