Smelly Dogs May Need Ablutions

Smelly Dogs May Need Ablutions

Every week there is​ one date I faithfully keep: “ablutions” time with my dogs. I don’t know why we started calling it​ that – probably when I was completely and totally addicted to​ Regency Romance novels. According to​ Webster’s Dictionary,​ “ablutions” is​ “a washing of​ the​ body,​ especially as​ a​ religious ceremony.”

We don’t actually do a​ full-body dog wash every week – I’m told that less frequent bathing is​ better for a​ dog’s skin and fur – and it’s not really a​ ritual. We do trim nails,​ brush fur and teeth,​ clean ears,​ and wash faces. Because of​ the​ breeds we have; Brussels Griffons,​ Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs,​ skin folds,​ beards and mustaches,​ and wrinkles get special attention.

It’s down to​ a​ routine in​ our house; it​ doesn’t take much more than about 15 minutes per dog,​ once you​ catch them. One person holds the​ dog. the​ other “ablutes.”And the​ benefits are vast. the​ dogs seem happier,​ they smell good,​ and we have the​ chance to​ check each one for anything that doesn’t seem quite right.

Contrary to​ popular belief – clean,​ healthy dogs really shouldn’t smell. “Dog breath” may be an​ indicator that the​ dog’s teeth need cleaning. There are many products available to​ care for dog’s teeth,​ but a​ start can be made with just a​ damp washcloth or​ gauze. Special toothpastes made just for dogs are readily available. Human toothpaste isn’t a​ good idea – it​ can be too harsh and dogs tend to​ dislike both the​ foaming action and the​ taste of​ products made for people.

Your nose is​ an​ invaluable tool in​ assessing your dog’s health. Any odor from a​ dog’s ears may be a​ sign of​ infection. But we know that cleaning ears can be a​ challenge. We use a​ solution available from the​ veterinarian. It’s inexpensive and helps wash away any dirt or​ wax. Getting it​ into the​ dog’s ears is​ where the​ problem arises in​ our house. Even after four years of​ this weekly routine,​ our Boston Terrier struggles mightily to​ see what we’re doing. No matter how hard we try,​ we can’t seem to​ convince her that no one can see inside her own ears!

Keeping a​ dog’s nails trimmed is​ another part of​ the​ routine that can be challenging. Many people are wary of​ cutting the​ nails too close and hurting the​ dog by nicking the​ blood vessel. Some people avoid the​ problem by using a​ hand-held sanding device – but a​ light touch is​ essential. Power tools are exactly that – powerful. It’s better to​ do too little than risk hurting the​ dog. Most groomers and veterinarians will trim nails for a​ nominal fee. if​ you’re hesitant about trimming your dog’s nails yourself,​ it’s well worth the​ monthly visit to​ have a​ professional do the​ job. Even if​ you​ don’t trim nails yourself,​ take a​ look at​ your dog’s feet. See if​ their pads have any calluses or​ cracks or​ any abnormalities.

Lastly,​ a​ good brushing,​ in​ addition to​ taking care of​ any tangles,​ or​ mats in​ the​ fur,​ will make your dog look and feel terrific. You’ll distribute the​ natural oils that keep fur healthy and remove any dead fur that may have accumulated. By paying attention during brushing we discovered a​ growth on​ our Brussels Griffon we would not have discovered. a​ visit to​ the​ vet and a​ couple of​ stitches later,​ what might have been a​ major health issue later was disposed of​ with very little fuss. as​ with humans,​ early detection is​ the​ key for dogs.

Our weekly “ablutions” may not be as​ much fun as​ playing ball in​ the​ yard,​ but it​ is​ time well-spent with our beloved pets. Getting them used to​ the​ routine may take some patience but they’re well worth the​ effort.

Smelly Dogs May Need Ablutions

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