First visit to the Groomer – how old?
Some dog breeds generate a lot more hair than others. If your puppy falls into the ‘fluffy’ category you may wonder when your pup should have their first grooming experience. Many puppies are ready for their first haircut when they are 4-6 months old. Depending on the breed some puppies may benefit sooner or later.
Puppies have an important socialization period that generally occurs between 4-20 weeks of age. Even if your puppy’s coat may not be long enough to cut it is important to expose them to the sights and sounds of the groomers during this window of socialization. Exposing your dog while still young and impressionable will hopefully enable your pet to look forward to their future days at the spa.
Town and Country Pet Grooming requires that all pets are age appropriately vaccinated. Our grooming provides a cage free environment which can also provide for additional socialization.
Visit our website at https://mynaplesgrooming.com/
Reduce Bathtime Stress
The smell of a wet dog is something most of us can do without. Living in Naples, Florida the summer rainstorms, standing puddles along with the dog beach and boating are all situations that we may find ourselves stuck with a wet smelly dog!
Using an Aloe and Oatmeal shampoo to bathe your dog is often a good ‘go to’ shampoo for general dog bathing. On general principal we should not bathe a dog more than once every 3 weeks as we strip the natural oils out of the skin. Many dogs that that live in Naples, the Vineyards, Golden Gate Estates and Bonita Springs have access to pools, or in some cases the dog beach at Lover’s Key in Bonita Springs. After your dog has been swimming it is important to rinse the salt or pool water off of their body toa void skin irritation.
There are instances at Town and Country Animal Hospital in Naples. FL where our veterinarians may recommend a medicated shampoo as part of the management protocol in caring for your pet’s skin issues. If a medicated shampoo is recommended it is likely that you will be directed to bathe your dog multiple times a week. In these circumstances more frequent bathings are considered to be therapeutic and are ok.
Protecting your dog’s eyes from shampoo is important to avoid a chemical burn when lathering up your dogs. To minimize the risk of shampoo in your pet’s eyes directing water away from the head is important. You can also apply an artificial tear lubricant onto the surface of their eyes to avoid direct contact of the chemicals in the shampoo in the event that they should get shampoo in their eyes.
The year round favorable climate of Naples, the Vineyards and Golden Gate Estates makes outdoor bathing the best option especially for large breed dogs. Your pet’s coat should be rinsed using a gentle stream of water from the hose nozzle over their entire body. You can then apply a generous amount of shampoo onto their body and lather up the soap. Be sure to also use the shampoo on their underside too! You want to try and make the experience as positive for your dog as possible so praising your dog and periodically offering them treats during the bath might help. Once the shampoo has sat on the skin for a few minutes you can then rinse it off. Starting at the highest point of their body (the top of the neck) allows the shampoo to run downhill so it makes rinsing the shampoo off easier. Make sure you use a liberal amount of water to remove all of the shampoo. Residual shampoo on the skin could potentially become irritating.
Once your finished with the water hopefully your dog will shake their whole body to help remove some of the water from their coat. Using a dry towel or two, you should then rub your dog’s coat to remove any excess water from their hair. It is especially important to make sure they are dry on their neck, armpits and groin area. If their coat is left damp it may contribute to them developing a skin issue.
We are lucky to have the beautiful climate in Naples and Bonita Springs that allows us to have fun with our pets in the water year round! Visit our online pharmacy for non-prescription shampoos – https://mynaplesvet.vetsfirstchoice.com/
Depending on their activity and lifestyle some dogs will naturally wear down their nails while other dogs will need to have their nails periodically clipped. Coarse surfaces provided by areas such as asphalt and concrete can serve as a natural filing board for your pet’s nails. For those pups that may spend more time indoors, or when you hear their nails ‘tapping on the floor’, you should periodically have their nails clipped.
Many dogs do not enjoy having their feet touched and so providing a positive environment when handling our dog’s feet can go a long way in making them more accepting of us trimming their nails. If you acquire your dog as a puppy it can be extremely beneficial to regularly handle your dog’s feet so that they become used to this sensation – rub in between the toes and put gently pressure on the nails themselves.
When trimming your dog’s nails pick up the paw firmly and hold their foot in the palm of your hand. Move the fur back so you can see the whole nail. Clip only the tip of the nail and don’t forget the dewclaws! These are located on the inner side of the paws. Not all dogs have dewclaws so don’t be surprised if you can’t find any on either the front or the back feet. When clipping the nail avoid cutting past the curve of the nail as you may risk cutting the quick. The quick is the pink area in the center of the nail that contains blood vessels. If you cut the quick your dog may show signs of discomfort or pain and you will likely deal with some active bleeding from the site. Although cutting the quick isn’t ideal it isn’t the end of the world! Keeping Styptic powder on hand, which when applied to the bleeding part of the nail, will help stop the bleeding. If you should have a bleeding nail you could also use cornstarch if you are in a bind.
At Town and Country Pet Grooming we offer nail trims as part of our grooming packages but if this is all your pet needs we are happy to do nail trims upon request!
Ear infections in dogs are common in Naples due to our humid climate. Dogs with floppy ears or narrow ear canals are predisposed to ear infections, as bacteria and yeast thrive in a warm, moist environment. The combination of ear wax accumulation, natural oils from the skin, and external debris all provide an ideal reservoir which optimizes the ability of bacteria and yeast to thrive. Common signs associated with ear infections include scratching of the ears, shaking the head or holding one ear slightly dropped. Ear infections are, at the very least, uncomfortable, but, if not treated, can be extremely painful.
Weekly ear cleanings can go a long way in preventing ear infections.
Apply the ear cleaner by placing a saturated cotton ball directly into the ear canal and gently massage the ear. By massaging the saturated cotton ball we allow the ear cleaner to run down into the deeper part of the ear canal. The ear cleaner has the effect of changing the environment, or pH, of the ear canal, thereby making it less friendly for bacteria and yeast to thrive. These ear cleaners are available for purchase at Town and Country Pet Grooming in Naples (Golden Gate), but can also be ordered online and delivered through our website at www.mynaplesvet.com or our online pharmacy at https://mynaplesvet.vetsfirstchoice.com.
Certain breeds are prone to growth of hair in the ear canals. If the hair growth becomes too thick it can minimize the airflow in and around the ear canal. The combination of the hair, along with the humidity of Naples, all lend to a favorable environment for an ear infection to occur. You can contact us at Town and Country Pet Grooming in Naples where we have the experience, knowledge and equipment to gently remove this hair from your dog’s ear canals.
Dog skin infections are over-represented in Naples, Estero, and Marco Island due to our environment of heat, high humidity and exposure to water. Pyoderma refers to an infection of the skin and can be bacterial, fungal, or parasitic (mites). Pyoderma in dogs is common and is in fact one of the more frequent reasons that people bring their pet to the veterinarian. Redness, itchiness and, in some cases, partial hair loss often characterize the infection. Pyoderma treatment in dogs is typically on an outpatient basis and the prognosis is excellent.
Most skin infections are caused by an overgrowth of bacteria. In most instances, we do not consider a bacterial infection of the skin to be contagious from dog to dog or dog to person. It is most likely due an overgrowth of undesirable bacteria and a lack of the normal or “good” bacteria. Just as we don’t worry about catching pimples or acne from other people, we generally need not be concerned about the spread of these common skin infections in dogs. However, it is possible, though rare, for dogs to develop more serious bacterial infections of the skin that can be contagious.
Canine skin infections can also be caused by fungi, of which ringworm is the most common type. Most likely to be seen in young puppies, kittens, or immunocompromised animals, ringworm is a type of skin infection that is zoonotic – meaning one that is transferred from animals to humans. It generally presents as red, crusting sores on the body and is often-times itchy. While it can be a nuisance and is potentially contagious to people, the prognosis is very good with appropriate treatment.
Parasites, such as fleas and mites, can also cause skin infections. Fleas need to bite the dog’s skin to obtain their blood meal. The combination of the flea bite along with the irritation it causes can result in a skin infection.
To help soothe your dog’s itchy red skin a cool bath using an Aloe and Oatmeal Shampoo can be very soothing. At Town & Country Pet Grooming we offer a variety of options to care for and help alleviate some of your dog’s skin issues – we provide dematting, de-shedding, medicated baths along with a wide range of grooming services.
Some dogs have a high predatory drive and so the excitement of chasing after other animals can sometimes end up leaving them smelling awful! As Naples is expanding, we have a range of wildlife life within our own backyards – whether we live in developments in Naples or out in the ‘countryside’ of Golden Gate Estates. A dog that has been sprayed by a skunk can really cause a stink!
When defending themselves skunks have the capability of releasing a highly noxious oil that is secreted from the skunk’s anal glands. The chemical makeup of this oil contains a sulfurous chemical called thiols. A skunk is able to secrete this fluid for distances as long as 15 feet. It is a pretty sure bet that if your dog chases after a skunk they are going to be the recipient of this awful smelling chemical on their face and body.
Firstly– keep your dog outside so you don’t end up with the inside of your home smelling like skunk! Check their eyes and if your dog is showing signs of eye irritation such as pawing at the face, squinting of the eyes or redness, flush the eyes with cool water. The next step is to get the extremely smelly oils off of your pet’s coat and skin. There are various over the counter products that are sold for this purpose. An effective ‘recipe’ that has been shared amongst veterinarians is as follows:
- 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide
- ¼ cup of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of Liquid Soap
The soap acts to break up the oils in the skunk spray thereby allowing the other ingredients to neutralize the thiols. Don’t forget to wear glovers and follow normal bathing procedures – protect your pet’s eyes, wet down your dog’s coat with water and work the solution into your dog’s skin and coat. Do not allow the solution to sit on the skin for a prolonged period of time as the hydrogen peroxide could cause skin irritation. Rinse with cold water. You may need to repeat a second bathing.
At Town and Country Pet Grooming we provide regular and medicated baths along with a full range of services to meet your pet’s grooming needs.
Grooming at Home
The most important thing you can do during this time is BRUSH. Brushing helps prevent tangles and mats which will enable me to groom your best buds as usual when we the grooming re-opens. Here are a few tips to make brushing your dogs at home easier:
- Elevate your dog if possible, to make brushing easier on you. Try placing a towel on top of the washer/dryer or countertop.
- Leash your dog. You will have more control over your dog while you are brushing.
- Use a Slicker style brush AND a comb
- For those with large dogs, try closing the leash in a door or tying the leash to a table leg to help hold the dog in place while you brush.
- Be sure to gently brush ALL THE WAY TO THE SKIN, not just the top layer of coat.
- Be sure to be thorough, brushing all four legs and underbelly.
- Search “Line Brushing” on YouTube if you have a doodle breed dog.
- After brushing, go through the coat with a comb. If you hit tangles, gently use your brush to remove them before going on with the comb.
- If your dog’s coat has tangles that you cannot remove, keep them from getting wet if possible and do not bathe them. Getting matted coats wet only tightens the knots.
- If you do bathe your dog at home be sure to brush them well before the bath and again once dry to prevent mats from forming and always use blow-dryers on the “cool” setting.
- Using a damp cloth to keep your dog’s eyes free from debris and “boogies.”
- Use clips or soft hair ties to keep bangs out of eyes.
YouTube can be a great resource for brushing and maintenance tips by breed – on YouTube search “how to brush a goldendoodle” or “how to brush a maltese.”
Please refrain from cutting your dog’s hair at home. As long as the hair is maintained with frequent brushing, a fluffier coat won’t be a detriment to your pet in any way.
Thank you for taking the time to read these tips for grooming maintenance you can do at home and I hope to see you and your wonderful dogs soon.
Protect those eyes!
When bathing a dog it is important to make sure that we protect the dog’s eyes from contact with shampoos. Shampoos contain a variety of ingredients that can be highly irritating to the surface of the eye. Some shampoos are concentrated enough that they can cause a chemical burn when in contact with the eye. The degree of irritation will be influenced by the specific irritant along with its contact time on the eyeball. The surface of the eyeball, known as the cornea, is a delicate and fragile surface.
The best way to prevent irritation to your pet’s eyes is to avoid using shampoo on their face. If they rolled in the mud however, you may need to lather up some shampoo! To minimize the risk of shampoo in the eyes you can apply an artificial tear lubricant onto the surface of the eye before you lather up the shampoo. The artificial tear lubricant provides a protective barrier on the surface of the eyeball. If shampoo should end up on their eye you can always use a saline flush to minimize the contact time. If you have applied an artificial tear lubricant and then flush the eye this will ensure even less irritation to your pet’s eye.
Town and Country Pet grooming offers bathing and grooming services by appointment. We serve Golden Gate City, Naples, Marco Island and Bonita Springs.