Your new pup is growing up fast! You’ve been taking care of it since day one — feeding it, cleaning its litter box, teaching it tricks — but now there’s another person involved. It’s time to take over those responsibilities yourself, including brushing, bathing, vacuuming, changing bedding, and giving it plenty of attention every day.
If you’re not prepared with the right tools, techniques, and products, you could end up doing more harm than good by scrubbing away dirt when all your pooch really needs is a little TLC. Buy grooming supplies at DoggieToys.Deals Grooming Supplies
We consulted several experts from veterinary medicine, animal behavior, pet groomers, and manufacturers of grooming supplies to create this ultimate guide to caring for your canine companion. We’ll tell you how to brush your fur-coated buddy without damaging its skin or causing dandruff, show you which type of shampoo will get rid of fleas and ticks without stripping natural oils out of its coat.
Teach you how to bathe your dog using only water and soap (or none at all) and give you the go-ahead on whether you should use hot water to shave down hair and make him look like a lion cub. We’ll also cover everything else you need to know, such as first aid procedures for dogs.
Don’t worry if you don’t know much about dogs yet. This article isn’t meant to be an instruction manual. Instead, we’ll break down each step into easy-to-follow instructions that even novice owners can understand. Read on to learn our best tips for keeping your pet healthy and happy.
If you’ve never owned a dog before, chances are you want to do so as soon as possible. But before you rush off to buy one, read these simple tips to help you choose the right breed.
Choose wisely: When selecting a puppy, consider your lifestyle. Does your family frequently travel? Will you require a large amount of space to house your new four-legged friend? How often will you walk, jog or bike with your pup? Ask yourself questions like “What kind of life am I looking for?” and “Do I prefer short or long-haired dogs?”
Be honest and open about your expectations: Don’t fall for cute advertising claims. There’s no way to guarantee that any given puppy has the personality traits or energy level you desire. Also, keep in mind that different breeds have different grooming habits. Some may shed less, others might shed more. The same goes for allergies.
If you have allergies, you might want to avoid certain breeds altogether. Finally, remember that just because you find a particular breed adorable doesn’t mean everyone will agree. Be realistic when choosing a breed based on your personal preferences.
A few months later, after you’ve had your new pet around awhile, you might start noticing red bumps on his head. They’re called mats or ringworm, and they appear most often among puppies and older animals. Fortunately, mats aren’t difficult to treat. Just follow your vet’s advice.
Brush gently: A firm bristle brush works well for removing loose hair, grit, and other debris. Never use metal brushes or bristles, as they can cause painful sores. Brushing too hard can damage your pet’s skin and leave unsightly bald patches behind.
Vacuum Carefully: To prevent scratching, always vacuum furniture and floors with soft, non-toxic attachments. For carpeting, try a handheld vacuum cleaner with a wide nozzle attachment. Make sure the machine is running at low speed, and clean slowly and thoroughly.
Shampoo once a month: Weekly shampoos remove dirt, urine, and feces while adding moisture back to a dog’s coat. However, weekly shampooing can strip oil, waxes, and fats from the outer layer of the skin. These nutrients provide protection against bacteria, viruses, and mites.
So you’ve decided to bathe your dog. Good choice! Bathing removes dead hairs, dirt, and odors. It helps control body temperature, reduces stress levels, and releases endorphins. And unlike human baths, it won’t burn the heck out of you.
First things first, you must prepare your home for a wet encounter. Remove items such as toys, beds, blankets, shoes, eyeglasses, and cell phones. Cover your floor with towels and old sheets. Next, pour warm water into a tub large enough to accommodate your dog comfortably. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to the bathwater to reduce odor and soften the hair.
Warm water softens the cuticles on your pet’s paws and encourages them to stay hydrated. Vinegar makes the bath milder and less irritating for their tender feet.
Now comes the fun part: washing your pup. Use a sponge rather than a washcloth. Wash your pet thoroughly under cool, running water. Rinse thoroughly then pat dry. Avoid rubbing your dog’s neck, ears, and lower legs.
To properly moisturize your dog, add 2 tablespoons of baby shampoo to the rinse water. Shampoo once a week and rinse well between washes. In addition to regular shampooing, you might want to consider brushing your dog’s teeth. Clean tartar buildups from your pet’s gums with a toothbrush dipped in baking soda paste. Rinse clean with tap water. Then apply a small amount of petroleum jelly followed by dental floss. Floss daily to maintain gum health.
Doggie First Aid
It would probably be pretty embarrassing if anything ever happened to your pooch. Luckily, many medical emergencies can be managed with basic household ingredients. Keep a few of these emergency remedies handy and learn CPR here.
Sneezing can indicate a number of problems, including upper respiratory infections, allergies, and asthma. Take your pet to see a veterinarian immediately.
Ticks suck blood from humans and pets until their tiny barbed jaws become embedded deep inside the host’s flesh. Prevent tick infestation by wearing light-colored clothing and tucking pants into socks. Check your pet periodically for lumps or raised areas that resemble ticks. Wipe the area with alcohol to kill any lurking parasites.
Flea droppings contain toxic chemicals that penetrate your pet’s skin. Scrub affected areas with soap and water. Treat with liquid insecticide.
Cats are known for being crafty escape artists who routinely squeeze themselves through tight places, but some cats also enjoy chewing up pillows and stuffing sleeves. Help protect your furnishings by placing plastic slipcovers over pillows and sofa cushions.
Raccoons and squirrels are notorious for carrying rabies and distemper. Get vaccinated to keep both diseases at bay.
As you can see, you don’t need a lot of money or fancy equipment to own a happy, healthy pooch. Most people usually spend more money on clothes for themselves than they do on their pets’ attire. With a little bit of effort and patience, you can transform your pooch into a stylish accessory that will brighten anyone’s day.