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Doggie Style 

Four paws on the ground advice

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To get the down-and-dirty on pet grooming and etiquette, the Source went to the horse's, er, dog's, mouth for some style advice, with the help of Gracie, a nine-year-old Boxer, and Chuck, a six-year-old Australian Shepard, both owned by Lacey, the lead groomer at Muddy Paws Bathhouse. Starting this month, the "Doggie Style" will be a regular column, with advice from real dogs! Check our blog for updates. Muddy Paws Bathhouse is located at 115 SW Century, #115.

Dear Chuck: How often should a dog take a bath?

Well, how attracted is your dog to the worst smelling things on this planet? That being said, you want to be careful of drying out their skin with too many baths. Keeping in mind that every dog is different. Once or twice a month should be sufficient for most family pets. Thorough brushing is one very important thing you can do between baths that will keep your dog mat free and clean. Ask your local groomer or vet what is the best bathing routine for your dog's specific breed.

Dear Gracie: Is it ever OK to paint your dog's toenails?

Gracie: Good question. Really, only for the most formal of occasions. Actually, although your little ones may think painting your furry friend's nails with mom's nail polish is a fun thing to do at a slumber party, it is important to remember that dogs like to lick or chew on anything. Since most nail polish is not particularly healthy to ingest, make sure your dog isn't licking or chewing their feet when you are not looking if their nails are painted. If you just can't help yourself, animal-friendly nail polish is available.

Gracie, when, if ever, is it OK to dress up your dogs in human clothes?

Gracie: We don't think most dogs have much fashion sense, nor is "embarrassment" an emotion we dogs experience often. We respond to praise and positive reinforcement, so if your Oregon Duck tee-shirt gets us lots of treats, we will "rock it" for you. Be sure the clothes are not restricting or too hot during summer, though. You will know if we hate wearing it, when we spend more time trying to tear it off, than wanting to go on a walk wearing it.

Chuck: How does one go about cleaning a dog's ears?

Very carefully AND leave Q-tips to the professionals. Makeup cotton rounds are better than cotton balls as they don't shred or come apart. Mild ear solutions are available at local pet stores. Be sure to put the solution on the pad, not directly into the ear canal. Just wipe the outer ear being mindful not to put your finger too deep into the ear canal. If you notice your dog's ear has a bad smell or a dark, gooey substance (not waxy), it may be time to ask a professional about infection.

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