Grooming & Skin Care

Short hair breeds ahve a plethora of pluses and minuses when it comes to grooming, hair and skin care.  While you will never find a large ball of hair built up in the corner of the room, you will most assuredly pull on a sweater, only to be poked in the side bye a sneaky single dane hair!  In addition to proper nutrition, a few simple practices will keep your dane's coat shining and healthy, their elbows and pads moisturized and their nails short and manageable!

DOG WASH

Every 4-6 weeks is more than sufficient for your Dane.  Too frequent of a washing schedule will only waste money and dry out your Danes skin.  Additionally, you will cause much irritation and their coat will begin to dull.

While you may enjoy dropping your pup off at the groomers as oppose to the bathtub or hose when weather permits, it's important to keep things very simple.  Make sure to use all natural, oat based products with Vitamin E and Cococunt oils. NEVER use medicated shampoos unless specifically requested by your Veterinarian to treat fungus or yeast infections.  Our choice shampoo (surprisingly) is Suave Naturals Coconut Formula or Mane -N- Tail, of which we use both Shampoo and Conditioner.  Both of these products have a sweet, clean aroma which tends to last longer than scented dog shampoos without the drying affects and are also quite economical.  The Suave formula also contains less than a dozen ingredients, almost all of which are plant extract or grain based.

Keep in mind, these are just our recommendations, based on our experience and that of our mentors!  Every pup is different and may require slightly different approaches to best suite their needs.  As long as you maintain minimal ingredients, oat based formulas and avoid medicated shampoos, bathing will be a successful adventure!

BRUSHING

Not necessarily a daily chore, but something that should be done a few times per week in order to remove dirst and dead skin/hair.  This will also help keep a healthy, shiny coat.  Short hair breeds do still collect dust and dirt in their fur, however it tends to stick to the skin rather than the hairs, so brushing will help removes these irritants in between washes.  Our brush of choice is the Kong Zoom Groom for dogs!  We have found that it not only grabs the dirt and dander, but it also provides a bit of a massage, which your gentle giant pal will surely enjoy!

HEAD/FACE/EYES

It never ceases to amaze me how one moment I can be so impressed with the beauty of our four leggers and the next, completely and utterly disgusted with the slime and mess strewn about their faces.  While danes are not typically droolers, the influence of the European Danes has brought about some drooling over the years.  Activities like drinking water and playing with pals tend to induce the dreaded drool, so we have come to realize that responsible dane ownership also includes having a designated "drool towel" on had during these times!  It is important to keep faces clean to avoid breakouts called "puppy acne."  

At times you may see discharge or mucus around the eyes, appropriately called "eye goobies" (ultra sophisticated I know)!  For the most part, these "eye goobies" are no cause for alarm.  If you ever have a qeustion regarding the color or consistency, just give a quick call to the vet for assurance.  Otherwise, use your handy "drool towel" or a soft tissue to keep the eyes clear!

NAIL TRIMMING

A dremel tool or manual nail trimmer - either will do the trick!  Danes will learn to handle whichever method you choose.  When we trim pups nails, we typically use both and do so about every two weeks to help them get used to the tools as well as help manage those awfully sharp puppy nails!  A neat trick we have picked up from our mentors - one that will help staunch the growth of the quick and keep the nail shorter longer is using PreparationH Cream on the nails right after trimming.  Simply apply a dab with a q-tip following each trimming and enjoy longer times between trimmings!

Be mindful that dark nails make it much harder to locate the quick, so keeping a consistent schedule of trimmin will help to prevent over growth or even clipping the quick itself.

PAWS AND ELBOWS

Big, heavy danes = LOTS of pressure on the pads of their paws and elbows!  A nice treat for your loving pup is moisturizing those areas that frequently bear the heavy load - and feel free to do so as frequently as you feel necessary.  

Two products we have used and would recommend are ProtectA Pad (The Invisible Boot) and Udder Cream! ProtectA Pad has a minty smell, while Udder Cream is virtually odorless, but both provide exceptional protection, especially during the harsher months.

**NOTE**  You do not need to begin this regimen right away, nor does it need to become an every day chore.  If the pads/elbows look dry, go ahead and add some moisture.  Or, if it is extremely cold/icy and the pads become cracked, the creams will help heal and prevent further damage or discomfort.