Pat Miller at Peaceable Paws has a good article about dog-to-dog aggression as the product of too many accumulated stressors, some of which may have nothing to do with other canines.
At first I thought Lamar was mourning Tashi's passing--which would be perfectly understandable, since she was his old lady for 10 years. Now I'm wondering if its the heat, particularly since poor Lamar gets these icky skin rashes in the summer.
Time for a bath! I used my usual hypoallergenic dog shampoo, followed by a bit of tea tree oil rubbed into my hands then over his still-wet belly and all the spots with sores.
His skin certainly looks better, and the sores have gone away. Has the snarling at Fozzie improved? Well...not so much. But seeing the improvement in his skin--and seeing some of the matted, foul-smelling, uncomfortable pooches that come to me for a much-needed grooming--did remind me how important it is to just do some simple maintenance for our pooches, especially when the hot weather brings fleas and irritability.
Some helpful DIY tips for grooming your own pup:
- A Furminator is the best thing in the world for removing large quantities of undercoat and keeping them off your couches and floors. It can be kind of harsh on the skin, so watch out for redness, do in short sessions, and pair with treats.
- Don't wait until your dog's fur is matted and desperately needs the groomer! Use a slicker brush or pin brush to brush your dog thoroughly, esp. in spots prone to matting (like a Golden's ear fringes or a Labradoodle's fur under the collar)
- Use Tea tree oil for minor skin rashes, itching, dandruff, and fleas. Dogs don't love the smell but neither do the bugs.
- Eucalyptus oil is another great one for fleas. Or use Dr. Bronner's Eucalyptus soap.
- Benadryl will calm minor itchies and redness; consult your vet for proper dosage based on weight.