Just got a new puppy and they got in to the mud in the back yard? Here are some articles for puppy and dog grooming for help you out.
Picture this: it’s late one afternoon and your puppy is about three months old. You sit down on the ground, ready to have a play session… when the awful happens. Your beautiful pup walks around the corner covered in… something very dirty and smelly. As unpleasant as this may be, it’s an expected occurrence for a young, curious pup. From three to six months, your new puppy is learning more about the world and learning what he or she can’t do, including getting into the trash or digging a hole in the backyard. Nonetheless, it’s time for your new friend’s first bath! You might imagine bathing a puppy to be a fun and cute experience, almost like a movie. However, the reality is that a bath for a wiggly, scared puppy can be a little challenging. Not to worry; we’ve created a quick 5 step process to follow to make those picture-perfect dreams of bathing an adorable puppy come true.
1. Start Young… But Not Too Young Baths can be frightening for a puppy. That’s why you want to start giving baths as young as possible (after 8 weeks old) and as often as once a month. Age and frequency are important to ensuring the puppy gets used to the ordeal and acclimated to the new feeling, temperature and sounds. Make sure you give plenty of praise and remain calm the whole time. Your puppy is always looking to you for reassurance about new situations and by telling them everything is okay and that they’re doing great, you’ll quicken their acceptance and enjoyment of a bath.
Remember however, don’t do any puppy grooming under 8 weeks old. Under this age, they will have a harder time regulating temperature and a bath could do more harm than good. If you need to give a young puppy a wash, try a washcloth with warm water and no soap for a light “sponge bath.” At this age, their skin will still be much more sensitive than that of an older dog.
2. Make It Fun
Since baths can be scary for a puppy, make sure you and puppy are having fun by making the bath a playful activity. The goal should be to make your puppy feel at home so that bath-time is associated with happy play-time. Bring his favorite toy (as long as it’s water and soap proof) into the tub to keep him interested in what’s happening. If you have the option, add a rubber mat to the bottom of the tub to keep him more secure, and detract from their fear of the situation.
3. Pick The Right Soap
Picking the right soap is a huge part of the success of the bath as the wrong soap could hurt your pet or be ineffective. When it comes to puppy grooming, make sure to have a mild and sensitive soap that will take the smell away while leaving the oils that are good for your pet’s fur. Since you might not know if your pet has any allergies at the onset, it may be safer to go with a natural or allergy-friendly formula.
If you have more specific goals than simply getting rid of dirt or a smell, you’ll need to look for customized washes that treat certain skin issues. To rid your puppy of fleas for example, be extra careful when buying soap. Some flea washes have age and weight requirements and certain instructions for rinsing. If ever unsure which soap is safe for your pet, talk to your veterinarian.
4. Rinse Well
After lathering up your pup and waiting for the soap to do its magic, it’s time to rinse your puppy. The most important thing is to make sure your puppy has absolutely no soap left on their skin. Just like with humans, dry and itchy skin can often be traced back to a bad rinse. When your puppy will likely only have a bath approximately once a month, this can lead to a lot of discomfort for the puppy and therefore, a dislike of baths. An extra tip: Make sure to keep your puppy’s eyes, ears, mouth, and nose clean and dry. This can best be done by not washing the face with soap at all and rather, starting at the neck. If you need to wash the face, use a washcloth with warm water and dab the dirt away rather than scrubbing with soap and rinsing. A surefire way that your pup will hate the bath is if you dump water over his head! .
5. Dry Safely
The bath is over and now your puppy is clean as a whistle although he is still wet as a pond. Have a towel ready so that you can quickly drape it over him. Use this time to gently dry your puppy, getting any excess water off before he has a chance to shake it off onto you. Be ready: When the towel comes off, the shaking begins. It’s especially important in the winter when it’s cold and particularly with long and thick-coated dogs, to make sure your puppy is completely dry before they venture back outside. For those that use a heat source like a dryer, get the puppy used to this slowly as the sound of a dryer can spook even the calmest of pups. It’s also important to use a low-level heat setting at a good distance from the skin to avoid heat sensitivity or worse, burns.
Bathing your puppy should be a fun and rewarding bonding experience. A bath should be something both you and your puppy get excited about. With an early “dive in,” and by following the right tips, you and your pup will achieve success. And remember even if the first try is unsuccessful, don’t give up. With enough repetition and love, your pup will learn to enjoy getting clean!
What to Do If You Find a Tick on Your Dog
Ticks season is coming up; are you prepared? Ticks are a nuisance, but they also pose a danger to you and your pets when they carry diseases, like Lyme disease. If you suspect your dog has a tick, don’t panic. We’ve got the tips to help you deal with these pesky arachnids (that’s right, they’re related to spiders!) and keep them far away from your precious pup.
Know the Signs
The first thing you’ll need to know is how to determine if your dog has a tick. You may see them in your dog’s fur, or they may drop off in the house, but sometimes they can be hard to spot. It’s always a good idea to thoroughly check your dog for ticks any time they’ve been running in tall grass or sniffing about in the underbrush. Ticks are attracted to a dog’s furry coat, so seeing a tick in your surroundings means it’s worth taking a closer look at your pup. Other signs your dog may have had a tick bite include an otherwise unexplained fever, small scabs, or frequent head-shaking, which could indicate a tick (or other problems) in your dog’s ears.
Removing the Tick
One classic but misguided piece of advice is to hold a flame to the tick. We do not recommend this, as it could cause the tick to burrow further under the dog’s skin and could also hurt your pup in the process.
Tick removal can be done at home or with the help of a veterinarian. The best way to remove a tick is using a specific tool designed for tick removal, although you can also use tweezers if you are gentle. Put on protective gloves and be prepared with some rubbing alcohol for cleaning the bite and a jar to keep the tick in until you can take your pup to the vet.
Using your tick-removal tool (or tweezers), grasp the tick as close to its head as possible and gently twist it to encourage the tick to let go. Once you’ve released the tick, get it immediately into that jar and seal it up tight. This way, if your dog does show signs of illness later, you can take the tick with you to the vet to test for tick-borne illnesses. Keep an eye on your pup for the next few days and check the bite location for swelling or redness, which are signs of infection.
The high season for ticks is spring and summer and they thrive in tall grasses and shrubby areas. You can decrease tick populations in your yard by mowing regularly and keeping your yard free of their favorite types of habitats.
If your pup spends a lot of time outdoors in the summer months it’s best to check them for ticks every day. Ticks can stay on a dog for several hours before latching on, and most tick-borne diseases can be avoided as long as the tick is removed within 12 hours of the initial bite. Many flea medications such as Frontline Plus also deter ticks, and flea collar options like this one can further decrease the likelihood of a tick bite.
While annoying, most ticks are largely harmless, especially if you know what to look for and how to remove them.
Keeping Your Dog Fresh and Clean Between Baths
Fluffy comes home from the groomer’s looking prim and perfect, with a coat as white as snow. The next day on your walk, she rolls around in a pile of manure, practically undoing the maintenance of yesterday, but it’s too early for another bath. What’s a dog owner to do?
Taking your dog to the groomer’s can get expensive and time-consuming, especially if your pup is one to get into all types of smelly trouble. We’ve got you covered with a list of tips and products to keep Fluffy smelling fresh before her next bath and after playtime.
Brush Early and Often
You might have had the experience of trying to comb a massive knot from your pup’s fur. Mats in your dog’s fur are not only unsightly, but they can also cause pain and discomfort for your dog. The good news is that matted fur can easily be prevented with regularly brushing. For long- or thick-haired breeds, daily brushing is recommended. You can even purchase a fur-detangling spray to make your dog’s fur easier to work with before brushing.
Try Doggy Wipes
Doggy wipes are an easy and convenient way to freshen up your pup when there’s no time for a full blown bath. You can use them on your dog’s entire body, or on particularly dirty areas like the paws or rear-end. While they aren’t a replacement for a proper bath, many dog owners love using wipes like these when they’re on the go.
Dry Shampoo: Not Just for Humans
For those of you unfamiliar with the recent fad, dry shampoo is a powder that is used to remove excess oil from the hair while deodorizing and cleaning. Just rub the formula into your pup’s fur and brush it out. (She’ll most likely take care of the rest by giving a big shake.) Once again, this is not a replacement for bathing, but rather a quick on-the-go solution.
Spritz on Some Fragrance
Doggy perfumes or colognes can be used in the same way that human fragrances are used–to add an extra bit of “oomph” on a special occasion, or alternatively, to hide an unwanted stench. While some doggy perfumes are made to mimic popular human brands, you should NEVER spray your dog with a human fragrance, as it can cause severe irritation.
Keep Her Bedding Clean
A dirty bed not only makes for a dirty dog, but a smelly general living space. Alleviate the lingering odor of dirty dog bedding by cleaning out your dog’s bed, blankets and other possessions on a regular basis. Products like NuVet Stain & Odor Remover can effectively eliminate both physical and airborne signs of a dirty doghouse.
Give Her a Teeth Cleaning Treat
You can spray and wipe your pooch all you want, but without good dental hygiene, you’ll surely smell your pup before you see her. A teeth cleaning treat like this one can keep her teeth clean while giving her something to chew on.
You don’t have to worry about a dirty pup when your next grooming appointment is still weeks away. Simple hygiene pup-keep can keep her looking and smelling her best, both before and after the groomer’s!
Clean Your Dog’s Ears in Just a Few Easy Steps
By BijouTeacupPuppies Team • June 8, 2016
With all of the upkeep that goes into caring for your beloved pooch, ear cleaning can be an easily forgotten hygiene task. But don’t play this health regimen “by ear,” if you catch our drift. It’s imperative to clean your dog’s ear canals on a regular basis and keep them unobstructed to prevent infection, discomfort and in worse cases, hearing loss. Convinced yet?
You may know that dogs have superior hearing to humans, yet surprisingly, their ears do not have a mechanism for self-cleaning. Your pooch needs YOUR help to get his ears up to their optimal performance. Cleaning your dog’s ears at home is not only a good potential bonding activity, but it also saves money on vet or grooming visits, where the professionals will charge extra for the simple service.
Follow these easy steps to clean your dog’s ears properly and safely:
- Inspect your dog’s ears carefully. Once he’s in a comfortable sitting or standing position and you have easy access and visibility into his ear canals, take a close look. If you only see dirt or ear wax, your dog’s likely in good shape and ready for his ear cleaning. If you happen to see any of the following warning signs, stop right away and call your vet: drainage of fluid or discharge, foul smell, redness, swelling, crusty texture, hair loss, thick waxy material, scratches, scabs, wounds, mites, ticks, fleas or parasites. Also, if the earwax is brown or black, it’s a sign that he has an infection. Call your vet and schedule an appointment right away as cleaning an already infected ear could make the condition worse. Do not under any circumstance, use a Q-tip in your dog’s ear. You can easily rupture an eardrum or injure your dog with this instrument.
- Use a commercial all-purpose dog ear cleaning solution or make your own. Products such as NuVet Ear Cleaner and Life’s Abundance Ear Care Formula use natural ingredients to alleviate common ear hygiene issues. To concoct the fluid yourself, mix a few tablespoons of vinegar with the same amount of rubbing alcohol together in a clean bowl. Make sure the solution is at room temperature as cold liquid in the ear can be very uncomfortable for your pooch.
- Dip a cotton ball into the liquid. Squeeze out the excess so the cotton is wet but not dripping. If you have a very small dog, you may want to use just a half of a cotton ball. An alternative is to wrap a piece of gauze around your pointer finger, hold in place between your thumb and middle finger, and dip into the liquid. Again, the gauze shouldn’t be sopping wet.
- Swab the inside of your dog’s ear flap. Gently remove all dirt and debris you can see. This process may take quite a few cotton balls. As long as you’re calm and stay towards the front of the hearing canal, your dog should tolerate this procedure very well. Be thorough in cleaning out all the crevices where dirt and wax build up the most. Remember to clean carefully as the delicate skin in the ear canal can easily be broken and vinegar and alcohol can sting.
- If deeper clean is needed, call the vet. If you notice after several swabs, that there is still a lot of debris, dirt and wax in the ear, it’s worth a call to your vet to get approval for a full irrigation. Once you receive the “ok,” put the solution in a squeeze bottle and drench the ears completely, then gently rub the base of the ear and massage the ear carefully for a minute. Use dry cotton ball or gauze to clean out the gunk that comes out. This process should remove most if not all of the sticky, thick material from the ears.
- Let your dog clear out his ears. You’ll notice your dog immediately have the urge to shake his head after the cleaning. Let him do so, but make sure to turn away so you don’t get fluid or debris in your eyes. The head shaking will help shake out any excess liquid out of the ear canal.
Finding Puppy’s Groomer: Consider These Factors
Something as superficial as your dog’s hairstyle may seem silly and unimportant, but choosing a professional groomer should be a high priority. Depending on your dog’s breed and hygiene needs, they could be visiting the groomer as often as every 4-6 weeks, so deciding who will be responsible for keeping your pooch clean and primped requires some research. Here’s a quick checklist to run through before getting your pup’s hair done:
- Get a Referral – Begin by asking friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. Trusted reviews are invaluable.
- Check Prices – When you start calling local groomers, ask for a full rundown of their services and prices. For example, some groomers include nail clippings or other grooming services in their regular grooming packages and others do not, so it’s helpful to know exactly what’s offered. Many groomers’ prices depend on the size and breed of the dog as well, so be sure that you aren’t comparing prices for a Maltese to prices for a Golden Retriever!
- Take a Tour – Before booking your pup’s first appointment, you’ll want to visit the facility and observe the activity. Take mental notes of the setup, lighting and cleanliness level and make sure you’re comfortable with the environment. You’ll also want to check to see if the kennels are large enough and separated for dogs and cats. Watch to see if the groomers handle their pups in a caring and professional manner and ask the staff administrative questions such as what type of records they keep and how much advance notice is required for scheduling.
- Bring Vaccination Records – Most groomers will require immunization records for rabies, kennel cough and other infectious diseases before accepting new dogs into their salon. It’s also worth noting that spayed and neutered dogs tend to be calmer, less hyperactive, and therefore more tolerant of grooming.
- Speak Up about Any Special Circumstances – Before you drop your pooch off to get his or her hair done, make sure your groomer understands any health conditions to be aware of – whether it is dry/flaky skin or something more serious like hip dysplasia that would require extra gentle handling.
- Say Goodbyes Quickly – Many dogs, especially those who display anxious behavior, have a difficult time with grooming. A long, drawn-out goodbye can make the experience worse for a socially anxious pooch, so don’t make it a big deal. There are also a few preparatory things you can do at home to get your pup more comfortable with the experience. Brush your dog often and give a reward after each brushing session.
If this all seems to be a bit much, just know that when you pick up your best friend, he will look “pawfect” with a shiny coat, fresh smell and maybe even a bandanna or bow in her hair to boot!