Winter Skin-Care Tips for Dogs
Tips from American Humane and “Happy Dog: Caring for Your Dog’s Body, Mind and Spirit” to Keep Your Dog’s Skin and Coat Healthy This Winter
DENVER, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – With winter comes snow, mud and dirty dogs! Take care of your pet’s skin and coat with the following winter care tips from the American Humane Association:
- All dogs (except for the truly hairless breeds) require frequent brushing regardless of coat type. Brushing is very important to your dog’s health and happiness. Brushing stimulates the skin by removing dead skin flakes, encourages natural oil production, removes irritating debris and encourages blood flow to the skin. It also uncovers skin and coat troubles, such as dandruff, parasites or dry or brittle fur, which may indicate an illness. Failing to brush your dog regularly may result in mats, which breed bacteria and infections and can be very painful for your dog.
- Dogs should be bathed regularly. Brushing before a bath is recommended, as it breaks down dirt, grime and debris so the shampoo will clean more effectively (and it might also relax the dog). Don’t wash dogs outside; the frigid water from a garden hose is extremely uncomfortable and can make them sick.
- Treat your dog to a visit with a professional groomer periodically. Dogs with coats that need regular trimming — such as poodles and Shih Tzus — can be professionally groomed every four to six weeks. Many mixed-breed dogs and those with multi-length coats — such as golden retrievers, many spaniels and sheep dogs — can get a professional grooming every six to 12 weeks. Dogs with uniform-length coats — such as Labs, and beagles — can visit a professional every 12 to 16 weeks, but can get by with home brushings. A professional can identify and remove mats safely. In addition, nail clipping, ear-hair removal and anal-sac expression are safer when performed by a trained professional. Professional groomers also have the tools and experience to safely cut and style your dog’s coat.
- Inspect your dog’s ears frequently. Clean inside the ear only when you see dirt, wax or debris. Use an unexpired canine ear-wash solution and cotton balls to clean the ear (do not use cotton swabs). Squirt the solution into the dog’s ear canal and massage the base of the ear canal for 20 seconds. Then use cotton balls to remove the wax, but only as far down as you can see. Stop immediately if your dog cries, bites or exhibits any sign of pain.
- Perform inspections of your dog’s skin and coat. Because your dog is covered in fur that can hide medical and grooming problems, you should inspect every inch of the skin and coat with your eyes and fingers. Regular brushing will make the inspection easier because dirt, mats and tangles won’t get in your way. Look for any changes or abnormalities, such as bites, parasites, injuries, lumps or changes in the skin’s color or texture.
- Remember, it’s cold outside! Dogs with short hair and dogs that get cold easily should wear coats or sweaters while on a walk to keep them warm. You can also cover their feet with booties to protect their pads from salt or chemical de-icers. Wipe off any salt that might get on their stomach to keep them from licking it off.
Some of the information in this press release was taken from “Happy Dog: Caring for Your Dog’s Body, Mind and Spirit” by Billy Rafferty and Jill Cahr. For every copy sold at www.happydogland.com or www.barkerandmeowsky.com, $1 will be donated to American Humane. For more information about the book, you can also visit http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-animals/happy-dog.html.
For more information about American Humane, go to www.americanhumane.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/americanhumane, on MySpace on http://www.myspace.com/americanhumane and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AmericanHumane. The information contained in this release can be reused and posted with proper credit given to the American Humane Association.
About American Humane
Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the only national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, American Humane develops policies, legislation, curricula and training programs to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The nonprofit organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link(R) between violence to people and violence to animals, as well as the benefits derived from the human-animal bond. American Humane’s office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the “No Animals Were Harmed”(R) end-credit disclaimer on film and TV productions, and American Humane’s office in Washington, D.C., is an advocate for child and animal protection at the federal and state levels. The American Humane(R) Certified farm animal program is the nation’s original independent certification and labeling program for humanely raised food. American Humane meets the strong, comprehensive standards of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, has been awarded the Independent Charities of America’s “Best in America” Seal of Approval, has met the stringent standards for financial efficiency and accountability required by the American Institute of Philanthropy to qualify as a Top-Rated Charity, and has received a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator. Visit www.americanhumane.org to learn more.
SOURCE American Humane Association