Today was a huge cleaning day. Not only did I wash/dry/fold laundry, I swept/mopped the floors, washed counters/kitchen sink/stove top wash the bathroom and a bunch of other things. I also have a ritual of grooming all of the dogs and thought since the house was going to be clean, then today was a good day to groom. Usually, I run a comb over Glacier and Roscoe every day just to catch stray fur and smooth their labby coats, but at least once a week I do a complete grooming. So, armed with a Zoom Groom-a Kong product-a chocolate brown flat collar and the comb, I usheered all four fuzzies outside.
I began the grooming ritual by replacing the boys' chain collars with a flat collar and brushed big guy for at least twenty minutes, alternating between the Zoom Groom and the metal comb. A Zoom Groom, for those of you who don't know, is a rubberish grooming tool designed by Kong. It's a great brush because it pulls out the under coats, especially of the labs. The only problem that I find with it, is that it doesn't catch the fur. So, if you are going to use it, you need to be outside. Otherwise you will have tumble weeds of hairballs flying about your house. I've asked for a Furminator for Christmas in anticipation of being able to groom inside when it's cold out. The furminator also gets the loose under coat out, but a person should be cautious when using this particular grooming tool. It leaves the dog's coat very glossy, but because of its sharp edge, it is possible to knick the dog's skin and cause abrasions. So, the Zoom Groom is more preferable for someone just starting out because it does not matter how much pressure you apply-the rubber bristle-like things also provide the dog a massage.
After brushing and combing we returned inside where each dog, including the little ones, were wiped down with wet wipes we picked up from Pet Smart. I can't quite remember the brand we bought, but they help to hydrate the coat and remove odor. I don't use these every day just in case they cause a skin irritation but I like using them once a week just to reduce some of that doggie smell that all dogs have. I also use them to clean between the dog's toes and rub dirt out of the claws.
Next, it was ear cleaning time. At Leader Dog we were taught just to wipe the ear out with a tissue, but I use a cleaner and saturate a cotton ball. I start by wiping the ear out with the tissue, but then use the cotton ball covered in ear cleaning solution to wipe anything I may have missed. I had a vet tell me once that I could just tip the ear cleaner directly into the ear, and I do that if an ear is really dirty, but by wiping them out once a week, I haven't had to do any dumping as of late.
After ears, it was teeth time. The first time around at Leader Dog they told us to brush our dogs' teeth with gauze. They explained the because the material was textured, the dog's teeth would come clean. This time around, they provided a finger toothbrush and toothpaste. I brushed both boys' teeth, making sure to get into the back. It's hard to brush a dog's teeth though. They really don't want your fingers in there and they try to lick the toothpaste off instead of letting you get it on to their teeth.
After all of this was completed-it is a process that probably takes an hour or so-everyone was treated with breath busting cookies of some sort. :) I think that was their favourite part. :)
Now everyone is tired from their grooming experience including me. So, while everyone is sleeping, I think I'll make myself some supper and put on a movie. The saying goes "let sleeping dogs lie," and I think I'll do just that. :)