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- Jun 6, 1989 (Age: 28)
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Dog Bathing and Grooming Tips
- Jun 6, 1989 (Age: 28)
It’s been said that a dog is a man’s best friend and that is often true. Of course, women and kids love dogs as well, and in many homes a dog completes a family. In fact, sometimes it seems as if dogs and kids were meant for each other. Taking care of your dog is important and regular washing and grooming contribute to good health. Just like people, dogs need physical maintenance to look and feel the best.
Grooming is a term that refers to both hygienic care to simply be clean, and to also enhance your dog’s appearance.
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Benefits of Regularly Bathing and Grooming
• Prevention of yeast and bacterial infections often caused by matted hair or dirty hair and skin, periodontal disease caused by uncared for teeth, and ear infections from excessive dirt and wax buildup.
• A clean dog is a happy dog and keeps your home and furniture cleaner as well.
• Professional grooming provides your dog with an expert who will look over the skin, hair, ears, and other parts of your dog. Identifying early signs of parasites, fleas and ticks, skin irritations or injuries, and other potential health issues.
• Bathing and brushing your own dog can enhance relationship with your pet increasing bonding time. Dogs often love the soothing feel of a brush or comb on their hair and skin.
Tips for Home Bathing and Grooming
• Bathing: Dogs need regular baths but the frequency is often determined by your breed and the dog’s unique coat. Some dogs have more oily skin or like to roll around in the dirt outside and therefore may need baths more often. It’s best to check with your veterinarian about how often your dog needs a bath. Many dogs, like many kids, don’t like baths so you’ll want to follow the bath with some pleasant activity. Brushing or playing with your dog afterwards can make it a bit easier. Use lukewarm water instead of hot water and be sure to rinse well when you’re done to get off any shampoo or conditioner. Be sure that you wash the paws and between the pads of the dog’s feet.
• Shampoos and conditioners: As you might expect, a dog’s hair varies from breed to breed and many hair and skin products are out on the market. It’s often best to use hypoallergenic products to reduce any side effects on the skin. Some shampoos are medicated, others help free up the undercoat of the dog, and others kill fleas and ticks. Pick and choose the product that best suits your dog. You might have to try out some different choices to find one that’s best for you.
• Drying: You can let your dog air dry but be careful with a thick coat that your dog actually does get dry quickly. It’s often best to brush and blow-dry a dog’s hair so that you get rid of the moisture that might otherwise cause hot spots on the skin. Don’t use hot air. It’s best to just use your blow-dryer’s fan mode as the hot air may cause overheating or skin problems as well.
• Combing and Brushing: You first want to obtain a comb or brush that works best for your dog’s coat. Too much pulling on matted hair can be painful. In fact, if matting is a problem, you’ll likely want to get your dog professionally groomed. They have tools and techniques for dematting hair and in some rather extreme cases it’s helpful for them to shave down your dog’s hair so that you can start fresh. Regular brushing keeps your dog’s hair tangle free and removes hair that’s shedding.
• Nail Trimming: Use a tool designed specifically for trimming dog’s nails. Don’t cut too much off because you’ll cut into the quick of the nail causing it to bleed. Just trim off the tip.
• Hair Trimming: Some breeds need hair to be trimmed regularly from around the mouth, eyes, and their rear end. Others grow undercoats or just need to be trimmed to look nice. Use hair cutting scissors carefully and talk to your dog in a soothing way as you carefully cut the hair to avoid any disturbance or fast movements that might cause injury.
• Brush Teeth: A healthy dog generally needs teeth brushed 2-3 times a week. Not only will improve their breath, but it will cut down on periodontal and gum disease. Purchase a tooth brush made for dogs and don’t use people toothpaste. Your dog will ingest the toothpaste in the process and human toothpaste may upset the stomach.
• Ears: Clean ears contain some wax but a build up of wax can hinder hearing and create an environment where bacteria grows. Ear cleaning solution from your pet store can be used with a cotton ball. Wipe out the external ear gently to remove the dirt and wax.
· Of course, you’ll want to remember that the most essential part of taking care of dogs is giving unconditional love. Just like people, dogs need attention and affection. Those two gifts you give to your pet, or other members of your family for that matter, can go a long way to build strong relationships that you’ll enjoy.