Many people often take proper pet grooming lightly. In reality, if you spend the time grooming your dog as often as it is needed, you would save the time and hassle that occurs when you wait until the absolute last moment to do it. Keeping your dogs groomed will make them look and feel better, just like humans. The amount of grooming that your dog will need depends on the breed and hair type of your particular dog. Some basics to remember when it comes to grooming your dog are hair brushing, nail trimming, bathing, ear care, and haircuts.
Hair brushing may be the easiest of the grooming tasks. Many dogs love to be brushed because you are showing them affection when doing so. Some dogs, like those with medium-length hair, will require weekly brushings, while others, like those with long hairs, may need it daily to prevent their hair from matting and tangling. Usually, dogs with short hair require a brushing every two weeks or so. Another benefit of brushing your dog is that you get a lot of the loose hair and it prevents shedding around your home.
Nail trimming will not be as easy of a task for you to do. Most animals do not like you to hold their paws for long periods of time as it throws off their balance and makes them feel restricted. Another issue with nail trimming is that it is easy to cut them too short and this is very painful for the dogs as they have nerves in the nails that we do not have. If you do end up hurting your dog while trimming their nails, they will not want you to do it in the future and may become aggressive when you try. It is best to take your dog to a groomer or vet and allow them to do the nail trimming for you, or get the proper training on how to do it correctly. It is best to get monthly trimmings for your dog’s nail, however some dogs may need it more often or less, just like humans – their nails all grow at different rates.
One positive way to look at bathing your dog is that it is MUCH easier than trying to bathe a cat! Your dog may not like bath time at first, but can learn to like it if it is a frequent event. Some dogs may naturally enjoy the bath if the water is the right temperature and you learn how to properly do so. Check out our article “How to Properly Bathe your Dog” for more information on this. I would bathe your dog at least once a month, as well as any other times that they get extremely dirty. Bathing your dog more often will not hurt him, but it is not recommended to do so every day. Ensure that you are using dog friendly shampoo and conditioner that will not harm their skin. We recommend asking your veterinarian what is the best kind for your dog.
Ear care is not on the top list of dog and owners favorite things to do. However, there are many issues that can occur if you do not keep your dog’s ears clean. The best practice is to clean out your dog’s ears when you give them a bath, then it becomes a routine and you will not forget to do so. It is best to clean your dog’s ear with ear cleaner and cotton to ensure you are getting everything out.
Haircuts are usually left to professional dog groomers who know what they are doing and how to deal with the dog’s reactions to the situation. The type of dog that you have will decide how often they need haircuts. Longer haired dogs with fast growing hair will need them as often as every 4 weeks in order to keep them looking nice and having healthy hair.