Pet Hygiene

Hygiene and daily cleaning

The eyes

The sense of night vision is more developed than in men, but they do not distinguish static objects at a distance. Dogs open their eyes from 14 days after birth.

Their hygiene must be daily: They must be bright and free of leganha.
There are always transparent traces of secretions that keep them moist, but that is a physiological phenomenon and we should only pay attention if there are changes in consistency or color. If we find greenish leganas or hemorrhages, we will have to go to the veterinarian.

Any change in the shape, size or colour of the eye should also be checked by a professional.

The color of both eyes can be different from birth in some race (for example the Siberian Husky) without being any pathology.

It should be cleaned daily with a suitable ophthalmic solution, especially in dogs with bulging eyes (such as the Pekingese) or “sad eyes” (such as the Cocker Spaniel).

This is done by dropping a few drops of physiological eyewash serum from the external canthus of the eye, which, as it slides towards the internal angle, washes the entire surface of the cornea. The rest is removed with gauze and not with cotton, as it can leave strands that are annoying.
Do not use eye drops without a veterinary prescription and do not resort to those that have been prescribed on other occasions.

Discard any eye drops that have been open for more than 15 days.
Dogs have a third eyelid or nictitating membrane that is located in the inner corner of the eye (not usually seen, only if it is pigmented). It serves as protection in cases of irritation or injury to the superficial layer of the eye (or cornea).

The lack of daily hygiene is, in a high percentage of cases, a risk to the health of our dog. If, as a puppy, he receives basic care, it will be easier for us to detect and avoid infections in his external organs.

Skin and coat

It must be bright and clean, which does not mean that it has to be bathed constantly.

The dog’s hair is kept healthy thanks to the secretion of sebum, which hydrates it and protects it from environmental infections. For this reason its care requires infrequent baths (once a month or every 20 days maximum) and with very specific products for the pH of your skin.
A good brushing, daily or weekly depending on the breed, will keep your hair free of impurities and dead hairs that do not benefit your health.
Puppies cannot be bathed until their vaccination has been completed or the veterinarian instructs them to do so.

If for any reason (it has become muddy or has scavenged in the garbage) had to bathe a puppy, you must take into account the following considerations, the bath should be prepared with a room of water at a high temperature and the rest warm, second, you must be very careful not to wet the head (especially to prevent water from entering the eyes and ears), third, it is important to dry firmly with a towel and finish with a dryer to avoid moisture.

In breeds that require periodic haircuts (such as the poodle) should go to specialized hairdressers.

The mouth

The remains of daily food are deposited on the tooth and cause a layer of tartar to form (which must be removed) and, as a result, infection of the gum (gingivitis) and the subsequent disease of the entire mouth (parodontitis). If the inflamed gum retracts from the root of the tooth and it is only subjected to tartar, it will happen that when we least expect it, our dog will run out of teeth and then little can be done.

To prevent this, it is advisable to get used to cleaning your dog’s teeth with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs, at least once a week.

There are special brushes for dogs, as well as toothpaste (which does not need to be rinsed and rinsed out). These brushes or “dediles” are comfortable and easy to use, but only being constant is effective.
Specific products can also be purchased which, in the form of a spray or mouthwash applied to the water, prevent the formation of tartar.
In addition

It is convenient to check that they carry out normally the changes of teeth (from the first of puppies, caducos, to the permanebtes) and that the closing of maxilla and jaw is the correct one. Animals with defects such as upper prognathism (the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth) or lower prognathism (the opposite) can feed without problems, but they will be serious defects in animals that want to compete in exhibitions.

Oral check-ups will save us later problems.
It should not be allowed to play with stones that excessively wear out the tooth and damage it. It is better to get used to balls, ropes or sticks.

When a tooth is damaged by an accident or fall, it must be repaired as soon as possible or it will be lost.
If we get our dog used to a daily oral hygiene since he is a puppy, we will save ourselves, or at least we will delay, cleanings of later mouths.

The pain shown by dogs for oral problems can lead to a state of decay and apathy, stop eating and often difficult to discover the cause.

The ears

In some countries ears are still cut to certain breeds (Boxer, Schnauzer), but in others, such as Britain, Germany and some areas of Spain fortunately this practice has been banned.

They must always be clean and free of any traces of secretions. Their forms are very varied (long, short, falls, enrroscadas, etc) and also their length. The erect ones tend to have less problems, since they oxygenate better and we control them more easily.

We must learn to check the ears to discover any change in smell, color or secretion with respect to their normal state.
It is not necessary to use cotton canes, nor alcohol or oxygenated water, since there are special products for its cleaning prepared not to alter the bacterial flora of the ear nor to irritate the mucous membrane that covers it internally.

We have to take into account that the ear canal of the dog is not straight as ours, has an L shape that prevents us from easily accessing the eardrum.

The cleaning of the ear pavilion can be done with wet wipes (such as babies, but impregnated with a special solution for cleaning the ear) or a soft paper moistened with serum.

An ear that is redder than normal, drooping laterally or shaking constantly, shows signs of otitis.

Legs and nails

Tip: If when trying to cut the dog’s nails we exceed the level of the correct cut and the nail bleeds, do not panic. A gauze with hydrogen peroxide or a cotton swab should be placed to stop the bleeding for a minute or two. In the same way the nail can be protected with a small bandage during a day if necessary.

Dogs and cats have five toes on the front legs (like people), but only four on the hind legs. In many dogs however, as a vestige of an old finger, persist as small atrophied fingers, the so-called spurs, whose nail is not worn by not having rubbing with the ground. These nails, in their constant growth, take the form of a snail and return to the flesh of the leg and nail if we do not cut them periodically.

Not wearing shoes does not ensure the integrity of your pads and nails. On your first outings to the field, or when this is not a very common practice, you should check your toes, pads and uas when you return.

The pads tend to resent and crack in very hard terrain so, if you plan to go out to the field, it is best to protect them with special creams.

Nail trimming is necessary in many dogs, especially in quiet dogs and with a low level of exercise, to ensure good support of the hand or foot. If the nail exceeds the level of the pad in a side view must be cut. The first times it is convenient that a professional does it and explain us how to do it at home and with what.

In energetic and active dogs it is not usually necessary to cut them manually due to the wear caused by the game or exercise.