Vet Care and Grooming

Dogs should be vaccinated for distemper and parvo virus on a yearly basis, and rabies every three years.  They should be tested every spring for heartworms and placed on a heartworm preventative from May to December. They should have yearly fecal exams for intestinal worms and treated accordingly.

Unless you are a experienced breeder with a thorough knowledge of your breed's bloodlines and screen for possible genetic defects and are willing to be responsible for every puppy your dog produces, your dog should be spayed or neutered. Bitches are at risk for mammary cancer if left intact and males are at greater risk for testicular cancer unless neutered.

Dogs should be fed a good quality dog food. If you change foods, gradually mix the two foods together to prevent a gastric upset. Dogs should not be free fed. Obese dogs are not healthy dogs. Your dog should be groomed regularly (once a week); with special attention to ears, teeth, eyes and toenails. You should seek veterinary attention if your pet shows any signs of illness.




 If you can not provide this level of basic care, you should reconsider pet ownership.




In many ways, health and grooming go hand-in-hand.

Grooming contributes to your dog's sense of well-being. It also gives you the opportunity to check their hair, skin and body for any possible changes that might alert you to a possible health condition. Keeping your dog healthy and watching for any changes in their condition will prolong its life and add to the number of years you might enjoy each other's company.

Regular brushing helps eliminate tangles and mats and helps your dog get accustomed to being handled. It also gives you the opportunity to check for ticks and fleas, lesions, lumps and changes in his skin and coat. Pet-supply stores and catalogs sell a wide array of brushes for different coats and conditions.



Slicker Brushes   slicker.gif (1119 bytes)  have a bed of fine, closely spaced wires that usually are hooked or bent; they're good all-purpose brushes for removing mats, loose hair and debris.

Pin brushes     pinbrush.gif (1303 bytes)  have a bed of widely spaced tines   life005.gif (1428 bytes)  that look like straight pins. The tines sometimes are tipped with plastic. Pin brushes are also good for removing tangles but can be uncomfortable for grooming shorthaired dogs.   Bristle brushes and metal combs are used in the final grooming step for longhaired dogs, leaving their hair sleek, smooth and shiny. A bristle brush may be the only brush you'll need for a shorthaired dogs.

Linebrushing is a basic technique for brushing long coated breeds. Using a metal grayhound comb  comb.gif (578 bytes)   or metal pin brush (or pin and bristle together) start at the shoulders and separate the coat in a line down to the skin to the base of the tail. Mist the coat at the skin to dampen the undercoat and brush against the grain of the hair, in other words towards the backbone, one thin layer at a time. Make a new part, spray and brush until both sides of the dog are completed.

Begin the brushing process with a slicker or pin brush to remove dead hair, debris and tangles. For breeds with long and very thick coats, you should groom with both brushes, using the slicker brush first.  For tough tangles, gently comb or brush small sections at a time, giving yourself and your dog a break every few minutes. Be careful not to tug at or tear the hair.  After the coat is smooth, give your dog a final brushing with a bristle brush (for shorthaired dogs) or a comb (for longhaired dogs). Give plenty of praise during the brushing process and reward your dog with a treat within you're finished.

nailcutters.gif (495 bytes)Nails should be trimmed close to the quick twice  a month depending on the dog’s activity-some more, some less. 


Grooming your new Pet


1. nail clippers or a nail grinder (trim toenails every one to two weeks)
2. baby powder (prevents the fine fur behind the ears from matting)
3. spray bottle (mist your dog's fur with water before brushing or you will damage his coat)
4. pin brush  (shown above)
5. slicker (for grooming right down to the skin)   (shown above)
6. Belgian comb (you should be able to run a comb freely through his coat when you are done)   (shown above)
7. toothbrush and pet formula toothpaste (once a week, do NOT use human formula toothpaste)
8. scissors (to trim the excess fur between the pads of his feet)

Shelties have a double coat. The fine, soft undercoat is shed once a year. Regular brushing will help remove the dead undercoat and prevent matting. If you wait until your dog's coat becomes matted it is a much bigger job to groom, and is uncomfortable for your dog. I would recommend a quick run through with spray bottle and pin brush at least once a week and a more thorough line brushing with slicker and comb at least once a month. Grooming can be your quiet time together. The stroking sensation of the brush is soothing and removing dead, itchy fur and stimulating the skin are important contributions you can make to your dog's good health.

Do not forget to check ear canals for dirt or foul odor...

It is necessary to be aware of your dog's regular bowel and urine habits. Be aware of his appetite and water intake as well. This information can be valuable to your veterinarian when trying to diagnose an illness.


Some of this Information was obtained from Kathy Belville Romyldale Shetland Sheepdogs, and permission
was given to copy.  Please ask before copying.

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