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- Brushing helps remove loose dirt,
hair, and dead skin cells.
- Brushing daily can help keep
your house cleaner from shedding hair. Even "shed-less"
dogs can shed hair when brushed-just like you and I do after
brushing our hair.
- When brushing puppy or dog, make sure
the brush has rubber or plastic tipped pins to
avoid causing scratches in the skin. A comb should have
smooth ended pins to keep your puppy or dog comfortable.
- To avoid tangles causing pain
for the puppy, hold the hair at the root and gently
work out the tangle slowly. Using a rotating pin comb or
rake can help ease the untangling of hair.
- Use a rake for puppies or dogs
who are going through their shedding cycle. Removing
the undercoat in a timely manner will reduce the amount
of tangles that form (and keep your house from looking like a
hair ball). A rake helps get down to the underlying hair.
- Make sure to comb all the way down to
the skin. Brushing the top layer only can cause the
undercoat to mat and tangle.
- Don't forget the belly hair. If
your puppy or dog won't roll over, hold his/her paws up and
brush the chest and belly. This will help keep your puppy
or dog from tracking in as much grass, especially the freshly
cut grass or dead grass in early fall.
Specific Breed Grooming tips for more info on
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- Dogs aren't fond of bath time,
but that doesn't mean it has to be a nightmare.
- Brush your puppy/dog before
bathing especially if during the shedding season. If
you don't brush puppy before bathing, the undercoat can get
extremely tangled and matted.
- Find a large sink (like a
utility room sink) or the bathtub (preferably one with
a handheld showerhead. These are the best places to bath your
puppy. When you puppy grows up and it is warm outside, you can
bath him on the back porch.
- Put cotton balls in puppy's
prevent water from getting in and causing ear infections.
- Be careful not to get too much water in
can cause irritation and dryness.
- Make sure the water is warm when
washing your puppy. If washing your dog outside, make
sure the outside temperature is at least 75 degrees.
Otherwise, it is too cold to wash a dog outside.
- Use shampoo that is formulated for
dogs. If you have a white puppy/dog, using a
brightening shampoo is the best way to get the white hair
really clean and white.
- For pomeranians (who have a
thick undercoat) use conditioner to help keep down the
tangles when drying and combing.
- After thoroughly washing the puppy/dog
squeegee the water off its hair by running your hands
down his/her back and legs, don't forget the
tail too. If you puppy/dog has long ears squeegee
- Towel dry the puppy to get the
excess water off the hair. Then blow dry the puppy to
make sure he/she is fully dry. Dogs like pomeranians
need their undercoat fully dried to prevent puppy/dog
from getting cold. You can tell when the hair is dry when it
no longer clumps together or looks kinky.
- Keep your puppy/dog in a warm place
until fully dry. Don't let puppy outside until dry or they
will just get dirty again. (Dogs have a tendency to
roll around in the grass to get rid of the uncomfortable
feeling of being wet. They may also roll around if there is a
little water in their ears.)
- If you puppy/dog gets salt, mud,
tree sap, burrs, or paint in his hair, soak the area with
mineral oil and allow to set for 24 hours. Rinse
the area with soap and water and clip away any damaged or
extremely tangled hair. Put antibiotic cream on any
areas of skin irritation after bathing and drying.
Specific Breed Grooming Tips
for more info on hair types.
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- Ears should be cleaned at least once
a month and after a bath is the easiest. If your puppy is
a dog with long, hanging ears cleaning more frequently
to prevent ear infections is recommended.
- Look at puppy's ears for anything
unusual. Make sure there are no scratches, debris, ticks,
dirt, puss, redness, etc.
- Use a cotton ball (not a cotton
tip applicator) to clean puppy's ears. Don't got further down
than the width of your 1st knuckle.
- Put mineral oil or other mineral oil
containing product like hand lotion on the cotton ball and
gently rub puppy's ears.
- Take a good sniff of puppy's
ears to make sure they don't smell fowl. If so, check
with your vet to make sure puppy doesn't have an ear
infection especially if there is oozing stuff
coming from the ears.
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- Always be careful of puppy's eyes
when bathing so you don't get irritating shampoo in them. And
after bathing is a good time to make sure puppy's eyes are
nice and white and free of discharge.
- Puppy's frequently have watery eyes
because the tear duct may not be fully open. If this
doesn't resolve by 3-5 months, then massage puppy's
nose starting at the edge of the inner corner of the eye
down to the tip of the nose. This will help open up that
drainage duct in from the eye to the nose.
- If puppy frequently gets crusties
in his eyes, take a damp wash rag and wipe them out.
Puppy will instinctively close his eyes when you come close to
them, but watch to make sure he does. Avoid wiping directly
across the eye.
- If puppy has green discharge for
several days even after wiping them out and the eye is
red, take puppy to the vet for some antibiotic drops.
- When looking at puppy's eyes make sure
the front surface looks nice and clear and you can see
all of the colored part of his eyes. If any part looks
white puppy may have gotten a scratch on the front
of his eyes and needs some medicine from the vet. This
typically happens if another dog or cat scratches at the face
or if puppy runs into something sharp.
- If puppy ever seems to paw at his
eyes frequently, take a careful look at them and make sure
there isn't something in them or that they are red. If so,
take him to a vet.
- Tear staining is common for puppies
that have white hair around their eyes. To avoid this problem
there are several methods we have heard about but have not
- When puppy is old enough (8 weeks)
Angel Eyes a powder product commercially available can be
used as an additive to food.
- Keeping the hair around puppy's eyes
short will sometimes help keep the eyes from watering too
much which then spills over onto the hair and stains it.
- Beef liver treats have also been said
to reduce staining by changing the pH of the tears.
- Rachel Ray's dog food has gotten good
reviews from some of our maltese customers.
- I also recommend learning more about
tear staining-the causes and prevention at
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- Puppy needs strong healthy teeth. To
keep them white and free from plaque weekly cleaning is
- When puppy is young rub puppy's
teeth with finger or gauze pad. Later you can graduate to
a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs. Human
toothpaste can cause an upset stomach.
- Teeth may also be cleaned with a
mixture of baking soda and water.
- By keeping teeth clean you can also
keep puppy's breath smelling good. Bacterial that
builds up in plaque and later tarter is the cause of
- If puppy's teeth get too much tarter
build up it can lead to tooth lose and gum disease
and a vet tooth cleaning procedure requires anesthetic.
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- Ticks are not only annoying pests but
can present a problem for puppy. Ticks can spread nasty
diseases that cause expensive vet bills.
- Ticks are not limited to forests or
woods, and can be present at beaches, lawns, and urban areas.
- To prevent ticks treat your puppy
and his environment to avoid the constant battle of
picking off ticks.
- Symptoms from tick-borne diseases:
- Babesiosis: lethargy, appetite
loss, weakness, pale gums
- Ehrlichiosis: high fever,
- Lyme Disease: lameness,
itching pain, swollen joints, fever, poor appetite, fatigue,
and vomiting, (some infected animals show no signs or
- Tick paralysis in dogs:
gradual paralysis, seen first as an unsteady gait from
uncoordinated back legs (some infected dogs don't develop
- If you suspect one of these diseases
call your vet immediately.
- Removing a tick may be harder
than it sounds. You must get the head. Use a pair of
tweezers to get as close to the skin as possible and then
gently pull up. Using your fingers to remove a tick can cause
the injection of infectious material.
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- Fleas are less likely than ticks to
spread diseases to pets or people. But they are hard to
catch and can settle in any area of the house.
- To prevent fleas find a good
topical or oral medication from your vet. Treat the
yard if especially bothersome.
- If puppy has fleas, sometimes a good
flea shampoo will remove the majority, follow with
topical treatment to kill the rest.
- Check puppy's bed and play area
as these are areas that fleas love to hang out in.
- Vacuuming on a regular basis
will help eliminate fleas from the home. Fleas can survive
in the vacuum bag so change it often and seal it in a
plastic bag before disposing of it.
- Steam cleaning or shampooing
carpets, rugs, or furniture can kill the eggs and larvae of
- Flea season starts in the spring and
progresses to summer. Some warmer climate areas may have
trouble in the fall as well.
- Fluff pillows for 10 - 15
minutes in the dryer to keep them free of fleas. And wash
your puppy's bed at least once a week in hot soapy water.
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Continue the Puppy
Tutorial-Specific Breed Grooming Tips.