Basic Dog Grooming 101
Whether you take your favourite chum to a dog groomer or lovingly do it yourself, dog grooming is an essential part of pet care that is often overlooked by otherwise conscientious dog owners. Proper grooming includes the obvious, bathing and brushing so that the skin and coat remain healthy, ear and dental care, and toenail clipping. Dental care, is, of course, something to get your veterinarian involved with. He or she will check your dog’s teeth for cavities or abnormalities. At least once a year, your vet will clean your dog’s teeth professionally. This will require sedation and probably an overnight stay at the vet hospital, but is essential for your best friend’s dental health. Between these visits, you should brush your dog’s teeth with a doggie dentifrice purchased at a pet supply shop. Fido is certain not to like this experience so you may want to search for a brand/flavor that is acceptable. Use a regular soft toothbrush several times a week to keep your dogs breath bearable and protect its teeth.
You can bond with your dog by setting aside an hour a week at a regular time for grooming. . After all, grooming involves stroking, really caring for your dog. You will need a good dog brush for grooming and shining the coat, a wire brush for removing twigs, leaves, gnarls and, heaven forbid, ticks. You will need clippers to keep the coat a reasonable length and remove the resistant knots and mats. First brush the dog lightly to gain confidence and find any trouble spots. If there is matting, clip these mats away. Then rebrush with the wire brush to thoroughly remove any gnarls and all ticks or other unwanted items that may have stuck to the coat. Follow by bathing. This time is well spent when you consider that a dog whose coat is not properly brushed can develop mange, which results in loss of coat and hefty vet bills.
Your shampoo is not formulated for a dog’s skin, which tends to be quite dry. Please get specially formulated shampoo for your dog’s breed and experiment to find the best. Flea control is best done with a specific formula prescribed by your veterinarian, so no need to bother with these shampoos.
Remember to clean your dog’s ears. Pull gently any hair that may grow inside to the outside of the ear and cut away any matted fur. You can clean the outside of the under ear with mineral oil and a cotton. Always be on the lookout for discharges or an odor from the ear and watch to see if your dog shakes his head often. Many breeds are susceptible to ear infections and these are quite painful.
The next task is toenail clipping. Get a good set of clippers and do this regularly so that only a small amount of toenail is removed per session. This will keep your pet from developing split nails and will benefit your hardwood floors and carpeting as well.
Finally, occasionally, use a professional dog groomer. They will cover any areas of grooming that you may have overlooked.