Dogs need to be groomed.
Just like humans, our four-legged friends need grooming to look and feel in tip-top shape. Using the correct grooming tools is essential. These grooming tools will depend on the type of hair your dog has. If you are wondering which kind of grooming tool you will need, ask your veterinarian or a local groomer.
Grooming your dog helps form a stronger bond between both of you. They love the attention and the way it feels. It can even lower your blood pressure by spending quality time with your best friend. So, it is a win-win situation.
Breeds with double coats and long coats need daily brushing to prevent mats from forming. If you have a dog with a double coat, you will notice that the undercoat will ‘burst’ twice a year, this leaves hair everywhere. It is crucial during this time of shedding that you groom your dog on a daily basis if not twice a day. I had a Chow Chow once, and I had to brush him twice a day to keep up with the hair loss.
By giving your dog a good grooming, you are providing much-needed relief for your dog by getting rid of the dead hair and preventing mats from forming. Short haired breeds like pointers only need good grooming once a month. However, it doesn’t hurt to groom your dog every day.
Tools for grooming your dog.
Brush – depending on the type of coat
Shedding Brush – for the double coated breeds
Styptic Pen or Kwik Stop
Good Dog Shampoo
Bathing your dog
What can I say about bathing your dog….wear old clothes! You are going to get wet. In warm summer weather, you can bath your dog outside in a galvanized tub or even a kiddy pool. This way you won’t have to wash down your bathroom. If you do bath your dog outside, make sure you dry him off and bring him in the house, or he’ll head for the nearest patch of dirt and will rub in it.
It’s a dog thing
In cold winter months, it is best that you bath your dog in your bathroom bathtub. Most dogs love a bath as it feels good to them; however, some dogs will run away from you (like mine) once he knows he is going to get a bath. However, once in the tub, they generally calm down.
Make sure the water temperature is tepid; not too hot or cold as your dog has sensitive skin. It is not recommended to use human shampoo on your dog as it may dry out their skin. There are specially formulated dog shampoos on the market for you to use. I have a dog with skin allergies, and this shampoo works well for him. DermCare Anti-Bacterial Medicated Shampoo.
If you have a white dog, some shampoos enhance the white color of the coat. I would recommend this. A little side story: I recently rescued a poodle mix from the pound, he was pitiful looking and was shaved down to his skin. Parts of his skin appeared to have some black pigmentation while the rest of him was pink. I used the whitening shampoo on him. As I was rinsing him off, most of the black pigment came off. It was just caked on dirt and feces as he had been neglected for a long time. His coat is now a beautiful white, and his dark pigmentation is all gone.
Clipping your dog’s nails
Most dogs hate this part of the grooming process. If you introduce them to it when they are puppies, they won’t mind it as much. The most important thing to remember about clipping your dogs’ nails is DON’T CLIP THE QUICK. If you do, you will have a dog that is hurting and bleeding who will never let you clip their nails again.
If you do end up clipping too far back and getting the quick, apply some Kwik Stop or gauze to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, take your dog to the veterinarian.
A dog’s nails are shaped curved down. The curve part is what is to be clipped, anything past that you are risking injuring your dog. Some dogs have black nails which make it harder to see how far back you can cut. Just clip the tips. Don’t forget the dew claws. If left unclipped, these nails will curve into your dogs’ pad which can be very painful and will require a trip to the veterinarian.
Some people use a product called Pedi Paws-Pet nail trimmer. This is a tiny sander that sands down your dog’s nails. Some dogs don’t like the noise or the feeling of the vibration, but, with training and patience, this is a safe way to trim your dogs’ nails. If, after the nails have been trimmed, they are split, use an emery board to smooth them out.