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Archive for the category “Pet Health”

Rub a Dub Dub, Four Pups in a Tub

Do your kids run, hide, or throw a tantrum when it’s bath time? I can’t imagine what it’s like chasing down a kid every night and trying to convince them baths are not horrible by filling the tub with rubber ducks, toy boats, and bubbles. Every couple of weeks, I corral my dogs outside or in the bathroom for some major spa time.

Your dog’s breed plays a big role in how often he needs to be bathed. Check the AKC’s website or a breed specific book for an idea, or if you have a mix, then go with whatever breed is dominant. Both Boston terriers and beagles are fine with a good bath every two to four weeks. Of course, if your dog jumps in the water at the dog park or plays in the mud, then he’ll need a bath more often.

With four dogs, I have to set up an assembly line and keep everyone nearby. As soon as the first dog is in the tub, the other three look at each other as if to say, “We have to get out of here! It’s too late for Lily!” I make sure four towels are ready, all collars are off, and baby gates are used to keep them from running and hiding somewhere.

How to wash a dog may seem obvious, but there are things we need to be aware of. Make sure to bathe your dog with warm, not hot, water. The water should not be too cold either. Get your pup totally wet, but be careful with the ears. Water in the ears can lead to ear infections, and it’s best to wipe out their outer ear with a towel as soon as the bath is finished. Don’t worry about hurting their ear drums. A dog’s ear canal is sort of l-shaped, and you cannot touch the drum with your finger or a towel.

After your dog’s coat is wet, rub shampoo on him ¬†everywhere. Don’t forget his paws, tail, and belly. I often let the bubbles sit on them for a few minutes to let the shampoo really do its job.

Lily is letting the suds soak into her coat.

Kong makes a great bath tool that helps give your dog a really deep clean. It really gets through thick fur.

Despite the look on her face, Daisy likes the Kong massage part of the bath. She turns into jelly!

After a good scrub, I pour more warm water all over the dog, and then I clean my dog with the Kong again. Repeat the rinse and rub until you no longer see suds.

Now it’s time for the only part of the bath my dogs enjoy: snuggling in a towel. Each dog gets their face dried first, and then I wrap them in a towel like a newborn baby and snuggle. This, of course, is my favorite part, too.

Oliver, falling asleep during snuggle time

Buckley is such a cuddle bug.

After snuggling, I make sure each dog is very dry so as to avoid any illness. My advice, if you’re ever at my house during bath time, is to get out of the way after each is clean.

Something weird happens to my pack when they are clean. All four are suddenly think they entered a UFC match, and they race from room to room at full speed, wrestle, bark, and then pass out. While this is funny to watch, it reminds me how strong a dog’s sense of smell is.

It is a good idea to avoid bathing your dog if you have plans to visit doggy day care or the dog park that day. Wait until afterwards. Dogs greet each other and learn about each other by how they smell. Dog shampoo masks a dog’s scent, and it isn’t unusual for a freshly bathed dog to be the victim of a dog brawl at the park. So make it easy on your dog, other dogs, and yourself by waiting to bathe your pup until after he plays with other dogs (except your other dogs, of course).

Enjoy doggy bath time!

 

Water, Water, Everywhere

One of the easiest ways to keep your dog healthy is making sure he always has plenty of water, whether you are at home, in the car, on a walk, or out in the yard.

On walks, I always make sure to have water for my pack. In the summer and on extra long walks, I carry a bottle with me, and the rest of the year the bottle is full and waiting for us in the car. There are often dog water fountains on the trails, but those are not always clean enough to keep my dogs both healthy and hydrated.

We have these dog water bottles, and when inverted it has a spout for your dog to drink directly out of it. I trained my pups to use it by spreading peanut butter on it.

You have many options for dog bowls at home, and it’s also a good idea to have fresh water in your yard, whether your dog spends just plays outside periodically or most of the day.

The most durable and easiest to keep clean bowls are stainless steel bowls. Unlike plastic bowls, they resist bacteria and cannot be chewed.

A water dispenser is great for the multi-pet household.

This pet water fountain is fantastic! My pack got it for Christmas. The filter is changed every two weeks, and fresh water is constantly filtered. The movement in the water and fresh water encourages your pets to drink. My pups drink a lot more than they used to, and I love how clean it is.

No matter what type of bowl you choose, clean it thoroughly every few days. Dump the water, and wipe it with a paper towel. When you see the color and buildup on your paper towel, you’ll see why it is so important to keep it clean. You would not drink out of a dirty glass, so why should your sweet dog? Most dog bowls are dishwasher safe, and you can also soak them in warm, ¬†soapy water. Just be sure to make sure any suds are gone before allowing your dog to use the bowl.

A healthy dog is a happy dog, and you can start with a clean, full bowl of fresh water.

 

 

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