Getting the Stink out of Your Dog
Dog owners who live near a forest, beside a river, or on a farm will be quick to tell you that there is something about stinky, decaying, items that appeals to dogs. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is black swamp water, dead fish, or a pile of slimy manure, if it stinks and can be rolled in, the dog is happy. While smelling like a walking barking sewer system is a dogs idea of heaven on earth, its owners are normally less then enthusiastic. The odor emitting from their pet means that they have to take time out of their busy day to either take their pet to the pet groomer and have it bathed, or they have to bath their dog themselves. Even then there is no way that they can be sure that the offensive odor will wash out of the dog’s coat.
Dog experts believe that dogs roll in things like dead fish, road kill, and manure in an attempt to disguise themselves. What nobody know is why they feel the need to camouflage their scent. It could be a throwback to the days when they hunted their dinner, if the prey couldn’t smell them, they stood a better chance of capturing something to eat. Another reason dogs might feel the need to hide their scent is protections. They might be trying to hide from potential predators or other packs of once feral dogs. Maybe stinking like a landfill made it easier to be accepted into another pack. On the other hand its possible that dogs roll in the stinkiest object they can find just because it feels good. Nobody really knows for sure why dogs feel the need to smell.
The quickest, most efficient way to remove odor from your dog’s coat is to wash your dog. Try to use a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs. Human shampoos can strip the dogs coat of its natural oils, leaving the skin unprotected and open to rashes and infections. Dog shampoos are made to clean the dog’s coat, without stripping it of the natural oils. If the dogs stink is especially strong, like the scent of a skunk, bathing the dog in tomato juice is one of the quickest ways to remove the smell.
If you have dog that consistently rolls in stinky, smelly items, you may want to consider taking him to a professional pet groomer and having his coat clipped. The shorter coat will be more comfortable for the dog during the hot summer months and while the shorter hair wont prevent your dog from rolling in the smelly items, the shorter coat will be easier for you to wash, and will dry faster.
If you have bathed you dog and still notice a strong odor whenever it is in your presence the source of the smell might not be the dog’s coat but a more serious health problem. When they have dental issues they have breath the smells so foul that you can smell it throughout your entire house. Strong breath odor can also indicate more serious diseases such as kidney failure and diabetes. Dog’s are also prone to having anal sacs that become impacted and infected, and therefore extremely stinky. If washing your dog does not seem to take care of the odor you will want to take your dog to your veterinarian and have the stinky problem officially diagnosed so that treatments can begin.
Grooming Your Pet-It Doesn’t Have to be Difficult
Their are pet owners who will not groom their pets because whenever they try the experience turns into a bad experience that leaves both the pet and the owner with strained nerves and shaken confidence. Some of these pet owners, knowing that their pet is in desperate need of a good grooming, bring their pets to a professional pet groomer, hoping that the groomer knows some magic trick that will make their unruly pet behave. Most of these pet owners are devastated when they return to the groomers to pick up their pet and find out that the best the groomer was able to do was a partial job, they send the pet home half clipped and uncombed, telling the owner that the pet is their responsibility.
The hard truth is that some pets really don’t like to be groomed. Dogs, who are perfectly happy to splash in mud puddles and swim in rivers, develop an unreasonable fear of water when their owner starts to unroll a hose. Cats who are happy to spend the entire day being stroked by their human, turn into shrieking banshees when that same owner picks up a brush.
The first thing a pet owner has to understand is that if they brush or bath their pet at home, there is absolutely no way a pet groomer is going to be able to. Professional groomers are people who know how to make a pet look good, they aren’t animal trainers. Pet owners shouldn’t expect them to turn into trainers when they drop their pet off at the pet groomers.
The easiest way to teach your pet that grooming is a pleasurable experience is to start grooming them when they are very young. Sure puppies and kittens squirm around a lot, and grooming them will be difficult, but they are still small. They are a lot easier to hold onto know then they will be a year or two down the road. And remember, part of the reason they are squirming and wiggling around is because they are so happy to be with you. If you start brushing their coats and washing their eats now, they will start to associate those activities with one on one time.
Make sure that you spend some time handling and cleaning your pets ears. The more their ears get handled at a young age the easier it will be for your veterinarian to inspect and treat any ear infections your pet might develop later in life.
Dog and cat owners all know that trimming their pets nails can be a monstrous engagement. Although you shouldn’t have to trim the nails of your new puppy or kitten, you can make play with their feet and start getting them accustomed to the feel of your fingers against their paws. This will make your life easier down the road.
When your grooming process is complete reward your young pet with treats and play time. It won’t be very long before they learn that sitting still through the grooming process means that they will get to the fun stuff faster.
If you are having a bad day, avoid grooming your pet. They will pick up on your negative energy and be uncomfortable being trapped on your lap. Instead of grooming, spend the time playing a game with your puppy or kitten. They won’t feel trapped and will still have your undivided attention which will make them happy, and you will find that watching them play will have a therapeutic effect on your mental health.
Make each and every grooming session a positive experience for both you and your new pet.
One of the keys to successfully bathing your pet is to make sure that you are in a safe environment. If you are putting your dog or cat in a tub or sink while you bath them make sure that they aren’t going to slip.
Placing a rubber mat in the tub or sink will give your pet a sense of security, rubber door mats work really well for this purpose. Also make sure that you aren’t going to slip if water gets splashed on the floor.
If you are using a hose to bath your dog outside, make sure you are in an area where they feel secure, and that, if they pull away from you grasp, they wont be able to run out into traffic.
Before you start bathing your pet make sure that the shampoo you are using is very mild. Shampoos that are specially formulated for your pet’s species are best because they wont strip your pets coat of the oils that they need for healthy skin. If you have to use a human shampoo try to use one that is meant for infant children.
Make sure that the shampoo you are using to wash your pet is unscented. Washing your dog with shampoo that smells like lilacs is only going to encourage him to find a dead fish to use to cover the scent. Perfumed shampoos can also dry out your pets sensitive skin.
Before you begin bathing your pet, sit down and throughly brush its coat. This serves two purposes. First it helps relax your pet, and you. More importantly running a brush through your pets coat will rid it off all dead and loose hair. This is hair that will no longer be around to clog your plumbing system.
Try to use luke warm water. Hot water can burn your pet’s sensitive skin. Cold water can chill your pet. Both situations can make the bathing experince miserable. If you are bathing your pet in a tub, do not fill the tub full of water. To much water will make your pet nervous, and increase the amount of water that gets splashed on the floor and on you. Use a minimal amount of water when bathing your house pet.
When using a hose or sprayer to spray water over your pet be very careful not to spray water into thier ears. Also try to avoid spraying water in thier noses and mouths. Getting water in the ears, nose, and mouth will not give your pet pleasent memories of the bathing experince.
When rubbing the shampoo into your pet’s coat start just behind your pet’s ears and work your way towards the pet’s tail. Use a circular motion to rub the shampoo into the pet’s coat. When you are done massaging the shampoo into your pet’s coat use the sprayer or hose to rinse your pet.
Make sure that you get all the soap out of your pets hair. Soap that doesn’t get rinsed off will irritate your pet’s skin and cause them to rub and scratch at their skin. If the soap irritates the pet enough you could find yourself treating your pet for hot spots.
When you are done bathing your pet, use a large towel to dry them off.
After bath time is finished take some time to play with and cuddle with your pet. This will ensure them that you still love them, and confirm in both your minds that bath time doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience.
Common Mistakes in Home Pet Grooming
When dog owners attempt pet grooming at home, there are several common mistakes that are made. Pet grooming is a skill, but with the right equipment and patience it can become a household duty that will save both time and money. You have to be careful. A slip of the clippers can cause injury to your animal. This is not only physical injury, but emotional. Trust is loss once pain is inflicted and your pet may not treat you the same afterward.
The first common mistake is getting to close to the skin while shaving. The clippers can leave a nasty razor burn that can open its way to later infections. If you accidentally give your pet a burn while grooming, stop and apply first aid. Put on some anti-bacteria salve and if possible clean the wound. Hug you pet and let it know that you are sorry and it was an accident. Though they might not understand the words, your pet will understand the tone and will react accordingly. The emotional pain is just as bad as the physical. Watch the wound carefully and if it becomes red or issues puss, contact your veterinarian immediately. If the animal licks or otherwise irritates the wound, you might want to get a protective plastic collar to stop the behavior.
Another mistake in novice pet grooming is getting shampoo or other chemicals in your pet’s eye. Either from your mistake or from the animal’s head movement soap can splash. This unintentional act will sting your pet’s eyes and lead to an unpleasant pet grooming experience. Wash the soap out with water or saline solution and dab the corners of the eye with a sterile cloth. Sooth you animal and try to take the focus off their eyes and maybe gain their attention by showing them a favorite toy or ball. Hold the toy up so the pet can see it. Move the toy back and forth. As your pet tracks the toy, look into their eyes for signs of irritation.
A possible fatal mistake in pet grooming is leaving your animal unrestrained or loose during grooming. Some animals, especially cats hate baths and will run at any opportunity. Your dog can put themselves in dangerous situations by trying to escape the pet grooming activity. They may run out in the street and be hit by a care or be attacked by a stray animal. Make sure your dog is at least on a leash. You may even want to put a muzzle on your pet to protect both you and them. If you wash your dog outside, wash it in a fenced yard so that the temptation to run will be short lived and safe.
Pet grooming is best left to a professional. The temptation to do it yourself may lead to a successful experience that will be cheaper. The bonding time with the animal is another perk to grooming your pet yourself. It can be rewarding for both parities involved if the proper safety tips are followed and you as the owner fill comfortable in the enterprise.