by Carlotta Cooper
I have an online friend who is remodeling his home in Brentwood. He tells me about importing a marble fireplace and installing a remote control for his bathroom fixtures. I don’t quite have the heart to tell him that my home is decorated in Modern Dog. I have a crate that could house a family of three in my living room and a dog grooming table pushed against a window. I use the table a) for my potted plants; and b) when I groom my dogs.
With five big, long-haired dogs I do groom them myself. It’s not as hard as you might think and, with the economy the way it is right now this could be the perfect time for you to consider washing and grooming your own dog at home. At the very least, some of these ideas may help you stretch the time between visits to the grooming salon.
No More Bad Hair Days
You may not be able to duplicate the look that a dog groomer gives your dog, especially if you have a breed that requires some clipping, but there are many things that you can do to lengthen the time between visits to the grooming salon.
For dogs that need a little “boost” between baths, many people like to give a waterless bath. Dry Dog Instant Clean is a bath replacement spray, waterless shampoo and dry bath. All you have to do is spritz it on your dog and the spray cleans without using any water. Dry Dog contains ordenone which eliminates bad doggy odors. A waterless bath can help your dog go a few more weeks before getting a bath or seeing the dog groomer so it can help stretch your grooming dollars.
Rub A Dub Dub
If you decide to bathe your dog yourself and your dog hates it, you can help him feel better about the whole activity with an herbal elixir like Sleepytime Tonic . Sleepytime Tonic is great at calming a nervous or anxious dog whether your dog is afraid of fireworks, storms or just getting a bath.
There’s no one best way to bathe your dog. Some people like to take their dogs into the shower with them. Other people put their dog in the bathtub. If you have a small dog you may prefer to use the kitchen sink although I have found that I end up as wet us the dog! Do make sure you use warm water — test the water on yourself before using it on your dog. And, make sure that you rinse the lather thoroughly from your dog. Soap residue can be a skin irritant and cause your dog to itch and to scratch at his skin. It can even result in hot spots that make his skin break out. If you’re not sure how often you should wash your dog read this article.
Another thing to note is the type of shampoo you should use on your dog. Be sure to use one specially formulated for a dog’s skin and that addresses the particular problem your dog might face. For example, does your dog have itchy skin ? What about a dull coat ? There are shampoos for virtually every problem. One thing to note is you should not use your own shampoo on your dog.
Whether you have a short-haired or long-haired breed the most important part of grooming your dog is regular brushing. Contrary to popular opinion, many short-haired breeds are terrible shedders. Breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Beagles (and their mixes) can shed copious amount of hair on a daily basis. It takes regular brushing to keep that hair from spreading throughout your home. Long-haired breeds are more apt to shed hair in tumbleweed formation — the hair sticks together and is easily seen and swept up.
If your dog has a few tangles you can make brushing him much easier by using a product such as a detangler that you can spray on your dog while brushing to remove tangles and leave in his coat for added conditioning. I like a product called Calming Aromatherapy Spritzer . It conditions the hair and makes it easy to brush. And, the lavender scent is very soothing to your dog. When you’re brushing and combing your dog it’s best to spray the coat with something first. Brushing and combing a completely dry coat can cause the fur to break. Using a good detangler such as Calming Aromatherapy Spritze r can prevent tangles and mats from forming.
Do Your Ears Hang Low?
All dogs need to have their ears cleaned weekly. Otherwise they can develop ear infections which, left untreated, can lead to hearing loss. You also need to trim your dog’s nails weekly. Some people use nail clippers or scissors for this job. Other people prefer a rotary grinding tool which sands off a little nail at a time. Either kind of tool is fine. The important thing is to trim your dog’s nails regularly so they don’t get too long.
Don’t Cry For Me
Do you have a breed that gets tear stains? Some dogs, especially small dogs, tend to get tear stains. According to a veterinary ophthalmologist, around 20 percent of small dogs, such as Maltese, get tear stains on their faces. Tear stains can lead to yeast infections and other problems if they’re not cared for. The problem may be the water in your area, your dog’s diet, allergies, or other things. You may need to talk to your vet to find a solution.
If your dog has tear stains it’s very important to keep the area around his eyes wiped clean. You can do this by using products that help to clean the eyes externally and to clean the body of the bacteria that cause the tear stains internally. The Eye Pack is a two part program to solve the problem inside and outside without using antibiotics.
Remember to see a vet if your dog has a continuing problem with tear stains . There could be an infection involved.
Whether you decide to groom your dog at home or you just want to stretch the time between sessions at your dog’s grooming salon, there are some good alternatives available to dog owners. You may not feel like rushing out to get your own grooming table but you may enjoy brushing your dog and spending time with him. Grooming your dog can be a good way of bonding and spending quality time together. And isn’t that what it’s really all about?