The Ultimate Guide to Dog Grooming

Dressed up dogs sitting on benchIn this post, I am going to be sharing with you everything you need to know about dog grooming. Just like people our dog’s need regular cleaning and maintenance.

By doing all or some of the grooming yourself it will help you to get on top of your dog’s health and well being. It will also help to form an even stronger bond with your four-legged companion.

Brushing your dog

We would not go out without brushing our hair, so treat your dog with the same care. Brushing your dog’s hair regularly will prevent the build-up of dirt in their coat between washes, it will also minimize shedding of hair in medium to long-haired dogs.

How often you should brush your dog’s hair dependent on their hair type:

Short-haired

A dog with this hair type is the lowest maintenance when it comes to brushing, they can be brushed every few weeks.

Medium-haired

A dog with this hair type requires weekly brushing, this will prevent their coat from matting.

Long-haired

A dog with this hair type requires their hair to be brushed daily, this is essential to prevent their hair from becoming tangled and maintain their luscious locks.

These are the general guidelines but there is no harm in brushing even your short-haired dog daily or weekly, it is a great opportunity to bond with your four-legged friend, while you massage and talk to them as you brush through their hair.

Bathing your dog

Brushing your dog’s hair will keep it clean until their next bath time, but for the ultimate deep clean bath time is essential. Bath time may not be the most enjoyable time for your dog, but do not fear this is quite common.

The best ways to try and encourage them to enjoy it a little more is to make sure the surface they are standing on has grip, when they feel stable this will make them feel calmer – to do this you could place a bath mat or tub in the shower or bath.

A common part of the bathing process dogs do not enjoy is getting soap and water in their ears, to prevent this from happening place cotton ball in the entrance of their ear canal (not too far in) if they allow you do so.

Finally, reward them with a treat or toy after their bath regardless of their behaviour, this will help them to associate bath time with treats.

How regularly should you bathe your dog?

It is dependent on the dog’s lifestyle and breed. However, once a month is enough for most dogs, alongside regular brushing. However, long-haired dogs are the exception and would benefit from a bath once a week to maintain their flowing locks.

Use a shampoo which is suited to your dog’s hair type, breed and any skin conditions they may have. Human’s shampoo should not be used on dogs as they can be sensitive to the chemicals contained in it.

Your dog’s oral health

In addition, to maintaining your dog’s coat, your dog’s oral health is of high importance. Dogs have teeth like us humans do, and they need to be brushed.

Vets recommend brushing them two to three times a week. Alike, the shampoo we discussed above, human toothpaste is not suitable for dogs due to the ingredients, it can make our dogs unwell if they swallow it, which unfortunately we can not tell them not to do.

Therefore, you will want to use a dog toothpaste from your local pet store. Use this alongside a Susi’s Scrubber Dog Finger Toothbrush, this works more effectively than a rigid toothbrush, it is flexible and allows you to reach every area of your dog’s mouth. While being gentle and providing your dog with a relaxing gum massage.

The design is simple and slides onto your finger, with a string to secure it in your hand to prevent it from getting lost in your dog’s mouth. It is so effective at removing plaque and achieving those pearly whites for our dogs, that vets recommend this product themselves.

Maintaining your dog’s paws

Your dog’s paws are made for walking, but it is essential they are looked after. Dog’s paws are also for protection, they give isolation against weather conditions, the pads provide extra cushioning to protect their joints, bones and aid walking on tough terrain to protect the tissue within the paw.

To keep their paws the best they can be ensure you give your dog a pedicure ensuring their nails never snag on the floor – your dog’s nails should only just touch the ground when they walk. Clean in between their toes, it is quite easy for objects to get lodged there. So, check regularly for any lodged debris and carefully remove it with tweezers.

Treat your doggy to a massage, alike us humans a massage will promote their circulation and relax them. To do this start by rubbing on the bottom of the paw and between the pads, and then between each toe.

Finally, use a pad moisturizer to maintain the quality of their paws, which can easily become sore and cracked if they become dry. Ask your vet which moisturizer is best suited for your dog. Never use a human moisturizer as this can soften their pads, which could lead to severe discomfort and even injury.

Your dog’s haircut

A key stage in your dog’s beauty regimen, ensuring your dog has a regular haircut is essential for keeping them clean and looking presentable. Dog’s with short and medium-length hair should be trimmed every seven to eight weeks, and long-haired dogs require a trim once a month.

You can choose to take your dog to your local groomers or take on the task yourself. If you do choose the latter, ensure you undertake a dog grooming class or watch many online tutorials until you are completely confident to guarantee you do not leave your dog with an dodgy haircut or an injury.

I hope these tips help you to keep your dog clean, happy and healthy!

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