A Therapy Dog Needs to Look Great!

Hi! This is Bo. I hijacked the computer again so I could tell you about how I have to prepare for my pet assisted therapy visits. Being a therapy dog is very important work! I take my job VERY seriously. Therapy dogs must be clean and properly groomed before going to work. Of course, I always look beautiful. Everyone tells me so too.

Some people take their dogs to a groomer for all their beautification needs. My Mom takes matters into her own hands. She says it’s easier, especially when you have all the products you need right in your own home. 

Here are some quick tips from my human Mom, which I explain in more detail below:

  • Try using a handheld shower head
  • Use an odor control shampoo, like Sergeant’s Fur-So-Fresh
  • Air dry naturally when the weather permits
  • Don’t forget the undercoat
  • Always brush our teeth

So…what’s my favorite part, you ask? Brushing my teeth, of course (we’ll get into that later)! Least favorite: the dreaded bathtub. Oh, how I dislike those since the tub is so slick. (Note from Mom: the slick tub keeps you in the tub and you don’t try to jump out. You still lean on me and get me wet, too!)

I’m a Norwegian Elkhound, and our breed’s double coats only need a few baths a year. Thank goodness! Mom uses a handheld shower head that sprays lots of water on me to get me wet and well rinsed. She makes sure that it isn’t too hot or too cold. Then she uses a shampoo like Sergeant’s Fur-So-Fresh Whiff Shampoo (it get the stinkiness out), but makes sure to not get any in my ears or eyes. (Thanks, Mom!).

When she’s got me all clean and rinsed, she squeezes some of the water out of my coat, feet and my beautiful curly tail! Then Dad comes in and tosses a towel over me. He carries me outside and lets me run around my big fenced backyard. I shake and shake and SHAKE as much of that water out of my coat as I can. It takes me several hours to dry, but they prefer to let me air dry naturally.

After I’m dry, I’m SO soft and smell SO good (thanks, Sergeant’s). Just ask my Mom. Or the people I visit when I do therapy! And with all this hot weather, my sister Blizzard and I enjoy being wet to help cool us off. By the way, when are we going to get some snow around here? Now that’s Norwegian Elkhound weather!

Usually the next day after we’re completely dry, Mom will use an undercoat rake and comb to get lots of our loose hair out. It feels great to get all that loose hair out of our coats and keeps us looking gorgeous!

Almost every morning my sister and I also go ask Mom to brush our teeth Seriously, I’m not joking about this! Mom will be doing stuff in the bathroom and we’ll be by the door waiting patiently. If we’re not there, Mom will call out “anyone getting their teeth brushed today?” We always come running (that stuff tastes great!)

This summer my human sister, Jade, was home with her Elkhound puppy, Mya (she’s the small Elkhound in the picture). Mom says that Jade adopted her from a shelter and will help her study back at college this fall. Yeah, right! All Blizz and I know is that we had to help Mom make sure that this little pest stayed out of trouble this summer.

Mom got Mya trained to let her brush her teeth too and Jade has continued to do that at college. Mya still isn’t as patient as me and she always wants to smell my mouth. I guess that goes to show that Mom chose a good toothpaste to keep our teeth clean. She uses the Petrodex peanut flavor since that’s our favorite. It comes in other flavors, but peanut is what we’ll come running for.

Blizz and I will be ten years old in September and we’ve only had to have our teeth cleaned by our vet once each in our lives! We didn’t enjoy having that done, so we’re happy that Mom decided to brush our teeth at home to keep them clean.

If your human Mom or Dad hasn’t brushed your teeth, you should pull some off the shelf next time you get to go shopping with them. We sit so nice and then Mom just raises the lips on each side of our mouths to get the brush in. It tastes SO good that we don’t even complain! Our vet always checks to make sure that Mom is doing a good job every time we go in for our checkups. So far, so good. Great job, Mom!

Well, I’m clean, combed, my nails are trimmed and my teeth are brushed. I’m ready to head out to visit some more nice people! Gotta go! Some of my fans are waiting!


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