Our dogs are family members and must be washed and groomed. In the best of circumstances, the first dog grooming experience occurs during the puppy stage, but for older dogs who are not accustomed to this process from an earlier age, it’s important to consider your dog’s feelings throughout the dog grooming and washing process. Use careful, gentle movements when dog grooming and try to be positively involved in the activity, making your dog think it’s fun and enjoyable.
How often should you wash and groom your dog?
Some dogs get dirty or stinky faster. Dogs with naturally oily coats (to repel water) like Retrievers and other water dogs tend to get a doggie odor more quickly than other breeds. Some dogs love to roll in disgusting things outside. Your nose and touch will tell you when its time to groom and wash your dog. So, how often you wash your dog depends on your dog. Just don’t use harsh shampoos or soaps that can strip its skin of protective oils.
The supplies you purchase will pay for themselves after a couple of dog groomings.
Otherwise, you will pay big bucks each time you have the dog groomed with a professional.
Dog grooming is easier when you’re equipped with the proper supplies. You will need a pair of good scissors, electric clippers (for pets with long coats), a comb, with both wide-spaced and close-spaced teeth, an undercoat rake, a pin brush, a slicker brush, nail clippers, and blood-clotting powder. A RapidBath System is an all-in-one wet, wash and rinse dog bathing solution. A professional dryer that delivers a lot of air volume and heat as needed will save you time and you may even use it yourself.
Mats block air from getting to the skin, causing hot spots.
If your canine has a double or long coat, it should be brushed on a regular basis for proper dog grooming. The purpose is to avoid matting. Mats are not pleasant for you to feel, but, worse, they can impact negatively on your dog’s health.
Good dog grooming requires regular brushing that stimulates the skin and keeps your pet healthier. Wash the scalp and brush the hair to maintain a healthy scalp, as you would for yourself.
A dog that is not washed and groomed will smell and leave a lot more shedding hair on furniture and clothes.
Keep your pet’s grooming sessions short and gradually make them longer.
If you plan to groom your dog, start with the brushing education process early on in preparation for the total process of washing and grooming.
Brush several times a week, a bit at a time, so the dog gets used to being handled. The aim is for your dog to lie or sit quietly during grooming, allowing you to roll it over on its side exposing its belly, to handle its feet, and to clean its ears.
If you maintain your pet’s coat, mats should not be a dog grooming constant.
Begin the dog grooming process simply, putting the canine in a down position and using the command “stay!” If your pet’s hair is tangled, first comb it out. Washing first will make the tangles and mats worse. Gently start in places you know the dog will enjoy being brushed. Gradually work into the places the dog will not favor, but gently take control and persuade with a treat if it helps. Push or pull the dog as needed.
Where mats build in tender areas, it’s easier on the animal to simply clip them out – especially between the hind legs, behind ears and any sticky area. Pay attention to the anal and groin regions, trim hair as needed so the dog can cleanly go to the bathroom.
When grooming the dog, be careful using scissors. Use a comb, positioned under the mat to protect the skin. Cut into the mat in narrow strips and gently tease the mat out.
Uh, oh, what about the nails?
Grooming the dog also means trimming the nails. With a bit of care, it’s easy to do with a nail trimmer.
Gently but firmly take your dog’s paw while at your side. You will probably get resistance. Offer a reassuring tone of voice and maybe a treat and proceed to take the paw gently but firmly again. Gradually shorten one nail between a sixteenth and an eighth of an inch. Look at the nail head on and stop when you see a black dot start to appear at the nail center before you reach the quick, the part of the nail containing nerves and blood vessels. If you cannot see the quick clearly, stop, if you cut the quick do not panic. Put some clotting powder on a moist cotton swab and press it firmly against the nail for several seconds.
Repeat the process until all the nails are trimmed. Don’t forget to clip the dewclaw, located on the inside of each front leg above the paw. Note, some dogs don’t have dewclaws.