How to Groom Your Dog
If you are lucky enough to have a dog as a pet, then you will know that there are several things that are very important to keep your dog fit, healthy and happy. You need to ensure you feed your dog the correct food (Royal Canin, James Wellbeloved or any other leading brand) and give them plenty of water to drink, you also need to take your dog out for regular walks and ensure they get the right amount of exercise for their breed. You need to spend some time with them teaching them how to behave well and playing games with them to keep them alert. Another important requirement is to groom your dog to keep them clean and healthy and free from illness or infection. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to groom your dog, so that you can help out at home.
Regular grooming is very important for dogs, it keeps them clean, healthy and manageable. If a dog isn't cared for properly, it can make them ill, as they are more likely to get infections if they are not groomed. If a dog has matted hair or bad teeth, it will eventually make them poorly and they won't be happy at all!
First of all, you need to be organised. In the same way that you would make sure you had shower gel, shampoo and toothpaste if you were getting ready yourself, gather all of the relevant supplies that you need. Make sure you have the right products for the breed/size dog, as these can differ. Ensure that you have the right things for cleaning eyes and ears, trimming hair and nails, brushing, bathing and drying.
Always start the process by giving the dog a good brush first. Make sure you do this thoroughly. If your dog's hair is matted it will be unmanageable when it is wet, so a good brush to start should get rid of any matting. If there is still matting that you cannot remove, it may need to be cut out, but this is usually only if it has been left for a very long time. You need to remove any matting because it can cause yeast infections for your dog because bacteria gathers between the hair and the skin.
If your dog is short-haired, it can be brushed with a curry brush or a glove, but if your dog has longer hair it may need special grooming equipment, such as a pin brush, undercoat rake or a slicker. Whatever you do use, it needs to be able to remove any loose hair, brush out any matting and distribute oils from your dog's skin, through its coat.
Next, you must look at what grooming needs to take place before your dog has a bath. This is where a grown up would do any trimming of hair. It is always best to do this before bathing your dog, as it is a waste of time shampooing hair that is to be cut off!
The next job, again for a grown up is to check your dog's eyes. Eyes should be clear and free of any irritation or discharge. If your dog is long haired, the hair may need to be trimmed, in most cases by the vet. You can get eye washes, to keep the eyes free from infections and if the dog has 'tear stains' in its coat, there are products available like Johnsons Diamond Eyes Tear Stain Remover or Shaws Pretty Eyes Lotion to remove the staining.
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Next up is the ears. It is very important to keep your dog's ears clean, again to prevent any infections occurring. A clean ear may have wax inside but shouldn't have any smell to it. Any cleaner or ointment that is to be used inside the ear should be warmed in a container of warm water, as is done for a babies bottle as cold water in the ear canal is very painful. To clean your dog's ears, apply some ear cleaning solution to a cotton ball and simply wipe dirt and wax away from the inner ear. Or you could try Ear Cleansing Pads. Don't rub vigorously as to cause sores, and don't travel too far into the ear; both could cause damage. This process will not be very nice for your dog, so they may put up a bit of a fight. It is just important to have patience and talk your dog through the process to reassure them. When you've finished cleaning out the ear with, gently dry it out with a dry cloth.
We all know how important it is to take care of our teeth, well your dog is no different. A large percentage of dogs have what is known as periodontal disease as their teeth have not been looked after. Brushing your dog's teeth will help prevent many painful infections that can cause more serious problems for the dog. It is recommended that the dog's teeth are brushed 2-3 times per week Use only toothpaste products made specifically for dogs, as they will become ill if you use your own toothpaste. There are great Pet Toothbrushes on the market now, which are popped onto the finger. Again, ease your dog into the process and talk them through it to make them feel more relaxed.
Next up are the dog's nails, which left uncared for can really damage your dog's feet. It is important to clip your dog's nails regularly but depending on the dog this could be as often as once a week or as little as once a month. It is important to get a good set of dog nail clippers such as the Ancol Guillotine Nail Clippers or JW Pet Gripsoft Grooming Deluxe Nail Trimmers. Always trim a small amount as you do not want to cut too far back and cause the dog any pain.
Now it is time for your dog to get in the tub! Some dogs can be frightened of the sound of running water so you need to try to desensitise them to this. Take off the dog's collar and get them into the tub, if they will not stay in the tub, you can purchase bath leads which are attached to the bath with a suction cup. Now thoroughly wet the dog, using a hose or shower attachment. Start to shampoo the dog from the neck downwards with a good dog shampoo such as Exmarid Deep Cleansing Shampoo. It is best to dilute the shampoo to cut down the chances of leaving any residue. If the dog is double coated, use a curry brush to work shampoo into the coat, otherwise just use your hand to spread the shampoo. Particularly long haired dogs need special care and attention to ensure that the shampoo is worked in and smoothed out to prevent mats and tangles. Always wash the dog's head last of all and do not use the soap or shampoo around the ears, eyes, nose and mouth.
Rinsing is very important - you must make sure that the dog is rinsed thoroughly and keep rinsing until the water runs clear. If any shampoo is left on the dog it can cause irritation. Once the water runs clear, then your dog is ready to be dried. First of all, try to towel dry the dog as best you can, paying particular attention to the feet. If the dog is short-haired or you like to let your dog's hair dry naturally, then you are all done! However if your dog is long-haired, you may need to blow dry the dog on a cool setting. Remember not to dry the dog completely as this will dry out its skin. You may also need to brush whilst drying if the dog is extremely long haired. Try to avoid putting the dog's collar back on until they are completely dry as it can cause sores otherwise.
Animals | Dog Resources
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