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Maintaining health and wellbeing: Extra special care

The grooming routine

If you have a long or medium-haired dog, daily brushing is recommended
(e.g. Yorkshire Terrier, Collie or Golden Retriever), twice weekly brushing for woolly or tough fur (e.g. Poodle or Airedale), and regular brushing for short-haired dogs
(e.g. Dachshund or Boxer). Talk to your dog during grooming, and finish up with a reward.

The pedicure

If your dog spends more time walking on carpet and grass than on hard floors or concrete, teach them to give you their paw to have their nails cut. Your veterinarian can advise you on the appropriate method, and how much to trim off.

The facial

When you find mucus in the corner of your dog’s eyes, or even a slight watering, remove it with a clean cloth soaked in warm water. Gently wipe the mucus, in a downward direction, away from the eye. In case of blood-shot eyes or persistent watering, consult your veterinarian without delay.

The ear canal

Gently check your dog’s ear flaps and ear canal openings for any scabs / discharge / odours. So long as your dog’s ears are clean and odourless, leave them well alone. Some dogs have too many hairs in their ears, and gentle removal may be required (discuss with your veterinarian). Sometimes puppies can have black or dark brown earwax, causing them to shake and scratch their head. Seek veterinary advice if there is anything unusual about the appearance or smell of your pet’s ears.

Dental care

Tartar, a build up of mineral salts contained in the saliva, all too quickly forms dental plaque on the teeth, especially in certain small breeds. Use a soft tooth-brush or special finger-brush and clean the teeth with a special dogs’ toothpaste. It’s the one way to ensure healthy adult teeth that will last, with sweeter breath and better overall health. When tartar is allowed to build up, gum disease and tooth decay are at risk of developing. De-scaling by ultrasound under anaesthetic is the best solution, a procedure carried out by veterinary surgeons. Your veterinarian can also advise of the best way to look after your pet’s teeth including giving advice on special dental treats or rinses to reduce the risk of dental disease in your dog.

The bath

Generally speaking, you need warm water and a mild pet shampoo. First wash and rinse your dog thoroughly, then dry your dog completely (towels and hair-dryer).

Note - Shampoos for humans are not recommended for dogs – consult your veterinarian for advice on shampoos suitable for dogs.

Your veterinarian will advise which products are required in the case of specific skin problems, such as greasy skin, skin infections or allergies. Also speak to your veterinarian about the frequency of washing as dog breed and skin type will vary the recommended time between washes.