It is most likely even if your dog lives predominantly outside that they will be spending more time in the house at the moment. They will be happier inside and having the company of your loyal canine friend will provide you with comfort. Dogs can cause a variety of smells in the home and their hair can end up all over the house. Some breeds of dog shed hair that floats in the air and lands on all surfaces, others with long-haired dogs, may see rolls of dog hair breezing across the floor like a tumbleweed in a scene from a Western (without Ennio Morricone’s amazing score, unfortunately).

Living with the dog doesn’t mean the house has to look or smell like their dog house though! Keeping your dog well-groomed in terms of washing, combing/brushing and making sure they are treated for parasites will ensure doggy fun in the house won’t impact comfortable fresh and clean living for all. If there are kids in the house they can get involved in looking after the dog’s grooming care as part of their daily jobs around the house.

Doggy Bath Time

Dogs, just like humans, need a wash sometimes! They can get muddy outdoors, roll in all sorts of smelly stuff and get dog food stuck in their hair. Bathing is an important part of keeping your dog’s coat and skin healthy and clean. It also helps keep puppy fluffy and those doggy odours to a minimum. A dog should be washed a minimum of once every 3 months; every couple of weeks would be advisable but, as a general rule, if your dog starts to smell bad then it is time for a bath.

If your dog has dry skin or a skin condition of any type it is important to discuss bathing frequency and product use with your vet. Always use a good quality dog shampoo such as animology dogs body shampoo which has a mild but deep cleaning action without stripping the coat of its essential oils.

For dogs with sensitive skin, an oatmeal based shampoo such as Pet Head Oatmeal Dog Shampoo may be used. Most dogs don’t like a bath, some swim in rivers and the sea but still don’t like the bath. Never use cold water to wash your dog, this will only make them fearful and bathing under a running tap is an absolute no-no. Both will ensure your puppy will never want to go back into the bathroom again. Best approach is to stay calm and speak to the dog with soft tones, maybe put a favourite toy in the bath, use warm water (not hot!) and your choice of shampoo.

For dogs with long hair you may like to use a detangling conditioner and comb their hair using a wide tooth comb. Once you have puppy nice and clean, dry them by patting with a thick towel. Never rub a dog down, especially if they are long haired, as it can lead to matting of the coat. For safety, stick to towel and air drying and leave blow drying to professional dog groomers.

Brushing

Brushing the dog, at least every couple of weeks, will help keep their skin and coat healthy and reduce dog hair tumbleweeds and cyclones around the house. It is important to brush the dog regularly and this is a nice task for kids to do; no harm in a daily brush down while they are under lockdown. Always use a good quality brush like the The Ancol Ergo Double Sided Brush to remove dead hair from your dog’s coat, it will remove dirt and tangles and redistribute the natural oils of the coat. It can be good to use a deshedding tool such as the furminator periodically, this will remove loose hair.

Fleas And Ticks

Parasite control is another important part of your dog’s grooming programme. Fleas can make you and your dog itch, so regularly treating your dog with a preventative spot on flea and tick treatment is essential. You definitely don’t want fleas setting into the sitting room furnishings! Dogs, just like humans, can get a nasty skin reaction from flea bites; the saliva from the flea irritates their skin. An obvious sign of flea infestation is flea dirt which is black specks of grit on the dog’s coat. Your dog may be licking excessively and scratching a lot, they may also be seen trying desperately to reach back to chew hair. There may be signs of redness on the dog’s skin. If your dog has fleas then be sure to treat him for tapeworm as fleas can carry tapeworm larvae; all it takes is for them to swallow one flea! A worming tablet that covers both tapeworms and roundworms is a good choice. During an actual flea infestation it is a good idea to use a flea comb and to use a special flea shampoo for washing your dog. If you do see signs of fleas in any pet it is important to vacuum all carpets and furnishings, steam clean if possible and wash all bedding on a hot wash.

Now That Puppy Is Fluffy Once More...

Remember all the fun things we talked about to keep the puppy occupied during the current lockdown? Get the kids to have a go at building that canine obstacle course or have a science lesson in making bubbles. And after all that, give yourself a break, relax and enjoy the company of your clean and fluffy friend.

We hope you, your family and your pets stay safe and well during this time. Our stores will remain open (weekdays 10am to 6pm and Sundays 12pm to 6pm) with social distancing in operation. We encourage you to use our online order system. If you have any queries or problems, please call: +353412136010 or email us at sales@equipet.ie. Click and Collect orders will be brought out to your car.

Stay tuned for more pet friendly news and activities over the coming weeks.