Pampering, Grooming, and More
Everyone loves to be pampered, and that includes your dog, too! Keeping your dog feeling his best every day means going beyond nutrition and exercise. A hearty grooming session, including massage and skin treatment, will leave your dog feeling healthy and looking fabulous.
Get the whole family together to help pamper your pooch. Not only will this keep things exciting for your dog, but it’s also a chance to spend a little extra quality time together.
Grooming Your Dog
Regular grooming does more than keep your dog looking his handsome best. It also helps promote his good health. Grooming gives you an opportunity to observe your dog’s natural, healthy appearance. You’ll get to know how his eyes, ears, teeth and coat look when he’s feeling good. As a result, you’ll be quicker to notice any changes that might be cause for concern. Grooming helps remove dead hair, skin flakes and dirt from your dog’s coat. It also gives you time to examine his body. Feel for unusual lumps under his skin, as well as rashes, bald spots, sores and dull or flaky skin. These are all potential warning signs that may warrant a trip to the veterinarian. During winter months, mud, snow, ice, salt, and chemical de-icing solutions can also injure his paws. Check paws frequently and clean paws with soap and water, if needed. During summer months, inspect his paws for thorns. If found, carefully remove them with tweezers.
If you’ve ever had a massage, you’ll probably agree that it relaxes muscle tension, relieves stress and just plain feels good. Dogs think so too. A gentle massage gives your dog comfort and can help increase circulation. Here’s how to treat your dog to a light, relaxing rubdown at home:
Have your dog lie on a soft surface such as a rug. If your pooch is pint-sized, have him sit or crouch on your lap. Start with several soft, small strokes from head to tail. When your dog begins to relax, scratch gently behind the ears, moving on to the cheeks, under the chin, over the nose, between the eyes, and over the head. Also rub each ear several times between your thumb and forefinger, working from base to tip.
Using three fingers, move slowly over the neck, shoulders, and chest in small, circular patterns, giving a gentle pinch to any folds of loose skin. Lightly, squeeze down the length of each foreleg, then place three fingers on each side and softly rub in opposing directions several times.
Place your thumb and index finger on each side of the spine and “walk” them toward the base of the tail, continuing on to the outside of each thigh. Finish with several soft, slow strokes from head to tail. It’s important to keep your home-massage light and gentle. (A deep massage should only be performed by a certified practitioner.) When you finish, your dog will likely be snoozing peacefully, and you may be surprised to find your own tensions have melted away as well.
The fur on your dog’s coat serves a far greater purpose than contributing to his adorable looks. The condition of his coat reflects the condition of his skin, which is his first line of defense against injury or infection. Given that your furry friend doesn’t make his own nutrition choices, it’s up to you—his devoted owner—to ensure that he receives the nutrition needed to maintain his healthy skin and coat. That’s why it’s so important to feed him a complete and balanced food such as Purina® Dog Chow® brand Dog Food. Visit your veterinarian if your dog exhibits any unusual skin conditions or changes. No matter the problem, your veterinarian should be able to point you towards its source and offer a recommended solution.