Puppy Grooming

Proper puppy hygiene involves more than just the occasional bath. Brushing the coat, proper nutrition that supports healthy skin and coat, nail trimming, and dental care are all important to a puppy’s overall health. Learn how expert trainer Mike Stewart of Wildrose Kennels approaches grooming the puppies in his care.

Puppy Grooming The Wildrose Way : Video Transcript

Mike Stewart: Grooming and personal care for your dog is really quite easy with a few tools. A beautiful coat actually begins with nutrition. Digestible fats, such as omega six fatty acids, in your feed are very important to get the shiny gloss on your dog's coat. We want a nice, shiny glossy coat. And brushing the coat takes out old hair and old dandruff and old skin.

What if your dog becomes soiled? We don't want to wash our dog too frequently. If we do, we're washing out the wonderful oils that nature puts in them. So if we're going to give the dog a bath a couple of times a month, we want to make sure our product doesn't have a lot of detergent. We want to make sure it has oil base type of shampoos. We shampoo the puppy. Get him nice and clean. The first thing he does is run right out and rolls in the mud again. So how are we going to take care of that?

All you've got to do is take a spray bottle with water. Spray the puppy down. Brush him out again, and then towel him off. And he's right back. What if he's got a little bit of a foul scent? You can use a commercial scent eliminator, but what about just taking a alcohol-based mouthwash? Mix it 50/50 with your water. Put it back into the spray bottle. Give him a good spray and just towel the puppy off. And you're good to go. That kills the scent and the bacteria is killed because of the alcohol, and that eliminates the scent as well.

Next let's consider dental care. A couple of things we can use is the dental chew. Not something that's going to destabilize the diet. You see, he likes this already, yes, indeed. This will clean the teeth. As the puppy chews it in his crate it's scraping the plaque off his teeth. We also can use our little brush. Put a little paste on it, especially blended for the puppy. Doing this once a month is going to help clean that plaque off those teeth. But nothing is a substitute for dental care with your vet, where they really do a thorough cleaning. And that needs to be a scheduled appointment with your vet annually.

Next on our list is nail trimming. We need to keep the nails trim so we don't get into a situation where they break off. Also, if the bone of the nail grows too long, it prohibits close trims in the future. So the puppy needs to get used to this right from the start. Take the nail, insert it in the clippers and clip it off. Commercial clippers are easy to use. Just take the nail, make sure it's flat, when it's trimmed, flat to the ground. This prohibits breaking. And it's very easy to do on a scheduled basis, like once a month.

We also need to consider the dog's ears. The puppy's ears need to be cleaned infrequently, but when you do clean them, only use an alcohol based product that evaporates. So we take a bit of gauze, some regular alcohol, douse it. Put it in the puppy's ear, and just give it a nice easy... Not too deep, not too deep, just a nice, easy rolling around inside the ear. We do not suggest putting swabs. You might go too deep. Just gauze on the tip of your fingers and you can see the results.

It's important to get a young puppy used to being groomed and handled on an elevated platform with his nails and his dental care. It's going to be something that he's going to endure his entire life. Get him on a schedule to ensure a great quality of life.