Having a dog is hard work, there’s a lot more to it than snuggles and belly rubs. You now have a responsibility to a living animal, and it is your job to keep it safe and healthy. Vaccinations, as well as vet visits, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pet care.
The seemingly inconsequential day-to-day dog hygiene is what sets the stellar dog owners apart from the negligent ones. Each breed has its own needs, as well. Depending on the type of coat and the size of the dog there will be different grooming needs. A short-haired Great Dane is much different to care for than a long-haired Poodle. Naturally, your hands aren’t going to suffice as far as keeping your dog happy and healthy for years to come.
Here are five tools every dog owner should have in their arsenal:
Dog hygiene: Nail clippers
You should clip your dog’s nails every four to six weeks. In the wild, dogs were able to keep their nails at an acceptable level by foraging, and other miscellaneous uses, so constant nail growth wasn’t much of an issue. Now that we’ve bred dogs far from the wild and placed them in our homes, it’s necessary to keep their nails short.
Regularly clipping your dog’s nails will prevent your dog from scratching up floors and furniture and reduce the chance you’ll get hurt if they are a bit over-eager in greeting you. Also, should a long nail break off, your dog will be in considerable pain. So, staying on top of their nail needs is essential to dog care.
Dog hygiene: Brush
Every dog should be brushed regularly to avoid troublesome matting and to distribute the oils found naturally in your dog’s coat. What brush you choose is dependent on your breed of dog, a high-quality brush for Goldendoodles is different from a high-quality brush for a Shih Tzu. Any dog with a radiant, shiny coat has been brushed thoroughly and regularly. Short haired dogs are well-served by a bristle brush, and long-haired dogs are much better handled by brushes that are long, evenly spaced out, and sturdy.
Dog hygiene: Ear cleanser
Ear infections are common among domesticated dogs, with dogs that spend a lot of time in the water being most prone to infection. This is due to their extremely long ear canals that can easily fall prey to a buildup of wax, oils, and other debris. Ear cleaner is first applied to a cotton ball, and then the cotton ball is placed inside the ear canal so it can dislodge all of the unwanted materials. After being in the ear canal for about five minutes, it can then be removed.
Dog hygiene: Dog shampoo
Where most people neglect their dogs most is in keeping their coats nice and clean. With a proper shampoo, your dog’s hair will always be clean and properly moisturized. Ensure you choose a shampoo that is made from non-toxic materials to avoid any unwanted allergic reactions. There are hundreds of different dog shampoos out there that can cater to different breeds better than others, so choose wisely.
Dog hygiene: Dog towel
If you’re going to be washing your dog and shampooing it, you should next make sure you have the right towel for the job, one dedicated to your pup exclusively. By investing in a dog towel, you’ll avoid your dog scampering off and violently shaking themselves dry which can spread moisture throughout your house and undo some of your hard grooming work.
Dog hygiene: 5 essential tools
These five tools constitute complete basic dog hygiene kit, every prudent dog owner should own at least these five items, with some extras depending on what problems they’ve noticed plague their dog. You took on a big responsibility by choosing to own a dog, so stay on top of their health. Simple grooming every day can add years to your dog’s life, and what kind of owner wouldn’t want that?