Category Archives: dog grooming

How to Groom a Long Haired Dog

By Suzanne Alicie

You know how pretty your long haired dog is after going to the groomer, all smooth and fluffy with no snarls or mats? Wouldn’t you like for your favorite canine to look that put together all the time? It’s actually quite easy to groom your long haired dog yourself.

Brushing – A long haired dog needs to be brushed every day. The brushing not only clears out tangles to prevent matting, but also invigorates their skin and promotes healthy coats. Of course, with a long haired dog your main thought is always the snarls and tangles, and removing the things that get picked up or caught in the long fur when they are outside. Regular brushing makes it easier to handle the rest of the grooming steps for a long haired breed.

Bathing – When it comes to bathing a long haired dog, the biggest challenges come from keeping the long fur from tangling, and scrubbing down to the skin. The first time you bathe your long haired dog you may be surprised to see just how small he really is.

Here are a few bathing tips to keep from causing yourself more work:

• Always work from the top down when bathing a long haired breed. This means aiming the water in a downward motion and working dog shampoo through from top to bottom.
• Use your fingers to gently comb through the hair while you work the shampoo in. This helps release debris and other items collected by the long hair.
• Apply a conditioner or cream rinse. You can purchase a special dog conditioner or you can use a simple detangling and moisturizing conditioner such as Suave which will probably be more inexpensive.
• Dry a long haired breed by using a large absorbent towel and wrapping it around the dog to soak up excess water. Of course your dog is going to do the shake, which will lift the fur and begin to separate it.

Drying your long haired breed can be done by allowing them to air dry or by using a blow dryer. At my house the dogs really dislike the noise of a dryer so I spread a blanket for them to lay on near a heat vent or the clothes dryer. After a couple of hours they are dry and ready to proceed with the next step of grooming. This way I also have plenty of time to clean up after the bath and prepare my supplies for the next part.

Trimming – Long haired breeds may occasionally need the hair around their foot pads and claws trimmed. The hair can get long and cause the dog to lose traction and slide on a hard floor. A personal trimmer works wonders around dog pads, and while the noise may annoy the dog, you don’t have to worry about cutting the dog. This is also the time to trim your dog’s nails if they need it. Use a sharp clipper and avoid cutting too short. If possible use a file to smooth the nail as well as to make sure your dog doesn’t accidentally hurt himself while scratching.

Preventative Measures – The ideal time to clean your dogs ears, apply flea and tick medication and any skin treatments is after the dog is dry, but before you brush him. The flea and tick meds that are applied straight down the dog’s spine are more evenly dispersed when you brush after applying. Ear cleaning is a simple procedure and if done regularly will prevent ear mites, hair matting in the ears, and ear infections.

To clean a long haired dog’s ears use a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel to swab gently inside, without going deep into the ear canal. Be sure to clean all the nooks and crannies on the dog’s ear as these areas are where wax builds up and mites hide.

Fluffing – Once you have taken care of all the basic grooming steps now you get the fun of making your long haired dog look “show ready.” Brush the dog with a detangling brush first to make sure you won’t pull the hair when you move to the fluffing part of the job. Use a soft bristled brush to brush your dog from the bottom up. This will lift the roots and give your dog the full effect of long hair. Once you have brushed all the hair in the wrong direction start at the feet and brush to direct the hair back down while retaining the fluffiness. Continue brushing until your long haired dog is fluffy, tangle free and looks just as beautiful as when a professional groomer does the job.

Not only is grooming your long haired dog yourself fun, it can be much more convenient than loading up the dog and taking him to the groomer, as well as more cost effective.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Winter Paw Care for Dogs

By Linda Cole

Winter weather can be rough on a dog’s paws, and at times can be downright painful. A combination of cold temperatures, snow and ice can take a toll on your best friend’s feet. Winter paw care for dogs is essential to keep their feet pain free and healthy during the cold days of winter.

Winter Paw Care for Dogs Tip #1:

Beware of chemical de-icers and ice melt on streets and sidewalks. Your dog needs to go outside even during the coldest or snowiest days of winter. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a dog pen where their dog can hang out, take care of their business and stretch their legs. A dog who stays in their own yard doesn’t have to worry about getting ice melt or chemical de-icers on their paws along with the snow and ice. If you walk your dog during the winter, it’s important to pay attention to sidewalks and streets after a fresh snowfall, and try to avoid as much of the chemicals used to clear streets and sidewalks as you can.

Winter Paw Care for Dogs Tip #2:

Trim the hair between their pads. Even dogs like Siberian Huskies can get cold paws during winter weather. Some dogs have hair that grows between their pads and if it gets too long, it collects snow and ice that can dig into their pads. Hair growth between the pads should be trimmed even with their pads to help eliminate as much frozen snow as possible from sticking to the hair.

Inspect your dog’s feet after they come inside and clean them with warm water to remove any chemicals they may have picked up. An inside/outside cat should also have their feet cleaned when they come in. This is the perfect time to inspect between their toes and the pads to make sure there are no cuts or scrapes that have become infected. Never allow your dog or cat to clean their own paws after an afternoon or evening walk. The chemical ice melts and de-icers can be toxic to them.

Winter Paw Care for Dogs Tip #3:

Apply a soothing salve if needed. A dog’s pads can become irritated from walking on snow and ice. After washing their feet, apply petroleum jelly, Bag Balm or a similar salve to help soothe their irritated paws. You can reapply before going outside for their next walk or a game of fetch in the snow. Waterproof booties are a good solution to eliminate wear and tear on your dog’s feet. They will also help keep your dog warmer. Dogs lose heat through their ears and feet. Along with booties, a good waterproof/windproof coat with a hood can help keep your buddy warm while enjoying outside activities or taking care of business.

Winter Paw Care for Dogs Tip #4:

Keep your dog’s nails trimmed. If your dogs are anything like mine, nail trimming time is not one of their favorite bonding moments. However, it’s important to keep their nails properly trimmed. Nails that are too long can lead to a foot deformity called splayed feet. When their nails are too long, the toes are spread apart more than they should be and when they walk in snow or icy conditions, there is a greater probability the dog will collect more snow and ice between their toes. Nails that are too long can also lead to sore nail beds, torn nails, hip and back problems and painful feet that make it hard for them to put their full weight on their feet.

Winter is a beautiful time of the year, but the snow and ice can damage your dog’s feet with little cuts and scrapes from ice and snow that gets packed in between the pads on his feet and toes. Help him stay safe and healthy in the winter by paying close attention to his feet. Winter paw care for dogs is important. After all, we wouldn’t want to walk barefoot over what our dogs have to deal with. A little TLC goes a long way and makes all the difference in the world to them.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How to Stop Dogs from Scratching Hardwood Floors

By Suzanne Alicie

Hardwood floor owners often find that their favorite puppy paws have left terrible scratches that ruin the finish of their floor. As a dog owner who has hardwood floors, I can share the despair and dismay at all those unintentional marks. The dogs don’t intentionally scratch the flooring, but a good play session with a tug of war rope can cause their claws to dig in. Running to the door to greet you in the evening and coming to a sliding stop can leave a huge gouge in the surface of the hardwood floor. Simply put, there are many ways your dog can unintentionally scratch your hardwood floor.

It can be very difficult to keep your dog from scratching a hardwood floor, but with a little preparation and adaptation you can keep both your dog and your beautiful hardwood floor.

Grooming to Protect Hardwood Floors

Proper claw grooming is very important to help preserve your hardwood floors. Dogs have hard claws that grow much the same as human fingernails. Unless your dog spends time outside his claws will likely need to be trimmed and shaped in order to keep them under control.

There are dog grooming products such as claw clippers that are made specifically for a dog’s nails, and files to smooth the edges of the nails. You can buy these tools in order to groom your dog’s claws yourself, or you can take your dog to a professional groomer. Your dog’s nails should be trimmed regularly so that they do not click and scratch the floor when they walk. If you trim your dog’s claws at home be very careful not to cut the nails too short, you could cause your dog a great deal of pain.

Doggie Fashion Accessories to Protect Hardwood Floors

Pet specialty stores have booties that you can buy for your dog in order to keep him from not only scratching your hardwood floor, but to also protect furniture and you in case he jumps. Some are made of a soft flannel and others have leather soles so that the dog can even wear them outdoors.

These little booties don’t interfere with your dog’s ability to walk, although the first few times you put them on you will probably enjoy a good laugh. Dogs don’t usually enjoy anything on their feet and initially will tend to high step or walk sideways as they adjust to the booties.

Another thing to watch when you put booties on your dog is their tendency to gnaw in order to remove something they don’t like. It will take time and patience on both your part and on the part of your dog to get him to happily wear booties. Nonetheless, the effort will be well worth it when it comes to protecting your hardwood floor.

Protecting the Hardwood Floor for Dogs

In the event of a small scratch, as distressing as it can be, you must understand that your dog did not make the mark intentionally. Punishment will not make any difference to the inadvertent scratches that will occur.

To protect your hardwood floor you may choose to apply wax. A layer of protective wax will help provide a buffer between your dog’s claws and the actual wood of the floor. This can make treating light scratches as easy as reapplying wax and filling in the gouge that was caused by your dog.

Dogs are a responsibility and much like children they will cause messes and damage, but dog owners love them anyway and just try to keep the destruction to a minimum. We will happily live with a scratched hardwood floor to enjoy the unconditional love of our puppies.

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

The Benefits of a Haircut for Pets

By Ruthie Bently

Skye is a short haired dog, and other than a bit of brushing, she doesn’t really need a haircut. However, many other breeds of dogs can actually benefit from getting a regular haircut. When you take your Afghan Hound with the long flowing hair, a plucky Welsh Terrier or even a long-haired domestic cat to the groomer, you may be looking at less hair around the house, but that isn’t the only benefit you are getting.

Groomers are a wonderful early defense against health issues that may arise with your pet. The simple act of shampooing and rinsing your pet can remove dander on their skin. The groomer may also find hair mats that can become painful if not removed. Not only that, the groomer could find a lump from an injury that you may not even know about.

A regular haircut also helps your dog regulate their own body temperature. If you have a long haired dog and live in a colder winter climate, you don’t want to cut your dog’s hair too much in the middle of winter, because you would be cutting their natural insulation from the cold. However, a long haired dog in Southern California in the summer would be better with a shorter hair cut, because it would let the air circulate through the hair closer to the skin and allow the dog to cool faster.

During a haircut, groomers remove the dead and loose hair, which can cause irritations to the skin. I can understand the skin irritations – have you ever stepped on a piece of dog hair in your bare feet? I have, and it’s like having a needle I can’t see under my skin. Groomers can also spot ringworm, fleas, ticks and other parasites that may have been hidden from view in that luxurious hair. Not only that, a neater haircut makes those nasty little bugs easier to deal with. A groomer can also tell the health of your dog’s skin and coat, and even see if your pet’s hair is dry and brittle, which can lead to split ends. They can spot hot spots, rashes and abrasions on the skin that you may not have seen.

If you are handy with scissors or clippers and want to learn how to give your pet a haircut, there are many good books on the subject. If you have a dog that needs to be clipped and you bought them from a breeder, contact your breeder and ask if they groom their dogs. If they do, ask them if you could come and have them teach you how to groom your own dog.

If you have a breed that needs regular haircuts, it’s to your advantage to learn how to clip your pet yourself. In doing so, you may get a leg up on any health issues before they become too serious, and you get to spend more quality bonding time with your four-legged friend. This is a win-win situation in my eyes. What do you think?

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Basic Dog Grooming: Supplies and Procedures

By Ruthie Bently

Each dog breed is different, and there are many hair types, show clips and grooming procedures for them. The basics of dog grooming, however, apply to every dog, whether it’s a Labrador Retriever, an Airedale Terrier, a Poodle or a Portuguese Water Dog. When grooming your dog, they should be relaxed and this should be an enjoyable experience for them.

Basic grooming supplies include a brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner (for longer coats), detangler, ear cleaner, toothpaste, toothbrush, dog toenail clippers, styptic pencil or powder, cotton balls and CANIDAE® Snap-Bits™ dog treats. All supplies should be for use on pets, not humans. The ph of our hair is different and you could dry out your dog’s coat and remove essential oils by using shampoo made for people. There are many good dog shampoos on the market and some of them are even “tearless.” I use the Snap-Bits after I groom Skye as an enticement for the next time, and they always work.

Brushing your dog removes dead hair and stimulates the glands that produce the natural oils which lubricate their skin and coat. I am constantly combing burrs and thistles out during the months when they are plentiful. I usually brush Skye’s coat outside as soon as the weather is warm enough to do so. Though she is a short-coated dog, like many dogs that shed, she can really blow coat in the spring and fall. I brush head to tail and use a rubber palm pad. The rubber creates a static charge with the hair and the hair sticks to the brush and massages Skye’s skin at the same time.

Bathing is important for all dogs regardless of age. Your dog’s activity level, what they get into, and how much they groom themselves will give you an idea how many baths they need in a year. There is no hard and fast rule, though some say you should bathe your dog at least once a month. If you have a dog that loves to roll in smelly things, or dig in the mud, you may have to bathe them more often. It’s good to bathe your dog yourself if you can, as it gives you a chance to examine them for injuries or any other abnormalities that a groomer may not be looking for. I found a cyst on my first dog’s back that way, before it came through his skin and became a major health issue.

Cleaning their ears is important because it lets you check for infection, ticks or ear mites that may be there. You can also look for anything that may have gotten lodged in your dog’s ears from their outside excursions. I clean out any heavy debris with cotton balls, and then use ear cleaner. Most ear cleaners are very easy to use; the one I use is self-drying and just gets squirted into the ear and then Skye shakes her head to remove it. You have to take more care with a dog whose ears droop, as it is easier for them to get an infection.

Cleaning their teeth is important because you can keep plaque from forming. You can also check your dog’s teeth for cracks, breaks or cavities that may be forming. It is important to use a toothpaste made specifically for dogs. Some human toothpastes have chemicals and artificial sweeteners in them that are toxic to dogs. Many veterinarians anesthetize a dog to clean their teeth. Depending on your dog’s age, this could be dangerous. There are human dental hygienists that clean dog’s teeth and use natural products and no anesthesia, but they can be difficult to find, so cleaning your dog’s teeth yourself is a win-win situation.

Keeping your dog’s toenails clipped prevents them from scratching and hurting themselves or you and your loved ones. It also keeps them from getting their toenails caught in fabrics or damaging the floors and furniture in your home. There are many types of clippers on the market, I know a breeder who uses a Dremel tool to trim her dogs’ toes because she likes the job it does. Having styptic powder is important if your dog has darker or black nails, as mistakes can happen and the styptic powder will stop the bleeding.

I love grooming Skye, as it gives us more special time together and my attention is wholly focused on her, which she loves. It doesn’t take much of my time and we get to bond further and get even closer. It has a calming effect on me and her occasional antics are hilarious, even if half of the bath water ends up on me.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.