Why is grooming important?
Finding a dog to become a new friend or part of your family is the easy part. However, dogs, like humans, need more than just their daily walk and a bit of attention when we feel like giving it. Grooming your own dog is an important part of the relationship between owners and their dogs. The following will briefly highlight some of the forms of grooming and provide some short tips on how on how to keep your dog looking nice and healthy. The time you dedicate to grooming your four-legged friend can bring you closer, and save you spending money on expensive private groomers.
Invest in a grooming kit
There are different ways to help your dog maintain its hygiene. Before you can do anything however, you have to equip yourself with few tools. Don’t be overwhelmed. Of course, there are hundreds of clippers, combs, brushes, scissors, shampoos and even more specialized pieces of equipment out there. Starting with a grooming kit is the best way to introduce yourself to the tools of grooming. When it comes to choosing a kit, it can be wiser to invest a little bit more money for more durable tools. Sometimes we are inclined to buy cheaper tools and replace them when they break. Investing in good grooming kit at the beginning can save you time and money in the long term. There are different grooming kits available for different kinds of dogs with individual needs. Make sure you inform yourself as to which grooming kit will serve your dog best, and don’t be afraid to ask for help before purchasing.
Find a suitable grooming space
Grooming can sometimes be a messy business. For smaller dogs, grooming is easiest on top of an old table (make sure to cover it beforehand to avoid any scratches on the table surface). On the other hand, the only possibility for larger and heavier dogs is to groom them on the ground. Designate a space in a room or area easy that will be easy to clean afterwards. The practice would be to prepare all the necessary tools before you start grooming, so that they can be in easy reach of your hand. Needless breaks could confuse your dog and prompt it to move.
Dog grooming doesn’t just mean keeping an eye on the length of your dog’s hair. Keeping hair in good condition by removing dirt, helping the spread of natural oils in the coat and preventing skin irritation and matting goes a long way to keeping your dog looking and feeling its best. Not only can regularly using a brush or comb be relaxing and soothing for both you and your dog, it provides an excellent opportunity to check for fleas while your dog is nice and calm. Make sure to think about the individual needs of your dog when it comes to using appropriate brushes.
Have a bathing strategy
After grooming, most of us want to give our dog a nice bath, and it is good to get your dog used to baths from young age. Smaller dogs can often fit into even a smaller sink, while larger dogs require a more substantial bathing space, typically a larger bath. As with grooming, preparing things for the bath beforehand is best. You should definitely avoid using human shampoo, but opt rather for specialized dog shampoos for optimal pH balance. While in the bath, it is useful to use a facecloth, especially around the airs, to remove any dirt from the face. Always bathe the dog from head to body, moving water away from the face as it gets dirtier, to avoid any skin irritations.
Nail clipping as a part of grooming
As well as cutting, shaving or trimming hair, and bathing your dog, clipping their toenails is another important aspect of grooming. However, be sure to be extra careful when clipping nails. Use appropriate sized clippers and make sure not to press them to close to the skin, or too hard.
Taking care of your dogs teeth is one the most important part of maintaining its hygiene. Begin by getting your dog used to the taste of toothpaste, but applying small amounts to your finger, and getting your dog to lick it off. The next step is to get your dog used to the feel of a brush against its teeth; go slowly with this, and be firm but gentle. Start gradually by brushing only a few teeth until the dog gets used to the process. Finally, you can clean your dog’s teeth thoroughly by brushing tooth by tooth.
Treat your dog!
Making every grooming session fun and relaxed for your dog should always be a top priority. Being touched and handled, including in sensitive areas around the ears, tail and belly, can be challenging at first – especially if your dog is the excitable type. Make sure to praise your dog after a grooming session, and even offer a treat when it’s all over! You and your dog will benefit from grooming your own dog.
This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and a full time pet lover. When she is not working she likes to travel and do yoga. If you have any question feel free to leave a comment.