- EQUIPMENT. Your English Toy Spaniel, when mature and in full coat, should be groomed in about fifteen minutes a day. These few minutes spent every day will bring your dog into his most beautiful bloom. His ears will fall into the desirable extremes of length, and he will become a worthy specimen of the breed.
Your kit needs a stiff brush for removing loose hair and dirt, a soft brush for smoothing and polishing the coat, a coarse comb to loosen mats, and a fine comb to work the silken ears and feathering. Attention to the ears, eyes, teeth and nails of your dog should be a part of your regular grooming program. If every day your dog is gone over, the slightest thing wrong is immediately noticed, and action can be taken, saving possible suffering for both the dog and the owner!
- Brush the dog thoroughly with the brush. This removes any dust or loose hairs and stimulates the skin which is the greatest preventative against scurf, and encourages the growth of hair.
Most important is keeping them free of mats and tangles, especially behind the ears, behind the elbows and between the back legs. Picking hair away from the mats carefully and gently will preserve the coat, however, it is better to cut out a mat than to overly frighten a dog by being impatient with combing it out!
- Using a squeegie bottle filled with a coat dressing or rain water, mist the coat and ears, then comb the coat all over until dry.
- BATHING. The first step to a beautiful coat is to keep your dog clean. You can bathe your dog every week without causing problems. "Soapless" shampoos are preferred and most should be diluted with water. Thorough rinsing to remove all residue of shampoo is vital - use a sprayer attachment to gently go over the coat until water runs clear. Have ready a big warm towel, and remove the surplus water, do not rub. Dry the coat using a blow dryer on cool setting so as not to hurt the skin. As you dry use a brush being certain to blow and brush in the direction you want the hair to lay. To assure the hair stays where you want it, dry the coat completely. (Never leave your dog unattended with a hair dryer blowing on him.)
Bathe the whole colours two or three days before a show, as this allows the oils to get back to the hair; the broken colours look their best bathed the day before the show.
- ADDITIONAL GROOMING TIPS. Recommended for daily checkover - for your Charlie's well-being:
- EARS. Routine cleaning at bath-time keeps down inflammation. Watch and treat for ear mites and ear infections.
- EYES. Slight exophthalmia and poor corneal enervation can lead to eye injury. Keep eyes clean. Gently wipe with a cotton ball dampened with sterile eye solution. If mucous or purulent material persists, or eye is painful, see your vet immediately.
- NOSE. Brachycephalic faces will have snushy noses but very rare problems. Gently wipe nose with a damp cloth daily.
- MOUTH. Make sure no food or dirt adheres to the pockets at the corners of the mouth, causing soreness and unpleasant odours. Gently wipe the mouth with a soft, wet cloth after eating. Many Charlies love having their faces washed!
- SKIN. Atopic dermatitis, secondary to fleas or other allergins, may easily become infected and result in loss of coat. Careful grooming and frequent brushing can keep you ahead of these problems. Derm Caps which contain essential fatty acids and fish oils added to your dog's diet will greatly relieve allergic itching and scratching.
- NAILS-TOES.Examine and trim the nails often. After a bath, the nails are soft and easier to trim without discomfort - be certain not to go too far or you will cut the quick and cause bleeding and fear for your dog. Trimming a little off the nail more often is easier on both the dog and owner. If need be, have the nails trimmed by your vet, this usually is very inexpensive and safe.
- FUSED TOES ARE NOT a health problem although many veterinarians have no familiarity with this breed trait! In fact, fused toes are prized by many breeders as showing the long history of their line. This is a breed trait and not a cause for concern.
- ANAL SACS. The veterinarian should check anal sacs regularly (every six months).
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