Achieving Balance and Harmony

DOG CARE

Keep It Clean for Healthy Dogs and Puppies

By Cesar Millan

It might surprise you to learn that a mother dog nursing a litter is a meticulous housekeeper, but it’s true. Un-weaned puppies naturally do their business in the den, and their mother works constantly to keep it clean. By eliminating the mess and odors quickly, she trains the puppies to venture outside of the den when nature calls, as well as maintains a healthy environment.

As a pack leader, you should do the same for your pups and adult dogs. Not only is it good for them physically, it’s good for their minds. Consider how much more powerful a dog’s nose is than yours — then imagine how miserable a dog might be in a house where even the human residents are sneezing from the dust, and where the faint aroma from last week’s dinner can linger, making your dog anxious and hungry.

At the very least, keep your dog’s living area as clean as you possibly can. Use mild cleaning agents with no added perfume wherever possible, and remember that many cleaning products are just as toxic for our dogs as they are to us. Store all cleaning products away when not in use and consider using natural, organic cleaning solutions instead. Also, don’t forget to dust regularly.

Keeping your pack’s “den” clean is especially important in the first months of a puppy’s life, as thorough cleanliness will help ensure your new addition doesn’t come in contact with potentially life-threatening bacteria. Once again, Mother Nature gives us the guidelines in the instinctive behavior of a nursing dog and her litter. When we humans become adoptive canine caretakers, we should give them at least the same clean environment as their mothers did.

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