Did you know that brushing your dog on a regular basis helps remove dirt, create a shiny coat and distributes skin oils? It will also help you catch any skin irritations or infections early on. Once you start grooming on a regular basis it will become much easier for both you and your dog.
Below goes into why cleaning their ears, teeth and trimming their nails is so important as well:
- 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 brushing 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 an ear cleaning product recommended by your veterinarian, then 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 in color, cool to the touch and free of odor.
- Keeping 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. Many come in flavors dogs love, such as chicken or beef, so it is unlikely that your pup will spit the toothpaste out. Remember not to use toothpaste for people because, if swallowed, it can lead to stomach upset in dogs.
- Trimming the nails regularly. Ask your veterinarian or groomer to instruct you on how to trim nails before trying it at home. 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. With a simple snip, you are ready to move to 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.
Just like taking the best care of your self is important for your long term health and to prevent any serious health issues, it can do the same for your dog.
What else would you suggest doing for the health of your dog on a regular basis?