Grooming your dog at home is a great way to save money and bond with your dog at the same time! Also, it can help you to pick up on any health-related abnormalities that would otherwise go unnoticed such as skin conditions, fleas, superficial lumps etc.
Grooming Tips «
Different types of coat require different types of brushes and combs. Research what will work best for your dog before wasting your money. Ask your local groomer or veterinarian for advice.
Brushing should be performed daily or weekly dependent on coat type.
When bathing your dog, brush first to remove excess hair. Keep the water at a comfortable temperature to make the bath experience as pleasant and positive as possible.
Take care when washing around the face and neck not to get soap and water into the dogs eyes and ears. You can wedge a cotton ball into their ears to prevent water from going down the ear canal. Remember to take out afterwards! It may benefit to use a wash cloth around the face to prevent the above from happening.
Using a leave in conditioner can help to detangle and reduce the occurrence of knots, it also makes your dog smell nice and give it a glossy coat.
Long haired dogs benefit from having their hair trimmed from around their faces and bottom, it keeps them cleaner and more hygienic.
Introduce hair driers and clippers slowly as dogs may not like the noise
Some breeds of dog (Poodle, Bichon Frise, Maltese, Spaniels etc) require regular plucking of their ear canals to help keep them open and dry and reduce the occurrence of ear infections.
Be gentle when cleaning your dog's ears. Dampen cotton balls with appropriate ear cleaning solution and gently clean the outer ear. If your dog's ears are particularly dirty, irritated or smelly, consult your veterinarian as there may be an ear infection.
Patiently work with your dog to get him accustomed to you handling his paws and nails. Once he is comfortable with that, introduce nail clipping, begin by cutting one nail a day and giving lots of praise so that he can associate nail trimming with a positive experience.
This will have great benefits in the future as this can end up being a very stressful procedure!
To clip your dogs nails you need to avoid the “quick” which houses the nails blood supply and nerve endings. This can be easily seen in nails with no pigment i.e. pink/white nails., you will see the pink quick in the middle of the nail. With black nails it pays to cut a little at a time.
If you cut into the quick don't panic, apply pressure with a cotton ball or clean cloth and apply styptic powder for 30 seconds or until the bleeding stops.
Use a toothbrush/finger brush or rough cloth and pet toothpaste to massage your dogs teeth on a daily basis. This will help prevent tartar build-up and it will enable you to keep an eye on your dog's teeth and any potential problems.
If you are not able to brush your dog’s teeth, there are other options. Consider using oral rinses made especially for dogs. You can also purchase special dental treats. Avoid real bones – not only can they lead to gastrointestinal upset, they may also cause tooth fractures.