Just like humans, dogs also need to be pampered sometimes. Whether it be a haircut, nails trimmed, ears cleaned, or teeth brushed, a good grooming session may be in store for your dog. There are a lot of professional groomers that you can go to or you can try to fix your dog up on your own. If you decide to do it on your own, we’ve got some pet grooming tips that will help make your pup look brand new.
If you have a long-haired dog or a short-haired dog, it needs a good brushing regularly. This regular maintenance will keep your dog’s coat shiny and clean. Long-haired dogs can get matted coats causing skin irritations. You can prevent matting by brushing throughout the week and making sure your dog’s hair doesn’t get too long.
Short-haired dogs don’t require as much hair maintenance as long-haired dogs, but it is still important to brush them every so often. Brushing their coats will cut down on the dirt and dander within their fur making time in between bath care longer.
Taking care of your dog’s paws is important as overly long nails can become uncomfortable for your dog. When you can hear your pet’s nails clicking on hard surfaces, it’s time to trim their nails.
There are a few types of nail tools to choose from when trimming your dog’s nails. Nail clippers, guillotine nail clippers, and nail files. Clippers require more control and precision while nail files grind or file down your dog’s nail tips.
When cutting the nails, look for a faint pink line within the nail. This area is known as the quick, containing nerves and blood vessels. You want to avoid cutting into this area as it will cause bleeding and discomfort to your dog. If your dog has black nails the quick will not be easily seen. Start by cutting small sections then once you see a dark spot in the center of the nail you’ve gotten to the quick. Do not go any further at this point. If for some reason you do cut the quick, don’t panic. Quickly add some styptic powder to the nail which will clot the blood. Giving your dog a treat throughout the nail-cutting process will reassure them that this isn’t a negative experience.
Regularly checking your dog’s ears to make sure there is no discomfort is the best ear care. Signs that your dog could have an ear infection include the following:
- The ears are inflamed or moist.
- An odd smell, especially sweet, can mean an ear infection.
- Scratching its ears and shaking of the head are another sign.
- More or a strange kind of discharge coming from the ears.
- Uncomfortably whines or yelps when you are examining the dog’s ears.
Be sure to take your dog to the vet if you notice any of these signs.
Trimming the hair inside your dog’s ears can help with air movement and prevent ear infections. If you are uncomfortable doing this, take your pup to a professional groomer or have your vet trim their ear hair.
Dental care is a big part of your dog’s health. Teeth brushing and providing good chew toys can really be beneficial to keep your dog’s mouth healthy. Dogs can begin forming gum disease by four years old so starting dental care at a young age is crucial.
Slowly introduce teeth brushing to your dog. Start by adding a small amount of dog toothpaste to a dog-friendly toothbrush. One of our favorites is this one by Petosan. Work in small, circular motions while lifting your dog’s lip to get into the gum area. There are also toothbrushes that you can slip onto your finger that help to have better control when brushing.
Choosing A Dog Groomer
If you feel uncomfortable doing DIY grooming on your pup, consider going to a professional dog groomer. Sometimes this route is easier than trying to freshen up your dog yourself. When searching for a dog groomer make sure that they’ve been through proper dog grooming training. Certain breeds require different types of grooming so you want to find someone that understands this and knows how to accomplish different breeds’ needs. You can look on the AKC Marketplace for Groomers to find a groomer near you.
Give your local groomers a call to see what their qualifications are and to find out what types of services they provide. Ask the following questions:
- Will they trim your dog’s nails?
- Will they clean their ears?
- Will they brush their teeth?
- Will they express anal glands?
- What types of shampoo/products will they use on your dog?
All of these are important things to know before you take your dog on a grooming visit.
Buying some grooming tools before you plan to begin dog grooming will make at-home sessions go more smoothly. Giving lots of treats and praise with any pampering will let them know that this is a positive experience. With these dog grooming tips, your pup will surely look top-notch.