Cleaning Your Dog - Not just bathing (1 Viewer)

eske silver

In Disguise
Sep 5, 2012
How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

It’s important to keep your pooch’s ears clean.
It helps to prevent infection, skin irritation and keeps your dog happy and healthy.

  1. Recognizing Healthy Ears
  2. Ear Cleaning Instructions
  3. Don’t Worry About Drying
  4. How Often Should You Clean His Ears?

Recognizing Healthy Ears

If your dog’s ears are healthy, meaning there is no infection, they will appear to be the same pale color as the rest of your dog’s skin. Infected ears will appear red and they may be filled with discharge. They also may have a foul odor that you will definitely notice. Plus, your dog’s infected ears will be sensitive to touch and could cause the dog considerable pain. He will probably react to any contact by whining or cringing.

Another affliction your dog may have is ear mites. Ear mites themselves are difficult to see with the naked eye, but this may be the case if your pet is frequently scratching at his ears or shaking his head. If the mites have been there for a while, you may also notice dried blood inside his ears. A veterinarian will need to diagnose this condition and can provide you with special ear drops that contain insecticide.

If you think your dog may have an ear infection or mites, do not attempt to clean his ears yourself. See a veterinarian as soon as possible for medication and a treatment plan.

Ear Cleaning Instructions

Step one: Buy the cleaning solution
On the day you plan to clean your dog’s ears or before, purchase an ear-cleaning solution from your vet or a pet supply store. This is either a blue or clear liquid and is usually sold in a plastic bottle with a dropper tip. Ask an employee if you need help finding it.

You will also need a couple cotton pads, which can be found at any drug store. They are often labeled as make-up removing pads. You can also use a cotton ball or buy premoistened ear wipes. Never use a cotton swab or anything of that small size to clean your dog’s ears. This could cause potential harm to your dog if it gets inside the ear canal.

Step two: Getting the dog to sit or stand still
This step may be the most difficult one of the entire process, especially if the dog isn’t comfortable with someone touching his ears. It’s best to begin handling his ears when you first adopt him so that he has no qualms about them being touched. If this is still a problem for him, you may want to start handling his ears on a daily basis for a few days before cleaning them so he will become more comfortable. Reward him with a treat after each session so he sees ear cleaning as a positive experience.

Step three: Use the cotton pad
The cotton pad will be especially useful if you see any wax buildup on the inside of your dogs ears. Add a couple drops of cleaning solution to the pad. You want it damp, but not dripping wet. Skip this step if you’re using premoistened ear wipes.

Fold your pet’s ear in such a way as to expose the inside of his earflap. This should not be painful for your pet. If he resists, use less pressure and use a pleasant tone of voice to soothe him.

Gently wipe the inside of your dog’s ear with the moistened pad. The wax and dirt should come off pretty easily due to the smooth surface of the underside of the ear. Be careful to avoid the ear canal. You do not want to insert the pad too far down and risk serious damage to your pet.

Step four: Use the bottle
After you’ve removed any excess wax from the ear’s surface with the pad or wipe, you can more thoroughly clean the inner ear with the dropper bottle. If your solution doesn’t have a dropper-type tip, you can dip a medicine dropper into the mouth of the bottle and use that instead.
Simply hold the bottle three inches from your dog’s ear and place two or three drops of the solution inside your dog’s ear. (Do not place the dropper inside the ear canal.) Then fold your dog’s ear down and massage the area near the canal opening for about 10 seconds so that the solution is absorbed inside. You will know it is absorbed when you hear a squishing sound.

Step five: Let the head-shaking begin
Your work is done here. Simply let your dog go. If he’s like most dogs, he’ll take this opportunity to shake his head several times. Don’t worry; this is a good thing. The shaking motion will serve to dislodge any remaining wax or dirt, finishing the cleaning process.

Check your dog’s ears when he’s done shaking. If you notice any remaining wax or debris, repeat steps two and three again. If your dog’s ears are still not clean, this may be an early sign of infection. Time to give the veterinarian a call.

Don’t Worry About Drying

It’s not necessary to dry your dog’s inner ears. The formula of the cleaning solution and your dog’s body temperature will be enough for his ears to dry on their own. Besides, can you imagine him holding still any longer after this ordeal?

Reward your clean-eared dog for a job well done.

How Often Should You Clean His Ears?

Your ear-cleaning schedule will depend on the type of dog you have. If your dog has prominent ears, such as many of the hound breeds, you will need to clean his ears fairly regularly. However, dogs of many other breeds will rarely need cleanings at all.

Other factors which may affect the need for ear-cleanings include the overall health of your dog and whether or not he has allergies. Follow the advice of your veterinarian on this matter, and check his ears once a week.
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eske silver

eske silver

In Disguise
Sep 5, 2012
How to Clean Your Dog’s Eyes

Whether your dog has big, brown eyes or tiny blue ones, it is important to keep them clean. This is a task that should be done carefully though, since his eyes are just as sensitive as yours, and he has to be able to see to look out for you.

  1. Is it Dirt or an Infection?
  2. Cleaning Tear Stains on Light Fur
  3. Muck Removal
  4. Keeping Your Dog’s Eyes Clean

Is it Dirt or an Infection?

If you’re particularly concerned about cleaning your dog’s eyes, there is probably a good amount of discharge in or around them. The first thing you should do is ensure that this “gunk” inside them is not caused by a medical problem. While it’s true that many dogs simply have excessive eye discharge, it can also be a sign of something more serious.

A few telltale signs that your dog has an eye infection or other serious disorders are if the eyes display:
  • Redness
  • Cloudiness
  • Inflammation

If any of these symptoms are present, or you notice any bleeding in the eye, find a vet as soon as possible – and do not attempt to clean your dog’s eyes yourself until a vet gives you a proper treatment plan.

Cleaning Stains on Light Fur

If your dog’s fur is white or very light blonde, he may be susceptible to tear stains, which occur when a build-up of water from the eyes discolors the fur beneath them to a brown or red tint. This is common in many toy breeds, including poodles, cocker spaniels and shih tzus.

These breeds are susceptible to excessive eye-watering due to the fact that their coarse hair often irritates their eyes. It’s important to remove these spots as soon as possible because they can be a breeding ground for bacteria if they remain damp for too long.

In order to remove tear stains, you can use a mixture of equal parts corn starch and peroxide. Mix them together into a fine powder and apply the solution to your dog’s fur. (Make sure that this solution does not make contact with your dog’s eyes! You do not want to irritate them further.) If you’re not comfortable using peroxide on your dog’s face, you can try a mixture of boric acid powder and cornstarch instead, but be careful to avoid the eyes with this mixture as well. Let the mixture dry for at least a couple hours and then rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Once you’ve removed your dog’s tear stains, you should focus on prevention. There are many products available that you can add to your pet’s food to prevent the formation of tear stains in the future. You can consult your vet for information about products specific to your dog’s needs.

Muck Removal

If your dog doesn’t have tear stains, just run of the mill muck in his eyes, you should be able to clean them by gently wiping the edge of the eye with a clean cloth or tissue. Remember to wipe around the eye, never directly on the eye’s surface. You can also buy eye wipes made specifically for dogs, but these are usually not necessary.

However, if there is dirt or debris directly inside your dog’s eye and not just in the corners, you will need to flush it out with an eyewash. Don’t go up to the bathroom and grab the Visine; be sure to consider your dog’s safety and comfort by purchasing an eyewash just for him. Canine-friendly solutions, such as EyeClens are available at most any pet supply store. They may also be found at your vet’s office.

To use the eye wash, put the bottle near, but not in, your dog’s eye and squeeze the bottle gently. Be sure that the bottle is angled downward, so that gravity will assist you in flushing out the debris. Give your dog a treat afterwards, as this can be quite stressful for him.

Keeping Your Dog’s Eyes Clean

If your pet has tear stains, he will require ongoing treatment. However, if you just need to keep your dog’s eyes free from gunk, there are several ways to reduce the risk of eye irritation:

  • Keep your pet away when you are mowing the lawn, dusting or doing other activities that cause an excessive amount of debris or particles in the air.
  • Don’t let your dog hang his head out the car window. Sure it looks like fun, but the wind can carry objects that could cause serious infection or damage.
  • Secure all household chemicals where your dog will not be exposed to them, such as on a high shelf or in a cabinet, and keep your dog outside when you are using toxic cleaners, such as bleach and ammonia.
  • Trim your pet’s fur if it is getting into his eyes regularly. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, seek the assistance of a professional groomer.
Eye-cleaning is a fairly simple process and there is no set schedule of how often it should be preformed. Just keep on eye on your pet and his behavior and sit him down for an eye-cleaning on an as-needed basis.
eske silver

eske silver

In Disguise
Sep 5, 2012
How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

  1. What You Will Need
  2. The Cleaning Process
  3. Additional Tips and Advice

Dog’s teeth can develop tartar build-up, plaque and cavities the same way that human teeth do. When you take your dog to the vet, they are able to scrape away any tartar and check for any problems. For dogs that have not had these cleanings done before, they can get very nervous and must be put to sleep for the procedure. As you brush your dog’s teeth at home, they will become more comfortable with having someone working on their teeth and will become more tolerant. As this continues, the office cleanings may be able to be completed while your dog is still awake, saving you lots of time and money. Brushing your dog’s teeth should become part of your routine. It is recommended that you clean your dog’s teeth at home at least twice a week. Here’s what to do to keep their teeth strong and healthy.

What You Will Need:
  • Doggie toothpaste
  • Toothbrush or washcloth or gauze to wrap around your finger
The Cleaning Process:
  1. Gather all of your supplies and prep as much as possible prior to starting. Choose whether you will be cleaning with a toothbrush, washcloth or gauze wrapped around your finger and apply a small amount of the doggie toothpaste to the tip.
  2. It is best to complete this cleaning when your dog is relaxed. If your dog is ready to play, it may be difficult to get him to sit still while you clean.
  3. Find a position that allows you to easily access your dog’s mouth/teeth.
  4. Gently lift the upper lip on one side and begin brushing in a circular motion. Refresh with more toothpaste as needed.
  5. As you are brushing and cleaning, ensure to clean the gum line (where the teeth meet the gums) because this is where many problems start.
  6. Work your way around the mouth brushing each tooth. Use care to thoroughly clean the back teeth as this is where many problems can occur as well.
  7. When all of the top teeth are cleaned, continue with the same procedure to clean the bottom teeth.
  8. Complete this cleaning twice a week and visit your veterinarian once a year for a professional cleaning.
Additional Tips and Advice
  1. Did you know that your pet’s “dog breath” does not always have to be bad. In fact, if your dog has bad breath, it can be a sign of a problem with their teeth.
  2. If your dog will not tolerate the toothbrush, try a nubby-surfaced rubber cap. These are like rubber toothbrushes that you place on the top of your finger and provide a gentler cleaning than bristled brushes. It also gives you a good feel of where you’re brushing since it’s right on your fingertip.
  3. Only use dental products designed specifically for dogs. Do not use human toothpaste for your dog as it is not designed to be swallowed and dogs cannot spit. Anything that you use to clean their teeth will be swallowed, so ensure it’s made for them.
  4. Feed your dog hard dog biscuits or hard dog food each day and a hard bone or toy to chew on to keep their teeth strong.
  5. It may be helpful to have another person around to help you when you are cleaning your dog’s teeth for the first few times, even if it’s just to help keep your dog calm during the process.
  6. When in doubt, always seek the advice of a veterinarian. Ask them to walk you through the cleaning process to ensure that you are getting all the important spots.
eske silver

eske silver

In Disguise
Sep 5, 2012
How to Clean an Infected Puppy Eye

Cleaning an irritated, infected eye is a task that takes careful, gentle care. According to a local veterinarian, it is not wise to add any products to the fur as this may only irritate the eye further. Here are some cleaning methods that may help with the matted fur until the eye has a chance to heal.

You Will Need:

  • Warm water
  • Soft cloths
  • Gauze

  1. Begin by moistening a soft cloth with warm water. Do not make it too warm or it may cause discomfort. Lukewarm is sufficient for puppies.
  2. Carefully moisten the fur around the eye. Use caution not to bump the eye. If it’s infected, it will be sensitive, and you don’t want to risk hurting it further.
  3. Once the fur is moistened and the matted material has been softened, it may be able to be wiped away with a soft cloth. Gauze can also be used. It easily wraps around your finger to give you more accurate cleaning on the small, sensitive eye area.
  4. Remove as much of the gunk as possible. Do not scrub the area or overclean it.
  5. Frequent, quick cleanings are easier on the area. Avoid cleaning the area too much or it will only add to the irritation of the infection and the stress of your puppy.
  6. If it won’t come clean and it is causing additional irritation, return to your veterinarian for a more thorough cleaning and guidance on care.

Additional Tips and Advice
  • Always use gentle strokes and take great caution not to scratch the eye.
  • If the matted fur won’t come clean right now, it’s okay. Once the eye is healed, the area will stop getting additional leakage on it, and it will be much easier to clean.
  • When in doubt, do not hesitate to contact your vet for assistance or guidance on the best care for your puppy.
  • Do not use any cleaning products on the eye that are not recommended by your vet.
  • If you have not already made a vet visit to get medications for the infection, that should be your first priority. Do not try to treat the infection on your own.
eske silver

eske silver

In Disguise
Sep 5, 2012
How to Wash a Skunked Dog

Dogs are curious creatures by nature. They like to chase squirrels and cats and foxes and birds…
and skunks.
In order to get rid of skunk odor, and to avoid transferring it to yourself in the process,
you will need the following:
  • One skunky dog
  • One quart hydrogen peroxide - Will make dark fur lighter, but then, so will skunk spray left on its own
  • One-fourth cup baking soda
  • One tablespoon of liquid dish soap, such as Dawn (make sure to use hand dish soap, not the kind you put in the dishwasher)
  • A bottle of the dog shampoo you typically use
  • Old clothing and gloves (for you to wear)


As soon as you realize your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, you want to wash them as soon as possible so that the oil doesn’t have a chance to dry.

Keep the dog off your things and out of your living space. Once you’ve finished deskunking the dog, you don’t want to have to repeat the procedure on your stuff, as well. If you must bring them inside, or it’s already too late, sprint back outside or to a bathtub as fast as humanly possible with your dog in tow.

Be certain to put on old clothing before handling your dog, as the skunk’s oil may be transferred to you and can be difficult if not impossible to remove from the fibers later. Also wear gloves to prevent any skin irritation.

Prepare the Wash
The old wives tale is that the best odor remover for skunk spray is tomato juice. But you can actually make a much more effective deodorant solution yourself. Take the peroxide, baking soda and dish soap and mix them together in a bowl or bucket. If your dog is large or has long hair, you can always double the recipe. Don’t be alarmed when the mixture bubbles up. That’s just the peroxide reacting with the baking soda, like the volcano kids always make at the science fair. It will actually help to neutralize the smell.

However, due to this reaction, you will have to use this mixture immediately after you mix it. Do not wait – and don’t seal it away in a container, for obvious reasons.

The Cleaning Process
Lather the dog
With your dog in the tub or a secure outdoor area, speak calmly and positively to them as you wet their fur and then lather them up with the soap mixture. Wash their entire coat, but if you know of the area on their body where they was sprayed, pay special attention to that area.

Use caution around your dog’s eyes, nose and mouth. Make sure none of the mixture makes its way in to these areas. If you’re worried, you can wash their face with a washcloth. Also, do not let your dog lick the solution off of their fur.

Rinse them off
Rinse your dog with water that is room temperature. Make sure that you get all of the soap mixture out of their fur, or it may irritate their skin in the future.

Repeat if needed
Do they smell better yet? If not, you’ll have to mix some more soap solution and wash them again. It may take a couple tries, especially if their coat had time to dry between now and the time they were sprayed. You can also try letting the solution sit on their coat for a couple minutes before you wash them. Be sure to mix a new batch of solution before each washing. It loses its effectiveness quickly if left to sit out.

Wash him with his regular shampoo
It’s important to wash him again with his regular shampoo so that their hair and skin are conditioned. Plus, then their won’t smell like dish detergent. Then, rinse and dry them as normal.

Other things to try
If you need to wash your dog right away and you don’t have all of the ingredients necessary to make the soap mixture, there are a couple other things you can try.

  • Oranges– Make a soap solution by mixing the dish soap with pureed oranges. (Put five to ten of the fruits in the blender with the peels still on and blend on high to make the puree.) This soap should sit on the dog’s coat for about ten minutes in order to work well.
  • Soda – Most likely you’ll have some sort of carbonated beverage in the house. The air bubbles in the soda can be used to mimic the reaction of the baking soda/peroxide mixture. Wash your dog with a bottle or two of any type, depending on his size. Make sure you wash them again with his normal shampoo or your next task may be removing the ants.
  • Store-bought skunk odor removers – Most pet supply stores sell shampoos specifically for the removal of skunk oil and odor. It may be wise to keep a bottle or two on hand, especially if your dog is particularly friendly with polecats.

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