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The importance of dog hygiene


Combing and brushing your dog properly

Basically combing and brushing your dog is an easy and enjoyable task, given that most dogs like being brushed. The basic kit that you will need is the following: a brush for slicking back the dog’s hair, a brush with natural bristles, a steel comb with broad tines and, depending on the dog’s hair type, a rubber tined brush and a chamois leather to make its coat shine. The form of brushing will depend on the breed of dog. Let’s take a closer look at the different types: Short-haired varieties: these should be brushed between two and three times a week and special care and attention should be given to eliminating tangled hair using a brush to slick back the dog’s coat. Use a brush to detangle any clumps of hair and then, with a bristle brush, brush the coat out thoroughly. For dogs with very short and smooth hair, you can wipe them down with a chamois leather or a rubber-coated brush to make their coat shine. With terriers, for example, you will have to remove dead hair from time to time to maintain a healthy-looking coat. Long-haired varieties: brush these dogs every day with a natural bristle brush and detangle any knots in their hair with a broad tined comb. Be particularly careful not to tug on their hair, holding the hair down with one hand as you brush with the other.

Medium-long, shaggy or curly varieties: these dogs should be brushed with a steel tined brush and combed using a broad tined comb with rounded tips.

Bathing your dog

Bath your dog only when this is necessary, as its skin and coat can become dry if it is bathed too often.

 Advice and precautions on bathing your dog: Do not bath your dog more than once a month, unless this is absolutely necessary. Use lukewarm water and shampoos specially formulated for dog hygiene, rinse it off twice to avoid skin irritations caused by left-over soapsuds which could lead to it scratching itself. Dry it with a towel and, to avoid it shaking vigorously to get rid of excess water, use a hairdryer to finish drying it off. Take special care over its ears, putting some cotton wool in them, and drying them well after bathing. In cold weather, or if an additional bath is required, a good alternative to the traditional bath is dry shampooing. The shampoo used in dry shampooing is applied and removed with a good quality brush which, in addition, is good for dog hygiene, as it stimulates the sebaceous glands and this, in turn, is good for the dog’s coat.

Taking care of your dog’s eyes

A dog’s eyes should be clean and bright, with no mucus or other stains. Sleep secretions that build up around the eyes can be removed using a piece of moistened gauze. If you notice that your dog’s eyes are weeping slightly, this is normal. But if the weeping starts to become intense, if your dog’s eyes become puffy or if he starts blinking a lot, talk to your local vet.