Do you want to learn some dog grooming tips?
Yes, it is possible for you to groom your dog without having to take them to your vet clinic.
In this article, we will share some of the best grooming tips everyone should know.
Dogs are called man’s best friend for a reason.
They are fun to be with, sensitive, sympathetic, loyal friend, faithful and even protective.
But it is not just enough to keep a dog and enjoy all these benefits, we have to be ready to take up the responsibility that comes with being a dog owner no matter the breed of dog you have.
As humans, we need grooming to stay clean and healthy and that is true for a dog as well.
A dog can fall ill if it is not kept in a clean environment that encourages good health but it could also affect your home too if your dog is not properly groomed.
There is a difference between grooming a dog and grooming a dog properly. If you are a new dog owner, there is a high probability that you are yet to get a hang of things.
You will find in this piece dog grooming tips that will help you properly groom your dog.
5 Dog Grooming Tips for Beginners
#1: Bath Your Dog
This is without saying that you need to bathe your dog. Some people erroneously think that because they are animals they don’t need bathing. Well, they do because they get dirty just like we do and they need to be cleaned just like we do.
Dogs, however, don’t need bathing as often as we do so you can get away with once in one or two months. Sometimes, your dog might need a bath is it rolled in something or it is prescribed by the vet due to a medical condition but otherwise, it doesn’t need to be often because bathing them frequently can actually dry out their skin and cause problems.
Note that dogs generally do not like bathing, so you have to be ready to train your dog to enjoy it. How do you train your dog to enjoy bathing?
- Start slowly. Don’t just go all out expecting the dog to react positively to bathing. That is, you can start by introducing your dog to the tub; other equipment you will use in bathing it even before the day you decide to bathe it. Then on the main day, you can start from the paws, then gently ease your way to the legs and then continue to its body.
- Pet and stroke the dog so the dog can feel loved at that particular moment
- Praise your dog for letting you bathe it. Once you apply water and the dog allows you, praise it and when you apply shampoo and brush the dog, give them praises too. Dogs cherish praise from their owners because they usually want to please their owners. So giving praise will communicate to the dog that it is doing something right and the dog will want to continue doing that.
- The way to a man’s heart is through its stomach, the same can be said for a dog. Give it treats as it stays to be bathed.
- Get your dog busy doing other activities before the bath time, so it doesn’t have as much energy to try to fight you off.
- If the dog is really upset, you can put it off and try again another day. The trick is to gradually ease it into it.
The shampoo used for dogs is different from that of man because our skin PH is different from that of the dog. You can ask your vet to recommend a good shampoo and conditioner for your dog.
When bathing the dog, it is advisable to use a hose so you can control the water direction and also not drown the door. If you are not, then keep the water in the tub or bowl on the surface level. Avoid getting water into its ears and rinse it thoroughly to make sure the shampoo is not still on its skin or furs. Get a very heavy towel that can absorb water to dry it and preferably, allow the dog dry naturally with the sun. Avoid using the dryer as much as possible, but if avoidable, keep at good heat level, not too close to the dog and away from its head.
#2: Brush Your Dog
Brushing your dog is equally important because it helps to remove all loose hair and debris that might have accumulated on the dogs’ coat. It also helps prevent knots. Brushing the dog removes dead skin and spreads natural oil all over the dog hair.
Depending on breed and coat, a dog generally needs brushing twice or thrice a week. Dogs with shorter coat require less brushing than those with longer coats. However, it is advisable not to follow a rigid rule and just brush if the dog requires it. Monitor your dog’s coat and brush as much as there is a need to.
Brushing will remove dead skin and shed hair, so it is not advisable to do it indoors on a rug, cushion or bed; brushing outdoors is preferable. However, if outdoor is not possible, then do it on a hard floor where you can easily sweep or vacuum off when do.
Your dog will probably not at first agree to brush, so you can ease it into brushing by first petting and stroking the dog around the part you want to brush, then use the brush to touch it instead of immediately brushing. You should also have treats and praises ready to reward it for good behaviour.
#3: Trimming its Hair
Some dogs may also need their hair trimmed besides brushing them. Some dogs grow hair more than some and it could begin to serve as discomfort for the dog if not trimmed. Hair around the eye, around the anus blocking the anus from excreting faeces, the chin and lower jaw and areas around the body where there are hair mats and tangles,
As always, ease the dog into it and reward with treats. Be careful when trimming around the eye area and don’t point the equipment directly at the dog.
You could also contact your vet so a professional can take care of it.
#4: Clean its Teeth
Yes, a dog needs to keep is teeth clean too. It prevents plaque, gum infection and disease and keeps the teeth generally healthy. It is important to clean the teeth once or twice a week. Apart from cleaning the teeth, giving your dog something to chew on such as dental chews or dog chew toys helps to the strength and health of the teeth.
You should not clean a dog’s teeth with a human toothbrush or toothpaste. Get a dog’s toothbrush and ask your vet to recommend the toothpaste for you to use.
Start introducing your dog to cleaning its teeth by running your hand through its gum, then introduce a short cleaning session before gradually increasing it. Remember to reward the dog with a treat after every session.
If there is a sign of blood, it is normal but a lot means that you are either brushing too hard or your dog has a gum disease that you need to see a vet for.
#5: Clean its Ears
Dogs with long ears are more susceptible to ear infections but all dogs can get ear infections if their ears are not regularly and properly cleaned. Generally, after once is a good time to clean the ear and every two weeks for breeds with long hairs except there is a doctor’s prescription stating otherwise.
Signs of ear problem in dogs include scratching the ear or shaking of the head, watch out for this and take them to the vet.
Hair could grow in the ear, so start by removing matted hair growing in the ear. If it is too much, contact to vet to get professional help in removing it.
Don’t put anything that is not prescribed down the ear canal. Put a prescribed ear solution into each ear, gently rub the bottom of each ear and then let your dog shake to get rid of the solution and whatever dirt will come with it.
When that is done and the solution is cleared, clean the outside of the canal (never inside the ear canal) with a cotton bud/ball.
#6: Trim its Nails
Regularly check the condition and the length of the nails. If it is too long, then it should be trimmed. The time to clean the nail depends on how fast your dog grows its nails so it will differ from dog to dog. If you leave the nails untrimmed, it could cause pain or a broken toe, so it is important to trim it.
The dog dewclaws should also be trimmed if it hasn’t been removed.
The main point is to trim and not to cut because cutting too short is also problematic. You can consult professional help to get it done.
To introduce your dog to trimming, you can let it sniff the trimmer or the filer and also run it through its body. Get treats ready to treat it once you successfully trim one nail.
Others (Eye and Paws)
Trim every hair that could obstruct the sight of your dog. Make sure you do this carefully or consult a professional.
Consult your vet if you notice redness of the eye, discharge or squinting.
Check the paws regularly for cuts or abrasion or debris.
Dogs are wonderful creatures and they deserve to be properly taken care of. Groom them properly and you will avoid some common dog diseases.