Dog grooming is one of the basic needs of your four-legged buddy. Just like us, humans, dogs need physical maintenance to feel and look their best. While dogs don’t need to bathe as often as you do, you need to learn how to properly groom your pooch.
In general, a dog’s grooming needs will depend on your dog’s breed, health, and lifestyle. With that said, here are the basic grooming tips that every dog owner should know.
- Invest In Quality Grooming Tools
Having the right tools in your dog grooming arsenal can make the whole process easier for you and your dog. While not all dog breeds require the same kind of equipment, these are general grooming tools you’ll need:
- Bristle Brush
- Finger toothbrush
- Nail trimmer
- Grooming clipper kit
- Regular Hair Brushing
Dogs love scratches and regularly brushing your pooch’s hair can help maintain a healthy, clean coat as well as bonding with your four-legged buddy. How frequently you need to brush your dog’s hair will depend on its hair type.
For the short-haired dogs, you can brush their hair every other week or more if they shed a lot or often get dirty. Medium- to long-haired pups are prone to tangles and matting and should be brushed at least weekly or every day, respectively.
Regardless of the hair type, there’s nothing wrong with brushing your dog’s coat every day. Regular brushing will keep their coat healthy and shiny as well as prevent hair buildup, especially during the shedding season.
- Give Them A Bath Every Month
For most dog owners, bath time is a stressful time. Most dogs aren’t overly fond of getting wet and enduring bubbly sessions. Fortunately, for the average dog, you only need to endure this once every 4 weeks.
However, if you have an active dog that likes to play outdoors, rolling around mud and dirt, then they will need more frequent baths. Also, certain dog breeds may need bathing more than others. For instance, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers tend to have naturally oil coats. Bathing them regularly can help remove the dirty oils so that the skin can produce clean, new natural oils.
Regular baths help remove dirt and debris buildup on a dog’s skin and prevent skin conditions from developing such as dry skin, clogged pores, oily skin, and itchiness. When bathing your dog, always use gentle shampoos made for dogs. Never use your shampoo. While most human shampoo won’t harm your pooch, it’s not a long-term bathing solution. Some human shampoos contain harsh chemicals and added color or fragrances that can be harsh on your dog’s skin.
Extra Tip: Always brush your pet’s coat before and after they take a bath. Doing so can help remove any loose debris and fur as well as prevent tangles and mats.
Once done, make sure to dry off your dog’s coats quickly with the best dog hair dryer found on this list. Using a dog blow dryer reduces the wet dog smell, fluffing your pooch’s coat and keeping their skin healthy. Although it might be tempting to use your own hairdryer, they often produce high heat which can be uncomfortable for your pet’s skin.
- Carefully Trim Those Nails
Like bathing, most dogs hate nail trimming. Dogs don’t like their paws being handled and some even experienced the pain of their nails cut too short. Meanwhile, dog owners often fear that they may end up hurting their lovable pooch.
However, leaving those claw-like nails isn’t an option. If your dog’s nails get too long, it can cause issues with walking or a good place for germs to hide. Some nails will crack up to the paw and expose the vein which can be quite painful.
Thus, it’s important that you learn how to trim their nails correctly and always exercise caution. Clip only the tip of the nail so you won’t hit the quick, which is the blood supply. Cutting into the quick causes pain and bleeding and is mostly the reason why dogs hate nail trimming. Fortunately, there are new nail trimmers and clippers out there with a quick guard.
Most dog nails need to be trimmed every 2 weeks or every month, depending on the rate of activity and growth.
- Give Them a Haircut
Some dog breeds like Shih Tzu and poodle have continuously growing hair. Thus, they need regular hair trimming every 4 – 6 weeks, depending on the style of the cut. In general, it’s best to leave this task to professional groomers.
However, if you have good dog grooming clippers, it’s easy to learn how to trim and control your pooch’s long hair. Always go slow in trimming your dog’s hair and cut in the right directions. Pay attention to the direction the hair is growing to ensure a smooth and even cut. Also, make sure to use a sharp clipper to prevent tugging or discomfort on your pooch’s skin.
- Don’t Forget The Teeth, Eyes, And Ears
Periodontal diseases and other dental problems are common amongst canine species, causing teeth loss, heart disease, broken jaw, and even death in dogs. So, make sure to always brush your pup’s teeth every single day. Use pet-friendly toothpaste and a finger toothbrush to make it easier to clean their teeth.
Dog’s ears are a haven for yeast and bacteria and yet often neglected. While most dogs can go their whole lives without ear problems, hairy dogs like Shih-Tzu are prone to ear infections due to excessive hair growth in their ears. With that said, it’s important that you do routine ear cleaning. Simply giving your dog’s ears a quick wipe after bathing can help keep chronic ear diseases at bay.
Lastly, you also need to give attention to your dog’s eyes. In particular, flat-faced and hairy dog breeds are prone to eye issues. You need to make sure that your dog’s eyes have minimal redness and always wipe away debris and eye gunk. Make sure to trim those hairs growing in the corner of your pup’s eyes to prevent irritations.
These are just some of the basic fundamentals in terms of grooming your dog. It can be uncomfortable and stressful at the start but with patience, you’ll soon get the hang of it. The time, money, and effort you spend on grooming your pumps not only ensures their neat appearance but also contributes to their overall health and longevity.