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9 Dog Hygiene Tips for First-Time Pet Parents

Owning a pet is a big responsibility and a big change in anyone’s life. Now, owning a dog for the first time is a whole new level of responsibility that includes preparation, dedication and the willingness to learn.

Unlike dogs in the wild who are self-trained to care for themselves, pet dogs depend on their owners or the humans around them. 

Hygiene plays a big role in the betterment of your dog’s health. Your awareness of what keeps him susceptible to diseases can increase your dog’s happiness, energy levels and overall health.

If this is your first time owning a dog, here are important hygiene tips for you:

1. Bring Him to the Dog Groomer

Don’t make grooming sessions exclusively for special occasions only. Your dog may not be part of a doggy pageant, but it still needs that thorough care only professionals can provide.

Bring your dog to your local dog groomers to keep it healthy. Yes, you can do the grooming yourself, but bringing it to experts at least once in a while can do a lot for it, and here’s what a lot looks like:

  1. With complete tools and equipment, dog groomers can properly clean your dog.
  2. These professionals can spot pointers for diseases that you would’ve never noticed.
  3. Your dog’s safety is ensured. Grooming means a lot of sharp tools: razors, scissors and nail clippers. Having your dog groomed by expert hands will lessen the risk of cuts.

2. Buy Quality Food Containers and a Water Feeder

Dogs usually get dirty after their meals because of cheap bowls. Imagine having to chase your plate while you eat your breakfast. You’ll surely make a mess, right?

Your pet has no hands to hold its bowl steady. Buy stainless bowls that go with rubber bases to avoid slipping and sliding while your dog eats. Stainless bowls are also easier to clean. Plastic bowls are easier to get contaminated with germs and disease-carrying bacteria. 

Don’t buy two dog bowls for the purpose of having water in one too. Instead, get a water feeder like the Veken Pet Fountain. They’re pretty cheap considering the wonders they can do. First, they keep your dog dry and clean. Second, they keep your home clean… far from muddy floors.

3. Don’t Leave Dog Food Exposed 

It’s been a habit by most to just leave dog food sitting in the bowl for a whole day or until their dogs decide to eat the leftover from breakfast. 

This is bad. Dog food left exposed for extended periods of time can catch salmonella. This isn’t only a danger to your dog, but for you and your family too.

Throw away leftover dog food. To avoid wasting heaps of precious food, don’t put a mountain of servings in the first place. Make it a habit to store dog food inside air-tight containers. 

4. Prevention Is the Better Cure

Bathe your dog regularly. Cut his nails, bring him to the groomer and take him for a walk. Do all these on a preplanned schedule.

Diseases can attack your dog easier when it is not hygienic. A dog is most vulnerable when it is infested by bacteria that weaken the immune system. This happens mostly in a home that is dirty, unorganized, surrounded by stagnant water and with an uninformed owner. 

5. Wash Your Dog’s Toys! 

This is one thing that most owners miss doing! Washing your pet’s toys is very important. Otherwise, it’ll be chewing on soiled, bacteria-laden very nasty toys. Not cleaning the things your dog plays with can cause skin infections.

Use soap and water to clean its toys or throw them into the washing machine if they are washable. This will very much get rid of germs that have accumulated throughout its playtime. If its toys are badly damaged and soiled through rough playing and chewing, replace them.

6. Clean Up

Don’t focus too much on keeping your dog clean. Give some of your attention to your own living space. Most of the time, dirty surroundings cause problems in your dog’s health.

Make sure your dog is living in sanitary conditions, away from health-endangering factors such as: defective toilets, sinks, stagnant water, exposed food, dirty kitchen, dirty kitchen tiles, unattended backyard, etc. 

Clean your home. Consider your pet’s perspective: living “below” us, mostly having only our taken-for-granted floors for comfort.

7. Dental Chew Toys/Treats

Dental chew toys/treats make dental hygiene easier. Brushing your dog’s teeth is quite hard, right? If this is the case, get some help from the treats. It won’t even require some measurable efforts.

However, you’ll also need to brush your pet’s teeth. Brushing is irreplaceable. Deep-seated food particles can only be removed by brushing. You can read more about teeth cleaning tips in this article How I Easily Clean My Dog’s Teeth Without Brushing.

8. Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Don’t forget about the ears. You don’t get to wash them when you bathe your dog, and it’s important that you clean them. Ear mites are common to dogs, but cleaning their ears regularly can prevent ear mite infestation.

These bugs are very small that they can reach your pet’s brain which could be dangerous. Deaths are caused by these bugs in dogs, other animals and humans.

There are medicines or liquid solutions that can be bought to get rid of occurring mites in your dog’s ears. Check them regularly. As mentioned above, prevention is better than cure.

9. Check Beneath Your Dog’s Thick Fur

Ticks and fleas are very notorious for leeching and infesting on dogs. They are tiny creatures that aren’t visible with inattentive eyes. You really have to get under that fur.

Check your dog for ticks and fleas regularly. Never get contented with bathing your dog to remove all unwanted elements attached to him. These parasites have a good grip on your dog’s skin as they suck on his blood and nutrients. They can even cause infection if left unattended.

Why Should You Take Good Care of Your Dog?

Taking care of your pets is your responsibility, and doing so does not only make you a responsible owner. This also prolongs your pets’ lives and makes them happier. In addition, you get to practice time management and responsibility.

This post is contributed by Trevor. If you would like to share some unique content with my lovely audience, click on my guest posting guidelines.

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About Danielle
I am the founder of PawLeaks where I share weekly tips on dog training and behavior. Sharing a passion for dogs and helping owners to solve problems through understanding canine behavior and modification is my number one goal.