Grooming Tips

By Juliana Weiss-Roessler

Regular grooming is an important part of responsible dog care, even if it may seem like your dog is taking care of those needs by himself. If you don’t have a routine set, start small. Attempt one task each time. Brush one day. Then bathe the next. And trim the nails on yet another day. The shorter you can keep each session, the better.

Ready to begin? Here are a few dog grooming tips to make the process easier.

Brushing Tips

Related: The right shampoo for your dog

Check for ticks as you brush : You may notice the bugs themselves or small black flecks.

Determine how often you need to brush : Most short coats require weekly brushing, but longer coats may require daily attention.

For smooth, short coats : Use a rubber brush, then a bristle brush, and then polish with a chamois cloth.

For short, dense coats : Use a slicker brush to remove tangles, followed by a bristle brush.

For long coats : Use a slicker brush to remove tangles and be very gentle when removing mats. Then follow it with a bristle brush.

Don’t forget the tail and feet : Particularly for dogs with longer coats.

Bathing Tips

Determine how often your dog needs a bath : Depending on the weather and your dog’s recent activities, you may want to bathe your dog every one to three weeks.

Use a dog shampoo : Dog’s skin is different from humans, so you want to ensure the shampoo is mild enough to avoid irritation.

Start by brushing : It will make the bathing process easier and more effective.

Use a bath mat : If your pup is in the tub, this helps prevent slipping.

Add lukewarm water : Be careful not to burn your dog or make it too cold, and only use about 3 to 4 inches in the tub.

Don’t spray directly in the nose, eyes, or ears : A plastic cup or a spray hose can help you direct the water where you want it to go.

Rinse well : One of the most common grooming mistakes is not properly removing all of the shampoo, leaving it on the skin to irritate your dog.

Check the ears : Do you notice any foul odors or a lot of debris? Consult your vet

Use a low heat setting on the blow dryer : A dryer can be an effective way to keep your dog from making everything in your house wet as he dries, but be careful not to burn your pup. You can also help keep it safe by not pointing it directly at your pup, but a little to the side instead.

Try a bath toy : If your dog is overexcited and mouthy during bath time, it may redirect some of that attention onto something else.

Certain breeds have more particular needs. For example, bulldogs require special attention between the folds on their face. And droopy ears can be more prone to problems, so they should be monitored closely. Talk to your veterinarian to get dog grooming tips specific to your pup.

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