Dog grooming is an integral part of keeping your dog both healthy and happy. Because a healthy dog is a happy one! Grooming your dog goes beyond just bathing his fur and brushing his teeth however; it is also entailing other activities that we will talk about in this article.
To be able to groom your dog well, you need basic supplies and equipment like PH-balanced dog shampoo and conditioner, brush, comb, dog toothpaste, dog clippers, etc. The good news is that you do not need to buy all the most expensive supplies for a good result. Many items can be bought inexpensively and still produce a good result.
The way in which you need to groom your dog varies from one breed of dog to another. But it is important to find out how much and what grooming your dog needs before you give it a home as grooming some dogs requires a significant commitment and can’t be neglected. A dog with unbrushed, matted fur suffers in more ways than just not looking tidy. There are many direct health benefits to grooming a dog.
So, here are our tips on things to remember when grooming your dog;
● The Grooming Materials Should be Handy
For a faster and easier job, it is a good idea to gather everything you’re going to need in one place before you start the task. When you’re up to your elbows in soap suds, you don’t want to then realize you’ve left your comb upstairs. Make sure, therefore, that all the materials you need are close at hand before starting the grooming process.
● Brush Your Dog’s Coat
A thorough combing is necessary and should usually be the first step in any grooming process, to avoid difficulties going forward. Brushing helps to detangle any mats on the coat of the dog and makes it easier and less painful to complete the other grooming tasks. To brush the coat of your dog, run the brush from the head of the dog down their body, being careful while brushing the belly, as it is sensitive.
Do note that every coat has a specific brush type. Using the best brush for the coat of your dog makes it less painful and worrisome for the dog. For example, a pin brush is a better fit for dogs with medium hair like Border Collies, a metal comb is best for dogs with curly hair like Poodles etc.
● Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth is essential for ensuring healthy teeth and gums. However, most people do not do so regularly because of reasons like lack of time. Endeavour to brush your dog’s teeth at least 3 times a week. Always use dog toothpaste rather than toothpaste for humans.
While brushing your dog’s teeth, take breaks so as not to overwhelm him which could lead to you being hurt. If think there is a chance you could get bitten while brushing their teeth, do not do so. Instead, use the services of professional dog groomers.
To brush your dog’s teeth, squeeze some toothpaste onto the brush and let them lick it off. Gently but surely rub the toothpaste and brush against their teeth and gums. In between brushing, take little breaks and give your dog a treat and some reassuring rubs as you do so.
● Bath Your Dog
Gather the supplies for bathing before you begin; bathing a dog can be a messy affair and having to leave in the middle to get one item or another could make it even messier! Wash the dog thoroughly with shampoo, beginning with his neck and working downwards. Wash his head last and do not use soap around the eyes or ears. Instead, use a wet towel to clean his head or purchase tearless shampoo. After washing, rinse the dog well to remove any shampoo residue.
Once he is all washed and rinsed, it is better to use a shammy to dry his body before using regular towels, the reason for this is that a shammy absorbs water and makes it faster for the dog to get dry.
You can go a step further to blow dry the dog, especially if he is still wet even after using towels. The blow dryer should be on a cool setting to avoid hurting the dog. It is definitely a slow process but it’s safer.
● Clip Your Dog’s Fur
Most dog breeds have short hair and therefore, do not need regular hair clipping. In fact, there are some dogs that absolutely shouldn’t ever be clipped so make sure you know whether your breed of dog needs clipping or not. However, if you do own a hairy dog, you may need to clip their hair regularly for the sake of hygiene and good health.
Before doing so, read the directions on the clippers and watch a video on how to clip your dog’s hairs without hurting them, or you.
● Trim Your Dog’s Nails
Trimming a dog’s nails takes patience and time; this is not an activity dogs enjoy so getting it done can be a tad difficult. Prepare your dog by getting them calm, and do the cutting in small bursts, giving your dog breaks in between. After every successful nail trimming, praise your dog both with words and actions (treats).
Avoid trying to do too much or go too fast as this might scare or overwhelm your dog and the nail trimming won’t go well then.
It is difficult to trim dogs that have black nails rather than clear nails. With the latter, you can see the quick; the quick is the blood vessel in the nail of a dog and if you cut it, it leads to bleeding and extreme pain for the dog.
The solution is to trim a tiny amount of nail at time, instead of cutting out a chunk of nail and by doing so you get to gradually see the quick of the nail and stop trimming. As stated above, because nail trimming is not exactly a favorite activity for dogs, your dog might get aggressive and try to bite you, something they wouldn’t do in normal circumstances.
If your dog does start to get aggressive, stop trimming their nails immediately to avoid endangering yourself and think about seeking professional help instead.
In summary, regular grooming keeps your dog healthy, clean and presentable. Many dog owners prefer the services of professional groomers than having to groom their dogs themselves, which is understandable as grooming a dog takes time, energy and patience. However, it is possible to groom your dog at home if you have the right equipment, guidance and take your time. It can even be a bonding experience for you and your dog.