Good Health and Grooming: Keeping Boerboel in Peak Physical Condition

grooming boerboelsKeeping your Boerboel in peak physical condition requires an iron will to resist big doleful eyes while rivers of slobber flow from “hungry” jowls as you carve your Sunday roast! The Boerboel is the quintessential vacuum cleaner – they eat anything and everything and always seem hungry! There is no delicate way to put it – these massive dogs eat a lot! It is imperative to choose a good quality dry dog food for your Boerboel. Firstly it is completely balanced with the right combination of nutrition for optimal health. Secondly, dry food helps to ward off a host of dental problems like bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. This is not to say you should never treat your Boerboel, but rather to be particular about the type of food you give him. Feeding him table scraps will make him very happy, but it is not what is healthiest for him. It is so important not to overfeed your Boerboel and to exercise him daily, as being overweight will put unnecessary strain on joints leading to hip and elbow dysplasia. Daily exercise will also keep him psychologically happy and will ensure his naturally muscular frame reaches peak definition.

In general, Boerboels are a healthy breed with few hereditary conditions and an average life expectancy of 10 years. Their good health is probably due to the fact that they were only formally recognized as a breed in 1980, and thus the gene pool was only recently closed. Interbreeding in a closed gene pool causes the host of health issues that plague other older, recognized and established pure-breeds. The Boerboel breed is prone to eye problems such as Ectropion and Entropion and is predisposed to gastric dilation and volvulus (bloat). It is important to keep your Boerboel calm for an hour or two after a meal to prevent this life threatening condition. In recent years, stress induced epilepsy has also been noted in the Boerboel breed. As with any other breed it is important to take your boerboel to the vet for regular check-ups to catch any health problems early. You should always ensure that your Boerboels vaccinations are up to date and should have your dog regularly treated for ticks, fleas and worms, whether or not any are present. Prevention is better than cure!

Boerboels Are Easy To Groom

Boerboels are very low maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming. Their coat is short, smooth and soft and sheds minimally. Regular grooming will also help you to become aware of any skin problems or parasite infestations that are developing and allow you to be proactive in treating them. Ear care and teeth cleaning should also form part of your regular grooming sessions. Brushing the coat, while not strictly necessary, is very much desired. Boerboels love the one on one attention that comes from being pampered and will spend hours lying down for a good brush and rub. Regular grooming from an early age helps to build up a strong bond of closeness and trust between you and your dog and is a great way to spend quality time bonding with your Boerboel. The recommended monthly bath and nail trim is not always so welcomed however – Boerboels do not enjoy water. Their biddable personalities mean that a few yummy treats are all that is really needed to entice them, and although not happy, they will submit to be cleaned. I have found that warm water, meaty treats and a massage glove with bristles works wonders in eliciting good bath behavior! Following the basic guidelines above will go a long way towards ensuring your dog’s good health and will help to keep your Boerboel looking and feeling his best.