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Grooming Your Dog and Dog Grooming Kits
Importance of Dog Grooming
It's very important that you regularly bathe and groom your dog, not matter what his coat style is. Dogs are exposed to tons of unhealthy, hazardous, and even toxic substances that your dog can pick up in the car, inside, or even just on his regular walks outside. You just don't want chemicals and particles trapped in your dog's coat because he may lick them off while grooming himself, which can threaten his health.
You want to make sure the you purchase products that are healthy for your dog, as just because the products are meant to keep you dog clean and pest free, they may be dangerous to his health. The purpose of scheduled grooming and regular baths is to remove dirt, grease, and all unhealthy contaminants from your dog's coat, so why would you want to use a product that may be just as toxic?
You want to abandon all grooming supplies that contain chemicals and other various toxins that can potentially hurt your dog. Harmful ingredients that you want to avoid include chemical detergents, synthetic preservatives and fragrances, petroleum products, and artificial colors So, as you can see, checking the ingredient label of your grooming products, mostly shampoos and conditioners, can be just as important as checking the ingredients on the back of your dog's dog food.
Other harmful synthetic additives that you will commonly see in soaps and shampoos that you want to avoid using include:
- FD&C dyes
- Antibacterials triclosan and triclocarban
- Preservatives EDTA, TEA, and DEA
- Detergents and sufactants sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulfate
Dog Shampoos and Conditioners
As a good dog shampoo and conditioner is very important to have in a dog grooming kit, you want to make sure that you get a shampoo and conditioner that is safe for your dog, and one that will not irritate his skin. Definitely make sure that the shampoo does not have the ingredients and synthetic chemicals listed above on the ingredients label.
Make sure that you choose a natural shampoo with a vegetable oil and castile soap base. Avoid purchasing shampoos with strong smelling fragrances, sythetic pesticides and medications. If you're looking for a flea and tick shampoo, opt for natural versions, but even better, check out pennyroyal oil and skin soothers, such as oatmeal, as both are natural insect repellents.
Remember that if you use a conditioner, to get all residue off of your dog's coat, as otherwise, it may be ingested.
An alternative to medicated shampoos can substitute with all natural shampoos that lack the added chemicals. For dogs with itchy skin try oatmeal shampoos to soothe your dog's skin with an added aloe vera to help reduce inflammation, and for dogs with dry skin, try a shampoo with lactic acid, carbolic acid, urea, olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, lanolin, biotin, pantothenic acid, and/or essential fatty acids.
Fleas and An All Natural Flea Killer
If you're worried about fleas, you want to avoid chemicals as best as you can. Definitely use a flea comb to pick out all of the fleas, and herbal flea collars instead of flea repellent drops.
But, in general, the best way to get rid of fleas is to prevent them from infesting your house and pets.
With regular brushing and baths, you can easily fight fleas. Brush long haired and thick coated dogs daily, and short haired dogs every few days. By combing and brushing your dog's coat, you help keep his skin and hair healthy, and by distributing secretions from the oil glands all over the skin, you will dissuade fleas from establishing themselves in your dog's coat.
You may even want to make a homemade, all natural flea killer and repellent. It's actually pretty simple. All you have to do is slice a whole lemon, including the peel and add it to 1 pint of boiling water. Let it steep overnight, and the next day, you can sponge the solution onto your dog's coat. You can pour it in a clean spray bottle for frequent applications. This is a mild solution that you can use daily.
How does it work? Simple, D-limonene is a natural flea killer that you'll find in many all natural flea shampoos; you can extract it from lemons.
Another great all natural flea killer and repellent is an herbal flea powder. You'll want to combine as many of the herbs as you can; try to include eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, fennel, yellow dock, and pennyroyal. Mix all the herbs in equal parts in a jar with a shaker lid (kind of like a salt and pepper container). You'll want to pull your dog's coat backward with your hand or a comb while sprinkling the powder onto the base of the hairs. Apply the herbal powder sparingly, paying close attention to the dog's neck, back, and belly. You'll want to put the dog outside for a while, so that the fleas can jump off of him and into the yard, versus your carpet.
Ok, so a grooming kit is composed of more than shampoo and brushes. You want to make sure that you have all of the essentials to properly grooming your dog, so to include the items mentioned above, you'll want to gather all the items in the following list to create your at- home grooming kit.
- Small Scissors (clipping hair around and in between the foot pads)
- Electric Clippers
- Nail clippers
- Vitamin E oil and cotton balls (for cleaning ears)
- Moist wipes (to help remove dirt stuck in your dog's coat)
- Towels (to wipe feet after a walk or to dry off after a bath)
- Brush, comb, and/or brush mitt
- Eye wipes (to help reduce tearing stains under the eyes)
- Dog toothpaste and toothbrush
You may, also, want to have the all natural flea killer and the flea powder (mentioned above) on hand, especially during flea and tick season.