Your dog lives to make you happy. We'll help you return the favour with everything you need to keep your best friend well-fed, free from nasties, and perfectly pampered

Bath Time

If you have a very young puppy, not at all. until they are five weeks old.

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A soft, strokable coat

Brushing is an easy, enjoyable and very bonding experience.

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Yes, moulting hair is a hassle, but it’s only natural for dogs to shed their hair.

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Nail care

Long nails can uncomfortably splay your dog’s toes and stop their foot pads from touching the ground.

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Teeth and Gums

Puppies get their baby teeth at around 3-4 weeks, and permanent teeth from about 16 weeks.

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Expert Q&A

Our expert vet team regularly takes questions from PawClub members and posts answered to the more common ones online. Some questions you may be interested in are:

Unfortunately, some dogs do not like to “smell clean”. Additionally, water, soaps and shampoos may irritate their skin. Many dogs love smelling “dirty” as this is their “natural” state.

Dog toothpaste is specially formulated for dogs in that it tastes nice, will not foam and has lower fluoride as compared to human toothpastes. I'll give you a tip though - it is the brushing of the teeth that cleans the teeth and the toothpaste is really nowhere near as important as the brushing component. So if you can't afford the toothpaste then just brush without it for the same result.

You generally do not need to clean your puppy's ears regularly unless they get very dirty. This can be due to a normal waxy discharge, or abnormal discharges due to an underlying infection (e.g. earmites, bacteria, yeast). If your puppy is shaking its head very frequently, scratching at its ears and appears distressed when you try to touch its ears - it may have an infection. In this case, your puppy will need to see a veterinarian for the appropriate treatment.

If it is just a small amount of normal waxy discharge, just like in people, where the ear is not hot, inflamed or painful, simply use a dry tissue to clean off the wax on the outside areas of the ear. Do not wash the ears with water as this can actually lead to an infection. Be careful when you are bathing your puppy as well, to make sure water doesn't get into the ears. If you wish, there are special ear washes available from your veterinarian to ensure that your puppy's ears stay clean and healthy. These can be used after swimming or bathing.
If your puppy has hairy ears, which is common in some breeds (e.g. poodles), plucking the hairs out of those ears is not recommended at all, unless there is already an infection at the time. In a normal ear, if the hairs are plucked out, this will lead to oozing and bleeding (and is painful for your puppy too!). The oozing and bleeding can actually lead to an infection due to the moisture present in the ears. However, if your puppy's ears are infected, then the hairs may be removed to get all the discharge out of the ears and help get the medications into the ears properly. If in doubt, speak to your local veterinarian for advice.

Puppy skin is different to human skin, and the main difference is that puppies do not produce as much oil (or sebum) compared to people, and are therefore very sensitive to soapy human shampoos that are designed to strip the oils off. As a result, your puppy may develop dry, sensitive skin when human shampoos are used. Ideally, use a shampoo specially designed for puppies or dogs. Dog or puppy conditioners are also available to improve the appearance of their coat.

In some puppies, they are born with what we call vestigial dew claws on the inside of their hindlegs. Not all puppies are born with them, and it can be unpredictable which puppies will have them and which puppies won't. 

These vestigial dew claws on their hindlegs don't serve any function, and can range from being very small and unattached, or be well attached to the underlying bone. The main issue that can arise from those dew claws is that they can get caught in things and the claws get torn off, and those claws also often overgrow and grow into itself. Both cause pain and discomfort.
They are usually surgically removed as part of an elective procedure during the puppy's routine desexing procedure, under general anaesthetic and with pain relief.

In many fluffy breeds, such as maltese crosses, there is often a lot of fur growing around their face. This may look really cute but their facial fur often rests onto their eyes and causes a lot of weeping. When the weeping becomes excessive, the "gunk" tends to accumulate on the fur on the lower eyelid and nose area, becoming a thick scab that causes an underlying dermatitis - which is very uncomfortable and painful for the puppy.

The fur around the eyes needs to be trimmed regularly so that the fur doesn't get into your dog's eyes. Use blunt-ended kid's scissors and trim slowly and carefully, taking your time to make sure you don't distress your dog and don't accidentally hurt her. If you are still not sure as to how to do this, speak to your local veterinary clinic and they will be able to show you how to do this safely.
Over time, your dog will get used to the trimming procedure and the process gets easier each time. Many groomers will also offer this service as part of the grooming job.

If your dog's eyes are still very weepy and "gunky" in spite of this - there may be other eye conditions that need further veterinary treatment - speak to your local veterinarian about this if you are worried.

Use an appropriate puppy shampoo that is specially made for puppies or dogs. The water temperature should be the same water temperature that you would comfortably shower in. 
You can shampoo your pup just like you shampoo your own hair, and rinse it off after lathering.
Alternatively, you can also fill a small bath with warm water and some shampoo and drench it over your puppy. If you have used a lot of shampoo, then a final rinse is recommended.

Make sure you don't get any shampoo or water on your puppy's face, eyes and ears. Some shampoos can be irritating to eyes and water-logged ears can lead to ear infections in your dog.
Towel-dry your puppy once it is all done. Leave-in puppy or dog conditioner can now be applied for a nicer shinier coat. In warmer climates, it is often not necessary to blow-dry your puppy. If you need to blow-dry your puppy, make sure the hairdryer is on low heat and is constantly moving, so that you don't accidentally burn your puppy's skin.

It's important to do weekly eye checks on your dog. To give them a good eye-balling, face them in a brightly lit area and look into their eyes. They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. The pupils should be the same size, and there shouldn't be any discharge, tearing or crust in the corners of his or her eyes.
You'll also want to roll back the lower eyelid with your thumb and look at the lining to make sure it's pink, rather than red or white.

Other things to look out for include a protruding third eyelid, closed eye/s, cloudiness, change of eye colour and tear stains on their fur around the eye.

Yes, very normal. A Labrador coat is very thick and dense and when they go through their seasonal moult, they lose hair in alarming amounts.