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Grooming & Keeping your Puppy Clean 

Once you and your family are past the initial fun of having a new puppy in your house, you should set up a health, cleaning and grooming schedule as soon as you can. Grooming makes your dog look good and is good for his/her health.  It prevents problems such as excessive shedding, skin issues, mats in his/her hair, paw problems from untrimmed nails, and ear and eye troubles. 

Whether your dog lives outdoors or in, it's also important to keep his/her surroundings as clean, sanitary and free of parasite infestation as you can. The rewards are health and a  long life for your dog, in addition to lasting companionship

Grooming Essentials 

A full grooming plan with your dog should include: 

  • Trimming, Brushing and Combing of Fur: Your dog's fur should be clean,  and not matted. The way you brush your dog depends on his/her coat.  With longhaired, curly-hair, woolly or silky dogs such as Poodles, Bichon Frises and Collies you will need to do daily brushing.  Short-haired dogs such as Dobermans or Dalmatians can get by with a bi-monthly brushing. If your dog's hair is easily matted, he may need a summer clip. 

  • Checking Paws and Trimming Nails: You should check your dog's paws regularly for dirt or debris trapped there, especially if he spends a lot of time outdoors. Clipping your pet's nails every two to three weeks prevents paw problems and damage to floors and furniture. If you can hear the click of your dog's nails on the floor or if he walks with paws turned outward, the nails are too long. 

  • Ear Care: It's a good idea to check your puppy's ears each time you brush and comb him/her. The skin should be pale pink. If you detect a foul odor or discolored skin, bring your dog to the vet. To clean his/her ears, moisten a cotton wad with warm water  and apply to the opening of the ear canal and ear flaps. Only clean as far as you can see.  Most importantly, don't go too deep into the ear canal. 

  • Brushing Your Dogs Teeth: Your dog needs regular dental care to prevent gum, tooth and bone disease and the bad breath that follows in its wake. Without good dental care, 80 percent of dogs show signs of oral disease by age three. Left untreated, chronic mouth infections are painful for your dog and will spread dangerous bacteria and toxins to the kidneys and other organs. Your dog's teeth should be brushed at least twice a week and should be checked and cleaned by a vet once a year. 

  • Checking and Cleaning Your Dog's Eyes: Your dog's eyes should look clear and have no drainage. Use a cotton ball (moist) to remove discharge from around his/her eyes. Products are also available to help remove stains on your dog's coat (near his eyes) caused by eye discharge. 

  • Bathing Your Dog: As a rule, your dog will need to be bathed when he is obviously dirty or has a "doggy-smelling" odor.  Your vet may advise you ro bath more often to help control fleas and ticks. The exception is the curly-coated or longhaired puppy which should be bathed every two months or so. Use a dog shampoo specially formulated for dogs or puppies. These remove dirt but not the essential oils needed for your dog's coat. 

General Cleanliness 

A general cleanliness routine to help keep your dog and his/her area clean should include: 

  • Removing Dog Poop: You should remove and dispose of your dog's poop every day from the yard or any other area he/she may use. This keeps your dog from tracking poop into the house and avoids the spread of germs and disease. If you have a garden, bury the poop there. If your dog urinates on a certain area of the lawn, try spreading gypsum on the spot to keep the grass from dying. 

  • Keeping House And Bedding Clean: If your dog has a house, sweep the floors and change bedding when you notice it is dirty. Scrub out his/her food and water bowls with hot water and soap. Make sure to rinse them well so that no traces of soap are left. Scrub dog crates, boxes and outdoor frequently, as well as the floors of kennels and runs. 

  • Pest Control: Keep your dog's environment free of pests such as fleas and ticks with products designed to keep these parasites under control. 

  • Cleaning Up Accidents: If your dog or puppy has an accident in the house, clean it up using a good cleaner like Nature's Miracle. Enzyme-based pet stain cleaners also work well. Do NOT use ammonia-based cleaners.  Urine contains ammonia and it might actually be inviting your dog to re-use the spot again. Try to find the reason that your puppy had an accident in order to prevent it from recurring. 

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