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Natural dog hygiene

Yorkshire dog in a towel advice © Shutterstock

If you want your dog to be in good health, you must focus on providing him/her with appropriate body care.

By Emilie Heyl

With no need to "strip" your dog daily, regular maintenance is essential, especially as it allows you to quickly detect any emerging problems whether it’s the skin or other issues.

Eyes

The eyes should be cleaned about once a week with a lint-free cloth soaked in:

  • Cornflower hydrolat (Centaurea cyanus)
  • Chamomile Hydrolat (Chamaemelum nobilis)
  • Physiological serum

Your gestures should be the same as for eye make-up removal on a person.

Ears (both external and internal sections)

The ears are to be cleaned about once a week with a lint-free cloth soaked in:

  • Chamomile Hydrolat (Chamaemelum nobilis)
  • Real lavender hydrolat (Lavandula vera)

Gently rub the inner skin of the ear without wetting the inside of the ear.

Nails

They should be regularly cut with a pair of clippers specifically adapted for this purpose. Be careful not to damage the blood-irrigated part of the nail, this would hurt your dog and result in blood loss. At your first attempt, do not hesitate to ask a veterinarian to demonstrate how to do this.

Brushing their Teeth

Tooth brushing is done two to three times a week using toothpaste and a toothbrush (or fingertip) recommended by a veterinarian. The instructions for use are on the packaging. During this process, remember to also regularly check their teeth.

Brushing their Fur

This is carried out regularly or even every day. It allows for you to check for the absence of ticks, small rashes or irritation to the skin. It is important to seek the advice of a veterinarian or groomer the purchase the right brush and comb for your dog’s breed.

Coat care

Brush your dog once a week on average. You can spray a small amount of any of the following products on his/her coat (taking care to protect your dog’s eyes and mucous membranes):

  • Chamomile Hydrolat (Chamaemelum nobilis)
  • Real lavender hydrolat (Lavandula vera)

Gently run your hands over the dog’s entire fur – aside from the eyes and mucous membranes – to distribute the product, then brush them with a soft brush in the direction of the fur. These products act on the health of the fur but also that of the skin as they have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Washing and Grooming

Advice regarding the frequency of washing varies depending on the breed. It is therefore important to seek advice from your veterinarian. The pH of dog’s skin is different from ours (closer to neutral) hence the need to avoid products intended for human beings, which are detergent and do not consider pH, thus damaging the lipid layer required for thermoregulation. You can find natural shampoos on the market which gently wash your pet’s coat while helping to fight against dermatological problems (eczema, dermatitis…).

Maintenance of the dog bed/basket

This is essential, hence the advantage of using a fabric bed. It is important to vacuum it once a week and pass it through the laundry machine at least once per month. Consider using a mild, hypoallergenic detergent.

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