Doggie Hygiene

Doggie Hygiene

Washing your dog is​ important,​ but not as​ important as​ some people think. Healthy dogs actually don’t need to​ be washed all that often,​ but humans prefer to​ bathe them so that they have a​ more pleasing smell and appearance. Doggie bath time is​ a​ good time to​ spend with the​ dog,​ however. Although most of​ them don’t like to​ be washed,​ they will appreciate the​ contact and attention that they receive from their owners during a​ bath. it​ is​ also a​ good time to​ perform some other necessary “dog maintenance” such as​ cleaning the​ ears,​ checking for ticks and fleas,​ and brushing the​ teeth. Since many dogs do not like to​ sit still for any of​ these activities,​ it​ can be a​ good idea to​ do them all at​ once.

Brushing Dogs’ Teeth

Brushing your dogs’ teeth is​ just good dental hygiene. Most vets recommend that it​ be done at​ least twice a​ week to​ ensure your dog maintains healthy teeth and gums. if​ you’ve not been doing this (and,​ unfortunately,​ many people don’t) it’s never too late to​ start. the​ dog should have its own toothbrush and special toothpaste designed for dogs. Make sure you​ brush the​ back teeth in​ small circles,​ the​ same way you​ would your own,​ and brush up and down the​ length of​ the​ “pointy” canine teeth. Dog toothpaste is​ made to​ have a​ pleasing taste (for the​ dog,​ don’t try it​ yourself) and this should make the​ dog willing to​ let you​ perform this activity.

Checking for Ticks & Fleas

Ticks are nasty little arachnids (they’re eight-legged creatures like spiders,​ and therefore are not insects) that will latch onto your dog’s skin and make its blood their meal ticket. They are most common in​ wooded areas,​ but your dog should be checked for them regularly because they can carry a​ number of​ diseases. the​ best place to​ look for these bugs in​ under the​ collar or​ on​ the​ dog’s underbelly,​ buried in​ the​ fur. if​ found they can be removed with tweezers.

Fleas can be found in​ the​ same places,​ under the​ fur. the​ presence of​ fleas can be betrayed by the​ sight of​ their droppings on​ the​ dog’s coat. They look like flecks of​ pepper. the​ fleas themselves look like bits of​ brown rice. They’re about an​ eighth of​ an​ inch long. They can’t simply be picked off of​ the​ dog like ticks can,​ but finding them will let you​ know its time to​ start the​ dog on​ a​ program to​ control and eliminate the​ insects.

Cleaning the​ Ears

Pet supply stores sell special solutions for cleansing a​ dog’s ears. Dogs can easily get ear mites,​ small insects which live in​ the​ ears and feed of​ the​ waxy secretions there. Over time the​ bodies of​ these short-lived creatures build up and form a​ black,​ dirty substance. Using a​ cotton swab dipped in​ a​ bit of​ this solution,​ gently clean the​ inner ear. it​ may be difficult to​ hold the​ dog still for this procedure,​ but it​ doesn’t take long. And the​ result will be clean ears and the​ avoidance of​ potential infection and earaches in​ the​ dog.

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