You keep yourself clean on a daily basis, but what about your furry bestie? And no, we don’t mean the occasional bath and brushing – dogs need more than that, and they deserve it, too. The happiness they bring to your home and the unconditional love they give makes us pet parents want to do all we can to keep our pups healthy and happy. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to make sure your furry friend is well taken care of, because dog grooming starts at home. There are simple steps in making sure your precious pup stays protected, and we’re here to share them.

  1. Wash their dishes.

You clean your plate every time you use it, and you should do the same for your pet. They might not be able to say thank-you, but trust that they’ll be thankful, because their food and water bowls can be a place where harmful bacteria thrives. In fact, dog dishes were recently named one of the germiest items in American homes, so scrubbing your pooch’s dinnerware isn’t just good for them, but safer for you and your family.

  1. Examine their paws.

Dogs’ paw pads are like a pair of shoes that they never take off, and when you think about how often they’re used and what they endure, it’s no surprise they can use a little TLC. Be aware of freezing grounds in the winter and hot pavement in the summer, making sure to keep their feet properly protected. Be aware of growing hair that can get matted and make sure your pup’s paws stay pain-free by checking them regularly, not just for cleanliness, but to make sure they have no cracks, blisters or injuries.

  1. Clean their ears.

Dogs rely on their ears not just to hear, but to show emotion and maintain their balance. Keeping up with their ears is important. So important, in fact, that it’s one of the top tips from vets when discussing dog hygiene. Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears (at least on a weekly basis) helps prevent painful infections, keeps ear mites away, and reduces the risk for harmful issues.

  1. Brush their teeth.

Your dog’s teeth don’t have to be brushed daily (though it wouldn’t hurt), but you should be giving their pearly whites a good polishing at least a few times a week. It won’t just help their breath, but their overall health, because just like humans, their teeth can get build-ups of plaque and tartar. And dog teeth cleaning is crucial, because dental problems in dogs can cause big problems, like heart disease or other serious health issues…and costly vet bills.

  1. Make their bed.

But first, wash it. A pet loves to have a place they feel is their own, whether it’s their special spot on the couch or the crate they call home. Wherever it is, they appreciate the comfort and coziness of their favorite blanket or bed they can snuggle into, but how clean is it? It can be a chore, but you should wash your buddy’s bed (or blankets) at least once a week. A good cleaning will get rid of the outside germs they bring in and remove microbes, allergens and bugs that can be harmful to your pet…and the humans in their home.

  1. Trash the toys.

No, not all of them. But definitely the damaged ones (and maybe a few more). In a study done by Petco, it was found that one-third of pet parents are unaware their pet’s toys collect dirt, bacteria, yeast, and mold. Keep them from contaminating your home by avoiding toys like ropes or stuffed animals and keeping the kinds you can clean, like plastic and rubber that can be washed with hot water and dish soap. As for the others –

or ones that are ripped or torn – toss them! So often, dogs eat stuffing or swallow squeakers that can result in expensive surgeries or harmful side-effects.

These simple steps will help make sure your precious pooch is well taken care of, allowing them to feel their best, love their most, and live their longest!

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