Proper canine hygiene is vital to your dogs health, but can sadly be overlooked. We wash our sheets, towels, change our pillow cases and replace our toothbrushes every 3 months! In a perfect world, your dog would toss his favorite blanket in the wash and brush his own teeth before bedtime. Until that day comes, we have to stay diligent and remember that our four-legged best friends hygiene is just as important as our own. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your pups hygiene is tip top!

Clean Food & Water Dishes

This one is a doozie! Your dogs pet bowl is a lot filthier than you think it is, in fact, pet bowls are named the 4th most germiest item in the home by NSF International! The saliva from your dogs mouth transmits bacteria growth on the bowl. This bacteria will grow, spread and can potentially be harmful to your pets, if not properly cleaned of course. So, how often do you need to wash your food and water bowls? It can be as easy as tossing them in to the washing machine when you are doing a load. If you do not have a washing machine, a nice hand wash once a day is ideal. You may need to clean the bowl more if there are fragments or globs of food left behind, which should be cleaned out as soon as possible. 

Clean Bedding 

You wouldn't sleep on your bed for months, or even years without washing your sheets would you? I sure hope not! So, why do we let our dogs? Cleaning your dogs bed regularly helps keep dander and hair muted. Not surprisingly, your dogs bed can be a magnet for muck, dirt, fur and even unwanted guests such as ticks and other parasites. We aren't talking about vacuuming or lint rolling, we are talking about CLEANING! The bed should bee washed thoroughly with dye-free unscented or mild-scented detergent. Its easy to remember by simply washing your dogs sleeping items (bed, pillow, blankets) when you are washing your own bedding. At least once a month, in a separate load. 

Oral Care 

Healthy oral care will improve the quality of life of your dog and it's owner. No one likes stinky dog breath! Dogs with bad oral care can be in danger of gingivitis, plaque buildup, tartar, pyorrhea, periodontitis and oral cancers. Your dog may be hesitant or outright refuse to have its teeth cleaned. Adult dogs will eventually learn to be comfortable with the process, however it is much easier to start out when your dog is still a puppy. DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE! The toothpaste we use contains fluoride which is toxic to dogs. A rubber bristle finger brush and brushing gel made for dogs is ideal, Pisces recommends: Tropiclean Oral Care Kit. In addition to regular brushing, there is also an array of dental chews & treats, water additives and breath spray available to aid in your dogs oral hygiene. 

Grooming & Bathing  

You know that thick coat of fur your dog wears everywhere, the one he cant take off? Yea, its important to keep that coat clean! There is usually no reason to wash your dog more than once a month unless he has contracted some kind of skin infection, has rolled around is something messy or has a bad odor. Remember to do a thorough cleaning of your dogs paws after playing outdoors, especially in the winter. Make sure you are using a shampoo formulated for dogs, a biodegradable shampoo is a plus if you are washing your dog outside (Pisces recommends: Earthbath 2-in-1 Mango Tango Conditioning Shampoo). If you dog has pre-existing skin conditions, find a shampoo that fits their needs. How often or how little your dogs fur should be groomed matters entirely on the dogs breed. All dogs, regardless of breed, should have their nails trimmed at least once a month! Proper grooming and washing will help prevent tick and flea infestation. If you have questions about your dogs grooming needs, please send us a message on Facebook at Pisces Pet Emporium, or visit us in-store! 

Keep Your Toys Clean

Like the pet bowls, your dog toys are very susceptible to bacterial growth due to saliva. Dog toys or anything that goes in your dogs mouth should be cleaned regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria. Soft chew toys (and your dogs bedding) can be put through a light load in the washing machine with dog-safe laundry detergent (Pisces recommends: Earth Friendly Ecos Liquid Detergent). Hard toys can be wiped down with a safe disinfectant wipe, or even tossed in the dishwasher!