Smelly Dogs May Need Ablutions

Every week there is one date I faithfully keep: "ablutions" time with
my dogs. I don't know why we started calling it that - probably when I
was completely and totally addicted to Regency Romance novels.
According to Webster's Dictionary, "ablutions" is "a washing of the
body, especially as a religious ceremony."

We don't actually do a full-body dog wash every week - I'm told that
less frequent bathing is better for a dog's skin and fur - and it's
not really a ritual. We do trim nails, brush fur and teeth, clean
ears, and wash faces. Because of the breeds we have; Brussels
Griffons, Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs, skin folds, beards and
mustaches, and wrinkles get special attention.

It's down to a routine in our house; it doesn't take much more than
about 15 minutes per dog, once you catch them. One person holds the
dog. The other "ablutes."And the benefits are vast. The dogs seem
happier, they smell good, and we have the chance to check each one for
anything that doesn't seem quite right.

Contrary to popular belief - clean, healthy dogs really shouldn't
smell. "Dog breath" may be an indicator that the dog's teeth need
cleaning. There are many products available to care for dog's teeth,
but a start can be made with just a damp washcloth or gauze. Special
toothpastes made just for dogs are readily available. Human toothpaste
isn't a good idea - it can be too harsh and dogs tend to dislike both
the foaming action and the taste of products made for people.

Your nose is an invaluable tool in assessing your dog's health. Any
odor from a dog's ears may be a sign of infection. But we know that
cleaning ears can be a challenge. We use a solution available from the
veterinarian. It's inexpensive and helps wash away any dirt or wax.
Getting it into the dog's ears is where the problem arises in our
house. Even after four years of this weekly routine, our Boston
Terrier struggles mightily to see what we're

Tom Sherman

[email protected] wrote:
> ...
> It's down to a routine in our house; it doesn't take much more than
> about 15 minutes per dog, once you catch them....

Seven (7) minutes per pound at 350°F is the rule of thumb.

Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
"And never forget, life ultimately makes failures of all people."
- A. Derleth