Pet Care: Grooming for Dogs


Grooming and proper care are essential for dogs. Whether you’re living alone or with family members and kids, you should always make sure that your dog is neat and clean, especially if you let him get on any of your furniture or sleep in your bed. A well-groomed dog does not only appear pleasant, but keeping him washed also reduces the risk of certain diseases and illnesses caused by dirt, bacteria, and more. This is also a perfect time for you to get the chance to bond with your dog. In learning about grooming for dogs, there are several things you have to consider, such as what the process includes, how to do it properly while considering your dog’s needs, and when it might be time to consult a professional.

Useful Tips

In grooming your dog on a regular basis, it’s important to understand a few things before you get started. The first is to consult your vet. You may also talk to a professional groomer. Every dog has a different coat, special grooming needs, and a certain level of maintenance. As such, it is essential that you know what your dog needs. For instance, dogs like Shih Tzus have much more involved grooming needs when their hair is long compared to short-coated breeds like bulldogs. Talk to your vet so you know which grooming tools are the most suitable to use for your pet’s coat. There are some breeds that have thick coats and they may have to be groomed or at least brushed every day to prevent uncomfortable knots in their fur. You may also need to remove their undercoats in warmer weather when they start shedding.

Many dogs are not comfortable with grooming, and this is especially true for puppies, but they can learn to anticipate brushing or bath time if you offer a reward that reassures them there’s nothing to be scared of. If you have a new pet and you want to train him not to be frightened of grooming, you need to find a quiet location and you have to establish a routine as to how you will do the grooming. This can help make your task easier. Lead the dog the grooming area or hold a treat over the bathtub to teach him that it’s okay to be there. Say the words “bath” or “brush” depending on the area. Reward your dog every time he gets into the tub or sits in the grooming area and lets you brush him for a minute so he associates it with a treat.

Once you have established the location, the next step is to know the right way of doing the grooming. If you want your dog to take a bath, make sure that you have the proper supplies, including shampoo, conditioner, and any skin treatments he may require. Do not overdo things. When brushing, move the brush in the direction of the hair growth. Brushing against the direction that the fur naturally falls can make your dog feel uneasy and uncomfortable.

Bath Time

During your dog’s bath, it is essential that you have the right bathing products. There are plenty to choose from. Just like humans, there are really creative, upscale shampoo products for dogs. But before you finally decide to spend money on them, take time to research and purchase those products that your dog needs. For instance, when buying a dog shampoo, purchase a product that is suitable for the hair type of your pet. White dogs, for example, need special shampoos to keep their coats from looking dingy. Look at the ingredient list along with the product label to ensure that it is safe for your dog. If he has certain skin or coat conditions, you may want to purchase a type that addresses them, such as an oatmeal shampoo for dry or itchy skin. Your vet can recommend a good product as well. Aside from dog shampoo, you might also want to get a conditioner (best for longer, coarser coats) and a non-slip rubber mat. This is to prevent your dog from slipping in the bathroom when things get wet. It can be really scary for your pup every time he slides on a surface. To prevent your dog from being anxious, get a mat.

Try Dog Grooming Services

Not all pet owners have the time to provide grooming for their pets. If you happen to be one of those pet owners, there are professional grooming services available. The cost widely varies depending on the provider and on the services included in the grooming. Some pet owners who want a more convenient way to groom their pets consider professionals. Some also visit groomers who have experience dealing with certain coat types or breeds that have specific or difficult show cuts their fur requires. On the other hand, if you’re working on a tight budget, you can always do it on your own. Just follow the vet’s advice, conduct some research online, and invest in quality grooming products. 

Dental Care

Dogs can be prone to dental problems and some are also born with hereditary dental conditions. As such, you should also pay attention to the dental health of your dog. If you see signs like very bad breath, bleeding gums, brown or black tartar buildup, or dark gums, you should ask your vet about dental care because these issues may require professional cleaning. See if he or she can recommend good dog toothpaste to maintain your pet’s teeth afterwards. Keep in mind that human toothpaste should never be used for dogs. Some groomers also provide basic dental care for an extra charge.

Nail Care

Your dog’s claws can cause scratches, and when they get too long, it’s difficult for your pet to walk. Part of complete grooming is seeing to it that your dog has regular nail trims to keep him comfortable and make sure he doesn’t scratch you or your furniture. When it comes to the trimming the nails, doing it every four weeks is enough. You might be able to have your groomer or vet do this, but you can do it at home, too.

Just be sure that you have nail trimmers that are specifically designed for dogs. Do not trim your dog’s claws right away. Introduce the tool gradually. Be gentle at first so as to not to scare your dog; a lot of them don’t like having their feet touched. Rub his footpads at first so he can get used to the sensation, and be sure to offer a treat after each nail is clipped.

Ear Care

Ear care is not required all the time because a dog’s ears do not require too much cleaning. However, you should clean them regularly, about once a month. Check the ears to see if there is debris, dirt, or any bad smell. If you notice that your dog keeps on scratching, you should clean his ears. If there are unusual signs, you should consult your vet right away. Some dogs get ear mites, and there are some that suffer from ear infections, usually breeds with drop ears. You’ll typically notice a yeasty smell if it’s an infection. These things require treatment.

Like people, dogs benefit from regular baths (but not daily!). You’ll notice that your dog always feels better about himself after a good scrubdown, so teach him to enjoy the process with rewards and it’ll make things much easier for both of you.

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Hayley Mae


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