Managing dog odor

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Managing dog odor

All dogs occasionally develop a stench, but some dogs fight battles with chronic odor. Before you decide how to deal with your pet’s odor, determine where it is coming from. Did your dog roll in something foul or play extra hard outdoors? Has he smelled bad for a while or is he emitting a different odor than usual? Dogs with certain skin types and activity levels can emit a more consistently pungent odor. Breed specific information found in the Care For My…

Questions & Answers

Q: What type of brush should I use on my dog? 

A:If your dog has a smooth or short coat, use a bristle brush. If your dog has short, dense fur that’s prone to matting, use a wire slicker brush. If he has long hair, use a slicker brush or pin brush. Most dogs benefit from the use of a 2-in-1 comb after brushing.

Q: Do I need to use special toothpaste for my dog? 

A:Never use human toothpaste on your dog’s teeth. Almost all have additives that will upset your dog’s stomach. Use toothpaste especially formulated for dogs, just as you should do with his shampoo. And use a soft-bristled toothbrush made especially for dogs.

Q: How frequently should I clean my dog's teeth? 

A:Most groomers agree that a dog’s teeth should be brushed every day to avoid tartar buildup that could result in gum disease. If you don’t have the time to do that, do it at several times per week … at least once per week. It will allow you to avoid a visit to the vet, who most likely will have to put the dog under sedation to conduct a thorough cleaning.

Q: How do I clean the tear stains on fur beneath the eyes of poodles and spaniels? 

A:It’s simple. Just use warm water on a cotton ball or cloth and gently wipe. Never use soap near a dog’s eyes, which can damage the delicate cornea. It’s always wise to regularly wipe tear stains on dogs tearing breeds with white or light coats.

Q: How frequently should I clean my dog's ears? What should I use? 

A:Give your dog’s ears a complete cleaning and thorough inspection every week. Floppy ears usually require more attention than pricked ears. Moisten a cotton ball or cloth with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel and gently wipe the inside of the ears. It’s dangerous to use a cotton swab, which can damage the delicate inner ear if he suddenly jerks his head.

Q: It's easy to avoid the "quick" when trimming a dog with white/light nails. How do I avoid cutting it in a dog with black nails? 

A:Since you can’t see the quick in black or dark nails, be careful to not cut too far back on the nail. Just clip where the nail begins to curve towards the floor.  To be safe, take off only a small slice.

For more information in trimming your dog's nails visit our grooming tips

Q: What do I do if I cut into my dog's "quick" by trimming his nails too close and he bleeds? 

A:A good rule of thumb is to cut the nail just before it curves downward so you don’t cut into the quick. The excessive growth is usually easy to determine. Keep a styptic stick or styptic powder nearby before beginning trimming and use immediately if the quick is struck and bleeding begins. Also, dipping the bleeding nail into a small amount of corn starch can help stop the bleeding. For a small nick and trickled bleeding, try running a clean bar of unscented soap across the affected part of the nail.

Q: What is the "quick" that I hear about regarding a dog's nails? 

A:The quick is the vein and nerve that run into the nail. It doesn’t run the entire length of the nail and typically ends before the nail curves towards the ground. 

Q: How do I know when it's time to trim my dog's nails? 

A:When your dog’s nails reach the floor, it’s time to trim them. Listen for the click-clacking when he walks across a floor or hard surface. Properly maintained nails will avoid the development of broken nails, ingrown nails and infections, while preserving delicate carpet and floors.

 

Q: What is the best way to minimize shedding? 

A:There is no way to eliminate all of the shedding but you can limit it with frequent brushing, bathing and the use of shampoos especially formulated for shedding dogs. Using a blow dryer on a low, cool setting after bathing will also help.

Q: How can I make my dog more comfortable for grooming? 

A:It is always wise take your dog for a walk or exercise prior to grooming activities, particularly if he is the type to get restless, antsy or apprehensive. It will diminish the dog’s energy level and make it easier to complete the task. Aromatherapists say the smell of spearmint and peppermint help calm dogs, so it might be worth buying a few scented candles.

Q: I'm out of dog shampoo. Can I just use human shampoo? 

A:Absolutely not. A dog requires a mild shampoo especially formulated for dogs. Human shampoos are too harsh and could lead to dangerously-dry skin and, subsequently, itching, infections and rashes.

Q: What happens if I don't bathe my dog frequently enough? Or, too often? 

A:Not bathing your dog will lead to a dirty coat that could result in skin diseases or infections. Conversely, you should never bathe your dog too frequently because it will dry out his skin and lead to itching and, possibly, bacterial skin infections and skin rashes. The ASPCA’s general rule of thumb is to bathe your dog once every three months but it varies from breed to breed or coat style to coat style. In between baths, you can also try using an odor neutralizer or a doggie deodorant to curb any unpleasant smells. 

Q: What is the best way to de-mat my dog? 

A:Use a liquid fur detangler or work some baby oil into the mat. Let it sit for several minutes and then loosen and separate using your fingers or the end of a comb. Gently brush out the loosened sections. Severe, stubborn mats may have to be clipped if detangling doesn’t work.

Q: Do I really need to brush my dog? 

A:Absolutely. Not brushing will lead to the development of mats. Matted hair will pull and inflame his sensitive skin and will be painful to remove. Regular brushing will also keep the dog’s skin healthy by stimulating blood flow and distributing natural oils, while also rooting out parasites.

Q: Does bathing my dog in tomato juice really work if a skunk sprays my dog? 

A:Yes, it usually does. If you don’t want to be so messy with the bath, you can make your own de-skunking solution with 1 quart of 3 % hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap.