You love snuggling and cuddling your pet, especially when she smells nice and clean. But as a dog owner, you know that your dog doesn’t stay that way every time. Every so often, their fur will catch grime, and their paws will get dirty. Regular grooming is an essential part of pet care, even if your dog doesn’t like it. You think that training your dog to sit, come and stay quiet is important, but teaching them to tolerate grooming is as important as well.
The first step to groom a puppy is teaching them that your hands are associated with nice things like pats, praise, toys and treats. Let them be acquainted with the smell of your hand and reward them whenever they tend to get relaxed once you hold them. Start with touching their back, shoulders, top of the head. Once they’re comfortable, gradually get the dog to get used to you touching their face, ears, tail and all four legs. If the puppy starts to get scared or tries to bite you, then you’ve gone too fast. You would need to backtrack to your earlier steps.
After that, get them comfortable with you restraining their movement. Teaching them to stay still is very important for all aspects of grooming. Hold the puppy very gently until your puppy relaxes. Always remember to praise or give them a treat once they relax, so they would learn that relaxing is the way to be free again. Again, if the puppy shows signs of discomfort, you’d need to take it slow.
Once the puppy is conditioned to being touched, handled and restrained, now you can start introducing grooming equipment. Here are some advice for brushing, bathing and trimming their coat.
Brushing your dog
Get your dog used to regular brushing. It’s the key to keeping your dog clean. Unlike humans, dogs don’t need a lot of bathing, which can drain the natural oils and luster of their coat. And before bathing, it is important to brush the dog’s coat first to get the heavy dirt and grime out.
For those dogs with longer hair as well as those with short, dense coats, use a slick, metal pin brush for your dog to remove tangles easier and gently remove mats. Then follow it with a bristle brush. For those with short, smooth coats, use a rubber brush, followed with a bristle brush.
Not all dogs need daily brushing. As an owner, you should determine how often your dog needs brushing. Most short coats are fine with weekly brushing, but longer coats may need it daily to keep clean.
As you brush, also check if your dog has ticks or fleas. If you see these, use medicated shampoo when you bathe your dog.
Bathing your dog
A dog has different bathing needs; most dogs are bathed every one to three weeks. The frequency of dog’s bathing should depend on the weather and its recent activities.
Use a special dog shampoo, not the shampoo that you use. Dogs need milder shampoos to avoid irritation. Though they’re more expensive, it’s best to use healthy and natural products, rather than chemical products.
As mentioned earlier, before bathing, you must start with brushing to remove extra grime.
Use lukewarm water; dogs can be sensitive about temperature.
To avoid slipping, place a bath mat into the floor.
Be careful to rinse well and remove all of the shampoo from the dog’s skin and coat.
If your dog tends to become overexcited and mouthy while you’re giving him a bath, try giving your dog a bath toy.
When you’re using a blow dryer to dry your dog, use a low heat setting to prevent burning.
Trimming your dog’s hair
After giving your dog a brush and a bath, give your dog a trim when he needs to. It’s time to trim when the hair is too long, that it always mat or get tangled. For some dogs, a too-long coat can cover their eyes.
Unlike humans, cut the dog’s hair only when it is dry. When trimming the dog’s face, tail, and feet, use only the tips of your scissors to prevent injuring your dog if she suddenly moves. When you’re trimming the ears, place your other hand on the edges of the ears to avoid accidentally cutting a part of his ear.
Only do trimming when the dog is relaxed, and make sure you hold them still with your other hand. Be careful with the use of scissors. It is recommended that you use a pair of professional shears or clippers, preferably with a No. 10 clipping blade to avoid cutting the skin.
Use clippers when the dog’s fur is matted. Don’t cut it with scissors.