Those Other Tasks
If you want to keep your Wheaten in good condition, and minimize vet and grooming bills, you can take care of other grooming tasks at home.
Many people are nervous about trimming nails, fearful of making the nail quick bleed. However, trimming them regularly will cause the quick to retract and less likely to be cut.
You’ll need a dog nail clipper and styptic powder. Never trim nails without the powder within immediate reach.
- Nail Trimming Guide
This Guide To Trimming Nails outlines the steps for achieving a properly trimmed nail.
- Getting Started
If you have a puppy or any dog whose nails haven’t been done regularly, you’ll want to start slowly so that both you and he will get the routine down. Do all 4 nails on one foot today. Then tomorrow, do another foot. Work your way through the feet, then start over again. Do this for about a month and you and he should be comfortable with what’s happening. Liberal applications of treats are very helpful!
- How to do it
You can either lay the dog or stand him on a table using the grooming arm and noose. If you have the guillotine-type of clipper, insert the very tip of the nail through the end. Position the guard toward the body of the dog and the blade toward the end of the nail. Trim the very tip of the nail. If it bleeds, put the end of the nail right into the container of styptic powder and wait a few seconds. It should stop the bleeding right away.
- I’d rather Dremel
You may want to use a cordless mini Dremel. It’s slower, but it doesn’t seem to hurt.
Using some small scissors, even baby scissors or nail scissors will do, trim the hair between the pads. This will help keep your Wheaten from tracking in more dirt and twigs.
Hair grows in the Wheaten’s ear canal and can collect dirt and wax. This, in combination with the ear flap, can create a great environment for infection. You can help avoid this problem for your dog and you by plucking this hair every month or so. Use a tweezers or non-locking hemostat and grab a hair or two at a time. When done, put a little antibiotic ointment in the ears.
With the tail held upright, comb the coat on the back of the tail outward and down. Cut this hair close to the tail so it doesn’t stick out. Then comb as much coat as you can from the front and sides of the tail to the back and tip it so that it does not extend beyond the back of the tail. Flags are a no-no. Now remove the excess hair from the tip of the tail and blend so that it doesn’t appear blunt. Look at the tail from the back. It should look like a Christmas tree, slightly wider at the base. From the side, extend tail straight back even with the topline, and with the coat fluffed up, tip creating a continuous line from the topline to the tip of the tail. Finally, check tail from all angles and remove the little flags that distort the outline.
Many owners brush their dog’s teeth. It does help to keep tartar down and avoid frequent teeth cleaning procedures at the vet’s office. It’s also a great way to get your Wheaten to accept having his mouth handled, something you’ll appreciate should you ever need to give him a pill.