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Check out those white and pearly teeth.  Joy was on kibble for 4.5 years before she joined Maud on August 15th, 2006.  On the left, you can see that on August 15th, Joy has nasty plague and tarter build-up.  And her case is EXTREMELY mild compared to what I have seen.  After feeding RAW bones (raw only, feed at your own risk), you can see a drastic change in her pretty smile.  Feeding raw bone greatly reduces the need for teeth scaling.  Joy is owned by Maud and lives in the Netherlands. 

Check out those nails on Mouse (the big one).  What nails?  These short nails can be achieved and maintained easily with  consistent dremeling.


  • To keep nails short, you can jog your adult dog (if the dog is free of joint or bone disease) on concrete to wear them down.  Much more effective though, you can play fetch with your dog on a concrete slab to get the same results.  I use a tennis court or outdoor hockey ring late at night when it is deserted. 
  • To keep coat clean and shiny, spritz with 1/2 Listerine 1/2 water mixture.  It will keep the coat clean and smelling nice longer.  
  • Unless you brush your dogs teeth daily, it will probably not do much good.  Instead, you can soak gauze in Listerine and wipe down the teeth firmly on a weekly basis between scaling.  Feeding RAW (yes, raw beef bones) is one of the most effective tools for doggie dental care.  See RAW Diet page for links.

Grooming Tips:

How do you scale teeth while the dog is awake?   I find it very easy to do, while not always possible for all dogs.  Also, some dogs have advanced tarter and plaque that scaling cannot remove.  I personally would avoid sedating (putting a dog under) due the inherent risk.  While sedating a dog for procedures is very common and low risk, there have been many cases of death.  So I weigh the risks of the dog getting teeth scaled while awake versus potential death.  I'll choose to do the scaling awake.  

I want my dog shaved for the summer.  Why is it discouraged?  I highly discourage shaving a double coated dog for many reasons.  A double coat serves as an insulator against cold and heat.  Shaving the dog will expose the dog's skin to the summer heat and the coat rarely grows back the same.  I will shave a dog if coerced, but I would much prefer to do the furminator treatment, thin the coat with scissors, and trim feathers for a very tidy, easy to maintain, and attractive look.  

  • shaving it just makes the double coat grow back thicker 
  • it actually makes the dog hotter because the double coat provides insulation from both cold and heat
  •  it will shed more next coat blowing season in the fall
  • the dog may get sunburned
  • the coat may grow back in funny pattern or colors

Why don't you want to express anal glands? There is absolutely no need to do this whatsoever.  The only reasons this should be done if the anal glands are impacted or infected.  In these cases, a vet consultation is in order to fix the problem.  The major sign of impacted or infected anal glands is that the dog will rub or scoot the rear on the floor, as if wiping the rectum.  Sometimes, this issue can be fixed by examining the diet and adding fiber.  You can safely add fiber to your dog's diet by adding canned pure pumpkin (in the baking section).   The bottom line is that expressing anal glands can actually cause more problems than it may fix. 

My dog stinks.  What could be the problem?  Some dogs naturally have a stronger odor than others because they produce more oil.  Also, if the smell is strong you could check other health problems such as 1. teeth, they might need to be cleaned  2. Ears with yeast infections smell pungent and strong 3. the dog may have a staph infection on the skin or from hot spots.  4. Food may be rotting in the hair around the mouth.  While I wouldn't give pets baths unless needed, there are techniques to wash the dog every single day without damage to the skin.  Some show dogs are washed 3-4 times a week. However, it is about washing the coat and not the skin.  Instead of baths, you can also try a few things. 1. Spritz the coat with a 1/2 water, 1/2 listerine or vinegar solution.  Rub into the coat with a towel and let dry.  2. Powder the coat with baby powder or baking soda and brush thoroughly.  You must take the time to brush it out. I do this with my goldens often.  3. When you do bathe, rub baking soda into the coat first to deodorize it. 

Do you have a homemade ear cleaner?  Sure do. 


2 ounces White vinegar
tablespoon Powdered boric acid
6 oz Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
1 teaspoon Betadine antiseptic (or generic equivalent)

Directions for mixing the solution together: Pour 6 ounces of isopropyl alcohol in to a plastic applicator bottle.Add 1/2 tablespoon of boric acid powder.  Add 2 ounces of white vinegar.


Shake the solution extremely well, until the boric acid powder is fully dissolved.  Once the powder is dissolved, add one teaspoon of the Betadine antiseptic, and shake it up some more. Squirt the solution inside your dog's ear until the ear canal is completely full.  Massage the outside of the ear to help slosh the cleaning solution around inside.  Hold the dog still for about a minute. Be sure to shake the solution up really well before each and every time you use it.

The boric acid has a tendency to settle at the bottom of the bottle. Store at room temperature. Use the cleaning solution daily until you start to see some improvement. Gradually cut back to once per week when you it's doing some good. When the ear seems completely free of infection, you can go two weeks between treatments.


I use this stuff, sometimes called spaniel ear cleaner, on Mouse maybe twice a month, especially during water rescue season. I used it on my Lowchen girl when I first got her, and her ears have been great since. However, I don't squirt the solution in the ear. I soak a cotton ball in the solution, and then put the cotton ball into the ear. Then squeeze and massage the ear, remove the used cotton ball. Massage the ear some more. Then use a clean cotton ball to wipe up the excess. I've found that using a hemostat to maneuver the cotton ball is much easier than fingers. If you have trouble finding boric acid, it is usually in the pharmacy dept of the grocery store or even at Wal-Mart.



Copyright 2002-2013 Jennie Chen, Ph.D. All images and articles are copyrighted.  Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.