Grooming not only helps your pet to look their best but also helps them stay happy and healthy. Today, our Egg Harbor Township veterinary team talks about all of the things you need to know about dog grooming and how it helps you bond with your pet and keep them clean.
The Importance of Dog Grooming
We usually know when we have to make an appointment with our hairdresser just by looking out our reflection in the mirror, but what about our adorable pups?
Grooming is one of the most critical parts of keeping our canine companions healthy and happy. Not only does routinely grooming your pup either at home or by bringing them to a professional groomer help keep them from living with dirty fur and potentially smelling awful, but it also provides the opportunity to keep ticks, fleas, and other pests from taking hold of your pooch.
Grooming will also help keep your dog's skin, coat, and nails in optimal condition, as well as help them, look and feel their best!
Some of the Reasons to Have Your Dog Groomed
Below our Egg Harbor Township veterinary team list a few reasons why grooming is important for your furry friend.
- Brushing sweeps away old damaged fur, helping to ventilate their coat which helps to promote healthy growth.
- Grooming helps to reduce oily residue, allowing your pup's skin to breathe and reducing the instances of blocked pores and other skin problems.
- Gently brushing your dog's fur is like giving your pet a relaxing massage, and helps to promote healthy circulation of the blood.
- Grooming time is quality time spent together and will help to strengthen the bond between you and your canine companion.
- Regular brushing helps to remove loose fur and debris that could otherwise lead to matting which causes painful patches on your dog's skin.
- Weekly grooming provides you with an opportunity to inspect and monitor the health of your dog's skin, ears and feet and look for unusual lumps, bumps or injuries.
- When you groom your dog you have a chance to check between your dog's toes for any uncomfortable clumps of mud, stones or ticks.
- Brushing and bathing your pooch regularly will allow you to spot parasites such as ticks and fleas early, and treat them before they become a more serious issue.
Dog Grooming Basics
Bathing your dog regularly will help to remove dirt and debris from your dog's coat and keep your dog smelling fresh. It is recommended to use warm (not hot) water and use a specially formulated dog shampoo to clean your dog's fur. Never use human shampoo on your canine pal since human formulations could cause your dog's skin to become dry and irritated.
Rinse your dog thoroughly to ensure that all of the shampoo has been removed. If your dog has very long or difficult fur, use a dog-specific detangling conditioner to make brushing easier.
Short-haired dogs may not need to be bathed more than once every 3 months, however dogs with longer fur, or very active outdoor lifestyles, may benefit from a monthly plunge. If you're unsure of how often you should bathe your dog, once a month is a good rule of thumb.
Many dogs enjoy being brushed. Brushing your dog regularly helps to prevent matting, removes old hair from your dog’s coat, and may prevent skin irritation. Weekly brushing also allows you to monitor the health of your dog's skin and coat and may reduce the amount of loose fur floating around your home.
For most dogs, weekly brushing is ideal, although some breeds such as Portuguese Water Dogs or Bichon Frises will need to be brushed more frequently to keep their coat looking great.
Nail trimming is essential for all dog breeds. To trim your dog's nails use nail clippers specifically designed for dogs. Some dogs react better to rotary nail trimmers, but they do take a little longer to use.
If you are nervous about cutting your dog's nails, or if your dog won't tolerate you trimming their nails, make an appointment with a professional groomer. A trained groomer can get your dog's nails trimmed quickly and calmly so you won't have to worry.
Different breeds have very different requirements when it comes to haircuts. Speak to your Egg Harbor Township vet to find out how often your dog should have a haircut.
To give your dog a haircut, begin by bathing and towel-drying your canine friend. Next, take a pair of sharp scissors and trim the fur around your pet's face and feet. Finally, use electric clippers to trim the rest of your dog's fur.
Helping Your Dog to Stay Calm During Grooming
Begin Grooming Young
Whether you are grooming your dog at home or taking them to a professional groomer it's a good idea to begin a grooming routine while your dog is very young. By beginning a regular routine of brushing, nail trimming and ear cleaning early, your dog will begin to see grooming as normal and not something to fear.
Whether you are preparing to groom your dog yourself, or just getting ready to take your dog to the groomer, it's important to remain calm. If your dog senses that you are nervous then they will think there is something to fear.
One of the best ways to calm a dog down before grooming is through vigorous exercise. Long walks, running, chasing a ball or playing with other dogs at the dog park are great ways to sedate your dog without the help of medications. Once your dog has used up all of their energy, grooming will become a relaxed and simple process.
Positive reinforcement is an effective way to train your dog to stay calm and relaxed during grooming. Offering treats and praise when your dog sits still to be brushed or lets you clip a nail will teach your dog good grooming manners. Take it slow, even if that means only clipping one nail at each attempt, stay calm, positive and patient.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.