Here is your weekly newsletter. I don’t know about you or your dog, but Tongka isn’t really one for baths. He accepts them stoically, like a soldier undergoing a physical. That said, a little basic hygiene is good for everyone. And he does like leaves!
We hope you enjoy. Happy dog bathing day.
Sidra, David and Tongka
Proper Dog Hygiene
To keep a healthy dog, you should pay attention to his hygiene. We know that the dog can be victim of many diseases related to dirt and of course, pests such as fleas and ticks.
Let’s see some tips for dog hygiene.
The bath is useful for untangling knots and tangles in the hair, cleaning it from dead hair, parasites, and dirt that can cause problems for the skin. However, even the most delicate detergent often removes the sebaceous layer of the skin, which is essential for keeping skin and hair healthy. It is why dogs do not need too frequent baths, not more than once per month.
It can happen that after a stroll, they are dirty of mud and soil. In that case, you can do some more bathing, using only water.
It is essential not to use our shampoo, but to buy specific products. The pH of the dog’s skin is different from ours, and the shampoo should be chosen according to the type of fur.
If the dog has short and rough hair, the detergent must have polishing and dermo protective properties. Long-haired dogs need shampoos with elasticizing and softening properties.
Not all dogs love to bathe, so it is crucial to get them used since they are puppies. Otherwise, it could be too difficult. If the dog does not like water very much, it is better to get help from another person, especially if the dog is big.
In winter, bring the dog gradually closer to the tank, half-filled with lukewarm water. Once inside, it must be wet and then slathered with the shampoo, adequately diluted, starting from the back to gradually reach the head.
Always dry the dog’s hair thoroughly with a towel and then with the hairdryer, especially if it has very long hair.
In summer and on sweltering days, fresh but not cold water, can be used to refresh the dog. However, it is necessary to proceed slowly, wetting first the paws, the belly, and then all the rest. In this case, the dog can dry quickly in the sun.
Pay attention not to let water enter his ears or eyes, and once finished, dry these parts very thoroughly.
The rinse must be accurate to eliminate any trace of shampoo that could otherwise cause discomfort to the dog’s skin.
After it is dry, the dog should be brushed in the direction of the hair to remove all knots. If there are tight knots, you need to cut them with scissors, using a comb to keep the hair raised.
To avoid too frequent baths is useful to brush the dog regularly. Especially for long-haired dogs, it is essential to do this almost every day. In this way, you will remove the dead hair, as well as any residues of dirt. You will also have the opportunity to monitor the health of the animal’s skin, noting the possible presence of pests.
Also, you will avoid finding around the house always thick skeins of fur that, by now detached, would fall naturally anyway.
Dog Ear Care
The ears are a delicate part of the dog to pay attention to keep them clean and healthy. There are dogs that, due to a series of characteristics, are more predisposed to ear infections, but in any case, you should clean them at least once a week.
Another operation to be carried out will be the elimination of the hair in the auditory canal of dogs, with a pair of scissors or a grooming machine. The external pavilion must be cleaned using specific products or cleansing milk, rubbing it gently, especially in the dirtiest parts.
The internal pavilion must be cleaned with products that ensure that the dirt disintegrates and should only be removed with a finger covered with gauze. In any case, cotton swabs or any other instrument should never be introduced into the ear of dogs.
Dog Eye Care
Particular care and attention must be paid to the eyes. The dirt can accumulate around them, below which can create sores that lacerate the skin so seriously. Eyes require the use of specific medicines.
Particular attention should be paid to dogs such as the pug, the bulldog, the Shih Tzu or the Pekingese, or in dogs with particularly exposed conjunctiva such as Saint Bernard.
To avoid fouling, clean the eyes and the surrounding areas with gauze soaked in chamomile. Also, boric water, mallow, or specific products indicated by the veterinarian are good. You should start cleaning from the innermost part, then going towards the external.
To free the eyes from the dust collected during the walk, are found to be effective some drops of neutral blueberry or cornflower eye drops.
If the dog has red eyes, consult your veterinarian, under no circumstances should medicated eye drops be used without a prescription.
Dog Teeth Care
The bad smell that dogs give from the mouth is a significant indication of poor oral hygiene. Plaque and tartar are the most insidious enemies of the dog’s teeth. The mineralization of the first descends from the second, which causes serious problems not only to the dog’s dental and oral system, such as gingivitis and periodontitis but also to the heart and liver.
To prevent or reduce plaque and tartar formation; therefore, cleaning is essential. All dogs need it, starting with huge dogs, which pose fewer problems than small or tiny dogs.
For example, dachshunds, Yorkshire, Maltese, pinscher, chihuahua, cavalier king Charles, spaniel, etc. have teeth easily covered with tartar.
The traditional toothbrush can be used; however, only by getting the dog used since he is a puppy, otherwise it is practically impossible.
Another tool indicated is a pediatric toothbrush, to be inserted in the little finger, resembling a glove for washing dishes with bristles on top and slipping on the little finger of the hand.
First, you pass it on the outside and then, once the dog has become accustomed, on the inside of the teeth. This ploy is particularly useful for introducing then the toothbrush, to be chosen, preferably with soft bristles. For cleaning, it will be necessary to brush the gum line having the foresight to alternate first a rotary movement and then from the bottom upwards.
The washing of teeth and gums, in general, should be practiced at least a couple of times a week. As a detergent, a solution indicated by the veterinarian should be used; sodium bicarbonate is a valid alternative.
Croquettes, specially designed snacks, supplements to be combined with both dry and wet food and dry bread are also useful for limiting the formation of tartar. In cases where tartar occurs in large quantities, it is good to proceed with its elimination through a specific intervention by the vet.
Dog Paws Care
The dog’s paws must be controlled despite being a seemingly less delicate part of the body. In particular, you should check from time to time after walking. Especially in the woods, they could be stuck in the middle of the fingertips with the residues of dirt or foreign bodies, such as pieces of twigs.
During the winter, paws should be cleaned well from ice and salt spread on roads and sidewalks, while in summer, they can cause discomfort if they have spikes, spines, or sharp fragments.
It is, therefore, necessary, after returning from a walk, to check them with some care and to observe if there are cuts or lacerations, which the dog will “report” by frequently licking its paw. In this case, it is necessary to prevent it from licking, and it will be essential to go to the veterinarian.
If the dog’s paws get dirty with mud or earth, it is better to wash them immediately when returning from the walk without having to take a full bath. In this way, we will prevent the dog from licking itself for cleaning and ingesting the dirt.
The cutting of the dog’s nails deserves a separate discussion: it is necessary above all for domestic dogs, which live in an apartment and which, if they do not go out often, have no way of consuming them.
This situation causes the nails to grow excessively, preventing the dog from resting the paw properly on the ground and sometimes even causing pain, as well as putting it at risk of slipping, especially in the apartment, where the fingertips fail to grip the polished floors.
When we hear that the dog makes a strange ticking when walking around the house, it means that the nails are too long.
If we are not capable, it is better not to cut the dog’s nails, but to contact the vet.
As much care as we can put in cleaning our dog, we can’t do much against fleas and ticks. We can only rely on medicines. We can buy flea collars or use vials and pills. Pay attention to the indications of the packages and follow them to the best.
For example, the weight of the dog must be taken into account to apply the right amount. Usually, medicines are applied to the nape of the dog or to the back to prevent it from licking. Do not touch or wash the dog in the immediately following hours.
If the medicine is preventive, everything is more comfortable. If the dog already has fleas or ticks, do something more. For example, wash the kennel, the blankets, and the toys, in the most desperate cases, eliminate them!
Many remedies kill fleas, but they can also make them jump away from the dog, so it’s essential to keep the dog outdoors so that he doesn’t lose insects at home.
If there are ticks, sometimes they do not die, but they all settle in the muzzle or ears of the dog and must be removed by hand one by one. If you are not capable, go to a good groomer who can help you.
Once the dog is cleaned from fleas and ticks, it is crucial to maintain the hygiene for its and our protection.