Sunday, July 21, 2013

Water woes

Monsoon season plus a pool in our backyard equals a house that cannot stay clean. We've been getting rainstorms every few days, so with the combination of the Newfies swimming and playing in the wet yard, they track water and mud in every time they step back inside. One of their favorite activities seems to be hopping in the pool then rolling around in the dirt. And since they get wet so often, they shed even more than usual, which leads to giant tufts of fur all over the tile floors in the house. Not to mention the wet imprints they leave on the couch or bed after napping.

Having a pool is awesome, but also problematic. Since Thatcher and Boden are in and out of the water every day, the mats are building up in their fur. I've been grooming them every night before bed, and I still can't keep them free of mats. Boden especially. His fur is so thick, particularly around his neck, that it tangles into dreadlocks constantly. Keeping their collars off them helps a little bit, but it's still quite a battle. It takes me at least half an hour per dog just to do a quick wipe down with grooming wipes and a comb through of their whole bodies. I think I'm going to have to start incorporating professional grooming into our routine at least once a month.

And then there's another issue: ear infections. Last weekend, I noticed Thatcher was not eating much and acting a little lethargic. The next day while grooming him, I realized there was an odd odor coming from his ears. I researched a little online and found that those were telltale signs of ear infections in dogs. I called the vet the next day and took him in to get checked after work. Sure enough, he had yeast and bacteria infections in both ears. Apparently, this is fairly common for dogs who swim a lot. I've been giving him medicated ear drops twice a day, and he's back to his normal self. But now I'm trying to be extra careful to dry off and clean their ears after swimming. The vet recommended an ear powder that we should use once a week or so to clear up their ear canals and hopefully prevent any more infections. Lately, I keep thinking to myself how busy people with actual children must be. How do they have enough time in their day to work full-time and raise kids? I can't even keep my dogs clean!

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