Regularly cleaning your pooch’s ears is important because they are warm and moist, making them potential breeding grounds for parasites, bacteria and yeast. Avoid poking around with cotton swabs as you can inadvertently push wax and debris further in and potentially damage the eardrum. One of the most important reasons to clean your dog’s ears is to prevent ear infection. When left untreated, an ear infection can cause deafness. Signs of ear infection includes foul odor, discharge, redness, swelling, hair loss or crusty skin. However, cleaning your dog’s ear during an active ear infection could further inflame the ear canal and eardrum. It would be best to seek veterinary care if your dog shows these symptoms.
If your pet’s nails are getting snagged on the carpeting or damaging furniture or flooring, it’s time for a trim— usually every two to four weeks. If you've never used dog nail clippers before, they can seem a bit intimidating, so it is a good idea to have a vet tech, veterinarian or dog groomer show you how to trim nails the first time. It is important to trim a bit of nail at a time in order to avoid cutting into the quick. The quick is the pink area within the nail where the nerves and blood vessels are. However, if your dog has black nails, the quick will not be easy to distinguish. If you accidentally cut into the quick, it will bleed, in which case applying styptic powder and corn starch will help stop the bleeding. For dogs who find clippers intolerable, an alternative tool is a nail grinder. A nail
An estimated 80% of dogs have dental disease by three years of age. Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause build-up on a dog’s teeth. This can harden into tartar, potentially gingivitis, receding gums and tooth loss. However, regularly brushing of your dog’s teeth along with a healthy diet can help prevent these. In brushing your dog’s teeth, it is important to use toothpaste made especially for canines. Toothpaste for humans contains ingredients that are toxic to our pet and can irritate the dog’s stomach. Toothpastes made for dogs comes in different flavor such as meat, chicken, cheese or peanut butter, which serves as part of the reward for allowing brushing. However, there are still dogs who don’t like their teeth being brushed. Alternative ways to keep their teeth healthy and clean would be to feed them good quality pet food, offer them enjoyable chew time daily with pet-safe toys, and a regular visit to the vet for oral examinations.
Regularly grooming Fido will help ensure that your canine companion stays healthier and will be around for many years to come.