When we think about grooming our furry friends, we often consider fur upkeep as the prime concern. But just like people, dogs share a variety of hygiene and mental needs that should be contemplated. Here are a few things that your dog might need help with aside from their furry coat.
Although it might be the last thing on your mind concerning hygiene with your pet, dogs need oral care just like we do. Developing a routine to brush your dog’s teeth lets you keep their mouth healthy, and gives you an opportunity to check for any traits of the disease. Some toys and dog treats are designed to reduce the amount of bacteria in a canine mouth. Dog’s mouths are not cleaner than ours, contrary to popular belief, and upkeep is required. The Westie experts of Westie Vibes even mention that some toothpastes have been manufactured to appeal to dogs. They have an article that describes more about maintaining the health of your Westie, and this information is applicable to many dog breeds.
Dogs mouths should be inspected in case they need any trips to the vet. Most dog breeds should have pink gums, although some may have naturally darker gum lines. Any lumps or nodules that are painful to touch should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian. If you are noticing that your pup is having difficulty eating or has increased disinterest in food, you might want to take them to the vet.
Even if you’re keeping up with your pet’s oral hygiene, their process of cleaning themselves isn’t the most clean. Pets need our help when it comes to bathing and getting rid of any dirt or buildup in their hair. When they are licking themselves, they’re unable to clean the skin underneath their fur, and this can lead to a buildup of dead skin tissue. Giving your dog a thorough soaking with pet-friendly soap helps shed off dead skin cells and increases the health of your dog’s skin. Just because we can’t see underneath their fur does not mean that a breeds skin health is unimportant. An excessive amount of bathing can lead to even drier skin so it’s important to practice moderation.
While obedience is something that we expect from animals, we want them to have fun as well. As much as they enjoy going for walks with us, being on a leash consists of rules that our dog knows they must follow. Giving your dog some “off the leash” time to run around is essential to their mental and physical health. A good dog who follows the rules should have some time to run around and be free. Dogs have to adhere to a standard expectation in our homes as well as while they’re walking, and they need a break from this just like everyone else.
Dogs are intelligent and they enjoy building relationships with other dogs. Dogs crave socialization, and they crave the ability to play with other dogs in a way that they can’t with people. Socializing your dog with other humans also benefits them! Dogs who are properly introduced to other people learn to avoid seeing every person near you as a threat. This can reduce the amount of barking that a dog does and decreases overprotective instincts. This is especially good for breeds known to be associated with aggression. The earlier that you socialize them the faster they will be accustomed to other people and animals.
Everyone needs to hear that they are doing a good job sometimes, especially an animal who has to follow structured rules all of the time. It’s true that dogs like making us happy, and nothing says that better than giving them a well deserved treat every once in a while. Find your dogs favorite item and be sure to “throw them a bone” so to speak. Some dogs absolutely love getting new toys, and others are more interested in treating. Whatever your dog sees as a reward for good behavior, be sure to participate in this so they know they are indeed a “good boy” (or girl).
Dogs need to have oral hygiene, perform as a preventative measure against all sorts of ailments. When we bathe our animals it’s not just about the cleanliness of their fur but also about keeping skin healthy. After addressing the physical needs of your pet you should also make sure they’re feeling happy, socialized, and like a good dog. With a small helping hand with your furry friend will be energetic, in prime health, and cheerful!