Dog Grooming : Your Dog Needs Regular Grooming

Dog Grooming Is Important

dog groomingDog grooming are important, as dogs require a minimum amount of regular grooming to remain clean and attractive. A little brushing, an occasional bath and a bit of trimming pretty much cover the needs of a dog.  However, while your dog should never need the services of a professional groomer, life is not always so simple.

Dog grooming should begin while a dog is a puppy and should become routine. 

Some breeders clip puppy nails weekly until they go to their new homes. This makes nursing more comfortable for the dam and teaches the puppy to accept having its nails clipped.  Some breeders also use a fine-toothed comb daily to removed dirt from the coats.  Mouths and baby teeth are checked to see how bites are developing, and ears are observed for cleanliness.  All of these preliminary steps taken by the breeder will help make dog grooming easier for the new owner as long as the process is continued.

Let’s Get Started

For starters, one will need a small slicker brush and a fine-toothed comb.  Slicker brushes consist of a series of row after row of tiny metal wires that sit on a flat or slightly curved surface that is attached to a handle.  The wires are usually all slightly bent in the same direction.  A fine-toothed comb, often called a flea comb, removes dirt and fleas.

When a puppy is young, it is a good idea to brush and/or comb it daily.  If a puppy is not already used to having its nails clipped, it is best to do this now rather than waiting and battling a 70-pound dog.  Human nail clippers can be used on puppies until they are about 3 months old. These make it easier to remove just the tips of tiny nails. Be sure to clip the dewclaws if these have not been removed.

Check your dog’s ears regularly, and even if they do not look dirty, get him used to having a cotton swab soaked in a little ear cleaner run around the inside of the ear.

Lift up your dog’s lips and inspect the mouth as well. Your puppy will become used to being examined and having sensitive parts of its body handled, and you will learn what is normal for your dog, making it easier to spot potential problems before they require more serious attention.

How much coat care your dog requires will depend on the type of coat it carries. A heavily coated dog with lots of feathering will need more upkeep than a dog with less coat and sparse feathers. A dog should have at least one session of brushing per week, unless circumstances require more frequent care.

All kinds of brushes, shedders and matt splitters are available, but all that is really needed is a large slicker brush and a comb. The front and rear legs’ feathers, the tail feathers, and the hair behind and underneath the ears must be specially taken care of.   These areas are prone to matting due to chewing, scratching, and things being caught in the longer hair.

Some dogs, such as Goldens, shed their coats twice a year. It also depends on the climate in your area. When your dog sheds, its fine undercoat is lost massively, often in clumps. During periods of shedding you may wish to brush your dog several times a day to keep the fine undercoat from ending up all over the house and yard.

You can help loosen up that dead coat by running your hands and fingers through it, massaging the skin. Some say this helps stimulate new coat growth. Regardless, it helps to speed the shedding process and is enjoyable for the dog.

Combs are useful for the feathers and area under the ears where matts collect. It is difficult, if not impossible, to get a flea comb through an adult coat unless the dog has recently shed.

Taking a Bath

dog groomingDogs should be bathed no more than every six to eight weeks, and even this may be unnecessary on a shorter-coated dog. Certain skin conditions may warrant more frequent bathing with specially treated or medicated shampoos. Excessive bathing can destroy the natural balance of oils of your dog’s skin and coat.

Human shampoos should never be used on dogs. They are formulated for the pH of human hair and skin, which is quite different from that of a dog.

There are many shampoos available that are specifically designed for dogs. If you’re not sure what to use, call a grooming shop and find out what they recommend. Be careful selecting varieties sold in markets and convenience stores, as they are often too harsh for a dog’s coat.

Before bathing your dog, be sure it is well-brushed and free of matts. Matts left in the coat will become even tighter and harder to remove if they go through the bathing process. Baths work best if lukewarm water is used; however, cold water is fine if the weather is warm.

Wet the dog thoroughly and then apply the shampoo, making sure to keep it out of the eyes and ears. You can put cotton balls in the ears to keep excess water out. When rinsing, be sure to get all the soap out. Keep rinsing even after all of the soap appears to be gone. Soap left on the dog can irritate its skin. More damage is done to the skin and coast by too frequent bathing and soap left on to dry than leaving a dog dirty.

If your dog is being washed with a flea shampoo, remember that the suds will need to sit on the dog for several minutes before they are rinsed off. A flea shampoo only kills the fleas that are on the dog at the time it is being bathed. Once it is rinsed off, the fleas will be back on the dog. If a flea dip is applied, it should be done after the soap has been rinsed out. Flea dips are only effective if a dog is clean.

After its bath, towel your dog off to remove excess water. Most dogs will shake wildly at some time during and after the bath and get you completely wet. If it is a warm day, your dog can be left to dry on its own; in colder weather, you can use a hand-held hair dryer set at low heat.

The Nail

dog groomingTrimming nails is important for the well-being of your dog’s feet.   Dogs that receive lots of exercise or that are on cement may wear their nails down enough on their own that clipping is practically unnecessary.

But even these dogs as they become older and less active, they will need nail care. Normally, nails should be trimmed every 2 weeks or when the nails start to touch the floor. This is noticeable as a clicking sound when the dog walks on hard surfaces. Long nails will scratch floors and get caught in carpeting.

Dogs can have difficulty walking on long nails. From a health standpoint, nails that are allowed to become long for any period of time will break down the structure of the foot by causing the toes to spread out and splay the foot. Long nails are also more likely to split and require veterinary care.

Nail clippers come in two basic styles. One type has two blades and works like a pair of scissors. The other style has an oblong opening that the nail fits in and a single blade that cuts the nail when the movable handle is squeezed.

 

Either variety works well. Besides large-sized nail clippers, you should buy a commercially available styptic powder specifically for dog nails. Keep it on hand in case you cut a nail too short. The blood vessel in a nail is referred to as the quick and serves as the blood supply to the nail. If the tip of the quick is cut, it will bleed. To be safe, only cut the hook part of the nail until you’re more confident.

Most of the time, a minor cut to the quick will stop bleeding on its own. The styptic powder will stop the bleeding; and if it doesn’t, applying the powder along with some pressure does the job. If clipping nails is a scary proposition for you, most groomers and veterinary clinics will take care of it for a small fee.

The Eye

There is actually no maintenance required of the eyes, other than checking them weekly for any foreign objects that might be under the lids or in the corner of the eye. Generally, a disturbance to the eye is so noticeable that it is immediately recognized. The ophthalmic ointment in your grooming kit should be available in case a slight injury or eye infection is suspected. This is for use only until you can get to a veterinarian.

Some dogs have extremely long eyebrows, and those with curly coats often have eyebrows that turn in towards the eye itself. If your dog fits this description, keep the eyebrows trimmed to prevent irritation.

Caring for Ears, Teeth and Coat

Your dog’s ears will need weekly cleaning. Even if they do not appear dirty, frequent care will prevent ear problems. Ear-cleaning solutions are available in pet stores. Please several drops in each ear and massage the ears for a half a minute. This way the solution can penetrate the greasy dirt. Let the dog shake its head to loosen the dirt.

To actually remove the dirt, use cotton swabs or cotton balls. Clean the exterior areas of the inside of the ear, getting into the nooks and crannies of the outer ear. A need for more frequent cleaning may require veterinary attention.

Most people rarely think about the cleanliness of dog’s teeth, leaving that to the natural cleansing action of chewing.

Dogs, especially as they grow older, develop gum disease and tooth degeneration just like humans. We can help counter this progression by providing regular care by brushing the teeth.

Canine toothpastes and toothbrushes are available and can be used daily.

dog groomingThe final grooming consideration for a dog is trimming its hair, especially long-haired dogs. For this, the only thing you need is a pair of hair scissors. The most obvious area of trimming for a long-haired dog is its feet, where some dogs grow an unnecessary amount of hair. The hair should be trimmed so that it is even around the edge of the pads along the outer edge and bottom of the foot.

Hair that sticks out between the toes may also be trimmed. It is not only neater in appearance, but the feet will track less dirt into the house and are easier to wipe clean. If leg feathers are excessively long, you may want to trim them so they are less likely to bring in twigs, leaves and other useless items. Some people trim the feathers severely to make upkeep easier. Matts can be combed out if they are small, or they can be carefully cut out.

Many dogs that have been spayed or neutered grow a longer-than-normal undercoat that extends beyond the outer guard coat. It is light and fluffy in appearance and is most prominent on the rear legs and shoulders. It often makes little matts or tangles and can require extra brushing. It is simple to trim this hair so that it is flush with the rest of the coat. It is not only more attractive but will need less work.

Anal Glands

Care of the anal glands is the most unpleasant part of routine dog care. Sacks are located around the anus that accumulate secretions. When they are full, a dog becomes uncomfortable and will attempt to relieve the situation by scooting along the floor or ground in a sitting position. This may work fine, but the place the dog chooses may be the living room carpet.

Removing these secretions is called expressing the glands. When pressure is applied to the edge of the sides of the anus, the contents of the sacks are released. If you choose to do this yourself, be sure to hold a paper towel or cloth between your hand and the dog. This is a foul smelling liquid, and it can be expressed with some force.

The best time to express the glands is just before a dog is bathed, as anything that gets on the dog can be washed off. If a dog is professionally groomed, this is something that can be requested along with the bath.

Sometimes the glands become plugged up or impacted. This is always painful and may lead to infection. At this point, veterinary attention is needed.

Tactile Exam

After all your routine grooming chores are done, you need to go over your dog with your hands. Start at the head and neck, and work down the shoulders to the front legs. Then feel the back, sides and stomach. Finally, examine the rear end, legs and tail. You are asking your hands to feel for any lumps or bumps, anything abnormal that might be on the body that your eyes cannot detect.

Professional Groomer




Most dogs are easy to keep well-groomed, and only serious neglect should get your dog to the point where it needs a professional groomer. They enjoy being groomed. They love the attention and seem to know that you are helping them stay beautiful and healthy.   If you feel you are just not able to do those routine tasks, you need to set regular appointments with a professional groomer. The professional dog groomer can be one of a dog’s best friends and spot problems long before they become apparent to the owner or even a veterinarian.

Selecting a groomer is similar to finding a veterinarian. Ask for recommendations from other people with dogs, dog clubs, or even your veterinarian. Some veterinary clinics offer grooming services, so the solution may be simple. dog grooming

The groomer must be someone who exudes confidence and inspires trust. Their shop should be clean and businesslike. Their holding areas for animals before and after they are groomed should be secure and free of foul odors. dog grooming

The normal dog grooming services offered with a bath include brushing, nail clipping, ear cleaning, expressing the anal glands, and trimming the feet of excess hair. Extra brushing due to matting and shedding may cost more. dog grooming

Since most dogs do not require bath as often as they need their ears cleaned and nails clipped, more frequent appointments for just these services may be scheduled at a reduced price. Some groomers even offer these services on a walk-in basis.

Essential Equipment For Dog Grooming

dog groomingA complete list of dog grooming equipment to be used for trimming appears below. Although all of these items are not absolutely necessary, it is recommended that you understand their individual uses before purchasing those desired.

  • Pin brush  dog grooming
  • Slicker brush  dog grooming
  • Comb  dog grooming
  • Fine comb  dog grooming
  • Tapering shears (single-edge thinning shears)
  • Straight shears  dog grooming
  • Nail clippers  dog grooming
  • Styptic powder  dog grooming
  • Toothpastes dog grooming
  • Ear cleaners  dog grooming
  • Electric clippers  dog grooming

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