All dog owners need to know answers related to dog grooming. That’s why we have decided to present to you the ultimate guide, Dog Grooming: Everything You Need To Do, And How Often. This is essential and something that cannot be generalized. Something that is ideal for one dog may even be harmful to another.
There are a lot of variations and now we are going to reveal all of them. It will be a wonderful journey so sit back, relax and prepare to have all your questions answered.
Dog grooming: First things to know
Before we move to anything else we must reveal what grooming is. Many dog owners believe that this is just trimming the hair of their dog. Others believe that it is about bathing the dog. In reality, this is much more. Our Dog Grooming: Everything You Need To Do, And How Often guide is going to give you the real picture.
In a nutshell, grooming is a complicated process of keeping the dog clean, healthy, and happy. It involves teeth management, washing, brushing, nail clipping and also trimming the hair. The latter is needed to most but not all dog breeds so keep that in mind. Grooming is needed to decrease the risk of any diseases, to make sure the dog is clean and looks tidy. It is something that can help you have a beautiful and healthy dog hence you can see the overall importance.
Grooming is complicated, as we have said earlier.
This means that there are a few reasons why grooming is mandatory. The most important ones are:
- To improve his life quality
- Detect any health issues as soon as possible
- To easier manage shedding in your home
- Monitoring your dog for any parasites, bugs or etc.
- Dealing with smell and keeping the entire dog clean
As you can see, grooming is mandatory for all dogs and it is something that can have a huge overall effect. Grooming has been used for decades and it is an ideal method if you want to create and keep a strong bond with your dog. For those who live in apartments, grooming is probably even more important. You will eliminate odors and shedding of your pet which is important.
3 elements of grooming
You already know that grooming is more than just one thing. In reality, there are three main elements. Each one is equally important and honestly, mandatory. When all of the three steps or processes are completed, you will have a happy and tidy dog. The three elements here are:
This is the first and very important. It is about maintaining the healthy coat your dog has. This means washing, trimming, and brushing. All dogs need all of what we have just said but on different levels.
2. Nail care
Nail care means that you will make sure that the nails of your dog are the correct length. They are not damaged and they are not dirty. Nail trimming is a huge issue for some dog owners and yes, a mandatory thing you will have to do.
3. Teeth care
Teeth care includes brushing the teeth of your dog, looking for any damages, plaque, tartar, or anything similar. The goal here is to make sure that all the teeth and gums are in pristine order. Dogs have strong but also sensitive teeth so you need to make sure oral hygiene is excellent.
Keep in mind that the actual needs will vary from dog to dog. Not all dogs are the same and different dog breeds will have different requirements. What this means is that some dogs need to have hair trimmed more frequently than others. Other dogs must have their nails trimmed more frequently than others as well. If you have a purebred dog this is not difficult. You can do proper and simple research and find the requirements. If you have a mixed breed dog the situation is more complicated. You will need to adapt grooming to his specific needs which require a lot of effort and patience.
Grooming coat of your dog
For many dog owners, this is the most complicated and the most important part of grooming. It means that you will make sure that the hair of your dog is in great condition and you will trim it if needed. But, there are a lot of different coat types and you cannot use the same process for all of them. Below we are going to reveal the options and explain what you should do depending on the type of coat your dog has.
Single coat and short hair
These dogs have a very short coat and it looks glued to the body. Some of the best examples are boxers, great Danes, greyhounds, and many more. Yes, they still need brushing once per week. But because they don’t have long fur there is a little shedding and there is no need to do this all the time. Brushing is ideal to expand the oils and make the whole fur look better and healthier. It can also help you remove dead hair.
When it comes to bathing these dogs you need to do it once in 4-6 weeks. You can also do it only when they start to stink. Yes, many dog owners wait for the last moment. Make sure to keep your eye on the hair quality. If it is too brittle or your pet starts shedding a lot, it means that you are bathing him too frequently.
Double coat and short hair
Dogs like German Shepherds, Goldies, and many more have short hair but double fur. This means that the upper layer will be longer and used to repel insects and bugs while the inner layer will be used to keep the dog warm. Brushing should be done 2-3 times per week. You can do it more often if you like. The goal is to remove the damaged and old hair fibers. Always remember that the inner coat is reserved for maintaining heat and protection. Without it, your pet can get sunburns!
Bathing needs to be done once every 2-3 months.
This is very important. Of course, if your pet is dirty or stinks a lot you can give him a bath more frequently.
1. Double coat and long hair
These dogs are Pomeranians, Australian shepherds, and many more. Most dogs who have double coats are considered to have long hair. Brushing should be done on a daily basis. Some of them have feathers that are around the feed, legs, butts and etc. These have to be trimmed occasionally.
Look for mats. These can appear anywhere on the dogs and they can cause massive discomfort. Once they appear, you will need help from a professional groomer to remove them.
2. Dogs with wavy or curly coats
In order to understand how these dogs look, here are a few examples. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Bichon Frises, and Portuguese Water Dogs are all dog breeds with this type of coat. They must be brushed every single day and multiple times. Ideally, you will have to do this 2-3 times per day. They are prone to mat so you will have to do all you can in order to prevent the risk of that.
Professional grooming is needed as well. This is something you should use once in 4-6 weeks. As you can see the coat is complicated to maintain so unless you have experience, a professional groomer is a mandatory option.
Bathing needs to be done once per month.
It is important to brush them before and after bathing. Don’t forget to let them dry completely before you release your dog outside.
1. Dogs with silky coats
These dogs have silky hair, obviously and it grows all the time. As such the hair must be trimmed occasionally. Dog breeds with this coat are Maltesers, Irish setters, and afghan hounds.
Grooming this type of fur is complicated and you will once again need professional help. You will have to take your pet to a groomer once in 2-3 months and yes you need a real expert. An interesting fact is that if you want your dog to have a longer coat you will have to visit the groomer more frequently. He must make sure that the coat is healthy and in pristine condition.
Bathing is not something most dog owners can do by themselves. In most cases, you will have to do with a help of a professional groomer. Every time you take him to a groomer, your dog should be bathed as well. These dogs have a lot of issues with brittle hair and dry skin.
2. Dogs with wiry coats
Dogs with this coat type are Irish Wolf Hounds, Wire-haired Jack Russells, Miniature Schnauzers, and many more. The coat is thick and worry. But, it is low maintenance coat! Brushing needs to be done 2-3 times per month and matting is extremely rare. But, they do not shed so you will have to remove old hair manually. This process is known as hand stripping and it means that you will have to remove old hair by hand.
Bathing is needed but rarely, once in 3 months.
The hair is very delicate and it can get damaged by excessive bathing.
Brachycephalic dog breeds
Brachycephalic dog breeds are Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Shih-Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, and Pugs. They are all well-known and popular dog breeds and something many people adore. These dogs also have facial folds and these must be cleaned every single day. Without proper cleaning, an infection can occur and it will affect the skin. It is a huge issue and a problem to treat afterward.
In general, these dogs have much more common and time-consuming hygiene requirements than other dogs. If the hygiene is not in great order, severe health-related issues will appear. You need to know this if you are planning to adopt one. These dogs do require a lot of time from you.
Trimming the hair of your dog
Trimming of the hair may sound like the most complicated step here. It is certainly something we can explain a bit more. In general, there are certain areas of your dog where the hair is longer and as such needs to be trimmed. These areas include:
- Areas around the eyes
These hairs must be trimmed if they obscure the vision of your pet. Always make sure they are short and don’t affect vision.
- Around the anus
Hairs here will catch feces and they look nasty. Trimming is mandatory and should be done on a regular basis.
- Around the jaw
The hair here can be seen on the lower jaw and it will trap food and get wet when your dog drinks water. It looks nasty as well and should be trimmed on a regular basis.
- Other areas
These are areas where the hair will mat and tangle occasionally. Trimming is mandatory to prevent these two issues.
Clipping the nails of your pet
All animals and humans have nails that are growing constantly. But, the nails are sanded down with normal activity in the wild. This works for dogs as well. Today they do not live in a forest or savanna so they need help. Their nails will grow all the time and when reaching a length that can cause issues, they will start having a lot of problems. This may include:
- Ingrown nails
- Limited movement
- Problems with walking
- Overgrown claws
Same as humans, dogs need to have their nails clipped once or 2 times per month. You will have to check the nail’s length first and determine if this is something you should trim right now. A general rule is that if you can hear the nails scratching the surface as your dog walks clipping is mandatory.
Trimming itself is simple.
Making your dog stay calm as you do this is not. You can use countless tips and tricks. One of them is to start when your pet is small and hold his paw. Approach with a nail clipper and touch a nail but do not clip it. Repeat this step a couple of times until your pet is comfortable. Then you can start clipping.
In this section, we must add that the nails of your dog contain quick that transports blood. If your pet has clear nails and you can see the quick, avoid it at all cost. Never cut this area because it will cause a lot of pain to your dog. If your dog has dark nails, do research first on where you should cut the nails.
The tools you need for this include nail clippers, nail grinders, and also dermal tools. Of them, all nail grinder and nail clippers are the best. Nail grinder is more appealing because it is done slowly and gives you more control but you also need more time. It is more appealing to beginners.
If you are a newbie and you don’t know how to do it, you can always hire a groomer. They are experts in this field and they will make sure the nails of your dog are spotless. Our Dog Grooming: Everything You Need To Do, And How Often will give you all the most essential and most needed pieces of information all dog owners need to know about.
Brushing the teeth of your dog
Brushing the teeth of your dog must be done once per day. This is very important and will help your pet maintain proper oral hygiene. You can also opt or better said add treats that will keep the teeth clean of your dog. However, these can only be used as an addition to teeth brushing and not a complete replacement.
Start when your pet is small and do not stop. Most dogs don’t like teeth brushing but it is essential. Over time your dog will get used to it and he will feel comfortable. Some dogs even like it.
Training dogs to love bathing
Bathing a dog is mandatory and more important than you may believe. But, it is also difficult. Most dogs don’t like this process and they will do everything they can in order to escape. As such you need to train your dog to do love bathing. Below are the steps you need to take in order to make sure bathing will not be a problem.
1. Start by teaching your dog that you want to pet him. Pet his back, shoulders, and all the body parts. Always after you are done praise and reward your pet when he was obedient. Put your pet on a belly or sides and repeat the process. Eventually, start with their legs and tail.
Always reward him afterward. This is needed so your dog becomes extremely comfortable with you while he is in any position.
2. Now introduce bathing slowly. Always have rewards and treats ready next to you. Do not throw your dog in a tub filled with water. The goal is to make your dog believe bathing is linked to treats so he will consider this as positive. Once the bath is over, reward your pet once again.
3. Adapting the dog to the items you are going to use is essential. He must get familiar with a tub, bucket, towel, shampoo, and all the rest. Put him in a tub and use a non-slip mat. Allow him to stand up and just wait. Turn on the hose and let him get used to the sounds of running water. Repeat this step as many times as needed.
4. Take him in a walk before bathing him. Just make sure that you two rest when you arrive home. This is mandatory simply because your pet will be tired and he will want to have a rest. He won’t struggle as much while you bathing him.
Never bathe him as soon as you come home. He is warm and needs some time to cool down.
5. Now you are ready to give him a bath. As always, start slow and don’t make loud noises or yell at your pet. He must believe that bathing is a safe and appealing process so he will actually enjoy it.
All of what we have said above would be ideal if you start when your dog is a puppy. But, if you have adopted an older dog you can still use these steps. These are essential and very effective.
Once again, we can see that bathing is very important and can be difficult. That’s why you will need to use these tips. These can help you get the job done easily and without any fuss.
Brush your dog before bathing
This is ideal if your dog has a lot of mats on his coat and he looks dirty. You will have an easier time bathing him and the end result will look much better.
Wet the dog completely
Yes, you will have to wet your dog starting from the chest and reaching the tail. It is much easier in a tub where the water can flow indefinitely. Use warm water your pet is most comfortable with. Never use cold water.
Use damp or wet cloth for face and head
Dogs are very sensitive when it comes to areas around the head such as ears, eyes, and nose. For these areas, you will have to use a damp piece of cloth or a wet towel if you like. Wetting the area will cause your dog to panic and he will want to escape.
Use cotton balls
Yes, you can use cotton balls to prevent water from getting inside the ears. Dogs with erected or big ears are at a higher risk so use this tip.
Use a safe shampoo
There are a lot of products that are safe and ideal for dogs. You will need to apply shampoo on the chest and move towards the tail. Use a safe product that was properly tested and is ideal for your particular dog breed.
Rub and massage
Once you are done with the chest of your pet, rub the shampoo on his shoulders, back, and legs. Massage the areas to make the whole process easier and simpler.
Rinse the coat of your dog and make sure there is no shampoo left on the fur. Apply conditioner afterward and use a dry towel to absorb any water. Only when your dog is 100% dry he can go outside.
Additional factors that determine the need for grooming
As you were able to see here all dogs need grooming and each dog needs it separately. You will need a lot of time to master this process. But, once you get used to it, you will become a pro. That’s why it is important to know that there are additional factors that do apply here. There are a few of them and they are something you need to know about as well.
Allergies are common in the world of dogs and these can have a huge side effect on the pet. Some allergies will force you to groom your pet more often while others will force you to groom him less frequently. You will have to talk to your vet and determine the best plan for the future. These allergies can affect the skin and hair and they are annoying to treat so prevention is a much better option.
Where your dog lives and spends most of the time is an important factor. For instance, if your dog lives outside and he spends all the time in a backyard, grooming is needed more frequently.
This means that you will have to bathe him and do the complete treatment more regularly in order to remove dirt, pollen, and anything else.
But, you will have to trim his nails less frequently because he will use them while moving outside and grind them eventually. Dogs that live inside the house have to be groomed less frequently.
Your budget is one of the factors as well. If the budget is not an issue, hire a professional groomer. These are experts and can help your dog look great and stay healthy. On the other hand, some dog owners love to groom their dogs and they don’t want to hire another person for that. If you are low on a budget you will have to do this by yourself.
The final word
Our Dog Grooming: Everything You Need To Do, And How Often guide has come to an end and all we can say is that we had a great time. Grooming dogs is fun and when done correctly can help them more than anything else. Be free to master the practice and learn all the specifics there are. This may sound extremely complicated, but it is something you can learn within days. Just take your time and focus on bonding with your dog.
If you dog is acting weird after grooming, read this article, Why Is Your Dog Acting Weird After Grooming?
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