GROOMING A CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL

What kind of grooming do Cavaliers require?

The Cavalier does require regular grooming. A great deal of time and effort is not necessary if the dog is brushed and combed thoroughly at least once a week. Knots and tangles are kept to a minimum if the Cavalier is free of parasites and combed regularly. Ears need particular attention and should be checked and given a quick combing every few days, daily in shedding season.

Cavaliers do shed, particularly in spring and fall, but a little all the time. Their nails should be clipped and the hair between their pads trimmed once a month. No other trimming is necessary.

Cavaliers are naturally clean dogs. Because too much bathing dries out the skin and haircoat, they should not be bathed more than once a week. All knots and tangles should be brushed out before a Cavalier is bathed. Many owners find that bathing their pets every two months is quite adequate.

 

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy breed with a medium-length, wavy coat. For show purposes, no clipping of the coat, except on the feet, is allowed, so daily brushing helps keep the soft, silky fur from becoming a tangled mess. The breed has trademark feathering of the fur on the chest, ears, legs, feet, and tail that needs regular bathing to keep it and the rest of the dense coat looking its best.

BRUSHING

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need daily brushing with a medium-bristle brush to stimulate and spread the skin's natural oils throughout the coat. Use a slicker brush to remove and prevent any knots and tangles in the coat. Concentrate the brushing on the feathered, longer parts of the coat, especially the ears, back of the legs and under the tail, which can easily become tangled.

The Cavalier's feet also require brushing to keep them looking fluffy. This is one of the few breeds where the hair on top of the feet is left without trimming; brushing prevents this hair from becoming tangled. Knotted hair on your dog's feet and between the toes makes it hard for the Cavalier to walk, especially on slick surfaces. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has both an undercoat and outer coat, so make sure you lift the outer coat to get to the hair beneath, when you brush.Before a bath, you must brush through the coat to remove tangles, which can become worse when wet.

BATHING

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a water-resistant coat because of the oils in their undercoats. To completely cleanse your dog's skin and hair, you will need to shampoo the coat twice to first break down the oils and then remove them. Because bathing removes the oils, washing your dog more than once a month isn't recommended, because it can dry out your Cavalier's skin.

You can lather up your dog's coat in a kitchen sink: These small dogs range in size from 13 to 18 pounds. Use lukewarm water to wet the coat, then lather it with dog shampoo. Rinse the coat thoroughly and repeat. After the second wash, apply dog conditioner to the coat according to directions, rinsing the coat well afterward. Be thorough: Any shampoo or conditioner not rinsed out completely can irritate your dog's skin. Using the sink sprayer to rinse your dog can improve soap removal.

Avoid getting soap or conditioner in your Cavalier's face when giving them a bath. Instead, wipe these areas with a damp washcloth. Clean the corners of your dog's eyes with the cloth, and remove stains left by tearing with 
moistened eye wipes, found in pet supply stores.

DRYING

Wipe your Cavalier's coat with a towel to begin the drying process and to prevent your dog from shaking excess water all over your home. Don't rub the coat too much, because this can cause tangles to form. Dry the coat on the lowest hairdryer setting, feathering out the fur of your dog with a medium-bristle brush. This drying process fluffs the coat, especially feathered areas such as the ears, and helps prevent skin issues that might be initiated by residual dampness.

EAR CARE

The hanging, floppy ear leather of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel creates excellent places for infections to form in the warm, moist environment inside the ears. Use dog ear-cleaning solution and cotton balls to wipe out the insides of the ears once a week, removing any waxy buildup. Check inside the ears for fungal or bacterial infections that give off an unpleasant odor. Consult with your veterinarian if you notice that your Cavalier has signs of an ear infection. If you don't plan to show your dog, the hair inside the ears under the ear flaps can be trimmed short to improve the air flow to this area.

TRIMMING THE FEET

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have fluffy, feathered fur on their feet, which is longer than on other parts of the coat. To prevent problems walking, the American Kennel Club allows for trimming of the hair between the pads of the underside of the feet, but nowhere else. Use electric clippers to shave away this fur, or have a professional groomer perform this service. Check the feet daily for any debris or tangles stuck in the fur on the top of the feet; brush these out with a slicker brush. If the nails need trimming, have a professional do it who knows how to avoid the risk of accidentally cutting the quick, causing bleeding and pain.

CLIPPING

Clipping of the fur is not allowed for show purposes on the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. If you don't plan on showing your dog, you can have the coat clipped to a puppy cut, which shortens the fur all over the body to about an inch in length. This makes grooming easier for this breed, but may also cause the fur to grow back thicker and more curly, requiring continued clipping of the coat in the future to keep it in check, according to the book, "Getting to Know Cavaliers: A Guide to Choosing and Owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel."

GROOMING SESSIONS

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are avid lap dogs, a helpful fact you can use when you are brushing your pet. Wait until your Cavalier gets settled on your lap, then brush the coat thoroughly. Positively reinforce the grooming session with treats and praise.

If you take your Cavalier to a 
professional groomer, first inquire whether the groomer has worked with the breed before. 

How to Trim Your Puppy's Nails

 

To keep your puppy’s nails healthy, you need to trim them by clipping or filing them about once a month. If your puppy’s nails grow too long, they can force his foot out of position, and the nails can crack or break if they catch on something.

Methods of nail trimming

You can trim your puppy’s nails with clippers or with a file:

Clippers:   clipper is ideal because it isolates the nail and steadies your cut. Ask a vet, groomer, or pet-store employee about this tool.

When clipping your puppy’s nail, you want to clip the very tip, just at the point it starts to curl. If your dog has a dewclaw (a nail that rides high on the back or front paw), don’t forget to trim it.

File: A dog file is basically just sandpaper-like material on a stick or rotating tool that files your dog’s nails rather than cuts them. Filing prevents the risk of cutting into a dog’s nail bed — a painful experience on par with cutting off the tip of your finger!

Ask a helper to pet your dog while you get familiar with using the filing tools. You should file off just the hook at the end of your dog’s nail, the same portion you’d cut with the clipper. File in five-second intervals, praising and treating your dog in between.

Clip the nail at the tip where the point starts to curl. [Credit: Illustration by Barbara Frake]
Whether clipping or filing your dog’s nail, position yourself next to your dog,not front-facing (that position can appear confrontational and startling). Use treats and/or peanut butter to create a positive association to this activity.

Conditioning paw-friendly handling

If you’re reading this before you’ve had to cut your dog’s nails, you can prevent problems before they begin. To avoid having a clipper-phobic dog, make paw handling part of every positive interaction, from petting to treating, by following these steps:

Initially, just handle your puppy’s paws — nothing fancy.

Occasionally throughout the day, turn to your puppy, handle his paws, and tell him “Good boy.” Have as much hand-on-paw contact as possible for a week or two. Perform no clipping at this step.

 

Don’t cut the nails just yet. Open and shut the clippers to acquaint him with the sound.

Try one cut — just one — by placing the edge of the clippers over the top of the nail and quickly squeezing the handle.

White nails show the nail bed, which you must avoid. If your puppy has dark nails, you need to take extra precaution. You can ask your veterinarian or groomer to give you a lesson.

The next day, try two nails and then three.

Don’t correct your dog if he protests. Be understanding and slow down. Consider the alternative, filing instead of clipping. Again, nail clipping sounds like a production, but in the long run, you’ll be glad you took the time to do it right. Anyone who has cut her dog or frightened him by being too rough can tell you that having a clipper-phobic dog is a nightmare.Take extreme care to avoid cutting into your puppy’s quick (the tissue part of the nail, shown in the figure). Aside from being excruciatingly painful, the cut will bleed for hours because the quick has lots of veins. To prevent excessive bleeding, purchase a clotting solution like styptic powder from your veterinarian. It works like magic.

Caring for Your Puppy's Teeth

Taking care of your puppy's teeth is a lot like taking care of your own.

Start your puppy off right with a good dog dental health routine, and it'll be easier to help him maintain a healthy mouth throughout his life.

By age three, about eight out of ten dogs will show signs of dental disease, according to statistics. What’s more, dental disease can impact your pet’s overall health.

Preventive care can be a fraction of the cost of dental disease treatment.

Dog Dental Care Tips

Good preventive care begins with attention to these basics:

  • Oral Care Food: Feeding your puppy a firm, kibbled, premium pet food daily is an easy way to help slow down plaque formation through a mechanical, abrasive action. Certain premium foods have been specially designed to help keep teeth clean.
  • Dental Treats & Chews: These daily, tasty treats work between the tooth and gum line to reduce plaque and freshen breath. Chews and chew toys are another fun and easy way to prevent tartar because they encourage chewing and aid puppy teething.
  • Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth: One of the best ways to prevent tartar is to brush your puppy's teeth weekly. Before you introduce a toothbrush, approach your pet when he’s calm and relaxed. Massage gums and teeth with fingers to get him used to handling of the mouth. Your veterinarian can give you additional tips for brushing techniques.
  • Exams & Cleanings: Your puppy needs annual dental exams and professional cleanings just like you do. The frequency of cleanings depends on each dog's individual needs, so be sure to consult your veterinarian at least once every six months. But if you notice bad breath or other signs of dental disease, call for an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.

Your Puppy's Teeth

Puppies lose baby teeth just like people do. Puppies have 28 temporary teeth that erupt at three to four weeks of age. They lose these puppy teeth at about four months when their 42 permanent teeth begin to emerge.

 

Your Guide To Brushing Puppy Teeth

Brushing your puppy's teeth is a quick and easy way to keep his teeth and gums healthy and strong

Once Fido has all his deciduous teeth (aka 'milk teeth' or 'baby teeth') in place at around 8 weeks of age, it's a good idea to start getting into a routine of brushing his teeth regularly.

His tiny teeth are clean and white right now, and he won't be keeping them for more than a few months, but soon his 'big' adult teeth will start to come in and he'll be hanging onto those for the rest of his life!

Getting your pup comfortable with having his teeth brushed now is important, and good dog dental hygiene is an important part of his health care...... and your responsibility as a caring puppy parent.

It might surprise you to know that plaque can turn into tartar within about 36 hours... so regular brushing IS important as your pup grows up.

You really want to aim for a daily brushing if at all possible.

It only takes a few minutes to do (once you both get the hang of it), but those few minutes could prevent a lot of problems from rearing their heads down the road.

If you have an older pup, or adult dog, check out this page to learn how to brush his teeth properly, why professional dental cleanings are vital, and to see some of the best (and most popular) dog dental care products on the market 

 

How To Brush Your Dogs' Teeth

Whenever possible, daily brushing is best for your dogs' teeth.

This is because it takes only about 36 hours for plaque to harden and become tartar.

Once tartar builds up, simple brushing won't remove it, so aim for a daily tooth-brushing session.

If that's not possible, then brush Fido's teeth every other day, or three times a week.

It's going to be a LOT better than not brushing them at all!
 

  • Choose your dog teeth cleaning utensil.... you can choose from bristled tooth-brushes designed especially for dogs, rubber/plastic finger-brushes or dental sponges. Even a clean wash-cloth can work although it's not as abrasive, and therefore not as effective. 
     
  • Toothpaste is next. Please ONLY buy toothpaste that is formulated for dogs. It's available in flavors that appeal to Fido, and doesn't contain ingredients which could upset his stomach  (foaming agents in human toothpaste can make dogs sick). As your dog can't 'rinse and spit' you can expect him to be swallowing his toothpaste!
     
  • Toothpaste alternatives for dogs. Coconut oil is a good natural alternative to toothpaste for brushing Fido's teeth. It also has antibacterial properties which help to reduce bacteria in your dog's mouth. Dogs usually have not problems accepting this in their mouths. A paste made from baking soda and water is another option, but some dogs don't like the taste, so if your pooch hates it try coconut oil or doggie toothpaste instead.
     
  • Now, wet the brush/sponge/finger-brush and put the toothpaste onto it, and get your dog sitting comfortably in front of you. It can really help to have a second person with you, one to hold your dog while you brush his teeth.
     
  • If you've never brushed your dogs' teeth before, go slowly as he'll probably be anxious, or at the very least curious, about what you're doing. Don't expect him to cooperate right off the bat.
     
  • Gently lift his top lip and brush the outside of his front teeth, then repeat with the bottom ones. Then move around slowly and brush the outer surface of his side teeth, top and bottom. For the first few sessions, this should be enough - he needs time to get used to this strange intrusion into his mouth!
     
  • Use a circular motion as you brush and be gentle but firm with the pressure. Brush/rub the whole surface of the tooth and also focus on the gum-line where debris tends to collect.
     
  • Pay special attention to the upper canines (the 'fangs') and the big double teeth that are closest to the front of his mouth ie. the first double teeth you get to moving from the front of his mouth backwards. These ones tend to collect the most plaque.
     
  • After a week or two you can add gently opening his mouth and brushing the inner (and top) surfaces of his teethas well (unless your dog is absolutely fine with the procedure, in which case you can add this second step to your routine right away).
     
  • Keep your dog teeth brushing sessions as short as you can, without skimping on the cleaning. It may take up to 5 minutes to begin with, but once you both get used to the routine you can probably do it in 2 or 3 minutes.
     
  • Finally, round off every dog teeth cleaning session with a tasty (and dental-friendly) treat. You want your dog to enjoy having his teeth brushed, and surprisingly many dogs do - once they get used to it.

These few minutes can make a world of difference to your dogs' dental, and general, health... keeps his breath fresher too and that's always good!

 

 

I'd always recommend getting your pet enrolled in a good pet health insurance plan as early as possible.

It can literally be a life-saver if your pet needs surgery, get seriously ill, develops a chronic condition or needs something like extensive dental work.

See website page "Trupanion Pet Insurance" for more information.

Need an appointment?

To make an appointment or to receive more information, please call 239-673-9135 or send us an email at:

 

val@cavaliers-by-val.com

 

val1949@yahoo.com  

Please note.  Cavaliers by Val reserves the right to cancel or terminate at our sole discretion the adoption of any Cavalier from our kennel.  

PLEASE BEAR IN MIND, THESE ARE LIVING, BREATHING LITTLE CREATURES WHO NEED TO GO TO THEIR FOREVER HOMES AT 10 WEEKS OF AGE OR SHORTLY THEREAFTER.  A VISIT FOR A PUPPY IN ANY GIVEN LITTER MUST HAVE A DEPOSIT IN PLACE BEFORE WE SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOU.  WITHOUT A DEPOSIT, A PUPPY CANNOT BE RESERVED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.   WE CARE FOR THESE BABIES DEEPLY AND WANT VERY MUCH FOR THESE LITTLE TREASURES TO GO TO THEIR FOREVER HOME, THEY DESERVE GREAT HAPPINESS AND YOU DESERVE THEIR UNQUESTIONING LOVE.  MAKE CERTAIN YOU WANT A PARTICULAR PUPPY BEFORE YOU PLACE A DEPOSIT.  DEPOSITS MADE ON AN UNBORN LITTER IS REFUNDABLE. ONCE A PUPPY IS BORN AND YOU HAVE PLACED A DEPOSIT, THAT PUPPY IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE TO ANYONE ELSE TO PLACE A DEPOSIT ON. FAMILIES ARE SCHEDULED TO VISIT AND FINALIZE THEIR CHOICE OF PUPPIES AT SIX WEEKS OF AGE ON A FRIDAY OR SATURDAY.  WE SCHEDULE VETERINARIAN AND SPECIALIST APPOINTMENTS THE REST OF THE WEEK.   YOUR VISIT TAKES PLACE IN ORDER OF DEPOSITS SUBMITTED AND  RESERVES THAT PUPPY FOR YOU AND ONLY YOU.  SHOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND AFTER 24 HOURS OF MAKING YOUR CHOICE, YOUR DEPOSIT IS NO LONGER REFUNDABLE.  PLEASE BE CERTAIN OF THE COLOR AND GENDER YOU DESIRE, DO NOT 'SETTLE', THAT IS IMPORTANT.  DON'T REGRET YOUR DECISION.   

IF A PUPPY IS AVAILABLE  AFTER 10 WEEKS OF AGE A DEPOSIT MAY BE PLACED AND IS REFUNDABLE UNTIL YOU'RE ABLE TO VISIT IN PERSON, SHOULD YOU DECIDE NOT TO ADOPT THE PUPPY THEN YOUR DEPOSIT IS REFUNDABLE.  

 

CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES ARE NOT ABLE TO BE COVERED UNDER THESE GUIDELINES, BUT CAN BE WORKED OUT VIA TELEPHONE/EMAIL AS AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOUR FAMILY AND OUR KENNEL.

FANTOM VAL'S CHARMING TREVOR

After you have made a selection of your puppy, comes the inevitable 'we can't wait to get our new puppy home', and for you as the new 'parents', it may seem like forever!!  But still this is a very important time for you and your new family member.  Come and visit them, let your new 'fur baby' get used to your voice, your scent, your touch.  We want to accomodate you as much as possible, but with feeding, bathing, grooming and taking our Cavaliers to the vet, we have to ask that you try if at all possible to schedule your visit on FRIDAY or SATURDAY between 11am and 4pm, allowing you time to start to develop a bond with your new little one.  If that is not a possibility due to work/life schedules, we will attempt to accomodate a different day, these bonding visits are very important to the puppy's comfort level with you, making their transition to you and your family so much easier.  We'll have an area set up in our living room with more than ample room to let them wander around and stretch their little legs and for you to play with and handle your new family member.