Everyone can benefit from a springtime spruce up, and our pets are no exception. In fact, the season is a prime time to step up our pet care regimen, as muddy paws and pollen abound. Therefore, we asked the experts at The Clip Joint in Palm Beach, Florida, about ways we can help our pups look and feel their best in the coming months (and beyond); here are their recommendations:
Paw Care: In the springtime, when everything is in bloom, it is essential to keep your dog’s paws clean, particularly if you have a dog with allergies. Pollen and dirt get trapped in the paw, and if not cleaned away, will be spread across the dog’s head and body as he/she scratches (wet days exacerbate this). To clean the paws, dip them fully in water, wiping in between each toe and the pads as well. Use a towel to dry each paw thoroughly, again making sure to wipe in between each toe and the pads.
Brushing, Bathing & Grooming: Particularly in the springtime, it is critical to give your dog a good brushing after he/she has been outside to remove the pollen and dirt. It takes five minutes and will keep your dog healthier. Dogs should be brushed daily, bathed once a week, and professionally groomed once a month (a groomer will take care of things like trimming nails, cleaning ears, and removing hair from ears and paws). For dogs with a fuzzy or hairy face—breeds like cocker spaniels, poodles, Shih Tzus and Maltese—make sure to clean the wrinkles in the lips after they eat. This will remove not only odors and leftover bits of food, but it will also prevent bacteria growth.
Nail Care: Finally, and this is one of the most important tips for dog owners, it is essential to keep your dog’s nails trimmed. If you don’t, over time, the dog’s nails will begin to push up, curl under, and even grow back into the pad, which in extreme cases can lead to arthritis or cause a hole to form. Be especially mindful of your dog’s nails if you have a long-haired breed where the nails are obscured and it’s easier to overlook their care.
Expert tip from Joy Drasher of The Clip Joint in West Palm Beach, FL. Pictured: TSG Design & Brand Director Erika Jack with Mack Jack, groomed locally by Animal Connection in Charlottesville, VA.