Dogs have several types of coat each requiring different degrees
of care. As such, your dog’s coat must be groomed not only for aesthetic
reasons, but as well for health. As a puppy, your dog must be taught to
allow you to pull on his hair and brush it. Comb him gently everyday while
he sits on your lap eating treats. At age four months, you can slowly wean
your dog off your lap and let him stand on a chair or table as you groom
him. You should groom your dog at least once a week. Grooming removes dust,
dead skin, loose hairs, grass seeds and tangles.
Dog’s teeth can build up plaque and tartar same as ours. They
also have a tendency towards developing gingivitis. Start brushing your
dog’s teeth when he is still a puppy and he will get used to it. You may
use soft cotton for the first few days, and then slowly progress to a regular
dog’s toothbrush. A child’s soft brush can also be used. By brushing your
pet’s teeth, you will make his breath smell better and prevent dental disease.
With smaller dogs, the bone that holds the teeth is thinner so gum disease
is more of a problem. Common signs of dental problems with dogs include:
· Loss of appetite
· Red, swollen and bleeding gums
· Blood in the saliva
· Yellow-brown tartar at the gum line
· Broken teeth
A dog’s ears may be the most difficult part to clean. When
you bathe him, put cotton in his ears to prevent water from getting inside.
Moisture provides ideal conditions for mites, yeast infections and bacteria.
You can use a OTC ear cleaning solution to break apart unwanted substances such as excessive ear
wax. Chronic ear problems may be the result of allergies, especially food
related. Ear mites are another problem that dogs encounter, these warning
· Excessive and persistent scratching around the ears
· Head shaking
· Ears that are painful when touched
· Brown material present in the ears
· A foul-smelling odor
Your dog’s eyes should be checked daily for any kind of virus
or disease. Conjunctivitis is a fairly common condition that leads to your
dog having a lot of mucus around his eyes. If you notice anything unusual
about your dog’s eyes, you should have it checked by a vet.
Most dogs dislike having their toenails trimmed. Many dog owners
don’t clip their dog’s nails because they think it’s too hard, or they’re
just too nervous to do it. Purchase a dog nail clipper from any pet discount
store, or ask your veterinarian to sell you one. Start trimming nails when
your dog is young and he will think it is just part of life – not a huge
procedure. Clip off the tip monthly and untidy nails will never become
Most dogs get dandruff. Frequent bathing, once or twice twice
a week in severe cases will wash away the dandruff before it builds up.
Use a specially formulated shampoo like Dr.
Dog Euca-Loba medicated Shampoo – which has moisturizers to prevent
drying the dog’s skin.
Most dogs are susceptible to fleas. Fleas may be dealt with
with shampoos, dips or ointments. You need to find out which works best
with your particular dog and to which your dog responds best.
Another irritating problem is ticks, which are potentially
dangerous – certain types of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
The most effective way to dislodge a tick is to pry it off with sterilized
Use of these and other basic tips can assist with care for
your dog’s coat, ears, eyes, and skin, resulting in a happier, healthier
Astrid Bullen is a freelance writer and owner of Emman, a miniature