Care of your Dachshund
Avoid dog ear infections by practicing preventive care. That means regularly examine and clean your dog’s ears. Cleaning your dog’s ears is important for good grooming and overall health. This is especially true for canines with pendulous ears, lots of hair in their ears, allergies or other medical problems that render them susceptible to ear infections. Keeping the dog’s ears clean is important because a damp environment creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, often leading to painful sensitivity, redness, swelling and infection. A weekly ear cleaning with an approved cleansing solution minimizes or prevents dog ear infections. If ear problems are discovered, soak a cotton ball thoroughly in the ear wash. Squeeze out excess and gently clean dirt, wax and other matter from the exterior area of the ear. Hold the ear flap up so the ear is tilted up; fill the ear with cleanser until it runs out. Do this while holding a towel to catch overflow from head shaking. Gently massage the base of the dog’s ears so you hear a squishing sound. If your dog attempts to move around the ear may be infected or you may be massaging too vigorously to free the discharge, so be very gentle. Aggressive pressure is not required when cleaning your dog’s ears. Use cotton balls or soft cotton cloths around the entrance to the ear canal. Be careful not to rub too hard as you can do more harm than good by rubbing the ears raw, leaving a nesting ground for bacteria and ultimately infection.
If you suspect your dog has an infection then take it to your vet for a check up.
Try to brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis.
Start slowly. Don’t restrain your dog too much, or you’ll scare him. Initially, go through the motion of cleaning your dog’s teeth with your finger to show him that there is nothing to be scared of.
After your dog is comfortable, you are ready to advance to a toothbrush.
Finger toothbrushes are less invasive and dogs are less scared of them. Don’t use toothpaste until your dog is comfortable with a toothbrush.
Never use human toothpaste. Always use dog toothpaste that you can buy from your vet or pet shop.
Before you actually start brushing your dog’s teeth with a toothpaste, put some on your finger and let your dog smell and lick it. Since dog toothpastes come in many pleasant flavours, he will not mind!
When your dog is used to a toothbrush and toothpaste, you are ready to begin dog teeth cleaning on a daily basis. Again, start slowly and make sure the experience is a pleasant one for your dog.
If he objects then don’t force him. Try again the next day.
Dog toenails grow as do human fingernails and toenails. The nails should be kept in good trim to avoid scratching when the dog paws at a bare human leg and to keep the dog’s structure as sound as possible. Long nails can cause the dog to rock back on his paws, causing strain on his leg assemblies and interfering with his gait.
Sometimes, dog nails grind down if the dog exercises on concrete. Otherwise, the nails should be trimmed regularly. Regular nail trimming is important to your dog’s health and well being, especially the dew claw. Never use ordinary scissors to trim your dog’s nails. Use trimmers that are specially designed for dogs. Hold the dog’s paw firmly, and cut off the tip of the nail with a single stroke. Be very careful to stop short of the quick, the blood vessel inside the nail. Cutting the nails right after bathing will make the quick more visible; applying baby oil will serve the same purpose. Follow up by filing your dog’s nails with a nail file.
No matter how careful you are, you can accidentally hit a nail quick and cause some bleeding at some point. Don’t panic. Here are some things that will stop the bleeding:
- Kwik-Stop (a powder) or any styptic powder. This stings, but is highly effective. Take a pinch of powder and press onto the tip of the affected nail after wiping away the blood.
- Cornstarch or flour can also be used in a similar manner
- You can press the affected nail into a bar of mild soap
- For minor problems, simply applying pressure to the tip of the nail may be effective
If you have a long haired Dachshund then you will have to trim the hair around the feet. This is quite easy to do.
Use a pair of scissors with blunt points so you don’t accidentally stab the dog’s foot if he suddenly moves. Trim the hair from between the toes being very careful not to nick or cut the webbing and pads. This stops the build-up of hair between the toes which causes their feet to spread. This is commonly known as chicken feet.