Everyone loves their dogs. There’s a reason they are often referred to as “man’s best friend.” Dogs provide love, companionship, play, and much more. Without a doubt, they are the most popular pet in the entire world.
But, it’s not always about play and fun. Dogs need looking after, too. They need to be fed, watered, and given ample exercise. On top of this, they often need grooming. Some dogs more than others; but, all dogs need some level of grooming care. Let’s take a look at how to properly groom your dog.
Grooming is Important
Grooming isn’t just about making your dog look stylish. It’s about much more than that. You need to make sure your dog is healthy, comfortable, at the right temperature, and clean. That is why grooming is so important.
Often, people visit a dog grooming service for a monthly or bi-monthly cut. This is a great idea. However, there are plenty of things you can do for your dog at home too. Here is a short guide on how to properly groom your dog yourself.
Get the Right Tools
First thing’s first, you can’t go hacking at your dog’s fur with the wrong scissors or clippers. You need the right tools for an effective cut – click here for some great tips on the right kinds of scissors and grooming methods for your pup. Just like a human hairdresser, who would only cut your hair with sharp, professional scissors, you should treat your dog’s fur with the same respect.
As well as scissors, you’ll need some proper clippers, a good brush, and some doggy nail clippers. If you’re serious about grooming at home, you need to buy branded, dog-focused versions of these products, as opposed to going with cheap alternatives. Your dog’s skin and coat will thank you for it!
Always Wash First
Before doing any kind of grooming, you should wash your dog in the bath. Once again, use a proper dog shampoo, making sure it is suitable for their sensitive skin and their fur type. Dog shampoo is inexpensive but highly recommended by vets as opposed to using human-focused soaps.
Wash your dog first with lukewarm-to-warm water – don’t make it too hot. Then gently massage the doggy shampoo into their fur and skin. Once you have coated all their fur, rinse it out and towel dry them – if they’ll let you!
Brush Through Knots
Next, brush through their fur. Be gentle here; we all know how painful knotted hair can be. At the same time, you need to be thorough. Even after a good wash, a dog’s fur can still harbor bugs, plant material, and all kinds of other nasties. Brushing thoroughly can help eradicate this, whilst also making the fur easier to trim afterward. It is also far healthier for the dog to ensure all of these potentially harmful items are removed from their skin and hair.
Start With Nails
While the fur is fluffily drying – so cute – take a look at your dog’s paws. Paws and nails can carry all kinds of dirt. Again, these should have been washed thoroughly at bath time, but still may need a second look.
As mentioned, proper dog nail clippers are advised here. Pet stores will sell different-sized clippers for different breeds. While some dogs’ nails slowly wear down as they walk on hard surfaces, many grow very quickly meaning you still need to trim them every few weeks. Remember, though, there is a vein or “quick” in the middle of the nail so you don’t want to trim that far.
Simple Trims First
Assuming you still visit a dog groomer every few months, you may just want to do a simple trim between major cuts to make sure the dog looks alright and feels comfortable. It’s very simple to trim between cuts to keep the shape of the style, especially around the eyes, ears, face, and tail. The rest of the fur can get a bit longer, as long as it’s clean!
Hygiene Is Important
It’s also very important to maintain the hygienic areas of the dog. Yes, you know which areas! Keeping the fur trimmed around the bottom prevents any nasty entanglements and bad smells. You don’t want to have to wash this area regularly because the fur is matted and gross. So, as well as trimming the eyes and mouth to make sure your dog can see and eat, trim the sensitive areas.
More Severe Cuts
If you’re ready to take on the challenge of a more severe cut, you’ll need all the tools ready and a clear idea of how you’re going to trim the dog. Is it the kind of dog that can simply have his or her hair cut short with a pair of clippers or do you need more scissor skills? Do your research on the breed and the best length and style of fur for their health and comfort. Follow guides or videos online and see if you can give your dog the perfect cut.
Check Those Ears
A final note on body parts – ears. Dogs’ ears are usually quite wide and open, meaning they can get quite dirty or packed with build-ups of wax. Check on your dog’s ears weekly to ensure they are clean and clear of any debris. This will help your dog hear properly and – hopefully – respond to your commands!
Monitor Your Dog’s Mood
Whenever you are cleaning, grooming, or assessing your dog, it’s important to monitor how they are responding. Not many dogs enjoy nail clipping or bath time. It can be quite stressful for some of them. Make sure you are keeping an eye on how they are reacting and try to make the experience as stress-free as possible by comforting them and talking to them.
These tips will help you give your dog a proper clean, groom, and trim when necessary. If you ever need more detailed advice, a vet will always be happy to discuss your pet’s needs with you. Plus, if you visit a professional dog groomer now and then, they will certainly share their methods and expertise with you.