Dog Grooming Guide: How to Groom Your Dog?

It is no secret that the condition of the coat directly depends on the health of the dog as a whole, which, in turn, is due to the quality of the dog’s nutrition. The best way to feed your pet is with a combination of dry and wet rations. To avoid a deficiency of minerals and vitamins in the dog’s body, check and adjust the pet’s nutrition program promptly and check the health of its teeth. Careful attention to your dog’s health and regular hygiene procedures will help you keep your dog’s coat shiny.

The dog owner has a choice – either to maintain the dog’s coat in proper condition on his own or to use the services of a professional (this procedure is called dog grooming). In fact, both options are acceptable because there is a specific part of the procedures that the owner can perform independently. And there are procedures in which the help of a professional is needed. A healthy dog has a smooth, thick, shiny, and easy-to-comb coat. The basic rules for maintaining an excellent coat in a dog are as follows:

  • Regular combing of the coat with a special brush or comb for dogs;
  • The intensity and frequency of brushing should depend on the structure of the dog’s coat;
  • Correct balanced diet;
  • Active and long walks;
  • Regular trimming or grooming of the dog, depending on the breed and coat structure;
  • Washing with a thorough rinse and only as a last resort (use only special dog shampoos);
  • If necessary, consultations not only with groomers but also with veterinary specialists.

It is necessary to teach your dog to brush and calmly react to your actions early. This is one of the first skills a dog should learn when entering your home.

What is home Grooming?

Dogs are not always able to take good care of themselves, and they need help in caring for their bodies. The peculiarities of caring for a pet are influenced by the breed’s characteristics (for example, the length and structure of the coat) and the type of its physique, habits, and conditions of detention. Grooming for a domestic dog includes grooming hair, skin, claws, ears, eyes, teeth. Pet hair can vary in density, length, structure. The main procedures for caring for it are combing, washing, and cutting.

Combining prevents tangling and removes dead hair. Besides, when brushing, you massage the pet’s skin, thereby improving its blood supply. With regular brushing, you take care not only of the dog’s health but also of the cleanliness of your home: there will be much less hair on the floor and furniture.

Brushing frequency depends on your pet’s coat type. Dogs with long hair and a developed undercoat should be brushed daily. It is recommended that puppies are brushed regularly so that they get used to this procedure. When combing, try not to cause pain to the animal and use special tools: combs, scrapers, brushes, gloves, brushes, slicker.

Tools for Dog’s hair Care

Tools are an essential part of grooming. If you use the wrong brushes and combs, you can discourage your pet from going into your hands. Sometimes there is a risk of damaging the dog with a too stiff or frequent comb. A brush that is too sparse will not pick up enough loose hairs.

For short coats, it is best to use a rubber or double-sided brush. The rubber brush is suitable for swimming – it can gently remove loose hairs. The soft side of the double-sided brush is ideal for brushing out after bathing.

For long hair, you need a special comb. You can also be creative and not just cut a dog’s hair or comb it in a special way, but also make special hairdos. Researchers show that some owners express themselves this way, while others consider cutting their pet’s fur a vital necessity, especially if the animal has a long coat that makes its life uncomfortable.

For dogs with hair and undercoat, a slicker and trimmer are needed. First, you need to use a slicker to collect as much hair as possible. The trimmer is used after the slicker to collect the fallen undercoat. It is convenient to brush off the remaining hair after brushing with the soft side of the double-sided brush.

Puppy Care

Small puppies practically do not shed, but you need to teach them to care for their hair from a very tender age. Young dogs learn quickly, willingly change their habits, learn new objects and situations. Adult pets can take much longer to get used to brushing and washing – it can become stressful for them.

Bathe your puppy once a month in warm water. So that the baby does not get scared, praise him, talk to it cheerfully and kindly. The smallest puppies can be bathed in the sink or basin, and the larger ones in the bathroom. Let your baby know that swimming is fun and safe. To do this, you can give it treats, praise it while washing and drying, and ironing.

Combing should also be regular. You need to gently hold the puppy in place by walking over its coat with a soft-bristled brush. If the baby is calmly standing still, back up its actions with praise or a treat. The dog must understand that it has nothing to be afraid of in this place and with this person.

If the puppy is already old enough for grooming (at the age of about six months), it can be bathed and cut in the salon. The sooner the dog becomes accustomed to professional grooming, the better.

Grooming an elderly dog

Older dogs lose even more hair than their younger counterparts. They need more care and attention. Older dogs often develop arthritis and reduce joint flexibility, so they are less tolerant of bathing and brushing. Such dogs need to be carefully lowered into the bathtub and thoroughly rinsed out of their coats. 

Brushing an old dog with arthritis should be done slowly, carefully, and delicately. Particular attention should be paid to areas of hypersensitivity. For example, painful sensations may appear on the back or around the joints. These areas should be combed out with minimal pressure.

Taking care of an older dog will take more time. But the pet will appreciate your efforts and delight you with a great look, smell, and mood.

How often should I Wash my Dog?

The frequency of washing depends on the condition of the animal’s coat, the needs of care, and the presence of skin diseases. On average, dogs are washed 1-2 times a year, or as they become dirty, the frequency of washing is allowed up to 1 time in 1-3 months. Show animals are washed frequently. Dogs who are suffering from certain skin diseases – 1 time per week. Specialized shampoos are used for washing: ordinary, medicinal, antiparasitic, deodorizing, toning, etc. After washing, moisturizing and nourishing lotions, balms are applied to the dog’s coat, making it easier to comb, making it shine.

When it is impossible to wash the dog (enclosure, post-vaccination period, illness), it is recommended to use dry shampoos in the form of a powder, which is applied by hand to the animal’s fur, and then removed with a comb. It is very convenient for short-haired dogs. For dogs with long hair, you can use grooming sprays (spray shampoos). After applying them, the dog’s coat is wiped with a damp cloth and combed.

Do I need to trim the Dog’s Hair?

Hygienic grooming of dogs is necessary to maintain the cleanliness of the coat, to prevent the formation of tangles. And in the summer – to improve thermoregulation. A hygienic haircut is also recommended when the animal’s fur is contaminated with various chemicals. A standard haircut is carried out according to the breed’s requirements.

How to Care for the Skin, Claws, eyes, and ears of the dog?

Skincare includes removing impurities, wiping folds (facial, lip folds, tail), processing the skin between the fingers. To do this, you can use wet zoological wipes or lotions. In winter, to protect the skin of the paws from the cold, it is recommended to treat the pads with a special wax.

Claws are trimmed as they grow, once every 1-3 months. In animals actively walking outside on a hard surface, the claw plates can wear off independently. With improper regrowth, the claw can grow into the surrounding tissue, break off, causing distress to the dog. For cutting the claws, specialized tools are used that do not break the claw plate. In this case, it is necessary to try not to injure the living part of the claw – the pulp containing the vessels. In some cases, filing is used to control the length and shape of the claw. Often a protective coating or colored varnish is applied to the dog’s claws.

Healthy dogs usually do not need to clean their ears. Sometimes you can wipe the inner surface of the ears with a dry cotton pad. In case of increased formation of ear secretions or inflammation, the external auditory canal is treated 1-2 times a week or as it becomes dirty with the help of specialized hygienic ear lotions.

Sanitation of the eyes is necessary with increased discharge from the conjunctival sac (especially important for dwarf breeds, dogs with increased muzzle folds – pugs, etc.). It is carried out daily or as the eyes become dirty with hygienic lotions. Simultaneously, remove the discharge with a cotton pad from the inner corner of the eye to the outer one.

Tim Hanson (70)

Contributing writer at Preferable Pups!