Grooming your pets doesn’t mean that they have to be made-up and untouchable; it simply means that you’re taking good care of their health by keeping a watchful eye on their hygiene. Pets, like humans, are more likely to remain healthy when they are clean and well groomed. Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not wild animals; they require regular grooming attention to keep them healthy in their domestic environments. One of the major benefits of a regular grooming regimen is that you will become familiar with your pet’s body. This allows you to quickly recognize problems with his health, so you can bring them to your veterinarian’s attention sooner.
Brushing your Bullnese removes dead hair and skin, spreads out natural oils in their coat, and helps keep them from developing an odor. It is one of the simplest things you can do for your dog, but it is also one of the most necessary. A variety of brushes and combs are available-make sure that you use one appropriate for your pet’s coat. Since American Bullnese have short hair, a weekly brushing may be enough to keep their coat in good order.
Ears are a prime place for infection-keeping your little buddy’s ears clean is a great way to prevent illness. Regularly look into the ear and examine the inside. Make sure that they are a healthy pink color. If everything looks good, wipe the inner the ear with a cotton ball, or Q-tips being careful not to touch any part of the ear that you cannot easily see or deep into the ear canal. If you notice any symptoms (sensitivity to touch; brown, black, or yellow discharge; foul odor; shaking or continuously tilting head; or circling in one direction) take your pet to the veterinarian to have his ears examined. Another option for cleaning the ears is to use a liquid ear cleanser. But never use an ear cleanser on your pet if you have noticed there could be a problem. The cleansers could cause severe damage if your pet has an inner ear infection or if something has damaged his ear drum.
Routine dental care is essential to your pet’s overall good health. Approximately 80 percent of all three-year-old dogs show some sign of periodontal disease, characterized by a buildup of plaque and tarter on their teeth above and below the gum line. This disease can lead to gum infection and tooth loss. Your pet’s poor dental hygiene is much more serious than his embarrassingly bad breath-infected gums and dirty teeth have been linked to kidney and secondary heart disease in pets. In addition to your home care, your veterinarian should perform yearly dental checkups on your pal; she will let you know when you need to have your Bullnese’s teeth professionally cleaned.
Many American Bullnese prefer NOT to have their paws handled, making nail trimming especially traumatic for them. Like it or not, it still must be done. Try touching his ears or paws when you praise him, and before you know it, your little toad will love to be handled in those sensitive spots. Your dog’s claws should not ever extend so far that his nails come in contact with the ground when he’s standing normally on a flat surface. Nails this long place unneeded stress on your pooch’s paws, which in turn can lead to foot problems. Be careful not to trim your Bullnese’s nails too far down; you could cut into the quick (the part of their nail which contains the blood). If you should cut their nails too close, apply pressure or use clotting powder to stop the bleeding. Make sure you use nail clippers designed especially for animals. Here’s an excellent strategy for those who hate the clippers: only cut a nail or two in one sitting. Who said you have to do it all at once? Spread it out over a few days and you’ll lower the stress level immensely. Many breeders use a dremel tool to trim their dogs nails. This is a quick and effective way to trim and smooth sharp edges of the nails.
Examine your pet’s baby blues often to make sure that everything looks good. You want to ensure that any abnormal conditions are noticed as soon as possible so that your veterinarian can begin treatment immediately. Be extremely careful with your pet’s eyes during all parts of the grooming process. You might consider applying protection, like sterile ophthalmic ointment or drops, to the eyes before bathing. Dogs have very sensitive eyes, and soap-even “tearless” soap-can damage their corneas. If tear staining is a problem, you might consider looking at some of the products available commercially to help you care for your pet, or ask your veterinarian or groomer for advice.
The ever-popular “B” word-few animals feel that bath time is something to celebrate. In fact, the majority of our pets probably dread a bath more than anything else. Nevertheless, sometimes it is a necessary evil. On the bright side, the more often you brush your dog, the less often you will have to subject them to the dreaded bath-time experience. Here are some basics to cover before putting your pet in the water. First, protect your Bullnese’s ears by placing cotton inside them and fold the ear down while rinsing the facial area making sure not to get water in the ear canal. This will avoid getting soap in the ears which could be painful. Make sure you have everything you need where you can reach it. After your Bullnese is wet, it will be much more difficult to leave to retrieve the shampoo. And finally, close off all escape routes. This will help you avoid chasing a wet pet around the couch. You may consider putting a towel or screen on the bottom of the tub or sink-if your dog has a secured footing he will not be so upset.
Now you’re ready to let the fun begin! Always use shampoo and conditioner designed especially for your animal. Human shampoo is not made for dogs; it can be harmful to their skin, drying it out and destroying their natural oils. Lather thoroughly, leaving the face until the end. After you have washed well, make sure that you rinse just as well, as leaving soap in the coat can irritate the skin. After shampooing, apply conditioner and rinse. Towel your little frog off and rub him down. If he’ll accept it, you can blow dry him.
Though it might sometimes be a struggle to keep your Bullnese in clean condition, it’s well worth it. Not only are you improving his health, you’re bonding with him in the process. Good grooming habits are a must for any happy household.