Saturday, March 21, 2015

Clipping And Cleaning

I know pleading with your dog to hold still while you trim their nails, wash out their eye boogers and clean dirt out of their ears are tasks that owners hate to do. However, these easy to overlook grooming routines are fundamental to maintaining your dog's health and well-being.

Regularly clipping a dog's toe nails is necessary for a dog to walk normally and avoid painful nail breakage. Cleaning a dog's eyes and ears are important to avoid infection. Here are three easy tips to keep your dog's nails, ears and eyes healthy.

Tip 1: Nail Clipping

Trimming your dog's toe nails doesn't have to be a grueling task as long as you take it slow and associate the nail clippers with a tasty treat.

When my dogs were puppies, I got them used to nail trimming by playing with their feet and touching their nails with the clippers. Then every time Brody, Otis or Suzie let me clip at least one of their nails, they got a treat.

Once your dog is not afraid of you clipping their nails, the task is easy. Hold the dog's toe between your fingers and position the blade so it's facing the nail. Put the nail between the blades and cut a small portion of the nail at a right angle.

Make sure to have some blood clotting powder close by in case you hit the quick. You can find the powder, Kwik Stop, at any pet store. Don't get discouraged if you make them bleed. Just one flinch from your dog can make you cut the nail too short.

Tip 2: Cleaning Eyes

Wiping your dog's eye goobers may not be on the top of your list but it's a necessary task that should be done frequently. If you have a pug or any breed with a wrinkly face, cleaning their wrinkles is extremely important!

You can easily wipe away the discharge with a damp sterile clothe or cotton ball. Wipe away the discharge with an outward motion and try not to directly touch a dog's eye.

Some owners use eye washes made for dogs while others just use warm water. Avoid using human soaps because these products can irritate the eyes.

If mucus and discharge are left in the corners of a dog's eyes too long, tear stains and infection can develop. Due to their bulgy eyes, pugs have also been known to lose their eyesight or require their eyes to be surgically removed. Call a vet if you notice redness or swelling around your dog's eye.

Tip 3: Cleaning Ears

Cleaning your dog's ears can be smelly and unpleasant if not done often. To avoid stinky globs of ear gunk and infection, you need to monitor your dog's ears and wipe out any dirt that is visible. Pour a small amount of mineral oil or ear cleaning solution made for dogs on a cotton ball and gently wipe away the dirt. Be careful to not stick the cotton ball down the ear canal.

While cleaning ears regularly is important, cleaning them too much can be a problem. The skin inside the ear is sensitive. Rubbing the skin too hard and pouring a lot of solution in the ear can cause irritation.

If you follow these steps, these three grooming routines should be a piece of cake and stress free for both of you. In the end, your dog will feel better and get a yummy treat out of it too. Overall, I would say it's a win-win situation.

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