Taking Dog Grooming Needs Into Consideration
Dog grooming is an art that goes from basic pet care to almost spa-like pampering. The essential grooming requirements depend on the dog’s breed and its characteristics. The first thing a pet owner deals with is dog hair.
Long hair dogs that shed need more frequent grooming than short hair dogs or those who only shed seasonally. Dogs with curly or frizzy hair need daily care to detangle the hair and remove debris or foliage that gets caught in the coat while the dog is outdoors.
Sending your dog to a groomer each week gets expensive. But if you want the best for your dog, you can even hire mobile dog groomers who have a full grooming station in their vans.
The groomer parks in your driveway and does the complete grooming onsite. This is a great convenience and avoids the “wet dog” smell lingering in your bathroom. To save money, you can also learn to do many of the basic grooming techniques yourself.
Dog grooming isn’t just a luxury – it’s a necessity. A dog that doesn’t get proper grooming in a timely manner is at risk for illness, gingivitis, parasites and damage to both fur and skin.
Your dog may not be thrilled about getting a bath, but you can’t let that stop you. Bathing is a health issue for dogs just as it is for people. You wouldn’t stop bathing your toddler just because she screams at bath time, would you?
If you aren’t sure about the right techniques for bathing, brushing and detangling your dog’s fur, find a good online resource or ask if you can watch the dog groomer work. You may also take a class from a pet store or vet’s office to learn the correct procedures – as well as get some expert tips on how to deal with your dog’s anxiety or fears during grooming.
The skin under the dog’s fur can be highly sensitive. Avoid aggressive scrubbing while bathing your dog or you can remove too much of the natural oils that protect both skin and hair follicles.
Adding powder or scents that aren’t formulated for use with dogs adds the potential for skin irritation or infection. If a product isn’t made for dogs or the type of fur on your dog breed, then make it a rule never to use it.
Be patient when grooming. Take time to talk gently to your pet, rub his head or tummy and lend a playful quality to the grooming session. If you’re rushed or impatient, then don’t even start the grooming. Your dog will pick up on your attitude and be fearful or difficult to manage.
Even if your dog spends most of his time outdoors, you still need to do basic grooming. Without regular bathing, your dog is at the mercy of fleas and parasites that thrive on his lack of cleanliness.
Use the right tools. Don’t use your old hairbrush on your dog. Get special brushes and combs that are made for your dog’s fur. You don’t save money using your castoffs if you damage the dog’s skin and create a big vet bill.
You might save some money by bringing the dog to a groomer monthly or alternate weeks, while you handle the bath and simple hair brushing on the other weeks. Dog grooming is an essential part of maintaining your dog’s health – as well as his good looks.
Advice On Dog Grooming & Brushing
All dogs need some form of grooming, there is no question about that.
Even hairless chihuahuas should be wiped with a damp chamois leather to get rid of loose skin and dust.
However, one of the main purposes for grooming your dog regularly is so that you can check him for skin problems such as allergic reactions to flea or tick bites.
Another reason is bonding. In a pack situation, dogs groom other dogs and are themselves groomed every day and dogs like it.
Therefore, you should groom or brush your dog at least once a week and take him to a dog parlour every three, four or six months depending on how fast his hair or fur grows and whether you can manage it or not.
Having said that, you will find dog grooming easier if your dog’s hair is the right length, because it will not tangle so readily.
This will ensure that your dog becomes used to being bathed and handled.
If this is done from the puppy stage, most dogs will not only accept it, but they will come to enjoy it, although there will always be those dogs that run for it as soon as they see a hose and a bowl.
They get to know what to look out for.
If you talk to him constantly, comforting him and sometimes giving a doggie treat, he should soon come to accept the unavoidable – that he is going to be bathed and groomed.
In fact, most dogs enjoy the grooming, although many only tolerate the bathing.
Anyway, bathing and grooming on a regular basis will keep the job as simple as it can be. Once your dog is no longer a puppy, say after six months or so, you could take him to a professional groomer in a so-called ‘Poodle Parlour’.
By then, he should be getting accustomed to the routine and he will accept the treatment from strangers more readily too.
You could look for professional groomers in adverts in the pet shop or the vet’s or simply ask your friends and neighbours for recommendations.
Finding a groomer should not be problem, but you might have to try a few before you find one whose style of grooming you like or who is adaptable enough to suit your lifestyle.
When you drop your dog off at the Poodle Parlour, ask when it will be ready to be collected up. Turn up 15 minutes early and you could be lucky enough to witness first hand how your dog is being taken care of and how your dog is getting on with the groomer.
This is priceless information, because it will help you make up your mind whether the groomer is getting on with your dog or not.
If the groomer is doing a good job, but your dog is nervous, you can help put him at ease. If the groomer is being a bit too forceful, then you will know whether to change Poodle Parlours or just have that groomer banned from taking care of your dog.
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VIDEO —- Step by step Dog Grooming – Order of the groom on a well maintained dog
Puppy Dog Grooming in Four Easy Steps
Starting to groom your puppy in a situation in which he does not feel entirely comfortable is extremely difficult. Also do not expect your puppy to like being groomed from the very beginning. Be patient: It takes some time before he gets used to this unknown procedure.
Don’t get mad about him about his refusal. Just play with him for a short while and then start again with your dog grooming activities.
Praise him and give him a treat as soon as he lets you continue with your work.
Bathing a puppy never comes easy.
Make sure the water temperature is around 36 to 38 degrees Celsius.
There is a huge variety of mild puppy shampoos available. Try not to get it in touch with its eyes and ears.
Brushing your puppy: for this purpose you should always use a soft brush.
Start at his head and brush down to his tail and then from his neck to his paws while not pressing too hard.
Remain patient and praise your pet for its obedience.
Clear your puppy’s ears with a moist tissue or cotton ball.
Just wipe very gently around the inside of his ears and do not push.
You will most likely need quite a bit of patience with this task, until your puppy gets used to it.
Again reward and praise well when he lets you get the job done.
Brushing your puppy’s teeth: Puppies lose their baby teeth when they are between 4 and 7 months old. It is a good idea to protect their adult teeth by regular brushing.
The first few times you attempt to brush his teeth, let him taste the toothpaste first before you start brushing. Always use a tooth paste that has been formulated specifically for dogs and use and start with an extra soft brush.
Brush gently to get your dog adjusted to the process even if you think the brushing might not even be effective. Don’t worry. Later on you can use a more vigorous brush and your dog will still enjoy it.
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VIDEO —- Poodle Puppy Dog Grooming
Dog Grooming Basics: Exercise And Grooming Them
All dogs need exercise, especially young puppies. However, it is very unlikely that your dog will get a sufficient amount of exercise if he just sits around, which is what most dogs do when they are left alone in the house.
If you are planning on getting two or more puppies, they will mostly likely play and move around with each other. A Lone puppy will act like your average private security guard, checking the house and roaming around in the house.
You might want to give your dog, and yourself too a daily exercise routine. This is very easy to do. You and your dog can both have good muscular development and you can also socialize if you will be running in the neighborhood. A dog who is physically fit is not only healthier, but happier too!
There are many ways to exercise your dog. Look at this in a positive way. You have an exercise buddy! You don’t need to go to the gym anymore, that means saving money. You can run in the neighborhood, or simply have brisk walking.
If you like you can play Frisbee in the park or play some ball games. If you are a person who really likes sports a lot, you might want to have a dog who can catch up with your lifestyle. Getting a dog that is of the working breed is best.
Dog’s coat thickness and length all vary. Some are very hairy, some are nearly hairless, and others fall somewhere in between. Dogs’ coat also comes in various textures, from soft to very coarse and even extremely curly. Most dogs shed all year long in small amounts while some experiences a period of heavy shedding twice a year.
If you do not enjoy grooming your dog very much, or if you want a dog that doesn’t heavily shed, then try getting a hairless pet. Or choose a dog with a short or medium length coat. Curly-coated breeds do not shed much so you can get away with a once or twice a week brushing. If, on the other hand, you are the type of person who loves to play hairdresser, you’ll appreciate a long-haired or double-coated breed.
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VIDEO —- Competitive Dog Grooming
Reasons for Dog Grooming
Even though dogs are able to keep themselves relatively clean, they need our help to do anything more than the basics.
Besides having your dog look beautiful, there are many other benefits of regular dog grooming. I’ve listed several of the reasons that I think are most important.
It encourages the health of your dog’s skin and coat. Regular brushing and grooming of your dog’s coat can encourage the health and vitality of your dog’s skin because it boosts the blood flow underneath the coat. This in turn ensures that the cells get everything they need via the bloodstream. Similarly, dogs need to wash much the same as humans do in order to keep toxins that may get caught in the fur at bay because they can also cause problems with the coat and skin.
Brushing your pup will improve his overall health by stimulating his blood circulation which in turn will boost his immune system, promote muscle mass and help fight off infections. It also makes them feel happy, loved and comfortable, which will turn them into even better dogs.
As I mentioned, dogs can do the basics, but really, they don’t seem to care if they smell! The longer or thicker your dog’s coat is, the more grooming they are going to require because their fur is going to capture and hold all the smelly places that they get into.
Grooming them will help eliminate smells, and you could add natural oil scents when brushing or bathing them to make them smell even better.
It highlights any problems as and when they arise. This is not one of the more obvious reasons but it is a reason nevertheless because regular dog grooming enables you to notice changes in your dog’s body, which can be important in the diagnosis of many illnesses.
For example, you will notice any cuts, grazes, lumps, swelling and even heat that occur. You may also notice slight differences in your dog’s general demeanor that may hint at depression or pain in some way. As such, if you notice these symptoms then you can seek help for your dog much quicker than would otherwise be possible.
Grooming your dog at home can save you money on professional dog grooming. Even if you still take them in for cutting and styling, you will still make the groomers job much easier (and cheaper) if you do the basics at home. You’re dog will also be much happier with you since he won’t have to go to the groomers as often.
Finally, and most importantly, it enhances the bond between you and your dog. As hinted at under the last point, dog grooming enhances the relationship between man and dog because it gives you a shared experience and one that is pleasurable for your canine companion.
Dogs do enjoy grooming because it means that they get attention from their owners. All dogs absolutely love the attention. As such, it is an activity that you will be able to laugh at and your dog will be able to enjoy.
Grooming your dog is an essential part of dog ownership and should be practiced on a regular basis.
Alex is a freelance graphic artist with a love of writing and pets. She has a long and personal friendship with pets and has studied what works and what doesn’t when training them. If you enjoyed this article, check out a couple of her others, like Are Table Scraps OK For Your Dog? or Does Your Dog Have Separation Anxiety?.
Dog Grooming: Get Rid Of Matted Hair With De-Matting
Its amazing how quickly a dog’s hair could become tangled and matted. It typically looks like there are miniature weavers hiding in your puppy’s coat. When you turn your back, it is like they begin working and carry on at a high rate of speed until your pet has clumps of matted hair that manage to refrain from your every attempt at getting rid of them.
Stop. Catch your breath. Tug no more till you have the best tools to get the task done with a minimum of distress to the puppy. De-matting may be a job that takes time and it is a skill that is honed with practice.
Mats, that are actually clumps of entangled hair, are most commonly found on the legs, abdomen and tail, but this does not mean that others areas will not get matted. They do. Mats will form around clumps of dirt or burrs. Dead hair easily tangles, however regular brushing and conditioning of the coat will help cut down on the damage.
It is vital to understand that mats can develop on the coats of dogs of all ages. This implies that puppies need the same frequent dog grooming measures that grownup dogs do. Therefore, you should get your puppy used to being brushed and groomed.
Dog coats that are transitioning from a puppy coat to and adult coat are possibly the most vulnerable to matting. Long hair will mat a lot more easily than very short hair. Dogs that spend plenty of time in the water are more prone to having matted hair. The wrong dog grooming tools will do more damage than good.
Nutrition will also affect the coat. If you examine a puppy’s hair under the microscope, you may notice that it has scales on the cuticle. Mats develop because the broken hair scales snag other hairs and dirt, causing everything to entangle together. Healthy hair is silky, so it’s not as probable to knot with its neighbors.
Groomers differ on the techniques they use to de-mat a dog’s hair. Some believe it is best to first bathe the dog since a clean and conditioned coat is a lot more easily de-matted. Others say it’s best to deal with the mats before getting the coat wet since water tightens a mat. A lot is dependent on how badly the dog’s hair is matted and a few of it is simply personal preference.
When trying to detangle a mat, you might try splitting the clumped fur into smaller pieces using a pair of shears. Another precious tool for this job is a plastic letter opener that resembles a business card with one-toothed blade in the corner. Slice the matted area lengthwise into smaller pieces, which are typically a lot easier to untangle.
Always use caution when cutting something close to your dog’s skin. It is all too simple to nip a fold of skin or the tip of a tail. Make use of your tools in a way that allows you to chop away from the dog’s skin.
Once you manage to rid your dog of its entwined hair, be on your guard and implement a daily dog grooming program. It takes only a few minutes to brush or comb a puppy’s hair. It can take hours to deal with removing matted clumps from your dog’s coat. Keep in mind, clean and healthy hair is a lot less apt to mat in the initial place.
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