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Dog Ownership 101 - March/April 2016

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Dog Ownership 101 teaches dog owners how to properly groom and provide for their pets. Learn the tricks the best dog owners already know!

6 STEPS TO TAKE WHEN

6 STEPS TO TAKE WHEN GROOMING YOUR DOG by Kelly Livingston Dog grooming is essential, but there is much more to do than brushing and washing. Learn about more vital components of dog grooming to take care of your puppy properly. Dog grooming involves much more than simply giving your dog the occasional bath and brushing your dog’s coat. Cleaning your dogs ears is also very important and you may have to do even grosser jobs like expressing anal sacs. You can perform many dog grooming methods on your own, but remember that professional help is available when you need it. You should also be sure to take your dog to the vet if any issue is too severe! The following steps will help you to determine whether you need the help of a vet or whether you can handle it on your own. IDENTIFY IF YOUR DOG HAS EAR ISSUES 1 Problems with ears are all too common for many a dog. Some pups never develop any issues with ears. Certain types of dogs, in particular hounds and sporting animals that have droopy ears, often get ear infections. These type of ears become a breeding ground for bacteria and mites. All dogs even those without drooped ears need grooming that includes ear cleaning. If you smell something near the dog’s ears, there could be an infection. Those who own dogs, particularly poodles, frequently go about plucking and yanking the hair from their dog’s ears and that hurts. Your dog may hate it, but if there’s a lot of hair and infection, plucking may be necessary, so talk to your vet. MAKE IT EASIER TO CLEAN YOUR DOG’S 2 EARS It’s going to be hard to make this an experience the dog will like. But you can follow these suggestions so your dog is as comfortable 6 DOG ownership 101 | MARCH / APRIL 2016

Just like any other family member, your dog can have some annoying habits. Luckily, you can put a stop to them with these tips. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE. as he or she can be. Hold your dog’s ears, touch them, flip them if they’re long and look into them so he gets used to being handled there. Wait until he’s a little tired to clean them out. The ears will get pulled less if the dog isn’t fighting with you and so you’ll be able to clean them weekly. If you procrastinate with your dog’s ear cleanings, the process will be longer and more problematic. Keep a stash of snacks nearby to reward him for being good. He deserves a treat even if he just let’s you get near his ears. Don’t ever tug on the dog’s ears or bump them if at all possible. Your dog will always remember the pain of you hurting their ears the last time and will avoid you cleaning them again in the future. GATHER THE TOOLS FOR THE JOB FIRST 3 Put all your equipment together prior to starting the ear cleaning. Doing this is going to make the process of ear-cleaning go much more smooth. Keeping everything you need in a central location will be what makes for a positive experience as opposed to a bad one. Avoid using any products with insecticides. A groomers’ supply store is a perfect place to find otic solution. Be sure to use sterile products like gauze, cotton swabs and sponges as a way to remove the solution. It’s pretty simple to clean the dog’s ears. Go slowly, so you don’t go too deeply into the ear. Just hold the dog’s head in a gentle way so the ear is easy to get to, usually while you sit down next to him or her. Put some of the ear solution into the ear and massage it into the ear canal. Wipe away the excess with a sponge or piece of sterile gauze that you can wrap around forceps or clamp if you’d like. SEE YOUR VET FOR SERIOUS ISSUES 4 You might think man’s best friend is easy to care for, but you should be warned: dogs are especially susceptible to irritation from chemicals, infections and pests. You won’t want to use any insecticides or mite treatments because they may cause an irritation for your pet. Your dogs ears are very sensitive and should you notice anything resembling coffee grounds, waxy buildups, or mites, make sure you take your dog to the vet. While your dog’s ears are exposed, be extremely careful to trim long hair from the openings of his or her ear as excess hair could cause an ear infection. The most important thing is DOG ownership 101 | MARCH / APRIL 2016 7

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