Grooming your dog is important to keep them feeling great and looking great. It is a brilliant way to strengthen the bond with your pet, spend some quality time with them and allows you to check for any unusual signs that they might be unwell. Here are some of the dog grooming basics.
Brushing your dog regularly will help to keep their hair in good condition, remove dirt and prevent any tangles. It also helps to spread the natural oils in your dog’s coat, which keeps it shiny and healthy. Usually, dogs with shorter coats require less grooming than those with medium to long hair. Some with very short hair may not need brushing at all, but rather a once over with a grooming glove to remove loose hair.
Bathing your dog is important to clean their skin and coat, removing any loose dirt. However, if you bathe your pup too frequently it can dry out their skin, so try to reserve bath time for when your dog really needs it, for example if they have an unpleasant odour. There are a variety of shampoos available depending on breed and hair type, though oatmeal or hypoallergenic shampoos are usually a safe bet. When introducing your dog to bathing, do it slowly and make sure to have dog treats to hand.
Trimming The Coat
Occasionally your pup will need a trim, if their hair grows around their eyes it can obscure their vision. Make sure to take extra care when trimming around the eyes, use blunt nosed scissors and point them away when trimming. Always wait until your dog is calm before trimming the coat.
As a general rule, a dog’s nails should be trimmed once they just about touch the ground when walking. It is important not to cut your dogs nails too short, start with the back paws as these tend to be less sensitive. Hold the paw and cut the end of the nail at a 45-degree angle.
Just like with a human, bacteria and plaque can build up on a dog’s teeth, which can harden and potentially cause gingivitis. Many dogs suffer from dental problems by the time they are only three years old, but regularly brushing your dog’s teeth and using chew toys can help. To massage your dog’s gums, use a finger or a toothbrush with soft rubber bristles.
It is important to check the ears whilst grooming, as ear infections can be painful. Signs to look out for are if the inside of the ears are inflamed, if your dog scratches at its ears or if your dog whines when you examine the ears.
If you enjoyed this, check out our post on tips and tricks for new puppy owners.