Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

No Puppy Bath For TWO WEEKS Now…..

Now that the worry has passed about Daisy’s spaying, I have to say that the next worst thing is the fact that we haven’t been allowed to bathe her for two weeks – until her stitches come out on Saturday.

How humiliating! I HATE baths!

Guess what’s happening Saturday afternoon?? LOL

We’ll have that sweet-smelling doggy shampoo ready and waiting when we get home from the vet! We’re SO looking forward to seeing her hair all fluffy and clean again. I just hope he gives us the “all clear” to bathe her right away. If not, you can bet that our Countdown to Bathtime will continue and she’ll be bathed the first minute of the first day it’s allowed!!

The strange thing is that she still feels silky-soft and, unless you put your nose right up against her, she doesn’t have that “doggy smell”. I guess it’s the cooler weather that’s helping – during the summer, we always knew when bath day was approaching because we could smell HER approaching! LOL

Daisy probably thinks she’s really getting away with something since she hasn’t had to tolerate a bath for so long. Boy, is she in for a rude awakening soon! 🙂

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Dog Toy Bacteria Danger – Wash or Waste?

Daisy has one toy that has survived her sharp teeth for several months – it’s the only “veteran” in her toy collection. Clearly the best made toy we’ve invested in!

This is the toughest toy I've ever had!

It’s a small stuffed ring with little squares of material protruding from it like stumpy spokes. Every other “spoke” is filled with a crinkly material that makes a crunchy sound when Daisy bites it. Daisy LOVES anything with sound to it.

Lately I noticed that when she plays with this toy, the stuffed ring gets saturated. Not just wet – saturated. It’s pretty gross. Thinking about this, I became concerned about the bacteria that could be growing inside this toy and could possibly make Daisy sick.

Yup, it sure can.

Apparently, stuffed dog toys are notorious bacteria breeders. Your dog can get any number of symptoms from diarrhea to gum issues because of the bacteria growing in toys, and even if your vet gives Puppy an antibiotic to clear up the problem, poor Puppy will just keep getting re-infected if he/she keeps playing with that dirty toy.

It’s been suggested by companies like Hartz that chewing ropes and stuffed toys can “harbor all sorts of microbes”. (::shudder:: ) A US government study found that bacteria can be killed by microwaving bacteria-producers like sponges, and some dog toys can be microwaved safely too.

To keep your dog from ingesting potentially hazardous bacteria, Hartz recommends cleaning these types of toys:

  • Chewing ropes – these can be microwaved for one minute, but it’s recommended that you keep an eye on the rope just in case, and use protective covering on your hand when removing the hot rope from the microwave. An alternative is to run the rope through the hot cycle of your dishwasher without adding detergent. The water is much hotter than running hot sink water over the toy, which won’t kill bacteria.
  • Stuffed toys – wash in your washing machine on the hot water setting; flimsy toys may not be sturdy enough to withstand a wash cycle, but a better made toy will. They should also be able to go through the dryer.
  • Any toys that are breaking or that your dog can bite chunks off should be thrown away. We had a Nylabone that Daisy was able to destroy within a few days at only 4 months of age. However, we found a hard plastic Nylabone specifically made for tough chewers, and she’s been working on that for 2 months. She’s only just now starting to take small shreds off it and make good-sized dents in it. She’ll be getting a new one in the near future!

I put Daisy’s ring toy through the hot water wash with her bath towels and blankets; I use one of the “free and clear” detergents with no perfumes, dyes, etc. to make sure nothing irritating gets left behind. That magical ring went through the washer and dryer and still looks like its ol’ self! And it was only a $4 toy!

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Brush Your Dog’s Coat Regularly!!

We were picking up dog food at Petco this weekend when we saw a startling site – in the grooming room was a dog with half its fur hanging off it in sheets. Yes, that’s right – SHEETS.

 

I can't believe I used to be so fluffy! There's 3x more hair than dog here!

 

This dog looked like a sheep being sheared. And even with chilly weather setting in, the groomer was giving the dog a buzz cut, right down to its skin.

Clearly, all this dog was going to be for Halloween was — naked.

I told the cashier that I’d never seen fur hanging off a dog in long sheets and, looking at me over her glasses, she said quietly, “That’s not normal – it’s because that dog has never been brushed. NEVER.”  This was a full-sized dog, not a puppy. The groomer was in the process of calling for help because the dog was freaking out over the “shearing”. It was awful.

I keep Daisy’s hair cut relatively short because it tends to mat when it’s allowed to grow. When we first got her, her hair was a few inches long and she looked like a little puff ball. We were told that she had to be brushed a couple times a day to keep the hair mat-free and neat. It was adorable looking, but the very first time I tried to brush her, I found thick mats had already formed in the deep under-layers, and she was only 2.6 months old. I worked at it twice a day for a week, with no improvements. That was it – I gave her a major haircut, right down to her tight little curls. Cutting through some of the thicker mats was like sawing through tight wads of cotton with a scissor!

Now we have no problems with matting – as long as we keep her hair relatively short and brushed, it’s fine.

Not all dogs enjoy being brushed, and Daisy was no exception. At first she became agitated, biting at the brush and trying to spin her body around so I couldn’t reach it, but I tried different techniques and found that if I made brushing part of our cuddle time and let her sniff and nip the brush first, she was far more accepting and actually seemed to enjoy it. Or at the very least, she tolerated it well. Now it’s part of our bonding time.

After seeing that poor dog being “sheared”, I decided to look into the importance of brushing dog’s coats, whether they have fur or actual hair. Besides making the dog more aesthetically pleasing and having nice human-canine hands-on bonding time, there are health reasons for brushing as well. Here’s what I found out:

  • Brushing helps prevent skin problems. When dogs shed fur, they also shed dead skin cells. If all of this discarded material isn’t brushed off, it can accumulate and cause bacteria to grow. You’ll know this is happening if your dog smells particularly bad. Yuck.
  • Brushing brings out and evenly distributes the skin’s natural oils. Think of those natural oils like hair conditioner – their hair or fur needs conditioning as much as our hair does. Long hair in particular benefits from brushing because those oils can’t coat all that long hair without brushing.
  • Brushing helps control shedding, which means less clean-up around the house for you!
  • Brushing keeps you familiar with your dog’s skin and helps you discover any skin issues, lumps, or insects that may be hiding beneath those lovely locks.

As common sense would dictate, never brush a dog’s hair backward – against the direction it’s naturally growing. It’s very irritating to the dog and can cause knotting in long-haired dogs.

Go about it the right way and grooming can be a wonderful human-canine bonding experience.

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