Pet dog enjoying his shower
It’s essential to know how grooming works for dogs when you’re thinking about bringing man’s best friend back home with you.
Good grooming helps your dog look and feel at its best. Routine grooming sessions will also allow you to examine your dog’s coat, teeth, eyes, ears, and nails for signs of problems. How often this needs to be done depends on your dog’s size, breed, and coat type.
While good hygiene habits are essential for a healthy dog, most dogs do not require daily hygiene and grooming habits. How often and what is required depends on the breed. Some breeds, for example, The Afghan Hound, Poodle, and Komondor, to name a few, need regular grooming. In contrast, breeds like the Beagle, Weimaraner, and Boxer allow for a bit more freedom in the grooming department. Hygiene such as teeth brushing, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and brushing is most certainly an essential aspect of regular dog care, regardless of the breed.
Brushing at Home
Several brushing sessions a week will keep the average dog neat and clean. Brush all the way down to the skin and let the massage stimulate blood circulation and loosen and remove flakes of dandruff.
The kind of equipment you need depends on your dog’s coat texture and length.
When brushing, always check for burrs and other stubborn plant material; mats, which most frequently form behind the ears and under the legs; and any cuts or scrapes on the skin itself.
All dogs shed, though some definitely shed more than others. Regular brushing will help keep shedding under control.
Bathing at Home
Your dog should have regular but not frequent baths, depending on the breed and coat of your dog. Too frequent washing removes natural oils and causes the coat to become dry and harsh.
When necessary, use a mild shampoo formulated for dogs in your grooming. Stand the dog in a tub or basin, and put cotton balls in his ears and a couple of drops of mineral oil in his eyes. Wet the dog with warm water and apply shampoo from the neck back. After lathering and scrubbing, rinse your dog thoroughly with warm water. Rub vigorously with a towel and then blow-dry if necessary—comb or brush as required.
Nail Trimming at Home
Nails must be kept short for the feet to remain healthy. Long nails interfere with the dog’s gait, which makes walking awkward or painful. If you can hear the nails clicking on the floor, they’re too long. To trim your dog’s nails, use a specially designed clipper. Most have safety guards to prevent you from cutting the nails too short. You want to trim only the ends before the “quick,” a blood vessel inside the nail. Clip only the hook-like part of the nail that turns down. Giving your dog a pedicure is a great way to start the grooming.
Ear Cleaning at Home
You should clean your dog’s ears once a month, more so if he’s prone to ear problems. Groom the outer part of the ear only. Use a damp cloth or a cotton swab soaked in mineral oil. Never force anything into the ear.
Eye Cleaning at Home
Clean slight discharges with a moist cotton ball. Do not put anything irritating in your dog’s eyes for grooming purposes.
Tooth Brushing at Home
Clean your dog’s teeth frequently with special toothbrushes and toothpaste designed for dogs. If your dog dislikes having his teeth brushed, get him used to it by rubbing his teeth and gums with your finger. Then put a little of the toothpaste on your finger and let him sniff and lick it; do the same with the toothbrush. Make sure to provide chew toys that will help clean his teeth.