Dog grooming is a key part of dog care. Dog grooming consists of a number of different tasks. Regular brushing and combing to remove dead hair, skin and general debris. Bathing and nail trimming, as well as maintaining your dog’s ears, eyes and mouth.
Whilst regular dog grooming will help with your dog’s health, it is also a great moment for quality time and bonding with your pooch. Your pooch will see it as another form of petting. Dog grooming should be started early in the dogs life so build in a regular routine with the same time of the day and place. When starting dog grooming, be gentle, but firm so that way he will be relaxed, but know that he has to do it.
The brushing and combing will care for your dog’s coat, taking out all sorts of skin irritants and pests, giving a shinier and healthier coat. The detailed type of grooming required depends on the dog breed and the below is generic and suitable for most dogs, but either check with the breeder who supplied the dog or research it on the internet.
Bathing is an important part of dog grooming. There is no consensus on how often a given dog or breed should be bathed. The trade off discussion centres around natural self grooming which preserves natural body oils. With bathing, even with special dog shampoos will wash the natural essential oils away. So some people wait until the dog becomes dirty prior to washing. There may be a female / male bias, with women generally preferring to wash regularly and more often. Generally a bath around ever two months or so should be planned.
It is important to introduce your dog to bathing at an early age so they are at ease and even enjoy it. So, prior to a planned bathing, it is a good idea to brush the dog well.
It is a good idea to plan the dog bath well, collect and place everything ready and at hand prior to getting the dog. This is particularly difficult for most of us in London, with insufficient space and without the luxury of shower rooms and utility rooms by the back door. For us, we often have to take the dog up to the bathroom.
Keeping a secure footing is important, so place a rubber mat in your bath tub or shower. To avoid ear problems, protect the ears with the use of cotton wool in the dog’s ears to prevent water ingress into the ears. Some breeds with large ears such as German Shepherds can be particularly susceptible to ear problems.
You do not want to shock your dog so use warm water to rinse your dog. It is great to use a shower or spray hose which makes this easier. Keep the nozzle head close to the animal and do not spray onto the dog’s face as this could scare him.
There are dog shampoos which are specially formulated to meet their special needs. Do not use too much and start from the head and top and work downwards and towards the tail. Obviously avoid and be careful around the eyes. Key areas to spend time on washing well are under the chin, particularly if a messy eater, behind the ears, around the toes and the rectum.
Finish by rinsing warm water, removing all the shampoo.
Do not forget the natural way for a dog to remove water is to shake so let him and stand clear, then you can towel him down. Some people like also to use a hair dryer, especially women again! This is not really needed unless you are needing to take him out. Let him finish drying off naturally inside.
Keeping the dog’s coat clean is a daily task, so plan your grooming routine so you can do this thoroughly. Most people do this, like horses, when they return from one of the walks. The brushing of the dog’s coat will keep the dirt away, remove the dead skin and old hair. This grooming will also help in the distribution of the dog’s natural skin oils, which are important to skin health and will stop many irritations and skin diseases.
Dog Nail Trimming
This will depend on the dog, breed and the amount of exercise he has. To reduce the stress, start doing this when young. Typically this will need to be done every month or two. If you do it yourself, little and often is good. If you are uneasy doing this, take the dog to the vet or a professional dog groomer when required, but typically every 4-6 months, tying it into other visits. It is easier for dogs with white / pale claws as you can see the pink nerve and can cut back to 1mm of the nerve. For dogs with dark claws it is more difficult.
Make sure that you use specially designed nail trimmers or clippers which are designed for your type of dog breed. Your breeder can probably recommend some good clippers. Keep blood-clotting powder nearby in case you cut him.
Dog Ear Care
Many dogs suffer from ear infections so take care here as it could lead to permanent hearing loss. Keep eyes open for ear infection symptoms such as constant scratching, ear redness and head shaking. Look for pest droppings as well. Use cotton wool buds to tidy up the visual part of the ears, but anything more that this, go to your vet.
Dog Teeth care
Regular use of specially formulated dog bones, which are designed to help teeth, also combat bad breath. From an early age, form the habit of your dog letting you clean his teeth for him. There are special beef flavored toothpaste and special dog size toothbrushs
Groom your dog – he is worth it.
Chris (of Dulwich Pet Sitters) was friendly, helpful and responsible and we had no hesitation entrusting our two cats into his care. Getting reassuring text messages from the pet sitter while you are away is a real plus! Mr B.T and Misha and Kuzya of West Norwood