Tag Archives: Grooming a Dog

Grooming With Two Dogs

One of the problems with having two dogs is grooming.   You wouldn’t think it would be an issue, but having two dogs definitely make this harder.

The breed of dog that you have will determine what kind of grooming you will need to do with them and we’ll cover some of the fun facts we’ve discovered about grooming a dog in another section.

Here we’re going to focus on the problems caused specifically by having two dogs.

In the good old days when it was grooming time, I got to sit in the boss’ lap and it was all about me… just the way I like it.    Then… Scout the puppy came to live with us.

The problem with having two dogs is that whenever the boss is doing something with one of us, two things happen:

  • The dog who is not included wants to help.
  • the dog who is not included wants attention too.

The result is chaos.   Apparently, that’s not a good thing because the boss isn’t very good at brushing one dog when the other dogs also insists on being involved.    Although… I think if she practiced a little more….

The Answer – Separation and Bribery

We solve the grooming problem that comes with having two dogs by getting treats.   I know… I think it’s a GREAT answer too!

When it’s grooming time, one of us gets hooked up to the banister with a small rawhide/bone, etc.    Of course, the other dog gets a treat too, otherwise we would only be interested in the treat instead of getting ready for grooming.

I always get to go first because I’m clearly the better dog!

Sit on the floor with the dog to be groomed in front of you.   Sit far enough away so the dog on the leash is in the same proximity (so they won’t freak out) but far enough that they can’t get involved and “help”.

Like everything else, start slow when you start brushing the dogs.   The whole brush thing is weird and we need a chance to get used to it.

This setup solves the grooming problems that come from having two dogs.   One dog is tied to the banister with a rawhide and the other dog has a smaller treat and gets all of the attention that comes along with grooming.    Everyone is happy.

When my grooming is done, we switch.   Then I get the bigger treat and get tied to the banister while the other dog gets brushed, etc.

Other Things To Know

This is a great way to get kids involved in helping with the dogs.   They can start by holding the dog as you start brushing her.

Another fun fact about puppies… sometimes (at least the one that lives with us) they aren’t very smart.   They sometimes think the tufts of hair that come off the other dog are treats.

Check here for more information about the problems and solutions related to Having Two Dogs.

Dog Teeth Brushing – It Doesn’t Have To Be That Bad

We’re going to save you a little effort and a whole bunch of money by letting you know the following stuff:

  • Why dog teeth brushing is important
  • What did NOT work
  • What we got that did actually work
  • How to do it

My boss tried to get out of this, she really did.  She tried every possible way to get out of it.   She hates brushing my teeth… and I hate having them brushed.

The funny thing is that the evil new puppy she brought home doesn’t seem to mind.  (I assure you though, this is the ONLY way that she’s better than me!)  I suspect it’s because the new puppy started off right away getting her teeth brush and the boss really didn’t do it to me until I was older.  You know… the old “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” saying.  It’s true because old dogs don’t want to have to get used to new things.

Why Dog Teeth Brushing Is Important
People teeth are just like dog teeth.  Brushing them does the same thing for us that it does for you.

  • Health – if you don’t brush your dog’s teeth, they’ll get covered with bacteria that can cause all kinds of problems.  Does this sound healthy?
  • It keeps them from going “bad”.  I actually had a tooth that rotted so badly that it had to be pulled.  I sure felt better after, but the boss kept asking me if I was worth the cost.   (I’m pretty sure she was joking though because she sometimes thinks she’s funny.  I think she’s wrong.)
  • Everyone complains when a dog has bad breath… doesn’t it make sense that if brush your dog’s teeth it will help?
  • The older the dogs gets, the bigger of an issue it is if their teeth are bad.  At some point they will likely need their teeth cleaned by the vet if you never brush them.  This can be expensive.

What We Tried… And Failed

  • We still get treats that say they can replace dog teeth brushing, but when we asked the vet if it was true, she laughed… a lot and said we still had to brush them.
  • Rubber bone with bristles – This is a big blue rubber bone that has toothbrush like bristles on one end.  In theory, it’s like getting my teeth brushed when I chew on it, but… it only took the evil puppy about 5 minutes to tear it apart and start to eat it.  She does that a lot.
  • Three sided dog toothbrush – This didn’t really work.  You have to put too much pressure on the brush (and the dog teeth) to get the brush around the tooth on all three sides.
  • Electric brush – Yes, the boss actually did spend money on this.  No, it doesn’t work.
Would you use this to brush dog teeth?

 

Here Is What Actually Did Work
The boss did eventually accept the fact that there wasn’t a shortcut and she would have to jump into the exciting world of dog teeth brushing.  She broke down and got a regular, plain, normal dog toothbrush and surprise… it worked.

Here are a few examples of the basic dog toothbrushes:

  • Long handled toothbrush
  • Finger toothbrush
  • Finger toothbrush glove

Long Handled Toothbrush
This works pretty well.  The only thing that you have to watch out for is the long handle.  It’s too easy to push the toothbrush too far… which results in jabbing me in the cheek or the back of the throat.

Finger Toothbrush
We like this one too.  It gives you more control (and I don’t get jabbed by the handle).  One thing you have to be careful of is letting it slip off your finger.

Finger Toothbrush Glove
This is actually our favorite dog toothbrush.  It gives the boss more control and she can more easily tell what she’s actually brushing.

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You have a dog.  You are responsible for that dog.   That means you are responsible for the dog teeth… brushing them is part of the package that you have to deal with.  There is no way around it.   We’ve shown you the stuff that works and the stuff that doesn’t work.  Next it’s time to talk about the actual dog teeth brushing.

Dog Toenail – If You Cut It (Too Short) They Will Bleed

Whoever designed a dog toenail did a lousy job.   I don’t hear people complain too much about cutting theirs too short, but if you cut a dog toenail to short, it bleeds… a lot… and it doesn’t stop.

If you’re lucky, the dog will have the color of nail that lets you see where the “quick” starts.  If you’re not so lucky, you have to guess.   In that case the best you can do is to only take off a little at a time and hope for the best.

There are a lot of dog toenail clippers, and here is an example.dog toenail clippers

One time when we were clipping my nails with regular dog toenail clippers (like above), I got impatient… and restless.   That made the boss crabby and she ended up rushing through it and clipping my toenail too short.

Did I mention that if you cut a dog toenail too short bad things happen?

The results… you guessed it… blood… on tan carpet… in the living room… and the dining room… and the kitchen… and the couch… and the bedroom.

Unfortunately, that’s not an exaggeration.   They sell stuff that will stop the toenail from bleeding, but you have to get the toenail into the powder for it to work… and I’m not likely to make that easy for you after you just hurt me by clipping my toenail too short.

The next time it got cut too short had a much better result.   We were following the grooming time procedures so I was busy chewing the rawhide when it got cut.

The nail was clipped too short and the boss saw blood.   Fortunately, I was distracted and she was able to put pressure on it so that it stopped bleeding before I really knew anything was wrong.

The Answer – Pedi-Paws

There are a lot of options to use to clip a dog’s toenail, but Pedi-Paws is our favorite.   It has an added bonus of being better than normal clippers on toenails that are too dark to see the quick (i.e. blood).   The sandpaper on the grinder only takes off a little at a time so it prevents “big” disasters.

I know… I was skeptical too.   Yes, this is the thing you’ve seen on tv that looks great but realistically seems like it would be impossible to train your dog to use.

Sure, seeing the ads on tv made this look like a great answer, but come on… you had to be crazy to think that your dog would actually sit still for this, right?

Despite our apprehension, we bought one anyway.   (Did I mention that the boss is really lazy and would buy anything if it looked like it would save me time/trouble?)

We were shocked to find out that it actually works.    You have to proceed very, very slowly.   The vibration of the grinder against the dog toenail is pretty scary at first.

Do it every day when you start.  (maybe even a couple times per day)   It will only take 60 seconds while you are introducing it to the dog.

Proceed very, very, very slowly.

Make each session short enough so the dog can be successful.   For the first few days, all we did was hold my paw, touch one toenail with the grinder.  Then we were done and I got a treat.   Eventually the boss would hold each toenail for a few seconds longer.

When I got comfortable with the one toe, then we did all toenails on one paw then eventually lengthened the time the grinder touched the toenail.

Did I mention you have to go really, really go slow with this.   That grinder thing is scary, but with a little bit of patience, well… a lot of patience, this works great.

Other Things To Know

Grooming is a great way to get kids involved.   When our 77 year old niece comes over (wait… I guess you’re used to human years… that makes her 11) she holds us to make it easier for the boss.

You can find 74 billion products for groom a dog here.