Dog Care Essentials
Don't let these adorable faces fool you - they are a handful! They play HARD each day, so we definitely deal with our share of muddy moments, puppy scrapes, and bandana changes. In this post I'm rounding up our tried and true dog care essentials that we can't do without!
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I'm not very trusting of other people with our dogs (they are my sons!), so I prefer to do regular grooming at home. They trust us and love us, and hey - I'd freak out if a random stranger was trying to groom me, too! We laughingly call our head-to-toe grooming sessions "puppy spa days". I can do most of it on my own (minus holding Marshall down for his nail trim), but it's definitely easier and more fun when Ryan can help also.
For being short haired, they both still shed a ton! Seriously, I think we vacuum every single day. Marshall's fur seems finer and just falls out, but Bolt's fur is a bit thicker and our Furminator is a MUST! We use this on him multiple times throughout the month, but we always start with it on puppy spa days. It helps prevent a bunch of fur in the tub later on during their baths, and Bolt seems to enjoy how it feels. It definitely cuts down on the shedding!
Ears, teeth, and nails are always next! I put a little ear cleaning rinse on a cotton ball and use it to wipe out each of the dogs ears. Whenever their allergies flare up or they spend a little extra time outside, their ears are definitely a little dirtier. This rinse makes it easy to keep them clean and infection free!
I also brush their teeth, which Ryan thinks is ridiculous. However, a lot of pet disease stems from the mouth and teeth! Ryan always rolls his eyes at the veterinarian when she comments about how great their teeth look, because he knows I'm swelling with satisfaction. Winning! I usually snag our pet toothbrushes and toothpaste (don't use toothpaste for people!) on Amazon. The boys are used to me brushing their teeth at this point, and they sit patiently while I give them a good scrub!
Bolt is my little trooper during the next step. He is SO good with getting his nails trimmed and offers me his paw like he's getting a manicure! Marshall, on the other hand, isn't as great. He loves holding hands and always lets me have his paw, but once he realizes it is for the purpose of trimming his nails, he really wants no part of it. Ryan helps keep him seated while I trim them and file them.
The style of clipper we use makes it easy to trim their nails, and we love smoothing out any rough edges with our Pet Dremel Tool. The Dremel also makes it easier to get a close trim without cutting the quick! (Note: if you do happen to nick the quick, immediately put their foot in flour to help it clot and stop bleeding! If you cut way too far, bring them to the vet right away as this can result in serious blood loss.)
Next, it's time for a bath! If I'm spa-daying solo, I'll do one dog at a time. If Ryan is able to help, we'll put both pups in our large tub and lather them up together. We use Virbac Epi-Soothe Shampoo, which is super soothing and moisturizing for their skin. We let it sit on them for about five minutes before giving them a rinse. Then, it is time for a towel dry and a blow dry! Both of them love the warm air from the blow dryer and sit there patiently until they are done. Once they are dry, it is time for their monthly Advantix Flea and Tick. I always get this on Amazon because it is so much cheaper than a pet store!
Bolt is OBSESSED with wearing a bandana, so after their bath I usually offer him one. He loses his mind with excitement and prances around like he is the handsomest dog that ever lived! Marshall usually demands a bandana also in an effort to try and be like his big brother, but he usually rips it off within a day. I stock up on different colors by getting a multi-pack off Amazon!
I keep a few other pet care items on hand as well! For times when their noses, elbows, or paws are a little dry, I put a little Vaseline or coconut oil on them to help moisturize and condition them. The Vaseline is also helpful if we have a sick pup and need to monitor his temperature - you know where this goes (eek!). You can snag a good pet thermometer here. I bought a pack of these disposable syringes on Amazon and they are great for dispensing any liquid medicines if they are sick or have a stomach ache.
Lastly, I ALWAYS have liquid spray bandage on hand! Like I said, our boys love to play hard, and usually end up with a few scrapes and cuts from rolling around in the yard, changing directions in the yard during a full sprint, or chasing each other in the basement. I'll clean the spot with a wet paper towel, dab on a little ointment, and give it a couple sprays to seal it up. It helps the scratch heal quickly and prevents them from licking or scratching at it!
Do you have a favorite product for pet care that I didn't mention? Share it in the comments! I'm always looking to up my dog-mom skills. You can shop the products in this post by clicking on the hyperlinks throughout, or click on the images below.
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