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The majority of dog owners pride themselves on keeping their dogs looking in good shape and smelling great. In fact, a few years ago most grooming salons only saw dog breeds such as poodles and other pedigree dogs that require regular clipping and stripping. These days, many owners treat their best friend to regular pampering sessions at the local dog groomer whatever their breed. So, although our dogs maybe clean themselves, what about everywhere else in the home that your dog frequents?
Be honest, how often do you wash your dog bowls? Every day? Once a week or rarely? Even small particles of food left in a bowl on a hot day can be a magnet for flies, which in turn lead to maggots especially if you feed your dog on wet food.
The dog bed is the perfect breeding ground for lots of nasty germs and grime. It’s a warm, often damp environment with dogs transferring all the dirt along with everything they’ve rolled in throughout the day into the bed and fabric itself.
When choosing a dog bed it’s always best to go for one with detachable, washable covers, and wash according to the manufacturers instruction. If you own a particulary mucky dog then simply add another layer for extra protection.
Wash covers on a regular basis and always give them a good shake outside to remove dust and hairs before washing. You may want to use a protective bag to place the covers in, to prevent any damage to your washing machine. Always look for a bed with covers that can be washed at a high enough temperature to kill germs.
Avoid using harsh or heavily scented washing powder as it could irritate the skin of sensitive dogs.
Avoid giving treats to your dog in the bed to prevent crumbs from biscuits and treats etc.
Quite often, dog toys are overlooked for cleaning. Toys such as soft fabric toys and tennis balls that your dog loves to hold in its mouth can be packed with germs. So, next time you plan to wash your dog’s bedding, throw in the toys as well or replace with new ones.
Most of us who are lucky enough to have a garden, allow their pets to use the lawn for toileting. Of course many of us immediately pick up after our dogs to keep our garden neat and tidy, but that may not be enough if you don’t worm your dog on a regular basis. Roundworm is a common type of parasite that will affect most dogs during their lifetime. Roundworm eggs are not visible to the naked eye and can lay dormant for many years on your lawn and soil. Roundworm carries a particular health risk to children and in extreme cases even lead to blindness. Always keep worming treatments up to date and avoid letting your children play with soil and on grass where you dog tends to toilet.
Most dogs enjoy rolling in nasty, smelly things and a firm favourite for many is fox poo. Foxes have moved into suburban areas in recent years and it’s not uncommon to see them in city gardens. If your dog loves to roll in fox poo or other unpleasant things, ensure you wash its collar on a regular basis.
Ok, we all love to pet and fuss our dogs, and it’s quite easy to forget to wash our hands each time we touch them. Always wash your hands before handling food or touching surfaces around the home to avoid spreading germs. Get into the habit of washing your hands after touching your dog and that includes children too. Antibacterial gels are handy to keep around the home to keep germs at bay.
Avoid letting your dog sleep on the bed to keep your place of sanctuary clean and hygienic.