How to groom your dog
We know by now that good hygiene habits are highly important in staying healthy. But unlike humans, dogs don’t require daily hygiene and grooming habits. Depending on the breed, this can range from once a week to once every few months.
Breeds with longer and curly hair need regular grooming, but breeds with a shorter coat of hair can go without grooming for months. Hygiene habits, on the other hand, are required regularly, no matter the breed. This includes teeth brushing, ear cleaning, and nail trimming.
While most people schedule appointments at the groomer for all of these things, you can easily establish an at-home grooming routine for your dog. That way, you can have some additional bonding time, as well as plenty of fun!
Let’s see how you can do it and what equipment you need, in addition to some benefits of keeping a regular grooming schedule.
Benefits of Regularly Grooming Your Dog
Helps maintain a healthy coat and skin
Scrubbing, blow drying, and brushing your dog will remove any dead skin left in the fur, as well as allow some air to circulate through the coat. It also helps distribute their natural oils all throughout the coat
Detecting early signs of skin issues
If you regularly brush your dog, chances are you will notice any unusual things appearing on your dog’s skin early-on. And with most skin problems, such as rashes, lesions, lumps, or infections, early detection is essential as it can make the treatment much shorter and more efficient.
Helping your dog walk properly
Trimming your dog’s nails is an often overlooked part, but it’s still of high importance. If the nails grow too long, they can be uncomfortable to walk on. And even worse, they can change their posture and create problems with their joints, such as arthritis and bone deformations.
Trimmed nails will keep them from curling and help your dog walk and run more comfortably.
If you’ve ever had to deal with an ear infection in your dog, you know how much of a hassle it can be. That’s why, it’s important to take the necessary steps to even prevent it from happening.
Getting rid of the gunk in your dog’s ears regularly can stop bacteria from growing and protect your dog’s hearing for years to come. You can also prevent some eye irritations by regularly removing the building around their eyes.
Now that you know how important it is to keep your pet groomed, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to get the job done.
Dog Grooming Equipment You’ll Need
- Shampoo and conditioner – dog shampoos are different from those meant for humans, but there’s still a variety of choices available. Try to get one that’s unscented, as the scent can irritate your dog’s skin and nose.
- Hair dryer – letting your dog air-dry can be a bad idea, especially if they have long coats. It can lead to skin irritations and yeast infections. Always dry them off with a hair dryer, but make sure to keep it on the cool and low setting, so you don’t dry out your dog’s skin.
- Dog brushes – get a brush specifically designed for your dog’s coat.
- Scissors and clippers – high-quality sharp scissors will make your job much easier. Make sure to get scissors designed for dog grooming, as they have rounded ends and are much safer. Also look for the most quiet clipper as the noise can disturb your dog.
- Nail trimmers – nail trimmers for dogs have a safety guard that prevents you from cutting more than you need to.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste – it’s critical to get a dog-safe toothpaste that’s safe to swallow, since dog’s do not spit. Also, get some angled dog toothbrushes so you can reach those hard places in the back of the mouth.
- Ear and eye cleaning kit – ear cleaning solutions can help you flush out your dog’s ears with ease and remove any buildup that can’t be reached with a cotton pad.
How to Groom Your Dog at Home
Now that we got the equipment out of the way, let’s take a look at the 7-step routine for grooming your dog at home.
1. Brush your dog
This should be done on a regular basis, but also right before a bath. It prevents hair mats from forming and helps you bathe your dog easier. Make sure to take breaks and provide some treats to prevent overwhelming your dog.
2. Cut any mats
If you encounter any mats that can’t be brushed off, cut them out or shave them if they’re too close to the skin. If you can’t safely remove the mat, take your dog to a professional groomer.
3. Clean the eyes and the ears
Wipe any residual build-up left below your dog’s eyes to prevent irritations, and then move on to the ears. Use an ear cleaning solution and some cotton wipes to wipe the wax from the inner ear.
4. Brush the teeth
This should also be done regularly as it can help prevent tooth and gum infections. Start slowly and have some patience, as most dogs are not comfortable with brushing their teeth. Make sure to reward your dog afterwards and give it some positive praise.
5. Clip the nails
It’s very important to avoid cutting the quick of the dog nail, as that’s where the blood vessels are located. If your dog has clear nails, that’s the pink part at the top, but if it has dark nails, it’s usually a darker spot.
Start with smaller chunks and move up a few bits at a time. You can also use a dremel tool as it shaves only a little bit of nail instead of clipping the whole thing.
6. Bath time!
Secure your dog in the tub, gather all the supplies you need, and soak your dog in lukewarm water. Apply some shampoo according to the instructions on the bottle and spread it all throughout their coat. After that’s done, rinse out your dog thoroughly to prevent any shampoo residue from sticking to the skin.
7. Blow dry their coat
After a quick towel drying session, use a blow dryer on a cool setting to completely remove any moisture from the skin and prevent skin infections.
Learning to properly groom your dog at home can be a wonderful experience, both for you and for your dog. It will help you maintain a regular schedule, which we saw is very important for your pup’s health, and you will get some precious bonding time.