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How to Choose a Dog Groomer
Finding a Groomer Who Will Help Your Dog Look and Feel Great

Mar 30, 2010 Monique Bos

Dog groomer Marian Ward shares tips on how to find a dog groomer who will pamper - not hurt or traumatize - your pooch.

As a dog groomer at the Paw Place in Grandville, Michigan, Marian Ward has seen plenty of traumatized pooches.
"We specialize in senior and challenging dogs. We’re basically the final stop before your dog has to be anesthetized to be groomed,” explains Ward, who has worked at the Paw Place for more than four years. "I do a lot of rehab with dogs who have been hurt at the groomers.”
For dog owners shopping around for a groomer, she offers suggestions on what to ask potential groomers and what to pay attention to when you visit their premises. Questions to Ask Potential Dog Groomers

Gather as much information as you can about the groomer and the shop before you decide whether to entrust them with your dog.
"Make sure the person has some experience. Ask what kind of program they went through,” says Ward. "For example, I went through a 600-hour, hands-on program. So from day one, I was working with dogs of all kinds of breeds.”

She also recommends doing some research about what products the groomer uses. "If they’ll buy the cheapest shampoos and conditioners and charge extra for nail trims, if every little thing is an add-on, chances are they’re only in it for the money,” she explains. "In our shop we only use products we would use on our own dogs – they’re all natural and low chemical; a lot are sulfate free.”
How the groomer dries dogs is extremely important, Ward says. "I wouldn’t use a place that uses kennel dryers. Basically, they put your dog in a box with a fan attached. Dogs have died in those.”
She adds, "With a hand dryer, the groomer can get out all the dead skin and hair. The groomer can look at the skin; I’ve found cancerous lumps and infected bite marks.”
This is a valuable service a groomer can provide, she explains, because "you can’t always see what’s under your dog’s hair. The groomer has the tools and the ability to look at your dog’s skin and coat, so if there’s anything wrong, he can let you know.” What to Look for at the Dog Grooming Shop

Before you schedule an appointment for your dog, visit the grooming shop you’re considering. It’s important to get a feel for the setup, meet the groomers, and watch them interact with clients.
"When you first go into a grooming shop, you want to make sure it doesn’t reek like urine and feces,” Ward says. "Be realistic; there’s going to be dog hair, and there might be some accidents, but check to make sure things are getting cleaned up efficiently.”
She also warns, "Make sure the place doesn’t smell like chemicals or cigarettes.”
It’s important to observe how the groomers interact with both dogs and humans in the shop.
"See if the groomer comes out, gets on their level, and is friendly with the dog,” Ward advises. "Especially if you have an older dog or a higher stress dog, find a place that will work with them.”
For example, she says, "At a lot of shops, anywhere from four to ten dogs will come in at 8 a.m. and have to wait until the groomer gets to them. At our shop, we have it set up just like a human hair salon. Your dog can be in and out in an hour and a half. We don’t have dogs waiting in kennels.”
She also recommends asking to see work samples and possibly requesting a tour.
"If the groomer has a dog, check out that dog and see how it looks. Often, they’ll have books of photos of different work they’ve done.”
She adds that during particularly busy times, groomers might not be able to conduct tours of the facility, "but see if they act suspicious about it.”
Always make sure that the groomer checks your dog's shot records for rabies, distemper, and bordatella, she says.
With a little time and research, you can make sure that your dog will have a positive experience at the groomer. Bad grooming can result in trauma and even severe injury to your dog, so finding a good groomer is well worth the effort. As Ward says, "You want to make sure they’re treating your dog like you would treat your dog.”

Read more at Suite101: How to Choose a Dog Groomer: Finding a Groomer Who Will Help Your Dog Look and Feel Great

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 1119 | Added by: Monique Bos | Date: 2010-05-04

Removing Mats From a Dog's Coat
Cut Grooming Costs with Brushing and Trims at Home
Mar 17, 2010 Joy Butler

When long haired dogs develop mats from tangles, shedding, or fleas and ticks, skin irritation, pain, and sores can result. Regular grooming is easier than mat removal.

COMBO Li'l Pals BIG Grooming Set
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Li'l Pals BIG Grooming Set of 6 Tools is your small dog's day at the Spa. Miniaturized grooming tools are perfect for their special coat and nail care.

Dogs, especially long haired breeds or breeds with undercoats or curly coats, often get mats in the hair that need to be removed. Mats start when hair tangles and collects burrs, sticks, shedding hair, or other debris. Flea and tick infestation can add to the matting problem as dogs tend to bite, chew and scratch the irritated areas.
Mats often grow in size over time and pull on the pet’s skin causing discomfort. Severe mats can irritate the skin and even cause sores. Repeated wetting and drying only hardens and tightens the knot, making it even more irritating to the dog and more difficult to remove. Where Matted Hair Typically Develops

Mats are often seen where hair is the longest or where friction occurs such as behind ears or tips of ears, collar area or chest, lower front legs, the feathery skirt on the hindquarters, or the tail. Preventing Mats in a Dog’s Coat

Preventing mats before they develop is much easier than removing them. Good flea and tick control, regular baths to keep coat clean, and daily brushing to remove shedding hair and tangles before they become a problem will help to prevent mats. A groomer or veterinarian can recommend grooming products and flea and tick control products that will also help in preventing matted fur. Removing Mats from a Dog’s Coat

Small mats can usually be picked apart with a brush or mat breaker or cut into or cut off using scissors. Do not simply pull a mat out as it can be very painful or cause injury to the skin. Large mats are usually too hardened to pick apart and must be cut off. Severely matted dogs may need to be shaved by a professional groomer.

Mats in areas such as ear tips and toes, or mats very close to the skin, can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from the body part itself. To prevent accidentally cutting the skin, slide a comb between the mat and the skin and cut only above the comb. If the mat is too large or too close to the skin for a comb to fit underneath, it should be removed by a professional groomer. Cutting Costs on Dog Grooming

In a tough economy, the expense of the dog’s haircut by a professional groomer may not be on the list of priorities but grooming is an important part of health care for dogs and should not be neglected. When the budget is tight, daily brushings to keep tangles and mats under control, regular baths, flea and tick preventives, and simple scissor trims at home can help stretch the time between trips to the dog groomer. 

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 1188 | Added by: Joy Butler | Date: 2010-05-04

Anal Gland Secretion in Dogs
What It Is and How to Deal With It
Mar 27, 2007 Jessica Springgay

Anal gland secretion is a common occurance with many dog breeds. Here are some tips on emptying the glands, and what to do if they're infected or impacted.

That smell. As soon as you’ve smelled it you know what’s happened. It’s the smell of rotting fish shoved directly up your nostrils. But not just rotting fish. Rotting fish mixed with…freshly run over skunk.
It’s anal gland secretion – a common occurrence with many breeds. Not good for your clothes. Or couches. Or pillowcases. Or blankets. Or car seats. Or nostrils.
Every dog has two anal glands or sacs (one on each side of the anus). These glands are occasionally referred to as "scent glands” because they allow dogs to mark their territory and identify each other. We’ve all witnessed dogs greeting each other by sniffing the other’s rear.
Anal glands are ususally emptied by rectal pressure during defecation. The secretion from the glands is a brownish liquid, though is can become thick, yellowish or creamy in texture if the glands are impacted or infected. The glands can also be emptied by involuntary contraction of the anal sphincter, which can be caused by the dog being upset, frightened or under stress. Dogs can also trigger the contraction to mark territory. Anal Gland Impaction

Impaction can occur when the anal glands fail to empty normally. Impaction is most common in small dog breeds, like pugs, but can occur in any breed. Anal gland impaction can be caused by: soft stools, small anal gland openings or overactive anal glands. When impaction occurs, the secretions become thick, pasty and creamy in texture. Impaction is treated by manual emptying of the glands.
Emptying the Anal Glands

To empty the glands, first prepare a warm moist wash cloth, towel, paper towel or cotton balls. Be sure that hands and skin are not in the way. Gloves are recommended. Raise the dog’s tail and locate the anal glands, which should be at approximately five o’clock and seven o’clock positions in relation to the anal circumference and feel like small, firm nodules (often pea-sized).
Place the cloth or paper towel over the area. It is easier to have one person hold the dog while another empties the glands. If only one person is available, position your thumb on one gland and index finger on the opposite gland. By pressing in and squeezing your fingers toward each other and upwards, the glands should empty. Wipe the area clean and repeat if necessary.
If the discharge contains blood or pus, there is probably an anal gland infection. below. Infected Anal Glands

Anal gland infection is identifiable by blood or pus in the anal gland secretions. The dog may also exhibit discomfort when the glands are emptying (either naturally or by a human) or do a great deal of scooting.

To trean infected anal glands, express the glands as described above. Once the glands are empty and the area is clean, fill the gland(s) with antibiotic ointment (which can be prescribed by your veterinarian) by placing the tip of the ointment tube into the anal gland duct opening and squeezing the tube to fill the gland. Repeat this process as often as necessary (usually two days, but may vary depending on veterinarian recommendations) until the secretions no longer include blood or pus. The dog should also be receiving oral antibiotics during this time (also available from your veterinarian).

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 1145 | Added by: Jessica Springgay | Date: 2010-05-04

China's Latest Trend: Doggy Dye Jobs

by Helena Sung (Subscribe to Helena Sung's posts) Jul 15th 2009 @ 3:00PM
Pet owners in China have embraced a colorful new grooming trend: dying their dogs' fur in an array of garish hues. "In the town of Wuhan in central China's Hubei province," the Daily Mail reports, "pet owners are taking their beloved dogs to grooming parlors where the poor creatures are not just given a shampoo and cut -- but a full-on, multi-colored fur job."

Technicolor dreamcoats, you say? Nightmare, is more like it.

White standard poodles emerge with their floppy ears dyed hot pink or electric blue. One might have an additional bright purple stripe painted down the top of its head, another an slash of red on one of its sides. Less fortunate dogs have their entire bodies painted in all different colors, looking like an escaped circus clown or -- in the case of one poor pooch whose face was dyed yellow while the rest of his body was dyed green -- like a jaundiced leprechaun.

As pets become more popular in China (resulting in nearly a 500% increase in pet spending from 1999 to 2008), the country recently drafted proposed legislation on animal cruelty -- China's first such law. Penalties under the proposed law include a monetary fine of up to 6,000 yuan ($877) and two weeks imprisonment.

No word yet on whether turning your pup into an Easter egg basket is considered cute or cruel in China, but Boulder, Colorado has put its foot down. Last year, a woman was fined $1,000 for dying her poodle pink -- in honor of breast cancer awareness, the woman claimed. (The matter was later settled out of court.) All we can say is, at least it's better than tattooing your cat.

More photos of dogs dyed in the most undignified manner can be seen here.

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 733 | Added by: Helena Sung | Date: 2010-05-02

Poodle's Tear Stains Big Tip By: Rosie Berry
There are many benefits to giving your pet apple cider vineger these are a few:

Helps eliminate tear stained eyes
Helps develope stronger immune systems
Helps control weight
Helps improve digestion & ph balance
Helps maintain healthy skin
Helps produce shiney coats
Helps eliminate potty odors

Try Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 579 | Added by: Rosie Berry | Date: 2010-05-02

Grooming Your Puppy or Dog

Date Published: 27th March 2007
Grooming your pet should begin when they are puppies as this will help them become accustomed to being touched all over their bodies while they are standing still or lying on their stomach or side. If you adopt an older dog you will have to introduce him to grooming gradually unless he is accustomed to being handled and touched all over his body.

Grooming your dog is a necessity and should be done in a timely manner. Depending upon the breed of dog you have will dictate how often and to what extent you need to groom your puppy or dog. If you own a Newfoundland, you need to brush their long water resistant coats daily and would rarely give them a bath. If needed, you may use a dry shampoo to remove any odor. On the opposite end would be a Standard Poodle. These puppies and dogs need to be bathed on a regular basis and their coat clipped every six to eight weeks. You need to know your breed of dog and what grooming needs arise with this breed. If uncertain what to do you can always ask the breeder or find information from your vet, library, breeders groups or online. With the World Wide Web there is no reason for an owner to claim ignorance of a pet he owns.

Grooming your pet does not have to be expensive or time consuming. With the right planning and tools you can groom the animal in as little as fifteen minutes. With that said; why would you want to rush through your animals grooming routine? This is a great time to bond with your pet and show them affection. An animal loves to be rubbed and talked to and a person relaxes while talking and petting his dog. What tools you will need is dependent upon what type of coat your puppy or dog has. Once again check with your breeder or do some research. You will definitely need a comb and brush and may need conditioner for the dog's skin, deshedding blades, nubby gloves, eye wipes, ear cleaners, animal clippers and shampoo. All dog owners need nail clippers to clip their dog's nails. Please make sure you have been instructed by your vet or breeder in how to clip the dogs nails before attempting this. If you clip the nail too close, you will cause pain for your dog and may make him fearful. This will cause him to be afraid the next time you try to clip his nails and he may try to nip you or run from you. Holding down a large breed dog to clip his nails is not easy and usually takes at least two people to accomplish this. If your dog is too fearful of nail clipping, please consider taking them to the vet and letting a vet deal with this trauma.

A dog's ears are a great breeding place for infections. Checking your dog's ears regularly for any type of discharge or odor is recommended. Ear wipes can be used to wipe the outer flaps of a dog's ear but should never be inserted into the dog's ear canals. If you suspect an infection in the dog's ear, make an appointment for the vet to check out your furry friend. Do not use any cleanser in your dog's ear unless it is approved by your vet for a particular episode. Using over the counter cleansers may cause damage in undiagnosed inner ear infections.

Cleaning your dog's teeth is important to his overall health. Bad dental habits lead to more then just bad doggie breath. There are secondary health problems arising from dog's periodontal disease such as heart and kidney disease. Plaque build up and infected gums can be treated but it is always wiser and less expensive to take steps to prevent this from happening to your dog. Brushing your dog's teeth and making sure he gets a dental check up once a year by the vet is good doggie dental practice. The vet will be happy to advise you on what to use to brush your dog's teeth and the proper way to brush. Once a dog is use to your fingers in his mouth and the taste of the toothpaste, he will let you brush his teeth with no grumbling.

During the grooming process, please check your pet's eyes. Please note any change and inform the vet. A dog's eyes are very sensitive and must be protected from shampoos or other cleaning items. Also some dogs are susceptible to an eye condition called entropion. Entropion can decrease vision and cause damage to the cornea if not treated. This is a very painful condition for a dog and can easily be repaired through surgery.

A benefit of grooming your dog is getting to know the feel of your animal. After handling your dog you know when a lump has suddenly appeared or when their glands appear swollen. Being able to find health problems before the dog's yearly check up and seeking medical help before the medical problems become full blown is to your dog's advantage. It is always advisable to treat medical conditions before they become medical emergencies.


Jim McKiel lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife Doris and their pet family members Buddy and Buster. They have devoted their lives to the betterment of pet ownership. For more information, visit

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 505 | Added by: The Online Marketing | Date: 2010-05-01

How to dye your Poodles Hair the Safe Way
There are two types of dog dye, one is a hair enhancement and the others are funky hair colors like pink. The hair enhancement is a shampoo to help your poodles coat have the look of one balanced color. Hair enhancement shampoos come in white, black, and gold for poodles to blend their coat for a natural look. Now funky colors such as pink or green are non-toxic dyes made by: Pet Silk. Remember, puppies must be over age of 12 weeks old to dye their hair funky colors. You can also use sidewalk chalk on a dry dog’s coat. If you are unsure about dying your dog’s hair, but still want to have your groomer dye your pet’s hair for you.

Some people may believe dying your pet’s hair is cruel. However, it’s just a grooming style and trend. Dogs are color blind and do not know they have been dyed. Plus, they just think feel like they’re getting bathed. If anything most poodles love how they feel after they leave the groomers, it boosts their self confidence. Poodles enjoy the reaction they receive from people who come to pet them. Poodles love the attention they receive from looking glamorous. People go out of their way to see dyed poodles hair. Thus, the poodle enjoys all the attention he/she receives from admirers.
Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 577 | Added by: Rosie Berry | Date: 2010-05-01

Fur by Farr
This article first appeared in the January/February 1990 issue.
How often should you bathe your dog?
I’ve been "in" Shelties for 11 years now, and some of the things I’ve been told about the care of canine coats have left me shaking my head in wonder. The statements listed here (and some of the answers) have come from breeders, judges, professional handlers, and exhibitors in Shelties, Collies, Belgian Tervurens, Old English Sheepdogs, Afghan Hounds, Maltese, Siberian Huskies, Chow Chows, Flat-Coated Retrievers, English Setters, Norwegian Elkhounds, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, and Chinese Shar-Pei. Let’s examine some of the more popular statements.

"Never bathe your dog more than twice a year because it will make your dog lose its coat." Not true, but I can show you how this one got started.
Before you wash your hair next time, brush it thoroughly with a clean brush. Make a note of how much hair is on the brush, then remove the strands and wash your hair. Use the same brush to dry your wet hair or brush through your hair after it has air-dried. There will be two to three times the amount of hair there was before you washed it. Why?

Because of the way hair grows, at any given time you have hair that has come out of its follicle but is tangled around other strands (the stuff that’s on your brush before you wash), hair that is ready to come out but hasn’t yet (the stuff that’s in your brush after washing), hair that’s still growing (the stuff left on your head) and new hair (stubby stuff that’s also on your head). You also have empty follicles that are in a resting phase. The same holds true for dogs. In fact, hair and fur are very, very similar. The pH is different (fur is more acidic) and fur is more easily damaged, but otherwise they’re pretty much the same.

So—how often should you bathe a dog? That depends on the dog. Dogs with dry skin should be bathed less frequently than dogs with oily skin. Harsh-textured coats will repel dirt better than soft coats, so harsh-coated breeds won’t get as dirty in the same amount of time as a soft-coated breed. Maltese, Yorkies, and Afghans, all soft-coated breeds, are generally bathed and blown-dry once a week. Harsh-coated breeds, like Shelties and Collies, are usually fine being bathed once a month. When in doubt, remember that clean hair is healthy hair.

"Warm baths will make your dog blow coat." I hate to disillusion you, but a bath of any temperature will only remove hair that is ready to be removed. A warm bath is merely more comfortable for the dog.

"Dogs need to live outside 24 hours a day to grow coat." Yes—and no. Maybe I should say that depends on your definition of growing coat. Here’s why:

Fact No. 1—Coat growth is primarily determined by the amount of light the animal is exposed to, not the temperature. Light goes through the retina of the eye and stimulates the endocrine system, which regulates coat growth. Less light increases coat growth; more light and your dog will blow. The dog’s endocrine system does not differentiate between natural and artificial light.
Fact No. 2—The length of your dog’s coat is determined by its genetic makeup. A dog kept under low-light situations or outside will grow a thicker coat but not a longer one.
Fact No. 3—Hormonal fluctuations also affect the amount of coat a dog has. This is most evident in bitches, who blow coat after being in season and after giving birth (wide hormonal fluctuations) and in neutered animals, who blow once a year (low hormonal fluctuations).
Fact No. 4—As dogs get older their hormone levels drop and some of them will have a slight increase in coat length and thickness. Or they can go the opposite way and have a very thin, scraggly coat.
Bearing all these facts in mind, do you think dogs need to live outside 24 hours a day to grow coat? (As owner of an extremely thick-coated housedog, my answer is no.)

"Daily brushing is beneficial to the coat." Yes—if it is done properly. The correct way to brush the coat out is to lay the dog on its side, mist lightly with water (distilled preferred), and brush the coat out in layers, lightly misting each layer as you go. This is called linebrushing because you create a line in the coat as you brush.
Using a natural bristle brush (Mason-Pearson recommended), begin your stroke at the skin and carry it out past the end of the hair. The natural tendency is to brush to the end of the hair and flip the brush up, and this is what causes the coat to break. Another common no-no is using a nylon brush, which creates coat breakage via static electricity. Pin brushes are good for getting all the way through the coat, but they’re harder on the coat and they don’t distribute natural oils the way the natural bristle brush does.

"Grooming powder and chalk is drying and should not be used at all or washed out after each show." Emphatically YES! Anything you put into the coat with the exception of conditioners, moisturizers and water is very hard on the coat and will break it. Chalk sucks the moisture out of the coat like a sponge. Mousses, gels, hairsprays, etc. coat the hair shaft. With continued use they build up, dry out, and break off, taking the enclosed strand of hair with them. Don’t believe me? Try it on your own hair.

conditioner will make your dog grow coat." No conditioner in the world is going to make your dog grow coat. However, if a conditioner/moisturizer is used regularly, it will give the illusion of more coat by producing a healthier coat. Brushing will remove dead cells and debris from the skin surface and encourage a good blood supply to nourish the forming hair. The conditioner will be absorbed by the air shaft, keeping it pliant and healthy. I’ve had good luck using a formula concocted by LouAnn Groth, Lou-Mar: mix one-fourth teaspoon of Cindra Reconstructor and one-fourth teaspoon of Cindra Moisture Plus in a small spray bottle of distilled water. Linebrush this into the coat once or twice a week.

dog food will make your dog grow coat." No it won’t as long as you are feeding a good quality dog food. Some of the more popular ones are Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Nutro Max, Purina Pro Plan, ANF and Eagle.

coat supplement will make your dog grow coat." Again, not if they’re eating a good brand of dog food. However, like the conditioner, coat supplements help keep the coat healthy and in good condition.

Like it or not, those are the facts on coat care. I’ve talked to many people regarding this subject over the years, and sorting fact from fiction hasn’t always been easy. I would like to give special thanks to Cindy Torbenson, groomer and owner of Cindy’s Superdog; Joyce Tesarek, D.V.M., owner of Minnehaha Pet Clinic; and Marchene VanGuilder, my hairdresser, for their invaluable assistance in writing this article. Not only did they take the time to answer my questions, but they researched some of the facts for me.

And what is my own dog’s beauty regimen? Externally, she is bathed and allowed to air-dry once a month and brushed with conditioner/moisturizer once a week. She’s brushed with distilled water every day or every other day depending on my schedule, and all of this is done using a Mason-Pearson brush. (Don’t forget to wash your brush when you wash your dog!) When we go to shows, I chalk her legs and ruff very lightly (after putting lots of moisturizer on first) and she gets a bath when we get home. Internally, she gets Purina Pro Plan, Hygliceron coat supplement, and, during the mosquito season, a heartworm preventative.

When it’s written down, it looks like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. And my dog has a shiny, healthy coat to show for it. **********

I originally wrote this for, and published it in, the May/June 1988 issue of The Lochland Leader, my club’s newsletter. I have slightly altered my coat care since the original article, and these changes are reflected in this version. I used to receive a lot of advice on the subject because my bitch has a short, although extremely thick, coat. Partly because some of the advice I was given conflicted with other bits of advice, and partly because I thought maybe it was something I was or wasn’t doing that was preventing her from getting any length, I decided to study up on the subject. It has paid off; although her coat is still short (because of her genetic makeup), I now get many compliments on it. The advice has stopped; now people ask me how I keep her coat so thick, shiny and healthy. I hope this article will answer that.

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 649 | Added by: Lynn Farr | Date: 2010-05-01

Home Remedy for a Dog's Itchy Skin
Itchy skin among dogs is a common problem that can be caused by allergies, fleas, poor nutrition or infection. Pet owners often don't know what to do to help their dogs, particularly if they don't want to pay expensive veterinary fees. Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies available to soothe dog's itchy skin.
Moisturizing Products
Calendula extract, available at most health food stores, is a topical liquid that has soothing and antibacterial qualities. It may help to apply a few drops to severely infected spots or to coat the skin and brush through with a soft brush to soothe the entire coat. Vitamin E has strong moisturizing properties and is helpful for dogs with itching, flaky, dry skin. Vitamin E is available in gel capsules, which can be broken open and applied directly to the skin. Vitamin E can also be taken orally if the owner can disguise the pills in the dog's food. Fish oil is extremely soothing for dogs with itchy skin as it hydrates skin and fosters the development of essential oils in the skin. Fish oil is widely available in capsule form but can also be found in liquid form for easier ingestion. Fish oil in liquid form can also be applied topically to infected areas or brushed through the coat to minimize itching.
Tea tree oil is an antiseptic agent that cleans allergens off of the dogs coat. It can easily be brushed on or sprayed on to prevent itching. Tea tree oil needs to be reapplied every day to effectively soothe itch and pain, or the allergens may reappear on the skin and cause itching again.
Soothing Oatmeal
A mixture of oatmeal and water can be rubbed onto the dog's skin to help relieve dryness and soothe itchiness. The oatmeal should be left on the skin for approximately ten minutes and then rinsed off with warm water.
Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 654 | Added by: Chelsea Ehrke | Date: 2010-04-30

How to Clean Puppy Ear Wax
Your puppy may need an occasional ear cleaning to remove excess wax buildup, especially if he plays outdoors in dusty conditions or swims frequently and gets water in his ears. Both of these activities can trigger excess wax production, which increases the risk of ear infections. Your veterinarian may suggest regular ear cleanings as a preventative measure.
Step 1
Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if your puppy is currently displaying the symptoms of an active ear infection. These include pawing or scratching at her ears and a foul ear odor. In addition, the presence of redness, swelling, open wounds on the earflaps or inside the ear, or dark brown or crusty earwax may indicate an infection or an ear mite infestation.
Step 2
Go outside or away from carpet and upholstered items to clean your puppy's ears and assemble all the necessary items within arm's reach before beginning. Some of the ear cleaning solution may spray on nearby objects.
Step 3
Speak to your puppy calmly. While most dogs do not enjoy having their ears cleaned, they will learn to tolerate it after a few cleaning sessions. If your puppy pulls away, it's helpful to use a long leash that you can wrap around your leg or your waist. Sit comfortably on a step or kneel beside your puppy and hold him securely but kindly.
Step 4
Squeeze a small amount of ear cleaning solution slowly into your puppy's ear by placing the tip of the bottle at the ear canal's entrance. Avoid inserting it any further. A small breed puppy may require 1 tsp. of solution while a large breed puppy may need up to 1 tbsp. of solution. The solution should be at room temperature to reduce the sensation.
Step 5
Massage the outside base of your puppy's ear for 10 seconds, just below the entrance to the ear canal, as soon as you've introduced the solution. The massaging action will calm your puppy and reduce the tickling sensation from the solution as well as distribute the solution evenly inside the ear.
Step 6
Release your hold on your puppy's head and allow him to shake his head, expelling the excess solution. Repeat the procedure with his opposite ear and wait a couple of minutes to allow the solution to soften the earwax.
Step 7
Wipe away softened earwax with a cotton ball, beginning at the bottom of the visible portion of her ear canal and wiping upward and outward. Your puppy's ear canal has two sections: the outer section extends downward and the inner section angles toward the middle of her head from there. Clean only the outer section but make sure to wipe away waxy buildup in the deep creases within that portion of the ear canal.

Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 1165 | Added by: Glyn Sheridan | Date: 2010-04-30

How to Use a Dremel to Trim a Dog's Nails
If left untrimmed, a dog's nails may become long and unsightly, clicking on the floor as he walks and increasing the risk of snagging and tearing. While some dogs have relatively little trouble with long nails, other dogs suffer from ragged nails that cut their skin when they scratch. A dremel is an invaluable tool in a dog groomer's arsenal; with a little practice, you can use a dremel to trim your dog's nails.
Step 1
Secure your dog. Every dog reacts differently to the sound and sensation created by a dremel, and until your dog becomes used to it, he may struggle or run away. A grooming table with an overhead arm to which you can attach the leash is optimal, but you can recruit an assistant to help hold your dog or you can tie your dog's leash to a post or other sturdy object.
Step 2
Fit the dremel with a cylindrical bit or an inverted bit. The inverted bit with a hollow-tip works very well because your dog's nail fits right inside the hollow area. Check hobby stores for a hollow-tip bit or ask your hardware store about special-ordering one. The cylindrical bit has a flat circular tip that offers safety and control. Avoid using a very small bit or a pointed bit that can slip and injure the dog.
Step 3
Introduce your dog to the dremel slowly. Let him sniff it while it is turned off, then turn it on and off to allow him to hear the sound it makes. If your dog is frightened by the dremel, the first few trimming sessions should be very brief.
Step 4
Hold your dog's paw firmly, but don't squeeze it. Push gently on the top of the dog's paw, just above one nail, to separate that nail from the rest. This pressure will cause the nail to extend slightly. If your dog has furry paws, smooth the fur back and away from the nail or trim the fur away before using the dremel. If the dremel catches in long fur, it can injure your dog's paw.
Step 5
Touch the spinning dremel bit to the tip of your dog's nail, using very little pressure. The momentum of the dremel will grind away the tip of the nail, and using pressure may cause the tip to slip and injure your dog.
Step 6
Move the spinning tip lightly around the end of the dog's nail, taking care not to place the bit too close to the skin or fur. Keep the hand that is holding the dremel moving at all times to reduce the risk of slipping.
Step 7
Speak reassuringly to your dog and take a break after a few nails, offering your dog a treat or praise for being so good before continuing. A few short sessions are less traumatic than one long session.
Grooming your Pootch | Transitions: 1056 | Added by: Glyn Sheridan | Date: 2010-04-30

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