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Brush Up on Natural Pet Grooming

Natural pet grooming is one of the most important things you can do for your four-legged companion. Do you know that your pet's skin is its largest organ? It's so much more then a simple layer to keep the insides in and the outsides out. Healthy skin creates a flexible layer of cells. This environment assists the growth of beneficialbacteria and cells that heal wounds when needed.

Pet Clothing

Your pet's skin glands produce an oil that helps keep unhealthy bacteria away. It also makes sure the beneficial bacteria are enhanced. These beneficial bacteria help maintain your pet's whole body health by keeping awaydisease causing bacteria. It also uses vitamin D from the sun to help your pet utilize calcium.

Another amazing thing about an animal's skin is that there are specialized cells that actually help your pet's immune systemwork. So as you can see, along with a proper diet, your pet's skin and natural pet grooming is probably one of the most important things for overall good health.

One thing that we do for Roxi, who has chronic skin allergies is give her PetAlive Skin and Coat Tonic. She's been taking it for about 6 months and not only does she have a beautiful coat, but her skin looks really healthy. We're sure she feels so much better!


Grooming Tip:

One great way to save you money and time is to learn how to groom your dog, no matter what breed of dog it is, in the comfort of your own home. Your dog will feel so much more comfortable, it will reduce stress, you can use your own natural and organic grooming products, and you will have priceless bonding time with your dog. Roxi and Bella get groomed at home and it is truly a wonderful bonding moment.


Brushing

The first and best way to maintain healthy skin & a glossy coat for your your natural pet grooming routine is a good, whole-body brushing. A daily brushing removes tangles and dirt that come from living naturally and can also activate the healing functions of the skin cells and oil-producing glands of the skin.

Brushing copies the natural pet grooming action of an animal's tounge and paws. Not only will a good daily brushing allow you to inspect your pet daily for any health issues, but it's alsoa wonderful bonding experience.

The process of brushing is really not a mystery. Everyone knows how to do it. You simply use whatever brush your pet is most comfortable withand brush with the lay of the hair. Either soft bristles or wire bristles will work. The most important thing is that you do it every day as a part of your natural pet grooming routine.If your pet is uncomfortable at first, couple the brushing with a reward. After awhile it will be your pet's favorite thing!

Bathing

When it comes to shampooing your pet, sometimes too much of a good thing is not the healthiest way to go. Too much shampooing can actually be harmful to your pet. Shampooing strips away the natural, beneficial oils in your pet's skin that are so important for a healthy immune system. The harsher the shampoo, the dryer the skin will become.

Some shampoos also contain antibiotics, which do kill bad bacteria, but they also kill the beneficial bacteria in your pet's skin. Do you think that's a good trade-off? I don't. Another concern is the long term effect some of the chemicals in the shampooscould have on your pet.

When your pet's skin is healthy from natural pet grooming, wounds will heal more quickly. Skin that is unhealthy will produce cells that will age morerapidly and can produce disease and tumors. Dry skin and the ingredients found in flea and tick shampoos, can be the cause of unhealthy skin.

As you can see, a dog that appears to be clean, perfectly groomed and smell like perfume, may not always have the healthiest skin.How can you insure that your pet has healthy skin when it comes to shampooing? Here are some natural pet grooming tips for shampooing your furry companion:

1. Don't shampoo your pet too often. Most animals keep themselves clean most of the time. Depending on your pet's grooming habits, length and texture of fur, you may only need to bathe them once a month, maybe even less. Double coated dogs such as Poodles or Keehonds should go longer without bathing, because too much bathing can soften the coat and diminish it's insulating qualities. Cats take care of their own natural pet grooming, and unless it's an unusual circumstance, can go a lifetime without being bathed.

2. Avoid harsh shampoos that don't contain antibiotics or anti parasite medicines.

3. If your pet has parasites or infected skin or irritated skin, check with a holistic vet for more natural cures. Also, checkout this page on Natural Flea Control.

4. Use the mildest shampoo that will get the job done. I personally like using colloidal oatmeal shampoo because it's easy on the skin, soothes inflammation and has a calming effect on Roxi (the resident pooch). I also think it's important to use an all natural shampoo that is free of harsh detergents. The brand I use is Doc Ackerman's Colloidal Oatmeal Shampoo. I also like Cloud Star Buddy Wash Lavendar & Mint Shampoo and Cloud Star Buddy Rinse. Both of these shampoos are detergent free, all natural and full of skin soothing botanicals.

5. Appreciate the natural smells of your pet, but if you feel you must do something about the odor in between baths, create a spritzer by mixing a few dropsof essential oils such as lavendar, chamomille or mint with some water in a spray bottle and when you feel they are a bit too stinky give them an all overbody spritz and a nice brushing for their natural pet grooming routine. You may also want to try Earthbath Natural Grooming Wipes or Earthbath Between Bath Spritzes. Two healthy alternative for in between baths!

6. Always brush your pet before bathing to remove any mats.

7. Puppies should not be bathed before 5 weeks of age.

8. To protect your pets ears, put cottonballs in the ear canal. Be careful not to push them in them in too far or to harshly.

9. Make sure the water is luke warm, on the cooler side. Too hot can dry out your pet's skin.

You may think that shampooing is the best way to keep your pet's skin healthy in their natural pet grooming routine, but as you can see, too much with the wrong shampoos can actually damage their skin. Shampoo your pet only when you feel it's absolutely necessary and your furry family member will thank you with unconditional love!

Your Pet's Ears

A very important part of natural pet grooming is caring for their ears. We used to have cocker spaniels, which are very prone to ear infections because the long ears cover up the canal and traps moisture. We know how important it is to keep your pet's ears in good health. Please enjoy the following natural pet grooming Article courtesy of PetAlive:

Why and How to Clean and Soothe Dog Ears
Pet health issues plague everyone who has a pet at some time or another. Among other areas of concern, the one area that can pose a fair number of problems are ear infections. Ear mites, and ear infections are some of the major problems that can discomfort your pets and can lead to many a sleepless nights for you too. A dog with ear mites is a less common phenomenon than a cat ear with mites but if contracted, it can cause high levels of stress for the dog and the owner.

The one way in which you can ensure that you never have to face issues related to dog ear infections is to adopt good hygiene practices. Once these practices are made into a regular habit, the chances of your dog contracting any kind of ear infection reduce considerably. It is therefore, important to include ear cleaning and examination as part of a weekly ritual. If you use a professional grooming service, make sure that they include ear cleaning along with the regular bath, grooming and styling services.

In case you do not use these services, you can ensure that your dogís ears are cleaned every week. Cleaning the ears on your own is not really a difficult job. All you need to do is to remember to clean this oft ignored part of the body while giving your dog a bath. Lift the flap and expose the canal. Cover a finger with a soft moist cloth and clean the inside of the ear flap and the exposed area. You can use a homemade cotton swab to clean the inaccessible parts.

Another aspect of dog ear hygiene is concerned with hair growth. Hair can grow in the ear canals in large quantities and this is true especially in the case of Poodles, Terriers and some other hairy breeds. The hairs are mainly responsible for trapping water and creating a warm humid environment wherein the mites and bacteria can breed and grow. It becomes pertinent, therefore to remove excess hair from the inside of the ear to ensure that bacteria and mites do not breed there. A simple procedure that involves the removal of excess hair every fortnight can help maintain good hygiene and save you from many ear infections that may otherwise happen. To remove hair, lift the ear flap, expose the inside and remove the excess hairs that you see on the external ear opening. Make sure that you pull in the direction of the hair growth and remove only small amounts of hair at a time. Make sure that you do not pull any hair if you see some signs of inflammation or infection.

Dogs with ear that droop over are likely to face issues with ear infections and ear mites more than dogs that have ears that are erect. Excessive bacteria and mites can cause ear infections, swelling, inflammation and painful redness if not treated well in time. Some severe cases can also lead to deafness.

Unfortunately many dog owners realize what their pets are going through after it is too late. Symptoms like excessive shaking of the head and scratching ears are often ignored and accepted as normal. Any kind of an ear infection that occurs due to ear mites needs to be referred to a veterinarian. Keeping a check on ear hygiene can help you avoid such an eventuality. And even if your dog does get infected, there are home remedies for dog ear mites that you can explore if you spot the issue in advance.

If your pet is the type that has a lot of ear problems here is a very effective natural pet grooming solution courtesy of PetAlive:

Vinegar diluted in an equal amount of water is a safe home remedy that can be used to remove excess debris from the ear. Put in a few drops and allow your dog to shake his head (which he will do). This will loosen the wax to a large extent. Then remove the debris with a cotton swab wrapped around your finger, pushing it as deep in the ear as you can. Repeat the process till the inside of the ear is clear.

Donít use vinegar if there are any open sores in the ear. A garlic pod soaked overnight in olive oil works well in such cases. Remove the garlic and put five to six drops in the ear, twice daily for 7 to 10 days. This will also help in refurbishing the animalís immune system.

Speaking of ears, you know that your dog's hearing is very sensitive--so how do you create an environment of sound that suits your canine companion's specific needs? Try out this wonderful new book/cd set called Through a Dog's Ear: Using Sound to Imrove the Health & Behavior of Your Canine Companion which uses simple sound-based solutions to help your dog live a longer, happier, and healthier life. Using the latest science on how dogs hear and react to sound, the authors provide a treasury of fresh insight on the inner life of our best friends.

Dental Care is a large part of taking good care of your pet. Check out this page on Natural Pet Dental Care!

Please make Natural Pet Grooming a part of your pet's routine. They'll thank you for it with unconditional love!

Coming Soon: More Natural Pet Grooming Tips on Eyes & Nails - In the meantime check out these great natural pet grooming products:

Solid Gold EarCare with Comfrey - Solid Gold EarCare with Comfrey is helpful for fungal or bacterial infections in the ear. Can also be used for fungal infections between the toes.

PetAlive i-Clenz

- PetAlive i-Clenz contains a blend of natural, cleansing ingredients in an herbal tincture and will effectively cleanse unsightly tear stains in pets as well as improve general eye and visual health.

Newton Homeopathics Eye Irritation - Relieves pain, itching, swelling, red, tired eyes, and pink eye. Indicated for relief of thick, yellow discharge of the eyes and for dry eyes.

Triple Pet Dental Kit - This dental kit combines the TriplePet toothbrush and all natural toothpaste for a great starter kit to dental hygiene for your dog or cat.

GripSoft Grooming Tools - This line of ergonomic, rubber handle grooming tools was designed with a group of groomers and a hand surgeon to develop the unique, patented grip. The result is the most comfortable grip you can find matched with very high quality brushes, combs, rakes, and clippers.

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