1) BRUSH THEIR COATS TO KEEP THEIR FUR AND SKIN HEALTHY AND CLEAN
Brushing your dog will remove dirt, debris, dead hair and unpleasant odors from the coat and the skin. It distributes the natural oils, making your dog’s coat shiny and healthy. Proper brushing will eliminate matting and tangling, which will make your next grooming appointment go more smoothly (and your Groomer very happy!).
Your longer-haired pooch needs more than just a brushing to keep his coat matt free. Follow-up the brushing by using a metal comb to get down to the skin and locate any matts that may be starting to form. Proceed gently with a metal comb, especially if your pup’s skin is particularly sensitive.
2) BRUSH THEIR TEETH ATLEAST ONCE A DAY
We have guests who only get their teeth brushed when they visit our salon, but that’s not nearly enough. Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth daily, but even 2 – 3 times a week makes a big difference. Use only toothpaste made especially for dogs. Dogs can’t spit, and human toothpaste contains unsafe ingredients which could make him sick if he were to swallow it. I use a child’s toothbrush so it’s softer on my dog’s gums, but a lot of people have good luck with the rubber finger brush. If you still find it difficult to brush your dog’s teeth, dental sprays and specially designed chew treats can be helpful.
3) TRIM THEIR NAILS
Just like humans, some dog’s nails grow more quickly than others. Some may require trimming every 2 weeks, and some can wait a full 6 weeks. Nail trimming is everyone’s least favorite task. Since you are diligent about your 6 – 8 week grooming visits, you can most-likely get by with just “tipping” the end of the nail to avoiding the doggie drama that often accompanies at-home nail trims. If the tap, tap, tap of nails on your hardwood floors is driving you crazy, you can always stop by and we will be happy to trim your dog’s nails for you while you wait.
4) CLEAN THEIR EARS TO PREVENT INFECTION
All dogs need their ears cleaned at least monthly. But if you have a dog with longer or heavier ears that flop over the ear canal, more frequent ear cleaning is a must. A buildup of bacteria or wax in the ears can lead to infection. If you don’t have doggie ear cleaner at home, there are plenty of ear cleaner “recipes” online… with ingredients generally on-hand like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, etc.. Wet a cotton ball with your cleansing solution and clean the outside area first, gradually working your way towards the inner area. It is not recommended to use cotton swabs deep inside the ear canal, but you can use them to gently clean inside the ear folds on the outer ear flaps. If your dog is a frequent swimmer, it is advisable to clean and dry their ears each time after swimming.
5) WASH THEIR FACE TO ELIMINATE BACTERIA
Some breeds like bulldogs and shar peis have wrinkles or skin folds on their face. Moisture can accumulate within those folds to set-up the perfect environment for yucky bacteria. Bacteria can then lead to dermatitis or worse, infection. It is important to keep these folds clean and dry. A warm washcloth or even baby wipes will do the trick. If redness, bumps or odor becomes a problem, see your vet. A more stringent cleaning schedule or solution may be in-order.
6) CLEAN AROUND THEIR EYES TO REMOVE EYE GOOP
Some dogs are prone to accumulating excessive eye “goop”. Yeah, I know… kind-of gross. Excessing tearing or discharge collects in the corners of the eyes and can get crusty. My last dog was terribly prone to eye goop and I would carefully use a flea comb to remove it. I recommend loosening the goop with a warm wash cloth first, and then using the flea comb to remove it. Light colored dogs may have the accompanying red stain that comes with excess tearing to which you can use a dog Tear Stain removal from your local pet supply store. Keep an eye on this area. Excess discharge can be a symptom of a more serious conjunctivitis. If you see signs of irritation, redness, or a funky smell, we recommend having your vet take a look at it.
7) GIVE THEM A BATH TO KEEP THEM SMELLING GREAT
If your pup looks great, but she doesn’t smell all that great, there are a number of doggie towelettes and dry shampoos on the market. Some even contain moisturizers and conditioners to further enhance the health and appearance of your dog’s coat. I use doggie towelettes whenever my dog comes in from outside. It removes outside allergens, dirt, and pee and poop residue. By using these daily, Rex never has an odor. You may find these to be very helpful in-between Grooming appointments.
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