Grooming your dog is not just fun for both of you, it’s really important. It’s also good for your dog’s health. Regular grooming can help prevent skin issues like fleas, ticks, or other parasites.
Investing in regular grooming also helps keep down the cost of visits to the vet because these health issues are easier to spot early on when they are less severe or more manageable.
However, some dogs are touch-sensitive and may repel it. So I’ll be listing easy and fun tips to help you groom your pet!
Make Grooming a Fun Activity
Before we jump into the tips, it’s crucial to know that not all dogs will like grooming. Typically, the reason behind this could be one or more of the following.
- They are probably sensitive in certain areas like ears or nose
- Do not like the sound of clippers or a hairdryer
- They’re scared, uncomfortable, or anxious with touching or the grooming session
- They might not like the way they’re handled, either by you or the groomer
In short, there could be various reasons why your dog might not be into grooming. However, generally, most dogs enjoy getting washed and brushed since it’s calming. So, you have to make sure your pooch also likes getting groomed.
This can be done in several ways, but the key is to remember to use their name while touching them so they know it’s okay.
Also, for instance, if you are using the dryer or the hairdryer, always let them sniff it before you turn it on so they can get used to the sound.
If your dog seems uncomfortable with the sound of the hairdryer or shows signs of fear or stress, switch to hand drying or use a blow dryer that has a lower noise level. Remember that dogs’ ears are sensitive compared to humans.
Apart from this, try to gently touch their ears, nose, paws and play with them. It will get them used to such handlings. After doing so, treat your pooch for obeying. It’s a way of encouragement and positive reinforcement that’s necessary for grooming sessions.
8 Grooming Tips for Your Dog
1. Brushing of coat
Brushing is one of the most important parts of caring for your pooch. However, it can become a time-consuming task if you are fairly new to it. Firstly, you need a suitable brush.
I’ll recommend buying a high-quality one that’s gentle. Moreover, your choice will also depend on the type of coat your dog has. Generally, they could be as mentioned below:
- Curly or wavy hair
- Double coat hair
- Long hair
- Smooth hair
Once you have identified the coat type, it’s easy to find an appropriate brush. Nowadays, there are plenty of brushes specific for de-shedding or are available in combos. For painless brushing and removing knots, a pin brush is handy.
All in all, your dog’s coat needs to be treated with extensive care since it’s an exposed area. One of the signs that your doggo needs to be brushed is, for example, their incessantly scratching behavior and dryness in the coat.
It’s ideal to run your fingers through your dog’s coat every time you groom them. Start by running your fingers through it, feeling for any bumps or any areas that are unusually hard or soft.
As I have mentioned before, it’s crucial to check your dog’s coat and skin. It’s because poorly cared for skin can cause several problems like itchy skin, patches of dry skin, and more. But with some tips and tricks, you can keep your dog’s skin healthy and hydrated.
- Use a gentle soap that’s specially formulated for dogs
- Bathe your pup once a week to keep her skin clean and healthy
- Groom her regularly with a slicker brush or comb to remove loose hair from her coat
Most people who own dogs know that they need to bathe them regularly, but how often is the question. The answer is different for each dog, so it is important to understand your dog’s needs before deciding when you should bathe them.
So, a lot of people think that dogs need to be bathed every time they go out in the rain or get dirty. However, this is not always necessary.
Dogs with healthy skin only need to be bathed every couple of months to keep hygiene and odor problems. Altogether follow the given tips to keep your pooch clean:
- Brush your doggos before bathing them to remove dirt or loose hair
- Do not spray water directly in sensitive areas like eyes or nose but pour it gently
- Massage the dog shampoo all over and rinse properly
- If you are using a tub, make sure they do not slip or hurt themselves
4. Dental hygiene
One of the most crucial areas that require to be cleaned is your dog’s teeth. According to many experts, it’s best to brush your dog’s teeth daily. However, if you cannot do so try to make a routine of brushing your pooch’s teeth at least twice a week.
Avoid giving your toothpaste to your pooch since it’s not suitable for them as they swallow it. In short, get a dog toothpaste that can be swallowed and is harmless to your pooch.
Also, dental hygiene is essential for young puppies since they’re more vulnerable to getting infections or gum problems. Even so, some adult breeds of dogs have gum disorders as well. Overall, dental problems can differ from breed to breed.
Therefore, caring and regular examination of a dog’s teeth can help you keep them healthy and strong.
5. Cleaning Ears
It is important to take care of your dog’s ears. Dogs are prone to ear infections, so it is important to take a close look at the inside of their ears. This way, you can notice any signs of infection early on and treat them before they become painful.
Whether your dog requires trimming or plucking depends on ear history. For most cases, however, grooming does the job.
Before trimming, remember to follow an important piece of advice; hold your dog’s ear to the side to ensure no hair that you trim makes its way into their ear canals.
Also, don’t go too deep into trimming your dog’s hair. Cut down only the hair that is overgrown out of the ear. Try to move a bit closer to their skin but maintain a good distance to assure that you don’t hurt them by any chance.
This is one of the most difficult parts for owners to groom since both the dog and owner can feel anxious during the process. And rightfully so, since eyes are a vital organ and damaging them is the last thing we would want.
If your doggo can sit in one position without shaking their head too much, then the task can be much easier to perform. Remember to stay positive and confident while you trim your dog’s eyes. It allows them to have trust in you and what you’re doing.
Another point to note is to comb their hair as far away as possible from their eye before trimming.
A good addition to grooming this part of a dog is that you can even trim their eyelashes quickly to ensure they don’t grow inward. Ensure to give yourself a few tries before giving your dog the look you want.
With time, you’re bound to get better and give your pooch the best look.
7. Clipping nails
When your dog goes on the hardwood floor, you instinctively know that the dog’s nails are clicking. This will happen for sure if your dog’s nails are too long. Clicking is one of the two main reasons why you should trim your dog’s nails.
The other reason is it can prevent your pooch from experiencing pain and injury by getting his nails stuck in something or another animal, like another dog’s claws.
In most cases, your pooch may not like the clipper’s sound and find it stressful. Regardless, slowly uplift their mood by giving treats or pats when they obediently sit for their trimming session.
8. Paw health
Dogs feel quite intimidated if someone touches their paws for any reason. To begin with, get your dog to become used to being touched by you and help them to understand that it’s a natural thing.
Once your pooch is used to having their paws touched, get them used to scissors too. Try cutting the fur on/around their paws for just a few seconds and reward them with something they like.
Doing this a couple of times allows dogs to let their owners groom their entire paw.
Eventually, you can trim the fur around their paws completely at once and provide a reward only at the end of the trimming. However, don’t forget to reward your doggo since they can become unwilling over time to be groomed.
In a nutshell, dog grooming is pretty simple once you make it a routine. Usually, dogs start to like getting cleaned and it promotes happy vibes within them! But before beginning try to make your pooch comfortable and positively encourage with treats. Likewise, regularly check their paws, teeth and coat as these are the most crucial areas that require grooming. Moreover, there’s less to worry about when they are often checked by you. Also, you’ll get to spend quality time with each other that’ll strengthen your bond.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.