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Cleaning Dog’s Eyes, Ears, Teeth and Toes

 Submitted by Michael Adams on November 27, 2009

Taking care of your dog takes as much commitment as taking care of a baby, and bathing a dog is even tougher. Most dogs enjoy thrashing around at bath times and there are some dogs that enjoy giving you a good run around the backyard. However, when it comes to ensuring your dog is clean, bathing is not enough.

Special attention needs to be given to the eyes, ears, teeth and toes. This is especially tricky as dogs tend to not be too thrilled about getting these areas cleaned. Cleaning Dog’s Eyes: It is common to find some gooey substance around the dog's eyes and if these aren't cleaned regularly it could be a source of irritation for your pet.

Cleaning the eyes can be accomplished with a warm moist soft washcloth or cotton ball and a gentle hand. If the residue is dry in nature, a softened baby toothbrush is also a good tool for cleaning. Dog Ear Cleaning: About once a week look carefully and check if the ears are dirty. If they are, moisten cotton balls with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide or even mineral oil and wipe the skin folds and visible portions of the ears. Lift the ear flap gently in order to do so. Do not use a cotton ball or anything else inside the ear canal. Sometimes dogs develop ear infections. If you notice a particularly foul smell from the ear or there is some discharge either brown or yellowish in color, it's time to call the vet. Clean Dog Teeth: Your dog's teeth needs as much as attention as your own. Even your dog needs to have its teeth brushed everyday. But before you stick a toothbrush into the molars, you need to establish a comfort level with your dog, because suffice to say, your dog is not going to be too thrilled about you yanking something back and forth its teeth. The trick is to start early. For instance, if you've raised your pet since it was a few days old puppy, it would be easy to gradually introduce the teeth brushing routine and in a few months time, your dog will be comfortable with brushing of teeth. However, if you've adopted, say a year old dog, then you'll have to be patient. Start with massaging the lip, then slowly take your hand into the mouth and massage the gums and teeth. Once the comfort is established you can consider using a soft bristled brush. Do remember to use a toothpaste meant for dogs, do not use your toothpaste as this could upset your dog's stomach. If not a toothbrush you can even use a soft washcloth to clean the teeth, particularly the gums in the inside cheeks as this where plaque accumulates. Don't shove water inside the mouth to rinse as we do, instead you a moist cloth to clean it out and rinse. If your dog resists the toothbrush being shoved too much into the mouth don't force it. Instead you can opt for dry foods and get a pet-fighting chew toy for playtime. Cleaning Dog Toes: If your pet is too furry, i.e., it is a long haired dog, you will have to pay special attention to its paws. You will need to keep trimming the hair between the nails and the pads of your pet as this is the area where dirt and fleas settle most often. You could ask a pet groomer to trim this for you or you can do it on your own with baby fingernail scissors (blunt tipped). Whatever the breed, all dogs need to have their paws cleaned out thoroughly to remove any dirt trapped in the nail crevices. This is important even more when your pet has been running outdoors. Use a washcloth dipped in warm water to clean and rinse your dog's feet. In fact, cleaning the foot should also be a regular feature of bath time. Yes, cleaning your dog's eyes, ears, tooth, and toes can be a little tedious but in doing so, you're saving you and your pet from several infections and disease that could cause unnecessary pain for your pet and extensive dents in your wallet.
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