dog

Dog Hygiene Made Easy

Brushing Your Dog

Regular grooming with a brush or comb will help keep your pet's hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils throughout her coat, preventing tangles and keeping her skin clean and irritant-free. Some breeds should be brushed every day. Some once a week. Brushing their hair stimulates their blood flow and will help with a healthier coat.

Bathing Your Dog

The ASPCA recommends bathing your dog at least once every three months, but some may require more frequent baths if he or she spends a lot of time outdoors or has skin problems. If you wash your dog more frequently, that's okay, just make sure you are using mild dog soap. 

Here are some steps to help you get started.

  1. There's no right or wrong place to bathe them. Any tub, sink, shower, kiddle pool or hose will do.
  2. If you have a nervous dog, you can leave the collar on to help guide them or ask someone to help. 
  3. Place cotton balls in the ears to prevent water (don't forget to remove them when you're done)
  4. For comfort, place a towel or yoga mat in the tub.
  5. Set the water temperature and wet them everywhere by using a bucket or jug to pour.
  6. Squirt a bit of dog formulated shampoo straight down down their back and scrub in gently.
  7. Rinse thoroughly, towel dry and wipe their face with a washcloth. Voila

Worried about the mess? Send them to a professional dog groomer (like us) so they can shake that water all over OUR place!

If your dog needs a haircut, DO NOT try it with your own scissors or razors - we've fixed countless home cut hairdos over the years, trust us, you'll want to leave that part to the professionals!

Dental Care

Regularly brushing your dog's teeth, along with a healthy diet and plenty of chew toys, can go a long way toward keeping her mouth healthy. Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause build-up on a dog's teeth. This can harden into tartar, potentially causing gingivitis, receding gums and tooth loss. Many pooches show signs of gum disease by the time they're four years old because they aren't provided with proper mouth care. Grab a soft bristle tooth brush, dog tooth paste (NOT ONE MEANT FOR PEOPLE) and ease into this at a pace that your dog is comfortable.

Eye Care

Giving your pup regular home eye exams will help keep you alert to any tearing, cloudiness or inflammation that may indicate a health problem. First, face your dog in a brightly lit area and look into his eyes. They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. The pupils should be equal in size and there shouldn’t be tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners of his eyes. With your thumb, gently roll down your dog’s lower eyelid and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white.

Ear Care

Your dog’s regular grooming routine should include regular ear checks. This is especially important for dogs who produce excessive earwax or have a lot of inner-ear hair. Clean your dog's ears once a week. Get a gentle dog ear cleaner and a handful of cotton balls. Soak them, and put one into the outer parts of their ear, swirl it around and remove. Repeat until the cotton balls are coming out clean. Do not push the cotton ball down into their ear canal.  

Nail Care

As a rule of thumb, a dog’s nails should be trimmed when they just about touch the ground when he or she walks. If your pet’s nails are clicking or getting snagged on the floor, it’s time for a trim. For leisurely living dogs, this might mean weekly pedicures, while urban pooches who stalk rough city sidewalks can go longer between clippings. Purchase doggy nail clippers, some styptic powder to stop any bleeding and chip away at small clippings. Ease into if it's the first time or your dog seems uncomfortable. Professional groomers can handle this job easily for you, too!

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How To Check Your Dog For Fleas

It happens to the best of them… no matter how you try to protect your dog, fleas are very active insects that thrive in warm weather. (Big sigh of relief that it’s November in Chicago). Fleas are very active in warmer months, though, and stay well hidden on your dog, as they burrow into the dog’s fur to the skin. The fleas then ingest your dog’s blood and can cause severe itching and inflammation.

Here are some tips from Dogaholics on how to check your dog for fleas before the infestation becomes severe.

 

Behavior

If your dog is restless, or you notice him itching, biting, or licking certain areas of the body more than usual, it’s probably time to check for fleas. A flea infestation is also a possible cause if your dog is shaking his head or scratching his years often.  

 

Skin and Coat

To inspect your dog fully, turn him on his back. This will allow you to check the areas—such as the armpits and groin—where fleas can easily hide. Next, check his ears for signs of excessive scratching, redness or blood. Then check for redness or bumps on your dog’s belly or groin or hair loss coupled with scabbing, which could indicate that your dog is scratching excessively.

Finally, take a flea comb and run it through your dog’s back and leg hair. The comb will catch fleas from under the haircoat, so make sure to get as close to the skin as possible to catch the hidden fleas. As you comb, throw any live fleas into a bowl of soapy water to clean the comb and drown the fleas.

 

Environment

Check for fleas in areas of your home where your dog spends a lot of time. His bed and feeding area may show signs of flea dirt (little black specks) or actual fleas themselves.

 

Lastly, always remember to consult your veterinarian if you think your pup may have fleas. They’ll know what’s best for your dog’s specific infestation. And of course, when your pup finally feels better, treat him to a day of pampering and dog grooming at Dogaholics!


-Candace