Bringing your dog to the professional groomers weekly is unrealistic, but it’s still important to maintain your dog’s hygiene between visits; a clean dog is a healthy dog. Here are some minimal tasks that you can practice regularly to stay on top of your dog’s grooming.
Monthly Baths – Baths are an obvious way to keep your dog’s coat smelling clean and feeling soft. Be careful – if you bathe your dog too often, his skin might become dry and itchy; try to only bathe your dog once a month. If you feel the need to bathe him more than that, we suggest a hydrating dog shampoo, like this Burt’s Bees one.
Nail Trims – A very common grooming step that many dog owners skip is nail trimming. We don’t blame you – it can be pretty scary at times! If you’ve never learned how to properly trim a dog’s nails, we suggest you do some research. If you aren’t paying attention and cut the nail too short, you might cut your dog’s quick, which is the flesh under his nails, and he will bleed… a lot. A trick I’ve learned from clipping my dog’s nails is to only cut nails if the paw pads are facing you. If you can see underneath the nail, you will have more of an idea of where the quick is. Check out this article by VetBabble titled “The No Fear Way to Trim Your Dog’s Nails.” It will teach you everything you need to know including what tools and techniques to use.
Teeth Brushing – This sounds silly, but it’s vital. Dog teeth need to be cleaned at least once a week. Food buildup can cause plaque that will eventually lead to gingivitis and other diseases that can spread to your dog’s entire body. You can find a dog toothpaste and toothbrush at your local pet store or online. If you don’t have time to brush your dog’s teeth often, a faster alternative is to wrap some gauze around your finger and do your best to rub the food off of his teeth. For minimal food buildup, feed your dog dry food instead of wet food. Wet food sticks to your dog’s teeth while dry food does not. To help maintain your dog’s dental hygiene in between brushings, let your dog chew on hard bones or dental treats; these will help knock off any excess food on the teeth.
Ear Cleaning – It’s important to keep your dog’s ears clean to prevent ear infections. Like nail trimming, you have to be careful and pay attention to what you’re doing when cleaning ears because otherwise, you might hurt your pup. You don’t want to use Q-tips, because they “can push debris further inside the ear canal, or even damage the ear” (PetWave). All you need to do is take a cotton swab or lightly-damp and soft paper towel and gently wipe away the wax that you can see. Never use alcohol on your dog’s ears.
Coat Brushing – Unless your dog has curly hair like a poodle, it’s in your best interest to keep up with brushing your dog every day, if you can. We suggest a fine-toothed brush like The Furminator or some pet-grooming gloves. Brushing your dog’s coat regularly will help relax your dog while leaving his coat shinier and healthier. It will remove any dirt and prevent matting in the future. Brushing his coat will help you, too, because it will reduce the amount of dog hair scattered throughout your home. We suggest that you brush his coat outside to avoid getting any flyaway hairs in your home.
Clean Bedding – There’s no better feeling than sliding into a bed with clean sheets. Like humans, dogs’ bedding needs to be washed every month or so, too. There’s no point in bathing your dog to make him smell good if he’s just going to sleep in stinky bedding. If your dog sleeps in a dog bed, cover it with a fitted sheet to make laundry day a little easier.
Here at Scout, we care about the health and safety of your pet, and that’s why it’s our number-one priority to make sure our GPS & Bluetooth trackers function correctly when you need them to most. Track your pet’s real-time location straight from your smartphone or desktop. For more information and to get your own Scout GPS & Bluetooth Tracker, visit findmyscout.com.