Grooming your pooch can be a fun and rewarding bonding activity, especially given that it makes your best friend cleaner, more attractive and easier to welcome into open arms for all-important cuddle time. Nevertheless, it is likely that your dog does not really like the grooming process quite as much as cuddle time, in which case it can be helpful to break up the grooming processes over several days or a weekly/monthly schedule.
First, undertake nail trimming to protect the walking capability of your dog (as well as your floors). Long nails could result in arthritis, walking problems, or curve the pad on poochies foot. This could potentially make walking really painful for the dog. Consider trimming a very small amount from the dog’s nails more regularly, about once a month. Ensure that you do not cut the nails too short to prevent injuring the dog. Google up some guidance or a Youtube video to get it right.
In addition, ensure that you give your dog occasional brushing to eliminate loose hair and straighten tangles. Brushing helps to spread the natural protective oils produced by the dog’s skin throughout its coat, providing a healthy shine. Use the appropriate brush depending on the length of coat your dog has. Where very short hair will be best brushed using a rubber curry brush or bristle brush. An undercoat rake or shedding tool may be used on short, thick, shedding hair, while a slicker brush should be used on medium hair.
Staying on top of doggies bad breath days is important for all-round good health. It is worth noting that 80% of dogs contract dental problems such as periodontal disease by the time they reach three years of age. The worst results could be a broken jaw, abscesses, teeth falling out, heart disease and death due to infection from bacteria allowed to fester in mouth cavities. Brushing the dog’s teeth daily is recommended. You could also use various dental supplements and sprays to help maintain dental health and even break up formed plaque, while also giving your dog items which it can chew such as dental treats and hard dental toys.
Giving your dog a bath regularly is essential when it comes to good hygiene and eliminating the excess grease, dirt, and grime on their coats. However, this does not mean that you should wash your dog every day, rather it is recommended that you bathe them a minimum of once every three months, although depending on your climate and activity level as well as stink factor you may choose to wash your dog up to once a week. In the case that you wash your dog more than once a month, ensure that you use gentle shampoo specific to dogs, such as plant shampoos and hypoallergenic shampoos. Complement this with a condition and a brush to prevent drying their skin and tangling fur.
EARS & EYES
The ears should be very delicately cleaned at least once every month using something like witch hazel on a cotton ball or ear cleaner for dogs. Usually, you will have some dirt on the cotton ball after ear cleaning. Any stinky or gunky matter on the ball likely indicates an ear infection which should be treated by a Vet. Trim any intruding hair growing at the corner of the eyes using round-tipped shears or a small electric trimmer to give your dog good visibility and prevent any eye infections or injury due to stray hairs.
Trimming dog hair is perhaps one of the most basic yet trickier tasks to perform on the shaggier of our four-legged friends. There is always the possibility that you will nick the skin and injure the dog when trimming its hair given the combination of sharp clipper blades and a moving dog. To prevent this, ensure that the clipper blades remain flat against the skin of the dog, while also exercising extra care at the skin intersections such as armpits, ears and other tricky regions. Further, ensure that you use attachment combs to prevent burning the body with the hot clippers. You may also need to use blade coolant, especially in the case that you use the bare clipper blades against the dog’s skin. If in doubt hold the clippers against the back of your hand to feel for excess heat, you may need to leave the clippers to cool down before proceeding on shaved areas like the snout or toes. Invest in good quality equipment which will make the task as easy as possible for you and the dog and ensure that you do not rush as rushing could result in accidents, you might find you need to take a few breaks or even spread the trim over two days depending on how fido is coping with the activity.
A well-groomed dog is also a hygienic and healthy dog, it will allow you to set aside good bonding time as well as getting up close and personal allowing you to keep on top of any other problems that need to be addressed or looked at by a vet.
We’d love to hear your top grooming tips below, please leave them in the comments section.