The last few days we’ve looked at the dog bath: how often should you bathe a dog, what’s the best dog shampoo, homemade dog shampoo and more.
Today is the final in the series of 4 posts.
Your Morkie is clean, but still wet.. so let’s finish the job!
Drying your Morkie
First, pat your dog all over with a clean, dry towel. Then, with the setting on low or no-heat, use a blow dryer to gently dry the hair. (Keep the breeze out of your dog’s face.) You can pause every couple of minutes and run a comb through your Morkie’s coat.
If your Morkie really objects to the hair dryer’s sound, you’ll have to continue with towel drying.
Equipment you’ll need
You’ll need a steel-tooth comb, with a good comfortable, padded rubber handle.
It’s also handy to have a coat rake – very, very wide spaced teeth (like 1” apart) for getting out super-mats or for use right after bathing, when your Morkie’s hair is still damp.
Cleaning the ears
As your Morkie dries, you can focus on her ears; are they dirty or waxy looking? Then you need a special dog ear cleaner – put some on a cotton pad or cotton ball and gently swab he external part of your dog’s ear, which you can see. You can get ear cleaner at pet stores, your Vet’s office or online.
Under no circumstances should you use a Q-tip or insert ANYTHING into the dog’s ear canal. And never pour water into the ear canal; that’s a sure route to infection.
What about nails?
Personally I never cut my dogs’ nails; I think professional dog groomers can do a much better job and it reduces my stress to have someone else do it! (This is because my dogs have black coloured nails – dogs like Maltese, and some Morkies – with white nails, are much easier to see and therefore cut right.)
How often? Dogs’ nails need to be cut about every 6 weeks.
If you’re confident in cutting your Morkie’s nails, here’s what you need: good quality, sharp nail clippers made for dogs and styptic powder or a styptic pencil in case you cut too closely and the quick starts bleeding. Once it starts, it’s pretty hard to stop it without styptic powder. Common brand names are Kwik Stop or Four Paws Quick Blood Stopper Styptic Powder.
Once you’re ready to begin, take a close look at your dog’s nails – look for the curve. That’s where you can safely clip – a minimum of 1/8″ below that curve. That should ensure you miss the quick or live part that contains a lot of blood vessels.
Key to success? As the ASPCA advises:
Link: No matter what age, size, sex or breed of dog you have, you can make nail trimming a pleasant part of your dog’s life if you keep two main ideas in mind:
- Teach your dog to associate nail trimming with things he loves.
- Take it slow and easy.
The final touch: brushing your dog’s teeth
This is one of the most ignored healthy actions you can take for your Morkie yet most of us skip it. Quite simply, if you ignore your small dog’s teeth, they’ll go away.
Take it slow. Start by brushing your dog’s teeth when they’re clenched. Yes, that’s right. Just add some DOG TOOTHPASTE to a tiny brush and work away. Within a week or so your Morkie should be comfortable enough to open her mouth and let you brush inside too. For more information, check out the ASPCA’s page on brushing your dog’s teeth.