In this instructable, I'll go over a few tips for first aid, and for everyday bothers. If you have any topic you would like me to add to this ible, please comment! Questions too are welcome!
Step 1: Minor Cuts and Abrasions
Many dogs love to romp around in the woods and dig. And a majority of those dogs come back from those romps with a minor cut or two! This is the case for my dogs, and my dirt loving dachshund especially! All those rocks and roots make for a sore spot occasionally. I usually put petroleum jelly on it, but it didn't seem like enough to help the abrasion heal. For that reason, I made a salve/dressing sort of mixture to keep on hand and do more than just protect (this just how I feel, no harsh comments on this subject please). You can make the balm as suggested below, or add and replace ingredients as you please. I would recommend using beeswax instead of Chapstick, but I used Chapstick because that is what I had. Here is the recipe: 2 spoonfuls of petroleum jelly-olive oil-Chapstick or beeswax-microwave safe bowl(I used a ball jar)*. Melt together petroleum jelly and Chapstick in microwave at 30 sec. intervals until melted. Stir in a little bit of olive oil (I didn't measure, but I am guessing about half a spoonful). Pour into a lip gloss tin or Chapstick tube. Let cool. Apply a small amount onto affected area. I recommend with a cotton swab for application. I keep one at home, one in my purse, one in our RV, and one in the doggy bag. It works great, and remember, what ever you add to your balm, must be lickable.
Step 2: Dry Paws
Almost every dog, wether be a show dog, or an backwoods hunter gets dry paws. A few ways I like to treat this is: 1) olive oil rub and 2) some homemade doggy balm (see above recipe) and before doing either, make sure to have clean paws! And of course, a nice paw soak will feel great!
Step 3: Burs and Other Such Things
Burs. One of the most annoying things known to dogs (besides fleas, of course!). Here are a few tips for getting them out easy. Large burs: try to separate as much fur as possible from the bur. After you have done this, carefully pull out the bur. Small burs: use a flea comb. If you don't have one, use your nails to single out the burs and gently pull the bur towards the end of the fur and remove.
Step 4: Fleas!
Who needs fleas? Those lil' critters will chew up you and your furry friend if not gotten rid of (to state the obvious (-:). Using flea meds help, but what about near the end of the month, when its almost time to reapply, but not yet? That's simple: make your own anti-flea soap! Simply melt your soap base and mix in minced garlic (one small clove should be fine)...or 2 pinches of garlic powder. Or, if you would rather go simpler, just mix the garlic into a bottle of dog shampoo. Either way seems to work!
Step 5: Tick-Tock-Ticks!
Ticks. Right up there with fleas and burs on the doggy dislike list! To remove a tick, just place your finger on its back, and twist it around in a circle. It should pop off. Then, either flush it down the toilet or burn it. I do both, just to make sure it's dead!