Regular grooming is critical for all breeds of dogs – it helps them maintain a shiny, tangle-free coat and allows you to check for parasite infestations and skin problems, thereby improving their overall hygiene. Additionally, grooming can be an opportunity for you and your pet to bond one-on-one.
Also, dogs with short, minimal coats require grooming, bathing, and nail trimming regularly. Clipping and hair trimming may also be necessary for dogs with longer coats. At the same time, you may like to schedule routine grooming visits with a professional groomer – particularly for clipping and trimming your pet’s hair. The below tips will assist you in developing an at-home grooming routine for your dog.
Frequently brush your dog’s coat to prevent matting.
Routine brushing is necessary to keep your pet’s coat shiny and glossy. Brushing frequency is determined by the length and texture of your dog’s coat. Long-haired dog breeds such as golden retrievers and collies require frequent brushing (at least once per week, if not every other day), whereas shorthaired breeds such as greyhounds and labra dogs may only require a thorough brushing every other week.
Matted hair can be a source of pain for long-haired dogs. Dogs will lick or bite at the source of irritation, which can cause skin infections. Foreign bodies, such as grass seeds, can conceal themselves within a matted coat and burrow into the skin, causing an abscess. Brushing your long-haired dog regularly helps prevent matting from developing.
Brushing benefits shorthaired dogs as well. Brushing your dog’s coat removes loose hair, dirt, and dander, allowing the time between baths to be extended.
Trim your dog’s hair
The majority of dog owners prefer to have their dog’s hair cut by a groomer. Even so, with caution, you can trim overgrown hair around your dog’s eyes or paws in between skilled grooming sessions. Hair trims around your dog’s eyes can help prevent overgrown hair from obstructing its vision and rubbing against and causing damage to its eyes.
Every time wait until your dog is calm and lying down before proceeding. Move slowly and calmly, taking extra care when scissor blades are near the skin. After you have finished, be sure to reward your dog for remaining calm with a treat. Hair trimming inside the ears can help improve airflow and prevent ear infections. However, this is something that should be done by a skilled and experienced groomer or at your veterinarian’s clinic.
Safely trim your dog’s nails
When you hear your dog’s nails clicking on the hard surfaces in your home, trim them. This will mitigate your dog’s discomfort caused by excessively long nails.
Check the skin of your dog as you groom
Skin diseases are common in dogs, causing itching, compulsive scratching, chewing, and licking of the skin. External dog parasites such as ticks, lice, fleas, and mites can transmit diseases and other parasites such as the tapeworm.
Make a routine of checking your dog’s skin after each grooming session. Begin by running your fingers through your dog’s coat, checking for unusual lumps or bumps on its skin. You can continue your investigation by parting the fur and closely inspecting the skin for rashes, bald, sores, redness, spots, and evidence of parasitic infestations.
Teach your dog to enjoy grooming sessions
Many dogs, particularly puppies, require motivation and positive reinforcement when introduced to a grooming routine for the first time.
Tips for grooming sessions at-home:
- Allow your dog or puppy to lick a small amount of Vegemite off a washable surface while you brush or wash them.
- Take it slowly and lavish your pup with treats and praise so that he or she looks forward to the next pampering session.
- Lay a slip-proof mat in the tub before bath time to keep your dog from sliding around.
Regularly check your dog’s ears
While grooming your pup, remember to examine its ears closely. Because ear infections can be excruciating, if you notice any of the following changes or behaviors in your dog, visit a veterinarian for a check-up:
- The inner ear canals are inflamed or moist.
- The ears have an odd odor (often, the smell of a dog ear infection is sweet).
- Your dog started to shake its head or rubbed its ears.
- The ears contain an abnormal amount or type of discharge.
Don’t bathe your dog too often.
The majority of dogs with healthy skin require bathing every couple of months to avoid hygiene problems and unpleasant odors. Bathing your dog more frequently than this will remove the natural oils from its coat and cause it to become dry.
If your dog smells bad but has not rolled in anything foul, you should consult your veterinarian. Underlying problems could be a sign of dental disease or a skin infection.
Regular grooming, bathing, and skin and ear checks not only help keep your dog healthy but also demonstrate your love for your pet and allow you to spend quality time together.