Our canine companions aren’t traditionally known as being the cleanest creatures. And indeed no pet owner should feel the need to bathe their pup every single day (it can in fact be bad for their skin!). However, it is important to keep on top of some matters of hygiene to ensure our animal doesn’t get ill or make us ill.
A vet will recommend that your dog should be bathed once every three months. This will vary from breed to breed and obviously there are times when your dog has been rolling in mud or stinking on a hot day in which an emergency bath might be in order. Ideally use a special veterinary shampoo to avoid damaging your canine’s coat. You should brush your dog’s coat afterwards to get rid of any dirt or lice. Depending on the length of the coat and how often the dog malts, dirt or lice may harbour itself more easily which can lead to odour and infections. Bathing time is also a great time to inspect for cuts, lumps or any other unusual marks on the skin. Unlike cats, dogs love a good bath, although keeping some breeds still enough to inspect can be a mission.
Fleas and lice
To ward off fleas and lice, basic cleanliness is important, but there are other methods that you can use too. The most common is a flea comb or flea spray. It is possible to make your own from vinegar, water and lavender. For serious cases, vets may be able to recommend something more effective. Always read your dog’s body language to make sure they’re not allergic to medicines.
Dogs are prone to tooth and gum problems such as gingivitis and periodontal disease, caused by excessive plaque build-up. There are many dental treatments that can prevent these ailments from taking hold. These include dental chewable food and even special dog toothbrushes. If you are adverse to chemicals, you can even adopt natural methods such as alcohol free pet oral care. Even if your dog doesn’t seem to have any plaque problems, it’s good to keep on top of that awful bad breath.
Cleaning your dog’s bed
Many owners forget about cleaning their dog’s bed. No matter how much you bathe your animal, they’re not going to stay clean long if their bed is constantly dirty. For easy cleaning, it’s best buying a fabric cover for your dog’s bed that you can easily put in the wash (much like a sheet for a mattress). Washing this regularly can help prevent live and fleas. If your pet malts a lot, you may need to regularly hoover their bed too.
Cleaning their bowl
Not cleaning your dog’s food and water bowls regularly can encourage bacteria that will make your dog sick. You’re best cleaning dog bowls with a mild detergent, ideally every day after use. You can clean your dog’s bowls in a dishwasher, although many prefer to run it as a separate wash to avoid cross-contamination.