Trimming an animal’s nails is essential to its grooming routine. Untrimmed nails leave dogs vulnerable to painful broken nails. Ingrown nails are also a danger when nails are not properly maintained.
If your dog’s nails click against hard floors, they are too long. After learning a few simple rules, you’ll find that trimming your dog’s nails is very much like clipping your own.
Be sure to only trim the excess length and always avoid nerves and blood vessels. This will ensure a painless trim process.
The 'quick' is a blood vessel that runs down the middle of your dog's nail. It grows as the nail grows, so if you wait a long time between cuttings, the quick will be closer to the end of the nail. This means more likelihood of bleeding during trimming.
You will need dog nail trimmers and some styptic powder Kwik-Stop, CutStop Styptic Pads or other product to stop bleeding if you nick the quick (end of vein). You can find these anywhere dog supplies are sold or by visiting 1 800 Pet Meds.com
Basic Trimming Process
1. Seat your dog securely. Hold the paw firmly and push on his pads to extend the nail. Locate and avoid the quick (in clear nails a pink color indicates where the quick ends).
2. Cut the nail below the quick on a 45-degree angle, with the cutting end of the nail clipper toward the end of the nail. With dark nails and larger dogs, you may want to start at the end of the nail and make a series of small clips.
Continuously check for a black dot in the center of the nail. This is the start of the quick. With diligent trimming, the quick will retreat into the nail, allowing you to cut shorter each time.
In brittle nails, the cut may splinter. To smooth the nail, file the nail in a sweeping motion from the back, through curve and to the tip.
Do not forget the dewclaws, which can cause especially painful ingrown problems. They are 1-4" above the feet on the inner side of the legs.
If you accidentally cut the quick, wipe off the blood and apply Kwik-Stop or styptic powder to stop the bleeding. It is not serious and will heal in a very short time. Again, you can find these dog supplies at most pet supplies stores or visit 1 800 Pet Meds.com.
Mind the tolerance of your dog, and take breaks as necessary. If your dog is not used to having his nails trimmed, start slowly, and gradually work up to simply holding his toes firmly for 15-30 seconds. Do not let him mouth or bite at you.
It can take daily handling for a week or more to get some dogs used to this. When your dog tolerates having his feet held, clip just one nail, and if he is good, praise him and give him a tiny treat. Wait, and then at another time, do another nail. Continue until all nails have been trimmed. Slowly, you will be able to cut several nails in one sitting, and finally all the nails in one session.
Trim nails a small amount weekly, even if long walks keep them naturally short. A regular trimming routine helps your dog get used to proper maintenance
Invest in a quality pair of dog nail trimmers in an appropriate size for your dog. They can last a lifetime.
Cleaning your Basset Hound Ears
1. Clean the ears thoroughly with a dog-approved ear wash. (We use Virbac Animal Health, Epi-Otic-- we get it at the our vet.) Bonus: It makes your dog's ears smell GREAT!
Squirt a good bit directly into the dog's ear canal -- you can't use too much. (When squirting, be careful not to touch the insides of the ear with the tip of the bottle, because your dog will likely jump when the cold liquid hits his ear, and you could hurt his inner ear with the bottle if you're not careful.)
Use the dog's own ear to close the ear opening and massage all of the liquid around inside his ear -- up high and down low. Use a fair amount of pressure to literally massage the inner ear and work the liquid down into the canal itself. But don't rub too hard -- you'll know when you're being too hard... dogs typically enjoy a light massaging of the ears.
Then, let go of his ear, and let your dog shake all of the excess ear wash out of his inner ear. You won't have to do anything to prompt him to do this. Your dog will be eager to give a good head shake the very moment you stop massaging his ear... so watch out!
After a quick "treat" for good behavior, get your dog back into a position that will enable you to look into his ear while his head is resting either on the floor, or on your lap.
Finally, use Q-tips (only as far as you can see down the ear canal) or tear a cotton ball in two or more smaller pieces. Hold your dog's ear "open" with one hand, while wiping a small piece of cotton through the entire inside of his ear. uutil clean and dry
Why to vaccinate ?
Vaccinations are a very important part of dog ownership. Your dog should be properly vaccinated against certain diseases at certain times to help protect him and other animals he may come in to contact with. The following is an explanation of vaccinations and why they should be given.
When you get a puppy, your veterinarian will most likely recommend a series of three sets of vaccinations. These will generally be given at four week intervals starting at eight weeks of age. The first vaccine will most likely be referred to as "distemper." This is usually a combination shot that will protect your dog against distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, and coronavirus.
1) Distemper - a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that is similar to measles in humans. It can affect dogs of all ages but is most often seen in unvaccinated puppies. It attacks the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems. Symptoms include cough, nasal and eye discharge, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. In advanced stages, dogs may show neurological problems such as lack of coordination, weakness, and seizures. Treatment includes fluids and antibiotics but prognosis is guarded and in about half of the cases, Distemper is fatal.
2) Hepatitis - which affects the liver, pancreas, kidneys, and the lining of blood vessels. It causes fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and lethargy. Treatment includes administration of fluids and antibiotics but in serious cases a blood transfusion may be necessary. The severity of the disease varies but young puppies often die from Hepatitis.
3) Parainfluenza - caused by a virus and is quite mild in comparison with other infectious diseases. Symptoms include sneezing, discharge from the eyes and nose, and coughing. Treatment varies but in many cases, no treatment is required.
4) Leptospirosis - which is transmitted by contact with water contaminated with infected urine. It affects the urinary tract, kidneys, and liver. Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and abdominal pain. In further stages of the disease, dogs may become very thirsty and have a low temperature. reatment includes antibiotics and fluid therapy. Please note however that some dogs are allergic to the leptospirosis vaccine. You should check with your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns. Often the leptospirosis component is not a part of your puppy shots and will be administered annually starting the next year your dog is due for vaccination.
5) Coronavirus - which causes inflammation of the intestines and diarrhea. This disease most often affects puppies. Symptoms include decreased appetite, orange or yellow diarrhea, lethargy, and fever. Treatment includes fluid administration and antibiotics. Prognosis is usually good. The distemper combination vaccine is given annually after the first three series.
At your second visit (or at age 12 weeks), if you plan to take your dog to puppy class or he will be around other dogs, it is a good idea to get him vaccinated for Bordetella Bronchiseptica. Bordetella Bronchiseptica is most often referred to as Kennel Cough. This disease is incredibly infectious and is usually transmitted in areas where many dogs are together such as boarding facilities, doggy day care, and dog parks. If your dog becomes infected, you will notice a dry cough. Infected dogs are usually treated with antibiotics. Keep in mind that even though most places that take in multiple dogs require immunization to Bordetella, no vaccine is 100% effective so your dog may still become ill with this disease. This vaccine comes in both intranasal and injectible form. The intranasal form is dribbled into your dog’s nostrils. Your dog may need a booster of the Bordetella vaccine at his 16 week visit and annually after that.
At age 16 weeks, your dog can be vaccinated for Rabies. Rabies is usually transmitted to dogs through saliva - most often in the form of a bite from an infected animal. Rabies affects all warm blooded animals but is most often found in bats, skunks, and raccoons. Rabies is always fatal. In many states, rabies vaccination is required by law. Check with your veterinarian on how often this immunization is recommended as protocols may vary. If your dog becomes infected with Rabies, you may notice subtle behavioral changes at first. This may be accompanied by fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. The best defense against Rabies is to make certain your dog is properly immunized.
By properly vaccinating your dog, you are helping to ensure both his safety and the safety of other pets and humans.
We suggest you follow your vet's reccomendation for your puppy's needs and vaccination schedule.
Your dog's eyes should be cleaned on a regular basis, as dogs are susceptible to many of the same eye conditions that are common in humans, including sties, allergies, and infections. If a dog's eyes are healthy, a clear mucus secretion is normal and should be wiped away with a soft-damp cloth. If the secretion is yellowish or bloody, your dog should be taken to the vet right away.
Many light-colored dogs can develop brown tearstains underneath their eyes, usually caused by excess eye fluid that wets the fur around the eyes and allows various yeasts to flourish. To try to avoid these tearstains, keep your dog clean and keep the hair out of his eyes. There are also a number of commercial products that can help to remove any tearstains
Grooming is a major part of keeping your dog looking and feeling healthy. A matted coat can harbor all different kinds of skin conditions and will many times keep a problem from being noticed until it is too late. Also, a dull or balding coat can be indicative of specific medical conditions, and regular coat inspections via grooming will allow you to notice when there is a change in your dog's coat. Making sure every part of his body is kempt is also very important.
A smooth coat is sleek and shiny. Dogs with a smooth coat look almost like they are covered with a skin rather than fur. The following are some popular smooth-coated breeds:
Smooth-coated breeds make great pets for people who don't have a lot of time to devote to grooming, because smooth coats are very easy to groom. They require nothing beyond brushing and an occasional bath.
While smooth-coated dogs don't need to be brushed every day, you should give your dog a good brushing as often as you can. In addition to helping to keep the oil evenly distributed over the coat and making sure the coat is free of shed hairs and dirt, brushing your dog is also a great way to bond with him. He will enjoy both the feeling of being brushed and the pleasure of spending time with you.
The basic tool you'll need for grooming a smooth coat is a bristle brush. To start brushing, follow the direction of the hair growth. Work your way from the head back toward the tail, using just enough pressure to stimulate the skin. Be especially careful when brushing your smooth-coated dog's belly and undersides.
Bathing is an important part of the grooming process. How often your dog should have a bath depends on several factors, including what type of coat he has, how much time he spends outside, and simply how dirty he gets. Really, it will be up to you to decide when to bathe your dog. Some dogs need a bath every 2 or 3 weeks, while other dogs can wait up to 6 weeks. And even a dog that can normally wait 6 weeks for a bath should get a good scrub after 2 weeks if he’s especially dirty for some reason.
Some dogs love the water, while others hate it. Depending on your dog’s feelings, bath time can either be a happy, fun time or a messy, not-so-fun time. If you have a dog that does not enjoy baths, you can try to help him through the process by talking calmly to him or even singing. The sound of your voice should help to soothe him.
If you live in a warmer climate and have an outdoor space, you may want to wash your dog outside, using a garden hose. If you wash your dog inside, placing a rubber mat in the bathtub or shower stall will give your dog secure footing and keep him from slipping. Be prepared for the fact that bathing a dog is a messy job and every inch of your bathroom is prone to some splashing! Have plenty of dry towels handy to wipe down the room when the bath is over.
Gather together a mild dog shampoo, cotton balls, and a washcloth. Place your dog in the tub and saturate him with warm water (placing a cotton ball in each ear should keep the water out), making sure to wet him right down to the skin. A spray attachment may be helpful at this time, to make sure you wet every area of his body. Apply some shampoo, and start scrubbing, working the shampoo into a nice lather. When cleaning the face, use a damp washcloth and be careful not to get soap into his eyes. Then rinse his entire body thoroughly with warm water, being sure to get rid of every last bit of soap. If you’d like, you can follow this with a conditioning rinse.
Once you are finished rinsing your pup, allow him to shake off any excess water, if possible. Then, towel dry him thoroughly. If his coat is very thick, you may want to use a hand-held blow dryer on a low setting to make sure he’s really dry