Dog Grooming Basics

The Resource for Everything About Dogs


Dog Grooming Basics

by Denise Clement


Dog Grooming Basics While dog grooming tends to conjure up images of long-haired pooches at dog shows, the reality is that all dogs need some basic grooming to stay happy and healthy. How much grooming your dog will need will depend on its breed ? long-haired and moulting varieties tend to need more care than short-haired dogs.
Basic grooming falls into four categories:
? Brushing/Combing;
? Washing;
? Toenail clipping;
? Coat trimming/removal (moulting & long-haired dogs).

Start grooming your dog while it's still a puppy, and you will be able to teach it good habits that will make life easier for both of you. Dogs should be trained to stand or lie still for grooming when they are puppies, and should gradually grow used to being handled whilst remaining still ? including legs, ears and having their teeth and gums looked at. Coat Care ? Brushing and Combing The level of day-to-day grooming that your dog will require depends heavily on its breed. Is it long or short-haired, and does it moult? There are a few basic requirements that apply to all dogs, though:
? The coat should be kept free of tangles and matts
? Regular brushing, combing or rubbing down with a grooming mitt

Longer-haired dogs may need occasional trims ? around their eyes, paws and ears, and some species require periodic shearing, which usually needs specialist help. Bath Time

Bathing your dog will not be required very often ? indeed, washing too often will result in the natural oils that keep a dog's skin and coat healthy being washed away, leaving your dog with dry and itchy skin that he will scratch and irritate.

When it is time for a wash, you should groom first, to ensure that there are no matts or tangles in your dog's coat ? these can cause discomfort when they get wet, and are harder to subsequently remove.

Once you are ready, get your dog to stand still in the tub, and fill it with warm or tepid water (not hot or cold!). Wet your dog all over, thoroughly, and then soap it using an appropriate dog shampoo before rinsing thoroughly. Make sure all traces of the shampoo are washed out (just as with human hair).

Once all the soap has been washed out, rub your dog down with a towel and brush its coat once more to ensure it dries tangle-free.

Finishing Touches

From time to time, dogs will need their toe nails clipping. This should be done using a special dog nail clipper, and needs to be done with care. Make sure you don't cut into the quick when trimming nails ? for dogs with dark-coloured nails (where the quick is not visible) consult a vet for advice. Dog grooming may seem like a lot of work, but the secret is to use it to bond with your dog. This mirrors the behaviour of wolves in the wild, which groom each other, and will ensure that your dog benefits from and enjoys its grooming sessions.

Denise Clement is co-owner of the successful http://www.petsupply-store.com



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