Dogs and cats have very different needs when it comes to routine grooming. Cats tend to take care of a lot of things on their own, whereas a dog is a bit more high-maintenance. He may also prove to be more agreeable to some things than his feline housemates (but not always). Here are a few things to keep on top of at least once a month to ensure that your pooch is comfortable, clean and healthy. [photo via flickr]
Most dogs are more tolerant to bathing than cats. That’s not to say they like it, but their inate need to please helps them to put up with it better. They also have less scratchy ways of expressing their disdain than your cat.
As for getting him squeaky clean, while there is very little difference between pet shampoos and people shampoos, your pet’s skin is not at all like your scalp. Using a standard baby shampoo is a good idea if Rover is exceptionally dirty, but always follow it up with a shampoo designed for him. This will prevent dry skin and excessive shedding.
Flea and Tick Treatments
While a collar can be an effective deterrent to pests for dogs who live predominantly indoors, dogs who spend a lot of time outside should get a monthly flea and tick undercoat treatment. Most of these come with stickers to tag your calendar so you don’t forget. Use them and don’t slack on the treatments.
The reason for this is simple: the interval matters. Never let your dog go more than a month without it. Without a backup plan, he will attract fleas and ticks even if he’s only outside for an hour each day, and even if you bathe and brush him regularly.
If your dog sheds a lot (as some breeds do), a daily brushing can keep much of the excess hair in the wastebasket and out of your rugs and upholstery. It may seem like a tall order but it’s a lot easier than lugging around the vacuum every other day to clean up what that brush could easily catch.
Most of us shy away from this one because we don’t want to hurt our precious pooch, but neglecting it can hurt him more in the long term. Uncut nails can lead to unnatural pressure on the joints in his legs and paws and that leads to all kinds of problems, especially for geriatric dogs. They can also break and cause excessive pain and bleeding.
Like anything else, clipping your dog’s nails takes practice. Once you get good at it, it’s done in seconds. Accidents will happen so be prepared to show a lot of love and keep some styptic powder nearby. He’ll get over it and you’ll get better at it.
Following these simple routines will result in a happy, healthy pooch, a cleaner home and more bonding time for you and your furry friend.