About Dog Grooming
Dog grooming is not just a simple case of making your dog look presentable and feeling good, it has several functions to it, and the most important one is cleanliness. Regular grooming will help remove dirt, prevent mats and tangles, and stop skin infections that could occur due to the animal’s coat becoming dirty.
A healthy dog should be brushed or combed at least once a week, and it is best to brush your dog before bathing him. If you have a long-haired breed, you must groom him more often because he needs to be brushed several times a day to prevent matting and tangles. During grooming, main tools you need are – a slicker brush, a pin brush, a comb, a pair of blunt tip scissors, clippers with various blades to use on dog’s coat. In addition, shampoo and conditioner, some cotton balls or paper towels, ear cleaner, ear powder (which helps dry up any smelly discharge that could accumulate in his ear), and a close-fitting muzzle are required.
Once you have all of these, you can begin to groom your dog at home. Remember though, some dogs love attention while others may feel intimidated by grooming session; be patient, and try to make it fun for him!
Preparing Your Dog
When you are ready to start, find a quiet room with enough space for both of you. Make sure that you will be undisturbed for at least half an hour; any distractions could break your dog’s concentration, and he may become nervous. Never groom your dog in a place where other animals spend their time, such as kennel or garage, because your dog could get scared and even aggressive if he sees another dog.
If you have a young puppy, do not let him watch an older dog during the session; this may make him feel threatened and confused by new experiences. If you are using clippers on your dog for the first time, try grooming him outside first to get used to the noise before doing it indoors.
Letting your dog smell the grooming tools beforehand may also help him relax, especially, if he is new to being groomed by you. And, if your dog struggles or gets agitated during the session, you should stop and try another day again. Training your dog to feel comfortable being groomed shouldn’t be a problem with patience and practice.
Grooming Your Dog at Home
After spending some time getting your dog used to the grooming session, you may begin if he seems relaxed and ready for it. Although, shaving down a matted or tangled coat is possible but it should only be done by an experienced groomer. Improper shaving may lead to skin irritations and sores and hair growing back patchy and thin. If you go ahead with it anyway, be sure to use a quality clipper blade that wouldn’t pull or cut the skin of your dog.
Start by brushing him thoroughly with a slicker brush or pin brush. This will help to remove any loose or dead hair and allow you to see what lies underneath. When you brush, you aim to get rid of tangles and mats; if your dog has a dirty coat, use a comb with widely-spaced teeth first, to remove the soil and debris before brushing out any knots or tangles. Next, you can use a brush with plastic or rubber bristles to remove mats and tangles. If your dog’s coat is dirty or matted with mud, you can shampoo him first with warm water. If there aren’t any mats but just dirt and debris, it would be better to let them dry and then brush them out.
When it comes to shampoo, choose one made especially for dogs and follow the directions on the bottle or box. Make sure you cover all areas of your dog’s body and don’t let any shampoo get into his eyes, ears, or nose. Rinse him thoroughly with warm water until any soap residue is gone; then, use a conditioner if he has dry skin.
Go over his coat again with the slicker brush or pin brush to remove any water, and use a cotton ball or paper towel to soak up any excess moisture on his skin. If you find that your dog’s hair is still dirty after bathing him, repeat the process before drying him off completely. To make sure his coat is dry, you can use a hairdryer on low heat about six inches away from your dog. Never point the end of the dryer to his head or face. If your dog is apprehensive about the noise of the hairdryer, try using peanut butter to distract him while it’s running.
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