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5 Common Grooming Mistakes Made by Dog Owners


1. Clipping the quick when cutting nails.

Don't be in a hurry to finish his nails even thoughyour dog wants you to finish quickly. Take baby clips using a SHARP nail clipper (my preference is spring style or cat clippers for small dogs).

Don't use a Dremel or other electronic/motororized tool unless you've had some training in using it.It's too easy to overcut.

If your dog has white nails, the quick should look pink. STOP clipping before you get there.

If your dog has dark nails, you should see a black circle in the clipped part of the nail. STOP clipping before you get there.

If you do draw blood, apply pressure and styptic powder. A product called QuikStop can be purchased at most pet stores. If you can't control the bleeding, get to a veteranian or animal hospital immediately.

2. Getting shampoo in his eyes during baths.

Dogs love to shake their wet heads and it's easy for shampoo to sting his eyes.

Buy some sterile ophthalmic ointment (at pet store or www.1800PetMeds.com) and dab in each eye before bathing.

If shampoo gets in his eyes, rinse with cool water or saline eyewash. Do NOT put more ointmentin his eyes. If his eyes remain red or he's squinting long after he's dry, he needs a vet's attention.

3. Causing electric clipper burn.

It looks like a rash and results from using overheated clipper blades or damaged blades.

Inspect your clippers before each use and replace missing or dull blades and blades with broken teeth.

If your dog is affected, he'll try to scratch or lick the areas, which only worsens the irritation.

It's a good idea to keep an Elizabethan collar on hand (or make one) for such problems as they prevent the dog from reaching irritated areas. Keep the area clean and use an antibiotic ointment on the skin until it heals.

4. Unintentionally encouraging allergic reactions.

Allergies seem to be on the rise and some dogs are more sensitive than others. If your dog is very itchy after a bath or his skin is red and irritated, it may be an allergic reaction. Try products with oatmeal or use all natural products. And always rinse thoroughly to prevent residue build-up.

If your dog develops a serious reaction such as hives, diarrhea or pinpoint-sized pupils, he needs immediate medical attention. If he's just itchy, try different mild products until you find one that he likes.

You can work with a vet to pinpoint allergens but this a time-consuming and expensive process. I'd try various products first.

5. Leaving him unrestrained or unattended.

Dogs, especially those who hate being groomed, can try to make escapes by jumping off a table or off a lap. Serious injuries can result to small dogs.

Never leave a dog unattended. Groom him on the floor or restrain him if he's on a table or in a sink. Create a barrier around him sohe has no place to jumping off spot.

You can have a second person hold the dog while you wash him if you're using an area too large to fence him in.

Be patient, stay calm and offer lots of praise as you groom and you'll avoid most problems.

Louise Louis is a long-time dog person andcreator of http://www.ToyBreeds.com


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