How often should I groom my dog?
The amount of time spent brushing and grooming a dog's coat generally depends on the breed's coat type. Even if your dog requires little brushing, it is a good idea to start brushing as a puppy to get them used to it.
Thick, double coated dogs need daily brushing and removal of dead undercoat. These breeds include Rough Collies, Samoyed’s, Old English Sheep Dogs and Shih Tzu’s. Recommended brush type; undercoat rake.
Silky coated dogs need to be brushed out daily to prevent knots and tangles. These breeds include Yorkshire Terriers and Cavalier King Charles. Recommended brush type; comb or slicker.
Short haired dogs are low maintenance but should be brushed every week to remove dead hair and leave a glossy coat. These breeds include Boxers, Labradors and Doberman Pinchers. Recommended brush type; mitt, rugger and bodybrush.
Wiry coated dogs are best hand-stripped to maintain the correct coat but many owners of breeds in this category opt for clipping as it is less time consuming. Recommended brush type; slicker or stripping comb.
Clipped dogs such as the West Highland White and Scottish Terrier should be brushed in between grooms regularly to prevent getting the hair matted. Recommended brush type; slicker or a comb.
Woolly coated dogs need grooming frequently with brushing every few days to prevent their naturally curly coats knotting. These breeds include Poodles and Bichons. Recommended brush type; slicker.
Grooming is an important part of caring for your dog and promotes bonding between you and your pet. It also gives you a chance to inspect your dog’s skin and check for any health problems.
Should I wash my dog and how often?
If an adult dog has healthy skin wash him approximately once a month or more frequently if he gets really dirty. Wash pups from 8 weeks as few shampoos are suitable for younger pups. If a dog has a skin problem Brittas Vets or your own veterinary surgeon should be asked to advise you on your dog’s specific problem.
NEVER use human shampoo on dogs. Human shampoo has a pH of 5.5 and dog shampoos have a pH of 7, therefore using a human shampoo that is more acidic than dog shampoo can lead to skin and coat problems.
In general we use White Coat shampoo to bring up a more brilliant white in white dog coats. Oatmeal shampoo if we feel the skin underneath the coat needs a little soothing. Tea tree shampoo we find very versatile and use very regularly. Citrus shampoo is great for flea bites. Puppy tearless shampoo is great for washing faces even of adult dogs. We also carry an extensive range of prescription shampoos that we will use under direction from Brittas Vets, for dogs with atopy, bacterial dermatitis, yeast infections and oily and dry sebhorrhea.
NB. Shampoos do not kill fleas, mites, ticks or other parasites, these require other solutions, sprays or spot on treatments. Please ask Brittas Vets or your own veterinary surgeons for advice.
Why has my dog brown stains around his eyes and what can I do to remove this?
Brown staining around a dog’s eyes is generally due to tear overflow. In this case Brittas Vets or your own veterinary surgeon will assess your dog to make sure that his eyes are healthy. If the veterinary surgeon is happy that the tear overflow is uncomplicated you can use ear/tear wipes daily to prevent staining in white dogs or wash faces with puppy tearless shampoo. To keep eyes healthy remove debris from the corner of the eyes daily using cotton wool soaked in warm water or Optrex.
Should I clean my dog’s ears?
Ear care is important, especially in certain breeds such as Spaniels and Cavaliers who are prone to infection. To clean the ears, put a few drops of dog ear cleaner down the ear and gently massage the base of the ear. Wipe out any wax or dirt with a piece of cotton wool. Trimming the inside of the ears and plucking the hair keeps the ears clean and helps to reduce ear infections.
Do dogs' teeth need brushing?
I advise owners that dogs teeth should be brushed daily with dog toothpaste and a soft brush to prevent tartar build up. It is best to develop this routine when the dog is a puppy. Professional cleaning of a dogs teeth by a veterinary surgeon is very often necessary especially in middle aged and older dogs to prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss. At Brittas Vets we recommend toothbrushes, finger brushes, toothpaste and Logic Oral Hygiene Gel.
Read more on Teeth
How often should I get my dogs nails cut?
Nail growth is unique to individual dogs. Young active dogs tend to wear down their nails down on pavement or road surfaces, whereas older or inactive dogs nails will need clipping frequently. Dew claws which are the 5th digit on the inside of front paws and often hind paws are generally not worn down naturally and therefore must be trimmed to prevent them curling into the dog's pads.
Why is my Cavalier dragging his bottom on the ground?
There are two anal glands either side of the anus that fill like two little balloons putting pressure on the rectum giving the dog a pinching type sensation in his bum. In an attempt to relieve this sensation dogs scoot their bums along the floor or lick at their bums. This behaviour is often confused by owners as a sign of having worms. These glands actually require emptying manually with a gloved hand. Occasionally these glands may become infected and in that case require veterinary attention. Any breed can have troublesome anal glands but small breeds tend to present themselves for treatment more often.