As a pawsome dog owner, you want to keep your canine best friend as happy and healthy as possible. Regular grooming will help your pooch look and feel their best. Whether it’s a trip to a professional groomer, or an at-home grooming routine, here’s some things you need to know about dog grooming.
You might have some basic items around the house that are suitable for your dog, but here are some other dog grooming equipment you may need.
Experts say you should always opt for doggy shampoo and conditioner, as human shampoo can dry out their skin. It could also leave them at risk of skin problems such as parasites, bacteria, and viruses.
When it comes to brushes, there’s a range of options available depending on your pooch’s fur and grooming needs.
Not all dogs will need their coat trimming, but if your dog’s coat is in need of a spruce, make sure you have dog clippers. Opt for pet clippers as human clippers can injure your pooch. Pet clippers are also typically manufactured to be much quieter, to keep your dog at ease.
Clippers can be more precise than scissors, while scissors can be useful for sensitive areas. Scissors may also help your pet if they are anxious around the noise of a clipper.
Dogs are born roamers and keep their nails cut back naturally by walking on harder surfaces. Even so, there are some dogs (such as our older canines), who may still need their nails manually clipped.
Keep an eye on the length of your dog’s nails, especially if they start touching the ground. Pet nail clippers and nail grinders can be used to keep your dog’s nails trimmed.
There are several restraints available to buy from your local pet shop and you’ll want to try it on your dog to make sure it fits comfortably. A restraint will typically have a loop that goes around your dog’s belly and an attachment to their collar.
Alternatively, you may want to paw-litely ask for an extra pair of hands to hold your dog still whilst you brush, clip, and trim their fur. The bathtub (or a sink for smaller breeds) can be helpful as a place for bathing your dog as it keeps them contained and still.
It’s important to start getting your dog used to a grooming routine as early as you can. You’ll want to gradually introduce your pup to each grooming tool one at a time.
Introducing your dog to a brush is all about going at a slow pace and using plenty of positive reinforcement. As we mentioned, starting at puppy age can also help make the process easier.
Don’t forget to keep those tasty, high reward treats close by to praise your pup as you work through each step.
You may want to prepare your dog for their first time having their nails clipped by getting them used to having their paws handled.
Your dog may still be nervous the first time you trim their nails, but by slowly repeating these steps, and with lots of paws-itive encouragement, you could get them used to this part of the grooming routine.
As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. Getting your dog used to grooming will require a lot of patience. Even then, your dog may still get nervous or anxious, so try and maintain a positive environment.
Some dogs may be more comfortable being groomed at home by their owner, as the unfamiliar noises and smells of a professional salon can be overwhelming. Others are more than happy to be groomed by a professional. Do what’s best for your dog and don’t force them into a grooming set up they don’t like.
Positive reinforcement is key if your dog tends to get worked up when it comes to groom-time. Arm yourself with treats, and give them lots of verbal praise and encouragement to help them feel at ease.
If you’re thinking of trying at-home grooming, find a quiet place without any distractions to help your dog remain calm. Once you’ve built up their confidence with grooming tools, here’s an example of a routine you can do:
How often your dog needs grooming varies depending on their breed, coat type, and coat length.
Longer hair breed dogs, such as Collies, Shelties, Yorkshire Terriers, and Tibetan Terriers, may need brushing every day to make sure their coat stays in fine condition. If you don’t regularly brush their coats, their fur could become matted.
Breeds with an undercoat need what’s known as stripping. These are typically breeds with a wiry coat, such as Schnauzers, Cocker Spaniels, and Airedale Terriers. Experts recommend having their coats stripped around four to six times a year.
Medium hair breeds, such as German Shepherds and Pomeranians, may need to be brushed several times a week and a trim a couple of times a year.
Short hair breeds, like Staffies and Labradors, may only need to be brushed once a week and don’t need trims.
All breeds of dogs shouldn’t be bathed too regularly, as this can dry out their skin and cause skin irritation. Experts recommend that dogs should only be bathed around once every three months or if they have rolled in something smelly (we’re looking at you, fox poo). Make sure you use dedicated dog shampoo and conditioner when bathing them too.
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