4. Cleaning the Face
Cleaning a dog’s face is a procedure that many dog owners are apprehensive about carrying out. One of the primary reasons why this happens is because dogs can get very difficult to handle the moment you try to inspect their face.
Moreover, there are fears of how sensitive the organs like eyes and ears are that may prevent most of us from doing a regular check up of their face.
A good way of ensuring that you make it a point to scrutinize your dog’s face regularly is to clean it regularly. More importantly, a weekly inspection of your dog’s general facial area, including the eyes and ears will let you discover any potential problems or illnesses at an early stage.
It is therefore important to establish a daily or weekly facial grooming ritual that both you and your dog can enjoy.
Routine cleaning of the face serves three major purposes:
- First, it keeps your dog’s facial skin, coat, teeth and gums in a healthy state.
- Second, it helps you detect any signs or symptoms of problems or abnormalities especially on vital sense organs such as his eyes and ears.
- Third, facial grooming allows you to spend quality time with your pet which helps create a special bond between you and your dog.
In case your dog refuses to be cleaned, command him to sit and stay. In addition, grooming should always involve a reward for your dog.
3 Simple Steps to Clean Your Dog’s Face:
- Eyes: Gently wipe the skin around the eyes using a piece of moistened cotton; use a fresh piece for each eye to rid the area around the eye of any mucus. Do not dab the cotton wool directly on to your dog’s eyeball. In case you notice any discharge or inflammation or else if your dog’s eyes are red or unusually tender then you should consult a veterinarian for an appropriate course of action.
- Ears: Hold the ear open with one hand and gently wipe the inside of the ear flap with a small piece of moistened cotton. Repeat the same for the other ear with a fresh piece of cotton. Make sure that you do not probe too deeply into the ear canal.
- Facial Skin: Wipe facial skin with moistened cotton; loose facial skin must be cleaned regularly with damp cotton in order to prevent dirt, dead skin and bacteria from collecting in the folds and causing irritation and skin infection.
- Teeth and Gums: You will require a special dog toothbrush, cotton tips, a tartar remover tool and canine toothpaste in order to carry out cleansing of your dog’s teeth and gums. Do not use normal toothpaste (used by us humans) on dogs as canines can become sick on consumption of even small amounts of the fluoride which is commonly present in toothpastes that are produced for human consumption. Alternatively use dental chews, which clean your dog’s teeth as he chews.
Special Facial Care while Bathing
Many dog owners combine their dog’s bathing routine with facial cleaning and in the bargain they either miss out on the careful handling that the dog’s face requires or else fail to look carefully enough to ensure that there are no warning signs on his face.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while bathing your dog:
- Be very careful about not letting shampoo get into your dog’s eyes, ears or mouth. It is best to use a sponge or damp cotton to apply the shampoo mixture to his facial region if you must.
- Place cotton wool lightly in your dog’s ears so as to prevent water from splashing into them accidentally. However, care must be taken so that the cotton is not pushed too deep into the ear canal.
- It is important that you rinse your dog’s face thoroughly so that there is no shampoo left on him.
- Rinse and dry your dog’s head first using the towel before you continue with rinsing the rest of the body. This will minimize the chances of him catching flu because of drenching for too long.
Dogs with wrinkly skin and / or skin folds, such as the Shar Pei, require extra attention and may have to be groomed more often than once a week. It is important that skin folds and wrinkles are kept clean and dry as the area in between folds are often breeding grounds for harmful skin infections and diseases.
Use warm water over the skin to start with and then use a moist cotton wool ball to probe deep into the folds. Dust antibacterial / antifungal powder to as to keep skin dry and clean.