Grooming and Skin Care

Most dogs like being groomed as this calls for extra personal attention and fussing over which they love.

From puppyhood they should have learnt the drill and roll over on their backs so that tummy feathering can be brushed out and any knots removed.

I like to set aside a regular time each week to examine each dog carefully, checking teeth, ears, coat and claws.

Teeth should be checked regulary by your vet. Like you have yours checked by your dentist. Keep in mind how quick you ring your dentist when one of your teeth starts hurting. To maintain healthy teeth and gums a regular scale and polish might be necessary this all depends on your dog’s genetic make-up. Talk to your vet about keeping them clean.

Ears can be a problem if not watched and they might need a regular clean with earcleaner from Familypet Vet this will help to keep them in good order. If neglected a dirty ear will soon smell badly and a chronic condition will soon follow.

It can be caused by a mite which cannot generally be seen but it is surprising how quickly it will spread from one dog to another if not checked.

Coats should be brushed but I do not advise too much combing as it does tend to break the long feathering on legs and tail.

If a dog is scratching there is always a reason, so look for the cause. Fleas can he detected by the dirt they leave in the coat usually on the back and base of the tail which are their favourite places. Lice are also a nuisance but are easily got rid of with insecticide if not neglected and allowed to get established in the beds. Puppies are the chief culprits and should be treated regularly. One can easily acquire large pieces of hessian from carpet dealers which have been used as wrappers. These cut up into smaller pieces and hemmed around to prevent fraying make most useful bedding for puppies and can be easily washed or left to soak in a bath of disinfectant. Or purchase good quality bedding that washes and dries easily.

Lice are often located round the ears and chest of puppies but seldom seem to affect older dogs.

If you exercise your dogs where sheep have been it is possible that they may pick up a tick from time to time, especially during the summer. These bite deep into the skin and suck the blood. When you find one, you may at first think that it is a wart. They are like tiny bladders filled with blood and look blue-grey in colour. To remove it a firm hold should be taken as close to the skin as possible and a sharp pull will dislodge it. Dispose of it as quickly as possible underfoot and dab the spot where it has been with antiseptic. Tick removers can be purchases at Familypet vet