How To Keep Fido Clean This Spring
March 4, 2019
There’s no time like the present to prep your pup for the weather, temperature and other environmental changes that come with Spring. Regular maintenance like taking care of ears, nails, coat and paws need the right grooming supplies. We’ve put together a list of everything you need to keep up with your dog’s grooming needs as the season changes.
Different dog breeds have different types of coats, from shorthaired breeds like Pugs to the curly coat of say, a Portuguese Water Dog. So it’s important to pick the right dog brush to match. Some dogs may even need a couple of different types of brushes. You can’t go too far wrong with a Bristle Brush, this works well for most dog hair. If your dog has medium to long hair make sure you have a Wire Pin Brush. If his coat is prone to easy matting then a Slicker Brush will help comb out those tangles and knots. For those severe tangles a Rake or Matbreaker will work best. At this time of year dogs with double-coats - typically dogs that love swimming or are bred for cold climates, will need a special Shedding Tool with special teeth to thin the coat and reduce shedding. Last but not least, a Flea Comb is useful if he’s been out for a walk in a wooded area that potentially had fleas.
We’ve all had at least one stressful experience when it comes to trimming our dog’s nails. The key to successful and stress free nail care is knowing the right technique and using the right tool. The folks at the American Kennel Club have great tips on technique and how to get started. For dogs with small, delicate nails the best tool is a Scissor Trimmer that isn’t spring loaded. Styptic Powder, such as Kwik-stop, can be used to stop bleeding if you accidentally cut a nail too short. Another great way to care for delicate nails is a nail filing tool or an emery board. If you prefer to clip nails using a scissor type tool then a spring-loaded claw-style Trimmer will work well.
Using the right shampoo is key, especially when your pup begins being exposed to pollen and other allergens. We recommend choosing a shampoo intended for use on dogs that is soap free and always use shampoos that are tear-free to protect his eyes at bath time. Look for shampoos that are chemical free, that contain natural ingredients as these often help improve his coat. If he has irritated or itchy skin an oatmeal based shampoo can help soothe those itches. If you’re feeling like going all in on a spring grooming, use a conditioner after the shampoo to help keep his coat nice and shiny and free from tangles for longer. Check with your groomer for which conditioner is best as some are meant to be rinsed off straight away while others are left on to dry.
Now is a good time of year to schedule a checkup with your vet to get his ears checked. They can show you how to care for your dog’s ears properly. Be very careful with cotton-tipped q-tips and never use alcohol in a dog’s ears. When it comes to proper ear care we recommend getting a regular ear check done by your vet.
Before we start dispensing our hair cutting advice, remember that not all dogs need haircuts. Some may really enjoy a short cut or new look for the upcoming warm weather but it's not necessarily required. Short-haired dog breeds generally don’t need to be clipped or shaved. There are some breeds with medium length hair that could occasionally use a hair trim. Some dog breeds like Poodles and Shih Tzus have hair that keeps growing and these dog breeds will need regular haircuts. If you’re feeling the need to DIY the haircut we advise using a set of electric clippers. Stay away from the scissors unless you’ve been trained or have a lot of experience as it's easy to slip and accidently injure your best friend.
With every season that comes and goes always make sure to keep your pup's grooming up-to-par as it's an important factor in their overall health and happiness.