Keeping your dog well groomed and clean not only impacts your comfort around your dog, it also has a profound impact on your dog’s health.

The 5 Most Important Hygiene Habits for your Dog

1. Oral Health

Oral Hygiene is the window to overall health. Without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Oral infections can then lead to conditions such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, and pneumonia. Oral bacteria can also complicate chronic diseases such as diabetes, certain cancers, and immune mediated diseases. Oral pain can also severely affect your dog’s quality of life.

Oral Health

2. Bathing

Bathing is important for healthy coat and skin. It also has a significant effect on prevention of flea and tick infestations. Ectoparasites, especially fleas, prefer dirty hair coats.

Bathing with a high quality, all-natural shampoo can help prevent bacterial, yeast and fungal skin infections.

If you or your dog suffers from allergies, you both will benefit from bathing your dog more often. The more often dogs are bathed, the fewer allergens they will be carrying around in their fur.

Nail Clips

3. Nail Trims

Nail trims are important to prevent breaking, chipping, and splintering, among other painful conditions.

Nails left too long can make standing and moving painful and awkward for your dog. In extreme situations, the nails can continue to grow until they become embedded in the pads of your dog’s paws.

Dogs with arthritis are more susceptible to pain from overgrown nails, and it can severely affect their gait.

4. Ear Hygiene

Ear cleaning helps to prevent bacterial and yeast infections of the ears. Some dogs produce more ear wax than others and will need regular ear cleaning with a natural solution.

Dogs that swim often should have their ears cleaned after swimming and checked regularly, as they are more prone to ear infections.

Chronic ear inflammation and infections are typically secondary to food allergies. If your dog suffers from chronic ear problems, then consider switching to a fresh diet with a novel protein. Highly processed treats can also cause ear flare-ups.

Do not allow your groomer to pluck your dog’s ears, as this will damage the protective layer of the ear canal, making your dog more susceptible to ear infections.

5. Hair Cuts

Keeping the hair trimmed is especially important for coat types that are more susceptible to matting. Matted coats cause pain and increase the chances of skin infections.

Curly coated or soft coated breeds such as poodles, doodles, Portuguese water dogs, bichons, wheatens, Maltese, etc. require grooming every 4–8 weeks.

Long coated breeds such as golden retrievers are susceptible to hot spots, especially behind the ears and armpits, when their coats are left damp.

Keeping the hair clean and short around their private parts can help prevent urinary tract infections.

Hair Cuts

Keeping your dog clean and groomed will contribute to overall health and wellbeing.