Regardless of whether you’re the proud owner of a Poodle, a Pomeranian or a Portuguese Podengo, your gorgeous pet will need to be groomed. Dog grooming is essential not only to keep your pooch looking his or her best, but also to prevent their coat becoming knotted, tangled and smelly, which can potentially lead to other health problems.
If you’re a new dog owner, it can take a little while to learn all the ins and outs of dog grooming — what to do, when to do it and how to do it without ending up soaking wet! But our handy dog grooming guide will tell you everything you need to know to keep your dog looking absolutely spectacular.
What do I need to groom my dog?
The first thing on your dog grooming shopping list should be a brush. Brushing your dog’s coat removes dead hair and prevents any knots from forming, and you might be surprised to learn just how much some dogs love a good brush. Long-haired dogs obviously need more care than their shorter-haired brothers and sisters, but feel free to give your dog a once-over whenever you like. There are bristle brushes, wire-pin brushes and slicker brushers, so make sure to choose the right style for your pooch, while there are also special de-matting and shedding tools available.
Next on the list is a high-quality dog shampoo to keep your canine companion’s coat looking sharp. It’s essential that you use a shampoo specially designed for dogs — human soaps and shampoos are too harsh and should never be used — when giving Fido a bath.
Dogs need regular bathing but shouldn’t be washed more than once a week. Once a month is a good bathtime schedule for many pooches, but your nose will probably tell you if an extra soaking might be called for.
Clipping your dog’s nails is another grooming duty you can do at home, so consider investing in a set of doggy nail clippers. These make it safe and easy to prevent those nails getting long and dangerous, but just make sure never to trim nails down to the quick. Your dog’s nails may need trimming once a month or even as frequently as once a week.
For some dog owners, especially those with long-haired pooches, giving your dog a haircut is something best left to a professional groomer. But if you want to give your dog a trim at home, you can. You can invest in special pet clippers or just use any other sort of clippers, and you’ll obviously get longer use out of models that allow their blades to be sharpened. For delicate areas such as the ears and around the paws, a sharp pair of scissors will do the trick.
Those are all the dog grooming basics you need, but there are plenty of other things to spend your money on if circumstances require. There are even special dog grooming attachments for vacuum cleaners, which certainly makes vacuuming sound a lot less like a chore and more like a whole lot of fun!
Dog grooming tips
- Start young. Get your puppy used to being washed, brushed and having their coat and nails trimmed from a young age. This will result in much easier and less stressful grooming as your pup gets older.
- Grooming equals bonding. A grooming session offers a great opportunity for you and your dog to spend some quality quiet time together. Take the time to enjoy it.
- Bath time basics. Make sure that you always rinse all the shampoo from your dog’s coat after a bath. Also, make sure you thoroughly dry your pooch, especially during winter.
- Don’t forget about dental. Did you know that dogs can develop many of the same dental problems as humans? If not, you’ll probably also be surprised to learn that the best way to look after your canine’s chompers is to brush them using a special doggy toothbrush and canine toothpaste.
- Get professional help. If you don’t have the time, the skills or just the patience to take care of all your dog’s grooming needs, don’t hesitate to take your pooch to see a professional dog groomer. Professional groomers know everything there is to know about keeping your dog’s coat and skin in the best possible shape, and your pooch will love the extra attention.
Follow these helpful dog grooming tips and your dog will smell good, look great and feel even better!