Grooming is an important part of a service dog’s routine. There are daily routines. Things that are done weekly. And even one that I have done monthly.
As you know, my mom has many appointments and procedures that we go to. Sometimes a few times a week. But always there are at least a few each month. We also go to the grocery store and other essential places. And even some outings for pleasure. Although we aren’t doing the pleasure outings very often yet due to Covid-19.
Since we are in public places often, my appearance needs to be neat and tidy. I mustn’t be smelly. Or dirty. If I were, it could be offputting to others.
So, every day my mom brushes my coat and my teeth. And takes a peek in my ears to make sure they are clean and free of any foul odor.
I love when my mom brushes me! She has a rubber brush that she rubs all over my body to loosen up my fur. And then she uses a slicker brush to gather up that loose fur. She sometimes also uses a soft bristle brush. I feel like I am at the spa getting a massage!
And one of my favorite daily routines is having my teeth brushed! My guess would be that you don’t get as excited about brushing your teeth as I do!
My sisters, Buffy and Roo, and I look forward to having our teeth brushed. Don’t tell our mom but the best part is the yummy taste of the toothpaste!
Do you have a favorite toothpaste flavor? My favorites are the vanilla mint and the seafood flavor. With the vanilla mint being at the top. But Buffy and Roo prefer the seafood one. They don’t like the vanilla mint. And none of us like the beef-flavored one!
My toothbrush and toothpaste!
I use my mouth for several tasks. Which I wouldn’t be able to do if my mouth were sore and unhealthy. Can you think of the tasks I do with my mouth? I’m sure you guessed some of them!
I pick up many different objects throughout the day that my mom drops. I tug open drawers and doors. And I even use my mouth to unzip her jacket zipper and help tug off her sleeves.
After my mom brushes my teeth she checks my ears. To do this she lifts the ear flap on each one and peeks in to make sure there is no redness. And sniffs to make sure there is no foul odor. By checking daily she would surely catch the start of any problem.
At least a couple of times a week, my mom buffs my nails. She does this with a nail grinder that smooths and shortens my nails.
My mom loves my chubby little paws!
Are you wondering why she does this so often? I think you might be able to guess. That’s right! I use my paws to do several tasks and wouldn’t want to scratch the walls.
Some of these tasks are light switches, elevator buttons, automatic push plates, and opening doors. People would look unfavorably at me if I left scratches on the walls or doors in public places.
When my mom is ready to do my nails, I jump up on the end of her bed. And lay on my side. This makes it easier for her to reach me. I relax and even fall asleep while she is using the nail grinder!
So those are my daily and weekly grooming routines. But there is one more routine that is done a little less often. Do you know what it is? That’s right. A bath!
About once a month my dad gives me a bath. He gets me wet with warm water. And then lathers me up with a special dog shampoo.
He uses his fingers and massages my skin to help get me extra clean. And loosen up any fur that is ready to shed out. The massaging is my favorite part!
After rinsing me off he rubs my body with a towel. I wiggle and shake so the water flies all over. And even gets my dad wet. Which is his least favorite part!
After drying me with a great big dog blow dryer he brushes me to get all of the loose hair out. And then he uses scissors to tidy up the fur between my pads. My mom loves my cute chubby feet!
When my dad gives me a bath my mom washes my vest and collar. This way my working clothes are squeaky clean just like me!
So these are the different ways that my mom keeps me looking my best. And assures that I am healthy and ready to do my job.