Regularly grooming your dog helps keep their skin healthy, their coat shiny, and makes it easy to catch any developing skin, ear or paw issues.

You should be brushing your dog daily. This prevents matting, distributes the natural oils throughout your dog’s coat, and gives you a chance to check them over for fleas, ticks, dangerous foxtail awns, and other issues like new lumps or sensitivity.
▪ Short and smooth coat. Use a dog grooming mitt or wipe to get rid of dirt
and excess fur. Curry brushes are also a great tool.
▪ Long or curly coat. A pin comb and slicker brush are best.
▪ Double-coated. A de-shedding brush can be helpful for these breeds. This
kind of brush works best on completely dry fur.

How often you bathe your dog depends on their coat type, how dirty they get day-to-day, and your own preferences. You don’t want to bathe your dog too often, as this can strip their coat of its natural oils.
▪ Prep your tub. Place a non-slip mat in the bottom of the tub for them to stand
on, and invest in a hair trap for the drain.
▪ Brush your dog’s coat before you start. Doing so removes dead fur, which
saves you time and shampoo.
▪ Only use shampoo specially formulated for dogs. Human hair products can
cause an allergic reaction. Ask your veterinarian for their recommendation.
▪ Keep the inside of their ears dry. Prevent an ear infection by putting cotton
balls in your dog’s ears, and don’t spray or dump water in or near their ears
▪ Rinse your dog’s coat thoroughly to prevent shampoo residue on their skin.
▪ Blow-dry if possible. Dogs can develop hot spots, itch or inflammation due to
trapped moisture. Blow drying also helps prevent their fur from matting.
▪ Towel Drying? If you are letting your dog air dry, first towel dry as much
as you can, and brush out their coat every few minutes to prevent matting.

Check your dog’s paws every day to look for cracked or injured paw pads and foreign objects like rocks, ticks or stickers.
▪ Neatly trim the fur growing between your dog’s pads to provide traction on
slippery floors. This is best done with clippers, being careful not to cut pads.
▪ Keep your dog’s nails at a short length. Overgrown nails are prone to cracking
and splitting, make walking painful, can change the bone structure in their feet.

▪ Use a pet ear cleaning solution after swimming or bathing.
▪ Thoroughly dry the ears after a cleaning. Moisture in the ear can lead to
yeast and bacterial infections.
▪ Once a week gently wipe out their ears (between cleanings) with a
hypoallergenic wipe.
▪ Monitor your dog’s ears by checking for any bad smell, redness, or irritation.
If your dog is constantly scratching at their ear or shaking their head, have
your veterinarian check for an ear infection.

Once a year professional teeth cleaning by a veterinarian is recommended to maintain the health of your dog’s mouth. But there is preventive maintenance that you can do at home
▪ Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth means less buildup of plaque and tartar,
which can mean fewer mouth and overall health problems.
▪ Avoid human toothpaste. Only use toothpaste specially formulated for dogs.
Human toothpaste often contains ingredients that can be harmful or fatal
to dogs, like fluoride and xylitol.

Caring for your dog’s basic grooming needs is important for their overall health, but it’s also a great way to include basic training in your daily routine and build a trusting relationship with your pup.

Have a great month!
Dr. Bonnie