Most of us are quite apprehensive grooming our pets that we’d rather bring them to a pet grooming shop and have a professional do it for us. Actually, grooming your dog should not really be difficult. Here are 10 tips to groom your dog so you will be more confident the next time Fido is scheduled for a good priming.
Always start with a good bath.
It is important to recognize the bathing needs of dogs. For instance, if you live in a really hot and humid environment, giving your pet a bath once every couple of days is actually recommended to help prevent hyperthermia or heat stroke in dogs. Likewise, highly active dogs that really play and exercise on a daily basis will require more frequent trips to the bathroom, although it actually depends on how ‘dirty’ your pet is. Do understand that if you’re frequently bathing your dog, that’s also the number of times that you’d have to groom it.
Invest in the right dog grooming tools.
There are many products in the market that already come with all the tools that you need for canine grooming. These include hair clippers and trimmers, nail clippers, combs, brushes, and even scissors. It goes without saying that you have to be careful in choosing the right dog grooming tools as failing to do so might injure your pet unnecessarily. You will also have to consider including treats, shampoos, conditioners, cotton buds, a pair of gloves, and even a grooming apron, although you can actually use any old clothes.
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Learn how to properly restrain your dog.
Whether it is giving your dog a bath or brushing or trimming its hair, you really should learn how to restrain it or, at least, make it calm down and relax. The thing is most dogs don’t like taking a bath. That’s why they always have this deep sink in pet grooming salons to put dogs in so they won’t be able to jump out easily. Additionally, they are placed on a leash. We don’t necessarily recommend putting your dog on a leash while bathing or grooming. What you can do is to play with it until it tires. This makes it a lot easier to work.
Use only appropriate dog shampoo and conditioner.
Don’t ever make the mistake of using your own shampoo and conditioner on your dog. These are too harsh for it that it is actually toxic if ingested. Always go for canine shampoos and conditioners that have all-natural ingredients as these are specially formulated for canine coat and skin. If your dog happens to have any hypersensitivities or skin allergies, you may want to talk to your vet first about the most appropriate shampoo and conditioner to use. If your pet has a skin condition, your vet might actually recommend a medicated product.
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Use appropriate brushes.
There are a variety of brushes that are appropriate for certain breeds of dogs. It is always best to use one that is appropriate for the breed of your dog. You may want to use a slicker brush if your pet’s coat has some knots or mats. This type of brush is excellent for removing mats while also helping to pull out any dead hair from your dog’s coat. Additionally, such brushes have a gentle stimulating effect on the skin. You can also include finer-bristled brushes to move a lot closer to your pet’s skin.
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Consider using flea combs.
Before you start brushing your dog, it is recommended to use a wide-toothed comb. However, as you move closer towards the skin, you will need a flea comb to pull out any dead hair that may still be lingering after giving a thorough brushing. Moreover, working on the skin simply means you will also pull out any flea that may be present. Just make sure to replace your ordinary flea comb with a smaller plastic flea comb to work on the face of your dog.
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Perform a thorough eye check and ear clean.
This is one thing that you should never forget whenever you are grooming your dog. Canine ear infections are pretty common so you will need to check if there are any signs of redness, inflammation, discharge, or even a nasty smell. It’s always a good idea to clean the ear flap with a cotton bud. Be careful not to insert the cotton bud into the ear canal. Additionally, the eyes should be checked and cleaned of any muck present at the corners of the eyes. These can be excellent breeding ground for germs that can infect the mucous membrane of the eyes.
Trim the paws.
Don’t forget to trim the excess hair that is protruding from your pet’s paws. This helps improve the traction of its paw pads especially on slippery surfaces because there are no hairs getting in the way. More importantly, trimming the hair between and around the pads makes it a lot easier to clean these after your dog has ventured outside to play.
Clip those nails.
Most pet owners are not confident of clipping their dog’s nails. This is best left to professional dog groomers and veterinarians. But, if you have a good nail clipper, you can easily cut or trim the nails of your pet without necessarily hurting them. You do have to recognize that not all dogs need their claws to be clipped.
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Keep your equipment clean.
It goes without saying that aftercare is important in any activity. It is imperative to clean your clippers, scissors, brushes, and combs as well as other tools and equipment that you have used during the bathing and grooming session. You may also have to disinfect any of those items that may have come in contact with body fluids to make sure that it will not contaminate other items.
Grooming your dog can be a very rewarding experience. Aside from the savings you’ll make from not paying a professional dog groomer to do it for you, you will also be strengthening the bond that you have with your pet.