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How To Help Your Dog Like Hygiene - Guest Author

  Brushing dog

 (Image source:  Puppy Institute)


Guest author:  Kayla Matthews

Convincing your dog that keeping clean is fun can be a challenge. K9s are not much interested in bath time or grooming. So monopolize on what they are interested in — treats, fetch and scratches.

Here are some common types of dog grooming along with suggestions of how to make it as stress-free for you and your furkid as possible:


Teeth Brushing (2-3 times a week)

Just like their human counterparts’ teeth, if not cleaned regularly, dogs’ teeth can get a build-up of bacteria. This can lead to much bigger dental problems including gum recession, gingivitis and even the loss of some teeth.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says that by the time many dogs are four years old, they experience gum disease. So how can you prevent it?

  • Use bones & chew toys. Your dog sees these as a special treat. While they gnaw, they’ll simultaneously scrub their gums and teeth. It also satisfies your dog’s natural impulse to chew.


Bath Time (6 weeks-4 months)

Unless your pooch rolls in something stinky or slimy, a bath is only needed every two to four months. You don’t want to bathe Fido too often because it can affect the oils in his fur and on his skin. But dogs can develop skin problems, so consider a good wash, especially if your pet is outdoors or involved in activities where they’re exposed to germs, viruses or dirt. 

Consider these tricks to introduce bath time:

  • Go outside. Let your animal blow off steam before you try to coax them into the bathtub or sink. After they have had a walk, run and play session, they won’t have an overflow of energy to burn once in the suds.
  • Add a couple of treats. Not many dogs can resist a treat. If they see yummy morsels are part of the bath time ritual, they’ll be more willing participants. Reward your dog with small treats throughout the bath, to reinforce the behavior.
  • Initiate playtime. Bring a favorite toy along for tub time or have a toy that is only available when your dog is wading in the bubbly water. Engage with your animal in play while they get washed. Don’t make it all work and no play.


Nail Clipping (Every 2 weeks or so)

Long nails are a nuisance and can be painful for your dog. When a K9’s nails come in contact with a hard surface, it gets pushed backward. This creates pressure in your dog’s foot joints or causes a twist of the toe out to the side. Ouch!

  • Work with their paws. Desensitize your dog to their paws being touched. Also, introduce your dog to the clippers way before you attempt a nail trim. Let your animal hear the clippers, see them and feel them near their paws. All this is before going in for the first cut.
  • Wait until after a bath. After a soak in the water, the nails of your dog will be softer and much easier to trim. This will make the task much faster for you both.
  • Go slow and steady. This isn’t a race — although you and your dog probably want the whole episode to be over. Don’t rush. In fact, don’t put pressure on either you or your dog to complete the nail trim in one go. It’s okay to do one nail at a time. Maybe a reasonable goal would be to take a week to get one paw done.

Dog nails final(Image source:


Brushing (Every couple of days)

Passing a brush or comb through your dog’s fur is important to keep it in healthy condition. Brushing spreads dogs’ natural coat oils while it prevents tangles and removes dust, muck and other possible irritants.

  • Establish a pattern: Your dog is a creature of habit. They take comfort in routine. Help you animal to relax into the procedure with a consistent sequence of brushing. For example start at their tail end and move towards their head.
  • Don’t be particular: If your dog has a clump of matted fur, simply cut it off. These little mats are painful for your dog. Don’t spend the time to detangle them. Just snip. It’ll spare the dog the discomfort and you from pulling your hair out in frustration.


Good dog hygiene is not only good for the dog — it’s good for their human. It creates an opportunity to bond with a companion animal, which has been shown to lower stress levels and promote a sense of wellbeing. Grooming also gets you familiar with your dog’s teeth, fur, skin and overall body, which will help you stay on top of any changes or possible health concerns.
Good luck, stay healthy and have some fun while you’re at it!


About the author:  Kayla Matthews is a healthy living blogger who's passionate about animals and caring for pets. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter to read all of her latest posts!  You can also check out her cool website,






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I am in a continuous search for information regarding the dogs' hygiene. Very very useful article on this topic. The tricks on how to do all these things easily are fantastic. Bath is one of the most difficult stage as some pets are reticent to water and they don't like to put them in contact with water, so you have to be very careful with them. We'll take into account your recommendations.

Thank you!

Ron A.

I agree, to make your dog like baths you need to make it a positive experience for him. Try to give him treats and praise him while taking a bath. The dog will learn to like the water and taking baths because he knows "water=treats."

Two French Bulldogs

How cool! We want this BOL
Lily & Edward

Two French Bulldogs

Don't remind momma to do all that stuff to us
Lily & Edward

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