How to Properly Groom Your Dog – Grooming for Fido
To keep your canine companion in great condition you need to learn how to properly groom your dog. A coat that is healthy and shiny is a sign that your dog is healthy both inside and out. Unlike cats, dogs aren’t able to keep themselves clean or groomed and their boisterous and active lives mean that your pooch will invariably need a bath! Learning to properly groom your dog may be critical to your dog’s well being.
When you properly groom your dog it fulfills an even more important function. Regular grooming will help you to spot any potential health problems in your dog and early intervention could save his or her life.
To properly groom your dog you will first need to get him or her used to the idea. A dog may never like their bath but (unlike some cats) most learn to tolerate their soaping with some patience. The best time to introduce your dog to grooming is when it’s still quite young. By the time he is a year old he should either look at his bath as a necessary evil or enjoy it thoroughly.
As you groom your dog make sure to check for any unusual lumps under the skin, any rashes, bald patches, sores or cuts. Is your dog’s coat dull or his skin dry and flaky? Are his eyes sore, inflamed, cloudy or tearing? Do the ears have an odor or are they tender or swollen. Are the teeth and breath in good order? To properly groom your dog you need to pay attention to more than just his coat.
If your dog has short hair you will need to properly groom your dog once a week using a natural bristle brush and fine-tooth comb. Dogs with long hair that shed may need to be groomed 2 to 3 times a week or every day if it is an outdoor rambler. Use a wire brush and a wide-tooth comb as well as a fine-tooth flea comb on your longhair.
When you learn to properly groom your dog note any signs of falling hair or itching skin. These should be checked by a veterinarian. It is normal for indoor dogs to show some signs of shedding for most of the year.
Properly groom your dog by placing a rubber mat in the tub or sink so that your dog can’t slip and wet his coat, soap him all over and rinse with warm (not hot) water. Always make sure your dog’s eyes are protected and don’t get water in your dog’s ears especially if they are long like those of beagles.
Never bathe a sick dog and properly groom your dog by bathing only when he really needs it. Too many baths remove the natural and essential oils from his skin and coat leading to dryness, itchiness and less resistance to infection.
In winter you can use a dryer to dry your dog but in summer you can allow him to dry in the sun after using a towel to remove most of the moisture. In cold weather keep your dog indoors for a few hours after a bath so he doesn’t get chilled. To properly groom your dog you need to pay attention to both his health and comfort.
To properly groom your dog you will need to learn how to clip his claws at least once a week. As soon as your dog’s claws start to hurt you or the couch use a special dog claw clippers NOT regular scissors as they can damage your dog’s claws.
Claw clipping is typically a two-person job but you can attempt to hold your dog on the floor between your knees – pulling it to your side with one front paw in your hand. You can learn to properly groom your dog with a little practice and patience.
The next step to properly groom your dog is to clean and examine its ears. Ears can accumulate a lot of dirt and bacteria. You should check and clean them once every other week. The ears can be cleaned using a cotton swab soaked in hydrogen peroxide.
To properly groom your dog you need to avoid injuring him in any way. Be very careful and never injure the ears. Stay at the entrance to the ear. If you see any excessive earwax, redness or black spots talk to your veterinarian. If your dog has an ear infection his ears may smell and he may shake his head from side to side.
Correct eye care is also important if you want to properly groom your dog. Examine the eyes which must be bright with no tearing or excess mucus. Use a damp cotton ball to remove any discharge from around the eyes. If the eyes are red, inflamed or cloudy or show signs of a discharge or injury take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. Take time and enjoy learning how to properly groom your dog. It’s also a time to bond! Enjoy grooming your pooch!