Dogs are immensely friendly creatures and one of the most popular choices when it comes to keeping pets. Although their grooming habits are not as particular as cats or birds, there is one thing dogs do not like to compromise on and that’s a clean coat. This becomes understandable when you realize that a dog’s coat protects its skin (the body’s largest organ) not only from extreme temperatures but also from ticks and fleas and other skin irritations as well. Since a clean and healthy coat ends up being beneficial to your dog’s overall health and happiness, it’s important for owners to understand how they can go about it.
Brush And Hair Trim
Settle your dog down in a nice, clean area before you begin to make sure your dog’s undercoat doesn’t have any dead skin. Look out for any areas with matted or tangled hair and if you find any, apply a detangle solution before you give the coat a good brush out to detangle any knots. Dogs with long coats like Collies or curly coats like poodles are more likely to develop mats than others which is why they require more frequent grooming sessions. Regular combing and brushing will help prevent matting in your dog’s coat.
If your dog has long hair, you can always give them a quick hair trim, especially during the warmer months. Use either straight grooming shears or rounded tip safety scissors to snip the fur. In case your dog’s coat is unusually matted, a pair of electric clippers should do the job. Always have some high reward treats on stand by.
Shampoo And Wash
Once you’ve succeeded in getting your dog’s coat untangled, it’s time to give them a bath. Dogs are like little kids when it comes to taking a bath, they would rather skip it altogether. Depending on the breed, dogs with oily coats (Bassett Hounds) can require a bath as often as once a week, while those with smooth, water-water-repellent or double coats (Beagles, Golden Retrievers or Malamutes) are recommended to bathe less frequently.
Small dog owners can use a sink or laundry tub while owners with large dogs will have to venture outdoors to use a garden house albeit gently. Make sure the water is lukewarm and continue to speak to your pet in a calm and reassuring voice as you use a dog shampoo to lather and massage the coat. Rinse thoroughly so your dog’s skin doesn’t become irritated from leftover soap and then either let your dog run around and air dry its coat or use a dog-friendly hairdryer to do so. Occasionally, you can opt to give them a Furminator treatment which involves using a de-shedding shampoo and tool to remove the build-up of dead hairs and reduce shedding.
A dog’s grooming session doesn’t just have to stop at cleaning its coat. Cleaning its ears and trimming its nails will only add to its friendly personality.
Moisture and debris can accumulate in a dog’s ears which if left untreated can lead to bacterial and yeast infections. If you see your dog scratching at the ear or come across a smelly ear or redness and waxy-build up, chances are the ears need a good cleaning. In this case, have some cotton balls (never cotton swabs) ready or wear your finger in gauze. Wet the cotton ball or finger with some ear rinse solution and gently wipe the part of the outer flap of the ear first. Follow the same procedure to clean the inner ear. Schedule an appointment with a groomer or vet if you realize that the ears need a deep cleaning.
Dogs need to get a nail clipping every so often in order to prevent their nails from curling in and becoming painful and uncomfortable. It can be a tricky procedure to avoid cutting the nails too short as there is a nerve present in each nail and cutting into it can cause your dog to bleed profusely. If you are unsure of cutting toenails an appropriate length, you can always take your dog to a professional grooming service
Friendly dogs are a man’s best friend and a clean coat is a dog’s best friend. Make sure your dog’s coat is free from mats, trimmed nicely, brushed often and washed when needed.