It's part of our job as pets to make a fuss when you try to make us look pretty or handsome. Deep down, we know you do it because you love us and want us to look, feel, and smell great. Here's a few tips that can make grooming easier for everyone.
Along with routine preventive care and dental check-ups
, dogs need regular grooming to remain healthy. While bathing and brushing helps your dog look his best, grooming entails more than that in addition to offering several health benefits. For example, frequent brushing of your dog’s coat helps to ensure proper blood circulation. It also keeps levels of grease to a minimum, which is important because a build-up of grease can cause sebaceous cysts by blocking pores.
Loose hair on your dog can quickly form into mats. When mats remain in your dog’s fur, they can cause sores and other skin problems by dragging the skin down. Another common problem with dogs is that matted fur between the paw pads can attract dirt and grease. This can make it uncomfortable for your dog to walk.
Establishing a regular grooming schedule with your dog can help deepen the bond between the two of you. Even though she may protest grooming at first, your dog eventually learns that she can depend on you to take care of her. It also allows you to get to know your dog at a deeper level by learning what she likes and dislikes.
How to Successfully Groom Your Dog at Home
You will need to have the right tools before you start any grooming session. Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital recommends that you start with the following:
- Non-slip rubber mat
- Shampoo appropriate for his breed
- Fine comb and a coarse metal comb
- Soft slicker brush
- Eye and ear wipes
- Nail clippers
Start the grooming process by carefully washing your dog’s fur. Depending on the size of your dog, you can do this in the bathtub or with a damp washcloth and shampoo. This helps to loosen any knots in your dog’s fur so you can comb them out easier. If you do notice a knot, bring it to the surface with one hand and comb through it with the other hand until it gets untangled. The type of comb you use will depend on whether your dog’s fur is coarse, thick, straight, or curly.
If you have recently heard your dog’s nails as she walks across a hardwood floor, you know that it’s time for a trim. Don’t be surprised it this is the part of grooming she protests the most. However, she should come to accept it if you’re gentle, patient, and persistent. Hold her foot gently and press on the paw pad so you can see the nails. Start by cutting off a small bit of each nail and then moving on to the thicker part. If you see blood, it means you have cut the part of the nail called the quick. Stop cutting immediately and place a gauze pad on your dog’s paw to control the bleeding.
You can now wipe your dog’s eyes and ears using a hypo-allergenic wipe. Be sure to avoid placing anything directly into your dog’s ears as this can cause wax and dirt to go further down into the ear. Your dog shouldn’t need ear drops unless he has an infection.
Consider Occasional Professional Grooming
While it’s important to groom your dog at least once a week at home, consider bringing her in for regular professional grooming appointments as well. The groomer can advise you about any problem areas as well as let you know how to better gain her cooperation if you’re struggling. If you have additional questions about grooming, don’t hesitate to ask at your pet’s next preventive care appointment
at Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic.
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