Home Grooming

Grooming

How to groom your canine pal. Washing, cutting nails and dealing with skin conditions.

Dogs that Itch

dogsWhen dogs scratch themselves constantly, it drives their owners nuts. Your dog’s skin is almost red raw and, perhaps, even bleeding from all the scratching. There are places where there’s no hair because of all the scratching he had done with his paws and mouth. This is called a hot spot, and it looks very unpleasant. Many owners are embarrassed to take their dogs out in public because of it. Other owners are slowly driven crazy by the scratching sound of their pet tearing and ripping his flesh in a vain attempt to stop that itchy feeling. He’ll often cry and whine because it’s so frustrating to him.

It’s not long until owners become desperate for a way to treat their dog’s itchy skin and make him feel better. There are some chemicals that can ease this problem and many of them do work. However, some dogs have allergies to such chemicals and may even have a fatal reaction. The first step in healing such problems is careful grooming techniques.

The first thing is to brush your dog every day. Most itchiness is triggered by dirt, pollen, dander and mats that remain on your dog’s coat. If left for long enough, these problems will irritate his skin and make him start scratching and chewing in an attempt to get rid of the itchiness. Brush his coat daily and you’ll stop the problems building to the point where they cause such horrible itchy feelings. Your dog will be grateful for not having to scratch and will also enjoy the extra time spent with you.

Bathing your dog is a perfect way to keep him clean and free from problems such as itchiness. However, you shouldn’t wash him every day because too much shampoo and water will remove the natural oils that a dog’s coat possesses. Once these oils are washed away, your dog’s skin can dry out, and it’s also more susceptible to infections. Dry skin on a dog is worse than it is for a human but because dogs can’t treat themselves to try and ease the problem. They must reply on you to help them. If you’re itchy you’re able to do something about it.

While grooming your pet, pay special attention to his ears. Dogs can get ear mites that bite them. Then they start scratching their ears, causing them to bleed and this can lead to infections and other ear problems. If you notice an unpleasant odour coming from your dog’s ears and he doesn’t like you touching them, he’s most likely getting an infection. Ask your vet about the best way to treat him.

If you can’t solve your dog’s hot spot problems, despite trying everything you know, ask your vet for the best antibiotic cream to rub into these hotspots. If your dog bites and claws the hotspots, your vet may also suggest that you use a plastic cone-like collar that will stop him scratching and biting until the sore spots heal.

The list of the worst causes of itchiness.

  1. Fleas.
  2. Airborne allergens such as pollen, which can cause hay fever.
  3. Parasites, such as scabies, ear mites and cheyletiellosis (a.k.a. walking dandruff).
  4. Skin infections caused by bacteria.
  5. Lice and tics.
  6. Food allergies.
  7. Various functions such as yeast infections.
  8. Seborrhoea.
  9. Contact allergies.
  10. Illnesses such as immune-system troubles, some cancers and liver disease.

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Washing Your Dog

washing your dogThe way you wash your beloved dog will chiefly be decided by his particular breed. But one thing is certain, you will need to wash him. So this is how to do it.

There are two aspects to washing your dog; how to do it and how often it must be done.

How often should you wash your dog?

The short answer is “not too often.” A dog’s coat has natural oils that protect it, keep it silky and soft and prevent it from getting damaged or becoming brittle. If you wash him every week, these oils will soon be washed away as well.

You should wash your dog if he’s smelly or very dirty. How long this is will depend on what he does during an average day and whether he’s an inside or outside dog. If he has long hair, he’ll need a bath more often because his hair can become matted or tangled. The time of year can also affect how often it’s done.

Tips on washing your dog.

1. Make it enjoyable and start as young as possible. Then your dog will get used to the water and being washed.

2. Choose where you’re going to wash him. This will vary, according to the time of year and the breed. A small dog or puppy can be washed in a tub or sink. A big dog needs to be washed in a bathtub. If the weather is warm, you can use the hose.

3. The bottom of the tub needs a rubber mat to stop the dog from sliding all around the place. He’ll feel more secure as well.

4. Before you start the washing process, get everything you need and lay it all out. Towels, shampoo, a bucket and anything else you want. Never turn your back on your wet dog unless you’re keen to chase him.

5. Only use lukewarm water and shampoo specially formulated for dogs. Choose a tearless shampoo if available.

6. Don’t get soap or water in your pet’s ears and eyes and wash his head last so it’s not wet for long. This will reduce his urge to shake himself dry.

7. Rinse him well. Dogs often feel itchy after they have been washed. This is usually caused by not rinsing all the shampoo off or because you have washed him too often.

8. When it’s winter, keep your pet inside until he’s 100% dry. You can use a dryer set on ‘cool,’ not hot (or it may burn him) can help to dry him faster.

9. Dogs love shaking themselves dry. It starts with his head so if you hold your dog’s head still, there won’t be much shaking. Put a towel over him as soon as you’re done will help stop him from coating the walls and furniture with water. If you don’t want him to shake at all, train him to only shake when commanded to do so. That will need some patience.

10. After the wash, tell him to stay/sit. If he wants to shake, guide him into the sit position and command him to stay/sit and then you get out of his way. Then tell him he can shake. Praise him for doing so and then he’ll eventually only shake when allowed to do it.

NOTE: Bathing is a great time to check for rough areas and lumps on his skin. If you find anything unusual, talk to your vet. A well-groomed dog is a healthy, happy dog.

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Tips On Grooming Dogs

bathing dogGrooming is a key element in the overall care of your pet. It makes a major impact on your choice of the puppy breed to take home with you.

Regardless of the breed you choose to take home, you’ll need to ensure he’s regularly groomed and bathed so he’s as healthy, comfortable and visually appealing as possible

Here are some tips to help you.

There are many types of coats in the dog kingdom: long hair, short hair, double coats and coats that don’t shed. Each type needs some unique grooming techniques but there are other grooming elements common to all dogs.

Every dog needs a regular brush as it gets rid of the surface dirt on the coat. It spreads the dog’s natural oil over his skin and helps stop the hair from becoming tangled. Brushing lets your feel your dog’s whole body and is an ideal method for checking for sores, bumps and lumps that may need to be treated.

You should begin brushing your puppy when he’s very young so he becomes used to that activity. Reward puppy with yummy treats while he sits quietly and patiently. At first you should only do it for about two minutes and slowly increase the amount of time you spend brushing your pet.

Boxers, Staffordshire Terriers and other dogs with smooth, short coats have a nickname of ‘wash’n’wear’ dogs as it’s very easy to look after their coats. A rubber brush should go against the lie of the fur generally is all you need. One tip here is that it’s wise to use a chamois cloth and rub it over your dog’s coat. This action polishes it and makes the coat shiny.

If your dog has a long coat and a protective undercoat, he’ll need to be brushed thoroughly every other day. If this doesn’t happen, his hair will become matted and very uncomfortable. To remove all loose hair, use a wire slicker brush. Use a wide-toothed comb to gently eliminate all the tangles and matts in your dog’s coat. It’s also vital that you trim the hair growing between his toes.

Dogs such as Bichon Frise, Schnauzers and Poodles have a type of hair that continuously keeps growing, like wool, but it never sheds. Because of this, they’re ideal pets for those with allergies. However, they still need bathing regularly and their coats should be trimmed every 6-8 weeks using a decent clipper.

It’s ideal if you can get a professional groomer for the job. However, you can do it for yourself if you buy a good quality pair of clippers. Most pet shops sell this type of product. In the long run, you’ll save heaps of money.

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