Dog Grooming - Nails, Ears and Teeth

By: Aspenaerie
Dog grooming includes not only brushing and bathing your puppy or dog but continues with his nails, ears and teeth. If these are not taken care of, there is a potential for health problems. Think of these dog grooming points as preventive health care and a way to keep the vet bills down.

A dog's nails must be trimmed every so often. Depending upon the surfaces you dog walks on, you may find you need to trim every three to four weeks or even more often. You dog's dewclaws may need more frequent trimming than the rest of his nails.

Begin trimming a puppy's nails when he is about 10 - 12 weeks old. As with the rest of dog grooming, you may need to start with small sessions and work up. Start with one paw and do just that. If he is very aggravated with that, start with just one toe. You may even find you have to start with just holding one paw and one toe. Remember to praise him when he does allow you and to provide treats and play time after the session. Make your puppy look forward to his dog grooming.

In between bathing sessions, you can clean around your dog's eyes with a damp cotton ball. Wipe from the corners outward just as you were taught to do for your own eyes.

Clean your dog's ears only when you see visible dirt. Never use cotton-tipped swabs. Use a cotton ball dampened with a dog-ear cleaning solution, baby or mineral oil or hydrogen peroxide. If there is a bad smell or signs of redness, your dog may require a trip to the vet. Keep an eye out for mites as well. Dogs with droopy ears may have more ear problems and need more cleaning due to lack of airflow into the ear.

Lastly, dog grooming continues with brushing your dog's teeth. To start the process with your puppy you may need to start by simply massaging his lips in a clockwise manner with your finger for a couple weeks followed by massaging his gums and teeth for a couple weeks. Then you can use a dog toothbrush, a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger or a soft round-tipped human toothbrush to begin massaging his teeth and gums. Finally you can begin using dog toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste. If you find dog toothpaste too expensive, do as people used to do and make a paste of baking soda and water to brush his teeth.

copyright 2005. Sandra Dinkins-Wilson
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