Tips on Fighting Bacteria for You and Your Dog

chihuahua in a bath tub

Keeping our dog clean is not only important for your dog, it is also important for YOUR health. If you think your dog is clean just because they smell pretty, you would be surprised at what lies beneath the oatmeal scented doggie lotion. Follow these simple tips to keep the bacteria away.

Your dog, though we would like to think otherwise, carries bacteria from playing, laying down in random areas of the home and investigating just about every scent on their walks. If you have a dog with long ears (I have a basset hound!), the ears often drag on the ground, land in their food bowl, and just about everywhere. That is just one example of how easily a dog can carry bacteria. (Long ears need a lot of attention) No matter how diligent you may be with keeping your pet clean, bacteria is inevitable. It’s everywhere. Here are a few tips that will help keep bacteria to a minimum when it comes to your fur baby.

basset hound with long ears

  • Brush your dog regularly. This will help remove dead hair which can harbor bacteria. It is best to brush your pup outdoors. Not only will this benefit you, it will keep your dog’s coat shiny and healthy.

dog getting brushed

  •  Your pup’s paws come in contact with all sorts of bacteria, especially when you take them for their daily walks. Washing your pup’s paws after each and every walk may seem a bit inconvenient, but it only takes a few minutes and has many benefits. There is a product available specifically for cleansing your dog’s paws. The PawWash is very popular. If  “The Paw Wash” is not in your budget, simply wipe your dog’s paw with a warm, wet paper towel. If your dog’s paws are filled with dirt, fill a small plastic bucket with lukewarm water to remove dirt. “The Paw Wash” is an excellent product and fairly priced.

dog doormat

  • After washing your pet, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly. It is in our nature as dog owners and lovers to always put our pet’s first, but our babies need us, so you can’t get sick. Right? An anti-bacterial hand soap and warm water is recommended. When drying your hands, be sure to turn off the faucet with the paper towel you used to dry off.
washing hands
  •  When our pups look at us with those sad eyes, we feel the need to pet, massage, rub, love, and kiss them. It’s hard to resist giving our dogs little kisses, but if you must, do not kiss your dog on the mouth. That may sound a bit strange, but there are people that kiss their pups on the mouth. After all, dogs are people too, right? Well…sort of, but stay away from their mouth. Our dogs bite and lick themselves-it’s in their nature. Our dogs also interact with other dogs. If that doesn’t convince you to stay away from your dog’s mouth, think of the times when you take them out to do their “business”. Their mouths come in close contact with other dog’s doo-doo. If you must smooch the pooch, they will love you just the same if you kiss them on the top of their heads. Germs from their mouth transported to your mouth can open the door to respiratory infections and other “bugs”. Your boss probably won’t believe you if you say, “my dog gave me the flu.”
girl kissing dog
Our fur babies mean the world to us. They make our life better. All they ask for in return is love, patience, and affection (and a bone, carrot, or treat on a regular basis). Taking care of your dog also means taking care of yourself. Follow these simple tips to limit bacteria and infection.

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