Dogs provide priceless companionship to victims battling stress-related issues like loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Thus, it is a critical approach to have an emotional support dog for a quicker therapeutic process. From taking leisure walks, a dash to the malls or the office, these dogs offer immeasurable restorative company to the owners. Taking care of such a valuable pet is both expensive and exhaustive. The high vet costs and cleaning options may deter most mentally disturbed people away. Additionally, some dogs may not cooperate through the entire grooming process. Either way, a dog’s hygiene is vital for general well-being and keeping the parasites away.
Join us as we discuss five valuable tips on how to reciprocate your dog’s love with a cleanup.
1. Periodic Bathing for your Emotional Support Dog
Dogs do not need a daily bath like humans as it removes beneficial natural oils on the skin. On the other hand, lesser cleaning may result in a distasteful smell and attract pests like fleas. Based on a Canine Journal report, dogs require at least one bath in three months. This depends on the type of skin, fur, and lifestyle. An active dog that is always out and about may need more cleaning than others. That also depends on the length of the hair. Long-haired dogs have a higher chance of attracting muck and dust. The situation can get worse if they have a skin condition. In such a case, get directives from a vet on how often you need to clean them. Consult also on the correct dog shampoo to use.
Normal dog skin has a ph balance of 6.2 to 7.4. Compared to humans, dogs have more neutralized skin. Therefore, using human shampoo on your emotional support dog may disturb the acidic protective cover. As a result, it may make it vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and parasites. If you want to trim your dog’s fur, do it after you clean and dry them. Cutting a dog’s dirty hair may clog the clippers and make it almost impossible to accomplish the task. Always wash your dog in a comfortable tub or on a firm bath mat to avoid sliding. Use reasonably warm water and avoid applying shampoo around the eyes and mouth. Concentrate more on the hindquarters by scrubbing gently with a soft brush or your hands. Finally, dry your dog thoroughly with a clean towel. Dog’s bath time is not always an easy time for most of them. Strive to make it enjoyable and fun for everyone. If need be, you can give them a snack to motivate them for the next bath.
2. Regular Fur Brushing
The easiest grooming tip for your emotional support dog is brushing their fur daily. Brushing is vital to all types of dogs, whether they have long or short furs. In the process, you get rid of dead skin, hair, pollen, and dirt. Additionally, it stimulates the skin while allowing natural oil distribution for healthier and shiny fur. Your dog may experience less shedding with healthy hair, which is also advantageous in keeping your home clean. Before brushing your dog’s fur, find out the ideal brush to avoid hurting the skin. Note that during shedding time, your dog may grow a thick coat. It is necessary to brush the fur twice or thrice a day to eliminate skin overgrowth. During this season, some dogs may need a professional groomer for perfect cleaning. When brushing, ensure to give your dog an entire body check-up for potential threats like cuts, bumps, sore spots, or fleas.
3. Keep the Eyes and Ears Clean
As much as you keep your dog’s skin sparkling, slime builds up in the ears and eyes can be a repulsive sight. There are specific canine cleaners that you can safely use around these areas. Most of them request the pet owner to use a cotton ball and gently swab the grime out of the ears. Do not insert the cotton balls deep inside the ears. Wipe gently around the outer ear and through the folds. Also, you can make a homemade cleaning solution with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. For your dog’s eyes, the most harmless method to use is wiping with a warm, soft cloth. In most cases, you may observe tear stains around the eyes. This is quite normal and nothing to get scared about. If the tearing gets out of control, there are various types of products available to control it. Always ensure that you consult a licensed groomer or vet on the best brand for your emotional support dog. While you may wipe your dog’s eyes daily, a once a month ear clean up is enough. Note that those with bigger and floppy ears may need frequent cleaning.
4. Give your Emotional Support Dog a Mani/Pedi
Trimming your dog’s nails depends on how fast they grow. An ideal grooming nail session should be within an interval of one to four weeks. You can choose to do it at home or the vet’s or groomer’s place. There are several dog trimmers available for short and long nails. In case you get stuck, ask for a quick demonstration from the groomer to avoid hurting the dog. Also, you can use reliable online platforms to get useful guidelines on how to trim dog nails. Bear in mind that if you allow the nails to grow extra long, it increases the chances of breaking. This can cause a lot of pain and discomfort to your emotional support dog. If your dog finds the whole trimming process uncomfortable, go easy on them. Putting too much pressure on them may become emotionally stressful for both of you. Rather, get him/her in a comfortable and relaxing position and trim them at their own pace.
5. Brush Teeth Daily
Canines also develop similar dental issues to humans. Brushing the teeth removes bacteria and plaque and helps to reduce tooth loss and gum issues. Sadly, some of the dental issues in pets may cause infections in the liver, heart, and kidneys. So apart from giving your dog a fresh breath, regular brushing is a strong basis for a healthier and longer life. Most experts recommend dog teeth brushing every 24 to 48 hours. Do not get tempted to brush them within shorter intervals as it may harm the gum. Avoid using human toothpaste as the fluoride level may harm some types of dogs. Instead, get specifically formulated dog toothpaste with your pet’s favorable flavor. Use gentle motions to clean the gum as well. While most dogs would not allow inner surface cleaning, try to brush the canines and molar teeth as they easily build up tartar.
An emotional support dog plays a significant role in the owner’s life. So, they should look equally good to complement the good deed. Some dogs may take a longer time to get accustomed to a grooming routine. Nonetheless, that should deter the owner from finding comfortable measures to beat around it. There are several health benefits to enjoy a grooming session compared to the few hitches involved. Strive to make it a pleasant experience for both of you. If need be, you can reward your dog with a favorite activity or snack to positively reinforce the next grooming regime.