How to keep the dog always clean in all parts of its body
Dog hygiene and care are very important for your furry friend’s health. But keeping your dog clean is not just bathing it: there are a few daily and periodic chores that should not be neglected. Let’s see which they are and how they should be carried out.
Dog Hygiene: Hair
Firstly, the dog’s hair must be brushed properly. To do that, you need a brush or comb especially made for our 4-legged friend, with wide teeth, since this will prevent pulling and damaging the hair, which will be obviously hurtful and irritating.
This grooming chore must be repeated frequently, even daily, especially in medium-to-long-haired breeds, which have an abundant underlying hair layer. In this way, you will remove dead hair, as well as dirt, debris and also you will have the chance to assess your dog’s skin health, verifying for any parasites.
Furthermore, you will prevent shedding hair all over your house, especially during seasonal shedding, which happens twice a year, during spring and autumn.
If you notice that your dog’s fur gets tangled and knotted (matting), an issue that occurs in some dog breeds like the Shih Tzu, it will be appropriate to cut them mats with dog scissors if they are too few. If the fur is otherwise too tangled, it is better to take your dog to a professional groomer.
Dog Hygiene: Genitals
An equally important area in your dog’s hygiene are its private parts: our 4-legged friends frequently tend to lick themselves. They “clean” themselves with saliva, but they run the risk of getting infected with bacteria present in urine and feces.
Using antibacterial wet towels is enough to keep your dog’s private parts clean. With these towels, you can gently clean these areas every day.
Dog Hygiene: Ears
You should not overlook ear hygiene: if you do, your dog may be susceptible to develop otitis (inflammation of the ear) and other infections, so keeping a clean ear and ear canal, including the auricular cartilage, is essential.
To do this, you need a sterile gauze or a cotton wipe, like the ones used for removing make up. They should be moist with hydrogen peroxide, and squeezed to get rid of the excess liquid; then, gently clean the ear without going in too deep to avoid the risk of hurting your dog, but try to eliminate any discharge and debris.
It is advisable to repeat this dog hygiene chore at least every 10 days approximately. It is better not to use cotton balls or pieces of cloth that may leave residue or strands which, by setting inside the ear, might cause inflammation.
Dog Hygiene: Eyes
The eyes should not be neglected when it comes to dog hygienic chores. Often when our friend wakes up or, for example, after a road trip with the window open, they tend to tear up and produce discharge. Just remove it, as it may be necessary, always with a gauze or cotton damp with water or special eye cleaning solutions. You may also rub its eyes with a wipe moist with chamomile tea; this does not only clean the eyes but also lowers inflammation if there is lacrimal duct obstruction.
Dog Hygiene: Paws
Even though the dog’s paws seem to be the least delicate body parts of our dog, they must be cared for. In particular, you should check the footpads for debris, or strange objects (like little branches in its pads after a walk, or a stroll in the woods. Remove all of these if necessary.
Dog Hygiene: Nails
Nail trimming in dogs deserves a special chapter, it is especially necessary for domestic dogs, who live in apartments and those who, if they have no way to “file” them naturally, should have a “pedicure“.
A sedentary life causes the nails to grow excessive ly, since the dog cannot rest its paw correct ly on the ground. Sometimes, having long nails may be painful or it may cause the dog to slip on the floor, especially in apartments, where fingers cannot provide adequate support.
If we listen to the dog walking around the house making a “tik-tok” sound, it signifies its nails are too long. To make sure the dog’s nails remain at the proper length, you can go on long, frequent walks or trim them with adequate clippers, or scissors. These are sold in most pet shops, and you will have to choose them according to your dog’s size.
This hygienic chore is more delicate in some breeds, like the German Shepherd or the Poodle, as they have dark nails, and it is not easy to tell when the tick ends and where you start to hurt the nerves and internal blood vases, causing pain and bleeding.
In any case, we advise to trim a small piece of nail at a time, to be sure you are not hurting your dog. If you do not really want to do it or are afraid to cause harm, go to a professional groomer or your trusted vet.
If you have more doubts, you may consult a professional who will provide the best assistance and answer all your questions.
You may be interested in reading another article related to the Hygiene and Beauty of our friends such as:
- How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
- Trimming your dog’s nail
- Tips to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
- How to Bathe Your Dog
- Stripping and Trimming in Dogs