Dogs: Essential Tips on Pet Grooming

Dogs
Regular pet grooming is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. A proper grooming routine keeps dogs clean, happy, and healthy. Moreover, regular grooming can prevent a variety of diseases and infections caused by matted hair, wax build-up, bacteria, dirt, and a variety of other contaminants. Preventative measures such as these can also curtail unnecessary canine health issues and potentially expensive trips to the vet. Here are some essential tips on pet grooming for dogs and ways to avoid potentially expensive as well as unnecessary veterinary bills.

1. Bathing–It is generally recommended that most dogs get a bath every 2-4 months. However, if the animal gets into something foul or sticky, the dog should be bathed immediately. It is also important to note that bathing an animal too frequently will dry out its skin and strip its coat of natural oils. Moreover, certain dog breeds require more frequent bathing needs. It is best to do one’s research ahead of time so that owners are prepared to care for their canine friend, especially if someone is a first-time owner.

2. Brushing–Establishing a regular brushing routine with a canine is a terrific way to bond with the animal. Moreover, it removes dead/dry skin and hair, re-distributes the oils for a clean and healthy coat, stimulates the skin’s surface, and helps the owner become familiar with the dog’s body. Furthermore, it reduces matted hair, dirt and bacteria build-up, as well as skin irritation for canines. Not to mention, regular brushing just makes dogs happy. It is recommended that owners should brush their dogs every couple of days, regardless of the length of their coat.

3. Nail Care–Another essential tip for pet grooming involves allowing dogs to become familiar with having their feet touched prior to attempting nail care. Some animals can get very upset at this unsettling and foreign feeling. Begin by rubbing a hand up and down their legs, and then, gently press each individual toe on each foot. Be sure to give dogs lots of praise, attention, and some treats while doing this preparation so they view it as a rewarding experience. Dogs are different, but chances are that within a week or two of daily foot massages, the canine will be better able to tolerate a nail trim. When trimming a dog’s nails, begin by spreading each of their feet to inspect for dirt and debris. Make sure to use sharp, sturdy nail clippers to cut off the tip of each nail at a slight angle. Owners should cut just before the point where the nail begins to curve. Extra care must be taken to avoid the nail quick, which is a vein that runs into the nail bed. The nail quick is usually pink and can often be seen through the nail. However, dogs with black nails require extra care and attention, since the quick will not be as easily discernible. If the nail quick is cut while trimming, it may result in bleeding and some styptic powder can be applied to stop the bleeding. After the nails are trimmed, use an emery board to file and smooth any rough spots.

4. Dental Care–Just like humans, dogs can suffer from a variety of dental issues (e.g. gum disease, tartar build-up, cavities, etc.). It is also important to note that bacteria from gum disease can enter a dog’s bloodstream causing many other health problems. Making a canine’s dental care a priority will spare the animal unnecessary pain and health concerns, as well as their owners significant vet bills. It is recommended that owners should clean their dog’s teeth 2-3 times per week.

5. Special Breeds With Special Needs–Dogs with loose facial skin or wrinkles, such as pugs or shar peis, will require special grooming needs. The skin folds should be cleaned via damp cotton to prevent bacteria growth and dirt from causing irritation as well as possible infection. Moreover, it is also important to always thoroughly dry between the skin folds.

For dogs who have droopy or long ears, their owners should check them weekly. Dirt and wax should be removed from the canine’s ears with a cotton ball moistened with water or some mineral oil. Some breeds may also require excess hair removal from areas such as their face or ear canal. Owners should consult a dog groomer or vet for excess hair removal tips and/or procedures before trying it at home. There are special hair removers available on the market that allow hair to be removed one strand at a time.

Dogs that suffer from skin and/or certain medical conditions may also have special pet grooming requirements. It is best for owners to their research and consult a vet or pet groomer for special handling tips so that they are prepared to care for their animals.

Just like humans, dogs require a regular grooming routine. A proper grooming routine keeps pets clean, happy, and healthy. Moreover, regular grooming can prevent a variety of diseases and infections caused by matted hair, wax build-up, bacteria, dirt, and a variety of other contaminants. Preventative measures such as these can also curtail unnecessary canine health issues and potentially expensive trips to the vet. Hopefully, these essential tips on pet grooming for dogs will help owners avoid potentially expensive and unnecessary veterinary bills, as well as spare canines unnecessary health issues and distress.

By Leigh Haugh

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Sources:
Animal Humane Society
ASPCA
Cesar’s Way
WikiHow

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