While we’re not professional groomers, here are a few tips to keep your pup’s teeth, fur and nails in tip top shape.
Coat: Bathing should occur once a month, if you pup is bathed too frequently it will dry out his coat. If bathing at home, make sure you rinse all the soap off his belly so it does not get irritated. Pups should be brushed at least once a week. Brushing help keeps their coat (and your floor) clean. The longer the fur, the more maintenance it will be for you. Talk to a professional groomer to find out the best frequency for your dog. For more information on how to find the right brush/comb for you, visit Wigglyville.
Nails: For nail trimming, help your pup associate it with good things by slowly getting him used to it. Start by just getting out the clipper, say “yes” when he investigates it. Next, put some peanut butter on the fridge at his mouth level and clip just one or two nails. Do the same the next day. The first time you clip his nails will take you over a week but it will pay off in the long run so he is not miserable or running from you when you break out the clippers.
The key with nails is to cut extremely small bits off at a time to avoid hitting the quick and causing him to bleed. If you do cut the quick, use baking soda to stop the bleeding. A good rule for nail length is they should not surpass the pad and nor be heard clicking on hard wood floors. Nails should be trimmed at least once a month.
Teeth & Ears: Teeth cleaning is another task that you slowly help your pup accept. Start by just lifting his lip and touching his gum then rubbing his gum. Next, get some dog-specific toothpaste (people toothpaste is not healthy to use) and just touch one tooth with it. Gauze is fine to use but you can also purchase a doggie toothbrush. Rawhides, Kongs and Nylabones help keep teeth clean but you should brush their teeth once a week for long-term health. For maintenance, DentaTreat (available at Wigglyville) can be sprinkled on food.
Ears should be cleaned every couple of weeks. Use a solution designed specifically for ears with tissue or cotton squares to clean them out. Make sure not to go too deep into the canal as you can damage their ears.
Longer eared pups are more prone to ear infections. Signs you should look for are smell, scratching or excessive head shaking. See a vet right away if you have any of those.