For the Love and Health of Your Dog
©by Kim Bloomer, VND
Grooming is more than just to beautify your dog, it’s for the love and health of your dog
The amount of grooming of course depends a lot on the coat length and texture of your particular dog. I have a short-coated, Neapolitan Mastiff, so his grooming doesn’t entail too much hardship at all. In fact, if your dog is really healthy the grooming process shouldn’t be hard because the coat will “tight” (not loose with excessive shedding) and little shedding making grooming the coat much nicer. Remember I’m talking about grooming your pet here, not show grooming which is not only time-intensive but is very specific on how the coat should look and feel for the show ring.
How often you need to groom your dog will also depend upon the length and texture of your dog’s coat. My golden retriever needed daily grooming because he had a curly, thick, medium length coat but I only groom my mastiff once a week. It’s something he really looks forward to. How do I know? Dogs don’t play coy; they show you very transparently how they feel with vigorous tail wagging and that bright-eyed look only a dog can portray. My dog gets that eager look as soon as he sees me get out the “shedding blade” and his bristle brush; I suspect because it just feels so good! He isn’t too happy to see the nail trimmers though but has apparently resigned himself to the fact that this is a necessary “evil” he must endure each week.
I do a quick nail trim each week to keep his nails cut back so that he can walk squarely on his four feet. If your dog’s nails are clacking on the floor as he walks, then they are probably too long. Too long of nails can throw off their gait eventually causing some structural imbalances in your dog, which can lead to disease. You can ask your veterinarian to show you how to properly trim your dog’s nails.
I also do a check on my dog’s teeth each week. My dog is raw fed so typically his teeth don’t need more than for me to make sure all the teeth are white and the gums healthy. Every now and then I do need to use a dental tool and scale some parts he’s missed when gnawing on bones. If you don’t raw feed then you’ll want to do regular teeth brushing to keep the teeth clean and white, and the gums healthy. Don’t use regular toothpaste with fluoride in it as fluoride isn’t even good for us to swallow much-the-less your dog. I use natural toothpaste in my home that is child and dog-safe.
Every single week I also do a thorough ear cleaning on my dog, which he really likes! I use my own natural remedy for cleaning his ears, and I use cotton balls. If you’ve not ever done this before you will really need to have your veterinarian show you how to do this. By learning the proper way to care for your dog from a professional who knows how, you can avoid any possible mishaps.
Grooming is more than keeping your dog looking nice, it is about his or her health. By keeping their teeth clean, their coats brushed, their nails trimmed, and their ears clean, you’ll be helping with your dogs’ overall wellbeing and health. You’ll also be setting up a regular time for bonding with your dog which your dog should come to really appreciate. One last thing, you’ll also be able to notice early if there are any bumps, lumps or abnormalities on your dog that shouldn’t be there. This way you can address those by visiting your veterinarian or other health professional immediately before any real problems set in. Grooming isn’t just for beauty it’s for love and for health!
About the author:
Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Author. This article is for educational purposes only. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader.
Dr. Kim Bloomer is a certified animal naturopath and published author, consulting on canine nutrition and wellness. She hosts the internet radio show, Animal Talk Naturally with colleague Dr. Jeannie Thomason. The two are also the Founders of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy. In addition, Dr. Kim is a proficient blogger and writer on natural pet health, having co-authored the book Whole Health for Happy Dogs and authored the book Animals Taught Me That. Dr. Kim’s articles have been featured in various publications such as Animal Wellness, Natural Horse, Dogs Naturally, NM Breeze, Raw Instincts, and the Pet Connection magazines. Website:www.AspenbloomPetCare.com
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