grooming a dog

Myth #1: Stinky dog breath is normal.

Nope. Your dog's breath shouldn't stink. If it does, your dog may have dental decay, intestinal issues, or some other health problem. Talk to your vet and have your dog checked out.

Myth #2: Fido is born with a certain coat and you can't change its texture, thickness, or glossiness.

Although coat quality is genetic to a large extent, lifestyle can drastically affect the nature of your dog's coat. In fact, a dry, sparse, or dull coat might be one of the first signs of a health problem in your dog. No matter what kind of coat your dog has-short, long, curly, or wiry-your dog's coat health shows on the surface and can be influenced by environment, diet, and medical issues. To maximize your dog's coat quality, try fish-oil supplements (check with your vet first), and keep him on a high-quality, balanced diet.

Myth #3: Longhaired dogs shed more than shorthaired dogs, and some canines don't shed at all.

All dogs shed. Period. However, different coats shed in different ways. Undercoat hairs might get stuck in the long guard hairs of a dog's overcoat, so you don't see shed hair around the house, but the coat is still shedding. Some longhaired dogs drop hair like humans and you might not even notice it, but it's still shedding. Some "blow coat" a few times a year, releasing big tufts of fuzz into the air. Short-haired dogs can be the worst shedders of all, blanketing your clothes and furniture with a fine covering of tiny hairs that stick in the fabric and can be difficult to get out. And if you're thinking "hypoallergenic"? The real source of allergens is skin dander, and since all dogs have skin, no dog is guaranteed hypoallergenic, although some allergic people may react more or less to dander from particular dogs or breeds

Myth #4: Cutting the nail quick can kill your dog.

Don't panic! If you cut the quick-the vein that extends down your dog's nail-while trimming your dog's nails and it starts to bleed, there's no need to rush to the emergency vet clinic. The bleeding will stop long before your dog has lost enough blood to cause harm (and you can use a styptic pencil to help stop the blood flow). Of course, clipping the quick does hurt, which is reason enough to learn correct nail-cutting technique.

Myth #5: Bathing causes dry skin.

You've probably heard it, and you may have even experienced what you thought was a dry-skin reaction on your dog after a bath. The truth is, cleanliness is next to dogginess and bathing should feel good to your dog's skin, not bad. The real reason why some dogs have post-bath irritation is that either the shampoo is irritating them (human shampoo and shampoo containing detergents can be too harsh for dogs), or they weren't rinsed completely, leaving residue in the coat. There is nothing harmfully drying about a gentle, hypoallergenic, moisturizing dog shampoo, fully rinsed, even if you bathe your dog every day.


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