If you have a dog you will know how quickly their fur can get out of control and dirty. The easiest way to ensure that your dog stays clean and comfortable is with regular bathing and grooming. Our Little Elm vets talk about the dog grooming basics and anything that you may need to know about successfully grooming your pup.
What To Know About Grooming Your Dog
The Main Steps of Dog Grooming
Your dog's specific grooming requirements will largely depend upon the breed and lifestyle of your pet. Dogs who spend large amounts of time outdoors, or with very long or thick coats will require more grooming than short hair dogs, or dogs that spend most of their time indoors. That said, all dogs require regular basic grooming to keep them looking and feeling their very best.
Starting a regular grooming routine while your pet is young is key to making grooming calm and enjoyable activity for you and your dog.
Bathing Your Pup
Bathing your dog regularly will help to remove dirt and debris from your dog's coat and keep your dog smelling fresh. Bathe your dog in warm (not hot) water and use a specially formulated dog shampoo to clean your dog's fur. Never use human shampoo on your canine pal since human formulations could cause your dog's skin to become dry and irritated. Rinse your dog thoroughly to ensure that all of the shampoo has been removed. If your dog has very long or difficult fur, use a dog-specific detangling conditioner to make brushing easier.
Short-haired dogs may not need to be bathed more than once every 3 months, however dogs with longer fur, or very active outdoor lifestyles, may benefit from a monthly plunge. If you're unsure of how often you should bathe your dog, once a month is a good rule of thumb.
Brushing Their Fur
Many dogs enjoy being brushed. Brushing your dog regularly helps to prevent matting, removes old hair from your dog’s coat, and may prevent skin irritation. Weekly brushing also allows you to monitor the health of your dog's skin and coat and may reduce the amount of loose fur floating around your home.
For most dogs, weekly brushing is ideal, although some breeds such as Portuguese Water Dogs or Bichon Frises will need to be brushed more frequently to keep their coat looking great.
Trimming Your Dog's Nails
Nail trimming is essential for all dog breeds. To trim your dog's nails use nail clippers specifically designed for dogs. Some dogs react better to rotary nail trimmers, but they do take a little longer to use.
If you are nervous about cutting your dog's nails, or if your dog won't tolerate you trimming their nails, make an appointment with a professional groomer. A trained groomer can get your dog's nails trimmed quickly and calmly so you won't have to worry.
Cutting Their Hair
Different breeds have very different requirements when it comes to haircuts. Speak to your Little Elm vets to find out how often your dog should have a haircut.
To give your dog a haircut, begin by bathing and towel-drying your canine friend. Next, take a pair of sharp scissors and trim the fur around your pet's face and feet. Finally, use electric clippers to trim the rest of your dog's fur.
Professional groomers have all the tools to make haircuts for your dog quick and easy. If you'd like to leave your dog's haircut to the professionals, contact us for more information.
How To Successfully Groom Nervous or Anxious Dogs
Grooming is a vital aspect of your dog’s well-being. Excessively long nails, matted fur and goopy ears can lead to serious health issues if left unattended.
From bathing, brushing and ear cleaning to nail trimming, you may quickly start to dread grooming if your dog is nervous or anxious about the grooming process.
Here are just a few tips that may help your dog relax and enjoy the grooming process:
- Ensure your dog gets lots of exercise before you start to groom him or her.
- Positive reinforcement works wonders. Offer treats for good behavior.
- Dog parents know their dogs love to be pet, so keep this in mind when you bathe your pup. Dole out the pats and hugs throughout the grooming session to let your pup know that everything is okay and that they don’t need to be afraid.
- Is your dog very nervous? You may want to think about using a calming dog pheromone diffuser to bathe your room in a non-sedative, an odorless and synthetic hormone to help your dog relax. Speak to your vet to learn more.
- Dab a calming aromatherapy oil (such as lavender oil) on your fingers as your pet your dog and run your hands through their fur while you bathe them.
When combined with regular exercise and annual examinations including vaccines and parasite prevention, basic grooming will help you keep your dog looking and feeling their very best.