Friday, November 21, 2014
We all want our dog to be pretty and smell good all year long, but especially during the Holidays when we are expecting company.
Regardless of who is bathing your dog, there are some good things to know about a dog’s skin before you bathe her. You might think twice if you knew how a bath can affect your dog’s health.
For people who allow their dog on the furniture and in bed with them, it isn’t unusual to bathe the dog once a month or even weekly. This is not necessarily bad for dogs, but a frequent bathing routine should be approached with caution.
Beneath the skin are special glands that produce an oily substance that coats hair and skin to protect it against moisture. This waterproof layer also helps keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. Bathing with even mild shampoo can remove some of this layer. For this reason, unless recommended by your veterinarian for a skin condition, you shouldn’t use medicated shampoo. Medicated shampoos (like dandruff shampoo) are often too harsh and can cause more problems than they solve, making a skin condition worse. Additionally, you should not use human shampoo or conditioner since it has a different pH balance and the chemicals are too harsh. If frequent bathing is needed then use only the mildest dog shampoo.
To avoid dry and itchy skin, use a moisturizing shampoo or conditioner, like oatmeal. And try to only towel dry your dog; but if you need to use a blow dryer use the lowest or cool setting to do so.
With proper maintenance, you can go 6 – 8 weeks in between grooming visits (or baths). Here are a few easy ways to keep your dog looking and smelling fresh long after a bath:
1. Brush – A lot of times, brushing can be as effective as a bath. Getting rid of dead fur and dirt will alleviate smells and leave the coat looking lustrous. Regular brushing also keeps matted and tangled hair at bay.
2. Wipe – If your dog is like mine, then he pees on himself (not on purpose, just being lazy). Wipes are a great way to “wash” his fur without really washing it. And it will leave him with a fresh scent (at least for a little while).
3. Spritz – You can find dog cologne in almost any pet supply store. It comes as a spray for your dog and, while typically given after a bath, it is good to use anytime. The grooming product company, Espree, currently has holiday scented cologne – like peppermint candy cane, gingerbread, and sugar cookie – available online at www.espree.com.
Dachs 2 Danes offers full-service grooming (haircuts, nail trims, ear cleaning, baths, bows, cologne, etc.) to help make sure your pup is looking her best this Holiday season. So whether it’s full grooming or just a bath, let us take care of the dirty work while you focus on more important things. Call Dachs 2 Danes today to book your next grooming appointment before the Holidays.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Holidays are always busy, not only with parties, shopping, and other activities, but with house guests too. Having strangers in your home can be very stressful for your dog, which can lead to bad and uncharacteristic behaviors.
Having guests over can be stressful enough as it is. Try these tips to help make the experience a good one for everyone involved.
1. Exercise. Exercise is key for every dog before any company is expected. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog who is less likely to terrorize your guests.
2. Educate. Educate your guests when they arrive on dog rules – Especially Children!
a. Be respectful of the dog’s space – Only pet the dog on the shoulder or under the chin, and only after the dog accepts their hand in his space.
b. NO Food or Drink – NO table scraps of any kind should go to the dog. Keeping track of what food is given to your dog and how much should not be on your to-do list while entertaining guests. Additionally, your guests may not know that there are many human foods a dog cannot digest such as onions, garlic, avocado, raisins, grapes, mushrooms, chocolate, all of which can make him very sick. Not to mention caffeine, sugar, and alcohol can make him very sick as well.
c. Watch the Front Door – Don’t leave any doors or side gates open where the dog might get out.
d. Misc. – Be sure to tell your guests any additional rules for your dog, such as no jumping, no begging, not allowed on the furniture, etc.
3. Separate. Some dogs get too overwhelmed by company, so it may be best to let him keep to himself while you have guests. Place him in a safe and secure place (such as his crate or in a back room). Give him a chew toy and turn on soothing music to help distract him from other noise.
*If your dog is out with you and your guests and he snaps at a guest, remember to stay calm and remove your dog from the situation (follow ‘Separate’ instructions above). No Scolding, yelling, or physical punishment, as that will not help the situation. Calmly apologize to your guest and ensure they are not hurt. A snap implies no actual contact but they may be startled or scratched. Then calmly deconstruct the incident and try to identify what happened so you can avoid future occurrences.
And take into consideration, it’s not uncommon for previously social dogs to become temperamental as they enter their senior years or if they are experiencing discomfort from a health problem. If you suspect this may be true of your dog, it might be best to let him be by himself until your guests leave.