Natural Dog Grooming Tips
Safe and natural shampoos, ear washes, and mouth rinses for your dog.
Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M.
Grooming, an important part of dog care, is often overlooked by owners. Just a few minutes of grooming each day can increase the bond between you and your pet, as well as improve its overall health. Here are a few tips to help you get on the right track to grooming your pet naturally.
Bathe your dog
All dogs can benefit from regular bathing. However, as is true with dog food, many dog shampoos also contain potentially harmful ingredients. It's important to read the label to make sure you're purchasing a product that’s safe for your pet, yourself and the environment.
Choose a safe and effective shampoo that will not dry out the dog’s skin and hair. Ingredients to avoid include artificial fragrances, foaming agents, surfactants and insecticides.
Beneficial ingredients of a high-quality shampoo include certified organic oils and herbs, such as coconut, jojoba, olive, lavender, tea tree, and citrus oils. Shampoos made with these ingredients are less likely to irritate the dog’s skin and can be used more frequently.
Clean your dog’s ears
Along with regular bathing, keeping your dogs’ ears clean can help minimize itching, as well as bacterial and yeast ear infections. As is the case when picking a good shampoo, it's important to read the label of products designed to clean your dog's ears because many of them also contain potentially harmful chemical ingredients, or ingredients that could irritate your dog’s ears. Try to choose ear cleaners and washes that contain certified organic oils (peppermint, spearmint, citrus, tea tree, and so on) and avoid those that contain alcohol, salicylic acid, DSS and borates.
Brush your dog's teeth
Dental disease is the most common infectious disease seen in pets. Regular (ideally, daily) brushing can decrease the frequency of professional cleanings that must be performed under anesthesia at the vet's office. Products that can be put on a toothbrush or added to the dog’s water should ideally not contain chemicals. Don’t use human dental products for your dog. Many human products contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which may be toxic to dogs.
With just a little bit of investigative research, you can easily find high-quality natural and organic grooming products that are safe and effective. Simply read the label before purchasing.
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