Speaking from my own expertise as a dog groomer of 30++ years, I have to reiterate how important it is to keep your dog healthy . . . including a dog’s skin and coat. Even dogs with short hair can benefit from a regular bath and grooming for more reasons than just to look pretty and smell good. There are many healthy benefits as well.
Obviously a dog with longer hair requires more frequent care and maintenance. Besides the evident hair concerns such as the cleanliness, length and mat/tangles, there are health issues as well. It is important to keep the hair around the eyes short to prevent eye irritation and other problems. Do not trim this area on your own using pointed implements. These dogs need regular grooming by a professional. Some breeds do have eye drainage problems as well. If it is a persistent problem, consult your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues. The skin and fur remain moist due to the drainage in and around the eye, can get discolored, and may result in an infection.
Another issue of concern is the dog’s ears. Needless to say, dogs with floppy ears, as adorable as they are, do not allow for proper air circulation within the ear canal. As a result the ear stays moist which is the perfect environment for the growth of bacteria and yeast. These dogs can suffer from chronic ear infections which is very painful. I do not mean that only the long eared dogs such as Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers and Shar-Peis (just to name a few) get ear infections. They are more prone to recurrent ear problems though this can be a concern with any dog breed.
Cleaning your dog’s ears on a regular basis is imperative. Your veterinarian or dog groomer can show you the proper way to do so safely at home. You never want to stick anything deep down within the ear canal for fear of damaging the ear drum. You can purchase ear cleaning solution from your local pet supply store and use it on a cotton ball to clean as far as you can within and all around the ear. Some dogs with long hair need hair plucked from their ears to allow for more air circulation and this is usually done by a professional groomer. This does help to keep the ears healthier. A healthy ear on your dog should look pinkish without any foul odor coming from it. If there is an odor, any discharge or symptom of excessive scratching, contact your veterinarian.
Check your dog’s mouth and teeth on a regular, weekly basis. Get a baby or puppy toothbrush and dog toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth each and every week. Whether it is a struggle or not, brush the teeth the best that you can. Any dental care is better than no care. In between dental care and brushing, provide dental chews as well. You want to do any necessary dental upkeep to deter the onset of periodontal disease which can be very serious, very painful and a source of infection which can affect other organs and parts of the body.
Bathe your dog by the time there is presence of that doggy smell. Not only is a bath vital for removing dead hair, dirt and oil from the skin. Bath time is the perfect time to check for lumps and bumps as well as check for parasites. Even if your dog may originally fight the bath time, most often it will feel so much better . . . from the bath as well as the extra attention and bonding with you.
Be sure to brush and comb your dog’s hair weekly, especially long haired dogs to be sure of the presence of mats and tangles. Weekly maintenance will keep the coat and skin in good condition.
Nail cutting scares many pet owners and is an important aspect of pet care. Get your pet used to having their paws handled, starting with puppyhood. Touch, feel, pet and massage those feet constantly so that handling the feet is second nature. No matter how fearful the pet is to getting the nails cut, without doing so can cause nail breakage as well as arthritis, pain and aggravation of the nail bed. When you go to learn how to clean your dog’s ears, also find out the proper way to cut a dog’s nail safely.
One of the things none of us want to deal with is the infamous rear end and problems there. Dogs with long hair can have excess feces there without knowing. I would think there would be an odor present. They can also have an obstruction, and those privates need an occasional exam. Thus it is important to have your dog, short and long-haired, regularly groomed. I always believe in keeping the rear and private hairs very short for cleanliness purposes as well as expressing the anal glands (on each side of the anus). They can leave off a terrible odor and relieve chance of pain and infection.
As a responsible pet parent, know that keeping your dog in tip top shape is much more than a beauty pageant. The health and well-being of your dog depends upon responsible care, observation and love.
For Vet assistance in the Rockford area, you can check out – http://www.rockfordvetclinics.com/, http://bellwoodvets.com/, http://www.petswelcome.com/illinois/rockford/veterinarians.html
For all your pets needs in Rockford, go to your local PETCO – 6305 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 229-0184 – http://www.petco.com/ or your local PETSMART – 6320 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 397-7880 – http://stores.petsmart.com/result-details.php?store=493 – PETLAND, (815) 332-4200 – www.petland.com/
For all your grooming needs of your small sized dogs near the Rockford area, just write to Pup-E-Luv Grooming at [email protected] with any questions and appointments.
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