Make sure your dog’s keen senses are at their best by keeping up with daily maintenance. Here’s how:
Next time Fido gives you his trademark look of love, check to be sure that his eyes are clean and healthy: They should be bright and clear, and the white of the eye should be pure white. You can help keep them that way by gently wiping away discharge in the corners with a cotton ball or soft washcloth moistened with warm water (do this whenever your giving your dog a bath or whenever you notice discharge). Be sure to check for redness or other signs of irritation, and take care not to rub the cotton ball directly over the eye.
Your dog’s ears should be cleaned at least once a month, more often if your dog is prone to ear problems. Look inside to check for dirt, scratches, parasites, or discharge. Then give them a good sniff! There shouldn’t be any unpleasant odor. To clean, moisten a cotton ball with mineral oil and gently wipe out the ears, going no deeper than the first knuckle on your finger. Keep ears dry and clean, or your dog may face recurrent ear infections that are difficult to treat. Avoid using drying agents on a regular basis—if there’s no problem they can dry out the ear too much, and if the ear is oozing and gross, there’s a reason for it. Drying it up without treating the underlying cause leads to more ear problems.
Just like people, dogs need their teeth brushed each day to avoid dental problems later in life. Buy a special dog toothpaste at any pet store and use treats to turn the daily chore into a fun bonding experience for you and your dog. Read how to get started here.