The Best Food And Snacks For Dental Health
Besides regular brushing, what a German Shepherd eats will also have a huge impact on their dental health. As a general rule, dry food is better for your dogs teeth since it wears away some of the plaque and tartar as the dog eats.
Before being domesticated, dogs used to eat a lot of their food off of hard bones, which would have helped keep their teeth clean. Dry food simulates this by having a hard surface to rub against the teeth.
Drying Your Dog’s Face And Head
For drying your dog’s face and head, it’s easiest to towel dry rather than blow dry. Towel off their face and head first, and then work on drying their body to give their face time to air dry. If you’re using a blow dryer for nearby areas, such as their chest and scruff area, use a hand to shield their ears and eyes from the blowing air. I also recommend using a Happy Hoodie while blow-drying your dog. This helps muffle the sound of the blow dryer and protect their hearing, and can have a calming effect on many dogs.
German Shepherd Teeth: Brushing Care & Cleaning Guide
Most dog owners have no idea how important dental health is for dogs. That explains why, according to PetMD, over 80% of dogs have significant dental health problems. German shepherds, unfortunately, are even more prone to dental problems than other dogs!
Diet plays an important role when it comes to your German Shepherds dental health. Feed your dog only dry, crunchy food, and supplement with size-specific dental snacks. Your dogs teeth should also be brushed at least twice per week and should be professionally cleaned once a year.
Many of you were probably taken aback by some of the this information since most of us do not know how important it is to keep your dogs teeth healthy. But trust us your dogs dental health is very important!
In this article, well inform you about the risks of poor canine dental health and provide you with tips on how to keep your German Shepherds teeth in ship shape.
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Five Helpful Tips When Bathing Your German Shepherd
Bathing your German Shepherd or any dog for that matter can be a daunting task especially if you are a first-time pet owner. This is why most people have their dogs bathed and groomed by a professional. However, by doing this you may be missing out on the crucial bonding moments that happen during bath time.
For the first-time GSD owner, here are some tips to help you make bath time easier:
How To Bathe A German Shepherd Who Hates Bath
Heres what you can do to put your German shepherd at ease.
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Drying Your Dog After Their Bath
It’s a good idea to completely dry your dog after bathing. Moisture trapped against the skin for too long can lead to itching, skin infections, or hot spots. And damp fur gets matted much more quickly than dry fur.
For dogs that have a smooth single-layer coat, a thorough towel-dry is usually all that’s needed, but for dogs with double coats or dogs with hair-like coats, blow-drying is best to make sure they’re completely dry.
What Should You Use To Clean Your Puppys Ears
To clean normal puppy ears, you should use a mild ear cleaner, one that is specifically designed for pets. Avoid vinegar, alcohol, and apple cider vinegar because these solutions can irritate your puppy’s skin or even cause an uncomfortable inflammation in your puppys ears.
Several ear cleansers some are designed to break up ear wax, while some are designed to dry out the ear canal. It may be best to go for a combination, to have the effect of the two. You can also consult your veterinarian for the best options. Ensure that you use soft materials like cotton wool or soothing wipes for cleaning your puppys ears.
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How To Bathe Your German Shepherds
Choosing The Best Shampoo for German Shepherds
When bathing your GSDs, you need to choose a shampoo made specifically for dog hairs. You cannot use human shampoo for bathing your dog because dogs skin has different pH from human skin. Using human shampoos can make your dogs skin dry or cause an allergic reaction.
For healthy German Shepherds, use a mild and gentle hypoallergenic shampoo for washing all parts of the body and tear-free shampoo for the head area. If your German Shepherd has skin issues, you may want to ask your local vet for advice.
Also read: Best Shampoo for German Shepherds
Where to Bathe Your Dog?
For a medium to large-sized dogs like German Shepherds, you might find it easier to bathe your dog outside in the backyard.
Some dog owners prefer to bathe their German Shepherds using a garden hose set on low pressure.
Setting The Water Temperature
In summer, you may want to let the water cool down first before bathing your dog. In the colder days, you may want to prepare buckets filled with comfortable, warm water as opposed to cold hose water.
Always test the water temperature first before washing your dogs to ensure its not too hot or cold.
If it is not possible to bathe your dog outside as in the case when youre living in an apartment, you can use a bathtub or dog tub.
If youre using a bathtub or dog tub, you will want to put a non-slip mat in the bottom of the tub and around your bathroom to prevent any slipping.
How Should I Clean My Dogs Ears
Cleaning a dogs ears is probably the simplest part of the grooming routine. Your German Shepherds ears should be cleaned at least once a week.
You can buy special ear wax drops from your vet. Put a few drops of these in your dogs ear and it will dissolve the excess wax. Your dog will shake out the remaining liquid by shaking its head.
You can use a cloth to clean the area outside of your dogs ear, but never put anything inside of your dogs ear beside the drops.
Dont use water in the place of the ear drops. Water wont get rid of the ear wax. It will just sit in your dogs ear and could create an infection. The ear drops are specially formulated to keep your dogs ears dry.
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Taking Care Of Your German Shepherd Dog At Home
Much of what you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy is common sense, just like it is for people. Watch her diet, make sure she gets plenty of exercise, regularly brush her teeth and coat, and call us or a pet emergency hospital when something seems unusual . Be sure to adhere to the schedule of examinations and vaccinations that we recommend for her. This is when well give her the necessary check-ups and test for diseases and conditions that are common in Shepherds. Another very important step in caring for your pet is signing up for pet health insurance. There will certainly be medical tests and procedures she will need throughout her life and pet health insurance will help you cover those costs.
Oatmeal Shampoo For German Shepherds
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo* is another dog shampoo product we recommend for German Shepherd dogs.
With legions of loyal purchasers, this product has been tried, tested, and approved!
This is a soap-free shampoo which means very little residue will be left behind after rinsing, and it is formulated with soothing ingredients like aloe and oatmeal to ensure your German Shepherds skin and coat are left soft, shiny, and moisturized.
Another brand that uses oatmeal and aloe is the Healthy Breeds Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo*.
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This brand is both hypoallergenic and pH balanced for the best results and is great for those dogs with extra sensitive skin.
The mild formula helps to relieve itchy, dry skin while reducing leftover residues and ensuring a shiny, healthy coat long after the bath is over.
Burts Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Shampoo* is yet another brand we cant get enough of.
This all-natural dog shampoo is made without dyes, sulfates, or parabens, and is enriched with oatmeal to help alleviate any dry, itchy skin under your German Shepherds thick fur.
This shampoo is so gentle, in fact, that it is great for all breeds and even puppies!
So, now that we have covered some of the best shampoos for German Shepherd dogs, lets talk about how to properly bathe and shampoo a German Shepherd.
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Which Treats Should I Give My Dog To Help Her Teeth
Rawhide is a great treat for cleaning your dogs teeth. Rawhide is the inner layer of a cow or horses hide and is sometimes also flavored with beef or chicken.
However, rawhide can cause digestive irritation in some dogs who have a mild allergy. If your dog has diarrhea after chewing on rawhide, it may have an intolerance.
There is also a minimal risk of contamination with salmonella or E. coli bacteria, but this is extremely rare.
There are plenty of options out there for treats that are specifically designed to improve dental health. Perhaps the best-known is Pedigree Dentastix, but there are hundreds of other brands that make great products.
So long as the treats are designed for dental health and are hard and chewy, then they should make a big difference to your dogs teeth!
However, if you are unsure, the Veterinary Oral Health Council publishes a list of accepted brands and products that are safe and positively affect the dental health of dogs.
The full list of treats that have been approved for dogs can be accessed right here.
German Shepherd Coat And Skin Care
GSDs do shed, so one of the first things nearly every breeder will tell you is to invest in a good vacuum cleaner! But there are several ways to cut down on the shedding. AKC Breeder of Merit Wendy Wilson of St. Ledgers Shepherds recommends brushing every other day, and says that by doing so, you wont have balls of fur lying around your house.
Wilson advises using a Furminator for this brushing routine, which she likes using for the GSDs double coat because it can reach the undercoat and remove loose hair easily and safely. She finds that a de-shedding brush alone is enough for routine brushing and de-shedding when used correctly. If used incorrectly, the tool can damage your dogs coat.
AKC Breeder of Merit and professional dog trainer Lisa Walsh of Loyalville German Shepherds also recommends the Furminator, which she uses weekly most of the time, increasing in frequency to daily during heavy shedding periods. Like Wilson, she finds the de-shedding tool is enough for routine brushing, although, when she is showing a dog, she will use a slicker brush just before going into the ring.
Wilson advises GSD owners to do the de-shedding outside, due to the amount of fur that will be released from your GSDs coat during a good brushing with this tool. Walsh echoes this sentiment, saying, Its amazing what you can get out in five to ten minutes with a de-shedding tool.
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What Happens When You Wash Your German Shepherd Too Often
The American Kennel Club recommends washing German Shepherds once in four to fivemonths. Still, wash the dog at most once in a month, as you risk stripping the skin of its natural oils if you bathe the dog more often.
The oil on a German Shepherds skin is called sebum, and the sebaceous glands produce it. Sebum is a mixture of fatty acids and is present in most mammals, humans inclusive.
Sebum is crucial in maintaining healthy skin, especially in German Shepherds, which are susceptible to several skin diseases. The paws, back of the neck, rump, chin, and tail area have higher amounts of sebum.
Can You Use Human Shampoo On A German Shepherd
Its never a good idea to use human shampoo on dogs because it has a very different pH level that can cause a chemical burn on the dogs skin because dogs have a much higher pH level than humans . Human shampoos will also strip away much of the oils and natural sebum that keeps the dogs fur healthy, shiny and waterproof. Most dogs are allergic to the ones made for humans, which is why the dog may get a rash or some irritation from it! Always use one made for dogs instead.
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Work From The Neck Down
You not only want to keep your dogs ears safe, but also her eyes and mouth. How do you do this? By washing from the neck down. You can accomplish this by using a bucket or cup to wet your dog or using a sprayer. You can even find sprayers specifically designed for bathing a dog. So what do you do to wash your pups face? Use a damp washcloth.
A Choreless Bathing Experience
Bathing and grooming your German Shepherd can be a positive event.
Your dog may never look forward to it, but when it is time to take a bath, using positive training techniques can be the best approach to make it a choreless event.
Make sure you use the proper shampoos and keep up with their grooming requirements. If you do need further advice, see the help of a certified trainer in your area.
They can teach you techniques to help you conquer your dogs fears and make bath time a good time.
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How Susceptible Are German Shepherds To Dental Disease
Unfortunately, German Shepherds are more likely than many other breeds to develop dental diseases like periodontal disease.
In fact, German Shepherds are more commonly affected by dental cavities than any other breed of dog! That makes it all the more important to keep on top of their dental care.
As we will discover in the next section, poor dental health can be very dangerous for your dog!
German Shepherd Ear Wax
If you notice black spots or wax in your GSDs ears follow the directions above to clean them out. Does your dog continue to shake its head and scratch at its ears? This could be a sign of an ear infection or ear mites.
If youve cleaned out your GSDs ears two days in a row and they are still having problems take them to your vet to check for mites and infections.
How Can You Get Rid Of Grime
Your pup is inevitably going to be covered in grime in between baths. If you dont want to bathe your dog too soon, get a damp cloth and wipe down the dirty areas. You can even wipe them down from head to toe. However, avoid wetting their fur too much in the process.
This article outlines how often you need to bathe German Shepherds. Its a case of less is more, so bathe your pooch sparingly. Use some of the alternative methods to increase the time in between baths if needed.