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Should You Pluck Your Dog's Ear Hair?


Have you ever looked in your dog’s ears and seen a bunch of hair growing inside? Some dog breeds naturally grow hair inside their ears, such as Shih Tzus and Poodles. I’ve noticed that as my Corgi has gotten older, she has thicker fur growing inside her ears than she used to — I call it her “grandpa ear hair.”

Hair inside the ear can make it more difficult for your dog’s immune system to keep levels of yeast and bacteria at a manageable level, can block the flow of air that keeps the ear canal dry, and trap dirt, excess ear wax, and debris inside. So if you’ve noticed that your dog’s inner ears are getting a bit overgrown, what should you do about it?

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Topics: Dog Health, Puppy, Dog, canine care, Grooming, Ears, Ear Cleaning, Ear Infections

Why Your Dog's Coat Gets Matted — and What You Can Do About It


Mat alert! Dog fur often becomes tangled and knotted around itself without frequent brushing, which is called matting. Mats occur frequently in many dog breeds with curly, fine, or double coats. In extreme cases, the dog's coat will become what groomers call "pelted" — when matting is very tight to the skin, preventing proper air flow.

Matting and pelting prevents proper temperature regulation, causes skin irritation, hides parasites like fleas or other nasties, and causes extreme discomfort and pain for the dog.

Mats are mostly preventable! Let's look at why your dog's coat is forming mats and things you can do to keep them at bay. We'll also talk about what your options are if your dog's coat is already matted. 

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Topics: Dog Skin Issues, Puppy, Dog, canine care, Grooming, Dog Husbandry, Dog Coat Care, Matting, Dog Fur, Dog Brushes

Caring for Your Dog's Coat: Brushing, Combing, and Mats — Oh My!


Dog fur always seems to get everywhere — on your clothes, on the furniture, in your coffee, even little fur tumbleweeds that float across the floor. Keeping your dog brushed will help you minimize the layer of fur over everything and promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. But what kind of dog brush should you keep handy? This all depends on your dog's coat type. Read on for tips on how to pick the most effective brush for your dog.

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, canine care, Grooming, Giving a dog a bath, Skin problems, Dog Coat Care, Matting, Dog Fur, Dog Brushes

How to Properly Care for Your Dog's Paw Pads


Let’s talk about paw pads! Foot care is just as important for our dogs as it is for us humans — dogs can suffer from blisters or torn paw pads, burnt paws from walking on pavement that’s too hot, or mats between their toes. Ouch! Injured paw pads make walking painful and can get infected, and mats between their toes can cause walking problems or a variety of skin issues if your dog licks at them. It’s important to properly care for your dog’s feet beyond making sure their nails are trimmed, and it’s pretty simple!

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Topics: Puppy, Dog, Paw Pad Burns, canine care, Grooming, Nails, Dog Paw Care

Help Your Dog LOVE Their Spa Days


Warm water gently flows down the body. Strong, yet tender hands massage the perfect combination of soaps and conditioners from head to toe. Each hair is expertly styled—bringing out all the beauty that hides beneath. Finally, the nails are shaped, filed and finished to rival the best mani-pedis around. 

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Topics: Puppies, Dogs, Socialization, Anxiety in Dogs, Blog, Grooming

Finding A Dog Groomer Your Dog Will Love and Trust


Your dog and their groomer—a relationship of trust

Since the day you got your newest four-legged member of your family, you have (hopefully) been preparing them for the outside world and all the experiences that’ll come ahead. One of the more important aspects of their socialization is relationship building. Relationships with family, friends, their veterinarian, other dogs, maybe even a kitty or two. Another important bonding experience that they’ll most-likely have is with their groomer. After all, the dog/dog groomer relationship is based on two-way trust. Each have to be—not just comfortable with the other—they need to have confidence in each other. Neither the dog, nor the groomer, wants to have any fear whatsoever from the other. Remember, there’s a lot of personal space being invaded while your pup is getting all cleaned, cut and coiffed!

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Topics: Dogs, Socialization, Anxiety in Dogs, Blog, Grooming

Ear Infections Are Very Common—Drying Your Dog's Ears Helps


Ear infections are one of the most common reasons why people have to bring their dogs to the vet. And they tend to happen most often in the summer, when dogs are more likely to be swimming and getting baths... both high-risk opportunities for dogs to get water in their ears!

The vicious cycle of yeast, bacteria and infection

The reason why you want to clean and dry your dog’s ears after swimming or bathing is because the water that gets into their ears during these activities is likely to create a warm, moist environment within their ears that will allow for an overgrowth of the yeast and/or bacteria that are normally present on their skin and in their ears. This increased growth of yeast and/or bacteria will irritate and inflame your dog’s ears, starting a vicious cycle that will make the infection and pain even worse.

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Topics: Dog Health, Grooming, Ears, Ear Cleaning

How Often Should You Cut Your Dog's Nails?


Plenty of pet owners are a little intimidated by the thought of trimming their dog's nails — and a lot of dogs aren't too thrilled by the prospect either. Beyond the logistics of clipping roughly 20 nails on a squirming dog, there are still a ton of questions:

  • How often should you clip?
  • What tools should you pick up?
  • How do you clip your dog's nails without hurting them or making them bleed?

In this article, we'll tackle these common issues one at a time, everything from the frequency of nail trimming to making the process easier for you and your dog.

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Topics: Dog Health, Dogs, Grooming, Nails

Shampoo For Your Pet – Which Kind Should You NOT Use?

 

Fido & Fluffy Need A Bath – Pick The Right Shampoo

When it comes to bathing your pets, it can be tempting to reach for whatever shampoo you might already have in your shower, or grab the dishwashing soap from your kitchen. While this may be ok every now and again, the regular use of human shampoos (even the “tear free” ones for babies) and dishwashing soaps can actually lead to worse skin problems for your pets.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, pet safety, Dog, Giving a cat a bath, Grooming, Pet Shampoo, Giving a dog a bath, Cat, Skin problems

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.