Why dog grooming is so important
There are many reasons a dog should be groomed and the main reason is - to keep your dog healthy. We are not talking about the grooming most dog owners have in mind. Poodles that are getting a show worthy haircut or a Yorkshire Terrier with impeccable hair all the time. The reality is that a dog's life is messy and here are some tips on basic grooming.
We would like to mention that every dog has different grooming needs depending on the breed, lifestyle, size, health, and age.
Dog grooming should consist of a couple of basic things and they are
4. nail cutting.
Different dog breeds require a different bathing schedule. Eg. Yorkies or Shih Tzu dogs require bathing more often than let's say a Mastiff. The main reason for that is that smaller dog breeds usually live alongside their humans inside the house, so it is a good thing to have a good smelling dog inside.
Also, bathing is required depending on coat length. The longer the coat the more it needs to be groomed to prevent tangles and mats. You should bathe your dog once a month if it is a larger breed living outside, and twice a month if it is a smaller breed living inside or has a delicate coat that requires special care (eg. Afghan Hound, Feathered Saluki).
Some dogs can be difficult to bathe, they are big and you have to have a huge bath to accommodate and bathe them. You have to be careful not to get their ears full of water cause that can cause an infection. Drying your dog can also be a drag and a lot of dogs don't prefer hair dryers.
The best option is to get help from a professional that has all the necessary equipment and will handle your dog a lot better and safer than you. By getting help from a professional you will pay for the service, but you will also get professional dog care products and you will avoid any bath-related injuries for your dog or even yourself.
Dog bathing products
Dog hair is different than human hair so the products you should use are naturally, different than what you use. Shampoos and conditioners should be based on natural products and avoid chemicals as much as you can.
Sometimes it is best to use a damp cloth to wipe mud or other dirt from your dog. Never use products that have not been tested or might cause your dog skin problems.
Grooming your dog's coat also depends on the thickness and the length of the coat. There are two types of dog coats, double and single coated.
Double coated dogs
Dogs with double coats usually have a thick, short undercoat that helps them withstand harsh weather conditions. That also means you should brush them at least a couple of times a week to get rid of the dead hair and also prevent tangles and mats. It is also a good way to cope with dogs shedding, especially during the shedding season (spring and fall).
Dogs with a short and dense coat (Alaskan Malamute, Husky, Samoyed) should be brushed less regularly, once a week or once every two weeks since their hair is not likely to tangle and mat although they have a double coat.
Dogs that require most grooming are dogs with long and double coats (Golden Retriever, Border Collie, Rough Haired Collie) and these dogs should be brushed regularly. Grooming your dog is a healthy activity and prevents skin irritations and infections that are caused by trapped moisture underneath a tangled or matted coat. These tangles prevent the flow of air that is necessary for the health of your dog's skin.
We would recommend that dog owners start teaching their dogs to be groomed from the time they are puppies. That is also good for puppies' development and future behavior while being checked at the vet. If the puppy gets used to being groomed and brushed, it will become one of its favorite activities when it grows up.
Single coated dogs
Dogs with short, smooth hair are the easiest to groom (Australian Kelpie, Mastiff, Presa Canario, Smooth Haired Chihuahua). They still shed but brushing them gently every few weeks will do the trick and keep that dog's coat healthy and shiny.
It is good to mention that different types of coats have different types of brush. Brushes are specially made so they don't hurt the dog’s skin or hair. Some dogs are easy to groom and some are a bit more difficult so don’t be afraid to ask for help from dog grooming professionals. Smaller dogs with long, soft and silky hair can be easier to brush while their coat is wet (Australian Silky Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier) and you can also use dog conditioners or natural conditioners for humans since their hair is similar to ours.
However, getting the proper equipment, brushes and “mastering” the proper technique of brushing your dog can present some difficulties. The solution to that problem again is asking for professional groomers help. A professional groomer is likely to have all the necessary equipment as well as professional dog conditioners that can get rid of all of your dog's coat problems. As their name suggests, they are professionals and know exactly how to approach and take care of every dog. Once every month is enough to get full treatment for your dog.
Cleaning your dog's teeth is also of great importance. This is an aspect of grooming that most dog owners take little to not care at all.
Cleaning your dog's teeth prevents tartar buildup and prevents painful gum infections as well as periodontal disease that cause eating problems and can carry bacteria to the bloodstream and affect the filtering and blood pumping organs.
If you are unsure of how to approach and take care of your dog's teeth, a groomer can help you. The best option would be to clean your dog's teeth every day. However, the reality is that most dogs do not like to clean their teeth so a couple of times a week should do the trick and in the meantime provide your dog with dental sticks or toys that help clean teeth.
Dog teeth cleaning products
The most important thing to keep in mind is that dogs cannot use human toothpaste. Human toothpaste contains a chemical called Xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is toxic to your dog. It can cause liver damage, upset the stomach, and drop in blood sugar levels in dogs. There are a lot of safe options for your dog in pet stores and you should pick some of them.
There are also many toothbrushes available in your local pet stores and online and some are better than others. We would recommend that you take one that has a longer, slightly curved handle so you can reach your dog back teeth - dogs usually have a long muzzle so it is harder to reach their back teeth than it is for humans to reach this. One additional helpful tip is that you can buy a three-sided toothbrush.
Cutting your dog’s nails is also important. If their nails are left unchecked and the dog doesn't naturally wear them off, nails can start growing invertedly and cause your dog a lot of pain and problems.
So as soon as you hear your dog's nails clicking on the floor, make sure you trim them or take your dog to a professional who can do it for you. You can, of course, do it yourself, but keep in mind that cutting a dog's nails too short can cause an infection that can be a problem to treat because it is in an area that dogs use for walking, running, scratching and playing.
Try to remember to check your dog's pads. A good option is to try and combine the two activities - check the pads before you trim their nails. Check to see if the pads are dry, cracked or injured in any way. Also, trim the hair that grows between pads.
Groomers are experienced and will know how to properly trim your dog's nails without causing any problems.
Nail cutting products for dogs
Cutting your dog's nails can be a delicate process so make sure you have proper equipment and knowledge. Make sure that if you happen to cut the nails too short you have products that can stop bleeding and prevent infection such as a styptic pencil or a cauterizing powder.
Avoid using scissors and use rotary trimmers or specialized clippers instead. Getting your dog used to rotary trimmers will most likely take more time but some consider it a safer option.
World Dog Finder team