In addition to optimal nutrition, routine veterinary examinations and physical exercise, dog grooming routines are an important part of your pet’s overall health. There are several aspects of grooming, most of which may be easily accomplished at home.
Dog Grooming Tips
The long and short of it:
- Dogs with smooth coats require little more brushing than a weekly sweep with a slicker dog brush to remove dull, dead hairs. This will assist with undercoat shedding, resulting in a sleeker appearance.
- Longhaired breeds should be brushed daily to detangle knots and prevent the formation of mats. Once mats have been neglected, the hair gathers tightly against your dog‘s skin. This results in pain as the skin pulls with movement and can affect your dog‘s mobility. Alternately, if a daily groom with the dog brush is not an option, then a visit to the pet groomer every four to six weeks to shave down your dog’s coat becomes necessary in order to preserve his or her comfort.
- Baths should be limited to once monthly. Excessive bathing can dry out your dog‘s skin and coat. Use shampoos and conditioners that are specifically labeled for use in dogs. The skin on your dog is more sensitive than your own, so avoid sharing your hair care products.
Put Your Best Paw Forward
- Keeping your dog’s nails short will prevent them from growing into the paw pads. Monthly nail trimming also keeps the blood vessel within the nail from growing, which will mean easier nail trims without the stress of bleeding.
- Ideally, trim your dog’s nails immediately following a bath. The nails will be softened from the warm water, making even large dog nails easier to clip through.
- Have a styptic product on hand and ready to use before you begin nail trimming, rather than having to retrieve the product and then chase your bleeding dog throughout the house if you accidentally nick the blood vessel.
The Ears Have It
Dogs with floppy ears are prone to ear infections. The covered ear canal provides the ideal dark and moist growing environment for yeasts and bacteria. Flushing the ears weekly with a dog ear cleansing solution will help to prevent these infections.
My, What Clean Teeth You Have!
Dental care slows the accumulation of plaque and tartar, thus preventing oral bacteria from entering your pet’s bloodstream and damaging internal organs. Using a dog toothbrush and pet formulated toothpaste, brush your dog‘s teeth at least three times a week.
A well groomed dog not only looks better, he or she feels better. By engaging in the above dog grooming rituals regularly, this becomes a bonding time for you and your dog. Offer a rewarding treat once the spa session concludes. Emotionally and physically, regular grooming will make your canine companion the picture of health, inside and out.