You can do this check list in whatever order you’ll like but I prefer to start from the top to the bottom. Let’s dig in:
Ears. Your dog's ears also help maintain it's normal body temperature by radiating excess body heat so we have to take care good care of them. Ear infections are one of the most common illness in dogs. It might be because they got wet, or your dog is allergic to its surroundings, or even bacteria. The most common red flags for an ear infection are:
- When your dog scratches its ears, shakes its head or there is an odor coming out of them
- Redness or swelling.
- A lot of black/brown ear wax in the ear canal.
- Look also for fleas and ticks. The top of, inside, and under the ears, these are their favorite places to be among others that we’ll review later on. When fleas infest your dog's ears they may cause them to look dirty, like a sprinkling of black pepper flakes in and around your dog's ears.
- Grab the head of the tick with the tweezers to remove it. Do not grab it by the body because it will break off and leave the head stuck in your dog’s skin causing irritation and infections.
- Place the tick in a jar. Make sure that the tick is submerged in the alcohol and can’t get out of the jar.
- Put the lid on the jar and leave them there for a day or so.
- When you are sure they are all dead, you can throw them in an outdoor trash can.
- Mating around the eyes, if they have long hair.
- The pupils are not equal in size.
- There are tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners.
- Finally, gently roll down your pet’s lower eyelid with your thumb and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white.
- WebMD, a digital magazine provides more information about dog’s eye care here
Snout. Meaning nose, gums, and teeth.
1) Nose- If your dog's nose runs, the mucus should be clear. If your dog’s nose has bubbly, thick, yellow, green or even black mucus, see your veterinarian ASAP.
Also, if it’s cracked, has scabs or sores, they may have a skin disorder.
2) Gums- Problem gums can produce powerful odors. Lift the mouth flaps and look at gums. Red, swollen gums may be infected.
3) Teeth- It doesn’t matter if you clean their teeth or not. These are your red flags to go and see a vet:
- Change in eating or dog chewing habits
- Pawing at the face or mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Misaligned or missing teeth
- Discolored, broken, missing or crooked teeth
- Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
- Bumps or growths within the mouth
- DO NOT use regular human toothpaste for your dog. They include fluoride which is extremely poisonous for them. You can find toothpaste formulated for dogs at pet stores.
Also, check the body for fleas and ticks. Other favorite body parts of this parasites are under his legs (armpits), belly, chest, tail, between his toes and pads of his feet and the front of the neck and chin.
That should take you a while. Use a comb to help you out but nothing will compare to your hands when trying to find these creatures. You might end up finding none or an infestation. Either way you have to bath your pet with flea and tick shampoo, either for prevention or before removing the parasites (it would be easier this way).
You can find an awesome guide on how to remove ticks of your dog on WikiHow
There is an Italian study that says this extra toe is due to a mix between a wolf and a dog, you can read more about it here.
If this nail doesn’t have a contact with the floor, you have to clip it constantly to prevent to grow and start curling between the toe and the leg (no funny business). A vet can remove this if it doesn’t have a bone connection and if the dog is not older than approximately 5 years old.
Also dogs may suffer from extremely brittle nails, or have nails that slough, peel, or chip away excessively. Most nail or nail bed disorders can be resolve in a relatively short amount of time. Pet MD, digital magazine has an amazing article about this here
You are a smart and loving owner who wants what it’s best for your pooch so I hope these tips expanded your vision on proper dog grooming at home. Let other owners into this secret technique and share this content with the world.
What would you like to learn next? Click that "Comments" bottom and let me know!