In addition to making him feel better, a good doggie grooming session can do wonders for your dog’s confidence and appearance. Your dog’s hair, teeth, eyes, and ears can all be checked for concerns during routine grooming visits. Depending on his size, breed, and coat, you may need to groom your dog more or less frequently.
However, unlike people, most dogs do not need to engage in daily cleanliness and grooming practices. Exactly what is needed and how often is breed-specific. Some dog breeds, like the Afghan Hound, Poodle, and Komondor, need frequent doggie grooming (but are well worth the effort), while others, like the Beagle, Weimaraner, and Boxer, have more leeway. Regardless of the breed, basic hygiene procedures including teeth brushing, ear cleaning, nail cutting, and brushing should be performed on a regular basis.
You can trust your dog to a professional dog groomer, dog handler, or even a veterinary technician who has received specialized training in doggie grooming. However, learning some basic maintenance grooming techniques to keep your dog looking good in between trips to the groomer is a worthwhile investment of your time.
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Bathing is important for doggie grooming
Depending on your dog’s breed and coat, you should give your dog baths on a regular (but not daily) basis. Washing the coat too often will strip it of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle.
When washing your dog, use a gentle shampoo made specifically for canines. Place cotton balls in the dog’s ears and a few drops of mineral oil in his eyes, then place him in a tub or basin. Rinse the dog off with warm water, starting at the neck and working your way back, to apply the shampoo. After you’ve scrubbed your dog with soap and shampoo, rinse him off with a lot of warm water. Use a towel to thoroughly scrub (he’ll help with the shaking!) and, if required, a blow dryer to speed up the drying process. Use a comb, a brush, whatever works best for you.
To maintain healthy feet, nail length should be kept short. When a dog has nails that are too long, it can be uncomfortable or even painful for them to walk. They are also prone to breaking down. This typically occurs near the nail’s base, close to the nail’s blood vessels and nerves, and necessitates a visit to the vet. Nails are excessively long when they make a clicking noise when walked on.
Use a nail clipper made specifically for dogs to trim your pet’s claws. Most models include protective stops that activate when you get too close to the quick. Only the tips, up to the “quick,” or blood vessel, should be trimmed. (On a white nail, the end of the quick is clearly visible, but on a dark nail, it is not.) You should just cut the downward-pointing hook off of your nails.
Having their nails clipped is something that many dogs dread. You may make the process as painless as possible by starting when your dog is a puppy and working up to the treatment. When you first start clipping your dog’s nails, do so very carefully, taking your time and just doing a nail or two at a time.
You should clean your dog’s ears once a month, more if he’s prone to ear problems. Clean the outer part of the ear only, using a damp cloth or a cotton swab soaked in mineral oil. Never force anything into the ear. Some dogs need the hair plucked just inside the ear to keep air circulating; ask your veterinarian if this is necessary for your dog.
The average dog just needs a few brushing sessions per week to be clean, although getting regular attention is ideal. Make sure to brush all the way down to the skin so that the massaging movement can help increase blood flow, loosen dandruff, and remove it from the hair.
Depending on the length and texture of your dog’s coat, you may need different tools. Pin brushes, which are ideal for long-haired dogs, feature long, circular pins made of stainless steel or chrome plating. Bristle brushes are essential for grooming dogs with short, medium, and even long coats. In addition to slicker brushes, clippers, stripping knives, rakes, and hair dryers are also available for use in the doggie grooming process.
Brush your dog’s teeth regularly with a canine-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. Dogs can be conditioned to accept tooth brushing by having their gums and teeth rubbed with a finger. Then, give him a whiff and a lick of the toothpaste off your finger, and do the same with the toothbrush. Toys that he may chew on to clean his teeth are a must. Tartar buildup on an elderly dog’s teeth may necessitate professional veterinary cleaning.