With March being round the corner, there’s every reason for you and your pet to look forward to a long spell of sunshine and warm weather. Unfortunately there’s also that niggling thought about your canine companion getting all grimy and smelly while enjoying the great outdoors this summer. And if you are the sort of pet owner who loves it when your dog snuggles up to you in bed, you have no choice but to make sure she feels and smells nice. Dogs will be dogs after all and you can’t always stop them rolling in the dirt or lounging in the underbrush. Well, worry not, we’re here to dispense five smart tips on how to make your dog smell good (read: less dog-like) this summer:
Brush her Coat Regularly: Brushing her coat everyday has numerous advantages. It helps get rid of dead skin cells, dispose of loose hair, distribute natural skin oils along the hair shafts, keep the coat free of knots and matting, and brush out grime and debris. Short hair coats do not require frequent brushing but long or curly hair coats must be brushed on a daily basis as such coats tend to shed a lot. Moreover, regular brushing will get your dog used to the action, causing her to fidget less.
Shampoo her Right: While you must know that dogs must only be washed using a shampoo specially formulated for dogs, you must also make sure to choose one with natural ingredients. Natural shampoos are gentler to your dog’s skin and coat, and can be used with greater frequency. While bathing her, make sure the water isn’t too cold – a cold shower is the last thing that could relax your canine buddy. Use warm water and try to avoid the entry of water into her eyes and ears. Also, instead of pouring water over the head, use a wet cloth to gently wipe her face clean.
Keep her Teeth Clean: Never underestimate the importance of doggie dental hygiene. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean eliminates pungent odours from her breath and is anyway good for her overall health. Try to brush her teeth every day, or use dog tooth wipes to get rid of plaque. Dog dental treats – chews, bones, and toys – are also effective in cleaning the teeth and maintaining good oral hygiene. Best of all, go for occasional professional cleanings by a veterinarian to maintain optimum dental hygiene.
Wash her Bedding: Washing your pet’s bedding regularly helps keep both your dog and house stench-free. Remember that dog bedding in the summer can get all sorts of dirt including dust, hair and fur, and debris. You should ideally use a pet-safe laundry detergent to wash your dog’s bedding. If the bedding is too large to be machine-washed, you can hand-wash it in a bathtub using warm water. Pressed for time? Brush the grime off and deodorize your baby and her bedding with a home-made spritz prepared using water and a scented oil like lavender.
Feed her Well: Healthy insides spell a healthy exterior. A dog with no indigestion and flatulence will naturally smell better. Too many milk or dairy products, spicy foods, and soybeans can easily cause an upset stomach and trigger flatulence, so do avoid too much of any of the aforementioned foods. Avoid giving your dog table scraps (not even when she has that look that can melt your heart in a moment) and try and feed her small, frequent meals throughout the course of the day. Go for stuff like blanched vegetables, lean protein – such as boiled chicken – and probiotics formulated for dogs for your pet.
In addition to the above mentioned, you’ll also help your dog smell better by cleaning her ears on a weekly basis using cotton wool or an ear cleaning solution. When your dog is smelling anything but pleasant and giving a full bath isn’t possible, pat her fur with baking soda to neutralize the odour.
Remember that dogs, unlike cats, aren’t big lovers of grooming so the earlier in life a grooming schedule is set, the better. Following these five, simple grooming and hygiene-related tips will surely help to ensure you both have a happy, healthy, and odour-free summer!