In This Chapter
- Grooming your Boston at home
- Knowing what to look for in a groomer
- Treating your dog to a day at the spa — really!
- Dressing your dog in duds designed especially for her
Being short-haired and single-coated, your Boston Terrier doesn’t demand the labor-intensive grooming that some breeds require. She will, however, require regular washing, brushing, and nail trimming, in addition to ear cleaning and tooth brushing, to keep her healthy and smelling fresh.
Keeping that coat — not to mention her nails, eyes, ears, and teeth — looking its best takes routine maintenance. You can expect daily, weekly, and semi-monthly grooming rituals to minimize shedding and keep her coat glossy and clean. After figuring out what tools you need and what to do with them, grooming time will be a pleasurable experience for you and your Boston, resulting in a strong bond you both will enjoy.
Sometimes, you may require the skills of a professional groomer. Choosing one who you’re comfortable with requires research, visits, and recommendations from reliable sources. You can find out more about how to select a groomer in this chapter.
You can also get tips on how to dress your dog in practical and fashionable duds, including how to select appropriate clothing for her and how to fit her. A Boston’s short coat also demands an extra layer of protection and warmth during the chilly seasons.
Grooming at Home
Just as you bathe, comb your hair, and brush your teeth daily, your Boston will require routine maintenance to keep her coat clean and lustrous, her nails trimmed, and her breath fresh. Likewise, just as you visit the salon or barber every couple of months, your Boston Terrier will require visits to the groomer for deep cleans — and even a little pampering! (The “Visiting the Groomer or Spa” section later in this chapter has the details you need.) For regular upkeep, though, you can easily groom your Boston at home with just a few tools, a little instruction, and a couple of minutes each day.
These grooming rituals also give you the opportunity to handle and inspect your Boston, checking for abnormalities, such as bumps or cuts. You can also check the condition of your dog’s paws, ears, eyes, nose, and mouth.
In this section, you find all the information you need to groom your Boston at home. You discover how to set up a grooming area. You can read about all the tools you need and find out how to clean your pup’s ears, eyes, nose, and teeth. You also develop a routine for the whole grooming process, scheduling times throughout the day, week, and month to make your pup clean and cuddly.
Getting ready to groom
Many breeders prepare their pups for grooming when they’re still very young. They hold them and coddle them, looking at their mouths, their paws, and their eyes and ears. Most likely, by the time your Boston met you, she was used to being handled. You can continue the breeder’s or previous owner’s work by handling your Boston every day. Your dog needs to feel comfortable with someone touching her body, inspecting her eyes and ears, tickling her toes, and even rubbing her gums.
Before you begin actually grooming your Boston, however, you need to set up a regular space, gather your tools, and acclimate your Boston to the grooming ritual.
Choose a location
To begin your home-based, Boston beauty routine, you must first choose a specific location. Dogs like regular rituals, so choosing one place teaches your dog what to expect and how to behave while you’re grooming her.
Some people place their Boston on a countertop when they clean and brush their dog; others use a grooming table, which allows them the flexibility to walk around it while leaving their dog in one place. Whatever surface you choose, always put a nonslip pad on the surface — and never leave your Boston unattended.
When you think about the best place for your grooming station, consider an area near a sink or tub that has a hand-held sprayer. You also want to have access to an electrical outlet.
Gather your tools
Every Boston household should stock the following:
– Shampoo and conditioner: There are many on the market, but choose one formulated for a small dog with a short coat. Avoid the shampoo-conditioner combos. They may cut bath time in half, but the coat won’t be as clean.
You may also consider a shampoo that is designed for dogs with a white coat. These products do wonders for enhancing and whitening a dirty white dog!
– Slicker brush: These are rectangular brushes with fine pins that are designed to reach to your Boston’s skin, massaging it and pulling away dead hair and skin.
– Bristle brush: Resembling a human hair brush, these tools whisk away debris and polish your Boston’s coat.
– Shedding blade: These tools have bent wire teeth set close together that pull off dead hair.
– Soft towel: Because a Boston’s coat is short and smooth, a quick wipe-down with a damp soft towel in between washes will restore the coat’s shine and remove any residual dirt.
– Scissors: Small scissors are used for trimming the hair around your Boston’s ears, the bottom of the feet, and the anus. Select small-blade scissors that fit your hand comfortably.
– Nail clippers: The two basic types are the scissor cut and the guillotine cut. Purchase whichever you prefer.
– Styptic powder: Styptic powder, which stops the flow of blood, is good to have on hand for unexpected nail-trimming accidents.
– Cotton balls: You’ll use these for cleaning out your Boston’s ears and around her eyes.
– Ear-cleaning solution: You’ll use this harmless cleaning solution on a cotton ball to clean around your pup’s ears and inside the folds.
– Blow-dryer: Though your Boston’s coat is short, you’ll blowdry her coat after bath time to prevent her from chilling. Choose one that has low- and no-heat settings.
– Toothbrush and dog toothpaste: A child’s soft toothbrush with some dog-specific toothpaste will keep your Boston’s teeth tartar-free.
You can find all these items at your local pet supply store, online, through mail order, or through your groomer.
Get her used to grooming
You’ll have an easier time grooming your Boston if she’s familiar with the grooming area and tools you’ll be using. Here’s how to introduce her to this new routine:
– Let your Boston get used to the countertop or grooming table you’ll be using. Allow her to sniff and inspect it.
– Run your hands over her entire body. Gently give your dog a massage, feeling every bone, muscle, and tendon. This action not only prepares your dog for grooming rituals, but it also helps you become more aware of how your dog normally feels. If she develops a lump or injures herself, you’ll know right away.
– Show your Boston the grooming tools. You don’t need to use them on the dog just yet; have them out and let her inspect these new items. Slowly introduce her to the pin brush, comb, toothbrush, and blow-dryer, rewarding her for good behavior.
As you help your Boston get used to the idea of regular grooming, encourage good behavior by rewarding her with toys and treats. Soon, your Boston will jump for joy when you take her to her grooming area and pull out the grooming toolkit!
Caring for healthy skin and coat
That short and tight Boston coat is beautiful, and to keep it looking its best, expect to do some daily brushing and monthly washing.
The Boston is a single-coated breed, which means she has no undercoat to keep her warm. Though she may get chilly during the cold months (flip to the end of this chapter for details on finding the right fit for doggy clothing), her single coat means less grooming for you. You won’t need a de-matting tool, de-shedding comb, or undercoat rake. You won’t have to tease out mats or knots. You’ll only need a slicker brush, bristle brush, and a shedding blade to keep her coat under control — and not all over your couch!
Oils from sebaceous glands under the skin naturally condition the hair and skin. Too much washing can cause dry, flaky skin and chapping, but daily brushing releases the oils, keeping the skin and coat healthy. With regular brushing, you’ll only need to wash your Boston’s coat once a month or so, unless she meets a skunk or rolls in a mud puddle!
When brushing your Boston, follow the same routine each time. That way, she’ll know what to expect. You can follow these steps:
1. Place your Boston on her designated grooming spot. Begin by using the bristle brush to smooth out the coat and remove any dirt or debris.
Always brush in the same direction that the hair is growing, brushing from the head toward the tail, and down her sides and legs. And don’t forget her belly!
2. While you’re brushing her, feel her body for cuts, scrapes, bumps, or irregularities.
3. Use the shedding blade to pull off dead hair.
Gently rake across your Boston’s body, being careful not to scrape her skin.
4. After you’ve released the majority of the dead hair, use the slicker brush to gather any excess.
If the brush fills with fur, clean it out and keep going. Your dog will shed heavily during certain times of year, but if she sheds an excessive amount often, consult your veterinarian for advice.
Don’t forget to carefully brush your Boston’s face. You can use the tip of the bristle brush to get around her nose, mouth, and ears. Use extreme caution around her prominent eyes.
Depending on her activity level, your Boston will require semimonthly or monthly baths. Any more than that will dry out her skin and cause dandruff and brittle hair. Shampooing your dog’s coat not only washes away dirt, but it also washes away the natural oils that keep her coat shiny and, believe it or not, clean.
The natural oils form a barrier that repels dirt and odor. When you bathe your Boston, use a shampoo and conditioner formulated specifically for a dog. If the white in your pup’s coat starts to loose its snowy sheen, clean it with a shampoo made for whitecoated breeds.
Using a coat conditioner when you bathe your Boston is optional. The conditioner simply softens your Boston’s coat. It’s not necessary, but it’s a nice way to make your Boston more huggable.
Before bath time, gather all the gear you’ll need to wash, dry, and brush out your dog: shampoo, conditioner (optional), cotton balls, your bristle brush, a blow-dryer, and a couple of fluffy towels.
1. Brush out your Boston’s coat thoroughly before bathing it.
Strip all the dead hair and skin before you soak your pup! (See the previous section for brushing tips.)
2. Prepare the bathing area. Place a nonslip mat in the sink and place your shampoo, conditioner, and towels nearby.
Many Boston owners use the kitchen or bathroom sink to bathe their pets, while others use the bathtub. On warm, sunny days, you can also bathe her outside using a plastic tub and the hose with an adjustable nozzle.
3. Gently plug your Boston’s ears with cotton balls and put her in the sink.
4. With lukewarm water, rinse your dog’s head and body, being careful not to get water in her ears. After she’s thoroughly wet, turn off the water.
A pull-out nozzle or hand sprayer attached to the faucet or hose makes this job easy. You can also use a pitcher or bowl filled with water to wet down and rinse her coat.
5. Using a silver dollar–size drop of shampoo, wash and massage your dog’s coat and skin, including her ears, belly, and rear.
Do not get the shampoo near her eyes. Repeat if necessary.
6. Rinse the soap out completely, working from her head down her back and underneath her body.
7. Apply the conditioner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let it soak in, and then rinse thoroughly.
8. Let her shake off the excess water, and then wrap your clean dog in a big fluffy towel to soak up the rest.
9. Finish drying her coat with the blow-dryer using a lowor no-heat setting. Being cautious around her face, start by drying her neck area and work down toward her tail.
Because your Boston’s coat is so short, blow drying her isn’t a necessity, particularly during warmer weather. A dry coat, though, prevents your pup from getting chilled in the wintertime.
Trimming those nails: A paw-dicure
Nail trimming is a grooming ritual that you should do monthly at least. You know your Boston’s nails have grown too long if you hear click-clicking when she walks across the floor! An ideal time to trim her nails is after her bath when her nails are softened from the warm water, but anytime will do.
Like all dogs, your Boston’s toenails grow continually and need to be trimmed to keep them at a healthy length. If they grow too long past the pads of the feet, they can curve inward and cut into the pad. Long nails can also cause the dog to lose traction, because they may prevent her pads from hitting the ground. They can tear upholstery, snag clothing, and cause scratches, too.
Not only does regular trimming keep the nails at a healthy length, but it also gives you the opportunity to inspect your dog’s pads for cracks and her toes for splinters or thorns. Your Boston’s pads should be soft yet calloused, depending on her age and activity level. There should be no tender or swollen areas on the paw. If there is, consult your veterinarian for advice.
Watch the quick
Most Boston toenails are black. This color makes it difficult to see the quick, which is the vein inside the nail. Clipping the quick is painful and can cause your Boston’s nail to bleed.
To find the quick, use a flashlight or look at your dog’s nails outdoors. You should be able to see the opaque portion in the center base of the nail — that’s the quick.
Whenever you trim your dog’s nails, keep a container of styptic powder nearby. If you clip the quick, pour or pack a tiny bit of powder on the nail. It will stop the quick from bleeding.
Cutting and grinding
You can choose from several types of nail trimmers at your local pet store. Whichever style you choose, select the size that’s most appropriate for your Boston’s nails.
When you trim your dog’s nails the first few times, enlist the help of another person to steady your Boston and distract her with a spoonful of peanut butter or a quick ear massage. Having an extra set of hands will be very helpful when your dog starts squirming!
To cut your Boston’s nails:
1. Get you and your dog into a position that’s comfortable for both of you.
You can position your Boston several ways: held against your chest, standing on a table or other nonskid spot, or laying on her back.
2. With the dog held securely in place by you or your assistant, hold the trimmers with your dominant hand and the dog’s paw with the other.
3. Gently press your index finger and your thumb on one toe, which extends the nail and prevents it from retracting.
4. Clip off the portion of the nail that’s curving downward (see Figure 8-1).
5. Repeat with the other 19 toes.
With time, trimming your Boston’s nails will become second nature to you both.
The first few times you clip your pup’s nails, be extra cautious about not clipping her quick. Some dogs have very long memories, and a negative nail-clipping experience may make it very difficult the next time you try to trim her!
Figure 8-1: When trimming your Boston’s nails, avoid the quick.
You can also invest in an electric or battery-operated nail grinder. Easy to use, these devices help avoid accidentally cutting the quick and allow you to grind down sharp areas on the nail. If you purchase a grinder, introduce it to your Boston when she’s a puppy. The device makes a whining sound and vibrates when applied to the nail, both of which take some getting used to.
Here’s to clean ears
A Boston’s ears stand erect, which leaves them prone to dirt, grime, and even ear mites. When Bostons play in the yard or meet friends at the dog park, their ears are vulnerable to all sorts of debris. Cleaning your dog’s ears several times a week keeps them healthy.
Ear care takes some getting used to. She may not like to have her ears handled at first. Work with your Boston until she is comfortable with you touching her ears, looking in them, and cleaning them.
Follow these steps to wipe out your Boston’s ears:
1. Inspect your Boston’s ears. Gently hold the edge of her ear and check for wax, discharge, odor, or signs of ear mites.
A moderate amount of wax is normal, but any discharge or odor may signal other problems, such as an infection. Monitor the situation and consult your veterinarian if it persists.
2. Using a cotton ball moistened with ear-cleaning solution, wipe the inside of the ear, getting inside all the folds and creases (see Figure 8-2).
If you see some dark brown or black debris on the cotton ball, your Boston may have ear mites, which thrive on ear wax and other debris in the ear canal. Continue to wipe until the cotton ball comes out clean, and do it daily. (For more on ear mites and their effects, see Chapter Your Visit to the Veterinarian
3. Use a fresh cotton ball for the other ear.
4. Make sure to thoroughly dry both ears with a clean cotton ball.
If possible, cotton swabs should be avoided because they can damage the inner ear if used incorrectly.
Figure 8-2: Use a cotton ball moistened with ear-cleaning solution to wipe the inside of your dog’s ear.
Keeping the eyes bright and nose wiped
Boston Terriers’ eyes are prominent features on their expressive faces. Protruding like they do, their eyes are vulnerable to ocular irritation or injury. You should check your Boston’s eyes daily for redness or unusual discharge. If you see anything unusual, bring it to your veterinarian’s attention immediately. He should check out any eye problems within 24 hours.
Because they have a short coat, you don’t need to worry about trimming the hair around your Boston’s eyes, but you will need to make sure you clean them as often as needed with a soft, damp cloth. Use extreme caution when brushing your dog’s face, paying special attention to the area around her eyes.
Your Boston’s nose is normally cool and moist. It should not appear red or irritated; if it does, that could be a result of an injury, illness, or sensitivity. Any secretions from her nose should be clear and watery, not cloudy, yellow, or green, which indicates a sinus or respiratory infection and requires a visit to your veterinarian.
To clean her nose, simply use a damp cloth and wipe off any dirt that may be present. Your dog’s nose is sensitive, so be extra gentle with it!
Tending to those pearly whites
Dental hygiene is an extremely important part of your Boston’s grooming routine. Bacteria buildup from poor oral health has been linked to infection and disease in dogs’ major organs, including their hearts, livers, and kidneys.
Oral health is especially important for Bostons. Tartar builds up quickly, resulting in plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath. The dog’s gums become swollen and irritated, and in extreme instances, bleed and fill with pus. If left untreated, periodontal disease can set in, and the dog may need to have her teeth pulled. All of this can be prevented by establishing and maintaining good dental habits.
Your Boston’s teeth should be brushed at least once a week (though once a day would be ideal) with a child’s soft toothbrush and toothpaste designed especially for dogs, not for humans. The brushing removes the tartar and breaks up the plaque. If your Boston doesn’t like the toothbrush, try massaging her teeth and gums with dog toothpaste on your finger to get her used to the procedure.
Get your Boston used to the teeth-cleaning routine when she’s a puppy. With the pup on your lap, gently use your pinky finger to massage her gums and feel her teeth — including the back ones. After her adult teeth come in, introduce the toothbrush and toothpaste.
Follow these steps when polishing your Boston’s teeth:
1. Put a dime-size dollop of doggy toothpaste on the toothbrush, and get your pup into position.
Don’t use human toothpaste when you brush your Boston’s teeth. It’s not safe for your Boston, and she probably won’t like the taste.
At first, this tooth-brushing ritual can be done with your Boston sitting in your lap. When she grows accustomed to the routine, brush her teeth while she’s on the designated grooming table.
2. Let your pup sniff and taste the toothpaste.
Doggy toothpaste tastes good to dogs, so as soon as she tastes it on the toothbrush, she’ll let you lift her lip so you can start brushing. If your dog resists, consider using a finger toothbrush. A small, plastic brush that fits on your finger like a thimble, it lets you get inside your dog’s mouth, especially if you trained her as a puppy.
3. Use a circular motion when brushing your dog’s teeth, just as you use on your own teeth (see Figure 8-3).
Clean the outside and the inside of the teeth, and don’t miss those teeth in the back of the mouth — plaque and tartar tend to accumulate there the most.
4. Give her some water to wash down the toothpaste.
Dogs don’t need to rinse and spit (so to speak); the dog toothpaste is okay for them to swallow. But have some clean, fresh water nearby to allow your pup to take a drink after you brush her teeth.
In addition to brushing, offer your Boston treats designed to break down tartar and plaque. Several are available from pet supply stores; ask your retailer or veterinarian for recommendations. Feeding your Boston dry food or a special tartar-control diet can also break down plaque that builds up on the teeth, but there’s no substitute for actually brushing her pearly whites.
No matter how often you brush your Boston’s teeth, you should plan to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned at your veterinarian’s discretion.
Figure 8-3: Massage your Boston’s teeth and gums with the toothbrush, using a circular motion to break down the plaque and tartar.
Bostons who aren’t eating, drinking, or playing with their favorite chew toys may be suffering from gum disease. Look at your dog’s teeth and gums, and if her gums look red and swollen, are sensitive, or are bleeding, call your veterinarian.
Visiting the Groomer or Spa
Some Boston Terrier owners choose to take their pet to the groomer for regular shampooing, nail trimming, tooth brushing, and ear cleaning. Others visit the groomer only occasionally for deep cleanings or if their pooch gets herself into something that requires a groomer’s expertise.
Groomers specialize in keeping your dog looking and smelling good. Some take classes to perfect cutting techniques, and some compete in grooming shows. These “dog hairdressers” can be found in strip malls, pet stores, boarding facilities, and veterinarian’s offices. Often, you can find a groomer through references from your breeder, veterinarian, friend, or colleague.
Dog spas are another stylish option that have enjoyed growth in the past five years. Often doubling as a doggy daycare facility, dog spas encourage Boston owners to drop their dog off at the spa for a day of aromatherapy, hair styling, grooming, massage, and more. Your pup can also play with other dogs in a controlled and supervised environment or enjoy a day of training and exercise. The spas also allow you to leave your dog in the hands of a capable guardian while you enjoy a day of shopping or pampering yourself!
Before you drop off your Boston for her grooming session or spa day, you should examine the shop and meet the handler who will be working with your dog. Just as you wouldn’t leave your child with a stranger at an unfamiliar daycare facility, you shouldn’t leave your Boston without first doing some homework.
Inspecting the facility
Safety is extremely important in any grooming facility. The life of your Boston is at stake, so you’ll want to examine everything — from the washing area, the grooming tables, and dryers to the outdoor play area and common areas. Check for the following:
– Ask if the facility requires proof of vaccination and whether a current bordetella vaccination (a highly contagious respiratory disease commonly known as “kennel cough”) is required. Dogs with communicable diseases should never be allowed in the shop.
– Take note of the facility’s atmosphere. Dogs sense and respond to mood, so the atmosphere should be relaxed and calm, with groomers showing no signs of stress or exhaustion.
– Inspect the shop itself. Both the washing and the grooming areas should be neat and clean. The shop should be relatively odor-free and a comfortable temperature.
– Assess the space dedicated to grooming. Is there enough room for multiple grooming tables? Are there enough crates in all sizes to house clients’ dogs? Is there an area dedicated to potty breaks, and is that area safe and clean?
– Look closely at the free-standing or cage dryers and how they’re used. Ask the groomer how she dries the dogs, and whether the dryers turn off if they get too hot. You don’t want your Boston getting burned!
Evaluating the staff
When you leave your Boston with a groomer or handler, you want to feel confident that your dog is in capable and loving hands. The best groomers and handlers have years of experience managing many different types dog breeds, personalities, and temperaments. They continue to learn about their trade, honing their skills through workshops and competitions.
Keep in mind the following points about groomers and handlers when you visit the facility:
– Observe how the staff interacts with the animals. Do they show genuine love and compassion to the dogs? Do they leave them unattended on the grooming tables? Do they work with more than one animal at a time?
– Find out how much experience the groomers have. Ask the shop manager or owner what types of dogs frequent the facility. Are the groomers adept at handling all types of dogs, including Boston Terriers? How long have they been grooming?
– Talk to the groomer herself. Do you feel comfortable with her and her co-workers? You should be able to bring questions or concerns to her without hesitation. If you like the groomer, your dog will like the groomer and enjoy the experience.
If you like the staff and the facility (see the previous section), ask the groomer for some references of recent clients she’s worked with. Ask these pet owners for honest reviews and anecdotes.
Whether to use a certified groomer is up for debate. As of press time, there are no legal requirements that a groomer be certified, but the ones who are have documented proof that they passed a practical skills assessment test and a written exam.
These tests require the individuals to demonstrate their grooming expertise on one breed from each AKC-recognized group. They also quiz the groomers on subjects like anatomy, breed standards, breed identification, canine terms, general canine health, and pesticides.
When groomers pass the exams with an 85 percent or above average, they earn the title of National Certified Master Groomer. Though no database of certified groomers currently exists, you can find a certified groomer through referrals from your veterinarian, pet store, breeder, or breed club.
Handling sticky situations
Because Bostons are curious dogs, it’s inevitable that your pet will get into something she shouldn’t. Here are some common grooming problems and some ways to handle them:
– Burrs and stickers: Those little pieces of nature are sure to cause your Boston some grief. Brush or pick them out as soon as possible. Stubborn pieces can be coaxed out using some conditioning spray.
– Bubble gum: What a sticky mess! Before pulling out the clippers, rub the gum with ice cubes and try to break it out. If that doesn’t work, use some conditioner, vegetable oil, or peanut butter to pull it out. If none of those methods work, turn to the clippers.
– Skunk spray: Several over-the-counter shampoos are formulated just for this purpose. Brush your dog thoroughly before bathing her, and wash according to the package instructions.
– Paint: All paint is toxic, so you’ll need to remove it immediately and not let your Boston ingest any of it. Latex paint is water soluble, so it will rinse out with water. Oil-based paint will necessitate a trim. Never use turpentine or any solvent on your Boston’s coat.
Even if your groomer is not certified, ask her if she continues to educate herself with regard to pet hygiene and care. Hands-on seminars and competitions keep groomers current on the latest wisdom in this field, so if she is continually seeking to improve her skills, she’s a good groomer to have.
Clothes and Accessories for Your Boston
The quintessential Boston look doesn’t typically include a bow or booties, but with your dog’s short coat, she’ll appreciate a jacket or sweater to keep her warm when the weather turns cold. If your Boston Terrier spends a lot of time outside during chilly days, invest in some outerwear to keep her toasty and dry.
In most pet specialty stores today, you can find a range of clothing designed especially for dogs. From T-shirts and jackets to booties and hats, you can choose from all sorts of fashionable accessories.
Sizing clothes for your dog
When choosing clothes for your Boston, measure around her chest, and from the nape of her neck to the base of her tail to determine the correct size.
Typically, Bostons wear a size small or medium, depending on the cut of the clothing and the size of your dog. When you’re considering a piece of clothing for your dog, take a look at its cut. It should look like it would fit a dog, not like a dog-size human garment. The arm holes should be in the front for a proper fit.
When you try the outfit on your dog, take a look at how it fits. It should be adjustable and have some give in areas around the neck and legs. Make sure there are no tight areas that could cut off your pup’s circulation. And make sure that the garment isn’t too big because she could get tangled up in it.
Dressing your Boston
Some dog clothing is functional. These pieces keep your dog warm, dry, and protected. Here are some garments to consider:
- Sweater or sweat shirt
- Waterproof slicker
- Wool or leather jacket
- Long-sleeve T-shirt
Some clothing, however, is purely for the dog owner’s benefit. A crystal-encrusted tiara, froufrou dress, and patent-leather Mary Janes look adorable, but they’re mainly for show. These fashionable pieces make a statement about you and your Boston’s personalities. Haute couture or trendy outfits are fun to put on your dog, but don’t make a habit out of it. Your dog is a dog, after all, and you wouldn’t want her dirtying up her favorite outfit.
Along with the clothing, your Boston may also appreciate some dog-size shoes. Though your dog shouldn’t wear shoes all the time, she’ll like them when it’s icy outside or when it’s too hot for bare pads. Measure one of your dog’s paws (from the tips of her toes to the back edge of her rear pad) to size the shoe correctly.
Hats are another accessory you can use to keep your Boston warm and dry or fashionably trendy. Water-repellant rain hats, for instance, will keep your pup dry, while an adorable dog-size sombrero would be perfect for that Cinco de Mayo party!
by Wendy Bedwell-Wilson
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