Hey there folks, Terrie from over here at TLC Dog Grooming.
We have closed up the salon for the next little bit due to the Covid-19 virus and the restrictions.
We were quite certain that dog owners would be experiencing some challenges with their dogs at home while all the grooming salons all over the world are unable to provide their usual services. Or that people would experience some challenges in getting an appointment in the salons that are still in operation. So with that in mind, we have been busy creating videos to support those that might need some assistance, advise and help.
Dog owners depend on us to provide over 90% of their dog’s grooming and maintenance requirements.
There is a lot that they don’t know, understand and in many cases they are intimidated to mess around with. I feel that I am able to close that knowledge gap and bring in some new ideas, tips and how-to’s for the dog owners and dogs in need at this time.
When my phone rings and owners want to make an appointment or bump up their appointment time. They will often express tremendous concerns about the hair that is in their dog’s eyes. They are always very worried that their dog cannot see, and this brings the humans much concern and worry.
While it “may” be true that the hair on the head is hanging too low, and into their dog’s eyes, and it “might” be a bit problematic. Here’s the bigger concern on my side of the coin and it’s very rare that my clients consider this, or even think about it.
It’s the “gunk” that gets stuck in the corner of their dog’s eyes. THAT area is is real area that should be of concern, focus and attention.
The reason is that most dog owners are afraid to get too close to the eye area of their dog. They see the hair sticking up and growing long up and around the nose. They see that it looks a bit unkempt and messy, but they rarely, if ever, actually touch that area. If they did, there is no way in heck that I would see what I see in my salon on a daily basis.
If your dog is a smaller dog with bigger eyes, I’d like you to go pick them up and inspect their eyes in good lighting. I’m serious folks, read this blog posting, or watch the youtube video or do both. When you are done, I’d love for you to go check your dog’s eyes.
Dogs that are smaller, so the toys and the mini breeds. Doesn’t matter if it’s a Maltese, a Yorkie, a Poodle, a Havanese or a mix. These smaller breeds often have debris that collects in the corners of their eyes. Just like humans, they need their faces cleaned and it would be AMAZING if owners could check and clean this area on a daily basis.
As the eyes continue to weep and run with discharge. It gets caught up and stuck in the hair in the same area. The longer the hair gets, and the less this is tended to, the nastier it gets. Even if it’s a breed that has no hair growing around the eyes and face. Small dogs are plagued with discharge weeping from their eyes. We have GOT to clean those areas often and help them out.
Sometimes I soak the faces of dogs in the tub for a long time before I can safely get the area soft and wet enough to comfortably clean the area. When it’s dry and crusty that discharge is as though it has been welded onto their skin. It’s very difficult to remove without discomfort to the dog. The less discharge that there is to deal with, the better. The thicker and heavier the clumps of debris tangled in with the hair in the nose and eye area…..the more difficult and painful it is for them while I try to gently coax these “things” up and off of the skin.
When I am done and it can at times take a long time….the eye area is often red, swollen, infected and STINKS to high heaven. It’s not uncommon for me to unearth a chronic eye infection that has gone undetected, ignored and definately untreated for a very very long time. I only have a handful of those situations to deal with on a consistent basis.
Hang on though, on the other hand I have more dogs that I work with that don’t have chronic infections, YET. Swollen, red, very smelly, brownish discharge…..absolutely. Those situations are more the norm, and regardless, infected or not, it is all avoidable and manageable.
How to Care for Your Dog’s Eyes at Home
Less focus on the hair actually falling INTO the eye area. Not to minimize it but step two is more important.
Pay more attention on the debris and discharge in the corners of the eyes and keeping that area clean and dry. Check it at minimum 3 times a week. Especially if you can remember your groomer mentioning that this is a trouble spot for your dog.
Clean that area often and keep it free of debris and discharge at all times if you are able. Use a soft wet cloth to wipe the area clean. Use a fine tooth comb to gently pull out junkies as they will get caught in the teeth of the comb as you glide it through the hair. If the comb gets stuck and snags….try getting the area softer and work it up off the skin with your fingers.
Trim back the hair in the corners of the eyes. If trimming it scares the bejeebers out of you? That’s ok, keep it clean and as dry as you possibly can until it can be safely trimmed back. Clean and dry is more important.
When steps 2-5 are achieved to the best of your ability, THEN trim back the hair hanging into the eyes from the top of the head down. IF you feel comfortable doing it. If you are nervous, leave it alone and wait until it can be safely done by a professional.
Demo: Cleaning the Debris Around Your Dog’s Eyes
Watch some of these techniques in action in our latest video on YouTube. If you have any questions or comments please let us know. We are here to help you and provide support.
What are your grooming challenges? Drop me a comment below!