As a dog owner, keeping your canine companion healthy is a top priority. Besides providing them with a nutritious diet, enough water, and regular exercise, you’ll also need to maintain their hygiene. Regular grooming and cleaning can go a long way when it comes to the well-being of your pup, as it can prevent them from contracting harmful diseases and parasites.
Generally, your dog’s exact grooming routine will depend on their age, breed, and lifestyle. However, some hygiene needs must be fulfilled for all canines, regardless of these factors. To learn more about them, below are a few things you should do to keep your pooch clean and healthy.
Wash Their Bedding and Toys
Even if you always bathe your pup every day, it’s all for nothing if the products they regularly use are full of bacteria. So, be sure to wash any items that frequently come into contact with your canine. This is especially important if you’ve invested in high-quality fully custom plush dog toys, bedding, collars, leashes, and other products you want to keep in tip-top condition, too.
But how bad can it be if you decide not to wash your pup’s things for a while? Well, unclean items can become home to all sorts of harmful germs. Should your dog come into contact with the said germs, they could end up becoming seriously ill.
As they say, prevention is always better than cure. Given this, it’s a good idea to set a consistent schedule for cleaning and sanitizing your fur baby’s belongings.
Comb Their Fur
Frequent brushing is the secret to giving your dog a healthier, smoother, and shinier coat. A thorough combing can get rid of dead hair or dirt from your canine companion’s fur. This reduces shedding, tangling, and matting, which keeps your dog’s coat smooth. It also encourages the release of natural oils, a process that can give your pup naturally shinier fur.
Bathe Them Regularly
Your pup should be regularly bathed to keep its fur healthy, clean, and odor-free. That said, dogs who primarily stay indoors don’t usually need baths as frequently as those that stay outdoors. Also, be sure to use dog-friendly shampoo when washing your pooch, as other soaps may have formulations that are too harsh for their skin. Try not to bathe your dog more than once a week, either, as overbathing can cause them to suffer from skin irritation.
Brush Their Teeth
Mouth bacteria can travel through the bloodstream and spread to your dog’s internal organs like the lungs, heart, and kidneys. This is why bad dental hygiene can cause your pup to experience health complications like gum disease, heart disease, and kidney failure. Hence, frequent oral care is necessary to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar.
Ideally, your pooch’s teeth should be brushed daily. However, a good brush two to three times a week will do. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs. Never use human toothpaste, as it contains ingredients that are either toxic or bad for your pup’s digestive system.
Clean Their Ears
Cleaning your canine’s ears at least once a month can reduce their risk of ear infections. With that in mind, it’s best to use a canine ear wash solution during this process.
How do you clean a pup’s ears, exactly? First, fill up your dog’s inner ear with the solution until some of the liquid starts to flow out of it. Then, hold your dog’s ear flap down for twenty to thirty seconds while gently massaging the base of the ear. This action allows the liquid solution to break up any earwax and dirt in your dog’s ear. Afterward, carefully wipe away any debris that’s left inside the flap and upper ear canal with a cotton ball. Lastly, allow your dog to shake the remaining ear wash solution out.
Clip Their Nails
Overly long nails can make it difficult for your dog to walk comfortably. Additionally, overgrown nails can easily break off during your pup’s activities, resulting in injuries that may require veterinary care. To prevent these situations from occurring, a nail trim at least once a month should be enough to keep your dog in good condition.
When clipping, be sure to hold the clipper at a forty-five-degree angle. Most importantly, avoid cutting your dog’s quick—an interior part of the nail that contains nerves and blood vessels—as this may cause pain and bleeding. If your dog has white nails, stop trimming before reaching the pink interior of the nails. If your dog has black nails, cease trimming before reaching the white interior of the nails.
Your dog’s hygiene is directly linked to their physical health. While the cleaning and grooming practices above are fairly simple, they can make a big difference in your fur baby’s overall wellbeing. By implementing a consistent and thorough hygiene routine, you can ensure that your furry friend is comfortable and happy for years to come.