Dogs and Grooming – Not Just For Appearance Sake
We all love to see our dog’s coat soft and shiny, but grooming is also very important in keeping your dog healthy. My vet shared this article with me and I thought I would pass it on:
Frequently brushing your dog removes dirt and helps distribute skin oils, creating a shiny coat. Proper grooming also allows the pet owner to see the condition of the dog’s skin and to notice the early stages of flea or tick infestations and skin infection irritations.
If your pet has a long or thick coat, a daily grooming session is ideal. A dog with less hair can often be groomed weekly. However, the more frequently you groom, the quicker and easier it is for both you and your pet.
Proper dog grooming includes more than simply passing a brush over the pet’s coat, however. Regular care of the ears, eyes, teeth and nails can prevent serious health issues later on.
A good grooming session includes:
- Going over the dog thoroughly with a brush or comb that reaches the skin. A dog with a short coat may require the gentle touch of a rubber comb, while a dog with a thick undercoat will need a slicker brush. It is important that the brush or comb reach the skin to bring loose hair and dirt to the surface.
- Repeating the process with a finishing tool. This may be a natural-bristle brush, a cloth or your hand. The goal is to remove the loose hair and dirt that the first brush brought to the surface and to distribute the natural oils in the skin.
- Checking the dog’s ears. If you notice dirt or buildup in the ears, dampen a cotton ball with mineral oil or hydrogen peroxide and wipe the ears gently. Don’t stick your finger or a cotton swab into the ear canal. If you are concerned about debris farther back in the ear, ask your veterinarian to clean the dog’s ears. Healthy ears should be pale, cool and free of odor.
- Wiping the area around the eye gently, from the inner corner out, with a damp cotton ball. If your dog has long facial hair, talk to your vet or groomer about trimming it. This can prevent scratches to the cornea from rogue hairs curling or falling into the eye.
- Keeping his teeth clean. Daily brushing is ideal, but even a twice-weekly schedule will help maintain oral health. Brush the teeth with a regular toothbrush, one specifically designed for dogs. Use one of the many toothpastes available for dogs. It is unlikely that your pup will spit the toothpaste out, and human toothpaste can lead to an upset stomach.
- Trimming the nails regularly. Spend plenty of time getting your dog accustomed to having his feet and legs handled, and the trimming will go much easier. Guillotine-style nail clippers are simple to use. Hold the foot gently and position the clipper so that you will cut the nail just below the point where the curve of the nail begins. A simple snip, and you are ready to move onto the next nail. If you cut the nail too short, it is possible to reach the quick, a small vein that carries blood to the nail. Have a styptic stick handy to stop the bleeding if you hit the quick.
Posted on October 17, 2012, in Health, Tips, Uncategorized and tagged brushing your dog, dog, dog health, dog shiny coat, dogs, dogs and grooming, healthy dog, not just for appearance, skin oils. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.