All dog breeds, even those cute ones with short, low-maintenance coats need regular grooming. Bathing, brushing, and combing helps keep your dog’s coat shiny and tangle-free and give you the opportunity to check for parasites or skin issues. Best of all, dog grooming is a wonderful way to bond with your pet. They love the strokes and attention. Here are 5 grooming techniques that will help you take care of your best buddy.
1. Brush Regularly to Prevent Matting
Brushing your dog keeps down painful mats, removes loose hair, dirt, and dander. Both long haired and short haired dogs can benefit from regular brushing. The number of brushing per week depends on the length and texture of the coat. Long haired dogs, dogs with curly coats, and dogs that shed should be brushed at least once a week. Every other day is better. Dogs with short, straight hair like Labradors and greyhounds can get by with a thorough brushing every other week.
2. Check For Skin Conditions
It’s quite common for dogs to have allergic skin conditions that make them scratch, chew, and lick their skin. During and in between brushings, you should check the condition of your dog’s skin. In addition to checking for unusual lumps and bumps, look for external parasites like ticks, fleas, and mites. These parasites cause dogs a lot of misery and can carry diseases. Redness, rashes, sores, and bald spots are evidence of parasite infestations.
3. Don’t Bath Too Often
Bathing tends to strip a dog’s coat of the natural oils it produces to keep the coat and skin from drying out. Therefore, unless your baby smells terrible or rolls around in something awful, limit baths to about once every other month.
Keep in mind that the pH level for a dog’s skin is different than that of humans. Never use human shampoo, even gentle baby shampoo. Instead, purchase a soap-free shampoo specially formulated for dogs.
Thoroughly wet your dog’s fur with warm water and apply the shampoo carefully avoiding the eyes, ears, and mouth. Rinse thoroughly. Let your dog shake off and dry outdoors in warm weather. In chilly weather, towel dry and follow up with a hairdryer set at the lowest temperature.
4. Trim Coat Hair With Care
It’s best to take your dog to a professional dog groomer. In between grooming, you can do it yourself if done with care. Proceed carefully to trim hair that has grown over the eyes, especially if the hair is blocking the dog’s vision or irritating the eyes.
Trimming dog ear hair helps keep down ear infections. If you need to trim ear hair, be very cautious and only approach the dog when it is calm. Reward the dog for being calm.
5. Trim the Nails
Overly long nails are uncomfortable for dogs. If you can hear the dog’s nails clicking, it’s time to get the nail trimmers out. But not just any nail trimmers. Look for ones designed especially for dogs. The trimmer should come with a step-by-step guide showing you how to cut the nails safely.