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Fido's Turn

About the cover

  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e  April 2011




Fido’s Turn

Now is the perfect time to spring-clean your pooch.

by Gaye Rock


Do you have a dingy dachshund? Stinky schnauzer? Whiffy wheaton? Have you noticed your pet has an odor that won’t quit? Or that your white Bichon Frise matches the slate-gray front porch step lately? If so, perhaps it’s time for a spring cleaning — of your dog, that is!

Spring is the perfect time to give your pet a makeover. After the winter cycle of snow and mud, at the very least, your canine will require a bath. Don’t blame Fido for the stink: How would you smell without regular showers?

Consider also your dog’s dental health; your dog doesn’t have the same access to daily tooth brushing that you do. Veterinarians agree that tartar and plaque buildup in canines leach harmful bacteria into the animals’ organs, creating all sorts of serious health conditions like kidney and heart disease. Your groomer can help by using plaque-reducing products and brushing your dog’s teeth in conjunction with the dog’s regular grooming. And that funky dog breath? Solved with the brushing and some breath spray. Your groomer can also recommend products that, when added to the water bowl, maintain good canine dental health.

Dogs feel good about being pretty and clean, just like their human guardians do! The normal length between grooming should be six to eight weeks. Many people with long-haired breeds erroneously let the hair grow all winter to keep the pet warm. But imagine if you hadn’t combed your own hair all winter long — how matted and dirty and tangled it would be. In the most extreme matting cases, the hair will have to be shaved off. There is simply no way to "comb out" those horrible, right-to-the-skin kind of mats — you would be ripping the skin right off the dog to even try it. (Not to mention Fido would never want to see another comb in his lifetime.) So if your groomer recommends a shave-down, or "smoothie," as we call it, you can bet this is in the best interest of your pet. The bottom line is, spring makeovers as severe as that require shaving. No choice.

Just as you would give your carpets an annual deep cleaning, your dog needs a professional bath come springtime. Spring is neither too cold nor too hot for your pet’s outdoor comfort with a shorter hairdo, too. It is usually a good time of year to book an appointment with your groomer, as well, as an appointment may be easier to get.

If you are spring cleaning your house, you don’t want to bring a dirty dog inside, just as you wouldn’t walk on a clean carpet with muddy boots. Besides, your dog actually likes being clean and pretty! Most dogs tolerate the grooming process just fine, but almost without exception, they LOVE the results, and you will, too!


Gaye Rock operates the Rock Center, 413 N. Bullard in Silver City, offering pet grooming, animal communication and Reiki treatment for people and animals.





Body, Mind & Spirit is a forum for sharing ideas and experiences on all aspects of physical, mental and spiritual health and on how these intersect. Readers, especially those with expertise in one or more of these disciplines, are invited to contribute and to respond. Write PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email editor@desertexposure.com. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of Desert Exposure or its advertisers, and are not intended to offer specific or prescriptive medical advice. You should always consult your own health professional before adopting any treatment or beginning any new regimen.

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